By Allen Payton
During the annual Delta Association of Realtors Christmas party, the organization’s Delta Realtors Community Service Foundation presented checks to East County charities and gifts for local, foster children in Antioch schools.
A check for $1,000 was donated to St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Oakley for their food pantry
“It all goes to some really nice, nice families,” said Joann Mass of St. Anthony’s. “All we can do is say thank you.”
Donations were also provided to the Antioch Senior Center, An Elderly Wish Foundation, Don Brown Shelter, Brentwood Community Chest, and the Golden Hills Community Church Community Outreach Center in Antioch.
The Christmas gifts were provided to Antioch Unified School District’s Student Support Services for “27 foster children who are Antioch school students living in five group homes, four in Antioch and one in Pittsburg,” said Mayra Preciado, Counselor and Foster Liaison. “They’re now receiving a Christmas.”
She was joined by Director Bob Sanchez, Homeless Liaison Trina Tuel and Intervention Services Coordinator Dineen Burdick.
“We keep the money local. That’s what we’ve been focusing on” said Realtors foundation chairman Dan Barnes, of the Berkshire Hathaway real estate office in Brentwood.
The other foundation board members are Leonard Briones, Laura Agdanowski, Anthony Silva, Cathleen Griebling, Patti Shaner and Margaret Hurtado.
For more information about the Delta Association of Realtors visit their website at www.deltaaor.com.
Enjoy a Living Nativity on Christmas Eve, December 24, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 11 White Horse Court in Walnut Creek. Presented by Sufism Reoriented and Francis in the Schools.
In addition to seasonal holiday music and refreshments, we will have a delightful host of animals, including a baby camel and alpaca, a cow, donkey, as well as sheep, goats and piglets.
Please extend this invitation to family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. There is no charge for admission.
Love-A-Child Missions is sponsoring its 32nd Annual Christmas Carnival for the less fortunate families of our community of Contra Costa County. During this event of compassion, the true meaning of Christmas is shared with an invitation to become a Christmas Miracle, this is a special time to share your love and support for the community.
Can your organization be part of this ethnically diversified outreach? Can you be those loving hands of support so desperately needed this Holiday Season? We can certainly use your help and support. This year we are soliciting organizations to be a part of this Christmas compassion event that will make Christmas brighter for the less fortunate families of our county. Below are the service opportunities for the day of the event. Please consider whether you’d like to provide a financial contribution for this event or host a toy or coat drive prior to the event.
Listed below are the different types of services that are needed:
Qualified Leadership & Supervision Prize & Raffle Distribution
Carnival Booths Activities Food/Lunch Preparation and Distribution
Security and Registration Services Food Bag Distribution
Face Painting Balloon Distribution
Toy Distribution Coat Distribution
For further information, questions and/or concerns, please contact Courtney, Heather or Barbara at Love-A-Child Missions @ 925.458.9337 or 925.458.4496
Very truly yours
Jerome Knott – Founding Director
School children across Contra Costa County will participate in the 16th annual countywide shelter-in-place drill to practice safety procedures in the event of a nearby hazardous material release or other incident requiring them to shelter-in-place. Directed by CAER, this year’s shelter-in-place drill will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1st, and all public and private schools, and childcare centers throughout Contra Costa County are encouraged to participate.
“Each year we are encouraged with the increased number of participating schools CAER works with,” said CAER’s Executive Director, Tony Semenza. “Teachers and students should all know shelter-in-place procedures just as they are trained about what to do in case of a fire or earthquake.”
This annual safety event gives children and their caregivers an important opportunity to practice responding to the Community Warning System (CWS) alerts, which includes a series of sirens along the waterfront areas from Richmond to Antioch. The CWS sounds a siren when there has been a dangerous chemical release or other disaster that requires a shelter-in-place. These alerts are also sent via radio, TV, cell and land line calls and social media postings.
Hazardous material releases can result from many sources in Contra Costa County, including accidents at chemical treatment plants, wastewater treatment facilities, facilities that store and/or manufacture hazardous materials, refineries, but also from collisions involving trucks or trains that transport chemicals. The possibility of accidents, make it important for the county’s youngest members to recognize and respond correctly to shelter-in-place alerts.
CAER is a coalition of local agencies, businesses, industries, community groups and emergency response organizations. CAER works to improve emergency response planning and to actively enhance public health and safety.
Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon) announced Governor Brown has signed her Assembly Bill 993. This measure will expand the use of video testimony options for young children who are victims of heinous sex crimes, so they will not have to repeatedly relive trauma of the crime during court prosecution of the abuser.
Victims who are 15 years or younger or developmentally disabled have the ability to provide video and stenographic testimony in court in certain cases of sex abuse crimes. There are, however, specific crimes against minors where video and stenographic testimony is not allowed. Victims of aggravated sexual assault who are less than 14 years of age, and victims of unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual penetration, and oral copulation under the age of 10 currently do not have the ability to request a video and stenographic testimony method when the abusers are prosecuted. As a result, children who are victims to horrible sex crimes must relive the trauma of the crime at each stage of prosecution to hold their abuser accountable.
More psychological harm can be done to a child when the child is required to testify in a room full of strangers and to recall traumatic events again and again. AB 993 will ensure that children victims do not have to relive these traumatic events, but can have the option of videotaping their testimony once.
“This bill helps children who have suffered horrible abuse. They deserve our protection, and this bill will relieve further suffering and trauma,” said Baker.
AB 993 was sponsored by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and supported by CA District Attorneys Association, Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Children’s Advocacy Centers of CA, Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County, Crime Victims United, LA County District Attorney’s Office, Moraga Police Department, Police Chiefs Association, and San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. This bill received unanimous, bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly prior to receiving the Governor’s signature.
Baker represents the 16th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Lafayette, Livermore, Moraga, Orinda, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek.
Lafayette resident was owner of “A Child’s Point Of View” psychotherapy practice, pays $100,000 in restitution, so far
By Allen Payton
Orinda child psychologist Kenneth Breslin was arrested for possession of child pornography on October 5, 2016 which was announced by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s office. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Northern California, for many years, Breslin now age 69, of Lafayette, Calif., was the Director and Owner of “A Child’s Point of View,” an Orinda-based office that provided adolescent, adult, and family psychotherapy services. (See related article).
A federal grand jury in Oakland indicted him on December 15, 2016, with possession of child pornography. It was announced by United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Spradlin.
In a press release from the state Board of Psychology on November 9, “Antonette Sorrick, Executive Officer of the Board, released the following statement regarding Dr. Kenneth Allen Breslin: ‘The protection of the citizens of California is paramount to the Board of Psychology and I want the public to know that the Board will move as fast as possible to investigate the allegations regarding Dr. Kenneth Allen Breslin. In the interim, I urge current and future patients to always check the license of their practitioners for their protection and peace of mind.’”
The Board also committed to “take steps to discipline Dr. Breslin’s license and further restrict his ability to practice psychology after further investigation, or action on the criminal matter.”
Breslin was prohibited from practicing psychology pursuant to a Contra Costa Superior Court order issued on November 28, 2016. He later lost his license to practice psychology. The state Board moved to revoke his license for various violations related to the case and he signed a document saying he wouldn’t contest the action.
Breslin was arrested at his residence on December 18, 2016, and made his initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco on December 19.
According to the indictment, Breslin was alleged to have knowingly possessed, and accessed with intent to view, child pornography. He was charged with one count of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B).
Breslin was held in the custody of the United States Marshals Service until his appearance December 21, 2016, for a detention hearing before the Honorable Jacqueline Scott Corley, U.S. Magistrate Judge.
He was released on December 21 pending sentencing with the stipulations that he “shall not access the internet & shall not use or possess any computer.” During the detention hearing, Judge Corley confirmed that Breslin “may not use a smart phone, or anything capable of accessing the internet.” He and his sister both signed a $150,000 bond as a promise to pay against property they owned.
However, Breslin violated his release conditions two times by accessing the internet. According to court documents, “Breslin admitted to (Pretrial Services) Officer (Anthony) Granados that he had been using the iPhone regularly to access the internet but denied he was using it for anything illegal. Id. During multiple hearings that resulted from the bond violation, Magistrate Corley found that Breslin had violated the condition that he not access the internet by clear and convincing evidence. The government announced its intention to file a motion to forfeit the bond.” minute_order_remanding_to_custody
Because of that, two weeks ago, Breslin’s bond was revoked and he was taken back into custody and had to forfeit $100,000. The court agreed that would be the maximum amount. The day he returned to court, Breslin brought in a check for $100,000 for victim restitution, or anything else the court might order, if the restitution amount is less. signed_order_deposit_100K_into_registry Dkt.48_Surety Bond receipt
According to court documents, “The United States Attorney’s Office has already received more than six requests for restitution from victims of the child pornography materials Breslin possessed, and more restitution requests are expected. The parties have not reached any agreement about the amount of restitution the Court should order, and this stipulation does not indicate that Breslin agrees to pay any particular amount of restitution to any victim in the case. Additionally, a $5,100 special assessment applies in this case, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 3013 and 3014. As part of the judgment in this case, the District Court may also impose a fine and forfeiture of certain assets.”
Breslin will not enter a guilty plea until his next court date, when he will also be sentenced. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, he could face “a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.”
The trial had been scheduled for October 26, but it is now being moved to sometime in December.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christina McCall and Erin Cornell are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Vanessa Quant, Trina Khadoo, and Michelle Alter Eck. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by HSI, the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children’s Task Force, and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.
Contra Costa County residents will have an opportunity this month to access a wide variety of County Services at one single location during a “County Services Summer Block Party.” More than twenty County departments and divisions will team up to provide residents with a range of opportunities and information, from licensing pets to signing up for CalFresh and Medi-Cal benefits.
Contra Costa County’s Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department will host the event on Thursday, August 10, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at 555 Escobar Street in Martinez. The Office will be open that evening as part of its Extended Summer Hours program on Thursday nights.
“Our staff is excited to present our community and customers with this new and unique opportunity to access many county services at a time and place more convenient to their busy schedules,” Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder Joe Canciamilla said. “Our goal is to make it not only convenient, but approachable and fun.”
Available services at the Summer Block Party event will include, but are not limited to:
- Animal licensing
- Vouchers for pet vaccinations
- Marriage licenses
- Copies of vital records
- Library card signups
- Job training opportunities and information
- Signups for free benefits such as CalFresh and Medi-Cal
- Foster parent applications
- Signups for Veterans’ benefits
- Voter Registration
- Child ID kits
- Information about the County’s Clean Slate program
- Energy efficiency rebates — and many more county programs.
For more information, please call the Clerk-Recorder-Elections Department at 925-335-7805.
On Tuesday morning, March 21, 2017, law enforcement officers arrested 33-year-old Pablo Ruiz of Bay Point for child molestation and distribution and possession of child pornography.
This follows a ten-month investigation lead by detectives from the Sexual Assault Unit of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff. In April 2016, investigators from the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force were contacted by authorities in Lynchburg, Virginia, who had identified Ruiz as a suspect who was trading child pornography over the internet. The Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office took over the case. Investigators served a search warrant at Ruiz’s residence and collected a significant quantity of computer evidence. A short time later, evidence was uncovered that Ruiz had sexual contact with at least one minor.
The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has charged Ruiz with five counts of child molestation, aggravated possession of child pornography and nine counts of distributing child pornography. Ruiz is currently being held at the Martinez Detention Facility in lieu of $1.5 million bail.
Detectives believe there may be other victims. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to please contact Detective Norvell at 925-313-2625. For any tips, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
The prosecution is a result of an investigation by a multi-agency Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which is managed by the San Jose Police Department. In Contra Costa County, detectives and investigators from the Walnut Creek, Antioch, Martinez, San Ramon, Concord and Moraga Police Departments, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office, Probation Department and District Attorney’s Office participate in the task force.
From the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
For 25 years now, representatives from Contra Costa County non-profit agencies were on hand for the annual Marsh Creek Detention Facility Wood Shop Toy Show. They were able to choose from numerous newly handcrafted wood toys and bicycles refurbished by student-inmates. These gifts will then be given to the children who are being served by these agencies during the upcoming holidays.
Joining the non-profit-agency representatives were Contra Costa County’s Superintendent of Schools Karen Sakata and Under-Sheriff Michael Casten, as well as numerous representatives from both agencies to celebrate this longtime successful partnership that benefits the community and the student-inmates.
These organizations were able to choose from more than 1,115 beautifully handcrafted wooden toys, such as doll houses, spinning carousels, fire trucks, cars, baby cradles, toy tractors, train sets, and many more. In addition, there were also 95 beautifully refurbished bicycles, ready to ride. All of the toy makers and/or bike mechanics are students in the Contra Costa Adult School, an accredited school directed by the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE), located within the detention facility.
Contra Costa County non-profit organizations participating in this special event included: Bay Area Rescue Mission, Brighter Beginnings, Contra Costa County Independent Living Skills Program, CCCOE Early Start Program, El Cerrito Rotary, Friends of Oakley, Shelter Inc., The Salvation Army-Antioch Corps, Shepherd’s Gate, Ujima Family Recovery Services/La Casa, and VESTIA, Inc.