Thursday, January 04, 2007

Death of Innocence

Child playing in a sandbox
A sunny, cool spring day
Pure aliveness
A miracle of god

A black ominous shadow
Abruptly rips up the child
Thoughtlessly ravaging
Tearing life from innocence

Inflicting bewilderment
Pain guilt and confusion
A child’s soul dies
Four year old remains

Tears in the sandbox
Inner death of the child
A childhood stolen
Aliveness nevermore

-Glenn Baxter

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Former Austin State Hospital employee sentenced to 15 years for child pornography.

(Austin, Texas 11-30-06) Larry Nelson Langley was convicted in the 390th Court in Travis County to serve a total of 15 years in a state penitentiary for possession of child pornography.

This was the 4th day of a jury trial that began on Monday, November 27, 2006.

Initially, Mr. Langley and his attorney pled not guilty to 4 counts consisting of four photos of naked children residing on his workplace computer. Another 71 child pornographic images were found through a forensic investigation of the computer’s hard drive by the Inspector General’s Office and the Austin Police Department.

The prosecutors rested their case on Wednesday after testimony given by a Hutchinson County hospital administrator, his administrative assistant and an investigator from the district attorney’s office in the same county. Hutchinson County is located in the Texas Panhandle 600 miles North of Austin (Travis County).

The story unfolded in 1997 when Langley was hired as chief financial officer at Golden Plains Community Hospital (Hutchinson County Hospital District) in Borger, Texas.
The hospital administrative assistant testified how she found five child pornography photos on Langley’s desk in January 2000.

The hospital administrator testified he contacted the hospital attorney who advised him to seal the photos in an envelope and lock in a cabinet.

It was omitted that on January 28, 2000, Langley received $11,542.86 severance and written resignation in an attempt to silence the crime from the public.

The Hutchinson County investigator testified it was 14 months later when he found out about the child pornography when a group of citizens approached the district attorney’s office to complain about potential malfeasance at the hospital. The investigator went to the hospital administrator and attorney to retrieve the photos. He said the computer hard drive was examined and an additional 60 photos were found.

Langley was returned to Hutchinson County on October 1, 2003, awarded a plea bargain with $1000 fine for misuse of a computer, $287.25 court cost and 3 year probation. He returned to continue working at the Austin State Hospital. ASH is a state mental health facility that serves adults and children up to 12 years of age.

In July, 2005 a fellow employee at the Austin State Hospital reported seeing a photo of a naked underage child on Langley’s office computer. This employee testified that the chief financial officer at ASH who supervised Langley was not acting on the reported crime. The employee is a father of children and did a heroic act when he contacted the Texas Inspector General’s office to conduct an investigation.

The evidence was overwhelming. The defense caved in to a plea bargain of guilty to 2 counts. A ten year sentence was given to Larry Langley on count one and a consecutive 5 year sentence on count two.

The conviction marks the end of a perverted crime repeated and enabled in local and state tax supported hospitals for over 6 years.