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Entries in Paraplegic (3)

Tuesday
May292012

Naval Academy Graduates First Paraplegic Student

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) -- On Tuesday 1,099 students of the U.S. Naval Academy graduated, after being honored with a keynote speech by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. As at any commencement ceremony, each diploma was received with jubilation from the newly-commissioned Navy or Marine Corps officer and their family. But one midshipman drew more thunderous applause than any other: 22-year-old Kevin Hillery.

Hillery is the first student at the Naval Academy to graduate as a paraplegic. Paralyzed from the waist down, Hillery earned a degree in economics.

He lost the use of his legs in a freak accident during a trip to the Shenandoah Valley last April. He was mountain biking with friends when a storm came in, crushing him under a falling tree.

Hillery would later tell ABC’s Washington affiliate, WJLA, that the unprecedented nature of his accident left his family uncertain of his future. After grappling with the reality that he would not be able to fulfill his lifelong dream to be a Navy SEAL, his attention turned to convincing the academy to let him finish his degree.

He returned to the academy this spring.

“I think it reflects well on the Naval Academy and the Navy that they would stand by one of their own,” Kevin told WJLA.

Kevin, a Vermont native, won’t be continuing his career in the military, but said he is considering going to law school.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Paraplegic Francis Hebert Charged with Assaulting Alleged Child Molester

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- A paraplegic from Massachusetts may be facing 10 years in prison for hitting a man with a bat after the man laughingly admitted molesting his three-year-old granddaughter, according to a police report.

Francis Hebert, 57, of Martha's Vineyard was charged with a felony assault charge by Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe for the incident that happened Feb. 22. The accused molester was also charged by police for allegedly molesting two young Massachusetts girls.

"I'd do it again tomorrow, knowing the consequence," Hebert told the Boston Herald. "I didn't have a choice. A 10-year-old kid could take me. This is not about me. This is about a tiny child."

Hebert and his common-law wife learned about the alleged abuse from their three-year-old granddaughter, who said her stepfather, Joshua A. Hardy, had abused her and had taken naked photos of her with his cellphone camera.

Hebert called police Feb. 22 to tell them about the allegations and to tell them they would be able to find Hardy at Hebert's Vineyard Haven, Mass., computer store that afternoon. Hardy was planning to stop by to pick up the girl.

Police warned Hebert not to confront Hardy. According to a police report by Trooper Robert Branca, "Hebert assured me that he would not touch him. However, he did state he wanted to confront him."

Hebert brought a baseball bat with him and when Hardy arrived, Hebert confronted him about the girl's accusation. When Hardy allegedly admitted to the abuse, an enraged Hebert swung the Louisville Slugger and slammed Hardy on the arm, according to Branca's report.

Hebert faces a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, which could result in a 10-year sentence if he's convicted. Branca said he confiscated the Louisville Slugger as evidence.

Ten years ago, a car accident left Hebert unable to use his legs. He relies on an electric wheelchair to get around. Hebert is not the biological grandfather of the girl. She is the granddaughter of his wife and he has helped raise her.

Hardy, 27, is being held at the Plymouth County House of Correction on $125,000 cash bail. He was arraigned Feb. 23 on three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, one count of enticing a child and one count of disseminating obscene material.

In March, Hardy was charged with two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14  relating to a separate case involving another girl.

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Friday
Jan072011

Police Hunt Suspects Who Assaulted Disabled Women on Tape

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Describing the evidence as some of the most "disturbing" images they've ever seen, Los Angeles cops are asking for help in identifying the men seen in more than 100 hours of videotape sexually assaulting severely disabled women, many of whom just "lay there" as they were attacked.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Special Victims Bureau is looking for at least four men in the brutal attacks on as many as 10 disabled women, many of whom appear to be patients at residential care facilities.

According to Sgt. Daniel Scott, a package of 11 DVDs with more than 100 hours of video on them was left anonymously at the sheriff's office in March. Det. Ron Anderson, charged with viewing the material, quickly found that the material was like nothing he'd ever seen before.

"What he found was one of the most disturbing sets of images he's ever encountered in his long career," said Scott at a press conference late Thursday. "We have multiple suspects assaulting multiple adult female victims between the ages of 20 and 40."

"These victims are severely disabled and many of them appear unable to move and most of them are wearing diapers," said Scott.

A note left with the package said the person had been asked by a "black male in Los Angeles" to clean the hard drive of a computer. While doing the job, the individual found the disturbing images and made copies of them on DVDs, which he then left with authorities, Scott said.

Asked why it took authorities nearly a year to come forward with the case, Scott said that the tapes, which were delivered in March 2010, needed to be enhanced because of their poor quality. 

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