June 25 the 2nd under age girl pushed for an arrest of accused rapist Samuel Woods III. But the 2nd was actually the first! One year ago an underage girl went to the police with her mother to report a rape.
A mother saw the posts about a 14 year old who was raped and her baby was taken. She heard rumors from Shelby hospital staff that made her just ignore the story. But then she saw the post about Samuel Woods III being arrested and accused of raping that 14 year old and that’s when she became very interested. Samuel Woods III was the very same boy she filed a report against with Helena police one year ago. Her daughter accused Woods of rape in June of 2015 but nothing had been done.
I spoke with the mother who told me “if my daughter had sex for the first time with her boyfriend and made a stupid mistake I wouldn’t have gone to the police. But it wasn’t her boyfriend. It was his brother who forced himself on my daughter.”
A young boy about her age became interested in the girl. The girl’s mom had met with the boy’s parents when her daughter and this young boy became interested in each other. The girl’s mother let the boy’s parents know that her daughter was only allowed at their home when they were home. One day the daughter was dropped off at the boy’s home by her brother. She had been told that the mom was home. But after the girl entered the home she was told that the mom was on her way home. So the girl didn’t call her mother to come get her. The mom did not come home and it was reported that her boyfriend “fell asleep” and Sam Woods III forced himself on the girl.
The next day she told her mother exactly what had happened in detail. “Sam stole my virginity.” The daughter told her mother. She told her mom (and police) that Woods had taken her cell phone and purse and she couldn’t call her mom. The mother called Woods’ mother. According to the victim’s mother, Woods’ mother refused to believe her son had done any wrong. The victim’s mother then went to Helena police department to file a full report with her daughter. The Helena police questioned them and also took clothing as evidence. The police then instructed the mother to take her daughter to Owens House in Columbiana to make a report. Not knowing why, she obeyed as part of the “process.” She arrived and the same DHR (Dept. of Human Resources) agent that came to take Braelon from his mother was there. They said they had to talk to the girl “alone.” Seems that is a routine for DHR to isolate children without legal counsel or an advocate or guardian. They took the girl into a room and videotaped her being questioned. The girl remembers only an older man being in the room. Her mother was not allowed to be in the room and as of yet has not seen the video supposedly in police possession. She asked why but was given no answer. When she called DHR later, the mother got no call backs and said “There were no “resources” for my daughter.”
Later when she called the station the mother was told that Woods had been picked up and questioned. She was also told he confessed to having sex with her underage daughter. But police released him saying they were going to send all of this to the Grand Jury for a “stronger case.” How much stronger can you get than an accusation and a confession?
After the report was filed months went by and nothing was done. Questions were not answered; phone calls were not returned. Once while she was out of town on vacation the new detective called but she missed the call. She didn’t find this out until recently speaking to the detective. The victim’s mother learned the detective had called only “to see if she wanted to continue the case.” That was last year and no further efforts were made. Samuel Woods III was free. The family said they just dropped it thinking that justice would not be served.
A victim’s nightmare, Woods showed up at her home coming dance making comments that were inappropriate and intimidating trying to “get together” with her. He had graduated from high school but was at this dance for freshmen and sophomores. The mom confirmed that Woods also messaged her daughter on Facebook after the dance “wanting a relationship with her.”
This all happened after the police report and confession.
It wasn’t until the mother saw the story of Woods and the 14 year that she pushed the police to act upon her charges immediately. Woods was finally arrested and once again released, this time on a $30,000 bond. The victim’s mother told me that the detective working the case told her Woods confessed once again to having sex with her daughter as well as the 14 year old. He confessed having sex with them by name! “The two are now linked,” he told her.
“If Samuel Woods III would have been prosecuted and fined he would not have been able to rape the 14 year old and impregnate her. The minimum fine is two years in jail. The police failed to protect her and the others he is accused of raping.” The victim’s mother said frustrated.
She also added, “We’re a strong family in the community. No drama in our life. Even when my daughter was raped we simply went to the police and followed their process. We heard nothing. I told them we wanted it taken all the way. They wouldn’t even listen to us. We dropped it. They mishandled what was obviously right in front of them.”
The family of the 14 year old is being charged with negligence and putting their granddaughter at risk for letting Woods go into the hospital room. I was there and the sheer panic on their face said it all.No one in that room had invited Woods and his mother. People in the room looked like someone had just pulled a gun on them, frozen in fear. And the 14 year old who was standing behind her baby backed up as far as she could go with the same sheer terror in your face when Woods and his mother waltzed into the already filled hospital room. He should have never been allowed to enter even for basic hospital protocol 1. without signing in and 2. Hospital does not allow more than 5 in the room and the room already had given 5 passes for the room.
Woods’ family was also not protected. There are two minors, one female and one male, living in the Woods’ home where the alleged rape occurred. If there were “safety concerns” as stated by the social worker at Shelby Medical Center, why weren’t Woods’ siblings removed for those same “safety concerns?” If Woods was deemed dangerous in regards to entering the hospital room of the 14 year old why was it also not “dangerous” to have him living in the home with a young female? Why is a 14 year old mother and newborn baby and her twin brother removed from their family but the accused rapist is not even put in jail for over a year?
For one year police left girls vulnerable and at risk by letting a confessed rapist walk free. Bail was set at $30,000 for each count of 2nd Degree rape. He posted bail of $6000 on two charges and was freed. He was again arrested on two additional charges and at the time of this writing remains in Shelby County Jail with four counts of 2nd degree rape. However in the event that he pays the $6000 needed to post bail he will be free to walk free until his hearing. But the 14 year old is being held against her will and her rights violated.She and her baby have been forced to live in unsanitary conditions at a group home. The baby is currently in Children’s Hospital and family was told the baby could have died. We are told that the mother begged from Tuesday to Friday to take her baby to the doctor and finally demanded on Friday that he be taken or she was going to call police. However her phone had been taken from her and she can only make calls by permission. The baby was transported from a local hospital to Children’s hospital because of the severity. They began treatment for meningitis but it was not confirmed that he had meningitis. The 14 year old cannot have any phone in her room and even when she was seen in the ER they removed the phone from the wall and took it out of the room. Her grandmother followed her to the ER and wrote “You are loved.” on the girl’s hand. The 24 hour social worker guarding the girl insisted on seeing what was being written on the girl’s hand. This has gone from bad to worse. No warrants, no court orders and the girl her baby and her twin brother remain “in custody” as if they were the worst criminals all the while being told “we’re looking after the best interest of the children.”
Justice must be served. Criminals should be taken off the street and innocent children returned to their loving families.