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1079048 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2010-03-11 18:58:36.0 UTC 2010-03-11T13:58:36.000-05:00 investigation-into-child-abuse-at-marianna-reform-school-brings-no-charges published 2014-12-12 17:21:19.0 UTC 2014-12-12T12:21:19.000-05:00 news/publicsafety DTI 60632174 They have thought about revenge, daydreamed about swinging a leather strap at a feeble old man. Some have even driven back to Marianna, as grown men, with murderous intent. One way or another, the former wards of the Florida School for Boys want the guard who beat them to pay. But a 15-month investigation into decades-old abuse won't result in criminal charges against Troy Tidwell or any other former staffers at the state's oldest reform school, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Thursday. "With the passage of over 50 years," the 13-page FDLE report states, "no tangible physical evidence was found to either support or refute the allegations of physical or sexual abuse." The FDLE interviewed more than 100 men, relatives and former staffers about allegations of brutal beatings in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Most of the statements were consistent, they found. Boys were given up to 100 licks with a heavy leather paddle in a putrid cinder block building called the White House. Many said their backsides bled, that they needed stitches, that they had to pick underwear from their lacerations. Eight said they had scars or suffered injuries. Three former employees told investigators they either witnessed abuse or saw the effects, such as welts or bloody pajamas. The daughter of one deceased employee told the FDLE that her father came home one night and said, "That damn drunk son of a b---- beat another boy," in reference to Arthur G. Dozier, after whom the school is now named. Her father later quit in disgust. One former superintendent, Lenox Williams, told investigators he administered 10 to 12 licks. "That's the number," he said. "We didn't go over that." He did recall hearing from a school physician that a boy had "gotten too many licks across his buttocks with that paddle." "He said there . . . were some, some lacerations," Williams continued. "And it's possible to do that with it if you choose to." The few men who claimed to have witnessed deaths at the school could provide few specifics and no names. Some former students said they were sexually abused, but they could not identify their abusers. The investigators did not interview Tidwell; his attorneys declined their requests. Forensic investigators did examine the inside of the White House and tested the walls for blood. "All areas tested had negative results." The FDLE gave its report to Glenn Hess, state attorney for the 14th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Hess declined to prosecute, citing the statute of limitations and the vague nature of some of the allegations. The investigation was ordered by Gov. Charlie Crist after a number of men went public in 2008 with stories of abuse. The men, who call themselves the White House Boys, found each other online a few years ago. The school is the subject of a Times investigation, "For Their Own Good." Crist also asked the FDLE to investigate a small cemetery on the property. That investigation, concluded last year, found no evidence of foul play in the deaths of 31 boys believed to be buried on school property. The White House Boys are critical of both reports, saying the FDLE has a conflict in investigating allegations against state employees and state agencies. Robert Straley, 63, of Clearwater says he was beaten and sexually assaulted by Tidwell, a memory that he repressed for decades. "It seems like such an absolute travesty of justice that a person could do that and get away with it," Straley said after reading the report. Straley and more than 300 others are pursuing a claims bill in the Legislature seeking unspecified compensation. "This isn't over," Straley said. "We're not in it for the money." Times correspondent David Gardner contributed to this report. Ben Montgomery can be reached at bmontgomery@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8650. By Ben Montgomery, Times Staff Writer Breaking-news, dozier, News, Public Safety Investigation into child abuse at Marianna reform school brings no charges KBENHAMN <p>The evidence does not support or refute allegations of abuse at Dozier, an FDLE report says.</p> 4STA A Section No charges in reform school inquiry 3 marianna031210 No charges in reform school inquiry 2010-03-12 05:00:00.0 UTC 2010-03-12T00:00:00.000-05:00 Special report: For Their Own Good http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/marianna/ false templatedata/tampabaytimes/StaffArticle/data/2010/03/11/60632174-investigation-into-child-abuse-at-marianna-reform-school-brings-no-charges StaffArticle news,public safetyPublic SafetyThey have thought about revenge, daydreamed about swinging a leather strap at a feeble old man. Some have even driven back to Marianna, as grown men, with murderous intent.Breaking-news, dozier, News, Public SafetyBreaking-news, dozier, News, Public SafetyBen Montgomery 380262 2038-01-18 05:00:00.0 UTC 2038-01-18T00:00:00.000-05:00 2012-10-25 12:37:34.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:37:34.000-04:00 ben-montgomery published 2013-02-13 18:28:58.0 UTC 2013-02-13T13:28:58.000-05:00 Ben Montgomery <p>Ben Montgomery is an enterprise reporter for the <i>Tampa Bay Times</i> and founder of the narrative journalism website <a href="http://www.gangrey.com">Gangrey.com</a>.</p> <p>Montgomery grew up in Oklahoma and studied journalism at Arkansas Tech University, where he played defensive back for the football team, the Wonder Boys. He worked for the <i>Courier </i>in Russellville, Ark., the <i>Standard-Times</i> in San Angelo, Texas, the <i>Times Herald-Record </i>in New York's Hudson River Valley and the <i>Tampa Tribune</i> before joining the <i>Times </i>in 2006.</p> <p>In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series called <a href="http://web.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/marianna">"For Their Own Good,"</a> about abuse at Florida's oldest reform school. He lives in Tampa with his wife, Jennifer, and three children.</p> Times Staff Writer writers DTI 33745742 Ben Montgomery is an enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and founder of the narrative journalism website Gangrey.com. Montgomery grew up in Oklahoma and studied journalism at Arkansas Tech University, where he played defensive back for the football team, the Wonder Boys. He worked for the Courier in Russellville, Ark., the Standard-Times in San Angelo, Texas, the Times Herald-Record in New York's Hudson River Valley and the Tampa Tribune before joining the Times in 2006. In 2010, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting and won the Dart Award and Casey Medal for a series called "For Their Own Good," about abuse at Florida's oldest reform school. He lives in Tampa with his wife, Jennifer, and three children. <p>Email: <a href="mailto:bmontgomery@tampabay.com ">bmontgomery@tampabay.com</a></p> <p>Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/gangrey">@Gangrey</a></p> 1 resources/images/dti/2012/10/Montgomery_Ben_wp.jpg true templatedata/tampabaytimes/AuthorProfile/data/33745742-ben-montgomery AuthorProfile 2012-10-25 12:37:34.0 UTC 2012-10-25T08:37:34.000-04:00 <span style="display:none;" class="author vcard"><span class="fn">BEN MONTGOMERY</span></span><span style="display:none;" class="source-org vcard"><span class="org fn">Tampa Bay Times</span></span><a rel="item-license" href="/universal/user_agreement.shtml">&#169; 2016 Tampa Bay Times</a><br /><br />Times Staff Writer 2261093 2016-01-13 15:39:20.0 UTC 7 Months Ago worker-at-lutz-day-care-arrested-on-charge-of-child-abuse news/publicsafety/crime Worker at Lutz day care arrested on charge of child abuse StaffArticle 2264484 2016-02-07 22:55:09.0 UTC 7 Months Ago tampa-man-with-toddler-in-vehicle-rams-police-car-charged-with-child-abuse news/publicsafety/crime Tampa man with toddler in vehicle rams police car, charged with child abuse StaffArticle 2268451 2016-03-08 20:18:07.0 UTC 6 Months Ago lawsuit-filed-in-tampa-documents-child-sex-abuse-case-at-defunct-catholic news/religion Lawsuit filed in Tampa documents child sex abuse case at defunct Catholic school StaffArticle <p>They have thought about revenge, daydreamed about swinging a leather strap at a feeble old man. Some have even driven back to Marianna, as grown men, with murderous intent.</p> <p>One way or another, the former wards of the Florida School for Boys want the guard who beat them to pay.</p> <p>But a 15-month investigation into decades-old abuse won't result in criminal charges against Troy Tidwell or any other former staffers at the state's oldest reform school, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Thursday.</p> <p>&quot;With the passage of over 50 years,&quot; the 13-page FDLE report states, &quot;no tangible physical evidence was found to either support or refute the allegations of physical or sexual abuse.&quot;</p> <p>The FDLE interviewed more than 100 men, relatives and former staffers about allegations of brutal beatings in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Most of the statements were consistent, they found. Boys were given up to 100 licks with a heavy leather paddle in a putrid cinder block building called the White House. Many said their backsides bled, that they needed stitches, that they had to pick underwear from their lacerations. Eight said they had scars or suffered injuries.</p> <p>Three former employees told investigators they either witnessed abuse or saw the effects, such as welts or bloody pajamas. The daughter of one deceased employee told the FDLE that her father came home one night and said, &quot;That damn drunk son of a b---- beat another boy,&quot; in reference to Arthur G. Dozier, after whom the school is now named. Her father later quit in disgust.</p> <p>One former superintendent, Lenox Williams, told investigators he administered 10 to 12 licks. &quot;That's the number,&quot; he said. &quot;We didn't go over that.&quot;</p> <p>He did recall hearing from a school physician that a boy had &quot;gotten too many licks across his buttocks with that paddle.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;He said there . . . were some, some lacerations,&quot; Williams continued. &quot;And it's possible to do that with it if you choose to.&quot;</p> <p>The few men who claimed to have witnessed deaths at the school could provide few specifics and no names. Some former students said they were sexually abused, but they could not identify their abusers.</p> <p>The investigators did not interview Tidwell; his attorneys declined their requests.</p> <p>Forensic investigators did examine the inside of the White House and tested the walls for blood. &quot;All areas tested had negative results.&quot;</p> <p>The FDLE gave its report to Glenn Hess, state attorney for the 14th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Hess declined to prosecute, citing the statute of limitations and the vague nature of some of the allegations.</p> <p>The investigation was ordered by Gov. Charlie Crist after a number of men went public in 2008 with stories of abuse. The men, who call themselves the White House Boys, found each other online a few years ago. The school is the subject of a <i>Times</i> investigation, &quot;For Their Own Good.&quot;</p> <p>Crist also asked the FDLE to investigate a small cemetery on the property. That investigation, concluded last year, found no evidence of foul play in the deaths of 31 boys believed to be buried on school property.</p> <p>The White House Boys are critical of both reports, saying the FDLE has a conflict in investigating allegations against state employees and state agencies.</p> <p>Robert Straley, 63, of Clearwater says he was beaten and sexually assaulted by Tidwell, a memory that he repressed for decades. &quot;It seems like such an absolute travesty of justice that a person could do that and get away with it,&quot; Straley said after reading the report.</p> <p>Straley and more than 300 others are pursuing a claims bill in the Legislature seeking unspecified compensation.</p> <p>&quot;This isn't over,&quot; Straley said. &quot;We're not in it for the money.&quot;</p> <p><i>Times correspondent David Gardner contributed to this report. Ben Montgomery can be reached at bmontgomery@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8650.</i></p>trueruntime2016-08-30 05:57:37