Hollywood celebrity, co-owner of acting studio arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a child

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SANTA FE, NM – The name Christopher Ranney may not ring a bell.

You may recognize him as Albuquerque Police Detective #2 in Season 3, Episode 7 of Breaking Bad.

While that is likely the most notable credit to his name, he has more than 300 credits as an actor, producer and other various roles on set. 

But, assuming he is convicted on the charges he is now facing, he will be the guy that sexually abused a young girl, to whom he is related. 

Here is what we know so far. 

According to Tarrant Cares, the 48-year-old, “was charged with criminal sexual penetration of a child under 13, criminal sexual contact of a minor and bribery of a witness after the girl told her mother Ranney had been touching her inappropriately since she was 8.” 

The charges allege that the abuse began back in 2016. 

While Bernalillo County does allow a public records search, those documents were not viewable as of this article being published. If we are able to obtain those records, we will update the story with as much detail as we are able. 

Ranney was a co-owner of an acting studio, called Sol. 

The studio released a statement just before Raney’s arrest saying in part, that he was no longer affiliated with the studio. 

“The allegations against Ranney involve abhorrent behavior which Sol unambiguously condemns,” Ron Wiesberg said in the statement.

“We have prided ourselves for years on providing a safe, nurturing environment for all ages, and will continue to do so. Should the allegations against Ranney prove true, he will have betrayed not just his family, but all of us here at Sol, faculty and students alike.

Like the rest of the community, we are horrified and bewildered.”

The studio ran classes for acting students of all ages, some of whom Ranney instructed. 

According to the Albuquerque Journal, Wiesberg said:

“Mr. Ranney never once ran a youth program at Sol, and we are equipped with cameras in our building so that nothing like this can happen within our walls.

We can only continue to reassure our clients and associates, again, that we saw no evidence of these activities, nor would we have sat idly by had we known. We have put our hearts and souls into this endeavor, and will continue to do so.”

There are no other charges being filed or other potential victims know at this time. 

Hollywood celebrity, co-owner of acting studio arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a child
Public records search screenshot

Ranney reportedly acknowledged the allegations when confronted and apologized for his actions. 

Others who new Ranney are speaking out as well. 

Not exactly a scathing rebuke by Oliver, with focus on the obvious reference to the New Mexico film industry’s other recent tragedy, the shooting death of Halyna Hutchins by actor Alec Baldwin. The investigation in that case is ongoing. 

Stay tuned to LET for updates on developments in this case. 

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Child sex offender who was released early, removed from sex offender registry, now charged with at least 9 child sex abuse offenses

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA – A convicted child sex offender who served only 4 years of his 20-year prison sentence, and was removed from the sex offender registry, has been arrested and charged with at least 9 child sexual abuse offenses.

According to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) press release, previously convicted child sex offender Derrick Crooms, 45, was recently arrested due to coordinated efforts by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Marshals Service.

The press release goes on to note:

“On October 15, 2021, Derrick Crooms, age 45, was arrested and charged with the following offenses:

  • Incest (2 counts)
  • Aggravated Sexual Battery (2 counts)
  • Aggravated Child Molestation (2 counts)
  • Child Molestation (2 counts)
  • Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes.”

These crimes occurred not only in Georgia, but in several locations throughout the United States.

It appears that even more charges may have been filed after the press release went public, as Fox5Atlanta reports that Crooms has been charged with 18 counts of “charges related to molesting children.”  The news outlet did not detail those charges.

Crooms first came to the attention of law enforcement for sex offenses in the mid-1990s.  In 1996, he pled guilty to child molestation charges, and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

However, Crooms was released after serving only four years.

Later, in 2017, Crooms succeeded in having a judge remove his name from the sex offender registry, over the objections of his previous victim Jeanie Fulcher, whom he had molested in 1996.

Fulcher is Crooms’ cousin by marriage, and she told Fox5Atlanta that when she was a seven-year-old child, Crooms molested her while living at her house.  After a year of molestation, she was able to work up the courage to come forward.

She said of the decision to remove Crooms from the registry:

“Their argument was that he was a changed man and he was a model citizen and didn’t get in trouble anymore, hasn’t committed a crime since.”

Not being on the registry meant that Crooms had been free since 2017 to travel about the country with his wife, Rachel Overton, a traveling nurse, without having to notify anyone of his history as a child sex offender.

According to the GBI, Crooms committed many of his child sex abuse offenses during those travels.

In addition, the GBI reports that Overton, a mandated reporter of child abuse by virtue of her profession, was aware of Crooms’ sex offenses but did not report them to law enforcement. Overton has been arrested and charged with “Cruelty to Children-3rd Degree and Failure to Report as a Mandated Reporter.”

 

A victim no more, Jeanie Fulcher was actually instrumental in helping capture Crooms after his far-ranging sexual abuses against children.

She told Fox5Atlanta:

“He took my innocence when I was seven.  You know, I don’t know if you ever really heal from that.”

However, Fulcher displayed the strength of a survivor when, after hearing that Crooms was wanted on new child sexual abuse charges, she “flooded Facebook with his picture.”

Her social media blast paid off, as she received a tip on Crooms’ location via direct message.

She said:

“It panned out.  The tips led to his arrest in Stone Mountain.”

Still, Fulcher remains “frustrated” because Crooms was released early and was free to move about without notifying anyone of his sex offender status.

She told Fox5Atlanta:

“I do think that our justice system has failed us.

“I believe that… if you plead guilty to raping children, or child molestation charges, that you shouldn’t get out of prison at all.

“You shouldn’t get a second chance.”

Mayor hires convicted sex offender who kidnapped and gang raped two children to be code enforcement officer

Originally published October 24, 2021

DOLTON, IL- According to reports, the Dolton mayor just hired a man who spent 24 years in prison for kidnapping two young teenage girls as a code enforcement officer.

Trustees in Dolton say they are stunned and appalled by the latest hire made by the mayor, which trustees say was done without their consent. FOX 32 reported that on September 20th, records show that Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard hired 46-year-old Lavelle Redmond as a code enforcement officer. 

As a code enforcement officer, Redmond would go into Dolton homes and businesses to inspect them and make sure they are up to code. However, Redmond is a registered sex offender and he is on the Illinois State Police child sex offender registry.

In 1991, he participated in a gang rape and beating in the Roseland area. He and three other people kidnapped and sexually assaulted two girls, ages 13 and 14. 

Now, trustees in Dolton are demanding that they mayor explain how and why she hired Redmond into a job that puts him in constant contact with the public. Dolton residents that spoke to FOX 32 stated they are stunned as well. One woman said:

“Crazy. I don’t know. He won’t get on my house though.”

Another resident said:

“I will be terrified to know now if he had come to my house to do a code inspection. I’ll be terrified.”

A third woman said:

“Oh my God. Don’t they supposed to do background checks before they allow these people in these kind of positions?”

Henyard, a single mom who grew up in Dolton, was elected mayor overwhelmingly in April with 82 percent of the vote. Henyard is the first female mayor of Dolton and the youngest. After being sworn in, she stated:

“Dolton residents, I am reporting for duty … I grew up with safe streets and I did not have any problems. It was a suburb. I want to bring that back to Dolton.”

A spokesperson for Mayor Henyard stated that they are taking this very seriously and are conducting an investigation into the hire and into Redmond’s background. The spokesperson could not state if Redmond was still on the payroll or not and said the office would not have any further comment until the investigation is complete.

Just a week prior to this incident, Dolton trustees aired concerns regarding Henyard because former Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, who had been in charge of the nation’s largest court system, stepped down from her position and then was hired by Henyard last May.

Despite assurances that she was only hired for a transition period, some remain concerned that she will end up staying in her new position. Their protests came in October and Henyard said Brown would be gone by November. However, the trustees remain worried. Dolton Trustee Jason House said:

“We are five months into this administration, the position still has not been posted, no applications have been taken. I feel like I’ve been lied to about the transition of Dorothy Brown.”

Dolton Trustee Brittney Norwood said that when the trustees asked Brown whom Henyard had appointed as Village Administrator, a job that carries a $100,000 a year salary, Brown stated:

“This is the mayor. She makes the decisions. And you all need to follow her lead and do what’s asked of you and not ask any questions.”

When raising concerns about Brown’s appointment, Dolton Trustee Tammy Brown said:

“We believe that Dorothy Brown’s control over administrative affairs and her influence on the mayor has not been in the best interest of the village.”

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Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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