“I want justice for my babies.”: Biological mother of victims in Mahnomen alleged sexual abuse case speaks out

Jackie Black, mother of three alleged victim's in Mahnomen sexual abuse case
Jackie Black, mother of three alleged victim's in Mahnomen sexual abuse case(KVLY)
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 6:49 PM CDT
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MAHNOMEN, M.N. (Valley News Live) - Justice, change and answers are what one Mahnomen mother is asking for tonight as she says three of her children are the victims in an alleged sex abuse case at a foster care home.

23-year-old Wyatt Clark is charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct after court documents state Clark admitted he couldn’t control his urges with the children, and stated the abuse went on for more than two years.

“I want justice for my babies,” Jackie Black said.

Black says she raised countless concerns on her children’s wellbeing since January 2020, but she claims the White Earth Reservation’s Indian Child Welfare Department didn’t take her seriously.

“We told her many times, ‘My girls are crying out for help!’ And (our social worker) acted like it was not a big deal, like I was making it up,” Black said.

Black’s five children were taken away in December 2019 due to what the state claimed was Black’s drug use. Four of those children were placed on the other side of Mahnomen at the home of Sheila Clark, where her then-20-year-old son, Wyatt also resided.

“I feel like I let my kids down because I always told my kids that they could tell me anything,” Black said.

Black says her complaints to ICW detailed neglect and both physical and emotional abuse. She says while she had her suspicions there were more problems, her daughters didn’t tell her about their more than two-year nightmare of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of Wyatt Clark.

An investigation was opened against Clark on February 15 after one of Black’s daughters confided in her teacher about the alleged abuse. Two days later, Clark took to his Facebook and said:

“It’s feels like when you try to do something good it’s always finds a way to come back to you. I try to help out the kids that we are taking care of but it feels like everything thing I try doing has a consequence and I’m scared to do anything right now because it feels like I’m going to get in trouble for something that I didn’t do and I want to help the kids out that were taken care of but I don’t know how to and plus I’m going thru some tuff times right now. I wish everything would go away but you can’t run away from your problems.”

Court documents say just days after that post, Clark admitted to the abuse to investigators and said he thought about the children sexually all the time.

“They’re supposed to be protecting my babies, not doing that to them,” Black sobbed.

Now Black says she’s on a mission: She says she wants an internal investigation to be opened up against the ICW and wants Clark’s mother to be investigated and charged as well. She says she won’t stop until justice is served for her daughters.

“I’m fighting for you girls. I’m trying to get you guys back home. I miss you and I love you all so much, and I’m so sorry that I wasn’t there for you,” she said.

Both Clark and his mother did not respond to our numerous attempts for comment, and ICW officials, as well as the White Earth Police Department also declined to comment due to the ongoing investigation.

Black says she and several others in the community are planning to protest outside of ICW headquarters Thursday morning at 9 a.m.

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