ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

November 1, 2012

Man accused of child abuse an approved caregiver

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

1 November 2012

A Kaitaia man charged with indecently assaulting young boys was one of its approved caregivers, a government agency has confirmed.

However, Child, Youth and Family says the charges against him do not involve children it placed in his care.

Daniel Taylor appeared in the Kaitaia District Court on Thursday on 15 charges of indecent assault, and two of attempted unlawful sexual connection involving boys aged from under 12 to over 16. Police say the offending happened between 2007 and early 2011.

The 33-year-old former leader of the Kaitaia Business Association was also a prominent elder and youth leader in the Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA RELEASES COMPREHENSIVE POLICIES FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia

These polices, which have guided the Archdiocese’s actions since the 2011 Grand Jury Report, directly address the report concerns about how allegations are received, reported, investigated and reviewed

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia today officially released its updated policies for the protection of children and young people, which become effective November 1st. These policies, developed and provisionally implemented since the release of the 2011 Grand Jury Report, address how allegations of child sexual abuse and violations of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries are received, reported, investigated and reviewed; how victim services are provided and how assignments of extern as well as religious priests are handled. These revised policies were developed through consultation with county district attorneys’ offices and experts in the field of child sexual abuse.

“No entity in the United States today-Catholic or otherwise-seeks more earnestly than our Archdiocese to prevent the sexual abuse of children. These policies and procedures are a clear indication of that commitment,” said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. He continued, “While recently codified these same policies have actually guided our practices for more than a year. They’ll be reviewed on a regular basis and updated as circumstances require. I believe that we can be proud of the great effort and sincere determination to protecting young people that went into these policies. It’s important to remember that even the best policies depend on our earnest dedication to live and enforce them. I’m committed to act accordingly now and in the future.”

The new policies include some key changes put in effect since the 2011 Grand Jury Report. The policies establish a separate Office of Investigations to ensure immediate referral of any complaints to law enforcement. According to the policy, every complaint is logged and each allegation is promptly reviewed to determine whether interim restrictions on ministry or employment should be imposed. In a change from practice pre-2011, all complaints against clergy that involve minors, even those solely involving violations of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries are now sent to the Archdiocesan Review Board, which functions as a confidential, advisory committee to the Archbishop, providing recommendations in the assessment of allegations of abuse and suitability for ministry. Also included in the policies is a codification of steps to ensure that any cleric seeking to minister in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is screened in a consistent and through manner.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Archdiocese sex-abuse response policies take effect

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

New policies determining the way the Philadelphia Archdiocese responds to allegations of sexual abuse go into effect Thursday.

The church’s standards of behavior were revised following the 2011 Philadelphia grand jury report that recommended an overhaul of procedures for helping victims and removing priests accused of molestation.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Musician for Huntsville church arrested for sexual abuse of a teenager

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Jonathan Grass | jgrass@al.com
on November 01, 2012

MADISON COUNTY, Alabama — A Madison County church musician is in police custody for inappropriate behavior with a 17-year-old girl, according to The Times’ news partner, WHNT News 19.

WHNT reports that the Alabama Bureau of Investigation arrested Blake Jerrod Earl on Monday, and that he was transferred to the Coffee County Jail because the crime allegedly took place in Enterprise.

WHNT reports that Earl is a musician at the Solid Rock Christian Center on Winchester Road in Huntsville, and he was in Enterprise for a church trip.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Priest pleads for state action

AUSTRALIA
The Age

November 2, 2012

Barney Zwartz

THE Catholic Church will need state intervention to resolve the crisis surrounding sexual abuse of children by priests, according to noted jurist and Jesuit priest Frank Brennan.

”Where there is a social organisation within the democracy with a proven and self-admitted case of ongoing criminal activity, and it’s related to very vulnerable children, the state should intervene,” he said.

Delivering the annual Law and Justice Oration in Sydney’s Parliament House on Wednesday night, Professor Brennan said: ”Clearly, the church itself cannot be left alone to get its house in order. That would be a wrongful invocation of freedom of religion in a pluralist, democratic society.”

His comments echo those made by RMIT professor and former priest Des Cahill to the state inquiry into the church handling of clergy sex abuse.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Updated: Kaitaia church leader pleads guilty to sex charges

NEW ZEALAND
Northern Advocate

NZ Herald | Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Kaitaia evangelical church leader who secretly filmed a teenage girl and a woman has pleaded guilty to a raft of sex-related charges.

Eric Clifford Reid, 63, stood down as pastor of the Kaitaia Family Church after two complainants came forward with allegations he recorded them without their consent.

He pleaded guilty to 25 charges of making intimate visual recordings and 24 charges of possessing intimate visual recordings when he appeared in Kaikohe District Court today.

The Kaitaia community has been shocked by a string of sex allegations this year, including against a prominent businessman and a school teacher who face separate charges of sexually abusing boys.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Victory employees appear in court; prosecution asserts obligation to report allegations of sex crimes

TULSA (OK)
Tulsa World

By JERRY WOFFORD World Staff Writer
Published: 11/1/2012

The Victory Christian Center employees who are accused of failing to report allegations of sex crimes against children for more than two weeks had a legal obligation to do so, and any argument to the contrary “flies in the face of both common sense and common decency,” prosecutors said.

Assistant District Attorney Sarah Mc-Amis filed that court response Wednesday to a motion to dismiss the misdemeanor charges against John and Charica Daugherty, both youth ministers at Victory Christian Center.

The Daughertys – Senior Pastor Sharon Daugherty’s son and daughter-in-law – were charged along with three other church employees in September with failing to report child abuse. Tulsa County prosecutors say they waited two weeks to tell authorities about allegations that a 13-year-old girl was raped at the south Tulsa megachurch in August.

Chris Denman, 20, a former employee at the church, pleaded guilty Monday to six felonies – first-degree rape, forcible oral sodomy, lewd molestation, making a lewd proposal to a child and two counts of using a computer to facilitate a sex crime. He is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl and committing other sex crimes involving a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old, court records show. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Diocese’s child safety programs approved

SAN ANGELO (TX)
Standard-Times

By Laurel L. Scott

Posted October 31, 2012

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Since 2002, the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo has conducted background checks and training for more than 9,000 people who work with children and youths throughout the 29-county diocese in support of its Safe Environment Programs to prevent child sex abuse.

In the past year, more than 13,500 parents and other interested people have attended seminars presented by the diocese on preventing child sex abuse, and the diocese has spent $16,000 on training and materials in support of the Safe Environment Programs.

These are some of the reasons the San Angelo-based diocese for the ninth year in a row has been found in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

“I am pleased with the results of this audit and grateful for the hard work of so many people throughout our diocese — pastors, deacons, religious and lay leaders — to provide a safe and sacred environment for all of our children and youth in the many programs through which we minister to them,” Bishop Michael Pfeifer, of the Diocese of San Angelo, said in a news release. “Once again, this audit has given us a great opportunity to step back and see what we have accomplished and explore areas where we can make adjustments or improvements.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

O’Dea High school principal resigns amid sexual abuse allegations

SEATTLE (WA)
KREM

by KING 5 News

Posted on October 31, 2012

The principal of O’Dea High School in Seattle has resigned amid accusations of sexual abuse.

Brother Karl Walczak is accused of sexual abuse of a minor during his time as a teacher in another diocese in the early 1970s.

Walczak denies the allegations.

The Seattle Archdiocese owns O’Dea High School.

The Archdiocese said Wednesday that O’Dea school administrators reported last August that Brother Walczak had been called back by the Christian Brothers to assist in resolving a proof of claim filed in the Christian Brother’s Institute bankruptcy proceeding.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Accused of abuse, O’Dea principal Brother Karl Walczak quits

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Times

By Lynda V. Mapes
Seattle Times staff reporter

Brother Karl Walczak resigned as principal of O’Dea High School in Seattle Wednesday, the same day the school announced he is accused of sex abuse of a minor.

The allegations relate to Walczak’s time teaching in another diocese in the early 1970s, the school said. Walczak denies the allegations, according to a statement to O’Dea parents on Wednesday by Zachary Lell, chairman of the O’Dea School Board.

Operation of the school will continue under the leadership of Acting Principal James Walker.

Walker took over at the school last August, when Walczak was called away to New York by the Christian Brothers to “assist in resolving a proof of claim in the Christian Brothers Institute bankruptcy proceeding,” according to a news release from the school.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

O’Dea High School principal resigns amid allegations of sexual abuse in the 1970s

SEATTLE (WA)
Q13 Fox

[with video]

Hana Kim
Q13 FOX News reporter

10:54 p.m. PDT, October 31, 2012

SEATTLE—
The principal of Seattle’s O’Dea High School resigned his position Wednesday amid allegations that he sexually abused children in the early 1970s in Illinois, the Archdiocese of Seattle reported.

Karl Walczak is accused of sexually abusing a minor when he worked as a teacher in another diocese in the early 1970s. According to a statement released by the Archdiocese of Seattle, Walczak denies the allegations, but resigned his position.

Vice Principal Jim Walker was named acting principal.

A letter released by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) claimed O’Dea officials and Seattle Archdiocese knew about the sex abuse allegations for more than two months, but decided to keep the issue quiet.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Former Boonville priest fights sexual abuse charges

BOONVILLE (MO)
Missourian

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

BY Ben Nadler

BOONVILLE — A former priest accused of sexually assaulting young boys in the 1980s was in Cooper County Circuit Court on Wednesday for a hearing to decide if the statute of limitations on the alleged crimes had run out.

Gerald Howard is charged with three counts of forcible sodomy, three counts of attempted forcible sodomy and one count of kidnapping for incidents that were alleged to have occurred between 1983 and 1988. One charge of kidnapping was dropped because it was established that the alleged crime took place outside of Cooper County jurisdiction.

Howard was the priest at the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Boonville in 1983 and 1984. He was formerly a priest in New Jersey where he was charged with sexual contact with a minor in 1982 and pleaded guilty.

Barbara Dorris, outreach director at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said earlier that Howard was placed briefly in a rehabilitation facility by church officials before he returned to the priesthood in Boonville in the fall of 1983.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.