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.

May 27, 2016

Miami Priest Accused Of Hiring School Maintenance Worker Who Was Once Arrested For Prostitution

FLORIDA
Rise News

By Rich Robinson

UPDATED- May 26

BREAKING- Father Pedro Corces has been asked to step down as the pastor of St. Rose of Lima according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Miami.

The principal of the school Sister Bernadette Keane has also been replaced by a Archdiocese official for the reminder of the school year

The announcements came in a letter emailed to parents at St. Rose on Thursday afternoon.

In it, Archbishop Thomas Wenski announced that he has asked for Father Pedro Corces to step down as pastor of St. Rose of Lima in an effort to fix the “fractured” spirit and unity at the church and its associated school after a group of parents and a private investigator published a 129 dossier of information filled with allegations against Father Corces.

This is developing and this story will be updated.

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 Saint Paul and Minneapolis Files Reorganization Plan

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

[with copy of the reorganization plan]

Jennifer Haselberger

05/26/2016

And, typically, they provided a Q and A of everything the Archdiocese wants you to know, as well as bulletin and pulpit announcements to be used at each of the ‘separately incorporated’ parishes that the Archdiocese claims it does not control. Ahem.

What the Archdiocese does not mention is that what they are seeking is called, in bankruptcy terminology, a cram down. In other words, the Archdiocese is asking the bankruptcy court to cram down the throats of the victims of sexual abuse and other unsecured creditors its reorganization plan, over the objections of those same creditors.

And Jesus wept.

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.

Letter to Faithful from Archbishop Hebda Regarding Reorganization Plan Filing

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

For more information, please see the following FAQ about Reorganization Plan Filing.
Read the Plan of Reorganization and Disclosure Statement.

Date: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Source: Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On January 16, 2015, the Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy. Today, I write to tell you that we have filed a Plan of Reorganization as part of that bankruptcy process. Filing the Plan is an important and required step on our path to a fair resolution.

In preparation for filing the Plan, the Archdiocese sold available real estate assets, including our properties in Saint Paul, we will be leasing less expensive office space, and we have continued to cut our budget. For over a year, we have worked cooperatively with others. We have also participated in mediation to help determine the value of insurance coverage. Although progress has been made, the insurance companies and attorneys for those asserting claims of sexual abuse have not been able to agree on the proper value of the insurance proceeds for the claims. According to attorneys for claimants, the claims are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The insurance companies disagree and place the value much lower.

Our Plan stands on three pillars. First, the unprecedented Settlement Agreement last December with the Ramsey County Attorney, which is incorporated into the Plan to ensure that we continue to do all we can to protect children. Second, the funding of a $500,000 victim counseling fund to promote healing for those who have suffered abuse. And third, the creation of an independent Trust. The Archdiocese has proposed that the Trust will initially be funded by $65 million or more in proceeds from Archdiocesan cash and the sale of our properties, proceeds from insurance settlements, and contributions of insurance settlements from our parishes. In addition, all insurance proceeds, including those that have not yet been agreed upon between the insurance companies and those filing claims, will be put in the Trust. A court-appointed Trustee will then control the Trust and have the authority to pay claimants.

Victims/survivors cannot be compensated until a Plan of Reorganization is finalized and approved. The longer the process lasts, more money is spent on attorneys’ fees and bankruptcy expenses; and, in turn, less money is available for victims/survivors. In other dioceses, that approval process has taken years. For example, in Milwaukee, the process took more than five years and only $21 million was available to compensate claimants. We are submitting our Plan now in the hope of compensating victims/survivors and promoting healing sooner rather than later.

While we believe that this Plan is fair, we also know that some well-intentioned people may raise objections. Reorganizations sometimes involve modifying an initial Plan. We are committed to working earnestly with everyone involved to find a fair, just and timely resolution.

This week, some attorneys claimed that we failed to disclose all of our assets in the bankruptcy case. Let me be clear: The Archdiocese has disclosed all of our assets and has followed all of the rules set forth by the Court and all directives from the judge. I know that for at least the last 11 months we have been working extremely hard to marshal and maximize our assets with the hope of providing the most for the most.

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.

Father Doyle’s disappearing act: how a paedophile priest hid in plain sight

AUSTRALIA
The Age

May 27, 2016

Chris Vedelago, Beau Donelly, Cameron Houston

The departure of Father Joseph Doyle from Our Lady of Lourdes church was announced without warning during one Sunday Mass in late 2005.

The congregation was told Father Joe, as he was known, would retire that day, after 37 years ministering to the Bayswater parish.

The senior administrative official in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Vicar-General Bishop Tomlinson, made a special trip out to the church to deliver it.

He told Father Doyle’s flock that the priest wanted no fanfare to mark the end of what Archbishop Denis Hart had called – only a few years earlier – his “remarkable service”.

“We couldn’t figure out why Father Joe would do that,” a parishioner recalls, “but we admired him and believed it when we were told he had retired”.

Father Doyle moved from the church and grounds of Our Lady of Lourdes primary school to new accommodation a few suburbs away, pensioned off with rental assistance and private medical insurance.

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.

Assignment Record– Rev. Donald J. O’Shaughnessy, S.J.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Donald J. O’Shaughnessy was ordained for the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus in 1955. Much of his career was spent in the Chicago archdiocese, where he was a Loyola Academy faculty member in WiIlmette IL. He was also assigned to Cincinnati, Cleveland and Milford OH, Indianapolis IN, Oakland CA and Clarkston MI. O’Shaughnessy was removed from ministry in 2004 after credible accusations were reported that he perpetrated sexual abuse while working at Loyola Academy. One former student who came forward said O’Shaughnessy, who was his advisor, pulled him out of class daily to abuse him beginning when he was a 15-year-old sophomore,1977-1979. The Jesuits have settled with at least two fomer students with claims of abuse. O’Shaughnessy died in July 2013, at age 89.

Born: 1923
Ordained: 1955
Died: July 8, 2013

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.

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Philly Area Demonstration Tonight 5/27/16

PENNSYLVANIA
Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse

WHAT: Multi-Organizational Demonstration to Protest Actions being taken by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia top leadership to fight the passage of PA HB 1947- #SOLReform

WHEN: Friday, May 27 at 6 PM

WHERE: Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, 100 E. Wynnewood Rd., Wynnewood, PA

PARK/MEET AT THE OVERBROOK STATION (2195 N. 63rd Street at City Avenue, Phila., PA 19151.There is a larger parking area is on the other side of tracks, off Drexel Road; use the underpass to cross to the parking lot where we will be convening. As a large group, we will then cross over City Avenue to Wynnewood Ave. which has multiple lanes and heavy traffic at the light.

DRESS ATTIRE: Please wear any kind of white shirt you have.

SIGNS: Any poster that you want to bring that shows your support for #SOLReform and HB 1947. We will have a few extra signs also.

CONTACT: Marie Whitehead, FACSA Communications Coordinator, 215-439-0536 mwhitehead@abolishsexabuse.org

WHY: Archbishop Chaput, with the aid of his lawyers and a PR firm, has launched a no holds barred, multi-faceted, expensive communications campaign aimed at convincing Philadelphia Area Catholics that changing the laws pertaining to the sexual abuse of children is a wrong, unfair and will cause the archdioceses to go into bankruptcy, close many more schools and severely limit financial resources for their many ministries. Chaput wants them to call their legislators and tell them not to support HB 1947. The bill removes the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution for child sex abuse, extends the maximum age to file a civil suit to 50 and makes it possible for more child sex abuse victims to bring lawsuits against any Pennsylvania diocese which enabled and protected their predators.

The first step was to meet with all the priests in the archdiocese which he did a week or so ago. Friday night he has invited all the Catholics in the archdiocese to come out and hear about HB 1947 from their perspective and encourage them to take action to oppose it.

FACSA, with many other local and national organizations, is demonstrating to help raise awareness of what the truths in this matter are and to support the passage of HB 1947.

For more info:
Lobbying for, against change in Pa. sex crime laws pushing to ‘educate the public’
House approves bill to reform child sex crimes laws; measure heads to Senate

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.

State orders re-inspection of Rockland schools

NEW YORK
News 12

AIRMONT – Dozens of schools in Rockland County will be re-inspected because of possible fire and safety code violations.

News 12 has learned that the state has ordered Rockland County to re-inspect up to 49 private schools in Ramapo and Spring Valley. Sources say the state apparently does not trust the town to keep their own schools safe.

This is the largest intervention of its kind in the district.

Two weeks ago, the Ramapo Town Board demoted and gave a 60-day suspension to Fire Inspector Adam Peltz.

Peltz was accused of ignoring safety code violations, including missing sprinklers, padlocked doors and broken exit signs during his visits to at least 19 local private schools.

County officials will begin thorough inspections Friday at schools, focusing on yeshivas that haven’t been inspected in years and others reviewed by Peltz.

Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said he’s unaware of the county’s plans to re-inspect yeshivas in his town, but that they’re taking steps to ensure student safety too.

County leaders say yeshivas by law are supposed to be inspected every year and that their only concern is for student safety.

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.

Rockland launches code inspections of 49 private schools

NEW YORK
The Journal News

Steve Lieberman, slieberm@lohud.com May 26, 2016

Rockland officials newly empowered by the state to inspect private schools for fire and safety code violations made their first stop Thursday afternoon at a local yeshiva.

When Rockland County Fire Coordinator Gordon Wren Jr. entered the Yeshiva Shaarei Arazim at 900 Route 45 in Ramapo, he told reporters, he immediately noticed the push bars on two of the doors did not work and the doors did not open, a clear violation.

He was accompanied by Spring Valley Fire Inspector Frank Youngman, who is also a Hillcrest firefighter and retired police officer.

The high school – formerly the Jewish Community Center building – had what Wren and Youngman estimated was a foot-high pile of garbage in one 25-foot-wide room, moldy food on the floor, stairwells used as storage, and doors propped open, among several dozen violations. The pair said, however, that they were impressed with the school’s programming, as well as the young men and the teachers.

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.

Bishops told to repent on abuse issue

UNITED KINGDOM
Church Times

by Tim Wyatt

Posted: 27 May 2016

THE House of Bishops has backed reforms to the Church of England’s safeguarding, prompted by a damning report into the case of a man who was abused by a senior priest and then ignored for years.

During the House’s meeting in York last week the Bishop of Crediton, the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, presented the list of changes to safeguarding procedures suggested by the Elliott Report.

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.

Twin Cities Archdiocese files plan to settle with abuse victims

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

[with video]

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune MAY 26, 2016

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed its financial reorganization plan in U.S. Bankruptcy Court Thursday, offering a strategy for regaining financial stability while compensating an expected 400 clergy abuse claims.

The plan calls for the creation of a $65 million trust fund for victims, which could increase in size if further insurance settlements are reached, as well as a $500,000 counseling fund for victims and new protocols to prevent future abuse.

“We filed our plan today — after 16 months — because victims/survivors cannot be compensated until a plan of reorganization is finalized and approved,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “The longer the process lasts, more money is spent on attorneys’ fees and bankruptcy expenses, and … less money is available for them.”

Hebda acknowledged that the plan may face objections, but said that the archdiocese is committed to finding a “fair, just and timely resolution.”

Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson blasted the plan at a news conference of his own, arguing that the archdiocese is protecting more than $1 billion in assets from liability and shielding itself from future abuse claims.

The plan contains provisions that would prevent any current official of the archdiocese, parishes or other Catholic entity from being sued for clergy abuse forever.

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 Playboy model reveals she was sexually abused at Loyola School — but state law prevents lawsuit

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY
MICHAEL O’KEEFFE
GINGER ADAMS OTIS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, May 26, 2016

A personal trainer and former “Playboy” model whose mother was a CIA operative and father was a South American dictator has come forward as the sexual abuse victim who sparked an investigation at an elite Upper East Side Catholic school — but she can’t sue because her case is too old for New York’s statute of limitations.

Monica Perez Jimenez, 54, has played many roles in her colorful life — stuntwoman, self-defense teacher, fitness model — despite struggling for years with depression and substance abuse as a result of the abuse she suffered as a student at Loyola School. She said the Republican leaders blocking a vote on a bill to reform New York’s statute of limitations are putting their own children and grandchildren at risk.

“Loyola is the kind of school you would send your child to — do we have to wait until it happens to one of your children to protect kids from pedophiles?” she said.

Jimenez, the love child of deposed Venezuelan strongman Marcos Perez Jimenez and Marita Lorenz, a CIA operative who also had a torrid affair with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, now lives in Costa Rica, where she is planning to open a gym to teach self-defense to women and children.

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.

Catholic school had abuse culture: court

AUSTRALIA
9 News

AAP

A Victorian judge will sentence an ex-Catholic priest who raped a Year 7 boy on his office floor on the basis “that’s just the way they did it at Salesian”.

Prosecutors told the Victorian County Court on Friday Salesian College Rupertswood appeared to have had a culture of drugging and raping students.

The school’s borders co-ordinator in the late 1980s, Michael Scott Aulsebrook, has been found guilty of raping a boy he enticed into his office with computer games before drugging him.

The Traralgon man, 60, faced a plea hearing on Friday, when Judge Geoffrey Chettle said the victim was also raped by de-frocked predator David Erwin Rapson in a similar manner while at the school.

He said he needed to consider whether to sentence Aulsebrook on the basis he and Rapson discussed their offences.

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.

Defense questions use of play therapy in sex abuse charge for ex-EWTN host

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com

The defense in the trial of former EWTN TV talk show host David Stone opened today with a witness who cautioned against using ‘play therapy’ as the main method of determining a sexual abuse allegation.

Stone, 55, formerly known as Father Francis Mary Stone when he hosted the TV show “Life on the Rock,” was suspended from his religious order and placed on long-term leave of absence at EWTN after he fathered a child with another EWTN employee, who was fired.

Stone was arrested in 2013 and charged with sexual abuse of a minor under 12. The minor he is charged with sexually abusing is his own son, now eight years old.

Licensed clinical psychologist Alan Blotcky testified for the defense on Thursday that play therapy can be unreliable in determining sexual abuse and should be just one tool among many in determining whether abuse occurred. Play therapy involves the use of toys to help a child recall and explain what happened to him.

“Play therapy is one way of getting information,” Blotcky said. “It’s helpful but not sufficient. There are lots of pieces of the puzzle.”

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.

Church sued for allegedly turning deaf ear to abused child

OREGON
News-Register

A 12-year-old girl and her mother are suing the Nazarene Church on the Hill in McMinnville, alleging church employees failed to act when the girl told them she was being abused by her biological father.

According to the $5.2 million lawsuit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on May 23, the girl was in kindergarten through third grade when she told teachers, aides, counselors and clergy at the church about the abuse.

The accused molester is the girl’s biological father, who allegedly gave his daughter herpes as a result of his assaults, managed to flee before the allegations were brought to light, said Randall Vogt, the Portland attorney representing the plaintiffs. “No criminal charges were ever brought, and he dissappared,” he said. “We have no notion of where he is.”

Vogt said church employees were required under Oregon law to report what the girl told them to legal authorities and church officials. Even the girl’s parents were not told, he said.

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.

Reliving connections with an ‘Oscars’ hero

CHINA
East Daily

Former China Daily journalists catch up with Boston Globe colleagues who found fame with Spotlight.

“Spotlight”, the movie named after the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team that in the early 2000’s wrote an explosive series on child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church and its attendant cover-up, was a surprise winner at this year’s Academy Awards. But that was not the only surprise.

Who could imagine that a story about shoe leather journalism, about the drudgery of digging for facts and knocking on doors, about the tedium of finding and poring over thousands of documents, could be depicted with such authenticity and yet be such an immersive and moving experience?

Certainly not the members of the Spotlight Team, who, when approached by the filmmakers, wondered how a film could be made about a decidedly unglamorous process. “It would be like a film about how sausage is made”, Walter “Robby” Robinson, the then head of the Spotlight Team, recalled recently.

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.

FBI searching for possible victims of child abuse suspect

TENNESSEE
WREG

MAY 26, 2016, BY GEORGE BROWN AND ERYN TAYLOR

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The FBI and several law enforcement agencies are searching for possible victims of child sexual abuse after the arrest of Ronald Keith Black Sr.

Authorities said he could have victims in Tennessee.

In April, Black was charged with 29 counts of of first-degree sexual offense and 12 counts of indecent liberties with a minor.

It’s believed he could have sexually abused numerous juveniles as early as the 1980’s up until 2006.

Authorities said he has known connections in Lillington and White Lake, North Carolina, Florence, South Carolina and an unknown location in Tennessee.

Black previously served as a youth leader at an undisclosed Baptist Church and possibly as a baseball coach.

If you have any information concerning Black, you are urged to call the FBI at 704-672-6100 or the Raleigh Police Department at 919-384-HELP.

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.

St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese Plan Offers at Least $65 Million to Creditors

MINNESOTA
WDAY

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would set aside at least $65 million to pay clergy abuse victims and other creditors.

The plan filed Thursday also would create a $500,000 fund to pay for counseling for survivors.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda says he believes the plan is fair but might need modifications. He says the church wants a just and timely resolution. See prepared remarks from Hebda at an afternoon news conference here.

Lawyer Jeff Anderson, whose firm has filed most of the abuse claims against the archdiocese since Minnesota gave survivors of past abuse a new chance to sue, says he’s reviewing the plan but calls it “predictably deficient.” He accused the archdiocese this week of sheltering more than $1 billion in assets to avoid big payouts to abuse survivors.

The Archdiocese’s Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan also includes what’s called a Compensable Abuse Matrix.

The matrix breaks down a point system, which would be used to determine how much money each victim gets.

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.

THE FEMINIST TRAILBLAZING OF SINÉAD O’CONNOR

UNITED STATES
The New Yorker

By Amanda Petrusich , MAY 26, 2016

Last week, Sinéad O’Connor took off on an early-morning bicycle trip around Wilmette, Illinois, a pleasant suburb of Chicago. The Irish pop singer—now forty-nine, and still best known for ripping up a photograph of Pope John Paul II on “Saturday Night Live,” in 1992, while singing the word “evil,” a remonstrance against the Vatican’s handling of sexual-abuse allegations—had previously expressed suicidal ideations, and, in 2012, admitted to a “very serious breakdown,” which led her to cancel a world tour. Ergo, when she still hadn’t returned from her bike ride twenty-four hours later, the police helicopters began circling. Details regarding what happened next—precisely where O’Connor was found, and in what condition—have been scant, but authorities confirmed her safety by the end of the day.

I was barely ten years old when O’Connor’s second album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got,” was released in America. I recall tugging my lumpy beanbag chair directly up to the television set so that I could watch the video for “Nothing Compares 2 U” in terrifying proximity to the screen. O’Connor is wearing a black turtleneck, framed close, and standing in front of a black background. The filmic effect is austere, nearly ghostly. “It’s been seven hours and fifteen days since you took your love away,” O’Connor sings, her voice barely betraying a brogue. There are moments when the vocal seems to slip away from her a little, like a phonograph needle jerking out of its groove—this is the strange looseness of the freshly wounded. Like a maimed animal, the mind goes feral. …

Following the “Saturday Night Live” appearance, her career began to disassemble. People were outraged. The next week, when the actor Joe Pesci hosted “Saturday Night Live,” he held up the same photo of the Pope, now taped back together, and said that, if it had been his show, “I would have gave her such a smack.” Frank Sinatra, performing in New Jersey shortly after the episode aired, reportedly announced (per Tom Santopietro’s book, “Sinatra in Hollywood”), “This must be one stupid broad. I’d kick her ass if she were a guy. She must beat her kids to stay in shape.”

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.

May 26, 2016

Testimony continues in Stone sexual abuse trial

GEORGIA
WVTM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. —Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of a former Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a minor.

This afternoon, a juvenile whom we are not identifying testified that David Stone inappropriately touched him on the upper thigh and near the groin.

This comes after testimony earlier this week from a boy whom we also aren’t identifying said that Stone inappropriately touched him on his backside when he was 3 years old. That particular alleged incident took place back in 2011.

Stone was once the host of “Life on the Rock,” which aired on Irondale-based Catholic television network EWTN. He was fired from the network for having a relationship with a woman.

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.

DuBois priest on leave after sexual harassment suit filed

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

DUBOIS, Pa. — A Clearfield County priest is on leave after the Diocese of Erie was sued for sexual harassment. The diocese confirms Father Dan Kresinski, pastor of both the St. Michael and St. Joseph parishes in DuBois is on paid administrative leave.

A woman who worked with Kresinski sued the diocese in federal court earlier this week. She alleges in those court documents that Kresinski would touch himself during meetings.

She said she was fired in October of 2013 for complaining to the diocese and that nothing was done. Her complaint said Bishop Lawrence Persico asked her to sign a paper that would prohibit her from going to the media. She said she refused to sign it.

The diocese spokesperson Anne-Marie Welsh said a letter from the bishop will be read to the parishioners Sunday.

The federal court documents said the woman is asking for all the wages she would have received since being terminated in October of 2013. She wants punitive damages as well as other financial compensations, the documents showed.

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 school aide accused of exploiting children facing 10 new charges

NEW YORK
CNY Central

[the indictment]

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The former elementary school aide accused of exploiting children is now facing additional charges after a grand jury returned a superseding indictment that adds ten new charges.

United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and FBI Resident Agent in Charge Andrew Vale say a 19-count superseding indictment returned by the grand jury replaces the indictment from March and adds ten charges. Seven of those charges are for sexual exploitation of a minor, while the other three allege additional conduct involving the distribution of child pornography. The superseding indictment alleges no new victims from the previous indictment.

In March an undercover federal investigator out of the Metropolitan Police Department – Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force began communicating on the Kik app with a user later identified as Jason Kopp. A federal criminal complaint stated, in an exchange of texts Kopp shared numerous images of an infant child “which depict the lewd and lascivious exhibition of her genitals.” Other images show Kopp “engaged in acts of sexual abuse of the child.”

During the investigation, the criminal complaint stated agents became aware of Emily Oberst as the person who was supplying the images of the child. During an interview with investigators, Oberst admitted she has taken “a total of 45-50 sexually explicit images of the infant and sent them to ‘Jason’, and that all sexually explicit images she has sent to ‘Jason’ depict the same infant female child, who is currently 16 months old.”

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 All Saints aide faces new child porn charges

NEW YORK
WSYR

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)

A former All Saints School aide is facing new charges for her alleged role in trafficking child pornography.

23-year-old Emily Oberst was arrested alongside Jason Kopp in March on sexual exploitation charges.

Oberst is now being charged under a 19-count superseding indictment that includes sexual exploitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography.

Kopp has already pleaded guilty to 22 felonies – each carrying a minimum of 20 years in prison.

If Oberst is convicted, she faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years for each count of conspiracy to sexually exploit children and sexual exploitation of a child.

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 School Staffer in Syracuse, Accused of Sexually Exploiting Children, Faces Federal Charges

NEW YORK
TWC News

The former staffer at All Saints Elementary School in Syracuse, who has been accused of sexually exploiting children, is now facing federal charges.

Emily Oberst, 23, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to sexually exploit children, exploitation of children and distribution of child pornography, a total of 19 counts in all.

Court documents show that between 2014 and March of this year, Oberst allegedly took explicit photos of two young children and shared them on her phone.

Oberst worked at All Saints Elementary School at the time, but it is unclear if the victims were from the school. Both were under the age of 4 at the time.

The explicit photos in question ultimately wound up in the hands of the FBI, after a man named Jason Kopp sent them to an undercover agent.

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.

Teacher’s aide faces more charges in All Saints child porn case

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By John O’Brien | jobrien@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A federal grand jury today added more child pornography charges against a former teacher’s aide at a Syracuse elementary school and day care center.

Emily Oberst, 23, was indicted on seven more counts of sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of making child pornography and three more counts of distributing child pornography.

Oberst, of Syracuse, and Jason Kopp, 40, of Liverpool, were indicted two months ago on charges of sexually exploiting three children to make child pornography. The victims were a 16-month-old girl, a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy, according to a federal indictment.

The new indictment doesn’t include allegations involving any new victims.

The indictment filed in federal court today accuses Oberst of taking sexually explicit photos of the two girls 11 times between Nov. 6, 2014, and March 16, 2016. It also accuses her of distributing those pictures seven times over that same period.

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.

Jewish security patrol pair plead guilty to reduced charges in Brooklyn beating of gay black man

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY GRAHAM RAYMAN CHRISTINA CARREGA-WOODBY
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Two of the men arrested in the horrific beating of a gay black man in Brooklyn pleaded guilty Wednesday to lesser charges.

Pinchas Braver and Abraham Winkler pleaded guilty in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn to unlawful imprisonment for their role in the beating of Taj Patterson, 25.

Patterson was walking down Flushing Ave. in Williamsburg in December 2013 when he was set upon by a gang of men linked to the Shomrim, a volunteer Orthodox Jewish security patrol. They shouted anti-gay slurs and beat him up, prosecutors said.

Patterson suffered savage injuries, including a broken eye socket and a torn retina that left him permanently blind in one eye.

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.

Brooklyn, NY – 2 Dodge Prison Time In 2013 Beating Of Black Man In Williamsburg

NEW YORK
Vos Is Neias

Brooklyn, NY – Two of the men arrested in the December 2013 beating of a black man in Williamsburg will avoid jail time, pleading guilty yesterday to charges of unlawful imprisonment in a Brooklyn State Supreme Court.

The two men, 22 year old Pinchas Braver and 42 year old Abraham Winkler, will receive three years probation, serve 150 hours of community service and pay $1,400 in restitution as reported by the Daily News. Both are expected to be sentenced on August 9th.

Prosecutor Marc Fliedner requested that the two men not be allowed to perform their community service in Williamsburg but rather be assigned to a “culturally diverse neighborhood outside of where this unlawful imprisonment took place.”

As previously reported on VIN News (http://goo.gl/KTCTUi), Taj Patterson was badly beaten by a group of men as he walked on Flushing Avenue in Williamsburg in the early morning hours on December 1st. Witnesses came to Patterson’s aid and the 22 year old aspiring fashion designer suffered a broken eye socket and a torn retina in the attack, leaving him permanently blind in one eye.

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.

It’s Time Orthodox Jews Speak Out Against Shomrim Patrol

NEW YORK
Forward

Michael Lesher
May 26, 2016

The Brooklyn Hasidim accused of beating a young, gay black man named Taj Patterson back in 2013 are reportedly about to get a plea deal so sweet, they won’t serve a single day in prison.

Patterson, who was beaten so badly that he was left blind in one eye, and who had homophobic slurs hurled at him throughout the ordeal, is surely having a hard time understanding the aftermath.

Why did local police quickly drop the investigation into his attack, despite available eyewitnesses, until his mother’s persistence shamed them into action? Why didn’t the membership of several of the alleged attackers in a Hasidic security patrol prompt the cops to widen their search to probe the discriminatory history of the Shomrim, as the patrol is called — instead of writing “CLOSED” over the case within 24 hours of the first report and listing the charge as a misdemeanor, not a hate crime? And why are the three alleged assailants who still await trial (two have already walked) apparently going to get off so easy, instead of facing prison terms ?

Prosecutors haven’t told reporters why Patterson’s brutal beating isn’t worth jail time. Maybe, as anonymous sources told The Daily News, witnesses who originally implicated the defendants are suddenly getting cold feet . But in that case, Patterson must be wondering why the Brooklyn district attorney can’t charge someone among the insular, “informer”-blaming Williamsburg Hasidim with intimidating those witnesses, instead of folding his cards and letting the alleged attackers walk free.

But Orthodox Jews like me — we know why, don’t we?

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.

GA–Victims want Catholic official fired in abuse case

GEORGIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

Atlanta Catholics and Holy Spirit Preparatory families deserve more information about allegations against Fr. Thomas Aloysius Flynn of the controversial Legion of Christ religious order. And Archbishop Wilton Gregory and the school’s board should fire the headmaster who refused to call police about suspected child sexual abuse.

[CBS 46]

Headmaster Kyle Pietrantonio allegedly followed church protocol. But he didn’t call 911. No matter what one’s employer requires in such cases, every caring adult should immediately call police when child sex crimes are reported or suspected.

Gregory should send a strong signal to his staff and flock by firing Pietrantonio.

No matter what church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

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.

Statement on accusations made by Chaouqui

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, has released a statement concerning some statements made by Francesco Immacolata Chaouqui against Archbishop Angelo Giovanni Becciu, the Substitute of the Secretary of State, released during the ongoing trial at the Vatican for the appropriation and illicit disclosure of confidential documents:

“On the occasion of the last hearing in the trial taking place in the Vatican for the publication of confidential documents (May 24), Dr Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui has made some statements, of which the press has taken notice, in which she made serious charges against the person of the Substitute of the Secretary of State, of having acting unfairly towards her. Such accusations, after the hearing, were repeated in an even more serious way and spread by Facebook by the accused [Chaouqui]. It has therefore become necessary—without desiring in any way to condition the action of the Court—to deny, in a most absolute way, such accusations and to state that, since they are calumnious affirmations, they are absolutely unacceptable, and subject to legal action.”

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.

PA–Victims to hold support group in Ebensburg PA

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

for immediate release: Thursday, May 26, 2016

For more information: Judy Jones, 636-433-2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com

Support group to be held for clergy abuse victims

The self-help group for men and women who were abused by clergy will hold a confidential support meeting in the Ebensburg areaTuesday night.

The organization is SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. The meeting will be Tuesday, May 31st from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Cottage Restaurant (private meeting room) 4554 Admiral Peary Hwy. Ebensburg, Pa.

“Victims, family members, and supporters are welcome and encouraged to attend,” said Judy Jones, SNAP’s Midwest Associate Director. “The Altoona-Johnstown grand jury report has understandably stirred up lots of emotion throughout the state. We are creating a safe, private, confidential setting to help anyone who has been abused as a child or exploited as an adult.”

Despite the word “priest” in its name, SNAP welcomes and tries to help “anyone who has been hurt in institutional settings by predators, Jones said.

“Whether you or your loved ones were sexually victimized in summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, or wherever, it’s beneficial to talk with and get solace and comfort from those who have suffered in similar settings,” she said.

Based in Chicago, SNAP was founded in 1988 and now has nearly 30,000 members across the US and increasingly across the world.

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.

NY–Victims: “Cardinal must act in twice-accused predator case”

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home,davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

New York Cardinal Tim Dolan should harshly, publicly and immediately denounce his Long Island colleague who is endangering kids by keeping a twice-accused predator priest on the job.

[New York Daily News]

Dolan, as the “metropolitan” bishop over all of New York, has a duty to speak up loudly and clearly when church officials anywhere in New York jeopardize the safety of youngsters. That’s what’s happening now in the Rockville Centre diocese under Bishop William Murphy with Fr. Gregory Yacyshyn.

Despite a current police investigation and two pending child sex abuse lawsuits charging recent crimes, Murphy is keeping Fr. Gregory on the job in a parish. This is appallingly callous and careless.

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.

Alleged victims of Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing girls ‘all gave similar accounts’, court hears

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

BY NICK STATHAM

Canon Mortimer Stanley, 84, who is also accused of indecently assaulting an altar boy, was parish priest at St Vincent De Paul RC Church, in Norden from 1977 to 2002

The alleged victims of a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing nine young girls over four decades all gave similar accounts of his behaviour a court has heard.

Canon Mortimer Stanley, 84, who is also accused of indecently assaulting an altar boy, was parish priest at St Vincent De Paul RC Church, in Norden from 1977 to 2002.

He denies 19 counts of indecent assault said to have been committed during that time.

Several of the female complainants – all pupils at neighbouring St Vincent’s RC Primary School during Stanley’s ministry – described how they would sit on his knee while he would ‘bounce them up and down’.

The most serious allegations include him kissing and sexually assaulting the alleged victims.

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.

Child sex abuse survivor: He’ll spend $100K to beat Sen. DeFrancisco, others

NEW YORK
Syracuse.com

By Mike McAndrew | mmcandrew@syracuse.com

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A minority owner of the Vernon Downs racetrack says he’ll spend $100,000 this year to unseat state Sen. John DeFrancisco and other senators who won’t pass a bill to allow child sexual abuse survivors like himself sue their abusers.

DeFrancisco, the Senate deputy majority leader from Syracuse, is going to be the No. 1 target of the new Fighting for Children PAC that Gary Greenberg says he’s in the process of forming.

Greenberg, a 57-year-old businessman from New Baltimore, said he’s targeting DeFrancisco because of the senator’s outspoken opposition to a pending bill that would eliminate the civil and criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse crimes going forward and create a one-year window for victims to sue for abuses committed decades ago.

“There are a lot of cases where these perpetrators, because of the statute of limitations, have been able to get away with it and are still out there abusing,” Greenberg said. “This would out some of these people. There may be instances where they’re still abusing and it could be stopped.”

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.

Victim of Church-sex-crime let go of Resentment and Turned to Mercy, Here’s Her Mentality

China Christian Daily

By Pauline Petro
on May 27, 2016

Once a reporter in the US asked President Carter if he has ever committed adultery in anyway. The question was very blunt and honest.

However, should this be the way one sees this issue of sex crimes?

I have a colleague who suffered from a personal tragedy six years ago. She’s a new graduate at that time and was quite young, innocent and served the Church with earnest. While she knew that there are a lot of crimes in society today, she still believed that the church was a holy place and all the ministers were good people. However, reality is not as black and white as she saw it and she found herself unable to comprehend the truth that she was sexually abused by a minister severely. Shamefully, as well.

When she would remember what has transpired and how she reacted, she would always get angry as she was very silent about how she was violated and who was responsible for her attack. She watched in silence as to how the minister continued to serve God “honorably” and led the church as a “powerful leader.” As the years progressed, she became even angrier when others would say they have experienced sexual abuse from ministers.

The church has often preached about forgiving and the importance of interpersonal relationships in the church. However, with my colleague’s misfortune, I wish to speak about sexual violence in the church.

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.

NJ–SNAP: Archbishop must act on indicted priest

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)

An admitted New Jersey predator priest has been indicted and now Newark Archbishop John Myers must act. So too must three other prelates who let this child molesting cleric in their dioceses.

[NJ.com]

A grand jury indicted Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza who has fled to his native Ecuador. Myers must do aggressive outreach to help criminal authorities extradite, prosecute and convict this criminal so that kids will be safer. Myers must also seek out and help others with information or suspicions about this child molesting cleric, using church bulletins, pulpit announcements and parish websites. This weekend, Myers should personally visit the last parish where Fr. Gallo Espinoza worked, begging others who’ve been hurt to step forward, get help and call police.

Maryland Archbishop William Lori, Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde and Equador Bishop Alfredo José Espinoza Mateus all let Fr. Gallo Espinoza work in their jurisdictions. They too must do serious outreach.

We applaud the bravery and persistence of Max Rojaz Ramirez, who was assaulted by this pedophile priest and is working hard to safeguard other kids from him. Max is a true hero.

No matter what law enforcement or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

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.

NJ–Victims urge investigation into judge, DA, & NJ ministers

NEW JERSEY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We urge the New Jersey bar to investigate whether a prosecutor or a judge acted improperly in a troubling child sex abuse case involving a fugitive minister. And we urge law enforcement to investigate whether witnesses or church officials did the same.

[NJ.com]

For reasons that aren’t fully clear, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Mitzy Galis-Menendez and Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor Linda Claude-Oben let a convicted child molesting cleric remain free on $250,000 bail. That criminal, Rev. Gregorio Martinez, vanished weeks later and now heads a church in Nicaragua, where kids and families are even more vulnerable to a charismatic child molester than kids and families in the US are.

If the judge or prosecutor goofed up, mistakenly enabling a dangerous predator to escape, they should be disciplined.

If lawmakers goofed up, mistakenly enabling predators to exploit some legal loophole, they should promptly fix it.

An investigation should also be held into those who testified in court on behalf of this cunning criminal, including Kelvin and Paula Martinez of Jersey City. They may have perjured themselves or broken the law in other ways.

Similarly, an investigation should be launched into Assembly of God officials including

–Verardo Acosta of Bergenfield, head of Fountain of Salvation Church in Elizabeth,

–Uriel Sanchez of the Trenton area, and

–Arturo Martinez of Elohim Christian Church of Jersey City.

They may have enabled Martinez flee by helping him get a fake passport or in other ways, hindered prosecution or obstructed justice.

No matter what law enforcement or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Assembly of God churches to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

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.

Once again: Why won’t anyone tell the truth about Bruce Wellems?

ILLINOIS
The Worthy Adversary

May 26, 2016 Joelle Casteix

Fr. Bruce Wellems: the man everyone wants to protect.

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Chicago Archdiocese and the Claretian Fathers have barred Catholic priest Father Bruce Wellems from ministry.

To be honest, they made that decision in March, but didn’t tell anyone until May. Were they ever going to tell anyone? That’s a big question.

In fact, had Wellems’ victim not been vigilant and insisted on knowing the decision of both groups … and had he not informed the Chicago Tribune once he learned the outcome, no one would have known at all.

This is transparency? This is openness?

No! This is flagrant disregard for Cupich’s promise of openness, his assurances of public safety, any modicum of risk management, or the use of simple common sense.

It gets worse.

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.

IL–Archbishop keeps secret about “new facts” about admitted predator

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

Chicago’s top Catholic official refuses to tell police, prosecutors, parishioners, parents or the public about “new facts” he says his staff have uncovered about an admitted predator priest. That’s reckless and wrong.

[Chicago Tribune]

Archbishop Blasé Cupich is being as secretive and reckless with Fr. Bruce Wellems as Cardinal Francis George was with Fr. Daniel McCormack.

Arguably, Cupich is being worse than George because Fr. Wellems is an admitted predator, while Fr. McCormack was a credibly accused predator.

We’re glad Fr. Wellems won’t be put back to work in Chicago but Catholics need and deserve to know these “new facts.” Does this mean other victims have stepped forward? Does it mean Fr. Wellems has deceived his flock? Does this mean his direct supervisors, the Claretians, have lied to local parishioners about Fr. Wellems?

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.

St. Paul archdiocese bankruptcy plan: at least $65M to creditors

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would set aside at least $65 million to pay clergy abuse victims and other creditors.

The plan filed Thursday also would create a $500,000 fund to pay for counseling for survivors.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda says he believes the plan is fair but might need modifications. He says the church wants a just and timely resolution.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, whose firm has filed most of the abuse claims against the archdiocese since Minnesota gave survivors of past abuse a new chance to sue, says he’s reviewing the plan but calls it “predictably deficient.” He accused the archdiocese this week of sheltering more than $1 billion in assets to avoid big payouts to abuse survivors.

The Archbishop responded to the accusation Thursday saying: “There has been nothing sinister in our actions — the Archdiocese has not hidden any Archdiocesan assets. We have disclosed everything and collaborated with the Court.”

He added that efforts to use assets from parishes, Catholic schools and other Catholic charitable organizations to pay the claims “is simply contrary to law.”

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 sets aside $65 million for Minnesota abuse victims

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) – The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that creates an initial fund of $65 million to pay victims of clergy abuse. The plan also includes a $500,000 fund to cover counseling services for survivors of abuse. Attorney Jeff Anderson, whose firm represents hundreds of abuse victims, called the plan “egregious.”

Tuesday, the victims of abuse and the creditors’ committee filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court that claims the archdiocese is hiding assets from the court and the victims. They claim the archdiocese and its parishes have more than $1.7 billion in assets — far more than the $45 million divulged in court documents last year.

In a letter to the Catholic community, Archbishop Bernard Hebda said he believes the plan is fair, but “we also know that some well-intentioned people may raise objections.”

Letter from Archbishop Hebda

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On January 16, 2015, the Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy. Today, I write to tell you that we have filed a Plan of Reorganization as part of that bankruptcy process. Filing the Plan is an important and required step on our path to a fair resolution.

In preparation for filing the Plan, the Archdiocese sold available real estate assets, including our properties in Saint Paul, we will be leasing less expensive office space, and we have continued to cut our budget. For over a year, we have worked cooperatively with others. We have also participated in mediation to help determine the value of insurance coverage. Although progress has been made, the insurance companies and attorneys for those asserting claims of sexual abuse have not been able to agree on the proper value of the insurance proceeds for the claims. According to attorneys for claimants, the claims are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The insurance companies disagree and place the value much lower.

Our Plan stands on three pillars. First, the unprecedented Settlement Agreement last December with the Ramsey County Attorney, which is incorporated into the Plan to ensure that we continue to do all we can to protect children. Second, the funding of a $500,000 victim counseling fund to promote healing for those who have suffered abuse. And third, the creation of an independent Trust. The Archdiocese has proposed that the Trust will initially be funded by $65 million or more in proceeds from Archdiocesan cash and the sale of our properties, proceeds from insurance settlements, and contributions of insurance settlements from our parishes. In addition, all insurance proceeds, including those that have not yet been agreed upon between the insurance companies and those filing claims, will be put in the Trust. A court-appointed Trustee will then control the Trust and have the authority to pay claimants.

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 Plan Offers Creditors At Least $65M

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that would set aside at least $65 million to pay clergy abuse victims and other creditors.

The plan filed Thursday also would create a $500,000 fund to pay for counseling for survivors.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda says he believes the plan is fair but might need modifications. He says the church wants a just and timely resolution.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, whose firm has filed most of the abuse claims against the archdiocese since Minnesota gave survivors of past abuse a new chance to sue, says he’s reviewing the plan but calls it “predictably deficient.” He accused the archdiocese this week of sheltering more than $1 billion in assets to avoid big payouts to abuse survivors.

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.

Media Advisory: Attorney Jeff Anderson to Respond to Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Bankruptcy Plan Filed Today

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

5/26/2016

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Files Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan Leaving Behind Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Jeff Anderson to Respond to Plan at 2:45PM Press Conference Today

In the plan filed today the Archdiocese and its parishes will contribute less than 2% of its assets; Cathedral of St. Paul valued at $0

WHAT: Today, in United States Bankruptcy Court, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis filed its reorganization plan. The plan outlines several egregious proposals, including a contribution of approximately $30 million dollars, less than two-percent of the Archdiocese and its parishes assets, to compensate survivors of child sexual abuse.

“These actions have proven the Archdiocese’s pledge to put survivors first to be hollow and their pledge to be transparent to be shallow,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson on behalf of 384 sexual abuse survivors. “After the Archdiocese pledged to care for the survivors and treat them fairly through the bankruptcy process, the plan filed today makes it glaringly clear that the Archdiocese is continuing its underhanded ways to avoid transparency and accountability.”

In the court filing today, the Archdiocese values the Cathedral of St. Paul at $0, but insurance documents from 2008 that were not publicly disclosed, lists its value at $68 million dollars. The plan also lists Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Totino-Grace, and De La Salle High Schools as having no value. Additionally, the Archdiocese releases several entities from the bankruptcy, including all parishes and other Catholic entities.

On Tuesday, the Creditors’ Committee and survivors filed a Motion for Substantive Consolidation in response to multiple legal maneuvers the Archdiocese used to hide and shield its assets from the court, survivors and the public. The evidence showed the Archdiocese and its parishes have over $1.7 billion in assets.

WHEN: Thursday, May 26, 2016 at 2:45PM

WHERE: Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson St. Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

NOTES: We will live stream the press event from our website at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact Jeff Anderson: Office/651.583.7633 Cell/612.817.8665
Contact Mike Finnegan: Office/651.583.7633 Cell/612.205.5531

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.

Twin Cities archdiocese files plan to settle with abuse victims

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune MAY 26, 2016 — 2:34PM

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed its financial reorganization plan in bankruptcy court Thursday, offering a strategy for regaining financial stability while compensating an expected 400 clergy abuse claims.

The plan calls for the creation of a $65 million trust fund for victims, which could increase if further insurance settlements are reached, as well as a $500,000 counseling fund for victims and new protocols to prevent future abuse.

“We filed our plan today — after 16 months — because victims/survivors cannot be compensated until a plan of reorganization is finalized and approved,” said Archbishop Bernard Hebda at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“The longer the process lasts, more money is spent on attorneys’ fees and bankruptcy expenses; and … less money is available for them.”

Hebda acknowledged that the plan may face objections, but the archdiocese is committed to finding a “fair, just and timely resolution.”

Victims’ attorney Jeff Anderson issued a statement saying, “These actions have proven the Archdiocese’s pledge to put survivors first to be hollow and their pledge to be transparent to be shallow.” Anderson filed a motion in bankruptcy court Tuesday claiming the archdiocese had transferred assets to shield them from clergy abuse victims.

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.

Sen. nixes sex abuse law bill

NEW YORK
Queens Chronicle

The Republican-controlled state Senate rejected the Child Victims Act, a bill aimed at reforming the statute of limitations for sexual abuse crimes after a vote was forced by the upper chamber’s Democratic Conference on Monday.

“This common sense legislation would have protected our children and delivered justice for the far too many victims in New York State. Monday’s vote gave all New Yorkers a chance to see where their Senator stands on this critical issue,” state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing), a supporter of the legislation, said in a prepared statement.

“My colleagues and I will continue to push this issue to finally give child sex abuse victims the justice they deserve and hold the perpetrators of these heinous crimes accountable,” the senator added.

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.

WANTED: Former Union County Priest Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teen

NEW JERSEY
Patch

By ALEXIS TARRAZI (Patch Staff) – May 26, 2016

Plainfield, NJ — Police are offering a $10,000 reward to help them find a former Catholic priest who is charged with sexually assaulting a teenager inside a Plainfield church, Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced.

Manuel Gallo Espinoza, 52, is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

A Union County grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Espinoza for sexually assaulting the then-16- year-old victim at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church on West Sixth Street in Plainfield, where he once was affiliated with, on at least one occasion in early 2003, according to the prosecutor’s report/

Espinoza is believed to be living in Ecuador.

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.

BUSTED: Catholic diocese with history of cover-ups caught protecting priest accused of child abuse

NEW YORK
Raw Story

SARAH K. BURRIS
26 MAY 2016

Rev. Gregory Yacyshyn, the pastor of St. Jude Church on Long Island is the target of a lawsuit against the diocese, alleging he is a “public nuisance.” The suit claims there is a history of the church covering up priest sexual abuse and allowing child molesters to live openly in the community.

The Rockville Centre Diocese spokesman says these claims lack of “credible allegations” and he believes the community is safe, according to the New York Daily News.

The key decision maker in keeping Yacyshyn in the pulpit is Bishop William Murphy, who is a vocal opponent of the Child Victims Act. Murphy believes the statute of limitations on sexual abuse claims should remain where it is, while many believe there should be no time limit on when a person can bring charges for child molestation.

In 2014, Murphy authored a letter to pastors describing the law as an “annual threat” and claimed that the Catholic church has already handled sexual abuse problems internally.

Murphy suggested that supporters of the bill “should be opposed by those of us who know how effectively and permanently the church has remedied that horrific scourge.”

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 of Duluth, Abuse Victims to Enter Mediation in July

MINNESOTA
Wall Street Journal

By TOM CORRIGAN
May 26, 2016

A bankruptcy judge ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Duluth, Minn., and lawyers for more than 100 clergy sexual abuse victims to a three-day mediation session in July.

Court papers filed this week show that Judge Gregg Zive, a Nevada bankruptcy judge, will serve as the mediator at a conference slated to begin July 19, at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis.

The Diocese of Duluth, which is home to more than 55,000 parishioners, filed for bankruptcy in December after a jury awarded more than $8 million to a man who said he was sexually abused in the late 1970s by a priest working in the diocese. The diocese has said it knew nothing about the abuse and couldn’t have prevented it.

At the time it sought chapter 11 protection, the diocese faced about 18 individual abuse claims, but the number has since grown to about 110 as of Monday, according to court records. Victims’ lawyers have said they expected more claims to come in before the deadline ran out Wednesday.

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.

Effort to eliminate statute of limitations on child sex abuse to continue

NEW YORK
WBFO

By MARIAN HETHERLY

New York State Senator Tim Kennedy of Buffalo was visibly emotional about it, talking with reporters. By a vote of 30-29, the state Senate this week rejected an attempt to force a vote on legislation aimed at eliminating the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse charges. However, the Buffalo Democrat vowed “this is not the end of the conversation.”

“We believe any time that an individual comes up with the courage to go after their perpetrator that abused them in any way, including and especially sexually as a child, they should have the recourse and the legal ability to go after these perpetrators, these monsters,” Kennedy said, “hold them accountable, put them in jail.”

Kennedy, a Catholic, said he feels very strongly about the issue and vowed to continue the Child Victims Act he co-sponsored, which would allow adults to pursue criminal or civil child sex abuse charges at any age. “This is the right legislation at the right time,” Kennedy said.

“This is about holding those abusers, those perpetrators of this despicable, despicable abuse accountable, giving them jail time and giving closure to these victims and allowing these victims to have some recourse at the end of the day,” Kennedy said.

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.

Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen Pfaffenhofener Pfarrer

DEUTSCHLAND
Ingolstadt Today

Von Tobias Zell

Die Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen den Pfaffenhofener Stadtpfarrer Peter Wagner wegen des Verdachts einer Sexualstraftat. Wie Generalvikar Harald Heinrich vom zuständigen Bistum Augsburg heute in einer offiziellen Erklärung mitteilte, wurde gegen Pfarrer Wagner ein Ermittlungsverfahren wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern eingeleitet. Der Geistliche ist vom Dienst suspendiert worden. Die katholische Pfarrgemeinde steht unter Schock.

Wie berichtet, war gestern die für heute geplante traditionelle Fronleichnams-Prozession kurzfristig abgesagt worden. Die Hintergründe waren zunächst völlig unklar. Bekannt wurde gestern nur, dass Generalvikar Harald Heinrich von der zuständige Diözese Augsburg heute persönlich nach Pfaffenhofen kommen wird, um den Feiertags-Gottesdienst zu zelebrieren und um eine offizielle Erklärung abzugeben. Aus dieser sollte hervorgehen, warum die Prozession ausfällt und was mit Pfarrer Wagner ist. Daraus ließ sich schon erahnen, dass etwas Schwerwiegendes geschehen sein muss.

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.

Verdacht des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern

DEUTSCHLAND
Ingolstadt Today

[Priest Peter Wagner is being investigated for abusing children.]

Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen Pfaffenhofens Stadtpfarrer Peter Wagner – Hier die heutige Erklärung des Generalvikars im Wortlaut

(ty) Es war eine erschütternde Botschaft, die Generalvikar Harald Heinrich von der Diözese Augsburg heute Vormittag beim Fronleichnams-Gottesdienst in Pfaffenhofen zu verkünden hatte. Gegen den hiesigen Stadtpfarrer Peter Wagner „wurde ein Ermittlungsverfahren wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern eingeleitet“, erklärte Heinrich. Mitte März sei im bischöflichen Sekretariat ein anonymes Schreiben eingegangen, „das einen solchen Übergriff schilderte“.

Daraufhin sei von der Missbrauchsbeauftragten der Diözese die Staatsanwaltschaft informiert worden. Die hat nun ein Ermittlungsverfahren wegen des Verdachts einer Sexualstraftat eingeleitet, wie ein Sprecher des Polizeipräsidiums Oberbayern-Nord heute auf Anfrage unserer Zeitung bestätigte. Der Generalvikar erklärte: „Nachdem wir nun vorgestern von dem Ermittlungsverfahren der Staatsanwaltschaft erfahren haben, hat Bischof Dr. Konrad Zdarsa Pfarrer Wagner bis zur Klärung der Vorwürfe mit sofortiger Wirkung von seinem Amt als Pfarrer entbunden.“

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.

Pastor gets 34 years in prison for sex with minors

MINNESOTA
WDAZ

[with video]

By Ryan Laughlin on May 25, 2016

MCINTOSH, MN (WDAZ-TV) – A pastor is being put behind bars for sexually abusing minors. However, he insists he’s innocent.

In Clearwater County a community is in disbelief, but prosecutors say there was a pattern of behavior that lead a jury to convict him.

Scott Morey was sentenced Wednesday to nearly 34 years behind bars for being found guilty of 13 charges of sexual conduct with a minor.

Rick Mollin, Clearwater County attorney: “The pattern of conduct that we persuaded the jury to convict him on, was a pattern of conduct which absolutely occurred without question.”

The two victims were minors close to Morey. A jury found him guilty on 13 of 14 charges in a trial that began in April. Today, through tears, Morey read from a 4 and a half page statement proclaiming his innocence, comparing the trial to the Salem witch trials.

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.

WOMEN ARE LEAVING CHURCH, AND THE REASON SEEMS CLEAR

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

A new Pew Research Center analysis of General Social Survey data confirms a long-simmering trend in U.S. religious observance: While attendance at religious services has declined for all Americans, it has declined more among women then men.

In the early 1970s, 36 percent of women and 26 percent of men reported attending church services weekly, a ten-point gap that reflected the long-standing trend of women being more religiously committed than men.

The gap reached its widest point in 1982, when it hit 13 percent, but then it began to shrink. By 2012, 22 percent of men reported attending church weekly, as did 28 percent of women, reflecting a “worship gap” of only six percent, an historic low.

Pew’s David McClendon gives several possible reasons for women’s declining levels of religiosity as measured by church attendance. One is the increase in the number of women in the workforce, which could theoretically decrease their leisure time and force them to cut back on activities like church. But as McClendon himself notes, “the fastest increase in women’s full-time employment” actually “occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s, during which time the gender gap on religious service attendance actually widened somewhat.”

If women aren’t too busy with work to go to church, maybe it’s because they’re becoming too well educated. Higher rates of educational attainment are correlated to less church going, except McClendon notes that both more educated and less educated women are going to church less.

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.

Missbrauchsverdacht: Seit wann wusste das Bistum Trier Bescheid?

DEUTSCHLAND
Volksfreund

[Suspected abuse: When did the Diocese of Trier know?]

(Trier) Nach den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gegen einen Priester des Bistums Trier wird nun Kritik an Bischof Stephan Ackermann laut. Zudem sind weitere Einzelheiten des Falls bekannt geworden.

Katja Bernardy

Trier. Die Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen einen Priester (62) des Bistums Trier schlagen hohe Wellen. Denn Betroffene kritisieren nun auch Bischof Stephan Ackermann, den Missbrauchsbeauftragten der katholischen Kirche. “Das Bistum Trier hat schon lange von den Missbrauchsvorwürfen gewusst”, behaupten Betroffene.
Frage nach Ehrlichkeit

Thomas Schnitzler von der Opferinitiative Missbit und Gutachter einer Clearingstelle des Bundesfamilienministeriums (siehe Extra) sagt: “Der aktuelle Fall, wie ein halbes Dutzend vorheriger Fälle, zeigt wieder, dass die bestehenden Rechts- und Dienstaufsichtsstrukturen keinen effektiven Schutz für Kinder gewährleisten. Im Gegenteil, es werden weitere Opfer in den Familien und Pfarreien produziert.”
Pastoralreferentin Jutta Lehnert meint: “Nach vielen ähnlichen Vorgängen in der Kirche frage ich: Wann wagt die Kirche endlich einen ehrlichen Blick in ihre Abgründe?”

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.

Kettler can lead healing from abuse crisis

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

Ben Ament, Times Writers Group
May 26, 2016

Thankfully, Bishop Donald Kettler seems ready to put an end to the suffering on all sides this sordid situation, at least in Central Minnesota. It is time. It is past time to do the right thing.

He apologized for church and took responsibility for something over which he had no control
Abuse allegations have hung heavy over the Catholic church over the past decade and a half, and St. Cloud Diocese has not been spared. Other churches and institutions have been harmed by these perpetrators of personal violence, but the Catholic Church has received the lion’s share of the press.

As a practicing Catholic nearly my entire life, I am personally hurt by this. Worse, I know people who have suffered by both the abuse of the priests involved and the system that protected those priests. I am often conflicted, though. It is difficult to keep the system separate from the faith. Help!

Thankfully, Bishop Donald Kettler seems ready to put an end to the suffering on all sides this sordid situation, at least in Central Minnesota. It is time. It is past time to do the right thing. His recent statements to the media give me hope that the healing is beginning.

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.

Vatican says Italian arrest shows reform is real

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Ines San Martin
Vatican correspondent May 25, 2016

ROME—Under Pope Francis, the Vatican has been pursuing financial reform, with the goal, as one senior prelate put it, of making money management “boringly successful.” The recent house arrest of a Roman construction magnate is being touted as proof that the new systems adopted under Francis are working.

Angelo Proietti, the owner and manager of an Italian construction company called “Edil Ars,” was placed under house arrest last Thursday on aggravated fraudulent bankruptcy charges, with the police seizing several accounts he held in the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), commonly referred as the “Vatican bank.”

Proietti was detained for allegedly siphoning off 8 million Euro from his building and art renovation contractor company. In addition, he’s accused of looting more of the company’s assets after it merged with another firm called Emiroma Srl.

Both companies declared bankruptcy in 2014.

On Wednesday the Vatican released a statement saying that the Holy See had initiated the investigation back in 2013, “taking action on the basis of Suspicious Transaction Reports relating to Mr. Proietti, seizing all the relevant financial resources.”

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.

Paedophile Catholic priest Peter Grasby dies

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Nino Bucci
Crime reporter for The Age

A paedophile priest who fled to Malaysia on paid leave to seek the company of “younger Asian men” has died.

Father Peter Grasby left Australia in January, despite a travel ban issued by the Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne as a condition of his administrative leave.

The church was not aware Father Grasby had left the country until contacted by Fairfax Media, which reported in February about his case and the concerns it raised about the monitoring of sex offenders within the clergy.

An independent commissioner for the archdiocese ordered Father Grasby to return to Melbourne and moved to cancel his entitlements because he had defied the conditions of his leave.

The 66-year-old died suddenly earlier this month. A spokesman for the archdiocese would not say if Father Grasby had returned to Melbourne before his death.

The spokesman would also not confirm whether any complaints regarding the priest remained outstanding. The archdiocese previously said Father Grasby’s conduct since he was placed on administrative leave would be reviewed.

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.

Paedophile priest who fled to Kuching dies

AUSTRALIA
Free Malaysia Today

MELBOURNE: A paedophile priest who fled to Malaysia on paid leave to seek the company of young Asian men has died, The Age reported.

It said Father Peter Grasby had, in January, posted on his profile that he would move to Kuching and that he happened “to like younger Asian men”.

The priest was suspected of predatory behaviour at parishes across Melbourne over almost 40 years, the report said.

The report, however, did not give details of how, where and when exactly he died.

It said: “It is believed the 66-year-old died suddenly earlier this month, but it could not immediately be confirmed that he had returned to Melbourne before his death. A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed the death but did not immediately have other details available.”

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.

Catholic school priest fired, but no charges filed after alleged abuse

GEORGIA
CBS 46

By Jonathan Andrews, Digital Manager

ATLANTA (CBS46) –
Parents of students at an Atlanta Catholic school are outraged after they say the school’s headmaster failed to notify police of alleged abuse of a young girl.

Witnesses reported “inappropriate touching” of a fourth-grade girl by Father Thomas Aloysius Flynn, to police in April. But according to parents, the school didn’t.

Now, Holy Spirit Preparatory School, an exclusive Catholic prep school to nearly 600 students in northwest Atlanta, is doing damage control, as shocked parents respond to the alleged incident.

Alleged incident caught on cell phone video

Police Capt. Mike Lindstrom said, “We made the initial report to make sure we were documenting what’s been reported to us and then our detectives followed up and interviewed any available witnesses, including the potential victim in the case.”

That victim was watching a school play on April 27 at Holy Spirit Catholic School with alongside Father Flynn, 36.

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.

Ex-priest indicted on charges he sexually assaulted teen

NEW JERSEY
Clay Center Dispatch

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey priest who fled to Ecuador more than a decade ago after a teen boy accused him of sexual assault has been indicted.

Union County prosecutors say a grand jury indicted 52-year-old Manuel Espinoza on sexual assault and criminal sexual contact charges.

The boy told another priest and a nun in 2003 that Espinoza sexually assaulted him in the rectory of St. Mary’s Church in Plainfield.

A church review board later deemed the allegation was credible.

NJ.com says Espinoza previously admitted to sexually assaulting the teen, calling it a mistake and saying the boy enticed him.

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.

Ex-pastor Minnesota gets 33 years for sexually abusing children

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

BAGLEY, Minn. — A former pastor in northwestern Minnesota was sentenced Wednesday to 33 years and 10 months in prison for having sexual contact with children.

The Rev. Scott Morey of Shevlin, Minn., was charged in 2014 with eight first-degree, three second-degree and three fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.

A jury found the 43-year-old guilty April 20 on 13 of the 14 counts, and he was acquitted on one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

At Morey’s sentencing hearing Wednesday afternoon in Clearwater County District Court, the prosecution asked for 44½ years in prison, and the defense countered with 15 years in prison. …

Morey had been a pastor in three Minnesota churches: Calvary Lutheran Church in Winger, Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bejou and Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in McIntosh. He resigned as pastor at the churches on Dec. 12, 2014, according to the Rev. Lawrence Wohlrabe, bishop with the Northwestern Minnesota Synod ELCA in Moorhead.

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.

Attorney Criticizes Senate GOP For Rejecting Law To Help Sex Abuse Victims

NEW YORK
TWC News

By Ryan Whalen
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. — HoganWillig Attorneys at Law represents two people who claim to have been child victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

“Often times, that becomes a life-altering event that affects people for the rest of their lives, such that they need counseling, they need therapy and they need closure,” attorney Steven Cohen said.

Both clients are older than 23, the age when the statute of limitations expires in New York, but rather than turn them away, the firm said it would look at other options to try and get them justice.

“We were instrumental in having the Pope address this issue and the Pope said all the right things but His Holiness did not follow through either,” he said.

Cohen’s faith in the Vatican to make amends was wavering, so he and his firm turned their attention to the New York State legislature. Downstate Senator Brad Hoylman is sponsoring legislation that would eliminate the deadlines for child sexual abuse victims to bring their cases to court and give victims whose statute of limitations had already passed a one-year period to sue.

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.

Richard ‘Tommy’ Campion vows to continue helping other abuse victims seek justice

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Samantha Turnbull

He was brutally abused at the Church of England North Coast Children’s Home for 14 years, fought for justice for a decade, and now Richard ‘Tommy’ Campion finally feels as though his personal battle has ended.

“Probably about now, I’m the happiest I’ve been since I started this battle,” he said.

“The church doesn’t stuff around with me anymore.

“But you never forget these things.”

Despite ending his own quest for justice, Mr Campion is continuing to act as an advisor for other abuse victims.

“Unfortunately some of the other children — now adults — I still think about them and wonder how they are,” he said.

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.

Failure to protect kids from abuse is shameful (editorial)

PENNSYLVANIA
York Daily Record

We should be ashamed of ourselves for failing to protect innocent children from physical and sexual abuse.

In both the Catholic Church priest pedophilia scandal and in the Jerry Sandusky case, people knew about the abuse and failed to act.

In the wake of the Sandusky atrocities, Pennsylvania lawmakers finally bestirred themselves to change the laws. Child abuse was redefined to better protect children. The number of mandated reporters was increased – as was training.

The results were easily predictable: A dramatic increase in child abuse reports. But our leaders failed to provide adequate resources to field those calls and investigate suspected abuse.

A recent YDR story noted that our county Children Youth and Families agency struggles with the caseload and with chronic staffing shortages.

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.

Ottawa archbishop shaken by ‘enormity of evil’ in sex cases

CANADA
Catholic Register

BY DEBORAH GYAPONG, CANADIAN CATHOLIC NEWS
May 25, 2016

OTTAWA – In response to news stories that chronicled several past cases of sexual abuse in the Ottawa archdiocese, archbishop Terrence Prendergast has acknowledged “the enormity of the evil” and pledged greater vigilance in the future.

“This shocking moment can become a moment of purification for us in the Catholic community and serve to remind us to keep vigilant in protecting the vulnerable, especially children,” Prendergast said in a statement. “We will continue to commit to making sure that our protocols for safety and security are being followed and are effective.”

Prendergast was responding to a series of front-page articles published in Ottawa’s two daily newspapers that recounted historical cases of abuse dating back to the 1950s. Using court records and online research, the Postmedia newspapers documented cases involving 11 abuser priests and 41 victims. With one exception, the cases pre-dated Prendergast’s arrival as Ottawa archbishop in 2007.

The articles said the archdiocese has paid nearly $600,000 in settlements to abuse victims in seven lawsuits since 2011. Five more lawsuits remain, with claimants seeking a total of $7.4 million.

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.

EDITORIAL: Legislature fails to get justice for sexual assault victims

NEW YORK
Post-Star

Editorial

Brad M. Hoylman is a New York State senator representing the 27th District in Manhattan. The 50-year-old, who graduated from West Virginia University and Harvard Law School, has been in office for just four years, so he may be naive enough to still think he can make a difference in the sewer system we call a state capital.

Here is how bad things are in Albany.

For some time, Hoylman — who is in the minority as a Democrat in the Senate — has been trying to introduce a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes.

It’s a good bill and long overdue.

We know from scandals within the Catholic Church that prosecuting these types of predators is almost impossible, because the victims rarely come forward until they are adults and the statute of limitations is past.

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.

Filing period ends for claims of abuse against New Ulm Catholic diocese

MINNESOTA
West Central Tribune

NEW ULM — Wednesday was the final day for victims of past sexual abuse by Catholic priests to file civil claims.

As of Tuesday, the Diocese of New Ulm and parishes within the diocese had received claims from 98 victims and survivors under the Minnesota Child Victims Act, which temporarily lifted the civil statute of limitations for historic claims of sexual abuse of a minor.

Of the dioceses’ 75 parishes, 28 are named in claims, according to a news release from the New Ulm diocese office of communications.

“I apologize on behalf of the church to victims and survivors of sexual abuse by priests,” said Bishop John LeVoir, who called on all Catholics to pray for those harmed through abuse by priests or others in ministry.

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.

May 25, 2016

Long Island priest faces two lawsuits and police probe into alleged child sex abuse, but diocese won’t boot him

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

EDGAR SANDOVAL
MICHAEL O’KEEFFE
LARRY MCSHANE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Long Island priest remains on the job despite twin lawsuits accusing him of being a sexual predator of children — and a police probe of his alleged sick behavior.

The Rev. Gregory Yacyshyn’s position as pastor of St. Jude Church in Mastic Beach is safe due to a lack of “credible allegations” in the case, said a Rockville Centre Diocese spokesman.

Yacyshyn, in a brief conversation Wednesday with a Daily News reporter, offered a handshake and a “no comment” in the lobby of the church rectory.

“I can’t say anything because of the pending litigation,” he said, referring questions to his attorney.

Lawyer Elizabeth Kase said the priest is an innocent man and the target of a smear campaign. …

The Long Island diocese also has ties to state Senate Majority leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County), whose GOP colleagues blocked a Monday attempt by Democrats to force a vote on the bill.

Flanagan’s former law firm represents the diocese, although his spokesman said the senator was unaware of the connection.

David Clohessy, national director for the watchdog group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Murphy’s reputation for dragging his feet in such cases was well known.

“He’s awful,” said Clohessy. “He was one of (Bernard) Cardinal Law’s top deputies in Boston” — home to the infamous church sex abuse coverup depicted in the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight.”

The two pending lawsuits charge the diocese is a “public nuisance,” alleging there’s a history of covering up sexual abuse by priests and allowing child molesters to live freely in the community.

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.

Chicago Archdiocese bars Back of the Yards priest from active ministry

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Manya Brachear Pashman
Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Archdiocese has declined to reinstate to active ministry a well-known Back of the Yards priest who has admitted to sexually abusing a minor when he was a teen.

At the request of Archbishop Blase Cupich, the archdiocese’s independent review board evaluated the case of the Rev. Bruce Wellems, who had acknowledged that he abused a 7-year-old boy when he was 15. That review in March uncovered “additional facts that weren’t previously available,” a spokeswoman for the archdiocese said, leading Cupich to bar Wellems from active ministry.

The spokeswoman declined to specify whether those new facts involved new allegations and referred all further questions to Wellems’ religious order, the Claretian Missionaries. In a statement Wednesday, the Rev. Rosendo Urrabazo, provincial superior of the Claretians, said Wellems had been removed from public ministry as a priest. It’s unclear if Wellems could continue to serve in the church in other ways.

“He is in communication with the superiors of his religious congregation about his future,” Urrabazo said.

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.

Bernstein: Is Baylor Really Going To Get Away With This?

TEXAS
CBS Chicago

By Dan Bernstein

(CBS) Remove the school president and replace him with an indistinguishable man in the same suit — one who was as involved or even more involved in the wrongdoing in the first place. Then slide the ousted president to a cozy spot elsewhere to collect the same paycheck.

And the football program continues unchanged, unpunished and undisturbed.

That appears to be the plan for now at Baylor, the Baptist university that enabled multiple sexual assaults of female students by football players over a period of years, a growing story of endemic corruption exposed by “Outside the Lines” that involves active obfuscation by school officials, coaches and even the Waco, Texas police department.

And this is the same school that had to recover from scandal in its basketball program in 2003, when a player was murdered by a former teammate and coaches tried to cover it up and frame the victim posthumously. Lovely place, right?

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.

Zeitung: Pfarrer soll Haus angezündet haben

DEUTSCHLAND
Katholisch

Ein katholischer Geistlicher in Oberbayern soll nach einem Bericht der “Passauer Neuen Presse” (Dienstag) einer Mesnerin nachgestellt und ihre Wohnung angezündet haben. Ein Sprecher der Staatsanwaltschaft Traunstein bestätigte auf Anfrage lediglich, dass es gegen einen Pfarrer ein Ermittlungsverfahren gebe. Zu dessen Inhalten wollte er sich nicht äußern.

Das Erzbistum München und Freising stellte den Pfarrer vom 1. Mai an für zunächst zwei Jahre von seiner Tätigkeit frei. Darüber wurde die betroffene Gemeinde am Wochenende in einem Brief informiert. Darin heißt es, der Pfarrer sei erkrankt. Sein Gesundheitszustand habe sich nun soweit verschlechtert, dass er in den zeitlichen Ruhestand versetzt worden sei. Er solle sich in dieser Zeit “auf seine Gesundheit konzentrieren können”.

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.

STEEPLE-CHASING LAWYER SLAPS CHURCH

NEW YORK
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on lawyer Michael Dowd’s latest slap at the Catholic Church:

In its ongoing series promoting changes in New York’s statute of limitations laws regarding sexual abuse of minors, the New York Daily News today ran a news story and an editorial on the Senate Majority Leader’s past connection to a law firm that represents a Catholic diocese.

The editorial recognizes the complexity of balancing victims’ rights with those of the accused in changing statutes of limitations. It thus calls for vigorous, open debate of various proposals. And it urges the Senate Majority Leader not to let his past law firm ties stop him from facilitating such open debate.

The news story, however, contains this quote from steeple-chasing lawyer Michael Dowd: “There is nothing more fundamental to the diocese than keeping money in their pocket.”

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.

William Campbell-Taylor, Peter Ball and the Silencing of Gay Clergy Abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Virtueonline

By Alan Jacobs
Special to VIRTUEONLINE
www.virtueonline.org
May 25, 2016

In the galling history of homosexual sexual abuse and establishment cover up of that abuse in the Church of England, have been two important cases in recent months, those of Bishop Peter Ball and Rev. William Campbell-Taylor. Both call into question the Christian vocation of the Anglican establishment and its willingness to engage truthfully with the gay abuse issue among its clergy.

The first case represented a staggering catalogue of multiple concerns of sex abuse against boys and vulnerable young men by Bishop Peter Ball which were raised over years but quietly shelved by the Church as the abuse continued. In the second equally shocking case, William Campbell-Taylor, a vicar in Hackney in the Diocese of London and Councilor in the City of London, attempted unsuccessfully to use an obscure legal provision to prosecute his vulnerable male victim for allegedly causing him “distress and alarm” by the embarrassment of the survivor publicly revealing in Parliament that the priest had asked him for oral sex. Astonishingly, instead of engaging these serious concerns, the Diocese of London admits it employed a private scandal management company, Luther Pendragon Limited, to intervene in relation to the survivors’ meeting in the House of Commons.

Both cases illustrate astonishing betrayals by the Church of England establishment of the most vulnerable, where well-connected clergymen were able to call on both the hierarchy, the police and the Church’s aggressive PR firms, not just to dismiss the abuse allegations but even to actively persecute their victims who had blown the whistle. Phil Johnson, one of Ball’s teenage victims blasted the Church of England in the media for its collusion and silencing of complainants (one of whom committed suicide). There has been similar disbelief and outrage across the international abuse survivor community that Campbell-Taylor who, unable to sue his victim for making true allegations of abuse, nevertheless was able to leverage his position as a chaplain with Hackney Police in London to threaten and attempt to convict his victim for speaking out truthfully, due to the public revelations about his asking for fellatio having allegedly caused “distress” to the priest.

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.

‘VatiLeaks’: Investigator says consultant admitted leaking documents

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service | May. 25, 2016

VATICAN CITY A former consultant to a pontifical commission who denied to a Vatican court that she leaked documents about the Vatican’s financial reform had admitted to sending the documents when she was first interrogated, a Vatican policeman said.

Stefano DeSantis, an officer investigating the leaking of the documents, testified May 24 that Francesca Chaouqui told Vatican police officials she sent documents regarding the Vatican Asset Management (VAM) to Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of “Merchants in the Temple.”

“We never assumed that she gave the documents, she admitted to it,” DeSantis told the court.

Chaouqui is on trial along with Msgr. Vallejo Balda, secretary of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, and Nicola Maio, the monsignor’s former assistant, for “several illegal acts” of leaking Vatican documents.

Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of “Avarice” are accused of “soliciting and exercising pressure, especially on [Msgr.] Vallejo Balda,” to obtain the documents.

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.

MN–Victims respond to charges of archdiocesan financial deceit

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

One simple question cuts through the allegations that St. Paul Catholic officials are hiding substantial church assets: If they’ll deceive people about predator priests, why wouldn’t they deceive people about their massive wealth?

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.

Lawyer says Ottawa misled committee overseeing residential schools claims

CANADA
Sudbury.com

OTTAWA — A lawyer is accusing the federal government of withholding important documents from people seeking redress for alleged abuse in Indian residential schools.

He also says the government misled the committee charged with supervising the compensation process.

And that oversight committee, the lawyer argues, is unwilling to do anything about it.

The case is an example of how residential school survivors are dependent on the federal government to provide records that support their demands for justice, leaving them feeling like the decks are stacked against them.

“There seems to be no way to make Canada actually hand over the documents that it itself believes are relevant to the arguments it makes why people can’t claim anything under this process. And there is no one who wants to hold them to account,” said Montreal-based lawyer David Schulze.

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.

Pastor charged for kissing student

JAMAICA
The Star

A pastor is among four male teachers who have been arrested and charged with sexual abuse and child molestation in Clarendon.

THE STAR confirmed that he is a teacher at a traditional high school in the parish and was arrested and charged recently.

Allegations are that the teacher, who conducts mentoring session at the school, was in a session with a female student when he kissed her.

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.

Abuse Victims Say MN Church Is Hiding Assets

MINNESOTA
Courthouse News Service

By LORRAINE BAILEY

(CN) — Attorneys representing more than 400 victims of clergy sexual abuse say the Minnesota Catholic archdiocese’s bankruptcy reorganization plan undervalues its assets by about $1 billion.

In 2013, Minnesota passed the Minnesota Child Victims Act, creating a temporary window in the civil statute of limitations to allow child sex abuse victims to come forward with their claims, even if the abuse happened a long time ago.

That window closed Wednesday. More than 850 child sex abuse claims have been filed in the past three years, including about 500 against Minnesota Catholic clergy, according to a Star Tribune report.

The huge number of claims has led the Minnesota archdiocese to declare bankruptcy.

But victims are concerned that the archdiocese wants to shield its money through reorganization, by transferring money to trusts and corporation that it claims no control over.

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.

2 women who claim Elgin Islamic leader groped them can testify against him

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

George Houde
Chicago Tribune

Two women who say they, too, were groped by an Elgin Islamic leader when they were minors will be allowed to testify at his upcoming trial on charges that he sexually abused two other females, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Mohammed Abdullah Saleem, a prominent imam who founded the Institute of Islamic Education in Elgin, faces charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in two cases, one involving a minor who was a former student and the other involving an adult who worked for him.

Cook County Judge James Karahalios ruled Wednesday that two other women, whose claims date to the 1980s, can testify against Saleem if he goes to trial. That’s uncertain, because plea deal talks could get underway between prosecutors the defense attorneys prior to the trial, which is currently scheduled for Sept. 12.

Saleem is not charged in connection with the two women, but the judge said their claims are similar to those of the other two alleged victims.

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.

Women’s testimony allowed in sexual abuse case against Elgin imam

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Barbara Vitello

Two women who claim a prominent imam sexually molested them during the early 1980s will be allowed to testify if the current case against him goes to trial, Cook County Judge James Karahalios ruled Wednesday.

Saleem, 77, was charged in February 2015 with criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery of another woman, a then-22-year old female office manager at the Institute of Islamic Education, an Elgin school for children in sixth through 12th grades which Saleem founded and led.

That woman claimed Saleem repeatedly hugged her, touched her and massaged her against her will between October 2013 and April 2014.

In December 2015, Cook County prosecutors filed additional charges against Saleem, who they say sexually abused a 14-year-old student at the Elgin school between 2001 and 2003. That accuser came forward in December 2014 after learning Saleem had been charged with abusing the office manager.

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.

No, we didn’t hide money, Minnesota archdiocese says of abuse settlement

MINNESOTA
Catholic News Agency

St. Paul, Minn., May 25, 2016 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says his archdiocese has followed the law in its bankruptcy process, responding to claims by abuse victims that some assets were not made public.

“The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has been fully cooperating with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court since filing in January of 2015,” Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis stated on Tuesday.

“Let me be clear: The Archdiocese has disclosed all of its assets and has followed all the rules set forth by the Court and all directives from the judge,” he continued.

An “unsecured creditors committee” and attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents hundreds of alleged Minnesota abuse victims, filed a motion on Monday claiming the archdiocese actually should have reported $1.7 billion in assets rather than the $49 million it reported in bankruptcy filings, according to the Associated Press.

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 of New Ulm faces 98 sex abuse claims

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

By Leah Buletti lbuletti@mankatofreepress.com

NEW ULM — The Diocese of New Ulm has received 98 claims from victims of sexual abuse in the three years since the passage of a state law that temporarily lifted the civil statute of limitations for such claims.

Of the diocese’s 75 parishes, 28 are named in lawsuits brought under the Minnesota Child Victims Act. The suits involve 15 priests.

In March, the Diocese of New Ulm became the last in the state to release the list of names of 16 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children.

The law has highlighted what Msgr. Douglas L. Grams described Wednesday as a “tragedy in this period of history for the church.”

“We’ve had time to reflect and see it as a family experiencing a tragedy,” Grams said.

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.

Statute Of Limitation Extension For Priest Abuse Claims Ends

MINNESOTA
KEYC

By Shawn Loging, Reporter

NEW ULM, Minn. –
May 25 is the end of Minnesota’s temporary statute of limitation extension for filing civil claims of sexual abuse.?

The Diocese of New Ulm has received 98 claims alleging abuse by priests filed under the Minnesota Child Victims Act.

The claims name 28 of the Diocese’s 75 parishes.

The Diocese is marking May 25 with a day of prayer for healing and reconciliation as they work to resolve the claims.

Diocese of New Ulm Vicar General Monsignor Douglas Gram said, “Closely working collaboratively with Jeff Anderson and Associates that we would make sure that we do have policies and procedures in place and that these claims could fairly resolved.”

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.

Ex-priest indicted in sexual assault of 15-year-old boy

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

A former Union County priest who admitted to NJ Advance Media last year he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy was indicted by a grand jury Wednesday in connection with the attack.

Manuel Gallo Espinoza, 52, fled to his native Ecuador in 2003 after his victim told another priest and a nun that the clergyman raped him in the rectory of a Plainfield church that year.

A criminal investigation at the time quickly went dormant. The investigation was reopened after NJ Advance Media highlighted the victim’s case in a lengthy report in July 2015.

Weeks later, Gallo Espinoza admitted in a telephone interview and in email exchanges with a reporter that he carried out the attack, calling it a “mistake” and blaming his victim for enticing him.

“One thing that I am conscious (of) is he was at that time a teenager, and it is a big mistake for me. But I didn’t force him to do anything he didn’t want,” Gallo Espinoza wrote. “He was older (sic) enough to walk away, but I think that I was attracted to him, that is the only explanation that I can think right now.”

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.

‘Dad hurts me’: therapist says priest’s son said they played ‘The Butt Game’

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com

The child therapist who initiated an investigation of child abuse against a Birmingham Catholic priest testified today in Jefferson County Court that the priest’s son told her that his father made him play what he called “The Butt Game.”

A trial began Monday for David Lawrence Stone, a Catholic priest and former EWTN TV host who was arrested in 2013 and charged with sexual abuse of a minor under 12. The minor he is charged with sexually abusing is his own son, now eight years old. Stone has been embroiled in a custody battle.

Stone, 55, formerly known as Father Francis Mary Stone, was host of the TV program “Life on the Rock” on Eternal Word Television Network.

Leah Waller, a therapist at Wellspring Christian Clinic, said the child was brought to her for counseling because he had anxiety about going to visitation with his father in 2012.

“The anxiety was very high about going to visit Dad,” Waller said. “He said, ‘Dad hurts me.'”

Through game-play using toy dinosaurs representing the boy and his parents and Legos representing the child’s father’s home and his mother’s home, Waller asked the boy to explain what happened when he went to visit his father.

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.

Bill to change statute of limitations on sexual assault

ILLINOIS
Illinois Homepage

By Kelsey Gibbs | kgibbs@wcia.com
Published 05/25 2016

ILLINOIS — Currently, if a child is sexually assaulted, he or she has until the age of 38 to come forward and seek justice. Victims say, sometimes it takes longer than that to speak out. One survivor want to change the law.

“To let my family in the schools know that a gentleman has sexually assaulted me.”

Doug Goff told a story to a roomful of lawmakers he has never openly shared before.

“17- or 18-years old, this happened at Danville High School. This happened during school hours and it happened on the school grounds.”

The year 1988 forever changed the life of a teenaged Doug Goff.

“I was embarrassed. When a male has done that to me, I was just not in the position to come forward. I don’t want to be bullied anymore in high 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.

Lobbying for, against change in Pa. sex crime laws pushing to ‘educate the public’

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Ivey DeJesus | idejesus@pennlive.com

Lobbying to raise awareness for or against efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s child sex crime laws is turning decidedly public: The side against reform is looking for extras for a commercial. The side calling for reform is looking for participants for a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Both sides are keeping their eyes on the Pennsylvania Senate, which is poised to next month take up legislation that would reform the state’s statute of limitations.

On Friday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, along with other supporting groups, will hold an informational event at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood on the “potential risks associated” with House Bill 1947, which garnered the overwhelming majority of the House last month.

The events features a pubic briefing on the issue, a prayer session and the production of a commercial intended, according to a press release out of the archdiocese’s Office for the New Evangelization, to “educate the public on the severity of this issue and the need to act.”

The press release calls out for anyone interested in being an extra in the commercial to participate. “We need your help to film a short group scene representing the Catholic Church alive in the Archdioceses of Philadelphia,” it reads.

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.

State Senate GOP receives 27,000-name petition to end statute of limitations on child sex abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

GLENN BLAIN
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

ALBANY — State Senate Republicans now have more than 27,000 new reasons to stop blocking legislation that would help child sex abuse victims obtain justice.

Advocates on Wednesday presented Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s office with a petition containing 27,276 names of people calling for the elimination of the statute of limitations for cases of child sex abuse.

“New York State needs to do a better job protecting children and not their rapists,” said Andrew Willis, chief executive officer of the The Stop Abuse Campaign, which organized the electronic petition drive.

“We’d like you to have this so that you know the people of New York and wider don’t believe that you should be standing in the way of this bill because children are continuing to be molested and raped,” Willis said as he handed over a large looseleaf binder containing the names to a member of Flanagan’s staff.

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.

Dixon man pleads not guilty to abusing two children

ILLINOIS
SaukValley

BY ANGEL SIERRA asierra@saukvalley.com 815-625-3600, ext. 5695 @_angelsierra

DIXON – A former Catholic school custodian pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a single count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child younger than 13, in one of two such cases in which he is charged.

A grand jury indicted Christopher J. Huisheere, 43, of Dixon, on Friday, bringing to five the total number of sex-related charges in the two cases, both of which involve children younger than 13, investigators said.

One of the children was a girl, court records show. Officials would not reveal the sex of the other child.

Huisheere is in Lee County Jail on $50,000 and $75,000 bond, which means he must post $12,500 to be released.

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 goes on the offensive against statute of limitations legislation

PENNSYLVANIA
Lancaster Online

EARLE CORNELIUS | Staff Writer

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is taking direct aim at statute of limitations legislation now before the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

In April the state House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved House Bill 1947 which would extend the age at which victims of sexual abuse could sue from 30 to 50.

The reform measures would also retroactively raise the age at which victims of past child sexual abuse can bring civil action against their abusers. Under current law, a victim who was sexually abused under the age of 18 has until age 30 to file a lawsuit. The House-approved legislation would raise that age to 50 .

The Philadelphia archdiocese, the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, insurers and other organizations oppose the legislation.

This Friday, the archdiocese is holding an information session at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood to discuss what it calls the “potential risks” associated with House Bill 1947.

The archdiocese also is filming a commercial intended to educate the public about those risks.

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.

Suit: Church didn’t report abuse girl told them about

OREGON
KOIN

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A woman is suing a northwestern Oregon church over claims that its leaders kept quiet about reports from her daughter that she was being sexually abused by her father.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that the $5 million suit filed Monday says the girl confided in several leaders at Church on the Hill, also known as McMinnville Church of the Nazarene, but they failed to report the alleged abuse to authorities as required under state law.

The girl, now 12, allegedly reported the abuse between 2010 and 2012.

The suit claims the girl ended up contracting herpes from her father and seeks $200,000 for medical expenses and counseling costs. The $5 million is being requested for the girl’s pain and suffering.

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.

Two Vatican Bank Board Members Resign

VATICAN CITY
Wall Street Journal

Associated Press
May 25, 2016

VATICAN CITY—Two board members of the scandal-marred Vatican bank have resigned over disagreements about the management and mission of the institution.

Under Pope Francis, the Institute for the Works of Religion has sought to be less a profit-at-all-cost investment vehicle for the church and more a service-oriented foundation that helps religious orders, in particular, and Vatican officials manage their money.

The Vatican said Wednesday that the resignation of Clemens Börsig and Carlo Salvatori “can be seen in light of legitimate reflections and opinions” about the management of such an unusual institution.

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.

Holy See Press Office communiqué regarding the bankruptcy of the Italian company Edil Ars, 25.05.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service – Bollettino

Vatican City, 25 May 2016 – With regard to reports that have appeared in the Italian press in recent days on the bankruptcy of the company “Edil Ars” and the proceedings against the entrepreneur Mr. Angelo Proietti, it is to be noted that:

1) The competent Authorities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State initiated the investigation established by the Vatican legislation in 2013, taking action on the basis of Suspicious Transaction Reports relating to Mr. Proietti, seizing all the relevant financial resources.

2) Since the start of the investigation the competent Authorities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State requested the cooperation and exchanged information with the competent Italian Authorities, as required by the respective legislations and the Memoranda of Understanding in force.

3) A criminal investigation is currently going on in the Vatican City State and the competent Authorities are assessing the existence of potential offences against entities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.

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.

Holy See Press Office communiqué on the IOR, 25.05.2016

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service – Bollettino

Vatican City, 25 May 2016 – The Holy See Press Office today issued a communiqué to announce that with the recent approval and publication of the Annual Report of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione (IOR) having been completed in a positive manner, two members of the Board of Superintendence, Clemens Börsig and Carlo Salvatori, in accordance with current rules, recently presented their resignations to the President of the Cardinals’ Commission of the IOR. The communiqué states that “the decision can be seen in the light of legitimate reflections and opinions concerning the management of an Institute whose nature and purpose are as particular as those of the IOR.”

The two board members made a competent and qualified contribution in this important phase for the stability and integrity of the Institute, and its conformity not only to internal Vatican regulations, but also obligations taken by the Holy See at European level.

The President of the Cardinals’ Commission thanked the two members of the board, and accepted the resignations. A phase now begins, fully respecting the procedures in place, to find and evaluate new candidates suitable to fill the positions on the Board of Superintendence.

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.

Two board members of Vatican bank quit after management dispute

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

Two board members of the Vatican bank have quit following a disagreement over how the institute should be run, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said on Wednesday.

Italian Carlo Salvatori and German Clemens Boersig resigned from the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) in “recent days”, the Vatican said.

“This reflects a divergence of opinion over the management of the institute, but that is normal. It is a particular place,” said Lombardi, without giving further details.

Salvatori and Boersig were not immediately available for comment.

They were two of six lay board members who were appointed in 2014, the year after Pope Francis was elected with a mandate to make the scandal-plagued Vatican administration transparent.

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.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan ripped for delaying talk on child sex abuse

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

MICHAEL O’KEEFFE
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The time may not be right for Timothy Cardinal Dolan to talk about child sex abuse, but advocates say it’s long overdue.

Victim-turned-advocate Kathryn Robb says Dolan is putting a new generation of kids in danger by opposing legislation that would allow adult victims of child sex abuse to seek justice in claims that would likely affect predator priests.

Robb ripped Dolan after the leader of New York’s 2.6 million Catholics told the Daily News on Saturday at rally for farm worker rights that he was ready to discuss efforts to reform the law — but not just yet.

Time, however, is running out to eliminate the statute of limitations on child sex abuse since the state Legislature’s session ends June 16.

“It may not be time for you Cardinal Dolan, but it is time for survivors of sexual abuse and the children of the state of New York,” said Robb, who said she was molested by her eldest brother George Robb while growing up on Long Island. “We as responsible citizens who care about the safety of children and justice are not waiting for his call.”

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.

Final Day For Formerly Abused To Press Charges

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Wednesday is the last day for older adults who were sexually abused when they were children to file suit against their abusers.

The Minnesota Child Victims Act was passed in 2013, temporarily lifting the civil statute of limitations for these old cases

Before this act was passed three years ago, child sex abuse survivors had until age 24 to file suit. This law then allowed them to file civil lawsuits no matter how long ago the abuse happened.

Earlier this month, Jared Scheirel filed suit against Danny Heinrich. Heinrich is a person of interest in the Jacob Wetterling case.

Scheirel said when he was 12-years-old Heinrich kidnapped and sexually assaulted him in Cold Spring, just months before Wetterling disappeared from St. Joseph.

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 Geelong College staff member under investigation after ex-students report alleged sexual assaults

AUSTRALIA
Geelong Advertiser

May 24, 2016

BETHANY TYLER
Geelong Advertiser

A CONVICTED pedophile sacked from a prominent Geelong school after failing to stop massaging male students is the subject of a new local police ­investigation.

Reports have emerged alleg­ing former Geelong College staff member David Whitcroft sexually assaulted a number of boarders in the early 1990s.

Earlier this month, Whitcroft plead guilty to child sex offences at a previous workplace in 1982.

They claimed Whitcroft was accused of groping a male student in a dormitory bed in 1993 and invited boys to his apartment for massages.

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.

Launch of Jury Reasoning in Joint and Separate Trials of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: An Empirical Study

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Sydney, New South Wales
Wednesday 25 May, 2016

The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan AM
Chair of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land upon which we meet today, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and pay my respects to their Elders both past and present.

Early in our work we identified Criminal Justice as a key issue for consideration by the Royal Commission. To assist in the Criminal Justice Project we convened a Criminal Justice Working Group, which has members drawn from academics and practitioners. We have particularly sought their advice with respect to the research we should undertake of relevant criminal justice issues.

Our Criminal Justice Project will draw together our research, relevant material from public hearings, and the views of survivors expressed in private sessions. It includes extensive consultation and policy development. We will publish our report on criminal justice issues, including any recommendations for reform, next year.
Child sexual abuse offences are generally committed in private, with no eyewitnesses. In many cases there will be no medical or scientific evidence capable of confirming the abuse. Unless the perpetrator has retained recorded images of the abuse (and some do), or admits the abuse, it is likely that the only direct evidence will come from the complainant.

Where the only evidence of the abuse is the complainant’s evidence, it can be difficult for the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the alleged offence occurred. There may be evidence that confirms some of the surrounding circumstances, or evidence of first complaint, but the jury is effectively considering the account of one person against the account of another.

We have heard of many cases where a single offender has offended against multiple victims. This is not surprising. Particularly in institutional contexts, a perpetrator may have access to a number of vulnerable children. In these cases there may be evidence available from other complainants or witnesses who allege that the accused also sexually abused them. The question is whether that “other evidence” can be admitted in the trial.

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.

Jury reasoning in joint and separate trials of institutional child sexual abuse: An empirical study

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Download: Jury reasoning in joint trials of institutional child sexual abuse: An empirical study

Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Professor Annie Cossins and Natalie Martschuk

May 2016

ISBN 978-1-925289-62-6
Summary

This report forms part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’s research program in relation to the criminal justice system’s response to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts.

Child sex offenders are not a homogenous group and their offending behaviours vary widely. Offenders may offend against one victim or many victims, and they may engage in one incident of sexual abuse or multiple repeated incidents. The diversity and complexity of offending behaviours has a number of implications for the prosecution of child sex offenders.

The scope of this report

This study investigated the extent to which joint trials with cross-admissible tendency evidence infringed defendants’ rights, and the extent to which joint trials posed a risk of unfair prejudice to the defendant. In particular, we investigated the reasoning processes of juries in a simulated joint trial of sex offences involving three complainants versus a separate trial involving a single complainant.

Our jury deliberation and reasoning study investigated these issues by presenting 10 different versions of a videotaped trial involving the same core evidence to a total of 1,029 jury-eligible mock jurors. The study tested the impact of evidence strength, the number of charges and the presence of specific judicial directions on jury decision-making in joint versus separate trials.

The five key aims of the project were to:

Document juries’ interpretation of cross-admissible evidence in a joint child sexual abuse trial, to determine the extent to which juries engage in impermissible reasoning regarding such evidence

Compare the above decision-making processes with those of juries in a separate trial involving the same defendant

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.

Jury prejudice fear ‘unfounded’

AUSTRALIA
SBS

Source: AAP
25 MAY 2016

Judges in child sex abuse trials could be making wrong assumptions about how prejudiced juries are, a new report has found.

Results from the largest ever study of how juries behave in abuse trials were launched on Wednesday in Sydney.

The findings reveal jurors don’t always engage in prejudicial reasoning in child sex abuse trials where there are multiple complainants, or where there’s evidence of a defendant’s “bad character”.

Current laws are based on judges’ assumptions that special care needs to be taken in child sex abuse cases to ensure a defendant gets a fair trial.

This means joint trials – where an alleged pedophile has to defend against a number of complainants – or evidence of a defendant’s bad character are sometimes not allowed.

At the launch of the study – Jury Reasoning in Joint and Separate Trials of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse: An Empirical Study – abuse royal commission chair Peter McClellan said such judicial assumptions have been largely untested.

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.