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.

April 3, 2017

Church sex abuse training encourages victim to come forward

GUAM
Pacific News Center

Written by Janela Carrera

The Archdiocese of Agana will be holding monthly briefings to update the community on various initiatives the church is taking.

Guam – Since the Archdiocese of Agana’s implementation of the Task Force for the Protection of Minors, some individuals have come forward to report abuse within the catholic community.

Today, Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes and the task force gave an update on the curriculum so far. They’ve made significant progress in implementing a sexual abuse curriculum within the catholic schools and parishes. Several members provided updates to the public on that progress.

So far, all 14 catholic schools have received the training. Now, the focus will be within the different parishes. But since the this task force was created, we asked Byrnes if the archdiocese has received any reports of sexual abuse from any of the students or minors they’re entrusted to protect.

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.

Sexual abuse, death of 12-year-old girl; temple priest held in Kollam

INDIA
Evartha

Kollam: Sexual atrocities towards children doesn’t seem to end in state, as a temple priest has been arrested for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl, who was later found dead at her house in Karunagappally.

The accused priest, identified as Renju, is said to be the paramour of the child’s mother. She is also in police custody.

The postmortem report had revealed that the child was subjected to unnatural sex. The woman had confessed to the police that the child was sexually abused.

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.

April 2, 2017

Child molestation trial starts this week in Brunswick for outspoken pastor with checkered history

GEORGIA
Florida Times-Union

Posted April 2, 2017
By Eileen Kelley

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — Kenneth Adkins sits in jail and ticks off the hours … days … dreaming about reinventing himself.

Perhaps he’ll go to work and advocate for coeds who attend historically black colleges in the Atlanta area, or so he said on Day 216 behind bars. Or perhaps there’ll be a national appetite for an “Apprentice”-type reality TV show where former convicts like himself vie for jobs on the outside, something he floated to the Times-Union sometime around Day 158.

Adkins knows a thing of two about reinventing himself. He went from a drug-addicted con man in the 1980s and ’90s to a fairly prominent public relations man in Jacksonville. Although clean, he’s made many financial mistakes.

Adkins also became a pastor and more recently a bishop.

Along the way he’s earned accolades from Trumpian-types who love his tell-it-like-it-is approach. And he’s earned his fair share of fist shaking from those he has crossed. Then there are those who simply say Adkins crossed the line too far this time, something he now freely admits he did when he championed the anti-gay, anti-transsexual stance during the public debates leading up to Jacksonville’s expansion of the Human Right Ordinance.

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.

Bishop of Ballarat says history should accurately recall historical events

AUSTRALIA
The Standard

Andrew Thomson
2 Apr 2017

THE Catholic Bishop of Ballarat has refuted calls to remove plaques which include the name of disgraced bishop Ronald Mulkearns.

Bishop Paul Bird made the comment prior to a visit to Warrnambool on Sunday.

He said it was important to accurately record historical events where the community had gathered to celebrate with Bishop Mulkearns.

The bishop said other events, including Bishop Mulkearns’ failings, had been recorded elsewhere. Bishop Bird said he thought it was going too far. Bishop Mulkearns, who died last year, was the bishop of the Ballarat Diocese while pedophile members of the clergy abused children.

He was aware of pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale’s offending in 1975 but chose to move him to parishes within the diocese, allowing the notorious offender to keep committing crimes.

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.

Greeley authorities and advocates discuss Colorado’s statute of limitations on rape

COLORADO
Greeley Tribunei

Even though the 19-year-old Greeley woman did everything she could to report the rape correctly, two men police believe sexually assaulted her will never be convicted of that crime under Colorado’s current laws.

Hours after the men left her in a dark alleyway in the 1500 block of 8th Avenue in the early morning hours of July 31, 1984, she was speaking with a Greeley police detective. Not long after that, she underwent a medical exam, and a nurse collected the DNA evidence. In the days that followed, she walked police through the alleys and side streets, where the two men had threatened to kill her if she didn’t submit to them.

She shared details with the detectives many victims say are agonizing and humiliating.

But the investigation stalled.

For over three decades, not much else happened. She had no idea who the men were who raped her that night, and, it seemed, neither did police or prosecutors.

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

Priest defends Tuam nuns, says unmarried mothers sterilized in other countries

IRELAND
IrishCentral

IrishCentral Staff @IrishCentral April 02, 2017

A prominent Catholic priest in Ireland has defended how the church handled the issue of unmarried mothers in institutions like Tuam in Galway, where 800 children have no burial records.

Father Padraig McCarthy was writing in the influential Catholic publication “The Furrow.”

He stated other countries used sterilization which was mandatory in some. He stated women were sent to asylums in many countries for being “feeble minded” and “promiscuous.”

He wrote that several countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, Iceland, Austria, France, Belgium and the Czech Republic, operated mandatory sterilization programs for those judged unfit to have more babies.

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.

Law firms swamped by historical child sexual abuse cases due to royal commisison

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Australian legal firms are experiencing unprecedented demand from people who have suffered alleged child sexual abuse in institutions such as churches, schools and youth groups.

The demand has been spurred on by revelations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and legal reforms which allow survivors to make a claim for damages regardless of when the abuse allegedly occurred.

Shine Lawyers received 61 inquiries about historical child sexual abuse in 2012, prior to the commencement of the royal commission in 2013. Last year the firm received 730 inquiries, an increase of more than 1000 per cent.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn has also experienced a surge in people exploring their legal options, with hundreds of new inquiries.

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 power and determination needed to look towards the future’: Reconciliation Pole installed at UBC

CANADA
The Province

A carved pole installed Saturday at the University of B.C. contains thousands of copper nails that serve as a reminder of Canada’s traumatic colonial past.

Each nail — hammered into the 16.8-metre-tall, 800-year-old red cedar pole by residential-school survivors, affected families and school children — represents an indigenous child who died at a residential school.

Officially know as the Reconciliation Pole, the monument tells the story of the school system, which was founded in the 1800s and not shuttered until 1996.

“My hope for the pole is that it moves people to learn more about the history of residential schools and to understand their responsibility to reconciliation,” said James Hart, Haida master carver and hereditary chief, in a media release.

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.

Totem pole at UBC honours First Nations victimized by residential schools

CANADA
Question

Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — A 17-metre totem pole installed at the University of British Columbia is a permanent reminder of the strength and resilience of the countless children victimized by the residential school system, one survivor said.

Elder Barney Williams used his remarks to a crowd gathered Saturday for the raising of the totem pole to talk about his experience of being raped and abused at a residential school on Meares Island, B.C.

“This is real folks, this is not something we make up because we want sympathy,” he said.

The mistreatment of generations of indigenous people, he said, is a “Canadian problem, not just a First Nations problem.”

The Reconciliation Pole, carved by Haida Nation hereditary chief James Hart, honours the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system.

– See more at: http://www.whistlerquestion.com/totem-pole-at-ubc-honours-first-nations-victimized-by-residential-schools-1.13732658#sthash.4Iko3C2a.dpuf

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.

‘Bishop’ sexually assaulted woman and teenager during private prayer sessions

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

Rachel Roberts

A church minister who sexually assaulted a teenage girl and a woman has been jailed, along with his female secretary who acted as his accomplice.

Benjamin Egbujor and Rose Nwenwu “preyed on their victim’s vulnerabilities, whilst satisfying their own sexual urges under the guise of private prayer,” said Police Constable James Bell, of Scotland Yard’s Offences and Child Abuse Command (SOECA).

The Inner London Crown Court heard the younger victim, who was under the age of 16, was told by Egbujor, a bishop at the Jubilee Christian Centre in Peckham, South London, that she had been “chosen” to attend a special private prayer session.

But after being taken to the 55-year-old’s office, the girl was forced to undress and oil was poured over her.

After she told her family what happened, they reported the incident to London’s Metropolitan Police who discovered during the course of their inquiries that another woman in her 30s had also been sexually assaulted by Egbujor.

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.

Chip Minemyer | Victims have been courageous; time for others to do the same

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By Chip Minemyer
cminemyer@tribdem.com

Penn State’s former leaders have been found guilty of endangering children, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has been forced to adopt new policies and the Pennsylvania Legislature is wrestling over the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.

As we enter April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month, major institutions are in turmoil because of past sins – while the quest for justice for those who suffered at the hands of priests, coaches and other trusted adults remains a struggle.

If only someone in power had showed the courage and compassion years ago to say: “This stops now.”

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, founder of The Second Mile for troubled kids, was convicted in 2012 on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.

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

‘Nigerian’ pastor jailed in London for sexual assault

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Trust (Nigeria)

By Abdullahi Tasiu Abubakar, London | Publish Date: Apr 2 2017

A UK-based pastor, believed to be originally from Nigeria, has been jailed in London for sexually assaulting a girl and a woman during “private prayer sessions”.

Fifty-five-year-old Benjamin Egbujor, of Harold Avenue in Kent, was found guilty of sexual assault and causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

His 43-year-old secretary, Rose Nwenwu, of Thurlestone Road in London, was also found guilty of aiding him and of participating in sexual assault.

The Metropolitan Police said Benjamin and Rose committed the offences at their Jubilee Christian Centre (JCC) in Penarth Street in London.

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.

Clash ahead over sex abuse reforms

PENNSYLVANIA
The Daily Item

By John Finnerty CNHI Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG — With the state House poised to take up legislation to reform the state statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, supporters are preparing a final push to make the bill cover old sex crimes and not just future abuse.

The state Senate unanimously passed a statute of limitations bill last month that would give victims until the age of 50 to file lawsuits against abusers or their employers if there were allegations of cover-ups.

Under current law, victims have until the age of 30 to sue for old sex crimes. The Senate bill also eliminates the statute of limitations entirely for criminal investigations of child sex abuse.

But controversially, the measure provides no retroactive relief. If the statute of limitations has expired on old child sex cases, the law change doesn’t help those victims seek justice.

The House judiciary committee is scheduled to take up the Senate bill on Tuesday. Ahead of that vote, supporters of an effort to get a retroactive window opened for victims of old child sex crimes will rally Monday at the Capitol. The push for rewriting the rules regarding how long victims have to sue for child abuse reignited last spring after revelations that the Catholic Diocese of Johnstown-Altoona had covered up decades of abuse of children by priests. On Monday, a busload of victims and their supporters is expected to travel from Johnstown to join the Capitol rally.

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.

Guam Catholic Church sees a “perfect storm” of controversy

GUAM
The Courier

Posted On Sun. Apr 2nd, 2017

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — The Catholic Church on the Pacific island of Guam has been devastated by allegations that its longtime archbishop sexually abused altar boys. But even before the scandal broke, Guam’s church was divided over another issue – the presence of a controversial European lay movement that became so toxic that a community of nuns fled to the mainland U.S. in despair.

The battle on the tiny tropical U.S. territory pits the Neocatechumenal Way lay group against critics on a majority Catholic island that was colonized by Spanish missionaries in the 17th century. The Way was founded in the 1960s in Madrid and is best known for sending families out on missions to evangelize in places where Catholics are a either a minority or have fallen away from the church.

For years, locals on Guam have complained that the Way represented a new missionary movement trying to introduce an unusual version of Catholicism to their church, which is the most influential institution on the island. The Way’s practices include celebrating Mass on Saturday night in special communities of 30-40 people seated around a table, rather than facing an altar in a church open to all.

Guam’s critics aren’t alone. Bishops in Japan, the Philippines and elsewhere have sought to limit the Way’s activity in their territories, complaining of sectarian and culturally insensitive practices.

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.

April 1, 2017

British campaigner who was ousted from Vatican child abuse commission accuses Catholic church of treating victims with ‘contempt’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Mail on Sunday

By Adam Luck For The Mail On Sunday

A British campaigner who has been ousted from a Vatican child abuse commission has accused the Catholic Church of treating child sex abuse victims with contempt.

Peter Saunders, who was abused by two priests as a child, said he had lost faith in Pope Francis after learning that the only other abuse victim on the commission had resigned because of a lack of progress.

The father of two, who was last year forced to take ‘leave of absence’ from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, believes that he will shortly be officially dismissed from his role after clashing with other members of the inquiry.

Pope Francis formally set up the commission in 2014 amid a rising tide of abuse allegations surrounding the Catholic clergy and mounting evidence of high-level cover-ups by bishops and cardinals.

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.

PECKHAM BISHOP AND STAFF LOCKED UP FOR SEXUAL ASSAULTS ON YOUNG GIRL AND WOMAN FROM CONGREGATION

UNITED KINGDOM
Southwark News

OWEN SHEPPARD (01 April, 2017)

“I fear there may be other victims who have not yet come forward and I urge them or any victim of sexual abuse to tell the police what happened,” Met officer said

A bishop who sexually assaulted a young girl and a woman during “private prayer sessions” at a Christian centre in Peckham, has been jailed.

Benjamin Egbujor, 55, from Kent attacked both victims – who cannot be named for legal reasons – between 2011 and 2013.

Egbujor selected a girl who was aged under sixteen from his congregation, and invited her to a private prayer session, at the church in SE15.

After being taken into his private office, the girl was exploited by being forced to undress, and oil was poured over 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.

The Rev. Jiang denies inappropriate contact with Lincoln County teenage

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier St. Louis Post-Dispatch

TROY, MO. • The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang testified Friday that he never kissed on the mouth, sexually abused nor groomed a teenage girl over an 18-month relationship with her and her family.

But the priest did acknowledge that he sent hundreds of texts and emails expressing his love for them, and, in one instance, left the family a $20,000 check as well as an apology.

The 31-year-old Catholic priest’s testimony Friday in a Lincoln County courtroom was his first public response to abuse allegations that first surfaced five years ago. He is on trial this and next week in a civil suit accusing him of molesting the teen during a June 2012 a visit to her home in Old Monroe and in the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica rectory parking lot after Sunday Mass. At the time, Jiang was an associate pastor there.

Jiang emphatically denied on Friday ever having inappropriate contact with the teenager.

“They were my family,” Jiang said on the stand Friday. “I was very close to the [girl’s] family. I would do anything to help them.”

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EDITORIAL: Final public hearing of child abuse Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

GIVEN the circumstances that led up to the creation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, it was appropriate that Newcastle’s Steve Smith was the final person to give evidence to this groundbreaking and historic investigation.

Mr Smith first spoke publicly in 2013 about the abuse he suffered as an Anglican altar boy and has been a forceful advocate for institutional reform. Speaking to the commission on Friday afternoon, he lamented the lives that had been devastated or lost through what he described as the self-serving attitudes of Australian religious institutions.

Children needed to have the confidence that adults will look after them, Mr Smith said. But as this royal commission has repeatedly shown, that confidence has been all too often misplaced and abused.

In his closing remarks, the chair of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan, said the courage and determination of survivors had helped the public to gain a greater understanding of the impact of sexual abuse of children. He thanked those survivors who were “determined to give evidence”, saying they had “given a voice” to the tens of thousands of children who had been abused over the years in Australian institutions.

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 of England implementing new rules to prevent clergy sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Andy Walton CHRISTIAN TODAY CONTRIBUTING WRITER 31 March 2017

he Church of England has issued a progress report, one year on from the publication of a major report into safeguarding in the Church.

The Elliot Report, issued in 2016, came as a result of investigations into ‘the treatment of ‘Joe’, a victim of clergy sexual abuse. ‘Joe’ reported that he had disclosed information about the abuse he suffered on several occasions but hadn’t received an adequate response.

As a result, a number of measures were put in place, which the Church now says it is implementing fully. These include, ‘Strengthening of the training for handling disclosures with a bespoke module for bishops and senior church staff; an independent audit of safeguarding in all dioceses, due to be completed at the end of the year; further plans to work more closely with survivors to learn from their experience.’

At the time the report was received the Church said the Archbishop of Canterbury would ensure that all recommendations were implemented as soon as possible.

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.

Elliott Review progress report

UNITED KINGDOM
Church of England

31 March 2017

The Church of England’s National Safeguarding Team has today published a progress report, one year on from the Elliott Review, which recommended a range of safeguarding proposals for the Church, particularly in the areas of handling disclosures and accountability.

The independent review, by safeguarding consultant Ian Elliott, was commissioned in 2015, to look at lessons learnt in the case of ‘Joe’, a survivor of clerical sexual abuse. He reported that he had disclosed his abuse over a number of years to different people on separate occasions, both within and outside the Church and that he had not received a response which he felt adequately addressed his needs. The report, which was received by the Bishop of Crediton, Sarah Mullally, as a senior woman in the Church, at the request of the survivor, made a range of recommendations.

The Church has issued an unreserved apology to Joe and on publication of the report last year, said it was fully committed to implementing the recommendations. The responses to these include: Strengthening of the training for handling disclosures with a bespoke module for bishops and senior church staff; an independent audit of safeguarding in all dioceses, due to be completed at the end of the year; further plans to work more closely with survivors to learn from their experience.

The full recommendations and responses can be read in the Progress 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.

Church of England says progress being made in handling abuse cases

UNITED KINGDOM
Premier

Fri 31 Mar 2017
By Premier Journalist

The Church of England has released a progress report one year on from the release of the Elliot Review outlining how the Church is improving its response to allegations of abuse.

The Elliott Review was commissioned in September 2015 to look into alleged sexual abuse committed against a man known as ‘Joe’ during the 1970s.

Joe’s claims were made to a number of different people on separate occasions through the intervening years, both within and outside the Church, but no action was taken.

The review left leaders of the Church of England “embarrassed” and “appalled” by their failings.

The Church issued an unreserved apology to Joe after the Elliot Review report was published last year.

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.

Judge grants retired bishop’s 2nd request in abuse case

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com April 1, 2017

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan granted a second request from retired Saipan Bishop Tomas A. Camacho to have more time to respond to a former altar boy’s lawsuit, alleging the former Guam priest raped and sexually abused him from about 1971 to 1974.

The judge gave Camacho, represented by Attorney William M. Fitzgerald, until April 10 to respond to Melvin Duenas’ lawsuit. The deadline was supposed to be March 31.

Fitzgerald and Duenas’ attorney, Gloria Rudolph of the law firm of Lujan & Wolff, submitted on March 27 a stipulation on the second proposed extension. The judge granted the time extension on March 29.

Duenas, now 55 and living in Yona, filed on Feb. 13 in the U.S. District Court of Guam a lawsuit alleging that Camacho sexually abused and raped him when Camacho was priest at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Inarajan. Duenas also alleged that former island priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused him on church grounds and during Boy Scouts of America activities.

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.

Tulsa Principal Accused Of Viewing Child Porn Out On Bond

OKLAHOMA
News on 6

BY: EMORY BRYAN, NEWS ON 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – A school principal accused of viewing child pornography is out of the Tulsa County jail on bond.

Jeffrey Goss may be out of jail, be he has to wear an ankle monitor and remain home, except to go to court.

The church that employed Goss said his arrest was a complete shock. Pastor Jim Thornton said since Tuesday he’s been busy meeting with families from the school, which is housed inside the Tulsa Hills Church of the Nazarene.

“This came as a complete shock to us – not because we were in denial, but because we took all the precautions we thought were necessary to prevent something like this. There was nothing on our radar to cause any concern,” Thornton 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.

Pastor at Tulsa church embroiled in child porn investigation speaks out

OKLAHOMA
KTUL

by Ethan Hutchins

TULSA, Okla., (KTUL) — A pastor at a Tulsa church where a principal has been arrested for child porn is speaking out about the investigation.

An investigation that rocked two Tulsa communities after a pastor and the principal of a separate church were arrested.

Both churches dealing with the unthinkable this week.

“We have tried the best we can to eliminate all variables beyond human will,” said Pastor Jim Thornton.

Thornton is the pastor at Tulsa Hills Church of the Nazarene.

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Lawsuit: Child, then 6, molested by older student at St. Alphonsus

MISSISSIPPI
Sun Herald

BY ANITA LEE
calee@sunherald.com

The guardian of a former St. Alphonsus Catholic School student is suing the school and the Catholic Diocese, alleging the child was sexually assaulted at age 6 by a 12-year-old student while both were in an after-school program.

The lawsuit says the older boy put his mouth on the younger child’s genitals in a bathroom off the school cafeteria in May 2011. The lawsuit says the 12-year-old also was “French kissing” the 6-year-old during the 30 minutes to two hours they were in the bathroom.

St. Alphonsus and the Catholic Diocese were aware the older boy had a history of aggression toward younger students, the lawsuit says, even requiring him at one point to be psychologically evaluated before continuing his education there. The lawsuit also names principal Pamela Rogers, who the parents claim tried to dissuade them from contacting law enforcement authorities when they reported the alleged abuse to her.

The lawsuit, filed in Jackson County Circuit Court by Ocean Springs attorney Jonathan Franco, represents only the alleged victim’s side of the story. Gulfport attorney Joe Sam Owen, who represents the diocese, said he just received a copy of the lawsuit and needs time to review it before commenting.

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.

Berks lawmaker hopes to restart overhaul of child sexual abuse bill

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

By Liam Migdail-Smith
MUHLENBERG TOWNSHIP, PA

State Rep. Mark Rozzi is planning to re-ignite his push to give child sexual abuse victims more time to confront their abusers in court with a Harrisburg rally Monday.

The Muhlenberg Township Democrat plans to speak on the Capitol steps with abuse victims and their advocates to urge lawmakers to enact his proposal to overhaul the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases.

Rozzi, who has made the proposal his signature effort since taking office in 2013, was himself raped as a teen by a Catholic priest.

The rally comes a day before the House Judiciary Committee plans to consider an overhaul of sex abuse laws that cleared the Senate earlier this year.

The Senate’s proposal would extend time limits for victims to sue or press criminal charges but is missing the element Rozzi and many other victims have demanded: A chance for victims for whom those limits have already expired to file lawsuits.

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.

Judge recusals of clergy sex abuse cases mount

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com April 1, 2017

Superior Court of Guam judges continue to recuse themselves from hearing Catholic clergy sex abuse cases, now that the local court is seeing a second wave of filings.

As of March 30, local judges have filed 89 disqualification memos to avoid doubts about their partiality.

The first wave of former altar boys filed their lawsuits in the Superior Court of Guam as early as Nov. 1, 2016, but started moving their cases to the U.S. District Court of Guam in January.

Local court judges said they have familial or business ties to either the plaintiffs or the defendants, court documents show.

But since March 9, the local court started seeing new cases.

Clynt Ridgell, director of Policy Planning and Community Relations at the Judiciary of Guam, said in a case in which all Superior Court judges have been disqualified, the presiding judge will send a request to the chief justice to assign a judge pro-tempore.

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.