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.

July 28, 2017

Pedophile priest Paul Shanley released from prison

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. —
A notorious figure in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal was released from prison Friday after completing a 12-year sentence for raping a boy in the 1980s.

Paul Shanley was released shortly after 7 a.m. from the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater.

Shanley will be living in an apartment on Pulaski Street in Ware, according to state officials.

Shanley was a “street priest” who ministered to alienated youth in the 1960s and ’70s. Decades later, dozens of men came forward and said Shanley had molested or raped them. He was defrocked by the Vatican and convicted of raping a boy at a Newton parish.

But lawyers for priest sex abuse victims say he abused dozens of
children and remains a risk.

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.

BRAZIL CHURCH REJECTS ABUSE CLAIMS DETAILED IN AP STORIES

BRAZIL
Associated Press

BY PETER PRENGAMAN
ASSOCIATED PRESS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — One of Word of Faith Fellowship’s two churches in Brazil has rejected claims made by former members that they were subjected to physical and verbal abuse at the hands of ministers and that young congregants were sent to the mother church in North Carolina and forced to work without pay.

The allegations were detailed in investigative stories published by The Associated Press this week.

In a statement released late Wednesday, pastors of the Ministerio Evangelico Comunidade Rhema church in Franco da Rocha, Brazil, called the former members’ accusations “many lies and distorted facts.”

The statement, published in the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, said the church had maintained a strong relationship with pastors at the Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina, for 30 years. “They are good people, they live God’s love and in trying to help people they have been slandered,” it read.

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 priest convicted of raping boy released from prison

MASSACHUSETTS
Fox 25

Updated: Jul 28, 2017

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – Former priest Paul Shanley, who was convicted of raping a boy in 1980s has been released from prison after completing his 12-year sentence, the Department of Correction said Friday.

The release comes as protesters vowed to demonstrate outside the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater on Friday.

Shanley was a “street priest” who ministered to alienated youth in the 1960s and ’70s. Decades later, dozens of men came forward and said Shanley had molested or raped them. He was defrocked by the Vatican and convicted of raping a boy at a Newton parish.

Sexual abuse victims say they’re concerned the 86-year-old Shanley will not have enough supervision after he’s released.

He’ll be monitored by probation officials, but isn’t required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

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.

A predator walks while his protectors never had to stand

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Kevin Cullen GLOBE COLUMNIST JULY 26, 2017

It seems achingly unfair that Joe Crowley is dead and Paul Shanley is about to go free.

Shanley, a predator in a Roman collar, is wrapping up a 12-year sentence for raping a Sunday school student in the early 1980s.

Some have the audacity to suggest that Shanley was overpunished, that he got more time in prison than he deserved because he eluded justice for his multitude of other crimes on technical grounds.

The reality is that Paul Shanley ruined countless lives, including Joe Crowley’s, and he was never held accountable or punished for that. Shanley got off easy, if you ask me. The bigger scandal is that so many of his fellow predators, and their supervisors, never saw the inside of a prison cell.

Joe Crowley was 15 years old, a student at Boston College High School on a path to college, when a 40-year-old Shanley raped him, then passed him on to other men like a cigarette.

Like a lot of young, vulnerable teenagers who fell under Shanley’s charismatic street priest spell, Crowley walked right into his clutches. Crowley spent years blaming himself, ruining his health, mental and physical, with booze and cigarettes and whatever else might dull the memories.

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Convicted Former Priest Paul Shanley To Be Released From Prison

MASSACHUSETTS
WBUR

July 27, 2017
Kathleen McNerney
Meghna Chakrabarti

As early as Friday, one of the most notorious figures in the clergy sex abuse scandal could be released from prison.

Paul Shanley has spent the last 12 years in prison for raping a Sunday school student in the early 1980s. He was accused of sexually abusing roughly two dozen others over several decades.

Middlesex prosecutors had taken steps to try to get Shanley civilly committed indefinitely, but two doctors who assessed Shanley said he did not meet the legal criteria as a sexually dangerous person. Family members of Shanley’s alleged victims are upset at Shanley’s impending release.

We speak with two attorneys who disagree about whether Shanley should be back on the streets.

Guest

Eric Tennen, defense attorney specializing in sexual offenses. He tweets @Swomley_Tennen.

Mitchell Garabedian, attorney specializing in sexual abuse cases. He has represented several alleged victims of Paul Shanley. He tweets @migarabedian.

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.

Court hears alleged victim accuse Keighley minister of touching her indecently

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph and Argus

Vivien Mason @VivienM_TandA
Senior Reporter

AN ALLEGED victim of a church minister who is said to have sexually abused seven vulnerable women to “rid them of evil spirits” said she didn’t report the abuse because she thought no one would believe her.

John Wilson, who was attached to churches in Keighley and Shipley, is alleged to have carried out the abuse between 1984 and 2010 during “secret prayers” and in the women’s homes.

An investigation began against Wilson, 70, of Shann Avenue, Keighley, in July 2014 after the husband of one of the women called the police.

A recording of an interview with the woman made in 2014 was shown to the jury at Bradford Crown Court. In it she described how Wilson had touched her during a one-to-one prayer session. She said she would have been around 15 years old at the time.

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.

Dapto Pastor Kevin Harris hits back against criticism

AUSTRALIA
Illawarra Mercury

Lisa Wachsmuth
@LisaWachsmuth

28 Jul 2017

Dapto’s Pastor Kevin Harris claims his views on marital rape and violence against women have been ‘’misrepresented’’.

The leader of the Illawarra Community Baptist Church walked out on a 60 Minutes interview which aired on Sunday, after questions turned to the marital rape of his mother by his father.

Queensland-based Pastor Larry Harris is serving five years in prison for two counts of rape against his wife Joy, who told the current affairs program she was raped ‘’six or seven times’’ a day.

On the program, the Dapto pastor said he did not think his father had been justly treated, claiming there had been ‘’disobedience to the Lord on both parts’’.

However in a statement sent to the Mercury, Pastor Harris said he’d been led to believe the segment would be about a particular sermon, and not his family matters.

‘’It seems that the intent was that I would be caught off guard so that I would look guilty,’’ he said. ‘’… Not knowing what the interviewer was getting at with some of his questions, I stumbled to answer some questions clearly.’’

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.

Efforts Underway to Strengthen Lawsuits Against Sexual Predators

GEORGIA
Daily Report

Katheryn Hayes Tucker, Daily Report
July 27, 2017

Following the dismissal of the deep pockets in lawsuits against institutions accused of allowing sexual abuse of children to continue in secret, lawyers and lawmakers are teaming up to toughen Georgia’s Hidden Predator Act in the next legislative session.

Plaintiffs attorneys are gathering with legislators at the Capitol for a news conference Aug. 2 at 9:30 a.m. to discuss strengthening the current Hidden Predator Act. The law opened a window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits without being shut down by the statute of limitations. Several plaintiffs attorneys filed lawsuits before the July 1 deadline.

But earlier this month, Cobb County Superior Court Judge LaTain Kell dismissed the defendants with the most ability to pay—the Boy Scouts of America and the First Baptist Church of Gainesville, ruling that the law exempted the institutions from liability and leaving only individual scout and church leaders in the case.

“I am holding this press conference in light of the recent developments regarding litigation implicating child sexual abuse cover-ups by various organizations,” said Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, the primary author of the Hidden Predator Act, in a news release. “The details of these cases highlight the need for new and tougher changes to the current Hidden Predator Act. It is necessary that we address many of the injustices uncovered in recent child sexual abuse litigation and the short comings of a shortened statute of limitations.”

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.

Settlement back on the table for majority of church sex abuse cases

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 28, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Settlement is back on the table – at least for a majority of the sex abuse cases lodged against the Archdiocese of Agana and possibly the Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council.

The majority of the cases of clergy sex abuse filed in the District Court of Guam have been put on hold. On Friday, Judge Joaquin Manibusan granted a motion to stay for over 70 civil cases. His decision followed news that parties have secured a mediator, Oregon-based retired federal Judge Michael Hogan.

Archdiocese of Agana legal counsel John Terlaje and plaintiffs’ attorney David Lujan expressed great confidence in their chosen mediator. Terlaje said, “He is very well known. Very well respected. He’s done hundreds of cases involving child abuse and dioceses around America, so because of that, both parties reached out to him to see if he was willing to do the mediation process.”

Lujan added, “He’s a great mediator, so he should be able to resolve.”

Hogan will be on island from October 30 to November 3rd to address the claims, including those filed in the Superior Court of Guam. “Well we’re going to attempt address as much as possible. If more days are needed, more days will be used,” Terlaje added.

According to his website, Hogan retired as a judge to become a full-time mediator. He’s mediated thousands of disputes, including sexual abuse cases.

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’s clergy sex abuse cases up for mediation

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com July 28, 2017

A federal judge on Friday agreed to temporarily halt proceedings in dozens of clergy sex abuse lawsuits so they can instead go through an out-of-court settlement process, scheduled to take place from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan granted attorney David Lujan’s motion for a stay, pending arbitration of the cases.

“We progressed tremendously from the last hearing to today’s hearing,” Lujan told the judge during a hearing Friday morning.

Lujan said some of his clients are now in their 70s, so time is of the essence to resolve the cases.

Lujan and attorney John C. Terlaje, general counsel for the Archdiocese of Agana, told Manibusan that retired U.S. District Court Judge of Oregon Michael Hogan has agreed to serve as mediator, and will be on island for the mediation.

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.

Affidavit: Scar Gave Rabbi Greer Away

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Independent

by CHRISTOPHER PEAK | Jul 27, 2017

A one-to-three-inch scar, and the way he pulled his pants over his shoes, helped seal Rabbi Daniel Greer’s fate with police investigating whether he repeatedly sexually assaulted yeshiva students over a period of years.

That point emerged in an arrest warrant affidavit made public Thursday, one day after the prominent Edgewood rabbi turned himself in to police on charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. Greer, who is 77 years old, is free on a $100,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 11, after his lawyer, prominent criminal defense attorney Willie Dow, returns from vacation. In an interview, Dow denied the charges on Greer’s behalf. Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Stacey Miranda is handling the case for the government.

The arrest warrant affidavit, written by lead police investigator Detective Kristine Cuddy, details the information she gathered from an alleged victim of the rabbi as well as information she relied on to buttress the allegations.

Her investigation stemmed from a complaint police received last August from a former student at the yeshiva Greer started in the Edgewood neighborhood. Though the affidavit doesn’t name the student, a lawyer for the victim, Eliyahu Mirlis, confirmed that he is the one who came forward to police. Mirlis also brought a federal civil lawsuit against Greer that wrapped up in May, when Greer lost a $20 million verdict in federal court. That trial, which was decided on a lower standard of a “preponderance of the evidence,” or who’s case was more likely, included testimony about years-long abuse of at least one other victim at the school. Greer invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to decline responding to the allegations. (The rabbi is seeking a new 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.

Arrest warrant affidavit outlines graphic allegations of sexual assault by New Haven rabbi

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

By Anna Bisaro, New Haven Register
POSTED: 07/27/17

NEW HAVEN >> A former student who accused a prominent rabbi of sexual assault told police that refusing to perform sexual acts with Rabbi Daniel Greer had been punishable by bad grades and threats of expulsion from the Yeshiva in New Haven, according to the newly released arrest warrant in the case.

The alleged victim in this case, Eliyahu Mirlis, told New Haven Police Department detectives in August that he had been forced by Greer, the founder of the Yeshiva in New Haven and the Gan School, to perform various sexual acts while he was a student at the Yeshiva School. The alleged abuse occurred between 2002 and 2005.

Mirlis’s lawyer, Antonio Ponvert III, confirmed Wednesday that Mirlis is the victim in this criminal case, though he is not named in the arrest warrant. The New Haven Register does not usually identify alleged victims of sexual assault, but Mirlis reported through Ponvert that he wanted to come forward with the allegations. Mirlis is now 29.

Greer, 77, turned himself in to police Wednesday after the criminal charges of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury were filed. He appeared in court Thursday for an arraignment and is due back on Aug. 11, according to the clerk’s office.

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New Haven Rabbi awaits court date following sexual assault arrest

CONNECTICUT
Fox 61

JULY 27, 2017, BY BOBBY MARTINEZ

NEW HAVEN – After being found liable in a federal civil lawsuit, stemming from a series of alleged sexual assaults, a New Haven Rabbi is gearing up to answer to criminal charges of sexual assault and risk of injury.

77-year-old Rabbi Daniel Greer, a former Police Commissioner in New Haven, and outspoken opponent of gay marriage, stands accused of sexually assaulting Eli Mirlis, a male student at New Haven’s Yeshiva school, from 2001 to 2005. Greer was then the school’s dean.

“Initially this came in through the reporting person’s attorney,” said Officer David Hartman, the spokesman for New Haven Police Department. “The investigation certainly supported probable cause.”

Mirlis, who claims he was 15 when the years of sexually assaults began, was awarded $15 million a civil suit judgment against Greer in May. He alleges, according to the arrest warrant affidavit, a sexual relationship began during his sophomore year. Mirlis, now 29, told police that whenever he refused to meet with Greer, he was threatened with bad grades and even expulsion.

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.

German abuse report ‘shocking’ and not the end, Church expert says

ROME/GERMANY
Crux

Inés San Martín VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, a leading anti-abuse expert and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, called a report documenting hundreds of cases of physical and sexual abuse at a German boys’ choir “shocking,” and warned that as the taboo lifts in other parts of the world, similar accounts are likely to keep emerging.

ROME – A recent German report documenting hundreds of cases of physical and sexual abuse at a famed boys choir in Regensburg, led for part of the seventy-year span covered in the report by Pope Benedict XVI’s brother, was “shocking,” according to one of the Church’s leading experts on child abuse – and what’s worse, he warns, the story hardly ends there.

“I’m sad to say, but from all I see on other continents, I’m quite sure we are going to encounter more cases like this. I [especially] anticipate it in other parts of the world where this issue has not been talked about, either in the Church or in society at large,” said German Jesuit Father Hans Zollner.

“This topic is starting to surface now in countries like India, where up until five years ago one heard nothing about this. Yet today the topic is openly discussed in the media again and again, both regarding [cases] in the Church and in society at large,” he said.

Zollner runs the Center for Child Protection at Rome’s Jesuit-sponsored Gregorian University, and is also a member of Pope Francis’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

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Pedophile priest Paul Shanley being released from prison

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

BOSTON —
Convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley is scheduled to be released from a Massachusetts prison early Friday morning after spending 12 years in prison.

Shanley is scheduled to be freed from the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater sometime Friday morning.

On Thursday, we got a glimpse of what the former priest looks like after spending 12 years in prison.

The new picture of Shanley was posted on the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board website.

It shows a balding and now bearded Shanley and lists the 86-year-old as a high-risk Level 3 sex offender who’s incarcerated, but that status is about to change.

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On abuse: Francis yet to make critical clerical changes

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Kieran Tapsell | Jul. 28, 2017

COMMENTARY

NCR’s editorial, “On Abuse: church has changed but not enough,” rightly identifies the all-male clerical culture as a critical factor in the sex abuse scandal, but it fails to point to the failure of Pope Francis to change parts of canon law that embody that culture.

Pope Francis may feel restrained by theology from having women priests. But Canons 478 and 1420 require vicars general, episcopal and judicial vicars also to be priests. They therefore can’t be women except with a dispensation given by the men in Rome. This can be changed with the stroke of a pen.

A more serious example of clericalism is canon law’s imposition of the pontifical secret on all allegations and information about child sexual abuse by clerics. The only exception that would allow reporting to the civil authorities was given to the United States in 2002 and to the rest of the world in 2010, and it was limited to where there are applicable civil reporting laws. Very few jurisdictions have comprehensive reporting laws. In the United States, only half the states have clergy as mandatory reporters.

Pope Francis’ attempts to hold bishops accountable have meant very little because his capacity to do so is limited by the Code of Canon Law. The three bishops he forced to resign — Archbishop John Nienstedt and his auxiliary, Bishop Lee Piché, of St. Paul-Minneapolis, and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri — had breached canon law in force in the United States since 2002 that required them to comply with civil reporting laws.

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Shanley release moves gov to review civil commitment standards

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Brian Dowling Friday, July 28, 2017

Lawyers for sexual abuse survivors are heartened by Gov. Charlie Baker’s vocal support for a review of the standards to civilly commit criminal sexual predators ahead of today’s anticipated release of convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley.

Baker said the issue of how a notorious pedophile priest could be released from prison and not found to be a danger to society is on his “to-do list” — and the issue is personal.

“I know people who were horribly affected and were damaged by Paul Shanley, and I think this is an issue we are going to take a good look at,” Baker said. “Paul Shanley did terrible things and terrible damage to many, many people.”

Attorney Carmen Durso, who represented many of Shanley’s abuse victims, called Baker’s support for a review of the standards “good news.”

“I’m happy the governor understands this,” Durso said. “I’m pleased he thinks it’s an important issue and he’s going to deal with it. We will help him any way we can.”

Durso said his review of the standards for civil commitment found the process focused on age and whether violence was a factor in past abuse.

“It had a bunch of questions that weren’t relevant to Paul Shanley,” Durso said. “I’m only a lawyer. But like others, we are lawyers who listened to what the perpetrators did hundreds of times, and you get some sense of what’s going on. Then you look at what a professional looks at to see if someone’s dangerous, and the two don’t match up.”

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Pedophile Priest Shanley Classified As Level 3 Sex Offender Upon Release From Prison

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

[with video]

BOSTON (CBS) – Convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley will be released from prison on Friday. Even though two psychologists said Shanley was not sexually dangerous, the Sex Offender Registry Board is classifying him as the most dangerous, a Level 3 offender.

The 86-year-old’s photo and status as a Level 3 offender will be on the Mass.gov website.

The Level 3 designation by the board means they believe he is dangerous and has a high risk to re-offend. The classification also gives the public access to information as to where he will be living.

Governor Charlie Baker said he would re-examine the release of sexually dangerous persons. “I know people who were horribly affected and damaged by Paul Shanley and I think this is an issue that we’re going to take a hard look at,” Governor Baker 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.

Victims, Advocates, Set to Protest Release of Convicted Sex Offender Paul Shanley

MASSACHUSETTS
NBC Boston

[with video]

By Caitlin Fichtel

Victims and advocates of sexual assault are set to protest the release of a former priest who was convicted of the rape of a child.

Paul Shanley, 86, a former priest who counseled gay and troubled youths, was convicted of raping a boy at a Newton church in the 1980s and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

He is set to be released sometime Friday, despite protests from many, including dozens who have accused Shanley of sexual abuse.

Protesters plan to gather outside the Massachusetts Old Colony Correctional Facility in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, around 9 a.m. until the release of Shanley.

The protest will be led by members of Road to Recovery Inc., a charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, victims and survivors of Shanley’s abuse, as well as advocates, supporters, and concerned citizens.

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.

Victims Advocates Alarmed as Mass. Pedophile Priest Released From Prison: ‘We Fear for the Safety of Children’

MASSACHUSETTS
People

BY STEVE HELLING•@STEVEHELLING

POSTED ON JULY 27, 2017

A disgraced Catholic priest is set for release from prison 12 years after his conviction for child rape, PEOPLE confirms.

Paul Shanley was convicted in 2005 for raping a boy in the early 1980s. His victim, who was 27 years old during the trial, told jurors Shanley would regularly pull him out of Sunday School for what he called “special duties.” The victim said that Shanley had molested him in several rooms of the parish in Newton, Massachusetts.

The high-profile trial turned Shanley into one of the most notorious figures in the clergy sex abuse scandal. He was among the first priests to stand trial after the Boston Globe unearthed allegations against several clergymen, as well as coverups by the Boston Archdiocese.

Shanley, then 74, was convicted of two counts each of child rape and indecent assault and battery. Prosecutors asked for a life sentence, but the judge gave Shanley 12 to 15 years.

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 TO PROTEST RELEASE OF PRIEST WHO RAPED BOY

MASSACHUSETTS
Associated Press

BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (AP) — Protesters are vowing to demonstrate outside the Massachusetts prison where a notorious figure in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal is being released after completing a 12-year sentence for raping a boy in the 1980s.

Paul Shanley is expected to be released from the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater on Friday.

Shanley was a “street priest” who ministered to alienated youth in the 1960s and ’70s. Decades later, dozens of men came forward and said Shanley had molested or raped them. He was defrocked by the Vatican and convicted of raping a boy at a Newton parish.

Sexual abuse victims say they’re concerned the 86-year-old Shanley will not have enough supervision after he’s released. He’ll be monitored by probation officials, but isn’t required to wear an electronic monitoring device.

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.

Syracuse diocese files motion to dismiss claims in child abuse case

NEW YORK
Observer-Dispatch

By GREG MASON / gmason@uticaod.com

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse has requested the dismissal of claims against it as part of a lawsuit accusing a former Utica-area priest of sexually abusing children about three decades ago.

The diocese filed its motion July 10 in Federal District Court in Connecticut in the case involving former priest Felix Colosimo. Colosimo is accused of abusing California resident Matthew Strzepek on multiple occasions from 1987 to 1990 when Strzepek was 12 to 15 years old.

The Syracuse diocese removed Colosimo from priestly ministry in 2014 upon finding Strzepek’s allegations credible. Among other allegations, Strzepek’s lawsuit claims the diocese is liable for Colosimo’s alleged actions and accuses the diocese of failing to respond appropriately.

Strzepek is seeking $25 million in damages each from Colosimo and the diocese. The diocese, however, wants to completely dismiss the allegations against itself.

The court motion is supported with an affidavit from Timothy Elmer, the diocese’s vicar general who served as chancellor from July 2010 to December 2014, according to his affidavit.

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Priest investigated over claims of relationship with teenage girl

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A priest is being investigated over allegations he had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.
Father John Sweeney, 41, has been suspended by the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

He will not carry out any parish duties at Saint Maria Goretti in the city’s Cranhill area until further notice.

Father Sweeney was arrested and charged under a section of the Sexual Offences Scotland Act which alleges he committed a sexual abuse of trust.

He was due to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this week but was released while investigations continue.

It is understood the allegation involves a 17-year-old girl.

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.

July 27, 2017

2 new lawsuits filed against ex-priest and Moncton archbishop

CANADA
CBC News

By Tori Weldon, CBC News Posted: Jul 27, 2017

A man who attended Saint-Henri church in Barachois and another who went to Sainte-Thérèse in Cap Pelé have each filed lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by former priest Yvon Arsenault and seeking damages from him and the archbishop of Moncton.

Arsenault is serving a four-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to nine counts of molestation going back to the 1970s. All the victims were minors. He has one charge of indecent assault before the criminal courts.

The latest allegations, in statements of claim filed in Moncton on June 30, involve a trip to Massachusetts that Arsenault is said to have organized around 1972.

Both men claim the former priest used his position of power and authority to prey upon and sexually abuse them.

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 SHOCK Catholic priest Father John Sweeney axed from Cranhill parish over cop probe into his alleged trysts with teenage girl and sectarian slur

SCOTLAND
Scottish Sun

By Rebecca Gray and Ashlie McAnally
27th July 2017

A CATHOLIC priest has been suspended amid a cop probe into his alleged relationship with a teenage girl, church chiefs have confirmed.

Father John Sweeney, 41, was removed from his parish after he was reported to prosecutors over incidents said to have happened with the 17-year-old during the last year.

The clergyman, who leads services at Saint Maria Goretti in Glasgow, is also accused of making a sectarian slur. A source said last night: “The allegations have rocked the congregation.”

Sources said the investigation centres on allegations of “inappropriate conduct whilst in a position of trust”.

As inquiries continued, one insider said his parishioners were stunned by the police investigation.

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.

Retired priest charged with indecent liberties against 15-year-old Fairfax girl

VIRGINIA
WTOP

By Jack Moore
July 27, 2017

WASHINGTON — A retired priest accused of inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl in 2003 has been arrested in Fairfax County and charged with taking indecent liberties with a child.

Fairfax County police said Thursday Gervase Cain, who was then 72, inappropriately touched the girl “sometime in 2003” during a consultation at her home in Fairfax.

Cain, now 86 and living in Pennsylvania, was charged with taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial or supervisory relationship.

Police said a complaint was first filed in 2004 and later withdrawn. The case was reopened in May 2017. Police said they consulted with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney before a warrant was issued on July 17.

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86-year-old retired priest arrested for ‘indecent liberties’ with 15-year-old girl in 2003

VIRGINIA
WJLA

FAIRFAX, Va. (ABC7) —
In a case that goes back 14 years, a retired priest turned himself in and was arrested for inappropriately touching a 15-year-old girl.

Gervase Cain, now 86, touched the girl while he was consulting at her home in Fairfax in 2003, according to a statement released by Fairfax County Police.

The case was first reported in 2004, but it was withdrawn. In May, the case was reopened and a warrant was issued for Cain’s arrest on July 17.

After becoming aware of the warrant, Cain turned himself in Wednesday at a police station.
From Fairfax County Police:

We would like to hear from anyone who may have additional information on this case, or may be a victim. You can call Detective J. Linebaugh at 703-246-7800, or the Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.

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Retired priest charged with taking indecent liberties with a child in 2003

VIRGINIA
Washington Post

By Rachel Siegel July 27

A retired priest was arrested in Fairfax County on Wednesday and accused of inappropriately touching a teenage girl nearly 15 years ago.

Gervase Cain, now 86, is alleged to have had the contact with the 15-year-old girl during a consultation at her home in Fairfax in 2003, police said Thursday.

The case was initially reported in 2004, though the complaint was later withdrawn, police said. They said the complaint was reopened in May and a warrant was issued July 17. Cain, who resides in Loretto, Pa., turned himself in Wednesday after learning of the warrant, police said.

Cain was charged with taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial or supervisory relationship.

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UN calls on Government to explain lack of progress on Magdalene Laundries & mother-and-baby homes

IRELAND
Breaking News

The UN has today called on the government to explain what further investigations it intends to carry out into the Magdalene Laundries, industrial schools and mother-and-baby homes.

A delegation has appeared before the UN Committee Against Torture to face questions on the progress it has made since 2011.

Minister of State David Stanton led a 20-strong Irish delegation to the UN Committee Against torture this morning.

The committee had several questions on human rights issues, including why there has been a lack of progress on investigations in the wake of the Ryan Report on abuse in industrial schools.

“Only 15 cases were brought forward, even for the criminal investigation, and the only one resulted in prosecution,” said Committee vice chair Felice Gaer.

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State ‘walking back’ from apology to Magdalene survivors, says UN

IRELAND
Irish Times

Marie O’Hallroan

The United Nations has sharply criticised the State’s approach to alleged abuse in Magdalene laundries and its claims that there was no basis to believe serious harm was done to women and girls in them.

The UN committee against torture in Geneva said it had received a “great deal of evidence that there has indeed been abuse”.

Rapporteur Felice Gaer referred to the McAleese report on the laundries and asked: “How can the McAleese report establish that there was no systematic abuse when the terms of reference did not extend to allegations of abuse?” or an investigation of such allegations.

She also asked if the State could claim there was no serious harm “when it made no public call for evidence”.

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Mediation to begin in church sex abuse cases

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon |The Guam Daily Post

Attorneys representing 75 childhood sex abuse victims and the Catholic Church in Guam believe alternative dispute resolution will resolve a majority of the cases filed against the Archdiocese of Agana, and possibly cases filed against the Boy Scouts of America.

Retired federal Judge Michael Hogan, of Oregon, has agreed to serve as alternative dispute resolution mediator in the cases and the Archdiocese of Agana has retained Seattle, Washington-based attorney Michael Patterson as defense counsel for all pending litigation filed against the Catholic Church in Guam.

Patterson has represented dioceses and archdioceses across the country for more than 30 years and has been instrumental in resolving more than 2,000 childhood sexual abuse cases across the nation, according to the website of his law firm, Patterson Buchanan Fobes & Leitch.

The civil litigator will work with the Archdiocese of Agana’s legal counsel, attorney John Terlaje, and Hope and Healing Guam.

“These are very difficult cases for all involved … however, I am very confident that, in cooperation with Hope and Healing Guam, the archdiocese will work successfully with plaintiff’s counsel to find a fair and reasonable resolution to these claims,” Patterson told The Guam Daily Post.

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Appeal now underway in Nunavut for convicted child molester

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

July 27, 2017

STEVE DUCHARME

Newly assigned lawyers representing the convicted sex offender Eric Dejaeger, a former Oblate priest who lived in Baker Lake and Igloolik in the 1970s and 1980s, have begun the process of appealing some of his convictions, following a judge’s decision to direct legal aid to the former priest.

One of Dejaeger’s lawyers, Scott Cowan, told Justice Susan Cooper at Nunavut’s Court of Justice on July 26 that his office received the files from his client’s lengthy trial, which ended after almost a year in September 2014.

“This file has priority,” Cowan told Cooper.

Cooper set the next appearance on the matter to Nov. 15, when lawyers will update the court on their preparations.

Dejaeger is currently serving the remainder of his 11-year prison sentence at the medium-security Warkworth Institution in Ontario, and did not appear during the afternoon court proceeding.

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Papst Franziskus’ erste große Krise

ROM
Mittelbayerische

[ROME. The cardinal had to make his way through a crowd of reporters. On Wednesday the court action against George Pell, the head of the Vatican Secretariat for Economic Affairs, had begun in Melbourne. The former archbishop of Sydney is the highest Catholic clergyman ever accused sexual abuse of minors. It is about several – so far not announced accusations – from the 70s and 80s. The 76-year-old, who was exempted by Pope Francis from the management of the economic secretariat, now also asserted his innocence in court. The process is to be continued in October. However, Pope Francis must be accused of having a failure in the field of sexual abuse as well as the reforms in the Vatican, two of the most important topics of his agenda. Pell, who represents the papal failure in both thematic complexes, is by no means the only sting in the flesh of the pope.]

von Julius Müller-Meiningen, MZ

ROM.Der Kardinal musste sich seinen Weg durch einen Pulk von Schaulustigen und Reportern bahnen. Am Mittwoch hatte in Melbourne der Prozess gegen George Pell, bislang Chef des vatikanischen Sekretariats für Wirtschaft, begonnen. Der ehemalige Erzbischof von Sydney ist der ranghöchste katholische Geistliche, der jemals wegen Vorwürfen des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Minderjährigen angeklagt worden ist. Es geht um mehrere, bislang nicht bekannt gegebene Vorwürfe aus den 70er und 80er Jahren. Der 76-Jährige, der von Papst Franziskus von der Leitung des Wirtschaftssekretariats freigestellt wurde, beteuerte nun auch vor Gericht seine Unschuld. Der Prozess soll im Oktober fortgesetzt werden. Doch schon jetzt kann man festhalten: Der Prozessbeginn markiert einen negativen Höhepunkt im Pontifikat Jorge Bergoglios.

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Funeral of Jean McConville’s son Billy takes place in west Belfast

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

The findings of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry must be implemented immediately, a priest has urged at the funeral of Billy McConville in west Belfast on Wednesday.

Fr Patrick McCafferty told mourners at Mr McConville’s funeral Mass in St Paul’s Church on the Falls Road that all of society had an obligation to make reparation to those who were abused in church and state institutions.

Mr McConville (50), the son of Disappeared victim Jean McConville, died from cancer last Sunday in the Northern Ireland hospice. The funeral Mass for his mother was held in the same church in 2003.

As a six year-old he was taken into care along with his nine brothers and sisters after the IRA abducted, murdered and secretly buried Jean McConville in 1972. Her remains were discovered on a beach in Co Louth in 2003.

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MEDIA RELEASE – JULY 27, 2017

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

DANGEROUS SERIAL SEXUAL ABUSER OF MALE AND FEMALE CHILDREN, TEENAGERS, THE DISABLED, AND VULNERABLE ADULTS,
PAUL R. SHANLEY,

DEFROCKED PRIEST OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON, TO BE RELEASED FROM PRISON ON FRIDAY, JULY 28, 2017

VICTIMS, ADVOCATES, AND CONCERNED CITIZENS TO PROTEST THE DECISION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO ALLOW PAUL SHANLEY TO BE FREE WHILE HIS VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES CONTINUE TO SUFFER IRREPARABLE HARM

What
A demonstration to protest the release from a Massachusetts correctional facility of former Archdiocese of Boston priest and serial sexual abuser of children, teenagers, the disabled, and vulnerable adults,
PAUL R. SHANLEY

When
Friday, July 28, 2017 from 9:00 AM until Noon OR until the release of Paul Shanley

Where
On the public sidewalk outside the Massachusetts Old Colony Correctional Facility. Demonstrators will gather at the corner of Administration Road and Titicut Street (for GPS purposes, the address is:
1 Administration Road, Bridgewater, MA 02324)

Who
Members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families; victim/survivors of Paul R. Shanley and their family members; advocates, supporters; and, concerned citizens

Why
Paul R. Shanley, former Archdiocese of Boston parish and “street” priest, who sexually abused dozens of children, teenagers, and adults during a many-decades reign of terror, has been deemed “fit” for release on Friday, July 28, 2017, from the Massachusetts Old Colony Correctional Facility in Bridgewater, MA after serving 12 years of a 15 year sentence. Paul Shanley, 86 years of age, will be monitored for 10 years by the Massachusetts Probation Department, but he will not be required to wear an ankle bracelet. Since he will not be electronically monitored, it is believed that he will continue to pose a threat to the public. Demonstrators will be present as Paul Shanley is driven away from the Old Colony Correctional Facility and they will remind Paul Shanley that his victims, their families, advocates, and concerned citizens will be especially vigilant in warning the citizenry about the danger posed by him, especially to male and female children, teenagers, the disabled, and vulnerable adults.

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. -862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com

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Timeline: The Criminal Investigation of Cardinal Pell

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

2015

* The Victoria Police have been investigating alleged abuse by Pell since at least 2015. This two-year span was confirmed last month by Pell himself, at the beginning of his June 29 statement declaring his innocence.

A specialized team within the Victoria police called the SANO Task Force has been investigating the complaints against Pell. The police established SANO in 2012 to follow up on criminal complaints of child sexual abuse emerging from the Victorian parliament’s Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and Other Organisations. By the time the Inquiry concluded in November 2013, the national government had launched a broader inquiry, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. SANO has remained active to handle criminal complaints emanating from the Royal Commission’s probe.

* In December 2015, the SANO task force asked the public to contact them with any information about child sex crimes at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne between 1996 and 2001. This was the exact tenure of Pell’s role as archbishop of Melbourne, where the Cathedral was his parish, seat of power and focus of activities.

2016

* In January 2016, Victoria police issued a public appeal in local Ballarat news outlets “for information in relation to allegations of sexual assault at the Eureka Stockade Pool, Ballarat East in the late 1970s. The male victims were aged 8 years old at the time of the alleged incidents.” During the late 1970s, Pell was a priest at St. Alipius parish in Ballarat, serving as diocesan vicar for education.

* On February 19, 2016, one week before Pell was scheduled to give evidence to the Royal Commission from Rome, the Herald Sun broke the news that Victoria Police were investigating multiple complaints that Pell himself had abused minors. The alleged incidents took place when Pell was a priest in Ballarat and archbishop of Melbourne and involved abuse of five to ten boys, now ranging in age from their late 20’s to early 50’s. The Herald Sun cited “legal sources” who described the alleged crimes as involving “both grooming and opportunity.”

Pell responded immediately. A statement from his office called the accusations “without foundation and utterly false.” He accused the Victoria Police of leaking the information in an attempt to embarrass him: “The Cardinal has called for a public inquiry into the leaking of these spurious claims by elements in the Victoria Police in a manner clearly designed to embarrass the Cardinal, in a case study where the historical failures of the Victoria Police have been the subject of substantial evidence.”

* On July 28, 2016, Victoria Police confirmed an ongoing investigation of alleged sexual abuses by Pell. In an email to The New York Times, a police spokesperson said, “Detectives are investigating allegations of historical sexual assaults committed in Ballarat East between 1976 and 1980 and East Melbourne between 1996 and 2001.” The email said the evidence had been referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice, but that “as with any investigation, it remains a decision for Victoria police as to whether charges will be laid.”

The police statement was prompted by a special TV report aired by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Its program 7:30 revealed details about the police investigation. (See the program transcript.) ABC reporter Louise Milligan said she had obtained the information from “eight police statements from complainants, witnesses and family members who are helping the [SANO] taskforce with their investigation.”

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UK helps former child migrants find their families, sorry for abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Frenalyn Wilson on July 27 2017

A UK inquiry has wrapped up public hearings on Wednesday in relation to how child migrants were used in slave labour at Australian farm schools. They were also beaten and abuse.

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has revealed that the UK government provided assistance to the Child Migrants Trust. The $11.5 million funding will provide counselling to former child migrants and will help them find the families they had been separated from.

The trust has called for full financial redress for former child migrants and ongoing funding for family reunification and counselling. Hunt assured that the government will carefully consider the recommendations of the inquiry.

A report is slated to be published later this year. It is expected to provide recommendations on a redress scheme for former child migrants, following one planned in Australia.

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US, BRAZIL INVESTIGATE SECT ACCUSED OF ABUSE, TRAFFICKING

NORTH CAROLINA
Associated Press

BY HOLBROOK MOHR, MITCH WEISS AND PETER PRENGAMAN
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ten former members of the Word of Faith Fellowship church say they have been contacted by U.S. federal and state authorities investigating allegations of abuse, forced labor and visa fraud after a series of Associated Press stories about the North Carolina-based evangelical sect, which has branches in Brazil and Ghana and affiliations in other countries.

In Brazil, the federal police told AP the justice department has asked for a 2012 inquiry to be reopened into complaints that Word of Faith Fellowship’s two churches in the country were illegally sending minors to the United States. The country’s foreign ministry said it was contacting the U.S. consulates in Brazil and U.S. law enforcement agencies for more information, and added that its embassy in Washington, D.C., was trying to reach Brazilians who came to the U.S. via the church.

In February, the AP published its initial story about Word of Faith Fellowship in which 43 former members said congregants were regularly punched and choked in an effort to “purify” sinners by beating out devils. This week, AP revealed how Word of Faith Fellowship took over two congregations in Brazil and created a pipeline of young laborers who say they were brought to the U.S. and forced to work for little or no pay.

Neither church founder Jane Whaley nor the pastors at the Word of Faith Fellowship branches in the Brazilian cities of Sao Joaquim de Bicas and Franco da Rocha responded to repeated requests for comment.

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Cardinal sins mean a long hot summer for the Pope

ROME
The Commentator

Tim Hedges

The weather has been hot since April, and Italians have been getting away to the seaside whenever possible, at weekends, saints’ days and sometimes pulling a crafty sickie.

But now the holidays proper are approaching, the two, three weeks, often a month spent showing off your beach body and chatting with the friends you always chat to at this time of year, under your reserved umbrella.

Not so, however, in the Vatican. Of course, the Pope has refused to use his summer house, Castelgandolfo in the Alban Hills (now a tourist venue), but there is no shortage of places to go. It’s just that there is a lot to do and, seemingly, not many people to do it. Beach body ready priests and monsignors are having to stay at the office.

Where to start? Australian Cardinal George Pell, who heads up the Vatican’s finances, has returned to Australia to face some historic child abuse allegations. He says he is innocent, and many Vatican observers believe him to be so.

Not that George Pell is a great loss to Francis. The Australian is a conservative, one of a number of cardinals who signed a letter to the Pope saying that there was progressive interference in the Synod on the Family. It was, of course, Francis himself who was interfering.

If Pell is innocent, people will suspect that someone has been stirring up trouble for him, and that someone will almost certainly be of the pope’s progressive faction.

Things are not going too well for Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. Last month police were called to a disturbance in a flat occupied by one of his senior aides, Luigi Capozzi. They found what has been described as a homosexual orgy.

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Police Arrest Rabbi Greer

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Independent

by PAUL BASS & CHRISTOPHER PEAK | Jul 26, 2017

Prominent Edgewood rabbi Daniel Greer turned himself in to police Wednesday for arrest on sexual assault charges.

Police arrested Greer, who is 77 years old, on a warrant charging him with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

Police said the arrest stems from a complaint they received last August from a former student of Greer at the yeshiva he started in the Edgewood neighborhood. Police said the abuse occurred in the “early to middle 2000s.”

Greer in May lost a $20 million verdict in a federal civil lawsuit filed by former yeshiva student Eliyahu Mirlis, which included testimony about years-long abuse of at least one other victim at the school. Greer invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to decline responding to the allegations. The rabbi is seeking a new trial.

Greer showed up at 1 Union Ave. at 11 a.m. along with attorney David Grudberg (who was accompanying him while his lawyer in the criminal case is on vacation) to surrender Wednesday. Bond was set at $100,000. Greer posted bond. As he left the police station, he declined comment when asked by a reporter.

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Rabbi Daniel Greer Arrested on Child Molesting Charges

CONNECTICUT
Frum Follies

Rabbi Daniel Greer was arrested today (7/26/17) in New Haven, CT on charges of sexually assaulting Eliyahu Mirlis, a student in his yeshiva, around 13 years ago. Mirlis recently won a twenty million dollar judgement against Greer in a civil trial.

Bail was set at $100,000 and promptly paid by Greer.

For the full story, see the New Haven Independent Report.

Had the same crime happened in New York State, the alleged crime would not have been prosecutable becuase it was past the state’s very skimpy statute of limitations which force the victim to initiate the police complaint before their 23rd birthday.

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Peter Robinson’s surprise comments on abuse victims get broad welcome

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Irish News

Suzanne McGonagle and John Manley
27 July, 2017

POLITICANS and campaigners have welcomed an extraordinary intervention by former first minister Peter Robinson calling for action for institutional abuses victims.

The ex-DUP leader yesterday said the issue had been “swept under the carpet for too long” and the delay in implementing the recommendations of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) had been “unfair and unnecessarily deferred” by the collapse of the Stormont institutions.

Writing in the Irish News, he called on Secretary of State James Brokenshire to act on the inquiry’s recommendations. He also described how he and the late Martin McGuinness had been “deeply affected” by the victims’ experiences.

Patrick Corrigan for Amnesty International last night said Mr Robinson’s remarks were “timely and welcome”.

“I remember those initial meetings which Peter Robinson referenced in his article when he and Martin McGuinness met abuse victims,” he said.

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Vic priest abuse case cites school culture

AUSTRALIA
9 News

The “disgusting” and “reprehensible” molestation of boys by a Catholic priest more than three decades ago has been linked to a culture of abuse at Victoria’s notorious Rupertswood boarding school.

Frank Peter De Dood has been taken into custody while a Victorian County Court judge considers a jail term for the 64-year old after he pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting five boys.

Dozens of students were abused by a number of priests at Salesian College Rupertswood in Sunbury in the 1970s and 1980s.

A psychiatric assessment of De Dood raised the possibility of a link between his crimes and the culture of both the Salesian order and the school.

“The culture of the school and religious order may likely be linked to his offending,” the doctor said in a report tendered in court.

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Time for action to help Northern Ireland abuse victims

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Editor’s viewpoint
July 27 2017

The inquiry set up to investigate the abuse of children in Northern Ireland’s state and church-run institutions was comprehensive and detailed in its recommendations. No one could deny, even on a cursory reading of the report, that it presented a humane and just response to the suffering that children had suffered at the hands of evil predators.

Yet it is a report which is gathering dust at Stormont. The victims, as former First Minister Peter Robinson said, were again being let down by political stalemate.

His comments came as the funeral of one of the abused, Billy McConville, took place.

He, like a reported 60 other victims, have gone to their graves never getting the recompense that his traumatic experiences demanded and which were recognised by the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry.

Like the victims of the Troubles, the abused children – some of whom were shipped out to Australia where they were violated – are growing old, hoping that they will one day get the full justice they demand and deserve.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses let convicted paedophile interrogate victims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

David Brown, Chief News Correspondent
July 27 2017
The Times

The Jehovah’s Witness policy of allowing convicted paedophiles to interrogate their victims has been condemned by the charities’ regulator.

A report into a congregation in Manchester said that elders misled investigators, concealed evidence and allowed a senior member convicted of abusing two girls, aged five and ten, to cross-examine them.

Similar disciplinary policies at the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, which oversees local groups and distributes literature, are being investigated by the Charity Commission.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have 138,000 congregation members, known as publishers, in the UK. The charity regulator is examining a rule that requires two witnesses to give evidence before a member can be expelled and the running of “judicial committees” which allow abusers to question their victims.

An investigation into the Manchester New Moston Congregation was prompted by a complaint that Jonathan Rose, an “elder” of the group and trustee of its associated charity, had abused a young female member in 2002.

He was later convicted of abusing two girls and it was revealed that he had been cleared in 1995 of similar charges against a third teenager.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses criticised by charity commission over handling of sex abuse case

UNITED KINGDOM
Manchester Evening News

BY CHRIS OSUH
26 JUL 2017

Victims of a convicted paedophile were made to attend a Jehovah’s Witness meeting where they were interrogated by the man who molested them, a Charity Commission investigation has found.

Back in 2014, the M.E.N revealed how three women who complained Jehovah’s Witness elder Jonathan Rose, 43, had molested them as children were forced to relive their experiences in detail as eight other senior congregation members looked on.

The women had wanted Rose barred from the Manchester church, and were told that they would have to take part in the bizarre process if Rose was to be ‘disfellowshipped’.

Following our report, national regulator the Charity Commission launched an inquiry into the church at the centre of the controversy, which is a registered charity.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses criticised over handling of child abuse case

UNITED KINGDOM
Guardian

Alice Ross
Wednesday 26 July 2017

A Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Manchester has been criticised by the Charity Commission over its handling of allegations of child sex abuse by a senior member.

Victims of a convicted paedophile, Jonathan Rose, were forced to confront him face to face and answer questions about their abuse, including from him, at a three-hour meeting, the charity watchdog found. One alleged victim was criticised in correspondence as a troublemaker who was “economical with the truth”.

The charity’s trustees failed to provide “accurate and complete answers” to the investigation, the commission wrote, identifying “misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity”.

The Charity Commission launched an inquiry into the Manchester New Moston congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2014. This followed reports that women who were abused by Rose, an “elder” who was jailed for child sex abuse in 2013, had been forced to confront him after his release from prison as he sought to rejoin the congregation.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses attacked by Charity Commission over paedophilia cover-up

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Camilla Turner, education editor
26 JULY 2017

A Jehovah’s Witness charity has been attacked by the Charity Commission for covering up allegations of paedophilia against one of its former leaders.

In a damning report by the charities watchdog, Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses was criticised for failing to report its members claims of sex abuse to the police.

“The inquiry found that the trustees of the charity did not report the allegation of child sexual abuse to the police or to other authorities,” the report said. “Nor did it report the matter as a serious incident to the Commission.”

It added that the charity “badly let down” victims of child abuse in its handling of allegations against Jonathan Rose, a former trustee who was subsequently convicted of indecent assault against a member of the congregation.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses let sex offender interrogate victims

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Michael Buchanan
Social affairs correspondent, BBC News

Jehovah’s Witnesses have been severely criticised by the Charity Commission for allowing a convicted sex offender to interrogate his victims.

The commission’s report said the women had endured “inappropriate and demeaning questioning”.
And Jonathan Rose had challenged them during a meeting with Church elders, after he was released from prison.

A Jehovah’s Witness statement said “appropriate restrictions” were imposed on anyone guilty of abuse.

Rose was convicted in 2013 of the historical sexual abuse of two girls, aged five and 10, and sentenced to nine months in prison.

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Karriere trotz Missbrauchsskandal

AUSTRALIEN
Deutschlandfunk

Von Sarah Zerback

Hunderte Kinder, missbraucht von hunderten australischen Priestern, die sich gegenseitig gedeckt haben und die geschützt wurden – auch durch George Pell, den ehemaligen Erzbischof von Melbourne und Sydney. So der Vorwurf. Persönliche Schuld weist der Kurienkardinal jedoch vehement zurück. Lediglich eine allgemeine Verantwortung der Kirche habe es gegeben.

“Die Kirche hat es verbockt und Menschen im Stich gelassen, an vielen Orten, gewiss auch in Australien. Ich bin nicht hier, um das zu rechtfertigen, was sich nicht rechtfertigen lässt”, sagt Kardinal Pell bei seiner Befragung im Vatikan – nur wenige Monate, bevor er in seiner Heimat Australien nun selbst vor Gericht steht. Er, der mächtige Mann in Rom, soll sich vor Jahrzehnten an kleinen Jungen vergangen haben. Für den Heiligen Stuhl sind die Anschuldigungen äußerst unangenehm. Hatte Papst Franziskus doch angekündigt, Missbrauchsfälle und andere schwerwiegende Delikte in der katholischen Kirche strenger aufzuklären. Dazu hat er ein neues Gremium geschaffen, das Kirchenrecht weiter verschärft und die Taten öffentlich verurteilt.

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“Wir sind viele”

DEUTSCHLAND
inFranken

[Hedwig Herrath Beckmann (72) was born in the last months of the Second World War. Her life as a child and adolescent was characterized by psychological and sexual abuse, especially in the home of Catholic nuns of the Order of Divine Providence. She wrote about it a book “Hilifi – Gottes Vermaledeite Brut”.]

von SUSANNE WILL

Hedwig Herrath Beckmann (72) wurde in den letzten Monaten des Zweiten Weltkrieges geboren. Ihr Leben als Kind und Jugendliche war geprägt von seelischem und sexuellem Missbrauch, vor allem im Heim durch katholische Nonnen des Ordens der göttlichen Vorsehung. Sie schrieb darüber ein Buch, “Hilifi – Gottes vermaledeite Brut”.

Was ihr dann widerfuhr, ist selten: Ein Bischof bezeichnete das Buch als bleibendes Mahnmal einer gequälten Kindheit. Bischof Felix Glenn aus dem Bistum Münster entschuldigte sich bei ihr. Am Donnerstag, 27. Juli, liest sie um 19.30 Uhr im Salon des Hauses 1 in der Deegenbergklinik in Bad Kissingen aus ihrem Buch.

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“Regensburger Domspatzen” – Nach dem Abschlussbericht

DEUTSCHLAND
MissBit

[“Regensburger Domspatzen” – After the final report.
July 26, 2017
The abuse officer of the DBK, Bishop Ackermann, remains silent today to the final report.
July 25, 2017: “In Trier, for example, Bishop Stephan Ackermann and his predecessor, today’s Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx, had to admit mistakes in dealing with a priest, who repeatedly indicated that he was being attacked , But was never condemned.]

27. Juli 2017
Der Missbrauchsbeauftragte der DBK, Bischof Ackermann, schweigt bis heute zu dem Abschlussbericht.

26. Juli 2017
“In der Verdrängungsschleife
Der Klage der Missbrauchsopfer über die Ignoranz und das Desinteresse des Klerus sowie über die mangelnde Unterstützung aus dem Vatikan möchte ich mich anschließen und aus eigener Erfahrung Folgendes beitragen: Nachdem das Bistum Münster den Bericht über meine Erlebnisse als Messdiener in den Jahren 1949 bis 1951 monatelang ignoriert hatte, wandte ich mich an den Beauftragten der katholischen Kirche, Stephan Ackermann, um diesen zu bitten, seinen Münsteraner Kollegen zur Kenntnisnahme aufzufordern. Von Ackermann habe ich nie eine Antwort erhalten…”
“sueddeutsche.de”

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Changes to allow underage sexual crime victims to get legal advice

MALAYSIA
The Star

BY MARTIN CARVALHO

KUALA LUMPUR: Amendments to the Legal Aid Act 1971 will allow underage victims of sexual crimes and their family members to seek legal advice.

The Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill was tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (pic) for the first reading in Parliament on Thursday.

Azalina said the Bill is expected to be debated and passed by lawmakers during the current Parliament meeting which runs till Aug 10.

Changes to the law include the creation of a new provision with regard to services of a “legal companion” provided to a child victim.

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What happened to other clergy abuse perpetrators?

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Roy Greene and Jeremiah Manion GLOBE STAFF JULY 26, 2017

Defrocked priest Paul R. Shanley is slated to be released from prison as early as this week after serving 12 years in prison for raping a Sunday school student in the early 1980s. Shanley, 86, is one of the most notorious Massachusetts figures in the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal. Here is a look at some of the others, and details of what happened to them.

JOHN GEOGHAN For decades, Geoghan preyed on more than 100 young boys in a half-dozen Boston-area parishes. In February 2002, he was sentenced to nine to 10 years in state prison for fondling a youth at a pool in Waltham. On Aug. 23, 2003, while in protective custody at the maximum security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Geoghan was strangled and stomped to death in his cell by another inmate.

RONALD H. PAQUIN In 2002, Paquin pleaded guilty to three counts of child rape involving a boy from Haverhill from 1989 to 1992, when he was an associate pastor of St. John the Baptist Church there. Paquin, who is 75, was released from prison in 2015 but arrested again in February following his indictment on 29 new counts of sexual misconduct in Maine.

JOSEPH BIRMINGHAM Birmingham, who died in 1989, was accused of being one of the worst abusers in the Archdiocese of Boston. More than 50 men claimed they were abused by Birmingham during the priest’s 29-year tenure with the Archdiocese.

ROBERT M. BURNS In 2005, Burns pleaded guilty to raping and sexually assaulting five boys while working as a priest in Jamaica Plain and Charlestown in the 1980s and 1990s. He was given an eight- to 11-year prison sentence. Burns has been released and as recently as 2015 was living in Boston.

JAMES F. TALBOT
A former Boston College High School priest, teacher, and hockey coach, he faced multiple accusations of abuse. In 2005, when he was 67, Talbot pleaded guilty to molesting two teenage boys during wrestling practice in the late 1970s and was sentenced to five to seven years in jail. He was released in 2011.

Sources: Globe archives; news reports; and BishopAccountability.org.

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An English norm?

CANADA
Northumberland Today

By Grahame Woods, Northumberland Today
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What happened was … the boy told his father, who talked to another father. The two of them talked to the vicar – and the curate left for another parish. It was never talked about again. By anyone.

Which was how it was done in 1940s England – for, in those days, sexual abuse never happened. The priest ‘interfered’ with young boys and was quietly sent somewhere else. And that, shush/shush, was that. Fast forward to 2017 – same country. 560 (reported) young soccer players sexually assaulted and over 250 team managers, so far, have been charged. A welcome change in the wording from ‘abuse’ to assault. And then, in the hallowed halls of the BBC there was …. but, wait. Hasn’t sexual assault and physical abuse, especially of boys by men, something of the norm in England?

Recently, drawn by a review in an American magazine, and having grown up in England, I have just finished reading Alex Renton’s Stiff Upper Lip, subtitled, Secrets and Crimes and the Schooling of a Ruling Class, a book that exposes the truth and perversions of private, all-boys boarding schools in that country. Fee paying, unregulated schools perfectly designed to lure innocent children, some as young as six years of age, into the waiting, welcoming clutches of predatory, sadistic teachers – well, Masters, as they are called over there – facing a life of ‘beating, bullying, fagging, cold baths, vile food and paedophile teachers.’

Renton adds; ‘Just some of the elements of the potion the British elite has applied to its sons and daughters to prepare them for a role in the ruling class.’ It is difficult to imagine any parent sending their six-year-old child off to boarding school for the rest of its schooling life, many of the parents having been through the system themselves, knowing, perpetuating (co-conspirators?) what goes on.

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Rabbi confesses and convicted of sexual offenses against eight women

ISRAEL
YNet News

Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg was convicted of committing sexual offenses against eight women after he confessed to the allegations. Sheinberg admitted as part of a plea bargain stating that the prosecution would seek to sentence him to eight years and nine months in prison.

The prosecution said that at the end of the day the prosecution decided to accept the recommendation of the magistrate and the outline she had proposed, and to conclude the case in a plea bargain, in light of the overall view of the public interest.

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Rabbi from Tzfat convicted of sexual offenses

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

Ido ben Porat, 26/07/17

The Nazareth District Court on Wednesday convicted Ezra Sheinberg, a former head of the Orot ha-Ari yeshiva in Tzfat, of sexual offenses against eight women.

The original indictment against the former yeshiva head included a long list of serious offenses, including rape, sodomy, indecent acts, disruption of proceedings, and fraud.

Sheinberg was arrested after senior rabbis in the city of Tzfat, led by Chief Rabbi of Tzfat Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, dismissed him from the yeshiva he headed, claiming that he had sexually abused women from his community as well as other women.

At first, Sheinberg rejected the charges against him, asserting that they were part of a deliberate plot against him. “The claims are dissipating one by one,” he said in one of the remand hearings. “Complainant after complainant asserts that she said things she was forced to say. Things will become clear later.”

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Safed rabbi convicted of rape for ‘sex therapy’

ISRAEL
Times of Israel

A well-known rabbi and yeshiva head from Safed was convicted on Wednesday of committing sexual crimes against eight women.

Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg confessed and was convicted in Nazareth District Court as part of a plea deal over a series of crimes committed against women who came to him for advice and counseling.

The prosecution demanded that the former head of the Orot HaAri yeshiva receive a nine-year jail sentence after his conviction for crimes, including rape and indecent assault.

A total of 14 women made allegations against Sheinberg to a special investigation team and police suspect that many other victims were afraid to come forward. The victims were all religious women who had come to the rabbi for advice or help on various issues including health.

Sheinberg had been a popular Kabbalist and respected figure in Israel’s national-religious community and author of several books of Torah ideas.

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COURT CONVICTS SAFED RABBI OF SEX OFFENSES

ISRAEL
Jerusalem Post

BY JEREMY SHARON JULY 27, 2017

The rabbi, a renowned yeshiva head from Safed, was originally indicted in July 2015 on 12 charges of sexual offenses including rape, sodomy and indecent assault.

The so-called “rabbi of the North,” Rabbi Ezra Sheinberg, was convicted on Wednesday of sexual offenses against eight women by the Nazareth District Court.

Sheinberg admitted to the crimes in a plea bargain with the prosecution that will see him sentenced to almost nine years in prison.

The rabbi, a renowned yeshiva head from Safed, was originally indicted in July 2015 on 12 charges of sexual offenses including rape, sodomy and indecent assault.

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Survivors decry decision to free pederast priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

Brian Dowling Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sexual abuse survivors and their lawyers protested the clinical findings that led to the release of convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley and warned the 86-year-old defrocked cleric will be a public danger to children and adults when he gets out of jail tomorrow.

Attorney Carmen L. Durso, who represented many of Shanley’s victims, slammed the conclusions of two doctors who said the former priest is no longer considered “sexually dangerous” for the purposes of having him civilly committed after serving 12 years for the rape and indecent assault of a child.

“If Paul Shanley doesn’t qualify as a sexually dangerous person then nobody will qualify,” Durso said. “The standards used here are archaic, erratic. The law has to be changed.”

Durso and attorney Mitchell Garabedian said officials from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office who commissioned the clinical evaluations told them Shanley was found not to be “sexually dangerous” partially because of his advanced age.

“Age is not a factor when it comes to pedophile priests sexually abusing innocent children,” Garabedian said.

Rodney Ford, the father of Gregory Ford, whose abuse case sent Shanley to jail, said the former priest destroyed the lives of his son, his family members and “so many other victims.”

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Stone-faced and silent, Pell faces first court hearing amid a heaving media circus

AUSTRALIA
The New Daily

Lucie Morris-Marr

It wasn’t the way Cardinal George Pell likes to start his morning.

On a normal weekday the 76-year-old is usually found working inside the grand confines of Saint John’s Tower on the western tip of Vatican City.

In the medieval building, the official seat of the office he holds as Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy, there are assistants to bring him coffee or run errands across the ancient Roman cobblestones.

The restored tower is a place he can work in peace.

On Wednesday, however, there was nothing peaceful about the scene that greeted Cardinal Pell at Melbourne Magistrates Court, where he arrived just before 9am for his first hearing on multiple charges of historic sexual abuse.

This reporter had been the first in line at the doors of the court in the darkness at 5am. But very soon the William Street building was under siege, with an unprecedented media army of over 150 local, national and international journalists and TV crews.

We all morphed into one huge, breathless, heaving and agitated pack.

In truth, we were hungry for breakfast as well as the story.

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So what are the charges against Cardinal Pell? Mystery continues despite media storm

AUSTRALIA
Asian Correspondent

By Jo Lane | 27th July 2017

TO SHOUTS, jeers, a media scrum and chaotic scenes outside the Melbourne Magistrates Court, Cardinal George Pell made his first appearance in what is predicted to be a drawn-out case into allegations of historical sex offences.

In scenes reminiscent of other high-profile cases such as the trial by media of Lindy Chamberlain, the Cardinal’s first stoic, silent fronting to the court, that has either satiated or whetted the public and media’s appetite, has also left no one the wiser about what exactly he is charged with.

“Historical sex offences” and “matters that have been under investigation for two years” are some of the phrases that have been thrown around in explanation, but the fact remains that the details of the allegations have not been made publicly available.

On this perplexity, The Guardian columnist David Marr wrote of his coverage of the filing hearing, “My apologies. I can’t tell you what’s going on. A great billowing, lace-edged cloak of secrecy still surrounds the case of the Director of Public Prosecutions v. G Pell.

“Months down the track, we don’t know what the charges are. Even if they fell into my lap, I would not say a word. Why not? Sorry, that’s a secret too.”

And that, Catholic parishioner Michael Curtin said, is forcing the public to make a decision when there isn’t yet enough information.

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Salesian priest Frank De Dood admits child sex crimes

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Shannon Deery, Herald Sun

ANOTHER priest has admitted sex crimes against children at the ­notorious Salesian College in Rupertswood.

Frank De Dood on Thursday admitted abusing five boys, four of them at the Sunbury college while he taught there between 1978 and 1983.

Dozens of young pupils have emerged as victims of relentless abuse at the hands of the Salesian priests, who ran what has been dubbed a “school of horrors”.

At the County Court on Thursday, De Dood, 64, pleaded guilty to six indecent assault charges against the five, aged 11 to 16. He abused one of the boys at the Salesian campus at Chadstone.

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Defrocked Priest Is About to Be Freed Amid Renewed Fury

MASSACHUSETTS
New York Times

By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
JULY 26, 2017

BOSTON — When he was 21 and coming out as gay, John Harris was referred to a charismatic street priest, Paul Shanley, for guidance.

“He raped me, under the pretense of helping me,” Mr. Harris, now 59, recalled Wednesday. Since the episode, in 1979, Mr. Harris said he had had difficulty trusting people, which led to heavy drinking and depression so severe that he was hospitalized.

Mr. Shanley was defrocked by the Vatican in 2004 and convicted in 2005 of raping a boy repeatedly during the 1980s in a suburban parish. Sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison, he became one of the most notorious priests in the sex abuse scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Church.

While the scandal of priests abusing children has faded somewhat from the explosive headlines of the early 2000s, the issue continues to play out here in Boston, the epicenter of the abuse.

Mr. Shanley is now 86. After 12 years of incarceration, he is scheduled to be released on Friday from the Old Colony Correctional Center, a medium-security prison in Bridgewater, Mass. His pending release has distressed his victims and their families, who on Wednesday said they hoped that residents of whatever town Mr. Shanley is released to will monitor him and report his whereabouts.

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July 26, 2017

Prominent Connecticut rabbi charged with sexual assault of a former student

CONNECTICUT
JTA

July 26, 2017

NEW YORK (JTA) — A prominent Connecticut rabbi was charged in the alleged sexual assault of a minor two months after he was ordered to pay a civil judgment of $20 million relating to the same allegations.

Rabbi Daniel Greer, 77, the founding rabbi of the Yeshiva of New Haven, turned himself in to police Wednesday morning and was charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, police told the New Haven Register. Bond was set at $100,000.

Eliyahu Mirlis of New Jersey, now an adult, claims the rabbi raped and sexually molested him hundreds of times when he was a minor and a student at the religious boarding school in the early to mid-2000s. Mirlis has urged media outlets that normally would not identify an abuse victim to use his name.

In May, a federal jury ordered Greer and the Yeshiva of New Haven to pay Mirlis $15 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. The criminal investigation proceeded more slowly than the civil trial.

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New Haven rabbi charged with sexual assault

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

By Register Staff
POSTED: 07/26/17

NEW HAVEN >> A rabbi turned himself in to police Wednesday morning following a police investigation into an alleged sexual assault of a minor.

Rabbi Daniel Greer, 77, of West Park Avenue, New Haven, was charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, police said. Bond was set at $100,000.

New Haven attorney William F. Dow said Wednesday Greer intends to plead not guilty during a court appearance, which Dow said will likely be in the second week of August.

“I proudly represent Rabbi Greer,” Dow said. “Rabbi Greer has a long history of positive contributions to the New Haven community. He intends to plead not guilty. He looks forward to addressing these unfounded charges in court.”

Attorney Antonio Ponvert III confirmed Wednesday the victim in this criminal charge his is client, Eliyahu Mirlis, who was awarded $15 million in his civil lawsuit accusing Greer in May. The New Haven Register generally does not identify people who allege sexual abuse, but Mirlis wanted to come forward. Ponvert represented Mirlis in the civil trail.

Mirlis, now 29, said the abuse has led him to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder as well as distress, humiliation, depression, low self-esteem and an inability to maintain emotional relationships, according to court documents.

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Rabbi at center of abuse scandal charged with sexual assault

CONNECTICUT
Washington Post

By Associated Press July 26

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A rabbi who founded a Connecticut school and is the center of an abuse scandal there has turned himself in to police to face charges of sexually assaulting a minor.

The New Haven Register reports 77-year-old Rabbi Daniel Greer was charged Wednesday with sexual assault and risk of injury. Defense attorney William Dow says Greer intends to plead not guilty.

A federal jury in May awarded $15 million in compensatory damages to a former student who alleges he was repeatedly raped and molested by Greer when he attended the Yeshiva School of New Haven from 2001 to 2005. Greer founded the school.

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Investigation leads to improvements in safeguarding at Jehovah’s Witnesses charity

UNITED KINGDOM
The Charity Commission

From:The Charity Commission
Published:26 July 2017

The charity regulator reports on its investigation into Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

A Charity Commission investigation has led to improvements in safeguarding at a Jehovah’s Witnesses charity, according to a report published today (26 July 2017). The report also makes findings of misconduct and mismanagement against the charity’s trustees.

The Commission concludes that trustees of the Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses did not deal adequately with allegations of child abuse made against one of the trustees in 2012 and 2013. The individual was subsequently convicted of 2 counts of indecent assault.

The report details the findings of the regulator’s statutory inquiry into the charity, which opened in May 2014 to investigate the charity’s handling of safeguarding matters, including the potential risks to the charity and its beneficiaries relating to this individual.

The report also acknowledges that, since the inquiry was opened, the charity has improved its child safeguarding policy and its procedures for handling misconduct allegations.

The regulator’s detailed report highlights that the trustees did not identify one allegation as potential child abuse, dismissing it as ‘a matter between 2 teenagers’. The report also finds the trustees did not:

* fully enforce the restrictions they decided to place on the individual’s activities at the charity
* adequately consider and deal with potential conflicts of loyalty within the trustee body
* keep an adequate written record of the decision-making process used to manage the potential risks posed by the individual to the beneficiaries of the charity

The regulator’s report examines the events surrounding an internal disciplinary procedure, held to determine whether the abuser should be allowed to continue as a member of the congregation. The Commission finds that the victims of abuse were ‘effectively required’ to attend a hearing at which they had to repeat their allegations in the presence of the abuser, and the abuser was permitted to question the alleged victims. The trustees had argued that they were not responsible for the procedure and that the victims took part in the hearing voluntarily.

The Commission accepts that the trustees did not themselves conduct the disciplinary procedure, but concludes that they carry ultimate responsibility and must be held accountable for the impact it had on the victims.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses guilty of serious safeguarding failings

UNITED KINGDOM
Third Sector

26 July 2017 by Andy Ricketts

A Charity Commission report on the Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses says its handling of child abuse allegations was inadequate

The Charity Commission has criticised a Jehovah’s Witnesses charity that allowed a convicted sex offender to question his alleged victims as part of proceedings to decide whether he should continue as part of the congregation.

A report from the regulator on the Manchester New Moston Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, published today, says trustees failed to deal adequately with child abuse allegations against former board member Jonathan Rose.

The report says the commission began looking into the charity after being told that Rose was appearing in court in August 2012 charged with sexual offences that took place in 2002, before he became a trustee of the charity.

The commission asked the charity’s trustees for further information and gave advice and guidance. Rose resigned as a trustee.

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Yorkshire church minister sexually abused seven women ‘to rid them of evil spirits’, court told

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Evening Post

ALEX EVANS

A church minister raped and sexually abused seven vulnerable women to “rid them of evil spirits”, a court heard.

John Wilson, 70, allegedly told one victim: “Queens need to be dethroned, God has made me a king so I am allowed to do this” before raping her.

On another occasion he told a victim that if she had evil spirits in her he would need to “go into the womb to release them”, it was said.

Wilson is accused of carrying out the attacks during one-to-one prayer ‘deliverance’ sessions at church and at the homes of his victims – the youngest aged just 13.

Opening the prosecution at Bradford Crown Court, David McGonigal QC said: “This case involves the sexual abuse of seven women in the name of religion.

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Pennsylvania Baptist church implicated in Australian sexual assault case documented on ’60 Minutes’

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Nora Shelly nshelly@pennlive.com

A Valley Forge church has been implicated in a case of sexual assault in Australia documented on the country’s version of “60 Minutes.”

The episode, which aired earlier this week, featured Joy Harris, whose former husband Larry Harris is serving a five-year prison sentence in Queensland, Australia for two counts of rape against her, according to the show.

Joy Harris moved with her then-husband, Pastor Larry Harris, from the United States to Australia in 1994, to serve as missionaries for the Valley Forge Baptist Church, located in southeastern Pennsylvania. According to the show, the church was referred to as a “cult” by former members and is a part of the breakaway Independent Baptist Movement.

On the “60 Minutes” episode, Harris details the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband. According to Harris, the church uses the Bible to justify teaching women to submit to their husbands.

The church’s senior pastor, Scott Wendell, said on the show the accusations against Kevin Harris were not surprising. Once he was informed of the accusations — Wendell said he brought the couple back to Pennsylvania for marriage counseling.

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UK govt slammed over child migrant abuse

UNITED KINGDOM/AUSTRALIA
9 News

Former ABC managing director David Hill has told a UK inquiry the British government betrayed thousands of child migrants who were sexually abused, beaten and used as slave labour at Australian farm schools.

The 70-year-old told the child sexual abuse inquiry sitting in London that former prime minister John Major’s assertion that child migrants were not the British government’s responsibility once they were sent away was “disturbing”.

At age 12, Mr Hill was sent to the Fairbridge Society farm school at Molong in NSW in 1959 along with other children who had been put into care.

His 2007 book The Forgotten Children details the routine abuse suffered by children there.

In May, the inquiry heard former child migrants tell of the sexual, physical and emotional abuse they suffered at institutions run by Fairbridge, the Christian Brothers and other church and charity groups in Australia up to the 1970s.

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Legal loophole reinstates controversial clergymen

AUSTRALIA
Northern Star

Claudia Jambor | 27th Jul 2017

ANGER has erupted among church abuse victims after a legal loophole within the laws of the Anglican Church has allowed a Bishop and Reverend to be reinstated two years after being deposed.

Former bishop, Rt Rev Keith Slater and Rev Patrick Comben were stripped of their Holy Orders due to their handling of sexual and physical abuse claims by former residents at the North Coast Children’s Home between 1940-1980.

Their attempted defrocking was the result of a church inquiry into evidence of historic child sex abuse at the home at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Rt Rev Keith Slater appealed the decision before an Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia in November last year.

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Diocese sex abuse settlement: Proceedings nearing as deadline looms for filings

MONTANA
Great Falls Tribune

Seaborn Larson, slarson@greatfallstribune.com July 26, 2017

The window is closing for victims and survivors to file claims of abuse committed by church officials who served under the Great Falls-Billings Diocese.

The diocese earlier this year filed for bankruptcy to begin financing a settlement fund for those reported to be abused by priests, brothers and nuns. More than 70 victims have emerged as alleged victims of abuse, claiming they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused by priests. The timeline of reports so far stretches from the 1940s to 1990s.

“To be considered in part of the settlement in this pool of money, the plains would have to be made by July 31,” Molly Howard, an attorney representing about 40 victims in the Great Falls-Billings Diocese case.

Forms for filing abuse claims are available on the Great Falls-Billings Diocese website and will be submitted to bankruptcy court.

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Alleged victims of former Catholic priest criticize his release

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Michael Levenson GLOBE STAFF JULY 26, 2017

When John Harris was 21 and just coming out as gay, a professor at the University of Lowell referred him to a priest named Paul R. Shanley, who had started a retreat for gay people called the Exodus Center in Milton. There, he said, Shanley raped him in February 1979. He was one of scores of the priest’s alleged victims, whose lives were irreparably damaged by sexual abuse at the hands of someone they trusted.

On Wednesday, Harris stood with other alleged victims and denounced the doctors who cleared the 86-year-old defrocked priest for release from prison Friday, finding he was no longer a threat to the public after 12 years behind bars for raping a young boy at a Newton church in the early 1980s.

By turns angry, solemn, and resolved, the victims and their attorneys demanded changes in the standards used to determine whether a prisoner is a “sexually dangerous person” who can be held behind bars even after their sentence is completed. They also said they want the public to be on notice that they believe Shanley remains a dangerous predator, despite the doctors’ opinion.

“This is a guy, Shanley, who has manipulated the system, the church, and the public, and knows how to manipulate people,” Harris, 59, said calmly at a press conference at an attorney’s office in downtown Boston. “I’m concerned he’s going to abuse again.”

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Vic priest faces court on abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A Victorian Catholic priest is set to face court for a plea hearing charged with historical child sexual abuse.

Father Frank De Dood, of the Salesian order, will face a plea hearing in the County Court in Melbourne on Thursday, charged with six child sex abuse related crimes dating back to 1978.

The priest’s first hearing was adjourned after it was revealed Judge Gerard Mullaly, who was to hear the case, had an indirect family link to one of the victims.

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Accused former Aurora priest back in federal custody

ILLINOIS
Chicago Tribune

Dan Campana
Aurora Beacon-News

Kane County prosecutors plan to file an emergency motion seeking a Friday hearing in a last-ditch attempt to keep former Aurora priest Alfredo Pedraza Arias, who is accused of sexual abuse, from being deported.

Arias, 50, had been in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials since May until Kane County Judge Linda Abrahamson, who raised his bail by $100,000 earlier in the month, on July 21 agreed to remand the one-time Aurora priest to the Kane County Jail. Prosecutors sought the move because federal authorities issued a June 14 deportation order for Arias.

Court records show someone posted the additional $10,000 on Monday to allow Arias to be released, however ICE records indicate Arias was taken back into their custody not long after. He is again being held in a Kenosha, Wisconsin, facility, according to immigration officials.

Arias has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving two girls who were under the age of 6 at the time of the alleged incidents, which occurred between 2012 and 2014 while he was at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora.

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Sex abuse victims seek help to track ex-priest’s whereabouts

MASSACHUSETTS
San Antonio Express-News

BOSTON (AP) — Men who say they were raped by a Catholic priest at the center of the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal say they’re worried for children’s safety once he’s released from prison this week.

Paul Shanley is scheduled to be freed Friday after completing a 12-year sentence for the rape of a boy at a suburban Boston church.

Victim advocates, lawyers, and two men who said they were raped by Shanley in the 1970s called on the public Wednesday to help track Shanley’s whereabouts once he gets out and is placed on probation. They urged people to call their local police to report on Shanley.

Shanley’s appellate lawyer says his 86-year-old client has served his time and is not dangerous.

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‘The Keepers’: luta de mulheres corajosas por justiça resulta em série poderosa do Netflix

ESTADO UNIDOS
Cineset

[‘The Keepers’: Courageous Women’s Struggle for Justice Results in Powerful Netflix Series.]

Por Ivanildo Pereira · Publicado em 25 de julho de 2017

The Keepers é uma série sobre mulheres. A nova minissérie documental da Netflix tem como ponto de partida o enigma do que aconteceu com uma delas. Em novembro de 1969, a irmã Cathy Cesnik, residente de Baltimore, Maryland, EUA, saiu do seu apartamento para fazer compras e desapareceu. Quase um mês depois, seu corpo foi encontrado num terreno distante. A investigação policial nunca descobriu quem a matou, ou por que. Ela tinha 26 anos.

O capítulo inicial da minissérie, de sete episódios, estabelece as circunstâncias do crime. A irmã Cesnik também era professora do colégio católico Arcebispo Keough, e pouco antes de desaparecer, ficou ciente dos abusos sexuais de algumas alunas do colégio cometidos por uma dupla de padres. E também, logo de cara, somos apresentados às duas investigadoras e ex-alunas do colégio e da freira, que criaram uma página de Facebook para compartilhar dados sobre o caso e hoje mantém ativa a luta por justiça pela irmã Cesnik.

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Patrick Carlyon: Turmoil shows Cardinal Pell is not just anyone

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Patrick Carlyon, Herald Sun
July 26, 2017

THE word had been that Cardinal George Pell would be afforded no special favours at court on Wednesday.

Yet he wasn’t like everyone else. The journalists camped out in the pre-dawn inkiness, before the tinkle of the first tram, told you as much.

The cardinal arrived at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court a tick before 9am, to be confronted, as all are, by security scanners. But his presence did not set off beeps and whines, as everyone else’s seems to.

By the time he had passed, after a wave of the electronic wand, everyone was looking at the stooped man in the black suit and coat.

Conversations had stopped mid-sentence, though Pell hardly played to the attention. His was a balding head in a wash of hi-vis security.

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Paul Shanley Victims Furious He’ll Be Released From Prison

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

[with video]

BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Several victims of convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley are furious that he’ll be getting out of prison later this week.

Shanley, 86, is one of the most notorious figures in the Boston Archdiocese clergy sex abuse scandal.

He was convicted in 2005 of repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at St. Jean’s parish in Newton in the 1980s, and he was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison.

At a news conference in Boston Wednesday, the parents of Shanley victim Greg Ford called the former priest “pure evil.”

“He brutally raped, sodomized children. He pimped out women and children. He brutalized the handicapped. You can’t tell me Paul Shanley doesn’t fit the criteria for a sexually dangerous person,” said Ford’s father Rodney.

“Every parent has to be vigilant with their kids if they see Paul Shanley in their neighborhood,” Ford continued. “Paul Shanley should never feel comfortable in his skin. Paul Shanley is a threat and I can’t believe that the doctors don’t see that.”

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‘Paul Shanley is a threat,’ alleged abuse victims say before priest’s release

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

WORCESTER, Mass. —
People who say they were assaulted by former priest Paul Shanley spoke out Wednesday about his scheduled release from prison.

Shanley was convicted in 2005 of raping a boy at his former Newton parish in the 1980s. There are about two dozen other allegations against the 86-year-old.

Prosecutors tried to keep him behind bars past his 12-year prison sentence but said doctors determined he wasn’t sexually dangerous.

Paula and Rodney Ford, whose son, Gregory, was allegedly molested by Shanley in the 1990s, said they are upset that Shanley will be released.

“If anyone ever fit the profile of a dangerous sexual predator, it is Paul Shanley,” said Paula Ford.

Rodney Ford choked back tears as he called for accountability.

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MEDIA CAST WIDE NET IN PELL CASE

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on Cardinal George Pell’s day in court and the media’s treatment of it:

In the United States it would be unheard of for someone to be summoned to court to face a judge without knowing what the charges are and who the accusers are. But not in Australia.

Cardinal George Pell was summoned to travel from Rome to Melbourne to appear in court today. He did. The proceedings, which were nothing more than a filing, lasted six minutes. Pell said nothing. Moreover, his lawyer did not enter a plea. That’s because the mystery continues—Pell has not been told what he is being charged with or who his accusers are. All we learned is that he must appear again on October 6.

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‘Paul Shanley Is Evil’: Survivors, Family Members Speak Out Against Priest Being Released

MASSACHUSETTS
NBC Los Angeles

Survivors and family members of those who were sexually abused by convicted pedophile priest Paul Shanley spoke out Wednesday after hearing that he is scheduled to be released from prison on Friday.

“Paul Shanley is evil,” said Rodney Ford, whose son Greg’s case resulted in Shanley’s conviction. “He destroyed my son’s life, my family’s life and so many other victims’ lives.”

Shanley, one of the most notorious figures in Boston’s clergy sex abuse scandal, was sentenced in 2005 to 12 to 15 years in prison for raping a boy repeatedly at St. Jean’s Parish in Newton, Massachusetts, in the 1980s. He was defrocked after dozens of men came forward and said he had molested them when they were children.

Shanley is currently being held at the medium security Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater.

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said that upon release, Shanley is scheduled to begin 10 years of supervised probation. He is not allowed to have contact with children under the age of 16.

Denis O’Connor and John Harris, two adult survivors of Shanley’s abuse, said they are concerned about the safety of other children and adults upon his release.

“He doesn’t think he’s done anything wrong,” victims’ attorney Carmen Durso said.
Notorious Pedophile Priest Shanley to Leave Prison This Week

The clergy sex abuse scandal exploded in Boston in 2002 after a series of stories by The Boston Globe revealed that dozens of priests in the archdiocese had molested and raped children for decades while church supervisors covered it up and shuffled abusive priests from parish to parish. Thousands of victims came forward in Boston and around the world, describing sexual abuse by priests that dated back decades.

Shanley was arrested that year in San Diego, California.

Phil Saviano, a survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a different priest, was the whistleblower who exposed the abuse hidden by the church for decades. He said Shanley was one of the worst.

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Cardinal Pell to plead ‘not guilty’ in abuse case

AUSTRALIA
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal George Pell made a brief appearance at an Australian court on Wednesday in a preliminary hearing regarding the accusation of “historical sexual offences”.

His lawyer said he would plead “not guilty” to the charges leveled against him by police in the state of Victoria.

Escorted by Australian police, Cardinal George Pell made his way through a mass of journalists and protesters to arrive at a filing hearing before the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court.

Once inside, his lawyer Robert Richter told the court Cardinal Pell would plead “not guilty”.

He said, “For the avoidance of doubt and because of the interest, might I indicate that Cardinal Pell pleads not guilty to all charges and will maintain his presumed innocence that he has.”
Cardinal Pell remained silent throughout the six-minute hearing.

At a Vatican press conference in June, Cardinal Pell announced he would be taking a leave of absence from his role as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy for as long as the trial would require.

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Nach vier Monaten in U-Haft: Pädophiler Aargauer Pfarrer kommt frei

SCHWEIZ
Aargauer Zeitung

[Since the end of March, a Reformed Aargauer pastor has been under investigation for suspected sexual abuse of children. Recent research by the daily newspaper «Blick» now shows that the accused is to be released from custody.]

Seit Ende März sitzt ein reformierter Aargauer Pfarrer wegen des Verdachts auf sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern in Untersuchungshaft. Aktuelle Recherchen der Tageszeitung «Blick» zeigen nun: Der Beschuldigte soll aus der Haft entlassen werden.

Der Fall sorgte im Kanton und darüber hinaus für Entsetzen: Ein reformierter Pfarrer ist im Kanton Aargau wegen des Verdachts auf sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern verhaftet worden. Der 68-jährige Beschuldigte sitzt seit Ende März in Untersuchungshaft und legte ein Teilgeständnis ab.

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Abus sexuels: un commissaire apostolique nommé pour les ‘instituts Provolo’

ARGENTINE
cath.ch

[Bishop Alberto Bochatey, auxiliary bishop of La Plata (Argentina), was appointed Apostolic Commissioner for the Society of Mary for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, according to the Argentine Periodista digital on July 24, 2017. This congregation is currently marked by a scandal of sexual abuse.]

Mgr Alberto Bochatey, évêque auxiliaire de La Plata (Argentine), a été nommé commissaire apostolique pour la Compagnie de Marie pour l’éducation des sourds-muets par la Congrégation pour les instituts de vie consacrée et les sociétés de vie apostolique, a rapporté le site argentin Periodista digital le 24 juillet 2017. Cette congrégation est actuellement marquée par un scandale d’abus sexuels.

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Houston pastor charged with sexually assaulting child

TEXAS
KHOU

HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS – A Houston pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a child and investigators are worried there may be other victims.

Hollis Vaughn, 66, is accused of sexually abusing a child over a number of years.

The victim told a family member and they called the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Vaughn is a pastor of two north Harris County ministries: God’s Awesome Army Ministry; and El Shaddaj World Outreach Church.

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Texas pastor charged with sexually assaulting child

TEXAS
CBS News – Crime Sider

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A Houston pastor has been charged with sexually abusing a child repeatedly over the course of several years, reports CBS affiliate KHOU.

Investigators say the child told a family member that Hollis Vaughn, 66, about the alleged abuse. Vaughn was arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree felony charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that it is investigating whether there are any additional victims.

Vaughn is a pastor for two church groups that operate out of his home: God’s Awesome Army Ministry and El Shaddaj World Outreach Church.

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Randy Reverend Blames Holy Ghost for Church Sex Attacks

UNITED KINGDOM
Keighley Online

A church pastor who sexually assaulted seven of his congregation claimed he was doing God’s work, a jury heard.

Rev John Wilson, 70, gave the women cups of tea possibly laced with drugs to put them into a trance before trying to exorcise ‘evil spirits’ and demons from their bodies.

His wife Mary, 79, and assistant pastor Laurence Peterson, 59, helped the self-styled holy healer commit the offences at the Liberty Pentecostal Church, in Keighley, a court heard.

Rev Wilson sexually abused the vulnerable and trusting women over 30 years, and his alleged victims include a mother and daughter, orphaned sisters and a fellow minister’s wife.

Wilson admits inserting his fingers inside many of the women to perform, what he termed ‘deliverances’ or ‘internal ministries’, but claims he was placing his hands where God directed him, to make them better Christians.

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Harris County pastor charged with sexually abusing child for years

TEXAS
Houston Chronicle

By Andrew Kragie Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A 67-year-old man who operates two Christian ministries out of his north Harris County home has been charged with sexually abusing a child over several years.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office expressed concerns about the possibility of other victims and urged anyone with information to call child abuse investigators at 713-830-3250.

Hollis Albert Vaughn faces a first-degree felony charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to court records. It appears to be the first time he has faced a criminal charge in Harris County.

Vaughn’s defense attorney, Tom Zakes, said in a phone interview that Vaughn had “no inappropriate contact with the child whatsoever.” The lawyer questioned some of the specific allegations in the probable cause affidavit, which is not yet public.

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Legal proceedings at a snail’s pace as city stops for George Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

July 27, 2017

JOHN FERGUSON
Victorian EditorMelbourne
@fergusonjw

TESSA AKERMAN
ReporterMelbourne
@TessaAkerman

There has never been a walk like it in the history of the Catholic Church in Australia.

A couple of hundred steps to and from Melbourne Magistrates Court; a cardinal ever-so-slowly navigating blind hate and blind faith on the way to and from his appointment with the law.

For George Pell, the three-­minute struggle from Crockett Chambers, in the heart of Melbourne’s legal precinct, looked deeply ­uncomfortable as scores of media scrambled for the defining image of a one-time church superpower charged with multiple historical sex offences.

The visual untidiness of the media and police scrum was juxtaposed with the image of an old man — he’s 76 — in immaculate clerical attire making his way into the well-ordered court precinct.

Cardinal Pell’s court hearing provided an opportunity to broadcast his defiance, even if the walk was slow and the welcoming on the concrete steps of the court was mixed. There were those blindly hateful of the cardinal and those blind in their faith, neither group likely to give ground.

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Sacerdote convicto de violar niños será libre

MASSACHUSETTS
Telemundo Boston

Se espera que el sacerdote pedófilo convicto, Paul Shanley, sea puesto en libertad el viernes después de haber cumplido 12 años de prisión por abusar sexualmente a varios niños.

Shanley, una de las figuras más notorias en el escándalo del abuso sexual del clero, fue sentenciado en 2005 a 12 a 15 años de prisión por violar a un niño repetidamente en la parroquia de St. Jean en Newton en los años ochenta. Fue expulsado después de que decenas de hombres revelaron que los había abusado cuando eran niños.

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Ex-priest at center of clergy sex abuse scandal to be released; follows release of former Haverhill priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Eagle Tribune

By Denise Lavoie AP Legal Affairs Writer

BOSTON (AP) — One of the most notorious figures in the Boston clergy sex abuse scandal has completed his prison sentence on child rape charges and will be released this week after two experts hired by prosecutors found he does not meet the legal criteria to be held as a sexually dangerous person.

Paul Shanley was known in the 1960s and ’70s for being a hip street priest who reached out to troubled youths. But in 2005 he was convicted of repeatedly raping and fondling a boy at a suburban parish in the 1980s, and he was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said Tuesday that her office hired two psychiatric experts to evaluate Shanley, now 86 years old, to see if he should continue to be held after completing his sentence. Both experts told prosecutors that he does not meet the legal criteria for civil confinement as a sexually dangerous person.

Once Shanley is released Friday, he will begin 10 years of supervised probation.

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Vatican treasurer George Pell faces Australian court

AUSTRALIA
CNN

[with video]

By Lucie Morris-Marr, CNN
Wed July 26, 2017

Melbourne, Australia (CNN)One of the most senior figures in the Vatican will plead not guilty to multiple charges of historical sexual assault offenses, his lawyer told an Australian court on Wednesday.

Cardinal George Pell faced the Melbourne Magistrates Court Wednesday for his first hearing since the charges were made by Victoria Police last month.

The 76-year-old, who has consistently and strenuously denied the charges, has been given a leave of absence from his role at the Holy See as prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy while he fights the case in the city where he was once Archbishop.

A huge media scrum followed Pell as he entered and exited the court house, requiring police officers to help clear the way for the cardinal.
Both supporters and protestors crowded outside the Magistrates Court for a chance to see the cardinal.
Wednesday’s brief court hearing marked a significant moment in Australia, where Pell is the country’s most senior Catholic.

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Statement on Pell case by bishopaccountability,org

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Jul. 26, 2017

Cardinal Pell in Court: Statement by Anne Barrett Doyle, Co-Director, BishopAccountability.org

Although today’s hearing in Melbourne was merely procedural, its impact will be felt worldwide. Whatever the outcome of the case against Pell, his presence today in a secular courtroom marks the victory of transparency over secrecy, and of the rule of law over the Vatican’s failed strategy of containment.

Cardinal Pell accuses the Victoria police of targeting him unfairly. There may be some truth to this. But it’s also true that the police have been neither hasty nor cavalier. They have been investigating complaints against the cardinal for more than two years, issued at least two public appeals for witnesses, and twice submitted evidence to prosecutors, seeking advice. (For more on their investigation, see our Timeline: The Victoria Police Investigation of Cardinal Pell.)

And Pell is not the only Australian bishop subject to criminal charges. Adelaide archbishop Philip Wilson, charged with failure to report child abuse, is preparing for trial. Bishop Max L. Davis, head of the military diocese, was recently tried and found not guilty of child sex abuse.

In its quest to stop the sexual abuse of children, the Australian government has put the Catholic church on equal footing with other institutions, and treated its leaders as fellow citizens. Credit for this goes to its astonishingly open and thorough inquiry, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. That probe is singular in its sweep and power. But Catholic bishops are facing similar demands for accountability from authorities in Pennsylvania, Mexico City, Argentina, Ireland and France.

Accountability is trending, and Pope Francis should take note. He could begin with a simple but hugely constructive step: release the names of the more than 3, 400 priests that the Church itself has found guilty of child sex abuse.

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Ex-priest’s release upsets lawyer for sex abuse victims

MASSACHUSETTS
The Patriot Ledger

By Fred Hanson
The Patriot Ledger

The scheduled release from prison of an ex-priest convicted of raping a child shows the need for changes in the state’s civil commitment law, an advocate for clergy sex abuse victims said.

BOSTON – A lawyer for victims of clergy sex abuse said the release of a former priest convicted of raping a child shows why the state’s civil commitment law needs to be changed.

Paul Shanley, who as a Catholic priest was assigned to Braintree’s St. Francis of Assisi Parish in the 1960s, will be released Friday from the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater. He was convicted in 2005 of two counts each of child rape and indecent assault and battery on a child. He was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison.

Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan said her office was unsuccessful in getting a civil commitment to keep Shanley, 86, in custody.

“The defendant will be monitored by the probation department for the next 10 years and has been ordered to have no contact with children under 16 years of age,” Ryan told WCVB-TV in a statement.

Carmen Durso, a South Shore lawyer who has represented many of Shanley’s victims, said the basis for civil commitment leans too heavily on statistics rather than an evaluation of the individual.

“If Paul Shanley doesn’t fit into the category of a sexually dangerous person then no one would fit,” Durso said. “No one is more dangerous than Paul Shanley.”

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ISRAEL OFFERS UNPRECEDENTED BENEFITS TO BRING HOME JEWISH CULTISTS

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

BY TAMARA ZIEVE JULY 25, 2017

The offered benefits are the result of cooperation between the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry as well as the police.

The Labor and Social Services Ministry on Tuesday called on Israeli members of the extremist ultra-Orthodox Lev Tahor, or “Pure Heart” cult to “come home,” offering each family unprecedented absorption benefits.

The ministry appealed to dozens of families in the sect with the hope they will return to Israel following the death of their leader, Rabbi Shlomo Erez Helbrans, who drowned in Mexico two weeks ago. A statement from the ministry referred to the members as “victims” of the cult and emphasized the large number of children among them.

The benefits offered include flights to Israel, immediate residency and entitlement to children’s health insurance, financial support, housing assistance for a year, the placement of children in educational frameworks, the provision of tools and skills for an independent livelihood and psychological treatment.

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Catholic Brother Bernard Hartman released from jail

AUSTRALIA
Star Weekly

JULY 25, 2017

BY GOYA DMYTRYSHCHAK

A Catholic Brother who sexually abused children in the Altona area in the 1970s and ’80s was released from jail on Sunday to return to the supervision of his church in the US.

Bernard Joseph Hartman, 78, a former teacher at St Paul’s College in Altona North, was jailed for three years with one year suspended for sustained sexual abuse, including penetration, of a boy and two girls as young as eight.

Altona’s Mairead Ashcroft, who brought the first charge against Hartman that led to his extradition from the US, said she held concerns about his supervision by his Marianist order.

“When we were in court we heard that while he was being supervised here, he was allowed to go for a 10-day holiday to Apollo Bay with the Christian Brothers over the Australia Day weekend while families were having a holiday at the beach,” Ms Ashcroft said.

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Ring of police shields Pell from media

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

A ring of police officers linked arms to shield Cardinal George Pell from about 100 journalists, photographers and camera operators who swarmed outside a Melbourne court.

The cardinal walked 100 metres from the office of his high-profile barrister Robert Richter QC to the front steps of the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court through perhaps the largest press pack the city has seen.

Scores of local and international reporters, plus members of the public, queued from early on Wednesday to ensure a seat in the court room to witness Pell’s appearance on historical sexual offences.

The demand for seats forced the court to allocate a second room, so more people could watch a live stream.

Pell, 76, arrived at the court just before 9am, after Victoria Police officers barged their way through the media pack making way for Pell and his lawyer.

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