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.

August 1, 2017

Archdiocese of Agana remains committed to bringing restoration and healing to all victims

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Jul 30, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The Archdiocese of Agana remains committed to bringing restoration and healing to all victims of clergy sex abuse. This according to a recent press release which acknowledged the most recent lawsuits against the Church.

The release states, “The Archdiocese takes sexual abuse very seriously. We care deeply about every person who steps forward and we look forward to full resolution of all cases.” Resolution could come soon for the majority of the cases as parties expressed optimism now that Oregon-based retired federal judge Michael Hogan has agreed to serve as a mediator. Hogan will be on island late October. The Church meanwhile, through Hope and Healing Guam, will continue to provide pastoral care and therapeutic counseling for all victims. The number to call is 1-888-649-5288.

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

Priest abused girl twice – probers

PHILIPPINES
Philippine News

MANILA, Philippines – The 13-year-old girl who was rescued from a priest who wanted to bring her to a motel told police he had allegedly abused her twice before, an official said yesterday.

The girl said Msgr. Arnel Lagarejos “used” her twice in June and that she was paid P3,000 on their first encounter, said Senior Superintendent Roger Quezada, Marikina City police chief.

The same 16-year-old pimp, who was arrested along with Lagarejos, had set up the “meetings,” he added.

He left it to the city prosecutor’s office to file additional charges against Lagarejos following the girl’s allegations. The priest was charged with human trafficking on Saturday.

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

Accused Aurora priest waived right to appeal deportation decision

ILLINOIS
The Beacon-News

Hannah Leone
Aurora Beacon-News

Though the ordered deportation of a former Aurora priest charged with child sex abuse has lawyers scrambling to keep him in the U.S. through his trial, it turns out the priest waived his right to appeal a federal immigration judge’s decision ordering him removed from the country and sent back to his native Colombia.

Offering little clarity on whether Alfredo Pedraza Arias will be in the country by Sept. 18, when his trial is scheduled to start, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials responded for the first time Monday to Beacon-News inquiries about his case.

Arias has pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, which allege he sexually abused two girls at their Catholic church between 2012 and 2014, when both girls were younger than 6 years old. He has also waived his right to appeal a June 14 deportation order signed by a federal immigration judge, said Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Leticia Zamarripa.

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.

Investigation after accused priest fled SA

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

AAP

South Australian police are investigating how a priest who was accused of child sex offences was able to flee the country in 1992.

Father John Mountford was sacked from St Peter’s College after allegations of sexual abuse and was eventually extradited from Thailand in 2004 but charges were later dropped. He died in Libya in 2009.

‘The obligation of the South Australian police is to look at the referral from the royal commission as to whether anybody has perverted the course of justice or aided a person who has committed a serious crime to flee justice,’ Police Commissioner Grant Stevens told ABC breakfast radio on Tuesday.

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.

SA Police investigates events leading to Adelaide accused child sex offender John Mountford fleeing

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

South Australian Police have begun fresh investigations into whether an accused child sex offender was encouraged to leave Australia by senior members of the Anglican Church.

The state’s top policeman, Grant Stevens, confirmed officers were looking at the circumstances surrounding the decision by former St Peter’s College priest John Mountford to flee Australia for Bali after allegations of sexual abuse against him surfaced in 1992.

Commissioner Stevens would not divulge the subjects of the police probe.

There have been allegations former archbishop Ian George encouraged Mountford to flee, which Mr George has repeatedly denied.

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 archbishop probed over how disgraced priest John Mounford fled Adelaide in 1992

AUSTRALIA
9 News

[with video]

Former Adelaide archbishop Ian George is reportedly under investigation over whether he played a role in encouraging a disgraced priest to flee the country.

South Australia Police has launched fresh investigation into the events leading to former St Peter’s College priest and accused sex offender John Mountford fleeing Australia in 1992 after he was sacked from the college amid allegations of sexual abuse.

Senior policeman Grant Stevens confirmed to the ABC a police probe had been launched to investigate whether any of those who may have been involved in Mountford’s rapid exit perverted the court of justice or impeded an investigation into his activities.

The disgraced priest fled Adelaide for Bali on June 6, 1992 after admitting to the sexual abuse of a Year 10 student.

He allegedly flew out within hours of being visited by then archbishop George, a chain of events detailed in the 2004 Board of Inquiry report into the Adelaide diocese’s handling of sexual abuse allegations.

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.

Roman Catholic Church in Philippines orders probe after priest arrested in paedophile case

PHILIPPINES
International Business Times

By Ananya Roy
August 1, 2017

The archbishop-emeritus of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines has initiated an investigation into the arrest of a priest while he was bringing a 13-year-old girl to a motel in Marikina City on July 28. The priest, Arnel Lagarejos, has been accused of sexually abusing the girl more than once.

Lagarejos, the parish priest of St John the Baptist in Taytay city in the Philippines’ Rizal province, was arrested following complaints from the victim and her mother. He was relieved of his duties immediately after his arrest.

The victim said the man had booked her through a pimp and molested her on two previous occasions. The day he was arrested was the third booking.

She also alleged that the priest had threatened her by pointing a gun at her against going out with any other man. She also said that she did not know the man abusing her was a priest.

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

Former Cottage Grove youth pastor sentenced to more than 12 years for child porn

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Stephen Montemayor Star Tribune JULY 31, 2017

A former Minnesota youth pastor who admitted to collecting troves of child pornography and engaging in online chatter with a Finnish man he knew abused young children overseas was sentenced last week to more than a dozen years in federal prison.

William Leonard Helker, 47, of Pine City, pleaded guilty in March to one count of distributing child pornography. According to documents filed in court, Helker’s collection included images with superimposed photos of some members of his congregation at All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Minn.

U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz sentenced Helker to 12 ½ years in federal prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised release. Helker was arrested last October after state and federal authorities received a cybertip from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that a Minnesota man had exchanged child pornography with a person in Finland. The NCMEC listed the tip as a “Priority 1” because the children were assessed as being in danger.

Shortly before Helker’s arrest, European law enforcement identified the Finnish man and rescued his victims, who ranged from 2 to 12 years old. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Buzicky, in court filings, wrote that authorities found correspondence between Helker and a Finnish suspect who was actively abusing several young children and using them to produce child pornography. Helker encouraged and “sometimes suggested” forms of abuse, Buzicky 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.