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.

September 14, 2017

Worst of Catholic sexual abuse scandal still to come in developing world: report

AUSTRALIA
ABC (The Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

September 13, 2017

By Andrew West for the Religion and Ethics Report

The worst of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal may be over in Australia, but the crisis is likely to hit the church in Asia, Africa and parts of Europe within a decade, a report has warned.

The RMIT study, Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church, has for the first time compiled the findings of 26 royal commissions, police investigations, judicial probes, government inquiries, church studies, and academic research from around the world since 1985.

It warns the gravest potential for future abuse of children and teenagers lies in the estimated 9,600 orphanages the church still runs, including 2,600 in India and 1,600 in Italy.

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.

Australian Catholic Church Falls Short on Safeguards for Children, Study Finds

AUSTRALIA
The New York Times

September 12, 2017

By Jacqueline Williams

MELBOURNE, Australia — A study that examines child sexual abuse worldwide in the Roman Catholic Church has found that the Australian church has done less to safeguard children in its care than its counterparts in similar countries have.

The report, released on Wednesday by the Center for Global Research at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, also found that the church’s requirement that priests be celibate was a major risk factor for abuse. And it said that the possibility of abuse in Catholic residential institutions, like orphanages, should be getting more attention, especially in developing countries.

Experts said the report could put pressure on Pope Francis, and particularly the church in Australia, to do more to prevent abuse. The Australian church was rocked in June when Cardinal George Pell, an Australian who is one of the pope’s top advisers, became the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual offenses.

Desmond Cahill, the report’s lead author, said its findings pointed to an urgent need to rethink the priesthood in the 21st century. A professor of intercultural studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, he said the church should reconsider the celibacy requirement for priests.

“The Catholic Church is in a state of crisis, and pressure has to be put on the Holy See to take the necessary steps to change,” Professor Cahill 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.

Melbourne study reveals how a global child sexual abuse tragedy occurred

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

September 14, 2017

FORMER Catholic priests Des Cahill and Peter Wilkinson spent five years reviewing 26 studies from around the world on child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church to answer why the abuse occurred.

The studies included the Hunter-focused NSW Special Commission of Inquiry in 2013, a Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2012 and the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, established in November, 2012 and due to present its final report in December.

The results of their work – the 384-page Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports – makes sobering and damning reading.

The 26 studies provide evidence that about one in 15 priests committed offences against children. The figure is shocking because those priests had unique access to children because of their roles as God’s representatives on earth.

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.

Celibacy, ‘Sexless Virgin Mary’ Major Factors in Child Sex Abuse in Catholic Church, Report Claims

AUSTRALIA
Christian Post

September 13, 2017

By Stoyan Zaimov

A major report analyzing the findings of 26 royal commissions and other inquiries on child sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has argued that mandatory celibacy for priests is one of the major factors contributing to the epidemic.

The 384-page report, titled “Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports,” published on Wednesday by the Center for Global Research at RMIT University, warned that children are “at risk” at more than 9,000 Catholic-run orphanages around the developing world.

It argued that due to the patriarchal nature of Catholic institutions, abuse often goes unchallenged, and said that the risk of offending was much higher in institutions where priests had minimal contact with women.

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 has long way to go on child safety

BRISBANE (AUSTRALIA)
Australian Associated Press

September 14, 2017

Brisbane’s Catholic archbishop says the Australian church is acting to protect children from sexual abuse although he concedes it has a long way to go.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge says a lot has been and is being done around Australia to safeguard children.

“But it’s very much a work in progress; we still have a long way to go,” Archbishop Coleridge said on Thursday.

“Because it’s not just a matter of changing procedures and protocols but of building a culture, and that takes time.”

A RMIT University report on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church worldwide found Australia is significantly behind other comparable countries in developing policies and protocols to safeguard children.

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

‘I’m very excited to be getting some proper help’: Sinead O’Connor on Dr Phil Show

LOS ANGELES (U.S.)
TodayOnline.com

September 13, 2017

LOS ANGELES — In Dr Phil’s upcoming exclusive interview with Sinead O’Connor, the Irish songstress will open up about her struggles with mental illness and how it has affected her relationship with her family.

“The fact that there’s such stigma about mental illness means that the illness doesn’t get talked about,” O’Connor said. “It’s not easy for families of mentally ill people,” she continued. “We can be difficult.”

Earlier this month, O’Connor posted a video of herself talking about her battle with mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and feeling abandoned by her family while staying in a New Jersey motel room. …

… O’Connor rose to fame in 1990 when her single Nothing Compares 2 U became a worldwide number one hit. Since then, she has faced controversy for some of her actions, like tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II during a performance for Saturday Night Live in 1992 to protest the child sex abuse scandals of the Catholic Church.

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

Tributes to the Bishop who said ‘sorry’

Politicians and clergy among 1,200 mourners at Westminster Cathedral to mark the death of former Archbishop who ‘made no excuses’ for child abuse in the Catholic Church

ENGLAND
Daily Mail

September 13, 2017

By Richard Spillett

Cormac Murphy-O’Connor was leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales for nine years

He died aged 85 on September 1 having suffered from cancer. His funeral was held in Westminster today

Archbishop speaking at the service said: ‘He acknowledged his mistakes. He made no excuses’

Senior clergy joined politicians and mourners today for the funeral of the former Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

The cardinal, who became leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales in 2000 before retiring from his role in 2009, died on September 1 having suffered from cancer.

Around 1,200 mourners, including former Irish president Mary McAleese and Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, filed in to the Westminster Cathedral for a special mass today.

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.

Prosecutors will not appeal friar’s child abuse sentence

BRISBANE (AUSTRALIA)
Brisbane Times

September 13, 2017

Queensland prosecutors will not appeal against the sentence of a Catholic friar jailed for molesting a primary school child.

Anthony Colbourne pleaded guilty in May to indecently assaulting an eight-year-old girl in the presbytery and his office on four separate occasions in 1974.

Colbourne was charged by police in May 2016 after the woman reported to the Royal Commission into Institutional Response into Child Sexual Abuse.

He was sentenced to 18 months’ jail, suspended for three years, after he spent four months behind bars.

Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath said the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions provided advice on the prospect of the success of an appeal against the sentence.

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 leader of Utah Catholics releases list of priests accused of sex abuse in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
The Associated Press

September 13, 2017

By Russell Contreras

[Note: See the list and letter from Archbishop Wester.]

Albuquerque, N.M. • After years of criticism, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has released the names of 74 priests and religious leaders who were accused or later found guilty of sexually abusing children by state or church authorities.

Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester, former bishop of the Salt Lake City Diocese, announced the release of the names Tuesday in a letter to parishioners after decades of pressure from victims and their family members who wanted a complete tally.

Some of the names of accused priests on the list had been known for years, while others had been secret.

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.

September 13, 2017

Archbishop identifies 74 clergy accused of child abuse

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
Albuquerque Journal

September 12, 2017

By Olivier Uyttebrouck

[Note: See the list and letter from Archbishop Wester.]

Archbishop John C. Wester on Tuesday published the names of 74 clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children, together with an apology to survivors “for the pain and suffering you have endured.”

The disclosure marks the first time the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has provided a list of accused priests, deacons and religious brothers since the clergy sexual abuse crisis burst into public view in the early 1990s.

Wester called the move “a critical step” in the archdiocese’s attempt to improve transparency and promote healing.

“It is my deepest hope that our publication of this list will serve as an important step in healing for survivors, their families, and our Church and communities,” Wester wrote in a statement introducing the list.

Brian Gutierrez, an Albuquerque man who sued the archdiocese in 2014 alleging he was sexually abused by a former priest, said he was surprised by the disclosure.

“I’m glad it happened,” Gutierrez said Tuesday. “It’s something we’ve been asking for many 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.

Santa Fe Archdiocese finally names priests accused of molestation

SANTA FE (NM)
New Mexican

September 12, 2017

By Andrew Oxford

[Note: See the list and letter from Archbishop Wester.]

In a move that shattered its long-held policy of secrecy, the Santa Fe Archdiocese on Tuesday released a list of 74 Catholic priests, deacons and brothers who it says were credibly accused of sexual misconduct over the last several decades.

Archbishop John C. Wester said he decided to make the names public at last in the hope that their disclosure would help survivors of sexual abuse.

“It is my deepest hope that our publication of this list will serve as an important step in healing for survivors, their families, and our Church and communities. But we will not stop here,” Wester said in a statement.

The list includes 72 priests and two deacons. Thirty-eight of the men listed are deceased.

“It’s about time,” said Diana Abeyta, an Albuquerque woman who says she was in the second grade when she was sexually assaulted by a priest in her parish.

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

Letter to Introduce List of Accused Priests, Deacons & Religious

SANTA FE (NM)
Archdiocese of Santa Fe

September 12, 2017

By Archbishop John C. Wester

[Note: The new Santa Fe list provides the names of more than 20 persons not previously known to be accused. See BishopAccountability.org’s webpage about the Lists of Accused Priests Released by Dioceses and Religious Institutes for more information.]

While we have put good programs in place, we must continue to be vigilant – not only to prevent child sexual abuse but also to help victims of past abuse heal and recover from this tragedy. To the survivors of childhood clergy and religious sexual abuse, their families and loved ones, I am so deeply sorry for the pain and suffering you have endured. The history of this terrible abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to love and protect you is a deep source of sadness and shame for our Church. We as a Church must forever strive to support and assist you on your road to recovery.

Here at the archdiocese, we have been continually working to identify additional ways that we may aid in the healing process. Not long after I became your archbishop, I concluded that a critical step is for the archdiocese to publicly acknowledge and identify those clergy and religious who have been accused of perpetrating child sexual abuse within our archdiocese. We must practice openness and transparency whenever possible, as this is essential for rebuilding trust and healing wounds. While many of the accused names have already been made public or have been identified elsewhere, this is the first time the archdiocese has published such a list.

I have not made this decision lightly or in haste. There are many countervailing principles at stake. First, we must always do right by the victims and survivors of past abuse, whose healing and recovery may benefit from the archdiocese’s public identification of the perpetrators of abuse. We must also do what we can to ensure perpetrators of such abuse never harm anyone else. At the same time, we must be mindful of the rights of the accused, under both civil and canon law, to due process in defending themselves. A clergy or religious member who has been wrongly accused of child sexual abuse may never be able to prove his innocence or repair his reputation. In cases when the accused is already deceased when accusations are made, there is not an opportunity to fully investigate allegations of abuse.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s list of accused clergy and religious includes the following:

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.

September 12, 2017

Im Beichtstuhl oder auf dem Altar: Australischer Priester missbrauchte jahrelang Kinder

COLOGNE (GERMANY)
RTL

August 31, 2017

[Note: A summary of the Gerald Ridsdale case; he is called “Gerald R.” in this article. See also the comprehensive account of the Ridsdale case at Broken Rites.]

Immer mehr Opfer melden sich

Seit 1994 sitzt der ehemalige Priester Gerald R. in Australien im Gefängnis, trotzdem melden sich immer noch weitere Opfer. Damals hatten ihn die Richter wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs an neun Jungen zu 23 Jahren Haft verurteilt. Doch das war nur die Spitze des Eisbergs. Nun stand der pädophile Katholik wieder vor Gericht.

Priester wurde immer wieder versetzt

Zwischen 1961 und 1988 missbrauchte der Priester das Vertrauen der Familien in seinen Gemeinden und verging sich regelmäßig an mindestens 65 Kindern, ohne dass deren Eltern etwas ahnten. Opferverbände gehen davon aus, dass R. noch viel mehr Kinder unsittlich berührte oder vergewaltigte. Die Opferzahlen lägen höchstwahrscheinlich im dreistelligen Bereich. Viele haben sich wohl bis heute aus Scham nicht bei der Polizei gemeldet.

Die katholische Kirche tat nichts, um den Mann aufzuhalten. Immer wenn seine Vorgesetzten Wind von den Missbrauchsvorwürfen bekamen, wurde R. in eine andere australische Gemeinde versetzt. So konnte der Priester sich jahrelang ungestört an Dutzenden Kindern in verschiedenen Orten im Bundesstaat Victoria vergreifen. Dabei war R. offenbar nichts heilig. Einige seiner Opfer missbrauchte er im Beichtstuhl oder sogar auf dem Altar seiner Kirche, berichtete der australische Sender ‘ABC’.

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.

Uno por uno, los 9 curas que ya fueron condenados por abusar de menores en Argentina

BUENOS AIRES (ARGENTINA)
Clarín

September 6, 2017

[With the recent sentencing of Fr. Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, nine priests have been convicted of the sexual abuse of minors in Argentina. This article provides photos of the priests and a summary of each case: Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, Héctor Pared, Mario Napoleón Sasso, Julio César Grassi, José Mercau, Fernando Enrique Picciochi, Isaac Gómez, Luis Eduardo Sierra, and Ladislao Chomín. See also BishopAccountability.org’s Database of Accused Argentine Priests.]

Tras el caso Escobar Gaviria
Uno por uno, los 9 curas que ya fueron condenados por abusar de menores en Argentina
Todos fueron acusados de crímenes aberrantes. Las sentencias van de 4 a 25 años de prisión.

Con la reciente sentencia al párroco de Entre Ríos Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria ya suman nueve curas condenados por abusos sexuales a menores en Argentina. Estos son los casos.

Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria

​Le dieron una pena de 25 años de prisión, la más alta hasta ahora. De origen colombiano, estuvo por 11 años en la Parroquia San Lucas Evangelista de Lucas González, una localidad de 4.500 habitantes situada en el departamento Nogoyá, en la región central de Entre Ríos. Fue acusado de corrupción de menores contra al menos cuatro chicos.

Héctor Pared

Fue condenado en marzo de 2003 a 24 años de prisión por abuso sexual agravado y corrupción de menores en un hogar de la localidad bonaerense de Florencio Varela.

El cura sólo cumplió pocos meses de la sentencia, ya que en septiembre de ese año murió y fue entonces cuando sus víctimas se enteraron que tenía VIH, un dato que había sido ocultado por el cura y el servicio penitenciario.

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.

States alarmed over $613m abuse bill for redress scheme

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

September 12, 2017

By John Ferguson

An estimated $613 million worth of taxpayer-funded compensation claims have emerged as the key sticking point over a national child sex abuse redress system amid growing angst from the states over who will pay.

The states are demanding a fair deal over what the child sex abuse royal commission estimates is $613m worth of funder-of-last-resort costs facing the nation after institutions that ­failed to prevent abuse ceased to exist. Funders of last resort will also include institutions that still exist but have no assets to draw on to compensate victims, an issue that is possible as the Turnbull government finalises its $4 billion response.

The states, territories and commonwealth are negotiating a deal to share the costs, with Social Services Minister Christian Porter stating that the final details of the funder-of-last-resort bill will not be known until the scheme’s ­architecture is set up.

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

Child abuse royal commission’s work must continue

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

September 12, 2017

By Robert Llewellyn-Jones

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that Julia Gillard launched in 2012 ends soon. As an abuse survivor and a practising psychiatrist treating many abuse survivors, I cannot stress too much how important it is to continue the commission’s work.

It would be a callous betrayal of the thousands who have courageously told their stories if the commission’s recommendations are not adopted, to prevent a repetition of the sordid past and the possibility of abuse echoing down the corridors of history in some other malignant form.

For almost five years, thousands of harrowing stories have finally been heard; stories of institutional denial, obfuscation and cover-ups, of actions and inaction that placed institutions’ reputations ahead of the safety and wellbeing of children.

Some institutions claim they should not be held accountable for the actions of the offending “bad apples”. But these “bad apples” frequently were moved on when their offending was discovered and no action was taken to prevent them reoffending. Chil­d­ren were punished, threatened and intimi­dated when they disclosed abuse to those who were charged with keeping them safe.

Moreover, abuse often took place in institutions that promoted a culture of physical and emotional cruelty or were wilfully ignorant of such brutality. Many cases of historical abuse have been referred to the police, but few convictions have resulted. Many institutions have promised to do better. The reputations of individuals who failed to keep children safe have been tarnished but they have mostly escaped more serious outcomes.

The national redress scheme proposed by the royal commission almost two years ago has yet to be established. The Australian’s John Ferguson reported yesterday the $4 billion scheme is due to be up and running next year. He revealed deep divisions among the states and Canberra about how the scheme should be run and who should fund it.

Most states are refusing to opt in until the Turnbull government explains the scheme’s architecture. Meanwhile, survivors seeking compensation continue to be subjected to gruelling adversarial litigation. Some of them tell me that lawyers acting for some of the offending institutions are privately using aggressive legal tactics even as the institution itself is making public claims of responding to survivors with compassion.

The adverse effects of institutional abuse have been catastrophic. The assault on sur­vivors’ human dignity was often compounded by the searing fusion of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. As adults many survivors have existed in a twilight, unable to give voice to their pain until the royal commission was convened.

Many lives were blighted or destroyed by descent into addiction in attempts to block out the pain caused by recurrent nightmares, flashbacks, panic attacks and depression. Many could not hold down jobs or sustain stable relationships. Suicide has not been uncommon.

It is tempting to turn away. As a survivor of child abuse and as a psychiatrist, I do not have that luxury. I felt the searing evil of sexual abuse as a child and with every revelation of abuse that I hear from my patients I again face the challenge of how not to lose faith in the better angels of human nature. What sustains me is the conviction that the work of child protection is never done. It is the work of every generation. It is a narrative as old as the human race.

The capacity for human oppression takes countless forms. Abraham Lincoln’s better angels thrive only when societies establish cultures that respect diversity, eschew all forms of sexual violence, uphold the rights of children, promote equality and have zero tolerance for the powerful dominating the weak.

Robert Llewellyn-Jones is a psychiatrist who assists survivors of sexual abuse and who was abused at Geelong Grammar School.

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

Secret codes behind holy veneer

HOBART (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
The Mercury

September 7, 2017

By Julian Punch

My studies for the priesthood began at Werribee in Victoria in 1958, four years before the start of the Second Vatican Council and seven years before the papal decree on priestly training, Optatam Totius, radically changed the emphasis from sacrifice to having a pastoral role.

The Corpus Christi campus was a historic property formerly owned by the Chirnside family.

It looks impressive, but the mansion is shrouded in the sadness of insanity and suicide.

Fred Schepisi’s semi-autobiographical film, The Devil’s Playground, which was made there in 1976, tells the story of a boy like me who grew up in a Catholic seminary dealing with temptations of the flesh and all its manifold tensions.

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.

Punch says all plaques of Green must go

HOBART (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
The Mercury

September 11, 2017

By Helen Kempton

A push to remove and destroy a sculpture depicting convicted sex offender Monsignor Philip Green has been broadened to removing all plaques bearing his name in Tasmanian hospitals, schools and churches.

Gay with God author Julian Punch, a former Catholic priest, says he has received messages of support for his push to remove all references to Green. The messages have come from Green’s victims, their loved ones and the broader Tasmanian community.

A member of one victim’s family, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution, said the family supported the proposal wholeheartedly.

“Sex offenders have historically been stripped of honours and awards once convicted,” they said.

Mr Punch has now called on Archbishop Julian Porteous to meet him and others to discuss the issue in a public forum.

“We have been told the statue at St Mary’s Cathedral will be removed this week,” Mr Punch said.

“That is one step but we want it to be destroyed and for other plagues bearing his name — like the one at Calvary Hospital — to be removed as well.”

The Archdiocese of Hobart this week said Archbishop Porteous would deal with any plaque or acknowledgment appropriately when he became aware of them.

In 2004, Green pleaded guilty to groping a grieving 22-year-old man and received a suspended three-month jail term.

In his book, Mr Punch alleges Green had other victims and said he too was sexually assaulted by Green in the late 1960s.

“Having the statue destroyed — perhaps melted down as it is copper — would give great consolation to victims,” Mr Punch said.

“We want to discuss the possible creation of an alternative sculpture to remember the victims of sexual abuse by Monsignor Green …

“It is timely for a proactive program of apology and reparation to be developed in discussion with Catholics and the clergy.

“The Archbishop needs to provide the public and Catholic faithful with assurances that old threats and intimidation are not the way to deal with this terrible affliction in the Church.”

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

Irish children ‘buried in mass grave at Scottish orphanage’

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Times

September 12, 2017

By Sean O’Driscoll

Dozens of Irish children are allegedly buried in an unmarked grave used by a Catholic orphanage that is under investigation by the Scottish authorities, campaigners have said.

Andi Lavery, who has obtained a list of more than 400 children he believes may be buried at the site near Smyllum Park Catholic orphanage in Lanark, called on the Irish state to help press for further information on the children.

“There was mass migration from Ireland to Scotland for a long, long time. Some of those children ended up in Smyllum. I think that if the Irish government can stand up for Irish children in Tuam and Cork, it should also stand up for them in Scotland,” he said.

Mr Lavery said that he wanted the UN to intervene in the case. The Scottish child abuse inquiry is preparing to investigate the claims.

The alleged high infant mortality rate has raised concerns about conditions at the orphanage, which was operated by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

Researchers pieced together the names of those believed to be buried in the unmarked grave using the same techniques as Catherine Corless, the amateur historian who uncovered the names of hundreds of infants who were buried in an unmarked grave at a Catholic orphanage in Tuam, Co Galway. The Irish Mother and Baby Homes Commission, set up by the Irish government, confirmed earlier this year that it has uncovered an unmarked burial site at the Tuam orphanage.

The BBC has investigated the Smyllum case and has produced a radio documentary on the orphanage. File on 4: The Secrets of Smyllum Park is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 tonight at 8pm. It will allege that severe physical abuse took place there before its closure in 1981. The institution, which looked after children from broken homes, opened in 1864 and closed in 1981.

An estimated 11,600 children stayed at the orphanage from its opening to its closure. Former residents claim they were beaten and kicked by staff.

Learning from techniques used in Tuam, the BBC and Scottish Sunday Post found 402 death certificates for Smyllum Park children. Burial records were found for only two of the children. Based on the death records, an average of one child died every three months at Smyllum. About a third of those who died were aged five or under. Most of the deaths are believed to be from natural causes, mainly from disease such as TB, pneumonia and pleurisy.

A partial list of the children believed to be buried at the nearby site include many Irish émigrés and children born in Scotland to Irish parents. Some of the children have Irish birth certificates or their parents are listed as Irish.

They include Francis McColl, who died aged 13 in 1961 from what was listed by the nuns as a brain haemorrhage, and Catherine Hennessy, who died of a heart attack in 1948, aged ten. Others are five-month-old Margaret Daly, who died of heart failure in 1940; one-year-old James McDermott, who died of pneumonia in 1940; five-month-old Edith O’Hara, who died of malnutrition in 1939; and Margaret McNamara, Ellen McCann and Thomas McCready, all under the age of three, who died of measles in 1938.

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul have confirmed that there is an unmarked grave for the orphanage children at a nearby graveyard, but has not commented further.

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.

Sale libre quien dio muerte a un sacerdote en Saltillo cuando éste abusó de él

SALTILLO (MEXICO)
La Heraldo

September 12, 2017

[Jesus “N”, the 23-year-old youth who on January 3 killed priest Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes at Sacred Heart Parish in La Aurora, will be able to recover his freedom. His lawyers, Rodolfo Richards and Anabel Rodríguez, were able to prove that Jesus “N” acted in self-defense, when the priest was sexually abusing him.]

Jesús “N”, el joven de 23 años de edad que el pasado 3 de enero diera muerte al sacerdote Joaquín Hernández Sifuentes en instalaciones de la Parroquia del Sagrado Corazón, en La Aurora, podrá recobrar su libertad este martes de septiembre, toda vez que sus abogados, Rodolfo Richards y Anabel Rodríguez, consiguieron acreditar que Jesús “N” actuó en defensa propia, cuando el sacerdote estaba abusando sexualmente de él.

En la sentencia penal No 281 relativa al proceso penal 21/2017, los Magistrados Oscar Aarón Nájera Davis, Armín Valdés Torres y Juan José Yáñez Arreola determinaron que Jesús “N” cometió el homicidio del sacerdote bajo emoción violenta, por lo cual revocaron la sentencia de cuatro años de prisión dictada el pasado 16 de junio por la Juez de Control del Juzgado de Primera Instancia en Materia Penal, concediéndole en cambio la condena de libertad condicional vigilada, y rehabilitándole además todos sus derechos políticos.

En entrevista con EL HERALDO, el pasado mes de junio los abogados Rodolfo Richards y Anabel Rodríguez, dieron a conocer que la noche en que ocurrieron los hechos, Jesús se encontraba ingiriendo bebidas embriagantes con el sacerdote, cuando posteriormente se quedó dormido en el transcurso de la convivencia.

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.

Que se acuse con pruebas: Vera

SALTILLO (MEXICO)
Zócalo

September 11, 2017

By Rosalío González

[The Bishop of Saltillo, Raul Vera López, said that the allegations of abuse at the Seminary of Saltillo must be proved. He stated that he has not received any complaint other than those already submitted to the Attorney General of the State.]

Saltillo, Coahuila.- El Obispo de Saltillo, Raúl Vera López, se deslindó de las acusaciones realizadas por el exseminarista de Piedras Negras y presunta víctima de pederastia del sacerdote José Manuel Riojas “Meño”, Ignacio Martínez Pacheco, quien acusó que en la década de los 90 una red de presbíteros cometió abusos en el Seminario de Saltillo.

Vera López pidió que quienes acusen se comprometan a probar los dichos, porque él no ha recibido ninguna denuncia a parte de las ya presentadas ante la Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (PGJE).

Sobre la presunta suspensión de 10 miembros de la Iglesia por “conductas inapropiadas”, el fraile aseguró que quienes se han ido es por voluntad propia “porque sus familias no vivían aquí o porque así lo decidieron”, y descartó que él los haya forzado a abandonar su trabajo.

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Incendiaron el auto de un cura, testigo en el caso de abuso de “la congregación de los malos hábitos”

SALTA (Argentina)
TN (Todo Noticias)

September 11, 2017

[Fr. Agustín Rosa, founder of the Disciples Institute of Jesus of San Juan Bautista in Salta, is still under investigation for alleged abuse. Now, the car of one of the whistleblowers has been destroyed by fire “accidentally”.]

El principal acusado es el sacerdote Agustín Rosa, que obtuvo la prisión domiciliaria. Avanza la contradenuncia contra una exreligiosa, principal impulsora de la causa, pero hay contradicciones en el testimonio de la supuesta víctima.

El cura Agustín Rosa, fundador del Instituto Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, en Salta, sigue investigado por presuntos abusos después de que TN.com.ar revelara el caso y diera a conocer testimonios de las víctimas. Ahora, apareció incendiado “por accidente” el auto de uno de los denunciantes.

Hace 10 días, la Justicia salteña le concedió al sacerdote la prisión domiciliaria; el mismo beneficio que había obtenido, semanas antes, la exmonja Alicia Pacheco, conocida como “Hermana Micalea”, acusada de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante sobre una chica de 13 años. El juez Félix Costas, del Tribunal de Impugnación Número 2, tomó esa decisión pese a las declaraciones de novicios que acusaban al cura de someterlos y proteger a otros sacerdotes que abusaban sexualemente de ellos. Mientras tanto, sigue la polémica por el fallos de la Cámara que pone la lupa sobre la víctima de la exmonja, que habla de una conducta sexual “temprana e impropia” de la denunciante y aseguraba que la “Hermana Micaela”, como se la conocía, “no tenía el perfil de la agresora sexual”.

“El auto del traidor” (denunciante)

El misterioso incendio, supuestamente accidental, por una falla en el motor, de un automóvil en plena noche en un barrio de la ciudad de Salta, en la esquina de Las Heras y pasaje Alfonso Peralta, sería en realidad una intimidación contra un testigo importante.

Con su declaración en el juzgado, el dueño del coche había convalidado dos de las denuncias de abuso sexual contra Rosa. Se trata de un sacerdote exintegrante de la congregación, que en la madrugada, mientras dormía en la casa de su padre, se despertó con el ruido y advirtió que se estaba quemando el auto. Según le refirieron vecinos que llamaron al 911, escucharon que los responsables del siniestro se movilizaban en motos y decían: “Este es el auto de ese traidor”.

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Statement regarding Father Daniel Kresinski

ERIE (PA)
Diocese of Erie

September 10, 2017

Previously, a civil complaint was filed against the Diocese of Erie and St. Joseph Parish and St. Michael the Archangel Parish in DuBois in the U.S. District Court. The parties have reached a resolution of the case, but neither side can comment further because of a mutual confidentiality clause.

To provide the faithful clarity concerning the status of Father Daniel Kresinski, Bishop Lawrence Persico brought the matter to the Clergy Review Board for consideration. The bishop has accepted its recommendation that Father Kresinski refrain from public ministry until further notice for the good order of the Church.

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Harassment suit against DuBois priest resolved out of court

DuBOIS (PA)
Courier Express

September 12, 2017

By Katie Weidenboerner

A DuBois priest has been ordered to refrain from public ministry after a civil harassment suit was resolved by both parties out of court.

A civil complaint had been filed against the Diocese of Erie and St. Joseph Parish and St. Michael the Archangel Parish in DuBois in U.S. District Court in May 2016, saying that Fr. Daniel Kresinski had sexually harassed an employee of the church.

The plaintiff, Kathleen A. Clement, 60, said in the suit that Kresinski repeatedly touched himself inappropriately in her presence and that his superiors did nothing to stop his behavior despite her complaints.

Kresinski had been serving St. Michael the Archangel Church and St. Joseph Church, both in DuBois, starting there in March 2013, about the same time as Clement.

Kresinski created “an offensive, sexually hostile work environment” from March 2013 until October 2013, when Clement resigned as a facilitator of religious programs for St. Joseph and two other parishes, according to the suit.

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Cold-Case Murder Trial Meets Second Delay

PASADENA (CA)
Courthouse News Service

September 12, 2017

By Erik De La Garza

Edinburg, Texas — A state judge on Monday delayed until early October the trial of the former Catholic priest charged with the 1960 murder of a South Texas beauty queen, because of scheduling conflicts with one of his attorneys.

O. Rene Flores, one of two attorneys representing 84-year-old John Feit, is scheduled for trial next week in another high-profile murder case making local headlines. Prosecutors in that case accuse the daughter of a former Hidalgo County commissioner, Monica Melissa Patterson, of the death of a 96-year-old man who was under her care as director of Comfort House, a hospice facility.

Feit appeared trial-ready at a Monday morning hearing, for the first time out of prison clothes, dressed in a blue blazer, slacks and a button-down shirt. He was expected to face trial as early as this week, with jury selection scheduled for Wednesday.

Instead, Hidalgo County state court Judge Luis Singleterry set an Oct. 3 trial date and considered a proposed 13-page, 61-question jury questionnaire to which attorneys on both sides have agreed.

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57 Years After Young Teacher’s Murder, Former Priest Faces Trial

PASADENA (CA)
Courthouse News Service

September 5, 2017

By Erik De La Garza

[Note: See the 1960 Police Offense Report.]

Edinburg, Texas — Unable to shake decades of suspicion for the 1960 murder of a 25-year-old beauty queen from South Texas, former Catholic priest John Feit will finally face a jury next week, more than 57 years after the crime left a community looking for answers.

Opening arguments will come immediately after jury selection begins on Sept. 13, nearly a lifetime after the partially decomposed body of Irene Garza was found in an irrigation canal days after she was last seen receiving confession from the now 84-year-old ex-priest.

As years bled into decades, the mystery surrounding the Easter weekend rape and murder of the devoutly religious schoolteacher from McAllen lingered in silence until the turn of the century brought with it renewed interest, fresh eyes and undying suspicion.

The Early Investigation

Sunset had just fallen in McAllen on April 16, 1960 when Garza drove her father’s car a few dozen blocks from the home she shared with her parents to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, for confession on Holy Saturday, according to a 9-page police offense report that details the early days of the investigation.

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Former Priest Back In Court For Pre-Trial Hearing

BROWNSVILLE (TX)
KVEO-TV

September 11, 2017

By Amy Martinez

[Includes video.]

Edinburg, Texas – Former priest John Feit was back in court for a final pre-trial hearing.

The 84-year-old Feit is charged with the 1960 murder of school teacher Irene Garza.

In this highly anticipated trial, more than 3,000 Hidalgo County residents were summoned as potential jurors in this case.

Of those 3,000 residents, over 800 will be summoned this week to narrow down the group moving on to the jury selection phase.

During the hearing, attorneys agreed to have jury selection begin on October 3. While there’s no telling how long the selection process will take, the presiding judge says he hopes to have the trial begin on October 9.

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Fairfield priest in prison for child sexual abuse loses his chance to appeal

CINCINNATI (OH)
WCPO 9

September 12, 2017

By Paula Christian

[Note: See the entry for Fr Robert Poandl GHM in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

A Catholic priest lost his attempt to appeal a 2013 conviction for taking a 10-year-old Price Hill boy across state lines and allegedly raping him.

Robert “Father Bob” Poandl, 76, is in prison after a jury in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati convicted him of taking an altar boy, David Harper, on a trip to serve Mass at a church in West Virginia and raping him in a rectory bedroom there in 1991.

Poandl’s attorneys filed a motion in May asking the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for a chance to appeal that conviction. He claimed that his attorneys made mistakes during trial, and he questioned whether any Catholic priest accused of pedophilia could receive a fair trial in the aftermath a sexual abuse scandal that rocked the church more than a decade ago.

The appeals court ruled against Poandl on Aug. 31. In a four-page order the court dismissed all of his claims, describing them as “insignificant in relation to the evidence of Poandl’s guilt.” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman praised the appeals court’s decision, the hard work of his prosecutors, and the courage of Harper and his family for testifying at trial.

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Lawsuit: Guam priest made altar boy watch as others were sexually abused

GUAM
USA Today

September 11, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio

Hagåtña, Guam — Father Louis Brouillard sexually abused an altar boy and influenced him to watch other boys being abused, a lawsuit filed late last month in the Superior Court of Guam states.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as R.C. in order to protect his privacy, was sexually abused by Brouillard on church grounds and at Boy Scouts outings during the time he was an altar boy for the Barrigada and Tumon parishes and a boy scout with Troop 13, the lawsuit states.

Now 53 and living in Barrigada, R.C. was around 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged abuse, from 1979 to 1981, the complaint states.

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September 11, 2017

Hundreds of children from Scottish orphanage believed buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND
Crux

September 12, 2017

By Charles Collins

The Smyllum Park orphanage is currently undergoing investigation by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, after previous residents accused staff of neglect and physical abuse. A new investigation claims hundreds of children from the institution are buried in an unmarked grave at a nearby cemetery.

Hundreds of children who died at a Scottish orphanage run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul were allegedly buried in a mass grave, according to a new investigative report.

The Smyllum Park orphanage was operated in Lanarkshire, Scotland, from 1864 until it closed in 1980.

A joint investigation by The Sunday Post and the BBC claims up to 400 children who died at the institution in its 116-year existence were buried in a mass grave at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lanark, located about a mile from the orphanage. The cemetery also holds the remains of the sisters and other staff members who died at the institution, although their graves are marked with headstones.

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Catholic Montana Diocese abuse settlement concludes without resolution

MONTANA
Great Falls [MT] Tribune

September 11, 2017

By Seaborn Larson, slarson@greatfallstribune.com

Two days of negotiations toward a settlement between the Great Falls-Billings Diocese and 86 victims who were reportedly abused by eastern Montana priests during the 1900s ended last week in a stalemate.

The mediation sessions took place in federal bankruptcy court in Reno, Nevada on Sept. 6 and 7. On Monday, Judge Gregg Zive filed a notice effectively terminating the mediation between the two parties.

Bruce Anderson, an Idaho attorney representing the Great Falls-Billings Diocese in the settlement negotiations did not return calls from the Tribune for comment on the ending of the mediation. Neither did attorneys for the victims who have reported abuse in the case.

[Related: Montana reservations reportedly ‘dumping grounds’ for predatory priests]

Zive told the Tribune on Monday that settlement negotiations are confidential. Many routes can still be taken toward an eventual conclusion in the federal bankruptcy case, including a return to mediation sometime in the future.

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Vatican reform process ‘nearly complete,’ C9 member says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

September 11, 2017

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ international Council of Cardinals — the so-called C9 — is nearly done with its work of advising the pope on a major reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, the secretary of the council said.

Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, secretary of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, told Vatican Radio Sept. 11 that “as far as the reform process of the Roman Curia is concerned, it is even more than three-quarters of the way there — it is almost complete.”

“It is nearly complete at the level of proposals made to the pope,” he said.

The Council of Cardinals was meeting at the Vatican Sept. 11-13. Pope Francis, who returned from his visit to Colombia Sept. 11, did not attend the first day’s meeting.

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Former Capuchin brother accused of sexual assault

GUAM
KUAM

September 9, 2017

By Krystal Paco

105 clergy sex abuse lawsuits and counting. The latest case was filed on Friday afternoon in the District Court of Guam naming Vernon T. Kamiaz, a former Capuchin brother assigned to the Agana Heights Parish.

When 50-year-old C.J.I. was 15, he alleges Kamiaz sexually molested him. The alleged incident occurred after a fundraising event for the Agana Heights Youth Organization. Kamiaz reportedly drove C.J.I. home, but not before making a stop at his family’s house.

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Amish bishop pleads guilty in Dauphin County court to failure to report child abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
LancasterOnline

September 11, 2017

By Jennifer Todd

An Amish bishop pleaded guilty in Dauphin County court last week to a charge of failure to report child abuse.

Christ M. Stoltzfus, 70, of Elizabethville, entered the plea Thursday before Judge Deborah E. Curcillo and was sentenced to three months probation, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

State police launched an investigation in January after a confidential source alleged child sexual abuse in the Amish community.

Officials said a church member told Stoltzfus in 2011 about two cases involving 44-year-old Daniel Ray Fisher, according to previous reports. Stoltzfus reportedly told state police that he’d been told the abuse “wasn’t really that bad.”

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Father Martyn Neale death: Church of England vicar set himself on fire with petrol amid historic sex abuse probe

HAMPSHIRE, ENGLAND
GetSurrey.co.uk

September 11, 2017

By Tom Beasley

Father Martyn Neale was arrested by the Met Police eight days before his death as part of an investigation into historic sexual offences, an inquest heard

A Church of England vicar, who was at the centre of a police probe into historic sexual offences, “incinerated himself” in his garden with a can of petrol, an inquest has heard.

The body of Father Martyn Neale, 60, was found by his sister, Janis Chandler, in the garden of the vicarage where he lived.

Mr Neale’s body was found on July 25 – just eight days after he was initially arrested by the Metropolitan Police in relation to historic sexual offences committed 20 years ago.

Tributes were paid to Father Neale, who was vicar at Holy Trinity in Hawley, following his death back in July, which police said was not being treated as suspicious.

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Former pastor arrested for sexual abuse of four children

NORTH CAROLINA
The Dispatch [Lexington NC]

September 8, 2017

A 40-year old former pastor charged with sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl has been additionally charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse and rape involving the 10-year-old and three additional children, all under the age of 12 years old.

Daniel Gene Little, 40, of 1563 Jerusalem Road, has been charged with 13 counts of felony sexual offense with a child, 11 counts felony child abuse by committing a sexual act, two counts of felony rape of a child, two counts felony incest with a child younger than 13 and indecent liberties with a child.’

Little is the former pastor of Yadkin College Baptist Church in Lexington. In May, he was charged with felony first-degree sex offense sexually assaulting a female juvenile under the age of 17.

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Amish bishop admits to covering up sex abuse, sentenced to probation

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive.com

September 11, 2017

By Wesley Robinson, wrobinson@pennlive.com

Six years after failing to report sexual abuse in the Amish community, a local bishop admitted to covering up the allegations.

Christ Stoltzfus was mandated to report the sex abuse allegations under Child Protective Services law but failed to report the abuse in 2011. Stoltzfus, 69, of Roller Road in Mifflin Township, told investigators that he was informed one of the incidents “wasn’t really that bad” during an interview in February 2017, according to state police.

A month prior to Stoltzfus’ interview with police, a member of Stoltzfus’ church told troopers he informed the bishop of the cases of child sexual abuse that occurred in 2011. Both cases involved Daniel Ray Fisher, 44, of Weaver Road in Mifflin Township, records state.

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Australians have ‘lost trust completely’ in the Church, says Zollner

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

September 11, 2017

By Mark Brolly

In the days after the Commissioner’s address, General Synod approved rules to protect children that are binding on all clergy and church workers

Australia is a country where “people have lost trust completely” in the Church, according to Jesuit Fr Hans Zollner, a founding member of Pope Francis’ Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Fr Zollner, who is also President of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, told church workers in Brisbane that “there seems to be almost nil trust in what the Church says”, The Catholic Leader newspaper reported on 7 September.

“This is not true in other parts of the world,” he said. “I think you are in a pretty unique situation.”

Fr Zollner said while many countries in Europe and North America had been dealing for some years with effectively safeguarding against sexual abuse, most countries were still yet to grapple with the issue.

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Survivors of abuse urged to take positive steps forward with Future Pathways

SCOTLAND (UK)
Daily Record

September 10, 2017

Future Pathways urges survivors of abuse in care to come forward and seek support from a £13.5 million fund set up to help.

Tragically, many children raised in care in Scotland were subjected to abuse or neglect but, with Future Pathways, they can now access support to help them find a more positive path ahead.

Anyone over 18 who experienced abuse while living in care, which includes residential or foster care, boarding school – state or private – a long-term stay in hospital or time spent in a young offenders institution, can apply.

A £13.5 million fund is available until March 2021 to help support people abused when they should have been cared for and nurtured.

It doesn’t matter where you live now, or even if you don’t live in Scotland – as long as the abuse or neglect took place in Scotland, you could still access support from Future Pathways.

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Winnipeg priest faces new sexual assault charges

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA (CANADA)
CBC NEWS

September 7, 2017

By Katie Nicholson and Vera-Lynn Kubinec

[Note: See the page devoted to Rev. Ronald Léger on Sylvia’s Site, with links and chronology.]

3 men come forward with new charges against Ronald Léger, now accused of sexually assaulting 7 men

A Catholic priest who founded and ran a youth centre in Winnipeg for decades is facing new sexual assault charges from three alleged victims, on top of charges laid last year following accusations from four other men.

Ronald Léger, 79, was charged Aug. 31 with three new counts of sexual assault against three men, who were teenagers at the time of the alleged assaults.

Last October, four other men came forward alleging they were sexually assaulted by Léger in their youth. Léger was charged at that time with multiple counts of sexual assault. A trial date for those charges — which span three decades from 1983 to 2013 — has been set for March 5, 2018.

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Sexual abuse victim re-traumatised by Catholic church compensation process

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

September 8, 2017

By Calla Wahlquist, @callapilla

The woman’s ‘extremely difficult’ 13-month ordeal to receive a payout adds weight to calls for an independent redress scheme, says her lawyer

A Victorian woman who was sexually abused as a teenager says the process of getting compensation from the Catholic church was “unnecessarily agonising” and sent her to “an absolute state of unwellness”.

The woman’s revelation adds weight to calls for an independent redress scheme, the final framework of which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, following a proposal put forward by the federal government last year.

Therase Lawless (not her real name) was 14 when she was first approached by a teacher at her school in northern Victoria in the 1980s, who conducted a sexually abusive relationship with her from the ages of 15 to 17.

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CCAP cleric convicted for sex with minor: Two men jailed for defilement

REPUBLIC OF MALAWI
Nyasa Times/Mana (Malawi)

September 6, 2017

CCAP Synod of Livingstonia cleric Reverend Chiwawa Banda will on Wednesday be sentenced by Rumphi First Grade Magistrate’s Court after he was convicted for defiling a 13- year-old girl (name shielded for legal reasons.)

The girl claimed Reverend Banda of Chiswamapira Village Traditional Authority Kabunduli in Nkhatabay but based at Luzi in Rumphi, sexually assaulted her three times.

He was accused of taking he girl to woodlot for sexual assualt.

The cleric had also bought a mobile phone for the girl so that he could have more contact with her on Whatsapp.

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In the trenches against the church

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 10, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

[Note: See all five articles in this series: The Wolf in Priest’s Clothing: Complete series. See also the page devoted to Rev. Donald Grecco on Sylvia’s Site, with links and chronology]

Robert Talach knows Donald Grecco.

He knows what the former Catholic priest and convicted sexual abuser did. He knows why other men of the cloth did the same thing.

For 15 years, the London, Ont. lawyer has represented the victims of clergy abuse, including Grecco’s. In that time he has interviewed many priests convicted of sexual crimes against minors. In their explanations and excuses, he sees a repeating pattern.

“(Grecco) was a broken man,” said Talach, who interviewed Grecco in prison in 2010, but said he cannot legally disclose what they discussed. “Those that go into the priesthood in most cases, in my assessment, ain’t always for the right reasons, and when you’ve done that for a decade or more in the priesthood, that is a pretty hollow life.”

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The Wolf in Priest’s Clothing: Complete series

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 10, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

From the age of 9 until he was 12 William O’Sullivan was sexually abused by Catholic priest Donald Grecco. That abuse set O’Sullivan on a path that landed him a Catholic boys school infamous for clergy abuse, and eventually in prison. Decades after it happened, O’Sullivan reported what Grecco did to him as a boy and his one-time priest is now facing a prison sentence.

In this special report, Wolf in Priest’s Clothing, St. Catharines Standard journalist Grant LaFleche takes readers through O’Sullivan’s journey, from clergy abuse victim to convicted criminal, to a father on a path to recovery.

The Wolf in Priest’s Clothing Part 1: Living with the echo of clergy abuse

The Wolf in Priest’s Clothing Part 2: The stench of rape in God’s house

Donald Grecco sentencing delayed

In the trenches against the church

The Wolf in Priest’s Clothing Part 3: No room left for hate

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400 children believed buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND (UK)
The Washington Post

September 11, 2017

By Samantha Schmidt

400 children from Scottish orphanage of ‘horrors’ believed buried in mass grave, media report says

The children taken to the notorious Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanarkshire, Scotland, came from poor, working-class families and broken homes. About 11,600 children passed through the institution from its opening in 1864 through its closure in 1981, left in the care of an order of Catholic nuns.

Former residents have detailed allegations of being brutally beaten, kicked in the head, neglected and publicly humiliated by the orphanage’s staff and being forced to take freezing cold showers, according to British and Scottish news outlets. One former resident’s physical and psychological abuse was described in the Scotsman newspaper as “hideous treatment at the hands of nuns.”

For many years, an unknown number of children were believed to have died in the home, but exactly how they perished — and where they were laid to rest — remained a mystery.

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Campaigner completes long ‘walk for justice’ over alleged child abuse

YORKSHIRE (England)
The (York) Press

September 11, 2017

By Daniel Willers

AN ALLEGED victim of child abuse at a former children’s home in East Yorkshire has completed a 255-mile walk to London as he campaigns for a public inquiry into what happened at the school.

Darren Furness, 49, is one of 249 men who claim they were abused as boys at the now defunct St William’s Children’s Home, in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire.

Other campaigners joined him for part of the ‘walk for justice’ from Market Weighton to London, via York.

The walk, which began on August 4, took Mr Furness about six weeks.

Mr Furness, from Leeds, said: “We got quite good support on the way down from the public.

“I found the walk quite easy. The night time was a bit daunting, staying in a tent, but that was expected.”

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Bodies of ‘hundreds’ of children buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND
BBC News

September 10, 2017

By Ben Robinson and Michael Buchanan

The bodies of hundreds of children are believed to be buried in a mass grave in Lanarkshire, southern Scotland, according to an investigation by BBC News.

The children were all residents of a care home run by Catholic nuns.

At least 400 children are thought to be buried in a section of St Mary’s Cemetery in Lanark.

The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, which ran the home, refused to comment on the findings.

The research by the File on 4 programme in conjunction with the Sunday Post newspaper focused on Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark.

It opened in 1864 and provided care for orphans or children from broken homes. It closed in 1981, having looked after 11,600 children.

A burial plot, containing the bodies of a number of children, was uncovered by two former residents of Smyllum in 2003.

Frank Docherty and Jim Kane discovered an overgrown, unmarked section of St Mary’s Cemetery during their efforts to reveal physical abuse which they said many former residents had suffered.

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Comunicado del Arzobispado de Paraná

ARGENTINA
Archdiocese of Paraná (Entre Rios province)

September 10, 2017

[Archbishop of Paraná apologizes for crimes of a priest recently sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing and corrupting children.]

Con la sentencia en primera instancia contra el P. Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria dada a conocer en el día de hoy, la Iglesia en Paraná enfrenta un hecho muy doloroso: la condena de un ministro por uno de los delitos que, con justicia, sacuden la conciencia humana.

Rechazamos con energía este grave delito, y nos llenamos de vergüenza y de dolor cada vez que uno de nuestros sacerdotes es acusado de perpetrarlo.

Pedimos humildemente perdón por el dolor que situaciones como ésta causan al Pueblo de Dios y a toda la sociedad humana. Al mismo tiempo, y más allá del ulterior resultado de otras instancias del proceso que hoy está transcurriendo, renovamos nuestra disposición a colaborar en cuanto nos sea posible con la justicia en el esclarecimiento de los hechos y en la sanación de las heridas provocadas, así como en un cuidado siempre mayor sobre la calidad de nuestros ambientes, en bien sobre todo de las personas más vulnerables.

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El Arzobispado de Paraná expresó vergüenza y dolor por los delitos cometidos

ARGENTINA
Diario El Argentino (Gualeguaychú, province of Entre Rios)

September 9, 2017

[Google Translate: The Archbishop of Parana expressed shame and pain over the crimes committed by Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria.]

El arzobispado de Paraná rechazó enérgicamente el delito cometido por el presbítero Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, condenado por la justicia a 25 años de prisión por abuso sexual y corrupción de menores. A través de un comunicado, la Iglesia paranaense expresó vergüenza y dolor por “cada vez que uno de nuestros sacerdotes es acusado de perpetrarlo”.

Al conocerse la sentencia contra el presbítero Juan Diego Escobar Gaviria, condenado a 25 años de prisión por el delito de abuso sexual y corrupción de menores, el arzobispado de Paraná envió un comunicado en el que manifiesta un enérgico rechazo a este “grave delito” y expresa vergüenza y dolor por “cada vez que uno de nuestros sacerdotes es acusado de perpetrarlo”. Además, acerca su pedido de perdón “por el dolor que situaciones como ésta causan al Pueblo de Dios y a toda la sociedad humana”.

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Priest nabbed in sex trafficking case skips DOJ preliminary probe

PHILIPPINES
GMA News

September 11, 2017

By Virgil Lopez

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday started its preliminary investigation on the qualified trafficking complaint against the priest accused of soliciting sex from a 13-year-old girl.

Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos was a no-show at the closed-door hearing called by Assistant State Prosecutor Karla Cabel regarding the two counts of qualified trafficking filed by “Anna” and her mother “‘Marie” last September 4.

The priest, however, was represented by a lawyer, according to complainants’ counsel Public Attorney’s Office (PAO).

Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) also attended the hearing.

Lagarejos and his four co-respondents were given five days to submit their respective counter affidavits. The next hearing was set for September 22.

Lagarejos, who is now under the government’s immigration lookout bulletin, was arrested at a motel in Marikina City on July 28 while in the company of the victim, who was allegedly pimped by a 16-year-old friend.

The priest has already been removed by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines from his post at St. John the Baptist Parish in Taytay, Rizal and as president of the Cainta Catholic College. —NB, GMA News

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Lawsuit: Priest influenced altar boy to watch others being sexually abused

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 11, 2017

By Haidee V Eugenio, heugenio@guampdn.com

Father Louis Brouillard sexually abused an altar boy and influenced him to watch other boys being abused, a lawsuit filed late last month in the Superior Court of Guam states.

The plaintiff, identified in court documents only as R.C. in order to protect his privacy, was sexually abused by Brouillard on church grounds and at Boy Scouts outings during the time he was an altar boy for the Barrigada and Tumon parishes and a boy scout with Troop 13, the lawsuit states.

Now 53 and living in Barrigada, R.C. was around 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged abuse, from 1979 to 1981, the complaint states.

R.C., represented by attorney Michael J. Berman, of the law firm of Berman O’Connor & Mann, demands a jury trial and $10 million in minimum damages.

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September 10, 2017

Arkansas inmate files lawsuit after suffering sexual abuse at hands of prison chaplain

ARKANSAS
ArkansasOnline

September 9, 2017

By Jeannie Roberts

Lawyer says filing spotlights trouble

The lawyer for a female state prisoner who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a prison chaplain announced Friday that a civil-rights lawsuit has been filed against the Department of Correction, the chaplain and other officials.

Carolyn Arnett, an inmate at the McPherson Unit, said in the lawsuit that department Director Wendy Kelley and other administrators allowed “rampant” institutional failures and a culture of sexual and physical abuse that enabled former prison chaplain Kenneth Dewitt to abuse several female inmates.

Dewitt, 68, pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse in July 2016 in relation to assaults against Arnett and two other female inmates. He will likely spend five years in prison. He was sentenced to 10 years with five years suspended on each count, all to run concurrently. He is currently an inmate at the Ouachita River Unit. He was originally charged with 50 counts that carried a possible 500 years in prison.

Prison spokesman Solomon Graves declined to comment Friday, citing pending litigation.

[DOCUMENT: Read Arkansas inmate’s full lawsuit]

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Fears $4bn abuse scheme will fracture

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

September 11, 2017

By John Ferguson, @fergusonjw

Plans for a $4 billion national child abuse redress scheme are fracturing, with several states holding out amid deep uncertainty over costs and cash-strapped organisations in fear of being sent broke. At least three state governments are refusing to guarantee they will sign up to the centrepiece of the abuse royal commission, which recommended that a single national redress scheme be implemented.

South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia are either ­opposed to existing plans or are demanding the federal government detail its final position — including costings — ­before stating what they will do.

The Australian has also established that some smaller entities responsible for abuse have privately told government officials they fear being bankrupted by any scheme that requires payments of up to $150,000 for each victim.

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Smyllum’s Children: Hundreds of orphans laid to rest by nuns in mass grave

SCOTLAND (UK)
Sunday Post

September 10, 2017

By Gordon Blackstock

UP TO 400 children who died at an orphanage run by nuns were buried in a single unmarked grave, we can reveal today.

Our investigation into Smyllum Park orphanage reveals 402 babies, toddlers and children died there between 1864 and when it closed its doors in 1981.

Children sent to live at the orphanage who died were buried in an unmarked mass grave at a nearby cemetery in Lanarkshire.

Headstones mark the graves of the nuns and staff members buried nearby but no stone or memorial has ever recorded the names of the lost children.

The revelation that up to 400 youngsters – and some adults – are buried there today provoked calls for Scotland’s ongoing Child Abuse Inquiry to investigate.

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Bodies of over 400 children believed buried at orphanage run by nuns

SCOTLAND (UK)
Sunday World

September 10, 2017

The bodies of hundreds of children who died at an orphanage run by nuns are believed to be buried in a mass grave, a BBC and Sunday Post investigation has uncovered.

At least 400 children from Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark are thought to be buried in an unmarked grave at the town’s St Mary’s Cemetery, research by the paper and the broadcaster’s File On 4 programme indicates.

The orphanage, run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, was home to more than 10,000 children between opening in 1864 and closing in 1981.

Former First Minister Jack McConnell told the Sunday Post: “It is heartbreaking to discover so many children may have been buried in these unmarked graves.

“After so many years of silence, we must now know the truth of what happened here.”

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Priest’s punishment for abuse below the minimum, says AG

MALTA
Times of Malta

September 10, 2017

By Matthew Xuereb

Charles Fenech was handed a suspended jail sentence

The punishment meted out to a priest convicted of having sexually exploited a vulnerable woman was below the minimum permissible by law, according to the Attorney General’s office.

This emerged in an appeal it filed on behalf of the police following the conviction of Fr Charles Fenech, found guilty of the violent indecent assault of a woman who was not in a fit mental state.

The former director of the Kerygma Movement was jailed for three months, suspended for a year, when according to the AG, the minimum should have been a six-month suspended jail term.

Fr Fenech was charged in 2014, and it was the Times of Malta that broke the news the priest was facing criminal charges.

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Children’s Society paid damages to victims of sex abuse

ENGLAND (UK)
The Telegraph

September 9, 2017

By Robert Mendick, chief reporter

[PHOTO: The Children’s Society has now admitted that dozens of vulnerable children were sexually assaulted while they were residents in the homes it ran.]

One of Britain’s biggest children’s charities made a series of secret compensation payments to child sex victims abused in its care, the Telegraph can disclose.

The Children’s Society has now admitted that dozens of vulnerable children were sexually assaulted while they were residents in the homes it ran.

The charity has now issued an unprecedented apology to the children “in our care [who] have suffered harm and abuse”.

In a 700-word statement, the charity admitted: “It is our role to ensure that children and young people are always properly supported to speak out about abuse or make a complaint about the way they are treated, under any circumstances. With enormous regret, The Children’s Society has not always lived up to these fundamental principles.”

The statement went on: “We profoundly apologise to anyone who was abused emotionally, physically and sexually as children while in the care of The Children’s Society.”

The charity, which has strong links with the Church of England, ran more than 100 care homes before closing down its last one in 1997. It trawled its records for legal cases it had settled as part of its submission for the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, the controversial £100 million inquiry into historic abuse.

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El juez Costas minimizó denuncias por abuso sexual contra el cura Rosa

ARGENTINA (Salta province)
El Tribuno

September 10, 2017

By Rubén Arenas

[Judge Costas minimized the seriousness of the allegations of sexual abuse made against the priest Rosa. The judge cites a constitutional basis for his ruling by which he granted freedom to the priest, who is accused of grossly outrageous sexual abuse.]

Se conocieron los fundamentos de la resolución mediante la cual el magistrado otorgó la libertad al sacerdote acusado de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante.

El camarista Luis Félix Costas justificó la libertad otorgada al cura Rubén Agustín Rosa Torino amparándose en el principio de inocencia consagrado en el artículo 18 de la Constitución Nacional, al tiempo que minimizó el tenor de las denuncias por abuso sexual realizadas contra el religioso. El magistrado recurre a abundante jurisprudencia para justificar la excarcelación y de su resolución surge que la gravedad de los hechos que le imputan y la pena que le podía corresponder (8 años como mínimo), en caso de ser condenado, no son elementos suficientes para mantener la prisión preventiva del cura Rosa, quien estuvo encarcelado desde el 23 de diciembre de 2016.

Si bien el juez Costas se limitó solamente a resolver el pedido de libertad planteado por la defensa, deja entrever que el tenor de las denuncias no tienen la entidad que se requiere para sostener el delito de abuso gravemente ultrajante que se le imputa al sacerdote de 64 años.

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Feit, Patterson cases intersect as trial proceedings loom: 800 potential jurors to be empanelled this week in Feit case

Edinberg (TX)
The [McAllen TX] Monitor

September 10, 2017

By Lorenzo Zazueta-Castro

[PHOTO: John Feit, the former priest accused of killing a McAllen teacher 55 years ago, has waived his right to an extradition hearing. That means Texas has 30 days to pick him up from Arizona to face a murder charge.]

EDINBURG TX — Two of the most highly anticipated trials in recent county history are set to begin in the coming weeks.

In the next several weeks, the trials in the Monica Melissa Patterson and former priest John Bernard Feit cases will begin, but their high-profile nature have created delays in the former’s court proceedings due to the national media attention surrounding the circumstances of the latter — a cold case that’s already been featured on CBS’s 48 Hours.

Beginning Sept. 18, jury selection will begin in the Patterson case, which stems from the capital murder charge facing the 50-year-old former director of local short-term hospice facility Comfort House in connection with the January 2015 death of 96-year-old Martin Knell.

Most recently, in late August, a group of potential jurors filled out questionnaires in preparation for jury selection in Patterson’s trial.

Her trial will precede the Feit cold case, which involves the 84-year-old former man of the cloth being accused of killing and dumping the body of Irene Garza, a popular school teacher and local beauty queen nearly 60 years ago.

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Hundreds of Scottish orphanage children allegedly buried in mass grave

SCOTLAND (UK)
The Guardian

September 10, 2017

By Owen Bowcott

High infant mortality rate and allegations of abuse raise suspicions of Smyllum Park in Lanark, once run by Catholic nuns

The Scottish child abuse inquiry is to investigate claims that the bodies of at least 400 children from a home once run by Catholic nuns are buried in an unmarked mass grave.

The high infant mortality rate has raised concerns about conditions at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, which was operated by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

The institution, which looked after children from broken homes, opened in 1864 and closed in 1981. More than 11,000 children stayed at the orphanage over that period.

Records reveal that most of the deaths were due to natural causes, mainly from diseases such as TB, pneumonia and pleurisy. About a third of the victims were under the age of five, and the majority of the deaths occurred between 1870 and 1930.

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Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S.

SAN DIEGO
San Diego Tribune

September 10, 2017

By Peter Rowe

[Note: This is a five-part feature. It also includes: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout; Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal’s landmark settlements; Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files; and Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.]

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.

Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal’s landmark settlements

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Tribune

September 10, 2017

[Note: This is a five-part feature. It also includes: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout; Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files; Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S.; Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.]

For this week’s Back Story, reporter Peter Rowe discusses his front page story about a painful anniversary. Thursday marked 10 years since the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego settled the sex abuse claims of victims of predatory priests.

Q. What’s changed over the past decade?

A. That depends on who you interview. Diocesan officials, including Bishop Robert McElroy, point to a range of new policies designed to reduce the chances of this happening again. These included a new curriculum for Catholic schools, meant to help students and their parents identify — and stop — suspicious behavior. There are new background checks for every employee, religious or lay. Even visiting missionaries and substitute teachers have to undergo this step.

McElroy says all allegations are now reported to the appropriate civil authorities. The Diocesan Review Board, which existed 10 years ago, has subtly changed. The panel has always reviewed allegations, but the chair says it now takes a more active role in determining the facts of a case. And McElroy added a new member to the panel, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

Q. You interviewed several victims of the abuse. What was the overriding feeling you got from talking to people who went through this incredible trauma?

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Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Tribune

September 10, 2017

By Peter Rowe and Merrie Monteagudo

[Note: This is a multi-part feature. It also includes: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout; Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal’s landmark settlements; Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files; Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S..]

2002

January: The Boston Globe launches an investigative series into allegations of Catholic priests sexually abusing minors and archdiocesan cover-ups. The cases go back decades.

June: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issues “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” declaring a “zero tolerance” policy for sexual abuse. The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego reveals allegations made against 23 priests — 18 in San Diego County and five in Imperial County — since Bishop Robert Brom’s arrival in 1990.

August: Brom reveals that retired Monsignor Rudolph Galindo admitted sexually abusing three boys and urges victims to speak up. Two lawsuits are filed in San Diego Superior Court on behalf of two men who say they were sexually abused by priests when they were minors. [Note: See the entry for Galindo in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

2003

January: California lifts the statute of limitations on civil cases for one year, allowing sexual abuse victims to sue, regardless of when incidents occurred. By the Dec. 31 deadline, the Diocese of San Diego had been named in 99 such lawsuits involving more than 140 victims.

September: The Archdiocese of Boston agrees to pay $85 million to more than 500 people.

2004

February: In a letter to San Diego priests, Brom says that accusations by 128 people against 42 priests in the diocese since 1950 were “substantiated or are credible.” The diocese found 18 priests were either falsely accused or claims against them could not be substantiated.

February: A church-appointed national review board rebukes U.S. bishops for “shameful” failure to stop widespread clerical sex abuse over the past half-century. The tally shows 10,667 abuse claims involving minors lodged against 4 percent of the clergy (about 3 percent in San Diego).

February: The John Jay College of Criminal Justice releases a study sponsored by the U.S. bishops, “The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons, 1950-2002.”

July: The Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., becomes the first Catholic diocese to seek bankruptcy protection in the face of sexual abuse claims.

December: The Diocese of Orange in California agrees to pay $100 million to about 90 victims, with payouts ranging from $50,000 to nearly $4 million.

2006

May: A Los Angeles judge coordinating nearly 600 sexual-abuse lawsuits filed in Los Angeles and San Diego says five cases in each city can go forward.

2007

February: The Diocese of San Diego files for bankruptcy protection the day before the first trial is to begin. It is the nation’s fifth diocese to seek Chapter 11 reorganization, and the largest.

March: The Diocese of San Diego releases the names of 38 priests with “credible allegations” of sexually abusing minors, along with their church service records dating to 1928. [Note: For the list of 38 names, see the San Diego entry in Lists of Accused Priests Released by Dioceses and Religious Institutes.]

July: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles agrees to pay $660 million to 508 victims. It is the largest settlement of its kind in the Catholic Church.

September: The Diocese of San Diego reaches a $198.1 million agreement with 144 victims. The diocese also promises to release church documents about abusers’ histories.

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Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Tribune

September 10, 2017

By Peter Rowe

[Note: See also Documents from the San Diego Settlement. For more information on the four priests, see entries for Rev. Robert Nikliborc, Rev. Franz Robier, and Rev. Edward Rodrigue in the BishopAccountability.org database and Paul R. Shanley—Assignments and Archdiocesan Documents.]

[Note: This is a multi-part feature story. It also includes: A decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout; Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal’s landmark settlements; Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S.; Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.]

In 2010, a superior court judge in Los Angeles ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego to release its files on priests accused of sexually abusing minors.

The documents, now curated on the bishop-accountability.org site, make grim reading. A sampling:

Rev. Robert Nikliborc

A Chicago native, Nikliborc was ordained in San Diego in 1955. A year later, he underwent counseling at a church treatment center in New Mexico, following two allegations of sexually assaulting children. In 1957, he was sent to St. Boniface School in Banning. There, he was a accused of sexually molesting a boy from 1963 through ’65. “Johnny G.,” the victim, sued in 2003.

In 1969, while financial director of a Banning orphanage, Nikliborc was convicted on income tax evasion charges. After serving a prison sentence, he began a 30-year tenure as pastor of St. Anne’s Parish in San Diego (1971-2001).

Early in his pastorship, Nikliborc was ordered by Bishop Maher to end a relationship with a church secretary. “The scandal is not only among the parishioners who are complaining,” Maher wrote on April 12, 1976, “but among our clergy. The question is what hold does this woman have on you?”

Nikliborc retired from the priesthood in 2001.

Rev. Franz Robier

An Austrian citizen, Robier worked in the Diocese of San Diego from 1955 until 1982. He died in 1994 at the age of 82.

Robier has been accused or raping or sexually assaulting at least 24 girls in the 1950s and ’60s. Several victims were members of the children’s choir at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in San Diego’s Oak Park. “He’d have me sit on his lap,” said one of the victims, Jane Doe Number 5. “The other girls, he took places.”

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 decade after settling sex abuse cases, the Diocese of San Diego still copes with the fallout

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Tribune

September 10

By Peter Rowe

[Note: This is a multi-part feature story. It also includes: Back story: Skepticism and cautious optimism, a decade after a scandal’s landmark settlements; Four priests who abused their flock: Grim stories from the San Diego diocese files; Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S.; Timeline of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal.]

[Note: See also Documents from the San Diego Settlement.]

Whenever Heidi Lynch thinks about priests molesting children, her stomach churns, her head spins and her questions multiply.

“Are they really taking care of the children?” asked Lynch, a 60-year-old San Carlos resident, who between the ages of 8 and 11 was repeatedly raped by a priest. “Are they really taking care of the abusers? Are they still hiding this?”

Ten years ago this week, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed to pay $198.1 million to settle the lawsuits filed by Lynch and 143 other adults. As children, each had been sexually assaulted by a priest or, in one case, a layman supervising altar boys.

This was a landmark moment in one the largest scandals in the church’s 2,000-year-old history. From Dublin to Manila, Boston to Portland, Ore., Catholic officials were hauled into court and forced to account for shielding predatory clerics, often for decades.

The San Diego settlement was the nation’s second largest, trailing only the Los Angeles diocese’s $660 million. By at least one measurement, though, San Diego’s settlement was more significant. After legal fees, the 508 victims in L.A. averaged a payout of $780,000. In San Diego, the average was $825,000.

Absorbing these damages led the San Diego diocese to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In the end, insurance paid $76 million and the Diocese of San Bernardino, which had part of this diocese, contributed almost $15 million.

Selling properties and tapping its bank accounts, San Diego paid the remaining $107 million. Seven months after going to bankruptcy court, the diocese’s case was dismissed.

The financial hit had been huge, but nothing compared to the blow to the church’s moral credibility.

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September 9, 2017

Church’s handling of abuse scandal blamed for only six men applying to train as priests in Ireland

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Sun

September 7, 2017

By Craig Farrell

The startling figure is the lowest number of wannabe priests applying to study at Maynooth in the 200-year history of St Patrick’s College

Revelations that only six men have applied to train as priests in Ireland has been described as extremely “alarming”.

Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn said the church was in “a sorry state”.

He blamed a lack of leadership for the lowest number of wannabe priests applying to study at Maynooth in the 200-year history of St Patrick’s College.

Mannix, himself a child victim of clerical abuse, said: “These numbers have been declining for a long time.

“The clerical abuse issue and the institutional abuse issue have really impacted on vocation.

“The idea of people having an allegiance to the church and individuals signing up to this vocation right across the globe have dropped.

“As more allegations emerge on a global basis in different countries, people are not only failing to sign up to religious life and the priesthood, but people are also leaving in droves which is very alarming.”

The Dublin native added that the good work undertaken by members of the church in some areas was often overlooked.

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Royal commissioner Robert Fitzgerald tells some home truths to a national Anglican synod

NEWCASTLE (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Newcastle Herald

September 7, 2017

By Joanne McCarthy

[Note: See the transcripts of the Royal Commission’s hearings on the Anglican diocese of Newcastle and the relevant exhibits.]

The Anglican Church has taken steps to join a Commonwealth redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse only days after a national Anglican synod was warned some clergy and lay people continue to hold on to “long discarded myths” about child sexual abuse.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald urged the synod in Queensland to join the redress scheme, in a speech that criticised the church for the lack of a coherent national response to survivors.

It meant some clergy and lay people held on to “long discarded myths including that children are not reliable witnesses, that adult survivors who take a long time disclose abuse lack credibility, that survivors are only after money, that the problem has been exaggerated or is an historic issue which has passed”, Mr Fitzgerald said.

On Wednesday the national synod voted to establish a company as a step towards joining the national redress scheme, while seeking clarifying on “some key issues” from the Federal Government.

A royal commission hearing in 2016 into significant child sexual abuse in the Newcastle Anglican diocese over decades included strong criticism by royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan after a group of prominent Newcastle Anglicans complained about former Bishop Greg Thompson, who challenged a culture of diocese “mates looking after mates”.

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Second claim made against catechism teacher

GUAM
Guam Daily Post

Septembert 9, 2017

By Mindy Aguon

A second individual has come forward alleging he was sexually abused and molested by a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) teacher at the Agana Heights parish.

C.J.I., a man identified by his initials to protect his privacy, filed a civil complaint against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Capuchin Franciscans, and Vernon T. Kamiaz alleging child sexual abuse, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent hiring, and retention and breach of confidential relationship.

The alleged abuse occurred in the 1980s when C.J.I. was a CCD student and a member of the Agana Heights Youth organization.

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Victims of former priest Donald Grecco have their say

THOROLD (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Niagara This Week

September 8, 2017

Two of three victims tell of broken lives in impact statements in sentencing hearing, judge’s ruling delayed to Oct. 24

By Melinda Cheevers

In May, Grecco pleaded guilty to sexually molesting the three young boys in the 1970s and 1980s while he was a parish priest; two of the victims were altar boys within the parish. On Thursday, he was to be sentenced, but after a long day spent in the courtroom hearing victim impact statements from two of the three victims (the third was filed as an exhibit but was not read aloud), and submissions from both sides about proposed sentences, Ontario Superior Court Justice Joseph Nadel agreed to push his actual sentencing decision back to Oct. 24 so Grecco, now 77, can undergo a colonoscopy.

* * *
In his victim impact statement, O’Sullivan told the court that for him, as a young child during the years of his abuse, it was time spent living in secret, confusion and above all else, time spent protecting his mother.

“I was able to keep our little secret well past mom’s passing,” he said to Grecco, looking right at him from the witness stand.

* * *
Assistant Crown attorney Pat Vadacchino read the second victim’s impact statement to the court while the man stood beside her. In his written statement, he said he walked into the church a very happy, healthy, confident, trusting, caring, respectful and self-secure young man with dreams of excelling in sports, graduating from school and perhaps even obtaining a scholarship.

“Your church, in my mind, was supposed to be one of the safest places to be. I was there to assist you and try to become a better person inside and out,” he wrote. “Instead, you took full advantage of your position to prey on young innocent boys and I was one of those boys. In a few short weeks, I walked out of your church for the last time, changed forever.”

* * *
Throughout his time as a priest, Grecco served at St. Mary’s in Welland (1966-70), St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Niagara Falls (1970-78), St. Stephen’s in Cayuga (1978-179), St. Kevin’s in Welland (1979-85), St. Vincent de Paul in Niagara-on-the-Lake (1985-1996) and St. Alexander’s in Fonthill (1996-1998).

He left the priesthood in March 2001 after first obtaining a bachelor of science degree in pastoral counselling from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore.

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

Catholic Church to remove plaque featuring sex offender priest from Tasmanian Cathedral

HOBART (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
ABC News

September 8, 2017

By Stephen Pigram

A controversial plaque on Hobart’s St Mary’s Cathedral featuring a former Catholic priest convicted of sex offences will be removed after victims of child abuse called for it to be taken down.

The artwork, from the 1980s and attached to an external wall of the cathedral, depicts the late Philip Green, who held the title of monsignor.

In 2004, Green pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a former altar boy and was given a three-month suspended prison sentence.

On Thursday, the Archdiocese of Hobart said it had “no immediate plans” to remove the plaque, which also honours former archbishop Sir Guilford Young.

But Tasmanian Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous has since ordered that it be taken down.

Former Catholic priest Julian Punch, who said he was also assaulted by Green, publicly called for the removal of the plaque in his book, Gay With God.

He welcomed the announcement, but also said it should have been removed years ago.

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 demand plaque depicting sex offender be removed from St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral

HOBART (TASMANIA, AUSTRALIA)
ABC News

September 7, 2017

By Stephen Pigram

[Note: See also the research about Msgr. Philip Green at Broken Rites.]

Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy are demanding that a memorial plaque depicting a convicted offender be removed from St Marys Cathedral in Hobart.

The plaque on the external wall of the cathedral honours former Archbishop Sir Guilford Young and depicts the late Monsignor Philip Green.

In 2004 Green pleaded guilty to assaulting a former altar boy and was given a three-month suspended jail term.

Julian Punch, a prominent former Hobart priest, also claimed he was sexually assaulted by the former Monsignor.

* * *

The Archdiocese of Hobart said the plaque was erected in memory of Archbishop Young, who was until recently buried at the foot of the installation with other Tasmanian Catholic bishops.

In a statement, the church said there were “no immediate plans” to remove the artwork.

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No room left for hate

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 8, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

The wolf in priest’s clothing: Part 3 of 3

[Note: See Part 1: Living with Echo of Clergy Abuse; and Part 2: The stench of rape in God’s house. See also the page devoted to Rev. Donald Grecco on Sylvia’s Site, with links and chronology]

A note to readers: For a more than a decade, Catholic priest Donald Grecco sexually abused children in Niagara. He will be sentenced Oct. 24 for the abuse of three boys in the 1970s and 80s. This three part series is the story of one of his victims. Be advised this story contains language that might upset some readers.

For those on the inside, prison can seem like a place that time has abandoned.

The immutable routine and the static surroundings make one day bleed into the next and into the next. Sometimes, the length of a man’s hair is his only reliable watch and calendar.

Still, in a sea of unchanging days, William O’Sullivan remembers when the wailing stopped. In the years following his sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priest Donald Grecco and his repeated rape by a Christian Brother at St. John’s Training School for Boys, O’Sullivan’s life spun out of control.

Drugs, booze and crime were staples for many years. Theft and break and enters earned him multiple prison terms, including stints in the maximum security prison in Millhaven.

It was there O’Sullivan began to see his own pain reflected the faces of the men he shared the prison with. While still years away from recovering his repressed memories of being abused by Grecco as a boy, O’Sullivan was keenly aware of what the Christians Brothers had done to him and how those experiences shaped his life.

“Look, it’s not an excuse, OK? I never use what happened to me as an excuse for my bad choices. Everyone has a choice, and I made bad ones,” says O’Sullivan, who now lives in a small house in St. Catharines and works full time as a painter. “But what you have to realize is that kind of experience changes you. It hurts you in ways you aren’t aware of for a long 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.

Ex-Priest Declared Sexually Violent; Fate Yet to Be Decided

CHICAGO (IL)
Associated Press via U.S. News and World Report

September 8, 2017

Judge declares former Chicago priest a sexually violent person; decision to come later on whether he will be held indefinitely in a facility for sex offenders

A former Chicago priest was deemed to be a sexually violent person by a Cook County judge on Friday, but whether he will be held indefinitely in a facility for sex offenders will be decided later.

With Cook County Circuit Judge Dennis Porter’s ruling, Daniel McCormack will remain at the state mental hospital in the southern Illinois town of Rushville or another state institution.

“I have no reasonable doubt that you will engage in future acts of sexual violence,” the judge said, not looking at McCormack.

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Judge rules ex-Chicago priest Daniel McCormack sexually violent

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7 Eyewitness News

September 9, 2017

By Sarah Schulte

Former Chicago priest Daniel McCormack was ruled sexually violent by a Cook County judge on Sept. 8, 2017.

A Cook County judge ruled Friday that former Chicago priest Daniel McCormack is a sexually violent person and should remain indefinitely in a state facility for sex offenders.

Judge Dennis Porter sided with state prosecutors seeking to prevent the convicted child molester from being released.

McCormack’s victims also wanted him to remain in custody.

“They know how dangerous he is, they know how cunning he is, how manipulative he is,” said Marc Pearlman, a attorney representing several of the victims.

In 2007, McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five boys while he was a priest at St. Agatha Parish on Chicago’s West Side, but court records show dozens of other boys alleged McCormack abused them as well.

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Ex-priest Daniel McCormack ruled sexually violent, may be committed

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

September 8, 2017

By Andy Grimm

[Note: See a PDF of the front page, featuring this story.]

A Cook County judge Friday ruled that convicted child molester Daniel McCormack is a sexually violent person, setting up the former Chicago priest for a possible long-term stay at a state facility for sex offenders.

Judge Dennis Porter’s ruling comes some eight years after McCormack finished a five-year prison sentence for molesting five boys while serving as a priest in St. Agatha’s parish, and followed two days of testimony by a pair of state experts on the psychology of sex offenders.

“I have to say, Mr. McCormack, that every one of those dynamic risk factors pushes you up the scale” as a likely offender, Porter said. “I have no reasonable doubt that you will engage in future acts of sexual violence.”

* * *

Porter said he would rule in November on whether McCormack will have to remain in custody at the state facility in downstate Rushville where the ex-priest has been detained since completing his prison sentence in 2009.

* * *

Court records list at least 32 boys who made allegations against McCormack, dating back to 1999. The archdiocese has paid out $10 million in just the last year to settle lawsuits involving claims against McCormack.

“My clients, today, don’t have any love lost for Dan McCormack,” Guth said. “I think they will be pleased with what happened today.”

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September 8, 2017

Vic clergy abuse trials a year away

WILLOUGHBY (AUSTRALIA)
9 News

September 8, 2017

Court trials for a group of clergy abuse victims suing the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat and now-deceased Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns will not likely begin until late 2018.

The victims, who allege they were abused at the hands of Australia’s worst pedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale, are suing for negligence.

Bishop Mulkearns, who died of cancer last year, allegedly knew that Ridsdale had abused boys.

However, it is claimed he simply moved Ridsdale, who has been in jail since 1994, between parishes and did not take proper steps to protect children.

Judicial Registrar Julie Clayton told the Supreme Court of Victoria on Friday she would book trials for six complainants in a block during September and October next year.

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Sanctity of confessional early test of religious freedom

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

September 9, 2017

By Gerard Henderson, Columnist

[Note: See the Royal Commission’s Criminal Justice Report, referenced in this commentary.]

It remains to be seen whether legislation to introduce same-sex marriage in Australia would have an adverse impact on religious freedom. This would depend on the plight of institutions or individuals who continued to teach that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others, subsequent to any legislative change.

That’s a debate for the future. Right now the only threat to religious freedom in Australia turns on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse concerning the sacra­ment of confession. This poten­tially affects Catholic, Anglican and some Orthodox religions.

On August 14, the royal commission released its 2040-page Criminal Justice Report, which contains 85 recommendations. No 35 calls for each state and territory government to introduce legislation criminalising failure to report child sex abuse.

This entails that the proposed legislation “should exclude any existing excuse, protection or privilege in relation to religious confessions to the extent necessary to achieve this objective”. In other words, the Catholic “seal” of confession — that a penitent can confess sin to a priest and receive absolution in total secrecy — would be removed by legislation.

Royal commission staff briefed some journalists on the contents of recommendation 35 prior to the report’s release. This soon became the media’s focus. For example, on August 15, ABC TV’s News Breakfast program interviewed, in quick succession, academics Judy Courtin and Scott Burchill. They agreed wholeheartedly with the royal commission on this issue. Soon after, Francis Sullivan of the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council said he would accept the royal commission’s recommendation. This despite the fact Sullivan had put in a submission arguing the secrecy of the confessional should not be interfered with by government.

The royal commission’s focus on recommendation 35 reflects its apparent obsession with the Catholic Church. Certainly, there are an appalling number of historical instances of clerical child sexual abuse in the this church. These predominantly occurred between 1950 and 1989, peaking in the 1970s — about four decades ago.

However, it is not at all clear that there is a causal relationship between the sacrament of confession and the offending of some Catholic male clergy, primarily against boys. According to the royal commission’s own statistics, on a proportionate basis there was a higher level of pedophilia in the Uniting Church (including its predecessors) than in the Catholic Church between 1950 and 2015. Yet the Uniting Church has no sacrament of confession. Moreover, it has married clergy, female ministers and no compulsory celibacy.

The royal commission devoted 15 days to what was termed its “Catholic wrap”. This compares with just half a day for the Uniting Church. Judge Peter McClennan, chairman of the royal commission, ¬interviewed notorious pedophile Gerald Ridsdale, who was a Catholic priest at the time of his offending, in Ararat prison. Subsequently, Ridsdale gave evidence to the commission via video link. He told McClellan that, when a priest, he never went to confession.

Denis Hart, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, has said that in his half century as a priest no one has ever confessed to pedophilia at confession. Jesuit Frank Brennan has said the same about his 30 years as a priest. Both men support the retention of the secrecy of the confessional in the face of possible government intervention. Yet they are from different traditions within Catholicism. Hart is a conservative Catholic who opposes same-sex marriage. Brennan, a more liberal Catholic, supports same-sex marriage.

Yet both have promised to honour their vow to uphold the secrecy of the confessional if this practice is disallowed by government.

Writing in The Sun-Herald on August 27, sneering secularist Peter FitzSimons railed against “the sanctity of the confessional”. He asserted the royal commission had “just revealed” the Catholic Church “has presided over cases like the one in Rockhampton, where Father Michael McArdle was forgiven no fewer than 1500 times by 30 of his fellow priests for raping children in his care”.
In fact, the royal commission did not even consider the McArdle case. The royal commission’s decision in this instance suggests it does not regard McArdle as credible.

McArdle, whose offending covered the years 1965 to 1987, made his claim in an affidavit to the Queensland Court of Appeal in 2004 during an unsuccessful attempt to have his term of imprisonment reduced. There is no evidence McArdle confessed the sin of child sexual abuse when he offended three decades and more ago. What’s more, it’s highly improbable he would have received what he claimed was exactly the same penance — that is, “go home and pray” — from 30 priests over 20 years.

Sexual abuse by Catholic clerics virtually ceased about two decades ago. Even if the confessional were a factor in such crimes, the fact is few Catholics these days go to confession. Even so, the royal commission is setting up a scenario where the likes of Hart and Brennan could go to prison for proclaiming that they will act in accordance with their religious beliefs.

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Former pastor arrested for sexual abuse of four children

LEXINGTON (NC)
The Dispatch

September 8, 2017

A 40-year old former pastor charged with sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl has been additionally charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse and rape involving the 10-year-old and three additional children, all under the age of 12 years old.

Daniel Gene Little, 40, of 1563 Jerusalem Road, has been charged with 13 counts of felony sexual offense with a child, 11 counts felony child abuse by committing a sexual act, two counts of felony rape of a child, two counts felony incest with a child younger than 13 and indecent liberties with a child.’

Little is the former pastor of Yadkin College Baptist Church in Lexington. In May, he was charged with felony first-degree sex offense sexually assaulting a female juvenile under the age of 17.

At that time, Little was placed in the Davidson County Detention Center under a $150,000 secured bond. Since then, Little had posted bond and was out awaiting trial.

According to information provided by the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, on Sept. 5 the sheriff’s office was contacted by the Davidson County Department of Social Services and made aware that three additional juveniles, two males and one female, had come forward and alleged that they were also sexually assaulted by Little.

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Sexual abuse victim re-traumatised by Catholic church compensation process

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Guardian Australia

September 8, 2017

By Calla Wahlquist

[Note: See the Royal Commission’s Redress and Civil Litigation Report.]

The woman’s ‘extremely difficult’ 13-month ordeal to receive a payout adds weight to calls for an independent redress scheme, says her lawyer

A Victorian woman who was sexually abused as a teenager says the process of getting compensation from the Catholic church was “unnecessarily agonising” and sent her to “an absolute state of unwellness”.

The woman’s revelation adds weight to calls for an independent redress scheme, the final framework of which is expected to be released in the coming weeks, following a proposal put forward by the federal government last year.

Therase Lawless (not her real name) was 14 when she was first approached by a teacher at her school in northern Victoria in the 1980s, who conducted a sexually abusive relationship with her from the ages of 15 to 17.

Lawless, now 50, did not acknowledge her experience as being sexual abuse until she was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder at 35.

“I had no idea that there was even such a notion of sexual abuse,” she said. “I was groomed by him to believe that I was a mature woman from the age of 15 … I did know that he was being horribly, horribly manipulative and abusive, and it was absolutely awful at the time, torturously awful at the time, but I believed it was my choice and I’d invited it and I was in an adult world. This was what an adult world was like.”

The man was investigated after being referred to Victoria police on the basis of Lawless’s evidence to the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in 2014, but the investigation was shelved without charge. He is still employed as a teacher.

Lawless said she sought redress under the church’s Towards Healing scheme as the last available avenue to seek justice and a formal acknowledgement of her abuse.

After a 13-month investigation, she was granted $110,000 in compensation on the grounds that the church did not accept any fault or acknowledge any wrongdoing.

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Denuncian a otra exmonja por abuso sexual agravado

SALTA (ARGENTINA)
El Tribuno

September 7, 2017

By Rubén Arenas

[Google Translate: The Justice of Salta took part in another cause for crimes of sexual abuse involving former members of the Disciples of Jesus Institute of San Juan Bautista, directed by Father Rubén Agustín Rosa Torino. This time the person denounced is Valeria Vanesa Zarsa, who last year, together with two former novices of the congregation, accused members of the order of serious sexual abuse.]

Se trata de Valeria Vanesa Zarsa, quien acusó por el mismo delito al cura Agustín Rosa Torino.

La Justicia de Salta tomó intervención en otra causa por delitos de abuso sexual que involucra a exmiembros del Instituto Discípulos de Jesús de San Juan Bautista, que dirigía el padre Rubén Agustín Rosa Torino. Esta vez la denunciada es Valeria Vanesa Zarsa, la exmonja que el año pasado, junto a dos exnovicios de la congregación, acusó de abuso sexual gravemente ultrajante al religioso. Por estos hechos, el cura permaneció detenido desde diciembre de 2016 hasta la semana pasada, cuando fue liberado por decisión del juez Luis Félix Costas para aguardar en esa condición el juicio oral.

El 27 de julio pasado una joven de 18 años, cuyas iniciales son M.S, se presentó en la Fiscalía Penal de Delitos contra la Integridad Sexual Nº 1 y denunció a Zarsa por abuso sexual. La joven declaró que los ultrajes ocurrieron cuando ella tenía 5 años y dio detalles escabrosos de lo que sufrió a esa temprana edad.

Manifestó que conoció a Zarsa en la parroquia Santa Cruz, donde la nombrada era monja de la congregación que dirigía el cura Rosa Torino. Dijo que, por la amistad y confianza que su madre tenía con la entonces religiosa, la autorizaba a que la llevara a pasear, que se quedara a dormir e incluso a viajar con ella. La joven refirió que en una oportunidad Zarsa la llevó a la casa que el Instituto Discípulo de Jesús posee en la localidad de Lumbreras y que allí también fue víctima de abusos sexuales. Por esta situación, la causa se desdobló, al haberse dado intervención a la fiscal penal del distrito judicial Metán, Ana Inés Salinas.

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Ex-Catholic priest Adrian Van Klooster jailed over child sex abuse drawings

PERTH (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
Western Australian

September 8, 2017

By Tim Clarke

A retired Catholic priest, with a past history of sex abuse against children, has been jailed for a year after disturbing illustrations of children being abused by adults and other children were found on a CD at his home.

Adrian Van Klooster, 75, was already a reportable sex offender and on the national paedophile register after being jailed for eight years in 2003 for the abuse of a group of children who were staying overnight at his parish house in Australind.

Today, in Perth’s District Court, he was returned to prison for another year after pleading guilty to possession of the child exploitation material discovered by police at his Maddington home last November.

The court was told that after failing to notify authorities about his internet use on a Twitter account – a condition of his reportable offender status – police raided his house, and found the CD.

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Former Bunbury priest jailed over cartoons featuring child sex abuse

BUNBURY (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
ABC

September 8, 2017

By Joanna Menagh

A paedophile former Bunbury priest has been sentenced to 12 months in jail for possessing comic strips featuring children being sexually abused.

Adrian Van Klooster, 75, was charged after police from the Sex Offender Management Squad (SOMS) searched the room where he was staying in Maddington, in Perth’s southern suburbs, in November last year.

The District Court was told the officers found a CD featuring two comic strips Van Klooster had downloaded from the internet showing children being mistreated, abused and subjected to incest.

In 2003, Van Klooster was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually abusing two boys and three girls while he was a Catholic priest in the Bunbury Diocese.

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Day 2 of hearings on ex-priest who molested boys wraps up

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN 9

September 7, 2017

By Mike Lowe

Chicago – The trial of disgraced Catholic priest Daniel McCormck has wrapped up a second day of testimony.

A judge will decide if the notorious ex-priest is a “sexually dangerous person” who can be held indefinitely – despite having served his time for a criminal conviction.

In a day of mostly procedural testimony, an expert witness told a judge that he did not see McCormack as a threat to offend again. It was a direct contradiction to what an expert told him the day before. It’s the latest legal chapter in a case that has bedeviled the archdiocese for years.

For a decade, McCormack served in Chicago’s archdiocese, a priest at St. Agatha’s parish on the west side.

In 2007, he pleaded guilty to molesting five boys.

He was sentenced to five years in prison and was paroled in 2009, but has been held in a downstate medical facility ever since.

Now the question before a Cook County judge is – should an admitted pedophile who has served his sentence be released from medical custody?

“I know the history of Daniel McCormack, and I know it from the time he entered the seminary through his time in prison and based on what I know, I beloved there is a substantial risk that he could re-offend,” said attorney Marc Pearlman.

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Hearing begins to determine fate of ex-priest who molested at least 25 boys

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN 9

September 6, 2017

By Nancy Loo and Tonya Francisco

Chicago – 424 people have been committed for life under the sexually violent persons act since it was enacted in 1998. Prosecutors with the Illinois attorney general’s office are hoping former priest Daniel McCormack will be the next.

McCormack sat stone-faced, occasionally taking notes as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Angeline Stanislaus explained how she reached the conclusion that McCormack suffers from pedophilia disorder and is sexually attracted to young males.

In addition to detailing at least five cases where he fondled young boys, she also explained how she arrived at the conclusion that McCormack should be committed under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons act, despite the fact she never interviewed him but only read reports and other psychiatric evaluations. Attorney Marc Pearlman represents about a dozen men who claim to have been victims of McCormack’s sexual abuse. He says they are all on board with McCormack being committed for life.

“They know how dangerous he is, they know how cunning he is, how manipulative he is and if left to his own devices, I don’t know, if he’s in the public at large, who’s going to monitor him, who is going to watch him,” said Pearlman.

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Trial delayed for former Aurora priest accused of sex abuse

AURORA (IL)
Beacon-News/Chicago Tribune

September 8, 2017

By Dan Campana

[Note: See the entry about Fr. Alfredo Pedraza-Arias in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

As Kane County prosecutors continue their push to make sure former Aurora priest Alfredo Pedraza-Arias remains in the United States to faces sex abuse charges, the judge overseeing the case agreed to postpone his trial until November.

Arias, 51, is being held in Kane County Jail on allegations he fondled two girls under the age of 6 at Aurora’s Sacred Heart Church between 2012 and 2014. Arias is also facing deportation to his native Colombia, an issue that arose in June and has prompted prosecutors to seek increases in Arias’ bail amount in an effort to keep him in the country. A third motion to revoke or increase the bail, which suggests Arias asked to be voluntarily removed from the United States in an attempt to avoid prosecution, is scheduled to be heard soon by Kane County Judge Linda Abrahamson.

Arias’ attorney, David Camic, wrote in a response to the motion that Arias simply asked for a “voluntary departure status,” but a federal judge denied the request and then issued the deportation order. Additionally, Camic said prosecutors have no basis for continually seeking changes to Arias’ bail because he hasn’t been accused of violating bond conditions or committing any new crimes.

“His status with immigration does not, as a matter of law, bar him from bail,” Camic stated in the filing, adding the prosecution’s claim that Arias wants to be deported to skip out on his trial “is disingenuous.”

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Grecco sentencing delayed

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 7, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

Convicted sexual predator and ex-Catholic priest Donald Grecco remains a free man, at least for the next seven weeks.

After an emotional, daylong sentencing hearing in St. Catharines, Justice Joseph Nadel decided to defer his final verdict on Grecco — who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three boys in the 1970s and ’80s — until Oct. 24 so the 77-year-old man can get a colonoscopy.

Nevertheless, Nadel made it clear that Grecco is going to prison and said the former priest “deformed” the lives of his victims through the “grossest form of breach of trust.”

The judge said Grecco turned the parishes he was in charge of into “cesspools of abuse.”

“Today’s headline in the St. Catharines Standard calling you a ‘wolf in priest’s clothing’ is a witty and apt description of your behaviour,” Nadel told Grecco, referring The Standard’s ongoing special report on clergy abuse. “You were supposed to shepherd these boys. Instead, you preyed on them.”

Grecco made a short statement of apology to his victims and the community, calling himself a “fraud” who took advantage of the boys who looked to him for guidance and comfort.

“You came looking for goodness, as you should. What did you get from me? You got evil,” he said, looking across the court directly at one his victims, William O’Sullivan of St. Catharines. “I am truly sorry.”

After the hearing, O’Sullivan said he did not believe Grecco’s apology was sincere, but he needed to hear it nevertheless.

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.

September 7, 2017

The stench of rape in God’s house

ST. CATHARINES (ONTARIO, CANADA)
St. Catharines Standard

September 6, 2017

By Grant LaFleche

The wolf in priest’s clothing: Part 2 of 3

[See also Part 1: Living with Echo of Clergy Abuse. Both articles provide links to previous Standard stories about Grecco. See also the page devoted to Rev. Donald Grecco on Sylvia’s Site, with links and chronology.]

A note to readers: For a more than a decade, Catholic priest Donald Grecco sexually abused children in Niagara. On Thursday, he will be sentenced for the abuse of three boys in the 1970s and 80s. This three part series is the story of one of his victims. Be advised this story contains language that might upset some readers.

It was the smell. It clung to everything. His hair. His clothes. His skin. It seemed to lurk inside his nostrils.

In the halls of St. John’s Training School for Boys, decorated with images of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary, that stench was the telltale sign that someone had been in Brother Bernard’s room.

It was the stench of rape.

“I will never forget that smell. Even now, just talking about it, I can smell it. I cannot really describe it. I don’t know what he was burning in there. Incense or something. I don’t know. But you couldn’t get it off you,” says William (Sully) O’Sullivan of St. Catharines ,who was incarcerated at the Uxbridge school in 1986 and 1987. “It was such a strong, distinctive smell that if another kid walked by, you knew he had been to see Brother Bernard. And you’d think ‘Oh, did he just get it, too?’”

As a 16-year-old, O’Sullivan spent 18 months in the St. John’s school, an all-boys reformatory school run by the De La Salle Brothers of the Christian Schools.

Backed by Queen’s Park, the school opened in 1956 and the Brothers, who also ran St. Joseph’s Training School for Boys in Alfred, Ont., were to take truants, trouble makers and teens with records and set them on a better path.

“They walked in there and thought they thought this was going to be heaven,” says Darcy Henton, an investigative journalist who wrote extensively about St. John’s and St. Joseph’s and published the book Boys Don’t Cry in 1995 about the sexual abuse scandal.

“They saw the beautiful stained glass windows and the terrazzo tile floors, and they thought this was going to be heaven, and it turned out to be hell.”

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Winnipeg priest faces new sexual assault charges

WINNIPEG (MANITOBA, CANADA)
CBC

September 7, 2017

Winnipeg priest faces new sexual assault charges
3 men come forward with new charges against Ronald Léger, now accused of sexually assaulting 7 men

By Katie Nicholson and Vera-Lynn Kubinec

[With links to previous CBC stories about Léger. See also the page about Fr Ronald Léger CSV on Sylvia’s Site, providing additional links to articles and documents, with a chronology.]

A Catholic priest who founded and ran a youth centre in Winnipeg for decades is facing new sexual assault charges from three alleged victims, on top of charges laid last year following accusations from four other men.

Ronald Léger, 79, was charged Aug. 31 with three new counts of sexual assault against three men, who were teenagers at the time of the alleged assaults.

Last October, four other men came forward alleging they were sexually assaulted by Léger in their youth. Léger was charged at that time with multiple counts of sexual assault. A trial date for those charges — which span three decades from 1983 to 2013 — has been set for March 5, 2018.

* * *

All of the men first encountered the priest at his St. Boniface youth drop-in centre.

Léger started Teen Stop Jeunesse in 1983. Before that, he ran a drop-in centre from his home for several years while he also worked as a teacher.

* * *

Léger is currently on day parole for three previous sexual assault convictions involving three other men who were assaulted when they were young. Léger pleaded guilty to those charges in 2015 and was later handed a two-year sentence.

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.

New priest is accused in Guam sexual-abuse cases

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

September 5, 2017

By Haidee V. Eugenio

[Note: This article provides more detail than a related article previously posted on Tracker.]

Hagåtña, Guam — Three new lawsuits have been filed against the Catholic church in two Guam courts in the past two days, and one accuses a priest who previously had not been blamed for molesting a child.

The Rev. Louis William Rink, now dead, of Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo is the 16th Guam clergy member to be accused. A former altar boy, now age 43 and identified in documents as R.R.C. to protect his privacy, was 10 at the time in the 1980s.

* * *

R.R.C. is the 104th person to file a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Agaña over alleged sex abuse from clergy or others affiliated with the Catholic church. The lawsuit names the archdiocese, the Congregation of Holy Cross to which Rink belonged and up to 50 others as defendants.

Two other suits accuse the Rev. Louis Brouillard, 96, who has been named in 60 lawsuits filed so far in U.S. District Court and the Superior Court of Guam:

• V.F., now 65, accuses Brouillard of repeated sexual abuse in 1963 and 1964 when the child was an altar boy at Santa Teresita Catholic Church in Mangilao. Brouillard also took naked photos of the boy.

• T.P., now 59, accuses Brouillard of fondling him in 1974 at San Vicente Ferrer & San Roke Catholic Church in Barrigada. The altar boy had stayed after Mass one day to help put things away.

V.F.’s lawsuit also accuses former scout leader Edward Pereira, now dead, of abusing the child at the parish rectory around the same time. He now has been accused twice, both times in connection with cases also accusing Brouillard.

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Judge Expected to Decide Fate of Former Priest Daniel McCormack

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

September 7, 2017

[See the entry about Daniel J. McCormack in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

Disgraced and defrocked Chicago priest Daniel McCormack has spent almost a decade either in prison or walking the grounds of a state mental facility after pleading guilty to molesting five boys from his Near West Side parish.

Whether he will remain — indefinitely— under the watchful eye of state mental health workers will be decided by a Cook County judge.

* * *

Wednesday, his hair close-cropped and wearing an ill-fitting gray-blue shirt, McCormack sat slouched back in a chair beside his lawyers, as a state forensic psychiatrist testified that McCormack was a pedophile, and so sexually fixated on young boys that he continued to molesting children even after he was arrested in 2005 and church leaders assigned someone to monitor him.

Psychiatrist Angeline Stanislaus said McCormack refused to answer questions when she tried to evaluate him for the state in 2009, so she was working from police investigative reports and reports by investigators for the archdiocese. McCormack also did not submit to interviews from experts hired by his own lawyers.

“Even though he had been under the eye of his supervisor at the church and has been arrested, people are looking at him, he continued to engage in this behavior,” Stanislaus said.

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Defrocked Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting child in Saratoga County

ALBANY (NY)
WNYT NBC News Channel 13

September 5, 2017

By Mark Mulholland

[With video.]

Ballston Spa – A 51-year-old former Catholic priest was in court Tuesday morning, speaking softly. It’s a stark contrast to the hard time Michael Hands could be facing.

After he was convicted of sodomizing a 14-year-old in Suffolk County several years ago, Hands was tossed out of the priesthood.

In recent years, he’s been living and working at Easton Mountain near Greenwich, a resort that bills itself as a sanctuary and retreat “created by gay men as a gift to the world.”

According to their website, Hands was the membership director at Easton Mountain. He’s seen in several videos on YouTube promoting the resort’s programs. In one, Hands soaks in a hot tub and asks, “What does it mean to be whole? To be fully human and fully alive, I believe is probably the most attractive human being on the planet.”

It’s Hands’ attraction to children that police and prosecutors say has them worried. They say he contacted a child online and engaged in sex with him in Charlton in late July.

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September 6, 2017

Trial to Decide If Ex-Priest Daniel McCormack to Be Held for Sex Abuse

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

September 6, 2017

By Mike Puccinelli

Chicago — State prosecutors have asked a Cook County judge to declare a former priest sexually violent, and have him committed indefinitely to a state facility for sex offenders.

In 2007, Daniel McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five boys while he was a priest at two Chicago churches, and was sentenced to five years in prison. After his conviction, he was permanently removed from the priesthood.

McCormick completed his prison term in 2010, but has remained locked up in a detention facility for sex offenders, as prosecutors have sought to have him declared a “sexually violent person” under a controversial state law.

If a judge approves prosecutors’ request, McCormack would be held indefinitely at the state detention center in Rushville. More than 400 people have been locked up indefinitely under the state’s Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, and nearly 200 more cases including McCormack’s are pending.

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Daniel McCormack Trial Begins: Should Ex-Priest Be Imprisoned Indefinitely?

CHICAGO (IL)
DNAinfo

September 6, 2017

By Erica Demarest

Cook County Criminal Courthouse — A bench trial began Wednesday morning to determine whether Daniel McCormack should be imprisoned indefinitely.

The disgraced Catholic priest was convicted in 2007 of molesting five children during his time at St. Agatha Parish in North Lawndale. He was defrocked the same year and sentenced to five years in prison.

Shortly before McCormack was slated to be paroled in 2009, state prosecutors filed a petition seeking to imprison McCormack indefinitely under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act — which allows authorities to detain convicted sex offenders under the assumption they will strike again if free.

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Disgraced ex-priest accused of sexually abusing teen in Saratoga County

ALBANY (NY)
Times Union

September 6, 2017

By Robert Gavin

Ballston Spa – A disgraced former priest convicted in 2003 of sexually molesting a 13-year-old boy on Long Island is facing new allegations in Saratoga County of sodomy, sexual abuse and using a child in a sexual performance.

Michael Hands, 51, who was previously sentenced to two years in jail, also cooperated with investigators at the time in a probe of sexual abuse within the church because he too was a victim.

Now, he is charged in a nine-count indictment which accused him of abusing a new victim on July 24 in the town of Charlton.

The indictment charged Hands with using a child in a sexual performance, a felony which carries up to 15 years in prison; disseminating indecent materials to minors in the first-degree, a felony which carries up to seven years in prison; four counts of committing a criminal sex act, a felony which could each carry up to four years; and promoting a sexual performance of a child, a felony which carries up to four years.

He also faces charges of misdemeanor charges of sexual abuse and child endangerment.

Hands, represented by attorney James Tyner, is being held in the Saratoga County jail on $75,000 bail following an arraignment Tuesday before Saratoga County Judge James A. Murphy III.

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DOJ wants priest in child trafficking case included in BI lookout bulletin

MAKATI CITY, METRO MANILA (PHILIPPINES)
Philippine Daily Inquirer

September 6, 2017

By Tetch Torres-Tupas

[Note: See PDF of Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order illustrated in this article.]

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to include in its lookout bulletin the priest arrested last July in the act of taking a 13-year old girl to a motel in Marikina City.

In a two-page urgent memorandum released Wednesday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the BI to include Monsignor Arnel Lagarejos in its lookout bulletin.

“Considering the gravity of the offense allegedly committed, there is a strong possibility that he may attempt to place himself beyond the reach of the legal processes by leaving the country,” read the order.

A person subject of a lookout bulletin is not barred from going abroad. He or she only needs to secure permission from the DOJ before leaving.

Lagarejos is facing a complaint for Qualified Anti-Trafficking in Person Act before the DOJ and violation of the Anti-Child Abuse Law. He is facing a separate case for Anti-Trafficking before the Marikina court. But he was able to post bail amounting to P120,000. JPV

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Lawyer: Priest accused of groping teen in Boonton rejected plea offer

PARSIPPANY (NJ)
Daily Record

By Peggy Wright

September 5, 2017

[Note: See the entry about Rev. Marcin Nurek in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

Morristown – A recently-ordained Catholic priest who is accused of fondling a 13-year-old girl’s buttocks under her skirt in Boonton rejected a plea offer of Pretrial Intervention, a special supervision program under which criminal charges are dismissed if all conditions are successfully met, the defense lawyer said Tuesday.

The Rev. Marcin A. Nurek – who was barred by the Diocese of Paterson from acting as a priest after he was arrested on Aug. 3 – appeared Tuesday with defense lawyer William Ware for a brief, pre-indictment conference before Superior Court Judge Stephen Taylor in Morristown.

Morris County Assistant Prosecutor Meg Rodriguez said the charges against Nurek – criminal sexual contact and endangering the welfare of a child – have been marked for presentation to a Morris County grand jury for possible indictment, the precursor to a criminal trial.

Asked by the judge when the presentation might occur, Rodriguez replied: “Soon. Likely sooner than later.”

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Hearing today on whether ex-priest who molested boys should be locked up indefinitely

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Megan Crepeau

September 6, 2017

[See Judge McWilliams’ punitive damages order, linked from the story. See also the entry about McCormack in the BishopAccountability.org database.]

The accusations against “Father Dan” were seemingly endless.

Court records show more than two dozen boys and young men have alleged Daniel McCormack molested them in their youth, most notably at St. Agatha Parish on Chicago’s Southwest Side, where the young Roman Catholic priest coached basketball, taught algebra and delivered eloquent sermons.

The allegations ranged from inappropriate kissing and touching to sexual assault and dated as far back as the early 1990s. According to the court records, one boy said McCormack abused him on the way back from basketball practice, another in the basement of the rectory and still another during the fourth inning of a White Sox game.

In 2007, more than a year after his arrest sent shock waves through the predominately African-American parish in the Lawndale neighborhood, McCormack pleaded guilty to sexually abusing five boys and was sentenced to five years in prison. He was removed from the priesthood.

Now, almost eight years after McCormack completed his prison term, Illinois prosecutors want him declared a sexually violent person under a little-known and controversial state law that could keep the disgraced former priest indefinitely committed to a state facility with other sex offenders.

A hearing is scheduled to begin Wednesday in Judge Dennis Porter’s courtroom at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

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Ex-priest convicted of sex abuse in 2003 is charged again

JOHNSON CITY (NY)
Associated Press via 12 News WBNG

September 6, 2017

Ballston Spa – A former Roman Catholic priest who served prison time for sexually abusing a New York teenager 17 years ago is now charged with abusing a boy earlier this year.

Authorities say 51-year-old Michael Hands, of Easton in Washington County, has been charged with sexually abusing a teenager in neighboring Saratoga County this year.

The former priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre was convicted in 2003 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in Suffolk County. He served 15 months in prison and is registered with the state as a Level 3 sex offender.

Saratoga County prosecutors say Hands was charged in July with sexually abusing a local boy he met online. He remained in the county jail Wednesday.

A message left with his attorney wasn’t immediately returned.

This story has been corrected to show the priest was a member of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, not the Diocese of Rockville Center.

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DA: Former priest charged with sex abuse

ALBANY (NY)
CBS 6 News WRGB

September 5, 2017

By Heather Kovar

BALLSTON SPA, NY — Michael Hands was arraigned in Saratoga County Court Tuesday, charged on nine counts involving sexual conduct with a minor.

Saratoga County DA Karen Heggen says the alleged crimes happened in July.

“Generally what occurred in this case is that we believe that the defendant allegedly made contact with a minor over the internet, and subsequently made plans to meet with that minor in person,” she said.

DA Heggen says they believe Hands met up with the minor in an undisclosed location in Charlton.

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Defrocked former priest from Easton jailed in sex case

GLENS FALLS (NY)
Post Star

September 5, 2017

By Don Lehman

[Note: Michael Hands is Priest W from the 2003 Suffolk County Grand Jury Report. See the entry for Rev. Michael R. Hands in the BishopAccountability.org database. This article references a 2003 NY Times story.]

Ballston Spa — A defrocked former Catholic priest who lives at a “retreat” in Washington County was ordered held for lack of bail Tuesday on charges that accuse him of sexually abusing a teenage boy in Saratoga County earlier this year.

Michael R. Hands, 51, a Level 3 registered sex offender from Easton, was sent to Saratoga County Jail for lack of $75,000 cash bail or $150,000 bail bond. He was arraigned before Saratoga County Judge James Murphy on a nine-count indictment for alleged sex crimes with a child in Charlton earlier this year.

Hands is a registered sex offender because of a 2003 sodomy conviction in Suffolk County, which occurred when he was a Catholic priest on Long Island in the early 2000s. He was removed from the priesthood after state records show he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

His case attracted national media attention at the time, with The New York Times reporting that Hands claimed he was sexually abused when he was studying to be a priest, and that he cooperated with an investigation into the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Center.

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