Two police officers sentenced for sexually assaulting women while on duty

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Independent

February 27, 2018

By Jeremy B White

‘I’ve gained a lot of unnecessary hatred for law officers, and I’ve gained so much regret for not being able to fight back,’ victims says

A pair of former Los Angeles police officers were sentenced to 25 years behind bars after pleading no contest to charges of sexually assaulting multiple women.

Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols abusing their authority to prey on vulnerable women, luring them into their car and warning of repercussions if they did not perform sex acts on them, prosecutors from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said.

The abuses often occurred when the pair was on duty, they told Los Angeles County Superior Court.

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Providence’s Fr. McGrath Allegedly Had Naked-Boy Photos: Police

NEW LENOX (IL)
New Lenox Patch

February 19, 2018

By John Ferak

New Lenox Police told Patch on Friday that Father McGrath refused to cooperate with their investigation of him.

Father Richard McGrath, who abruptly retired in December as president of Providence Catholic High School, will not face criminal charges regarding allegations involving his cell phone, New Lenox Police Chief Bob Sterba told Patch on Friday afternoon. New Lenox Police spent the past two months investigating McGrath, 71.

The Augustinian Catholic priest had served as either the high school principal or president of Providence Catholic since the mid-1980s. In December, Providence announced McGrath’s retirement effective immediately and school officials removed all photos and biography material of Fr. McGrath from their school’s website at that time.

New Lenox’s police chief told Patch on Friday that McGrath refused to be interviewed by the New Lenox Police Department about the recent ongoing probe. McGrath also refused to provide the detectives with his cellular phone, the device that allegedly contained inappropriate images.

Patch obtained the entire 14-page police report surrounding the investigation of McGrath. According to the key events, on Dec. 8 a girl who was at a Providence High School wrestling match approached an adult affiliated with Providence Catholic. The adult told New Lenox Police how the girl “came back (and) she was visibly shaking.” The adult asked the student “what was wrong and (the student) said that she had just seen Father Richard McGrath’s phone, which he was looking at, and there was a naked boy on it,” New Lenox Police reports state.

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Queens teacher removed from yeshiva post amid child molestation accusations

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Daily News

February 24, 2018

By Reuven Blau and Christina Carrega

A veteran yeshiva teacher was removed from his position as prosecutors continue to investigate accusations that he sexually assaulted a little girl for over a year, the Daily News has learned.

Stanley Kleinman was arrested in December for molesting a then 11-year-old’s breast and vagina with his hands and inserted his finger inside her body on more than two occasions, according to the criminal complaint.

Kleinman, 62, is a fifth grade Jewish studies teacher at Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Far Rockaway and is better known as Rabbi Yisroel Kleinman.

“He’s an excellent teacher,” said Yakov Bender, dean of Darchei Torah, where Kleinman is employed for 30 years.

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Opinion: It’s Time For The #MeToo Movement To Start Talking About Children

UNITED STATES
Forward

February 26, 2018

By Sara Kabakov

hen the #MeToo movement began, I watched, stunned. While in despair to learn of so many high profile predators using their power to intimidate and abuse women, I was also exhilarated; finally the world was opening its blind eye. Maybe my daughters will be able call out men who try to sexually intimidate them, and be believed.

But there was also a place inside me that could not feel anything, an empty place with no words, and no sound. A place I inhabited when I was a child, alone, trapped with a terrible secret, with no solution I could see, for getting out.

When I was 13 and 14 years old, a student rabbi in my community repeatedly molested me. He told me that if I told, no one would believe me and I would be blamed. And he was right. When I did tell, I was blamed. The well-meaning adults in my world were not attuned to the signs of sexual abuse, and did not know how to respond.

Tragically, the number of children who are at this moment, living through the imprisonment of child sexual abuse I did, is staggering. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, every eight minutes, Child Protective Services substantiates or finds evidence for a claim of child sexual abuse.

That is one hundred and eighty times a day.

Worse still, many cases of sex abuse are unreported, meaning this astronomical number is just a drop in the bucket; the scope of this problem is astounding. Meanwhile, groundbreaking studies of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) show the lifelong deleterious health effects on children who have endured physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

MeToo has taught us the importance of listening to adult survivors. Now we must apply the same principle to children when they disclose abuse.

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ISRAELI COURT DELAYS DECISION ON EXTRADITION OF ALLEGED CHILD SEX-OFFENDER

AUSTRALIA and ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

February 27, 2018

By Tamara Zieve

Malka Leifer to remain in custody in a psychiatric hospital.

he Jerusalem District Court postponed a decision about extraditing Australian suspected child sex-offender, Malka Leifer, until the end of next month.

Police arrested Leifer earlier this month after an undercover investigation indicated that she had been feigning mental illness to avoid extradition.

The judge ruled on Tuesday that Leifer will remain in custody in a psychiatric hospital until the district psychiatrist can provide an assessment on her state, accepting the defense’s complaint that the new evaluation was not signed by the district psychiatrist, but by two other doctors.

The judge also ordered the prosecution to hand all its evidence to the defense.

A new hearing is scheduled to take place next month.

AFP reported that Leifer’s attorney, Yehuda Fried, told journalists after the hearing that he was confident the debate over whether Leifer could be extradited would take “years.”

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Israeli court told alleged sex offender Malka Leifer is fit to stand trial in Australia

AUSTRALIA and ISRAEL
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

February 27, 2018

By Sophie McNeill

Key points:
– Ms Leifer is accused of faking mental illness
– New psychiatric assessment found Ms Leifer fit to stand trial
– Israel court has further delayed extradition

An Israeli state attorney says a new psychiatric assessment of a former Melbourne school principal wanted on 74 charges of child sexual abuse has found she is fit to stand trial.

But a Jerusalem judge has further delayed Malka Leifer’s extradition hearing, saying her defence team needed more time to review the evidence and that a new medical report had to be signed off by the city’s chief medical psychiatrist.

On February 12, Israeli police arrested 54-year-old Ms Leifer, accusing her of faking mental illness for the past three years in order to avoid extradition to Australia following an undercover police investigation.

Ms Leifer had been the principal of the Adass Israel girls’ school in Melbourne before she fled to Israel after allegations of abuse were first raised against her in 2008.

At the last court hearing on February 14, a judge ordered her to undergo a new in-depth psychiatric assessment.

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Ex-student sues Lake Forest Montessori school over ‘illegal sexual relationship’ with teacher who’s now in prison

LAKE FOREST (IL)
Chicago Tribune

February 27, 2018

By Matthew Walberg

A former student from the Montessori School of Lake Forest has sued the school, saying a teacher engaged in a long-running “illegal sexual relationship” with him that included her sending him nude photographs of herself.

That ex-teacher is now in prison on a conviction of criminal sexual assault of a minor.

The former student filed the suit anonymously in Lake County last week, saying school leaders should have known that his teacher, Celina Montoya, was grooming him, according to a copy of the lawsuit. It claims school officials allowed Montoya to have prolonged periods of time alone with the student, which she used to “manipulate” him into “in an inappropriate and illegal sexual relationship.”

The suit also claims school officials learned of the inappropriate relationship in 2013 but failed to terminate her immediately or report the claims to the Department of Children and Family Services.

A school representative could not be reached for comment.

Montoya, 43 was convicted in 2016 to criminal sexual assault of a child between the ages of 13 and 17 and was sentenced to four years in prison, according to Lake County Circuit court records. She is currently serving time at the Logan Correctional Center near Springfield.

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Monica Lewinsky says MeToo has made her rethink whether she could consent to relationship with Bill Clinton

NEW YORK (NY)
The Independent

February 28, 2018

By Clark Mindock

Ms Lewinsky says that the #MeToo movement has inspired her

Monica Lewinsky says that her perspective on the scandal that consumed her life and the United States in the late 1990s has continued to shift in light of the #MeToo movement, and she now is not sure that she could have consented to a relationship with former President Bill Clinton while she was a White House intern.

In an essay in Vanity Fair, Ms Lewinsky described that evolution — which, in some respects, she describes as a life-long struggle for peace — and how the stories of brave women coming forward in recent months to tell their stories of sexual assault, harassment, or the misuse of power has made her rethink the affair she had with the President of the United States more than 20 years ago.

Ms Lewinsky does not cede her agency in the matter — she has long said that the relationship was consensual, that she was a willing participant. But, she says she is now considering the fact that there was an inherent power differential between a White House intern and the president.

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Rabbi on the Run: CBC News investigates alleged Winnipeg sex offender on the lam [Video]

WINNIPEG (CANADA)
CBC News

February 24, 2018

Winnipeg Rabbi Yacov Simmonds has been on the run for months, after police charged him with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching. But the story only went public this week, after an investigation by CBC News reporter Kristin Annable. Watch The Investigators Saturdays at 9:30 pm ET and Sundays at 5:30 pm ET on CBC News Network.

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Meghan Markle says women ‘don’t need help to find their voice’ as she urges Royals to harness Time’s Up and Me Too campaigns

LONDON (ENGLAND)
The Telegraph

February 28, 2018

By Hannah Furness

Meghan Markle has said women do not “need to find their voice”, as she urged the Royals to harness the Time’s Up and Me Too sexual harassment campaigns.

She might not yet be a member of the Royal family, but she has joined Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on stage as they set out their charitable vision for the future.

Using her first official platform to argue the Royals should harness the movements to shine a light on women’s voices, Ms Markle said they “need to feel empowered”.

Lining up with William, Kate and Harry as the trio spoke about their Royal Foundation and how it has developed over the years, Ms Markle said: “Women don’t need to find their voice, they need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen.

“Right now with so many campaigns, Me Too and Time’s Up, there is no better time to really continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people really helping to support them, men included in that.”

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Meghan Markle Shows Her Support for #MeToo, Time’s Up and Women’s Empowerment

NEW YORK (NY)
Harper’s Bazaar

February 28, 2018

By Erica Gonzales

“There is no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered.”

Meghan Markle has a long history of being an ardent feminist (she was battling sexist advertising at the age of 11) and now she’s using her new royal platform to promote women’s rights and women’s empowerment around the world.

During her appearance at the Royal Foundation Forum today (her first official engagement with Kate Middleton and Prince William), the former actress spoke passionately about encouraging women to use their voices, using anti-sexual harassment movements like #MeToo and Time’s Up as examples.

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DENVER MAYOR APOLOGIZES AFTER POLICE DETECTIVE ACCUSES HIM OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT

DENVER (CO)
Newsweek

February 28, 2018

By Chantal Da Silva

Denver’s Mayor has issued an apology after a veteran police detective accused the politician of sexually harassing her while she was a member of his security detail six years ago.

Denver police detective Leslie Branch-Wise said Mayor Michael Hancock made inappropriate comments and repeatedly sent her text messages during 2012—his first year in office. The detective went public with her allegations in an interview with Denver7 on Tuesday.

In one text, shown to the news broadcaster, Hancock complimented Branch-Wise’s haircut and wrote: “You made it hard on a brotha to keep it correct every day.”

In another message, the politician told Branch-Wise “you look sexy in all that black,” after spotting her on television in the crowd at a Denver Nuggets game.

The veteran police detective said the mayor also sent her an inappropriate message about pole dancing: “So I just watched this story on women taking pole dancing classes. Have you ever taken one? Why do women take the course? If not have you ever considered taking one and why? Your thoughts?”

Branch-Wise said she did not respond to the mayor’s provocative messages, but alleged he kept going, writing: “Be careful, I’m curious. LOL!”

When asked how she interpreted the text message about pole-dancing, Branch-Wise said it signalled that Hancock did not respect her as an employee.

“It was a hard time in my life,” Branch-Wise said. “I didn’t have anyone to tell, I didn’t have anyone to talk to. That’s my boss,” Branch-Wise told Denver7.

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Retired priest admits to sexually abusing boys

BUFFALO (NY)
WGRZ

February 28, 2018

A local, retired priest has admitted to sexually abusing dozens of boys.

BUFFALO, NY – A retired priest from Western New York has admitted to The Buffalo News that he sexually abused dozens of boys.

Reverend Norbert Orsolits tells the paper the sexual encounters he had with teenage boys were fueled by alcohol.

He admitted to what he did after a South Buffalo man said he abused him 35-years-ago.

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Man says he was abused as teen by Buffalo-area priest

BUFFALO (NY)
The Buffalo News

February 27, 2018

By Aaron Besecker

A South Buffalo man is alleging he was sexually abused by a Buffalo-area Catholic priest when he was a teenager nearly 40 years ago.

Michael F. Whalen Jr., 52, said the alleged abuse occurred during a weekend ski trip south of Buffalo in 1979 or 1980 when he was about 14 years old.

Whalen named the Rev. Norbert F. Orsolits as his abuser. The Diocese of Buffalo on Tuesday would not answer specific questions about the allegations made against Orsolits, but said in a written statement that he was removed from the ministry in 2003.

“Since 1990, the Diocese of Buffalo has had policies to address sexual abuse,” George Richert, a spokesman for the diocese, said in the statement. “Every complaint that we receive is addressed pursuant to a protocol that is designed both to protect children and to respond to victims.”

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Middlesex priest accused of sex abuse

MIDDLESEX (NJ)
My Central Jersey

February 26, 2018

By Suzanne Russell

MIDDLESEX BOROUGH – The pastor of Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish has been accused of sexual abuse by three people when they were minors more than 30 years ago, Diocese of Metuchen Bishop James F. Checchio said in a letter to parishioners Sunday.

Checchio said the Rev. Patrick J. Kuffner is on a leave of absence and the Rev. David Skoblow will serve as temporary administrator of the parish.

The accusations relate to when Kuffner was a layman and teaching in Staten Island, New York, according to Checchio’s letter.

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Catholic sex abuse in Northwest isn’t new. Diocese bankruptcies started here.

BOISE (ID)
Idaho Statesman

February 26, 2018

By Michael Katz

It started in Portland.

The Catholic Church there — as similar allegations spread worldwide — faced accusation after accusation of child sexual abuse by clergy. Then the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland reached financial strain it could no longer withstand.

A total of 54 victims accused Maurice Grammond, a priest who worked at a handful of parishes from 1950 to 1985, of abuse. They sued, costing the church $33.4 million in settlements, according to the Oregonian.

The church eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2004, having paid more than $53 million in settlements, according to The Washington Post. A total of 175 victims alleged abuse from the Portland church; their bankruptcy claims were settled for $75 million in 2007, according to Reuters. In the process, it became the first diocese in the country to declare bankruptcy due to sexual abuse cases.

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Victims of Fr Finnegan urged to come forward

NORTHERN IRELAND
Lurgan Mail

February 27, 2018

Victims of paedophile priest Malachy Finnegan have been urged to come forward after the Diocese of Dromore revealed it was aware of 12 allegations against the former teacher.

Hundreds of boys from Lurgan and the vicinity travelled daily to St Colman’s College in Newry to attend school during the period in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s when Fr Finnegan taught and was President.

Last week parents at four Co Down primary schools have said they do not want the Bishop of Dromore, Dr John McAreavey to officiate at their children’s confirmation after he said Requiem Mass for Finnegan. Bishop McAreavey admitted earlier this month that he had made an “error” by officiating at Finnegan’s funeral in 2002. He described the former teacher’s actions as “abhorrent, inexcusable and indefensible”.

It had been revealed recently that the Diocese of Dromore had settled a claim for sex abuse by Finnegan, who was accused of abusing pupils at St Colman’s College in Newry.

The diocese said it was aware of 12 allegations against the former teacher, who worked at the school from 1967 to 1976. Finnegan was never prosecuted. The first allegation against him came to light in 1994, with the then Fr McAreavey providing pastoral support to the victim, according to the Irish News.

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Bishop Barros testifies before abuse cover-up investigation

CHILE
The Associated Press

February 26, 2018

The bishop is accused of witnessing and covering up abuse. He denies the claims

The Chilean bishop accused of covering up sex abuse by a paedophile priest has testified before a Vatican mission looking into the allegations, a priest involved in the interviews said Friday.

Bishop Juan Barros has been among those interviewed by the team, said Fr Jordi Bertomeu, who has been handling recent interviews in the investigation. But he did not say when the interview occurred, or whether Bishop Barros appeared voluntarily or was summoned.

Bishop Barros has been accused by survivors of witnessing and ignoring the abuse of young parishioners by Fr Fernando Karadima, who was removed from ministry and sentenced to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” in 2010.

Bishop Barros has denied knowing of the abuse.

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Uniting Church mulls asking congregations to fund abuse compo claims

QUEENSLAND (AUSTRALIA)
Starts At 60

February 26, 2018

The Uniting Church of Australia in Queensland has suggested having congregations put more in the collection plate, or church schools hike their fees, to help fund compensation for child sexual abuse victims.

The Courier Mail reported that the Queensland Synod had published a consultation document looking at options for funding claims that may come in in the future, having paid out almost $5 million in just the past 12 months to 31 people who were abused while in the care of the church.

One of the options for funding future compensation could be to ask church members and associated entities such as schools and hospitals to pay a levy to cover future compo claims, the Courier Mail reports the consultation paper as suggesting. The levy could be covered by fund-raising drives by congregations, or an increase in the fees charged by schools, the newspaper said.

Another other option for funding compensation was to sell some of the church’s assets, which includes 19 schools and colleges, numbering among them the prestigious Brisbane Boys College, 250 churches, and four hospitals including the Wesley and St Andrew’s in Brisbane.

A third option would be for the church entity where the abuse occurred to fund the compensation, rather than the synod. The entities attached to the church include UnitingCare Queensland and Wesley Mission Queensland.

The synod referred Starts at 60 to a statement by the Reverend David Baker, who’s the Queensland synod’s moderator, which said that the Courier Mail‘s report was misleading to infer that the church would not be able to meet its obligation to abuse survivors.

“This is categorically not the case,” Baker said in the statement. “We have the resources to meet our commitments to the redress scheme.” Instead, the consultation document was intended to encourage consultation among congregations over future funding options, he said. “No decisions about any of the options have been made, nor are they likely to be made in the foreseeable future,” Baker added.

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Survivors, politicians propose sexual abuse reporting laws in Michigan

LANSING (MI)
ESPN

February 26, 2018

By Dan Murphy

The women who spoke up to help put convicted sexual predator Larry Nassar in prison are speaking again, this time in support of changes to Michigan laws that would make it easier to hold his enablers and future would-be abusers accountable.

Six women who say they were abused by the formerly celebrated sports physician for Michigan State and USA Gymnastics joined a host of state politicians Monday afternoon to introduce a package of proposed legislation related to reporting sexual abuse.

Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to publicly accuse Nassar of sexual assault in September 2016, said the proposed bills would take Michigan from one of the nation’s least victim-friendly states in the judicial process to one of the nation’s best at handling these cases.

“The legislative package unveiled today will become a blueprint for our country,” Denhollander said during a news conference at the state’s Capitol.

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Priest accused of using exorcisms to sexually assault women

NEW YORK (NY)
New York Post

February 26, 2018

By Lia Eustachewich

A Catholic priest in Italy has been busted for allegedly using exorcism to sexually assault young women, telling them they’d be “punished” by “angels and saints” if they didn’t comply, according to a report Monday.

Father Michele Baron is accused of forcing the women into sexual acts while “liberating” them from evil spirits, according to prosecutor Maria Antonietta Troncone, The Times of London reported.

Baron allegedly beat, insulted and threatened the women, who were forced to sleep in the nude with him and his mistress, Troncone said.

One woman told prosecutors she would be “punished by the Madonna, St. Michael and other angels and saints” if she didn’t perform sexual acts.

Barone also persuaded the women to quit taking prescriptions and follow a strict diet of milk, biscuits and glucose solution. He wasn’t authorized to perform the exorcisms.

He’s been suspended from his priestly activities for a year.

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Mid-Michigan priest charged with sex crimes

SAGINAW TOWNSHIP (MI)
WNEM

February 26, 2018

By Rachel McCrary and Kate Nadolski

A local priest has gone before a judge, accused of multiple sex crimes.

Father Robert DeLand, Jr., a pastor at St. Agnes Church in Freeland, was arrested in the late hours of Feb. 25 after months of investigation.

DeLand, 71, was first accused of sexual assault in August of 2017 by a then 21-year-old man who claimed the incident happened at DeLand’s house on Mallard Cove in Saginaw Township, according to Det. Brian Berg with the Tittabawassee Township Police Department.

Police were then approached by a 17-year-old and his parents, concerned about the relationship developing between the teen and the priest.

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Saginaw-area priest arrested on assault allegations

SAGINAW (MI)
The Associated Press

February 27, 2018

Police in the Saginaw area have arrested a 71-year-old Roman Catholic priest who is accused of sexual assault.

Jail records show the Rev. Robert DeLand was arrested Monday. He’s the pastor at St. Agnes Church in Freeland.

Police say they’ve received several complaints since August alleging assault, gross indecency, alcohol for a minor and possession of the Ecstasy drug.

No charges have been filed, although the Saginaw County prosecutor is reviewing police reports.

An email seeking comment was sent to the Catholic Diocese in Saginaw.

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Saginaw Township priest accused of sexual assault

SAGINAW TOWNSHIP (MI)
Michigan Radio

February 26, 2018

By Bryce Huffman

A Saginaw Township Catholic priest is under investigation for alleged criminal sexual activity.

Father Robert DeLand Jr. is the pastor of St. Agnes Parish in Freeland and is a judicial vicar with the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.

DeLand was arrested by Tittabawassee Township Police after being under surveillance beginning in November.

The 71-year old priest is accused of a sexual assault from August of last year. DeLand has since been accused of providing alcohol to a minor and purchasing the controlled substance MDMA – or Ecstasy.

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N.J. priest reassigned after sex abuse allegations surface from time as Staten Island teacher in 1980s

STATEN ISLAND (NY)
SILive

February 26, 2018

By Paul Liotta

A New Jersey priest, who worked in Staten Island schools for more than 20 years as a layman, was put on a leave of absence Sunday after sexual abuse allegations connected to his time in the borough surfaced.

Rev. Patrick Kuffner “has been accused by three individuals of sexual abuse while they were minors,” according to a letter from Bishop James F. Checchio of the Diocese of Metuchen.

The allegations stem from Kuffner’s time as a layman and teacher on Staten Island more than 30 years ago, according to the letter.

“As I am sure you will be, I am deeply shocked and saddened at this development, and I have a heavy heart for the individuals who came forward after many years of having carried such a tremendous burden,” Checchio wrote in his letter.

Kuffner could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

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SafeToNet demos anti-sexting child safety tool

UNITED KINGDOM
TechCrunch

February 26, 2018

By Natasha Lomas

With rising concern over social media’s ‘toxic’ content problem, and mainstream consumer trust apparently on the slide, there’s growing pressure on parents to keep children from being overexposed to the Internet’s dark sides. Yet pulling the plug on social media isn’t exactly an option.

UK startup SafeToNet reckons it can help, with a forthcoming system of AI-powered cyber safety mobile control tools.

Here at Mobile World Congress it’s previewing an anti-sexting feature that will be part of the full subscription service — launching this April, starting in the UK.

It’s been developing its cyber safety system since 2016, and ran beta testing with around 5,000 users last year. The goal is to be “protecting” six million children by the end of this year, says CEO Richard Pursey — including via pursuing partnerships with carriers (which in turn explains its presence at MWC).

SafeToNet has raised just under £9 million from undisclosed private investors at this point, to fund the development of its behavioral monitoring platform.

From May, the plan is to expand availability to English-speaking nations around the world. They’re also working on German, Spanish, Catalan and Danish versions for launch in Q2.

So what’s at stake for parents? Pursey points to a recent case in Denmark as illustrative of the risks when teens are left freely using social sharing apps.

In that instance more than 1,000 young adults, many of them teenagers themselves, were charged with distributing child pornography after digitally sharing a video of two 15-year-olds having sex.

The video was shared on Facebook Messenger and the social media giant alerted US authorities — which in turn contacted police in Denmark. And while the age of consent is 15 in Denmark, distributing images of anyone under 18 is a criminal offense. Ergo sexting can get even consenting teens into legal hot water.

And sexting is just one of the online risks and issues parents now need to consider, argues Pursey, pointing to other concerns such as cyber bullying or violent content. Parents may also worry about their children being targeted by online predators.

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Fr Malachy Finnegan victims complain to ombudsman

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

February 27, 2018

A group of victims is complaining to the police ombudsman about failures to investigate reports in 1996.

Father Malachy Finnegan, who died in 2002 was accused of sex abuse by 12 people.

Some parishioners are refusing to set foot in the parochial house where some of the abuse happened.

Priests will no longer stay overnight in the parochial house after Saturday evening mass.

The late Fr Malachy Finnegan, a former teacher, worked in St Colman’s College in Newry from 1967 to 1976 and was later the President of the school.

Victims claim that the police in Newry were alerted to the allegations in 1996 but failed to interview the priest who died in 2002. The police say that a formal complaint was never made but they did receive a report of historical abuse.

Parishioners have told the BBC Spotlight team that they will no longer set foot in the parochial house in Hilltown and that priests will no longer stay overnight there.

Recently the Catholic diocese of Dromore settled one of the claims against Fr Finnegan.

Bishop of Dromore, John McAreavey, said the abuse was “abhorrent” and admitted he made an “error” by officiating at Fr Finnegan’s funeral in 2002.

The school began to remove the priest’s image from its photographs last year.

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PROTECTION OF CHILDREN IS BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACING AUSTRALIAN CHURCH, SAYS CATHOLIC AUDITOR

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet

February 26, 2018

By Mark Brolly

The Chief Executive of an independent company established by the Catholic Church in Australia to develop, audit and report on compliance with professional standards across Catholic entities says that if the safety of children and vulnerable people is not at the centre of the Church’s mission in Australia and around the world, “then something has gone very, very wrong in the Church”.

Ms Sheree Limbrick, CEO of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd (CPSL), said the biggest future challenge facing the Church was the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

“Regardless of the changes that have been made to the way in which the Church in Australia responded to, and dealt with, allegations and the survivors of child sexual abuse over the past 25 years, it has become very clear that more, much more, needs to be done,” Ms Limbrick wrote on the Jesuit-operated Eureka Street website on 19 February, shortly before she was a panellist at the Catholic Social Services national conference, Hearing, Healing, Hope, in Melbourne from 21-23 February.

She wrote that CPSL was a completely new process for the Australian Church, its leaders and organisations.

“It brings with it its own set of unique challenges, not least of which is the perception that CPSL is stepping well over the mark and intruding on the independence of bishops and others.

“From my perspective this is not right. CPSL will be consulting widely on the new standards, certainly not doubling up where appropriate standards already exist. It will offer extensive training on how to comply with the standards, and give Church leaders every opportunity to understand their responsibilities to ensure, as far as possible, children and vulnerable people are safe.

“But that said, where there are failings and where, for whatever reason, a diocese or congregation continues to be unsafe, CPSL will say so, publicly. CPSL sets a new high-water mark in the ongoing development of a child-safe church in Australia.”

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Man who claims to have ‘nearly killed a priest’ to stop a sexual assault calls for state abuse inquiry to be widened [with video]

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

February 27 2018

By Katarina Williams

A man who claims to have “nearly killed a priest” with his bare hands to stop an attempted ​sexual assault is calling on the Government to widen the scope of its historic state abuse inquiry.

If faith-based institutions were to be incorporated into the inquiry, the Catholic Church said it would “cooperate whole-heartedly”.

Chris Travers, husband of former Green Party chief of staff Deborah Morris-Travers, has revealed in a Facebook post that he “choked” his alleged abuser to ward off the priest.

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MEDIA RELEASE – FEBRUARY 26, 2018

NEW YORK
Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery, Inc. – P.O. Box 279, Livingston, New Jersey 07039 – 862-368-2800

TWO CHILDHOOD CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS TO SPEAK OUT

A courageous childhood clergy sexual abuse victim from the Diocese of Buffalo, New York, Michael Whalen, will speak for the first time publicly about having allegedly been sexually abused by Fr. Norbert Orsolitis, currently a retired priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, New York whom Michael Whalen met when he was a parishioner of St. John Vianney Parish in Orchard Park, New York

It is alleged that Fr. Norbert Orsolitis took Michael Whalen to a cabin in Springville, New York near the Kissing Bridge Ski facility in approximately 1979/1980 when he was approximately 14 years old and sexually abused him

A second childhood clergy sexual abuse victim will be available by telephone anonymously to speak about allegations of being sexually abused by Fr. Robert P. Conlin in approximately 1980

What

A press conference by a courageous clergy sexual abuse victim, Michael Whalen, who allegedly was sexually abused as a child by Fr. Norbert Orsolitis in Springville, New York in approximately 1979/1980 during a ski trip when Michael Whalen was approximately 14 years of age. A second childhood sexual abuse victim will speak anonymously by telephone about allegations of being sexually abused by Fr. Robert P. Conlin

When

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 11:30 am

Where

On the public sidewalk outside the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, New York, 795 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14203

Who

Michael Whalen, a childhood victim of sexual abuse by a Buffalo, New York, priest, and Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families. The second childhood sexual abuse victim will speak anonymously by telephone

Why

Michael Whalen, an alleged childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Norbert Orsolitis in Springville, New York, will speak publicly for the first time about the alleged sexual abuse he experienced at approximately 14 years of age in approximately 1979/1980 when he was a parishioner of St. John Vianney Parish, Orchard Park, New York. The second childhood sexual abuse victim who will remain anonymous will speak by telephone about allegations of being sexually abused by Fr. Robert P. Conlin, St. Mary’s Parish, Pavilion, New York

Contacts

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

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-388-5252 (portrayed in the 2016 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, “Spotlight”)

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Nassar victims help unveil sweeping child abuse legislation

LANSING (MI)
The Associated Press

February 26, 2018

By David Eggert

Victims of imprisoned former sports doctor Larry Nassar helped unveil what they described Monday as a sweeping rewrite of Michigan laws related to childhood sexual abuse, saying the changes would ease the ability to stop abuse and bring justice to survivors.

Included in the bipartisan 10-bill package is a proposal to drastically lengthen the time limit for victims of sexual assault to sue. Survivors who were minors at the time of abuse and for whom the two- or three-year statute of limitations has expired generally must file a civil lawsuit by their 19th birthday. Under the legislation, minor victims could sue up until their 48th birthday while those assaulted in adulthood would have 30 years to file a claim.

The measures were unveiled the same day the U.S. Education Department announced a new investigation of Michigan State University, where Nassar was employed for decades and which has been accused of mishandling complaints that enabled him to continue molesting patients under the guise of treatment. He also worked at USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians and is the sport’s governing body.

“We find ourselves at the top of a list we don’t want to be on, as we rank among the states leading the nation in providing protective environments for predators to thrive and the worst environment for survivors to find justice,” said Sterling Riethman, 25, a former collegiate diver and Nassar patient who was among more than 250 women and girls who spoke at his recent sentencing hearings.

She was joined Monday at the state Capitol by legislators along with “sister survivors,” including 2012 Olympic gymnast and gold medalist Jordyn Wieber; Rachael Denhollander, who alerted The Indianapolis Star to Nassar in 2016; Larissa Boyce, who reported Nassar to Michigan State’s gymnastics coach in 1997; and Amanda Thomashow, whose 2014 complaint against Nassar resulted in the school clearing him.

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PM faces claims over exclusion of churches from abuse inquiry [with video]

NEW ZEALAND
Radio NZ

February 27, 2018

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says state care survivors did not want their cases “diluted” by the Royal Commission looking into abuse by the Church.

A father and son who say leading Catholic clergymen sexually abused them as schoolboys are accusing the Prime Minister of going back on her past assurances about including religions institutions in the inquiry.

The terms of the upcoming Royal Commission on abuse in state care excludes institutions such as churches – unless children were sent to them by the state.

So for instance, a child sent to St Patrick’s by the state is on a different footing from one sent by their parents.

Ms Ardern told Morning Report the reason they made the distinction was because for thousands of children between the 1950s and late 1990s, the state was essentially a parent, therefore the state needed to take responsibility.

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Abuse survivors speak out, accuse govt of backtracking

NEW ZEALAND
Radio NZ

February 27, 2018

By Phil Pennington

A father and son who accuse leading Catholic clergymen of sexually abusing them] as schoolboys are also accusing the Prime Minister of going back on her past assurances.

The two say the upcoming Royal Commission is this country’s once-only chance to call the Catholic Church to account for child sex crimes, but that chance is slipping away.

This is the first time the men have spoken publicly about their experiences, as a war of words intensifies over whether the Royal Commission should exclude non-state institutions.

RNZ has agreed not to name them.

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Education agency investigates Michigan State over Nassar

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Associated Press

February 26, 2018

The Education Department said Monday that it has opened an investigation into how Michigan State University handled allegations of sexual assault against Dr. Larry Nassar, a longtime employee who has been sentenced to decades in prison for molesting young athletes and possessing child pornography.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said investigators will look at “systemic issues” with how the school has dealt with such complaints. In a statement, she called Nassar’s actions “unimaginable.”

She added, “The bravery shown by the survivors has been remarkable.”

DeVos, who is from western Michigan, said she appreciates that the university’s acting president, John Engler, has ordered the school to cooperate fully with the investigation.

The Education Department was already reviewing separate complaints about the school’s compliance with Title IX, the law that requires schools to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence, and compliance with requirements about providing campus crime and security information.

The Michigan Attorney General’s office also is investigating Michigan State’s handling of Nassar, who was a campus sports doctor.

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Corless urges public to back DNA testing of Tuam babies’ remains

TUAM (CO GALWAY, IRELAND)
The Irish Times

February 23, 2018

By Elaine Edwards

Historian calls on members of the public to make submissions to Galway County Council

Galway historian Catherine Corless, whose work resulted in the discovery of the remains of hundreds of babies and infants on the site of the former mother-and-baby home in Tuam, has urged members of the public to support full exhumation and DNA testing of the remains.

Galway County Council recently opened the consultation on options for the site following the publication by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone of an expert technical report in December.

In March 2017, the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation confirmed the discovery of juvenile human remains, in “significant quantities”, in subsurface chambers on the site of historic sewage system at the former Bon Secours home.

That commission was set up in February 2015 after Ms Corless published research that revealed death certificates for 796 children at the Tuam home with no indication of their burial places.

In June last year, the minister appointed an expert technical group to outline to the Government what options were available for the site and for dealing with the remains.

While the technical report outlined five options – from creating a memorial to continuing examinations on the site – the Government has not made a decision on how to proceed.

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Gymnasts to join lawmakers Monday to unveil bills aimed at stopping sexual abuse

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

February 26, 2018

By Kathleen Gray

Michigan state Sen. Margaret O’Brien has known Rachael Denhollander for years.

When Denhollander was growing up in Kalamazoo, she worked on some of O’Brien’s early political campaigns. And when, after becoming a lawyer and moving to Louisville, Ky., Denhollander decided to go public with her story of being sexually abused by former Michigan State University sports doctor Larry Nassar, she counted on that connection with O’Brien to turn the story into positive action.

“After she first went public, she asked me if she could meet with legislators. She told us what she had discovered in research and found we were one of the worst states of the nation,” O’Brien, a Portage Republican, said. “The charge was laid out that we had to do something.”

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HOLLYWOOD’S INDIE FILM INDUSTRY IS STILL WAITING FOR A DOSE OF #METOO

UNITED STATES
Quartzy

February 26, 2018

By Jed Gottlieb

Producer Miranda Bailey spent two decades becoming an independent film industry powerhouse. Her production company, Cold Iron Pictures, has steadily built an impressive catalog—recent successes include 2015 Sundance sensation Diary of a Teenage Girl and Mike Birbiglia’s 2016 feature Don’t Think Twice. Bailey has switched from producer to director with You Can Choose Your Family, which stars Jim Gaffigan and will debut at SXSW next month.

Bailey began at the bottom with a crash course in industry culture. Her first acting job came in indie film where she needed to do a sex scene. But, her character also opened the film with some dialogue over a few scenes and appeared to be a plum first gig. On the day of the shoot, Bailey was given no costume, only a robe, and the set wasn’t closed—something she had negotiated before the shoot. Quickly, Bailey, who had never been on a movie set until this day, felt the situation pulled out of her control.

“The producer stormed in and said, ‘You gotta take that underwear off,’ and I said, ‘No way,’” Bailey said. “The producer told me I’m holding everybody up. I felt tremendous pressure. Everyone was looking at me. I was naked and 22-years-old.”

Bailey acquiesced while the producer and director changed the scene on the spot, adding another character who walks in over and over again on the couple simulating sex. After the scene finished they told her she was wrapped. They had cut her screen time with dialogue saying they ran out of money to shoot it. Bailey offered to come back for free—“I would never have done the movie just to be in one sex scene,” Bailey said. But, the scenes never materialized.

This was in the early 2000s, during the explosion of online porn. Hollywood-centric websites specialized in stockpiling every naked actress from every movie. For years, as she tried to make a name for herself as a producer and director, the scene followed her around.

While producing her first indie feature, the director told her she needed to fire one of the assistant editors, a woman. The call was the director’s to make but, as the producer, Bailey needed to tell her she was being let go. At the news, the editor burst into tears and said, “Miranda, you need to know why he’s firing me.” The director had pulled Bailey’s old sex scene off the internet and sneaked it onto a TV screen in the background of a scene in the new movie. Then the director and the crew sat around laughing at their secret joke.

“It was completely humiliating and this assistant editor was the only one who stuck up for me and I still had to fire her,” she said. “This one thing I did on my first movie haunted me for so long.”

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Jennifer Lawrence Is Reportedly Teaming Up With Catt Sadler for #MeToo, Time’s Up Docuseries

NEW YORK (NY)
Glamour

February 25, 2018

By Jennifer Lance

Hollywood’s fight for gender equality has just taken another big step forward. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jennifer Lawrence and former E! News host Catt Sadler—who left her storied post as anchor last year after learning that her male colleague was earning nearly twice her salary—are teaming up to create a no-holds-barred television docuseries that will take a provocative look at recent female-centric movements in Hollywood, specifically those concerning the gender wage gap, Time’s Up, and #MeToo.

The announcement—which, fittingly, comes on the heels of Lawrence’s recent decision to take a year-long break from acting in order to pursue political activism—was made during the actress’ speaking engagement on Friday night at The Wing, a women’s-only workspace in New York. While speaking with The Wing co-founder Audrey Gelman, Lawrence accidentally let it slip that she and Sadler had been recently collaborating on a TV series—though, when asked to elaborate, the star declined to embellish, concluding slyly: “I wasn’t supposed to announce that.”

Lawrence and Sadler reportedly became close back in December, after the actress publicly supported the veteran E! News host upon learning of her experience with wage disparity. When asked about her budding friendship with Lawrence during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in January, Sadler said: “Jennifer Lawrence has become a friend of mine—really, a hero of mine. Long before my own experiences, her voice has been an empowering one and one I’ve always admired. To have her in my corner is hard to put into words, to be honest.”

While Lawrence did not elaborate the development plans for the upcoming series during her evening at The Wing, The Hollywood Reporter later reported that the series in discussion is said to follow #MeToo, Time’s Up and gender wage gap conversations in Hollywood; additionally, the pair have reportedly brought acclaimed documentary filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig—who explored America’s gun violence epidemic in Under the Gun—into the directorial conversation.

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Jennifer Lawrence gets candid about nude photo leak and Harvey Weinstein

UNITED STATES
Yahoo Entertainment

February 25, 2018

By Nick Paschal

Jennifer Lawrence sat down with Bill Whitaker for a very candid interview on 60 Minutes. The Oscar-winning actress opened up about her nude photo hack and Harvey Weinstein, who produced Silver Linings Playbook.

When asked if Weinstein had ever been inappropriate with her, Lawrence said no but added, “What he did is criminal and deplorable. And when it came out and I heard about it, I wanted to kill him. The way that he destroyed so many women’s lives. I want to see him in jail.”

Lawrence may have avoided being assaulted by Weinstein, but she was violated when her private nude photos were hacked and spread around the internet in 2014. The violation affected both her private and professional life, according to Lawrence. “I read this script that I’m dying to do, and the one thing that’s getting in my way is nudity,” she said. “I realized there’s a difference between consent and not.”

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Weinstein Apologizes to Streep, Lawrence for Lawyers’ Words

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Associated Press

February 22, 2018

By Sandy Cohen

Harvey Weinstein is apologizing to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence after his lawyers cited them in asking a court to dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit.

Harvey Weinstein apologized to Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lawrence after his lawyers cited them in asking a court to dismiss a sexual misconduct lawsuit.

A spokeswoman for the disgraced movie mogul said Thursday that Weinstein has also directed his legal representatives not to use specific names of actors and former associates in the future.

Lawyers for Weinstein argued in a filing, in which they quoted previous remarks made by Streep and Lawrence, that a proposed class-action lawsuit filed by six women should be rejected.

Weinstein’s attorneys cited Streep as having previously said that Weinstein wasn’t inappropriate with her and cited Lawrence as having told Oprah Winfrey that Weinstein “had always been nice” to her.

The actresses immediately snapped back, with Streep calling the citation of her remarks “pathetic and exploitive.”

Lawrence said Weinstein’s attorneys took her previous remarks out of context and that she stands “behind all the women who have survived his terrible abuse.”

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Cardinal apologizes for any ‘confusion or embarrassment’ over tweet

NEWARK (NJ)
News 12 New Jersey

February 25, 2018

The Newark archbishop is offering an apology for any “misunderstanding” after a tweet he posted last week sparked controversy.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin posted a tweet last Wednesday that read, “Nighty-night, baby. I love you.”

The archdiocese says the tweet, which was later deleted, was meant for one of his eight younger sisters. But the message has raised some eyebrows.

The cardinal has since posted a message on Twitter that says, “Sitting on a plane last Wednesday evening, I mistakenly tweeted a message meant as a private communication with one of my sisters. When I arrived in Newark two hours later, friends informed me of the error and I immediately removed it.”

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I’m a Campus Sexual Assault Activist. It’s Time to Reimagine How We Punish Sex Crimes.

NEW YORK (NY)
The New York Times

​February 22, 2018

By Sofie Karasek

I’ve told my story many times — I was assaulted, I reported it to my university, and it swept it under the rug. When I was 19, I helped create the wave of activism around the issue of campus sexual assault that made headlines from 2013 to 2016.

The student movement during those years primed the public for #MeToo today: Survivors of sexual assault mobilized to end the stigma attached to it by telling our stories publicly. And, as is happening now, progress didn’t come without opposition.

We’ve been here before, and there are valuable lessons from our fight for today’s movement. One of the most promising has to do with justice. Over time, many student activists have become disillusioned with an emphasis on punitive justice — firings, expulsions and in some cases, prison sentences. We’ve seen firsthand how rarely it works for survivors. It’s not designed to provide validation, acknowledgment or closure. It also does not guarantee that those who harmed will not act again.

As the campus sexual assault movement, and now #MeToo, has made clear, sexual injustices, from harassment to rape and assault, are deeply ingrained in American society, involving people from all walks of life. We cannot jail, fire or expel our way out of this crisis. We need institutional responses to sexual harm that prioritize both justice and healing, not one at the expense of the other.

When I was assaulted at 18, I knew clearly what I wanted: I wanted him to never violate anyone else again, ever. Four of us whom he’d assaulted told the university, through proper channels; he was eventually found responsible, but the punishment was negligible. Nor did it achieve my goal: He assaulted another person the weekend of his graduation. The whole process made me feel betrayed, angry and unvalued. It was worse than the assault itself.

Later, when I got involved in campus sexual assault activism and did Q. and A. sessions around the country, people often asked me why I hadn’t then gone further, seeking to have him expelled or reporting him to the police. I always felt uncomfortable when asked these questions — it was as though I had to prove that my story was really “that bad,” as if I admitted I didn’t want him to go to jail, it would minimize his wrongdoing. The reason I gave for not reporting him to the police was that I didn’t want to go through a lengthy court process. While this was true, it was more than that: First, I wanted to get on with my life. But second, putting him in prison seemed almost laughably ill suited to what I needed. What I wanted was for him to change his behavior. He needed an intervention, not prison. He got neither.

I had to fit my priorities into a box that was never designed to hold them, as do so many other survivors. Sexual injustices exist in many forms, from casual sexism and harassment to sexual assault and rape. But people harmed by them have, by and large, only two options: They can try to have the perpetrator formally punished, or they can do nothing. The process of reporting formally is important to many survivors and must be protected; we know, however, that a vast majority of people will not choose this path. And all survivors — regardless of whether a report is filed or a harm-doer is exposed — deserve justice, healing and trust.

Recognition of the scale of sexual assault and harassment in the United States has, understandably, inspired a wave of outrage. Women who have watched known predators act without consequences for years are angry, as they should be.

But it is this same factor — the scale of the problem — that ensures that cries for retribution on a mass scale are untenable. We’re simultaneously dehumanizing the people who committed sexual assault for years by calling them monsters and learning that the people who commit these crimes are our friends, co-workers, family members and partners. Such dynamics become too much to grapple with; as a result, the conversation devolves into an argument about whether #MeToo has gone “too far” versus “not far enough”; my fear is that this is where it will stall until we lose patience and move on, when what we really need is a new approach.

There are other models out there. Black survivors, who are often reticent to report sexual assaults to the same officers who criminalize their family and friends, and Native American survivors, who are often barred from pressing criminal charges​ ​​​a​​gainst non-Native perpetrators in tribal courts, have long argued for alternatives. Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, echoed this sentiment to me last week, declaring, “It’s time to turn this ship around.”

Academics are already building upon this sense that we need more options. At the University of Arizona, Mary Koss, who did groundbreaking work on campus rape in the 1980s, piloted a program called Restore that uses a framework in which the harm-doer takes responsibility for what happened and a formal plan is developed for the person to make amends and change his behavior. This approach also involves community members along with family and friends. (In 2016, the Obama administration solicited a grant application from Dr. Koss and her team to expand this research nationally. The Trump administration, unfortunately, rescinded the solicitation in January 2017.)

Alternative forms of justice are also taking hold in contexts beyond campuses. In 2016, Black Women’s Blueprint, an organization that advocates for black women who are survivors of sexual violence, convened a Truth and Reconciliation Commission conceived by its members. The four-day commission gave 15 survivors the space to share their stories and be publicly affirmed by the community. It also created space for individuals, whether harm-doers or those who enabled them, to take responsibility. One minister apologized on behalf of the religious community for not believing or supporting survivors, which Farah Tanis, the director of BWB, called “tremendous,” “shocking to get” and “so important for so many survivors in the room.” She also noted that some men in attendance said that they had sexually harmed women and offered apologies, which took the burden off survivors to initiate reconciliation.

How to expand these models on a large scale remains a big question. (There have already been calls to bring alternative-justice models to Hollywood​​.) There are plenty of challenges and factors to consider. For instance, because institutions seek to protect their bottom lines and insulate themselves from legal liability, it’s not clear that they can ever be truly fair and unbiased; survivors need an option that is truly independent, and ideally publicly funded. We need solutions at the scale of the problem, which private or charitable funding alone cannot create.

But if the momentum and passion behind #MeToo and the campus sexual assault movements demonstrate anything, it’s that our systems for dealing with sexual injustices are broken. The question is whether we are using this moment to construct better ones.

Sofie Karasek is a co-founder of End Rape on Campus​​ and the national organizer for the #InMyWords campaign.

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Chileans lose faith as Vatican scrambles to contain sex abuse scandal

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

February 23, 2018

By Cassandra Garrison

To understand why Chile, one of Latin America’s most socially conservative nations, is losing faith in the Roman Catholic Church, visit Providencia, a middle-class area of Santiago coming to terms with a decades-old clergy sex abuse scandal.

Providencia is home to El Bosque, the former parish of priest Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing teenage boys over many years, spurring a chain of events leading to this week’s visit by a Vatican investigator.

A Chilean judge in the same year determined the Vatican’s canonical sentence was valid but Karadima was not prosecuted by the civil justice system because the statute of limitations had expired.

So many Chileans were shocked in 2015 when Pope Francis appointed as a bishop a clergyman accused of covering up for Karadima, and defended that choice in a visit to Chile last month.

Chile remains largely conservative on social issues. It only legalized divorce in 2004, making it one of the last countries in the world to do so. Chile’s ban on abortion, one of the strictest in the world, was lifted in 2017 for special circumstances only. Same-sex marriage remains illegal.

Yet El Bosque, like many other Chilean parishes, no longer has the large crowds attending Mass that it did in the 1970s and 1980s, when Karadima was a pillar of the Providencia community.

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Mid-Michigan priest accused of sexual assault

SAGINAW TOWNSHIP (MI)
WNEM

February 26, 2018

A local priest is behind bars for claims of sexual assault crimes.

Father Robert Deland, Jr. was first accused of sexual assault in August of 2017 at his home on Mallard Cove in Saginaw Township, according to Det. Brian Berg with the Tittabawassee Township Police Department. A police investigation began that November.

“At no time were students or others in danger during this covert law-enforcement operation,” Berg wrote in a press release.

Five complaints have been filed against Deland since then, including claims of giving alcohol to a minor, sexual assault, illegally purchasing and possessing Ecstasy, and gross indecency.

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Papal adviser on sex abuse wants Church to offer experience to the world

ROME (ITALY)
CRUX

February 26, 2018

By Claire Giangravè

A Vatican commission created by Pope Francis to advise him on the fight against sexual abuse now is looking to repair its relationship with victims and to “go forward” in order to lend its expertise and resources to the outside world, according to a recently appointed member.

Last week, the Vatican announced that Francis had confirmed seven members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and appointed nine new members, some of whom are former victims of sexual abuse.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), is an advisory body to the pope on the issue of safeguarding minors and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse.

The first phase of the commission, before its recent renewal, had “many moments of reflection,” according to Ernesto Caffo, a newly appointed member as well as founder and president of Telefono Azzurro, a non-profit organization in Italy aimed at protecting children.

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Teen said Modesto pastor abused her. Church ‘swept it under the rug’

MODESTO (CA)
The Modesto Bee

February 24, 2018

By Garth Stapley

The 27-year-old married youth pastor in Modesto consoled the troubled girl, whose father had just died. Eventually, he kissed her. Then he fondled her.

She was 14.

Over the next 2 1/2 years, Brad Tebbutt sexually abused Jennifer Graves in his office at First Baptist Church, a prominent Modesto congregation, and in his car. After school, before his wife returned from work, he would have sex with her in his home, she said.

At the end of her junior year at Beyer High School, in 1988, Tebbutt and his wife moved away. A recent publication boasts of his 30-year career as a youth pastor, and he now works in a seniors ministry for the International House of Prayer of Kansas City.

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Church officials shielded priest suspected of murder for decades

EDINBURG (TX)
CBS NEWS

February 26, 2018

By Josh Gaynor

Church officials shielded priest suspected of murder for decades

A “48 Hours” investigation has uncovered new details in a former priest’s 57-year journey from murder to justice. Father John Feit was shielded by church officials from prosecution in the 1960 murder of a former Texas beauty queen, and allowed to rise to a position of authority overseeing troubled priests, according to dozens of interviews and hundreds of pages of public records and documents obtained by “48 Hours.”

By “48 Hours” producer Josh Gaynor, with additional reporting by producer Lourdes Aguiar and field producer Alicia Tejada

On a late Thursday afternoon on Feb. 9, 2016, 83-year-old former Catholic priest John Bernard Feit was escorted into a holding room at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Phoenix.

Joining him were two out-of-state investigators, Rolando Villarreal with the Texas Rangers and Frank Trevino with the McAllen, Texas, Police Department.

After reading Feit his Miranda rights, Investigator Trevino presented him with an arrest warrant for a murder in Hidalgo County, Texas.

“I’ve been questioned extensively about this dating back to 1960,” Feit said, according to a transcript of the interview read in court. “So I’m disappointed but not surprised.”

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The Weinstein Company to file for bankruptcy

NEW YORK (NY)
Reuters

February 26, 2018

By Rich McKay

The board of directors of The Weinstein Company said late Sunday the New York film and TV studio planned to file for bankruptcy after talks to sell it collapsed, several media outlets reported.

The firm had been seeking a deal to spare it from bankruptcy after more than 70 women accused film producer Harvey Weinstein, its ex-chairman and once one of Hollywood’s most influential men, of sexual misconduct including rape. Weinstein denies having non-consensual sex with anyone.

“The Weinstein Company has been engaged in an active sale process in the hopes of preserving assets and jobs,” the board said in a statement reported by newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times. “Today, those discussions concluded without a signed agreement.”

The board had “no choice but to pursue its only viable option to maximize the Company’s remaining value: an orderly bankruptcy process.”

There was no immediate confirmation of the plan on the company’s website or Twitter feed.

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Controversial child sex abuse legal tactic to be struck out

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 24, 2018

By Royce Millar, Chris Vedelago & Ben Schneiders

The controversial legal tactic that prevents survivors of child sexual abuse from suing the Catholic church would be invalidated by sweeping legislative changes planned by the Andrews government.

The Age has obtained a confidential draft of a bill that addresses several outstanding recommendations from the state’s 2013 Betrayal of Trust inquiry. The bill is expected to be introduced into parliament this year.

If passed, the law will expose billions of dollars in assets of the Catholic church and other religious organisations to potential legal action for the first time in more than a decade.

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OPINION: Justice on the Horizon

AUSTRALIA and ISRAEL
Jewish Journal

February 21, 2018

By Nicole Meyer

It was a typical evening. The kids were settled and I finally sat down to relax. Then the phone rang. It was a familiar number from Israel and I thought the call would be nothing more than a quick hello. But within 30 seconds, my life sharply tilted off-kilter.

“Malka Leifer has been arrested.”

“What?” was all I managed to articulate, my body flooding with adrenalin and my mind with a multitude of scrambled thoughts. My fingers shook as I messaged my sisters. Within minutes, they were at my door and we all spoke at once. Could this long journey to justice finally have arrived? Would Leifer finally return to Australia to face her alleged crimes or would she again evade extradition? Five television channels were already clamoring for our reaction to this huge news.

Leifer, the 54-year-old former principal of Adass Israel Jewish School in Melbourne, fled Australia for Israel in March 2008 after allegations of sexual abuse of numerous female students came to light. My sisters and I never thought we would tell anyone of the abuse. But then in early 2011, my sister Elly was the first to make a police statement, followed by my other sister, Dassi. Finally, I made my statement, too.

It was the start of a journey we never imagined would last this long. In May 2014, Leifer was arrested in Israel for the first time and before long was released on bail, albeit with an ankle bracelet. For the next two years, every time a court date was set for extradition proceedings to begin, she checked herself into a psychiatric hospital.

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South Korea’s Moon urges action against growing #MeToo sex abuse claims

SEOUL (SOUTH KOREA)
Reuters

February 26, 2018

By Heekyong Yang

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for police to investigate a growing number of sexual abuse claims as the #MeToo campaign ensnares a growing number of high-profile figures, including entertainers and a priest.

The #MeToo movement has taken off belatedly in male-dominated South Korea where discussion of sexual misconduct has long been taboo. The country ranked 118 out of 144 for gender equality last year, according to the World Economic Forum.

The case that help spark the movement in South Korea moved forward on Monday, with former deputy minister for criminal affairs at the Justice Ministry Ahn Tae-geun saying he would “faithfully cooperate” with prosecutors investigating claims that he groped a subordinate in 2010.

“Gender violence is an issue of a social structure that allows the powerful to sexually oppress or easily wield violence against the weak,” Moon said at a meeting with aides. “I applaud those who had the courage to tell their stories.”

The campaign was triggered by accusations by dozens of women against U.S. film producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including rape, triggering a wider scandal that has roiled Hollywood and beyond. Weinstein has denied non-consensual sex with anyone.

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Rabbi wanted for sex crimes claimed leadership role Jewish school

WINNIPEG (CANADA)
Winnipeg Free Press

February 22, 2018

By Carol Sanders

A rabbi whom police say molested minors in incidents from 1993 to 1999 was helping to run an Orthodox Jewish school in Winnipeg for several years after the alleged sex crimes, according to a 2011 newspaper interview.

Chabad-Lubavitch of Winnipeg said this week Yacov Simmonds, 42, was employed at its Jewish learning centre after the alleged crimes occurred as director of development — a fundraiser — rather than in the school with children.

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Six Oregon men file suit against Albany First Assembly church for sex abuse

CORVALLIS (OR)
Corvallis Gazette-Times

February 24, 2018

By Lillian Schrock

Six Oregon men filed a lawsuit Friday against the Albany First Assembly church, and the state and national organizations that operate the church, for sexual abuse they say they suffered as children in the 1980s, according to the Portland law firm representing the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleges that the church and its governing organizations failed to investigate and forward to police reports that a youth leader in the church had sexually abused a boy. Two leaders of a church youth program were later criminally convicted for sexually abusing several boys.

According to the complaint, Ralph Wade Gantt and Todd Clark were leaders in the church-sponsored Royal Rangers, an educational and recreational program for boys similar to Boy Scouts. The lawsuit alleges Gantt and Clark abused their position of leadership, trust and respect to repeatedly sexually abuse the six plaintiffs when they were as young as 10 years old.

Five of the plaintiffs are represented by their initials in the lawsuit. The sixth plaintiff is listed Anthony Burwell.

The complaint asserts Gantt and Clark frequently had the plaintiffs and other Royal Rangers members stay overnight at their houses for sleepovers, took members on overnight camping trips and hosted members at their houses for Bible studies.

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Woman says pastor sexually abused her at 14. Now he’s in ministry at IHOP of Kansas City

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

February 24, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

A Washington woman says a former youth pastor sexually abused her 30 years ago when she was 14. Despite acknowledging the misdeed, she says, he continues to work in ministry — now at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City.

Brad Tebbutt was a 27-year-old youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Modesto, Calif., when the abuse began, Jennifer Graves Roach told The Modesto Bee in a story published Saturday. Roach told The Bee that Tebbutt consoled her when her father died, then sexually abused her over the next 2½ years in his church office, his car and his home while his wife was at work.

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45 años calló una víctima de la pederastia en Chile

CHILE
Agence France-Presse via El Telégrafo

>>>45 years a victim of pedophilia in Chile fell silent

February 25, 2018

La congregación católica Marista presentó el pasado año una denuncia contra Abel Pérez, miembro de la orden religiosa, acusado de abusos sexuales a menores.

A los 10 años ingresó a un colegio de la Congregación Marista y comenzó su suplicio. Abusos sexuales y una violación transformaron en un “eterno juego perverso” la niñez de Jaime Concha, una de las víctimas de decenas de casos de pederastia develados en los últimos años en Chile.

Décadas después de esa espiral de manipulación y abusos que se iniciaron en 1973 -con su ingreso al colegio Alonso de Ercilla de Santiago- este médico, de 55 años, decidió contar su historia y así comenzar a sanar sus heridas.

[Google Translation:

45 years a victim of pedophilia in Chile fell silent

The Catholic Marist congregation filed a complaint last year against Abel Pérez, a member of the religious order, accused of sexual abuse of minors. At age 10 he entered a school of the Marist Congregation and began his ordeal.

Sexual abuse and rape transformed the childhood of Jaime Concha, one of the victims of dozens of pedophile cases unveiled in recent years in Chile, into a “perpetual perverse game”. Decades after that spiral of manipulation and abuse that began in 1973 – with his entry to the Alonso de Ercilla de Santiago school – this 55-year-old doctor decided to tell his story and begin to heal his wounds.]

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Exorcist priest accused of sexual abuse

ROME (ITALY)
The Times of London

February 26 2018

By Philip Willan

Police have arrested a Catholic priest accused of using exorcism sessions to sexually abuse a number of vulnerable young women, including a girl aged 14.

Maria Antonietta Troncone, the co-ordinating prosecutor, said that Father Michele Barone had allegedly beaten, insulted and threatened the women and subjected them to sexual acts while “liberating” them from demonic possession. They were encouraged to sleep in the nude with him and his mistress, she said, with one woman told that she would be “punished by the Madonna, St Michael and other angels and saints” if she did not perform the sexual acts demanded of her.

Father Barone, who was not authorised to carry out exorcisms, is alleged to have persuaded the women to stop taking prescribed medicines and to adopt a diet of milk, biscuits and glucose solution. He has been suspended from priestly activities for a year.

The parents of the 14-year-old victim have been placed under house arrest for alleged complicity in the abuses, as has Luigi Schettino, a local police officer who is accused of attempting to persuade the girl’s sister to withdraw an official complaint that she had lodged with his office.

The case came to light after the sister reported the alleged abuse to journalists on a satirical television programme.

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Le prêtre de Val-d’Or accusé d’agression sexuelle est acquitté

VAL D’OR (QUEBEC, CANADA)
Radio Canada

>>>Val-d’Or priest accused of sexual assault acquitted

February 23, 2018

Le vicaire de la paroisse de Val-d’Or, Charles Bizimana, a été acquitté vendredi après-midi des trois chefs d’accusation qui pesaient contre lui. Le juge Steve Magnan a rendu cette décision puisqu’il soutenait que les versions de l’accusé et de la plaignante étaient contradictoires.

Le juge a ainsi appliqué l’arrêt W.(D.), qui stipule entre autres que si ce dernier ne croit pas pas le témoignage de l’accusé, mais qu’il a un doute raisonnable, il doit en ce sens prononcer l’acquittement.

L’homme était notamment accusé de voie de fait simple, de séquestration et d’agression sexuelle.

[Google Translation:

Val-d’Or priest accused of sexual assault acquitted

The vicar of the parish of Val-d’Or, Charles Bizimana, was acquitted Friday afternoon of the three counts that weighed against him. Judge Steve Magnan made that decision, arguing that the accused’s and the complainant’s versions were contradictory.

The judge applied W. (D.), Which states, inter alia, that if the judge does not believe the testimony of the accused but has a reasonable doubt, he must, in that sense, pronounce the ‘acquittal.

The man was charged with simple assault, forcible confinement and sexual assault.]

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Lettre aux prêtres et aux diacres, et aux diocésains

LILLE (FRANCE)
Archdiocese of Lille

>>>Letter to priests and deacons, and to diocesans

February 24, 2018

By Laurent Bernard Marie Ulrich, Archbishop of Lille

Suite à la mise en examen d’un prêtre du diocèse de Lille Mgr Ulrich adresse ce courrier en y exprimant sa compassion pour la plaignante et ses proches, sa prière et sa sollicitude pour tous les diocésains.

Aux prêtres et aux diacres

Chers amis,

Si vous fréquentez les sites internet ou si vous lisez les journaux du littoral dunkerquois, vous aurez appris la mise en examen de l’abbé Vincent Sterckeman, hier soir. J’avais été avisé jeudi dans la journée qu’il était auditionné à la suite d’une plainte, et ce n’est qu’hier soir à 19 h que j’ai appris sa mise en examen : je vous explique cela, parce que les nouvelles médiatiques disent que j’ai été prévenu. En réalité mon premier sentiment est la surprise de la rapidité avec laquelle ces événements sont survenus ; aucune plainte, aucun bruit avant-coureur ne m’avaient laissé soupçonner quelque chose.

Les faits qui relèvent de la justice pénale sont les suivants. A la suite d’une plainte, l’abbé Vincent Sterckeman, prêtre du diocèse de Lille depuis 2002, curé de la paroisse Saint-Pierre des Rives de l’Aa à Gravelines-Grand-Fort-Philippe, depuis 2011, a été mis en examen pour viol et atteintes sexuelles sur une jeune femme, mineure au moment des faits, entre 2004 et 2008. Ces faits doivent être examinés au cours d’une enquête judiciaire au cours de laquelle je n’ai pas à m’exprimer publiquement. Tant que la procédure judiciaire est en cours, l’abbé Vincent Sterckeman est suspendu de ses fonctions de curé et de l’exercice du ministère sacerdotal. La paroisse est administrée provisoirement par le doyen du littoral dunkerquois ouest.

[Google Translation:

Letter to priests and deacons, and to diocesans

February 24, 2018

Following the indictment of a priest of the diocese of Lille Bishop Ulrich addresses this letter expressing his compassion for the complainant and his relatives, his prayer and his concern for all diocesan.

Dear friends,

If you frequent the websites or read the newspapers of the Dunkirk coastline, you will have learned of the indictment of Father Vincent Sterckeman last night. I was notified on Thursday that he was auditioned following a complaint, and it was not until last night at 7:00 pm that I learned of his indictment: I explain that to you, because that the news media say that I was warned. In fact, my first feeling is the surprise of the speed with which these events occurred; no complaint, no harbinger had left me suspecting something.

The facts of the criminal justice system are as follows. Following a complaint, Father Vincent Sterckeman, priest of the diocese of Lille since 2002, parish priest of Saint-Pierre des Rives de l’Aa in Gravelines-Grand-Fort-Philippe, since 2011, has been placed in review for rape and sexual abuse of a young woman, minor at the time of the facts, between 2004 and 2008. These facts must be examined during a judicial investigation during which I do not have to express myself publicly. As long as the judicial process is ongoing, Father Vincent Sterckeman is suspended from his duties as parish priest and the exercise of priestly ministry. The parish is provisionally administered by the Dean of the Dunkirk west coast.]

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Gravelines – Nieppe : un prêtre mis en examen pour viol

NIEPPE (FRANCE)
France 3 TV

>>>Gravelines – Nieppe: a priest indicted for rape

February 24, 2018

Le Père Vincent Sterckeman , 44 ans, a été mis en examen pour viol par personne ayant autorité et agressions sexuelles par un juge d’instruction du tribunal de Dunkerque. Il a été laissé libre mais placé sous contrôle judiciaire.

Le consentement au cœur de l’enquête

Selon La Voix du Nord , les faits présumés remonteraient à la période 2004-2008 . Vincent Sterckeman était alors prêtre à Nieppe (près d’Armentières).

Une jeune femme, âgée de 15 ans au moment des faits , l’accuse aujourd’hui de viols et a été auditionnée par la justice. Vincent Sterckeman, placé en garde à vue mercredi, a admis avoir eu des relations sexuelles avec cette dernière, mais nie tout viol.

[Google Translation:

Gravelines – Nieppe: a priest indicted for rape

Father Vincent Sterckeman , 44, was indicted for rape by a person with authority and sexual assault by an examining magistrate of the Dunkirk court. It was left free but placed under judicial control.

Consent at the heart of the investigation

According to La Voix du Nord , the alleged facts go back to 2004-2008 . Vincent Sterckeman was then a priest in Nieppe (near Armentieres).

A young woman, aged 15 at the time of the events , accuses her today of rapes and was auditioned by the justice. Vincent Sterckeman, in custody on Wednesday, admitted to having sex with the latter, but denies any rape.]

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Sex abuse at Chilean church school was an unending ‘perverse game’: victim

VIÑA DEL MAR [VALPARAÍSO, CHILE]
Agence France-Presse via the Malaysia Sun Daily

February 25, 2018

Sexual abuse at the hands of priests marked the childhood of Jaime Concha since the day when, at age 10, he entered a school run by the Marist Brothers religious order in Santiago.

He is now 55 years old and a doctor. After all these years, his case is one of the dozens finally being investigated by the Catholic Church in Chile — a church rocked by the scale of a sex-abuse scandal that tainted the recent visit of Pope Francis.

Concha told AFP his treatment at the hands of the Marist Brothers was like “an everlasting perverse game.”

He says he has now broken decades of silence about his childhood trauma to try to come to terms with the devastation it has wreaked on his life since he first entered the order’s Alonso de Ercilla school in Santiago.

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Co Down GAA club urged any victims of paedophile priest to come forward

COUNTY DOWN (NORTHERN IRELAND)
The Irish Times

February 24, 2018

By Suzanne McGonagle

A CO Down GAA club has urged any victims of abuse by paedophile priest Malachy Finnegan to come forward.

Clonduff GAC in Hilltown said anyone affected by the actions of Finnegan, a former president of the club, should “bring this to the attention of the PSNI”.

It comes as it was revealed that parents at four Co Down primary schools have said they do not want the Bishop of Dromore, Dr John McAreavey to officiate at their children’s confirmation after he said Requiem Mass for Finnegan.

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Former priest guilty of indecently assaulting boy in 1980s

COUNTY CORK (IRELAND)
Irish Times

February 23, 2018

By Barry Roche

[See related past articles: Missionary order apologies for abuse at Cork school by priest, by Barry Roche, Irish Times, November 15, 2014; and Carrignavar school ‘a concentration camp’, say ex-pupils, by Claire O’Sullivan, Irish Examiner, August 3, 2011.]

Tadhg O’Dalaigh remanded on bail for sentence as complainant prepares statement

A 74-year-old former priest has been convicted of indecently assaulting a young boy while teaching in a boarding school in Cork in the 1980s.

Tadhg O’Dalaigh, a former member of the Sacred Heart Missionaries, had denied the single charge of indecently assaulting the boy at the Sacred Heart College in Carriganavar in Co Cork on a date between September 1st, 1980 and January 28th, 1981.

But the jury of nine men and three women at Cork Circuit Criminal Court took just one hour and 50 minutes to find O’Dalaigh, with an address at Woodview, Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin unanimously guilty of the charge.

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Priest goes on trial for indecently assaulting boy in sickbay

COUNTY CORK (IRELAND)
Irish Examiner

February 22, 2018

By Liam Heylin
A priest has gone on trial accused of indecently assaulting a boy in a Co Cork school sickbay in the early 1980s.

Tadgh O’Dalaigh, aged 73, of Woodview, Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, pleaded not guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to a charge of indecent assault on an unknown date between September 1, 1980, and January 28, 1981, at Sacred Heart college, also known as Coláiste An Chroi Naofa, Carraig Na Bhfear.

Siobhán Lankford, prosecuting, said the accused was a priest in the school at the time, which catered for boarders and day-pupils. It was alleged the complainant was in bed in the sickbay on the evening of the disputed indecent assault.

Shane Costelloe, defending, stressed from the outset of his cross-examination of the complainant: “He does not accept the allegation you have made.

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Priest guilty of sexual assaulting schoolboy 36 years ago

COUNTY CORK (IRELAND)
Irish Examiner

February 23, 2018

By Liam Heylin

A jury took less than two hours to reach a unanimous guilty verdict in the case of a priest sexually assaulting a schoolboy in Cork approximately 36 years ago.

The jury of nine men and three women returned to Courtroom 1 at the courthouse on Washington St, Cork, before 3pm with their unanimous guilty verdict.

The 74-year-old priest had denied indecently assaulting the boy at a school in Co Cork early in the 1980s.

Tadgh O’Dalaigh of Woodview, Mount Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, was convicted yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court on a charge of indecently assaulting the boy on an unknown date between September 1, 1980, and January 28, 1981 at the Sacred Heart college, also known as Coláiste An Chroí Naofa, Carraig Na Bhfear, Co Cork.

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수원교구민에게 보내는 교구장 특별 사목 서한

SUWON (SOUTH KOREA)
Catholic Diocese of Suwon, South Korea

>> >A special pastor’s letter to the diocese of Suwon.

February 25, 2018

[See also: South Korea church apologizes for abuse, Agence France-Presse, February 25, 2018]

By Mathias Ri Iong-hoon (Lee Yong-Hoon), Bishop of the Diocese of Suwon

[Google Translation: Dear Suwon Diocese Brothers and sisters,

In this sacred period of meditating on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ and the death of the cross, we are exposed to press reports by the diocesan priesthood, and the Suwon Diocese, the Catholic Church of Korea, and many other people are overwhelmed with great shock.

First of all, I am sincerely apologizing to the victim, my family, and the parishioners who have been suffering from such a situation because of the incidents where the Buddhist priest did not lead the priesthood well.

Recently, many domestic and foreign women have courageously accused the victims of sexual violence that has caused serious damage to their human rights and dignity, revealing the immoral behavior of women who have not been exposed. They are encouraged to correct the wrong social consciousness of women against the male-centered mindset deeply rooted in our society. This erroneous act of destroying the dignity of women and the dignity of the noble women that God has provided was no exception to the Church.]

친애하는 수원교구 형제자매 여러분,

우리 주 예수 그리스도의 수난과 십자가상의 죽음을 묵상하는 이 거룩한 시기에, 교구 사제의 성추문으로 인한 언론 보도를 접하고 수원교구와 한국천주교회 그리고 많은 국민들이 큰 충격 속에 휩싸여 있습니다.

먼저 교구장으로서 사제단을 잘 이끌지 못한 부덕의 소치로 이러한 사태가 벌어져 그동안 깊은 상처를 안고 살아오신 피해 자매님과 가족들 그리고 교구민 여러분께 진심으로 사죄드립니다.

최근 국내외 많은 여성들이 자신의 인권과 존엄에 심각한 훼손을 일으킨 성폭력 피해 사실을 용기 있게 고발함으로써, 그동안 드러나지 않았던 여성에 대한 부도덕한 행위가 밝혀지고 있습니다. 그들은 우리 사회에 깊이 뿌리박혀 있는 남성 중심의 사고방식에 맞서, 여성에 대한 그릇된 사회의식을 바로잡고자 용기를 낸 것입니다. 여성의 존엄과 하느님께서 선사하신 고귀한 여성의 품위를 파괴하는 이러한 그릇된 행위는 교회에서도 예외는 아니었습니다.

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South Korea church apologizes for abuse

SEOUL (SOUTH KOREA)
Agence France-Presse via the Hürriyet (Turkey) Daily News

February 25, 2018

South Korea’s Catholic church on Feb. 25 apologized to a woman who accused a priest of sexual abuse and attempted rape during a trip to a mission in South Sudan.

Kim Min-Kyung took the rare step of appearing on television news last week to accuse the priest of sexually abusing her during their trip to the country in 2011.

Kim, a volunteer who helped build a school and medical clinics in South Sudan, said the priest repeatedly tried to rape her, at one point breaking into her room at night. “He pinned me down so that I couldn’t move and said ‘I can’t control my body anymore. Please understand me,’” Kim told KBS TV station, saying she managed to flee the room.

Kim said she had reported the incidents to other priests at the mission but received little help, and had previously decided to keep silent “for the sake of the church and the mission.”

The name of the priest was withheld.

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Mons. Alejandro Goic reflexionó sobre los desafíos en prevención de abusos al interior de la Iglesia

CHILE
Iglesia.cl (website of the Chilean bishops’ conference)

>>>Bishop Alejandro Goic reflected on the challenges in preventing abuse within the Church

February 24, 2018

En entrevista con Revista Sábado, el obispo de Rancagua se refirió, entre otros temas, al caso del obispo de Osorno y a la misión del Arzobispo de Malta, Chales Scicluna en Chile.

En una extensa entrevista con el periodista Gazi Jalil F. Mons. Alejandro Goic aborda varios temas, habla de su salud y del pedido expreso del Papa Francisco para que continúe -pese a haber presentado su renuncia hace casi tres años- a cargo de la diócesis de Rancagua.

Obispo Barros

Sobre la participación de Mons. Barros en la reciente visita del Papa Francisco, Mons. Goic señala que “él debió haberse restado, por prudencia evangélica y por prudencia pastoral, porque él sabe que su persona, más allá de su inocencia o culpabilidad, es una figura controvertida. Lo que debía brillar en ese momento era el Papa y por eso he dicho, sin hacer juicios sobre él (Barros), que me dejó un sabor amargo, porque era obvio que los periodistas lo iban a buscar.”

[Google Translation:

Bishop Alejandro Goic reflected on the challenges in preventing abuse within the Church

In an interview with Revista Sábado, the bishop of Rancagua spoke, among other issues, about the case of the Bishop of Osorno and the mission of the Archbishop of Malta, Chales Scicluna in Chile.

In an extensive interview with the journalist Gazi Jalil F. Mons. Alejandro Goic addresses several issues, speaks of his health and the express request of Pope Francis to continue, despite having submitted his resignation almost three years ago, in charge of the diocese of Rancagua.

Bishop Barros

On the participation of Bishop Barros in the recent visit of Pope Francis, Bishop Goic states that “he should have subtracted, for evangelical prudence and pastoral prudence, because he knows that his person, beyond his innocence or guilt He is a controversial figure, what should shine at that moment was the Pope and that is why I said, without making judgments about him (Barros), that he left me with a bitter taste, because it was obvious that the journalists were going to look for him. “]

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Six Oregon men file suit against Albany First Assembly church for sex abuse

ALBANY (OR)
Corvallis Gazette-Times

By Lillian Schrock

February 24, 2018

Six Oregon men filed a lawsuit Friday against the Albany First Assembly church, and the state and national organizations that operate the church, for sexual abuse they say they suffered as children in the 1980s, according to the Portland law firm representing the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleges that the church and its governing organizations failed to investigate and forward to police reports that a youth leader in the church had sexually abused a boy. Two leaders of a church youth program were later criminally convicted for sexually abusing several boys.

According to the complaint, Ralph Wade Gantt and Todd Clark were leaders in the church-sponsored Royal Rangers, an educational and recreational program for boys similar to Boy Scouts. The lawsuit alleges Gantt and Clark abused their position of leadership, trust and respect to repeatedly sexually abuse the six plaintiffs when they were as young as 10 years old.

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Opinion: A complete loss of moral authority

NEW ZEALAND
Gisborne (New Zealand) Herald

By Martin Hanson

February 24, 2018

In his February 18 column “Prayer move a rejection of Christ”, Ken Orr asks why, in seven generations, we have changed dramatically from a Christian nation dedicated to love, truth and justice, to an increasingly agnostic, secular humanist society that has lost its way?
While I agree with Tony Lee that a morality instilled by fear of the supernatural provides no sound basis for good behaviour, I think that there is another reason; the complete loss of moral authority by the Catholic Church.

For centuries the church has wielded great power, and as we all know, power and corruption often go together — the greater the power, the greater the tendency to abuse it. One of the most unforgiveable examples has been the sexual abuse of children in many countries by Catholic clergy. Compounding the effect of these evil crimes has been the cover-up and the relocation of offenders to other parishes where in many cases they have gone on to reoffend multiple times.

The timing of Mr Orr’s column was therefore particularly unfortunate, as it came hot on the heels of the February 11 edition of the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), which suggested that where sexual abuse of children is concerned, the Catholic Church in Australia considers itself above the law.

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Vatican child abuse investigator meets with accused Chilean bishop

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Reuters

February 23, 2018

A Vatican investigator sent to Chile by Pope Francis to interview sex abuse victims met on Friday with Chilean Bishop Juan Barros about accusations that he covered-up sexual abuse of minors committed by a priest.

The investigator, Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu, declined to share details of the interview with Barros, but told reporters the meeting was “cordial and friendly”.

Earlier in the day, the Vatican’s lead investigator, Archbishop Charles Scicluna, was released from a hospital in Santiago after undergoing emergency gallbladder surgery, and may conduct more interviews.

Scicluna has recovered well and will remain in the country to rest, Episcopal Conference spokesman Jaime Coiro said.

Scicluna’s assistant, Bertomeu, was enlisted to replace him in scheduled interviews with sex abuse victims through Friday.

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Counseling for clergy sex abuse accusers continues

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

February 24, 2018

By Haidee V Eugenio

Professional counseling services continue for victims of clergy sex abuse, nearly a year since the Archdiocese of Agana created Hope and Healing Guam in April 2017 amid efforts to try to settle clergy abuse lawsuits.

Hope and Healing’s mission to provide counseling, treatment and spiritual healing doesn’t overlap or duplicate the work of the attorneys representing the archdiocese in the clergy sex abuse cases, said Andrew Camacho,the organization’s president..”

“We remain ready to assist the victims with counseling and to that ensure those who are not represented by attorneys but desire to resolve their claims are supported through the process.”

Because of the confidential nature of counseling and other services and to avoid discouraging current or future clients, Hope and Healing isn’t giving an estimate on the number of people who have called in and received or are receiving counseling. Camacho said low numbers would be discouraging, while high numbers aren’t at all indicative of the extent of the abuse.

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Victoria on brink of national redress scheme for sex abuse survivors

AUSTRALIA
The Age

February 24, 2018

By Farrah Tomazin

Premier Daniel Andrews has given the strongest signal yet that Victoria is on the brink of signing up to a national compensation scheme for child sex abuse survivors.

Speaking during a whirlwind trip to the US, Mr Andrews also confirmed his government was preparing new laws that could invalidate a controversial legal tactic preventing survivors of clergy abuse from suing the Catholic Church.

As revealed by The Age on Saturday, the passing of such laws in Victoria could expose billions of dollars in assets of the Catholic Church and other religious bodies to potential legal action for the first time in more than a decade.

“We’ll very soon introduce into the Parliament a bill to deal with that. What’s more, we are very hopeful of being able to sign on to a true national redress scheme as well,” Mr Andrews told Sky News in Washington.

“The Prime Minister and I, and I think perhaps the Premier of NSW, will have more to say about that quite soon.”

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Sexual abuse survivors in Victoria to be able to sue churches as Government moves to end ‘Ellis defence’

AUSTRALIA
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

February 23, 2018

Survivors of sexual abuse will soon be able to sue churches in Victoria, as the State Government moves to close a legal loophole.

Currently, laws in the state prevent victims from being able to take legal action against some non-incorporated organisations, like churches.

Attorney-General Martin Pakula said the new legislation was in response to a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

A bill will be introduced into State Parliament in the first half of the year, he said.

“We’re developing legislation to overcome the so-called Ellis defence, in response to key recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust report and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse,” Mr Pakula said in a statement.

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Bishop at heart of abuse cover-up claims testifies in Chile

SANTIAGO (CHILE)
Associated Press via ABC News

February 23, 2018

The Chilean bishop accused of covering up sex abuse by a pedophile priest has testified before a Vatican mission looking into the allegations, a priest involved in the interviews said Friday.

Bishop Juan Barros has been among those interviewed by the team, said the Rev. Jordi Bertomeu, who has been handling recent interviews in the investigation. But he did not say when the interview occurred, or whether Barros appeared voluntarily or was summoned.

Barros has been accused by victims of witnessing and ignoring the abuse of young parishioners by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was removed from ministry and sentenced to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” in 2010.

Barros has denied knowing of the abuse.

The investigation is being led by Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who was released from a hospital earlier in the day after undergoing gallbladder surgery.

Before being hospitalized Tuesday, he had started his interviews with victims and others opposed to the pope’s appointment and support of Barros.

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Former Winnipeg rabbi facing sexual assault charges believed to have fled Canada: police

WINNIPEG (CANADA)
CTV Winnipeg

February 20, 2018

Police believe a former Winnipeg rabbi charged with sexual assault has fled to the United States.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of 42-year-old Yacov Simmonds in October of 2017.

Police say there are three complainants and the alleged incidents occurred between 1993 and 1999.

Simmonds faces three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual interefrence, and two counts of invitation to sexual touching.

Officers say he is aware of the warrant and is actively evading police.

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Boarding Schools: The Secret Shame – Exposure review: a raw and emotional exploration of systematic failure of abuse victims

ENGLAND
The Telegraph

February 19, 2018

By Michael Hogan

An estimated one million people in Britain today went to boarding school. Increasingly, the extent of sexual abuse in these institutions is coming to light. Boarding Schools: The Secret Shame – Exposure(ITV) followed journalist Alex Renton, who was himself abused as an eight-year-old by his teacher, as he investigated how much schools knew about what was going on behind their closed doors.

Since going public four years ago about his own experience, Renton has built a unique database, created from the plentiful personal correspondence he has received from other victims. Here they spoke openly about the abuse they suffered, many for the first time, and how it contaminated their lives – “like having a toxin inside you”, as one powerfully put it.

The pattern was disturbing, with paedophiles grooming and habitually assaulting boarding students. If pupils reported abuse, it was hushed up to avoid scandal and protect the school’s precious reputation, meaning prolific abusers got away with it for decades. If they were “moved on”, according to the programme, they left with glowing references and continued teaching elsewhere, preying on more children.

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Rabbi skips town after charges laid for multiple sex offences: Winnipeg police

WINNIPEG (CANADA)
CBC News

February 20, 2018

By Kristin Annable

A warrant for Rabbi Yacov Simmonds’s arrest was issued in October

A rabbi well known in Winnipeg’s Jewish community has been on the lam since October after being charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching, CBC News has learned.

Police believe that Rabbi Yacov Simmonds, 42, has been hiding out somewhere in the United States after a warrant was issued for his arrest on three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual interference and two counts of invitation to sexual touching.

“We believe this individual has fled to the United States. Yacov Simmonds is aware of the warrant and we feel he is actively evading police,” Winnipeg police spokesman Const. Jay Murray told CBC News.

“We have spoken to this individual … and for that reason, we know this individual is aware there is a warrant.”

Simmonds had been terminated the previous year as the director of development at Chabad-Lubavitch of Winnipeg — the local branch of a larger Orthodox Jewish movement — when police first began their investigation in May of 2017.

It is still an ongoing, active investigation so police could offer few details on the matter. They could not comment on what efforts have been made to locate Simmonds, whether police had made contact with authorities in the United States, or further details on the alleged victims.

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Former Winnipeg rabbi charged with sex crimes ‘actively evading police’

WINNIPEG (CANADA)
Winnipeg Free Press

February 20, 2018

By Carol Sanders

Winnipeg police have issued an arrest warrant for a rabbi charged with sex crimes alleged to have occurred between 1993 and 1999.

Yacov Simmonds, 42, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual interference and two counts of invitation to sexual touching.

Sexual interference involves touching someone under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose and a conviction carries a minimum one-year prison sentence. Invitation to sexual touching also involves minors and a minimum one-year prison term.

Winnipeg police said Tuesday that they issued a warrant for Simmonds’ arrest in October. Investigators believe he fled to the United States.

Simmonds “is aware of the warrant and is actively evading police,” WPS said in a statement.

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Opinion: In Which The Jewish Community Gives Cover To A Child Molester – Again

EAST BRUNSWICK (NJ)
Forward

February 20, 2018

By Bethany Mandel

Almost exactly two years ago, I basically left my local Jewish community. I removed myself from every Facebook group and stopped attending local events, playgroups and more. The reason? A local rabbi, Aryeh Goodman, had been released from prison, after he served time for inappropriately touching a minor while working at a summer camp in 2001.

But it wasn’t Goodman who made me remove myself from my community. It was the community’s response.

When I posted about his release in Facebook groups in order to warn fellow parents, I was asked by several members of the community to remove the post. In groups where I was not an administrator, the post was deleted without my consent.

I was utterly horrified by how many members of the community downplayed the abuse he perpetrated (one message: “he didn’t actually molest him”) and tried to hide the abuse he committed, supposedly in order to protect his wife who runs a local preschool and his parents who run the Chabad at nearby Rutgers University from the shame of his actions.

I argued then that their shame should come from his actions, not the fact that they have been publicized, and that we have a moral and religious imperative to warn parents of a convicted predator in our midst. At the time that he was arrested, he was director of Chabad of East Brunswick (Chabad denies any affiliation with him), which focuses on educating children. He was charged with 12 counts of indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old, which took place 12 years earlier when he was a camp counselor in Pennsylvania.

Goodman served his time and was released two years ago. But this week, my warnings about the likelihood of the rabbi offending again were confirmed. He was caught with a child in an illegal sex act — again.

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Vatican judge accused of possessing child pornography accepts plea deal

ITALY
Catholic Herald

February 22, 2018

By Junno Arocho Esteves

He has resigned his position on the Roman Rota

A judge on a top Vatican tribunal was given a 14-month suspended sentence by an Italian court for possessing child pornography and sexual molestation. He then resigned his position on the Roman Rota, the tribunal.

According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Mgr Pietro Amenta, a judge on the Rota, a court that deals mainly with marriage cases, accepted the terms of plea bargain on February 14.

In an email to Catholic News Service on February 21, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, vice director of the Vatican press office, said the Italian monsignor “resigned as prelate auditor of the Roman Rota last week” following his conviction.

Mgr Amenta was detained by police in March 2017 after he was accused of fondling an 18-year-old man in a public square in Rome. The young man followed him and called the police, who subsequently took Mgr Amenta into custody, Italian newspapers reported.

In the investigation that followed, police apparently found pornographic images involving minors on the monsignor’s personal computer. The Italian press also said the investigators discovered that Mgr Amenta was accused of “obscene acts” in 1991 and sexual molestation in 2004. Neither of those allegations led to a conviction.

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Former principal wanted on child sex abuse charges kept in custody in Israel, will face new psychiatric test

ISRAEL and AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

February 14, 2018

By Sophie McNeill

Malka Leifer, a Melbourne school principal wanted on 74 charges of child sexual abuse, has been sent for a new psychiatric examination after Israeli police accused her of faking mental illness in order to avoid extradition.

After three years of avoiding extradition hearings, Ms Leifer appeared in the Jerusalem district court on Wednesday morning, her second court appearance in just two days.

Australia has been trying to extradite the woman since 2013, but the 54-year-old has refused to front court, with her lawyers claiming she has panic attacks, anxiety and is too unwell to face extradition hearings.

Israeli police re-arrested her on Monday, accusing her of faking a mental illness to avoid extradition.

Prosecutor Matan Akiva showed Judge Ram Winograd evidence he said proved she was fit to attend court.

He played video to the judge that he said showed Ms Leifer going to the post office by herself and signing cheques.

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Archbishop on ‘mission’ in New York, Chile

MALTA
Times of Malta

February 15, 2018

Not in a position to comment or answer questions about mission

Archbishop Charles Scicluna will leave Malta on Thursday on a mission entrusted to him by Pope Francis.

He will visit New York and Chile for a number of private meetings.

Mgr Scicluna will return to Malta on February 25.

The Curia said the Archbishop was not in a position to comment or answer questions related to this mission.

In Archbishop Scicluna’s absence, Vicar General Joe Galea Curmi will assume
the leadership of the Archdiocese of Malta.

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Rabbi charged with having sex with 17-year-old girl forced into prostitution

EAST BRUNSWICK (NJ)
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

February 19, 2018

By Jeff Goldman

A New Jersey rabbi was among 30 men who had sex with a teenage girl forced into prostitution by a New York City man and woman who face charges of human trafficking, authorities said.

Gabriella Colon, 18, and Richard Ortiz, 23, both of Bronx, New York, were arrested at a motel in Fort Lee on Friday and charged with 11 counts of human trafficking as well as child pornography offenses, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

Aryeh Goodman, who runs a religious learning center out of his East Brunswick home, paid to have sex with the 17-year-old girl at a hotel in the township, authorities said.

Goodman, 35, turned himself in five days later. He was charged with engaging in prostitution with a child and endangering the welfare of a child. Goodman has previously served time in prison for indecent assault on a child under the age of 13 in Pennsylvania.

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Sisters Who Accuse Australian Principal of Sexual Assault Herald Her Arrest in Israel as ‘Important Breakthrough’

ISRAEL and AUSTRALIA
Haaretz

February 13, 2018

By Dina Kraft

After investigation, Israel Police alleges the ultra-orthodox school principal has pretended to be mentally ill to avoid extradition

– Israel arrests Australian principal suspected of abusing ultra-Orthodox schoolgirls
– The woman spearheading the fight against sexual assault in ultra-Orthodox society
– Private event hosting ultra-Orthodox sex offender and ex-fugitive canceled after backlash

The three sisters from Australia who came to Israel four months ago to fight for the extradition of the woman they accuse of sexually abusing them for years said they were elated by news of her arrest here Monday. They call it an “important breakthrough in our long journey to get justice.”

The former headmistress of the ultra-Orthodox Melbourne girls school the three attended was arrested Monday by Israel Police, who suggested that she had been faking a mental health condition to avoid extradition to Australia, where she faces 74 counts of indecent assault and rape. An Israeli citizen, she fled here in March 2008, allegedly with the help of some members of the religious community that ran the school, just hours after allegations against her first surfaced.

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‘I never imagined sitting in court, seeing my former principal in handcuffs’

ISRAEL and AUSTRALIA
Plus61j

February 14, 2018

By Ittay Flescher

AS A FORMER TEACHER at the Adass Israel school in Melbourne, I never imagined that a day would come when I would be sitting in a Jerusalem courtroom a metre away from the principal of the school with handcuffs around her hands and ankles.

Australia has been exerting pressure to extradite Malka Leifer following the college’s reprehensible behaviour in helping her flee to Israel ten years ago after allegations came to light that she had sexually abused a number of female students on school camps.

The 54-year-old resident of the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel is now wanted on 74 charges of child sexual abuse.

As I entered the tiny courtroom with no more than 30 seats, mostly filled with journalists, I was struck by the fact that the only Haredim in the court were the family and supporters of her campaign to avoid justice in Australia.

Seeing her sitting in the courtroom wearing a tichel (religious head covering) and traditionally modest clothing worn by Ultra-Orthodox women, I was reminded of the values and lifestyle that she had once tried to instil into girls at the school, and how many innocent childhoods she had destroyed in her failure to do so.

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Melbourne teacher Malka Leifer arrested on child sex claims

ISRAEL
News Corp Australia Network

February 2018

By Ellen Whinnett

SCHOOLTEACHER Malka Leifer, accused of sexually abusing students in Australia, was arrested by Israeli police after they infiltrated her secretive religious community and
planted an undercover officer in her synagogue.

Ms Leifer’s 10 years of freedom ended on February 12 when she was dragged screaming from her home in Emmanuel, a remote ultra-orthodox Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

Police finally swooped after Jewish community activists handed them secret video recordings of Ms Leifer shopping, catching the bus, chatting on the phone and going to the post office.
The material gathered in the surveillance appears to contrast with Ms Leifer’s claims that she could not be extradited to Australia because her mental illness was so severe she was virtually housebound and non-communicative.

PRIVATE EYE

Sexual abuse advocacy group Jewish Community Watch funded a team of private investigators who photographed Ms Leifer apparently living a normal life with her husband and several of her five children in Emmanuel.

She was attending synagogue, hosting Shabbat dinners and taking part in community life.
Confronted with this evidence, the Israeli police Special Investigations Unit went undercover and infiltrated the notoriously-closed community.

One policeman dressed in the distinctive suit, large black hat and white shirt worn by ultraorthodox men and attended synagogue at Emmanuel to observe Ms Leifer’s interactions on the Shabbat.

He cast aside strict religious rules by phoning the results of his investigations through to superiors from the bathroom of the synagogue on the Shabbat, Judaism’s rest day.

The presence of a female officer also infiltrated the community during the month-long investigation in December and January.

Police have now accused Ms Leifer of faking the mental illness which for 10 years has allowed her to dodge extradition to Australia to face 74 accusations of sexually abusing female students at the Adass Israel School in Elsternwick in suburban Melbourne, where she had been principal between 2003 and 2008.

EXILE ENDS

Ms Leifer fled to Israel in 2008, the day the accusations were made. Israeli courts have consistently agreed with the findings of psychiatrists that she was too mentally unwell to be extradited.

In her court appearance this week she shook visibly and clawed at her face and head as the court decided to detain her until next Wednesday in a secure mental health facility to determine whether she was well enough to face extradition to Australia and to decide whether she was actually mentally ill.

A spokesman for Jewish Community Watch told News Corp they had been inspired by the courage of Melbourne woman Dassi Erlich, one of Ms Leifer’s alleged victims, and admired her years-long campaign for justice.

After meeting Ms Erlich, they decided to fund a covert operation into Ms Leifer’s life in Emmanuel.

“We put together a team that surveilled Malka Leifer for a period of time,” the spokesman said.
“She has a very normal, typical social life, very active, travelling long distances, socially meeting with people.

Ms Leifer has also been charged with domestic offences in Israel of interfering with a court process, obstruction of justice and interfering with evidence.

Pictures by Franck Bessiere, additional reporting Shakked Auerbach

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Jewish principal accused of abusing girls ‘faked illness’

ISRAEL and AUSTRALIA
The Australian

February 15, 2018

By Jacob Atkins, Jamie Walker

The stalled extradition of fugitive Melbourne Jewish school principal Malka Leifer has been revived, with the accused child molester last night making her second appearance this week in an Israeli court.

Flanked by her lawyers, the 54-year-old grandmother wept in court and was frequently asked by guards to stop rattling the cuffs on her shackles, when she ­appeared before a judge on charges of obstructing justice, allegedly by faking mental illness to avoid being put on a plane back to
Australia.

Ms Leifer is wanted on 74 counts of child sex abuse, including rape, allegedly committed against girls when she was a teacher and headmistress at the ultra-orthodox Adass Israel School from 2003-08.

Israeli prosecutors last night applied in the Jerusalem court for the reinstatement of an extradition application from Australia for Ms Leifer to be returned to Melbourne.

Welcoming the move, the ­Attorney-General, Christian Porter, said her alleged crimes were “abhorrent” and it was imperative she faced an Australian court.

“We have been advised that Ms Leifer has been arrested following a domestic investigation in Israel for possible administration of justice offences,” he said.

“This is a positive development and we welcome the work of Israeli authorities. ”

The case effectively collapsed last year after an Israeli judge accepted defence evidence that panic attacks and a form of psychological paralysis prevented Ms Leifer from attending court, a legal requirement in Israel. Ms Leifer was subsequently released from home detention.

Pressure from Australia, including direct representations from Malcolm Turnbull and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, paved the way for ­Israeli police to mount an undercover operation that allegedly ­exposed her claimed incapacity as a sham.

State prosecutor Matan Akiva said last night he was in possession of several covertly recorded videos in which Ms Leifer was filmed at the supermarket, laundromat and post office, and standing on the balcony of her home speaking on a mobile phone.

Mr Akiva argued that this was sufficient evidence that she was hoodwinking the psychiatrists evaluating her, who had been told that she was bedridden and in need of a caretaker to enable her to be physically mobile.

Ms Leifer’s lawyer, Yehuda Freid, argued his client was the victim of pressure from Australian officials. “The prosecution don’t like to lose and they are very frustrated, what do they do? Catch her at the laundromat? And it looks to the Australians like they are doing something,” he said.

The new judge overseeing the case, Ram Winograd, ruled that she be kept in hospital under prison conditions and be put under close observation by the Jerusalem district psychiatrist, who would recommend next week whether she was fit for the hearings to proceed.

“The judge’s decision may be a best-case scenario because she’s not free, she’s going to be locked up, observed, assessed over a solid week — something that’s never happened before,” victims advocate Manny Waks said outside court last night.

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Lawsuit over sex abuse insurance could have consequences for future cases, experts say

VANCOUVER (BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA)
The Province and Canadian Press

February 21, 2018

A decade-long court battle between an insurance company and an Ontario Catholic diocese over coverage for settlements in sexual abuse cases could have wide-ranging consequences for victims and religious institutions involved in similar cases across Canada, legal experts say.

The Catholic Diocese of London filed a lawsuit against AXA Insurance Canada in 2008 claiming a breach of policy after the company refused to pay out claims related to settlements between the church and victims of two priests, Father Charles Sylvestre and Father John Harper, who were convicted of sexually abusing children.

The diocese argues it had liability insurance in the 1960s and early 1970s — when the abuse took place — that entitles it to payouts from AXA.

But the insurance company argues in its statement of defence that the diocese’s policy is void because church officials knew of, and failed to disclose, sexual abuse allegations levelled at Sylvestre before the insurance policy was enacted. AXA is further demanding the diocese return $10 million already paid out under the insurance policy.

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Judge dismisses Baton Rouge Catholic Diocese, priest from lawsuit involving the confessional

BATON ROUGE (LA)
The Advocate

February 22, 2018

By Joe Gyan, Jr.

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge and one of its priests have been dismissed from a lawsuit that claimed a teenager confessed to him in 2008 that a church parishioner was sexually abusing her, but the priest did not stop or report the alleged abuse.

State District Judge Mike Caldwell signed an order Feb. 9 dismissing the diocese and Father Jeff Bayhi from the longstanding suit by Rebecca Mayeux and her parents, the diocese announced Thursday in a news release.

The judge’s order came in response to a motion by Mayeux and her parents to dismiss their claims against Bayhi and the diocese, with each party bearing their own costs.

“The decision preserves the Seal and sanctity of the Confessional which the Church considers inviolable,” the diocese’s statement said.

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Former Sussex priest jailed for sex abuse against boy

LONDON (ENGLAND)
BBC

February 22, 2018

A “disgusting and despicable” ex-Anglican priest has been jailed for sexually abusing a boy and conspiring with another priest to abuse the child.

Ifor Whittaker, formerly Colin Pritchard, was convicted of abusing the boy, aged between 10 and 16 when the abuse happened in the 1980s and 1990s.

The 73-year-old also conspired with ex-clergyman Roy Cotton, who has since died, to commit sex acts.

Whittaker, of Rectory Road, Sutton, south London, was jailed for 16 years.

He was told he will serve a minimum of 10 years in prison. He is already a registered sex offender for life after a previous conviction.

Sentencing Whittaker, Judge Paul Tain described the priest’s behaviour as “disgraceful, disgusting and despicable”,

He said: “It was an obvious and clear case of grooming, where he carefully manipulated a vulnerable child.”

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

Long overdue laws will empower child sexual abuse survivors

CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA)
Canberra Times

February 24, 2018

By Ben Schneiders

The pain of being raped or sexually abused as a child by a member of the clergy is forever wrought on the souls of survivors.

For many it is a daily struggle just to get by, their nights claimed by torment dating back decades.

Some are broken entirely, many have died early, their deaths often stemming from that abuse.

No single piece of legislation can rectify the crimes committed against children in Australia’s religious institutions.

But the new draft laws proposed by Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula are important in giving more power to survivors.

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Ex-Priester muss wegen schweren Missbrauchs in Psychiatrie

BERLIN (GERMANY)
Die Welt

>>>Ex-priest must undergo therapy because of serious abuse

February 22, 2018

Ein Priester erschleicht sich das Vertrauen von Eltern und vergeht sich jahrelang an deren Kindern. Dafür wurde er nun zu 8,5 Jahren Haft verurteilt. Zunächst muss er aber in Therapie. Selbst der Richter zweifelt an einem Erfolg.

Wegen schweren sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern hat das Landgericht Deggendorf einen ehemaligen katholischen Priester aus Bayern zu einer Freiheitsstrafe von achteinhalb Jahren verurteilt. Zuvor wird der 53-Jährige auf unbefristete Zeit in der geschlossenen Psychiatrie untergebracht, um eine Therapie zu absolvieren. Eine anschließende Sicherungsverwahrung zum Schutz der Allgemeinheit behält sich die Justiz vor. Eine Revision ist möglich.

Eine Behandlung des Mannes werde „viele, viele“ Jahre dauern, sagte der Vorsitzende Richter Thomas Trautwein bei der Urteilsverkündung. Und ein Erfolg sei zweifelhaft. Abgeurteilt wurden 108 Missbrauchstaten, die der gebürtige Wuppertaler zwischen 1997 und 2016 an fünf Jungen unter 14 Jahren im In- und Ausland begangen hat.

Der Richter sprach von einem „entsetzlichen Unheil“, das der Angeklagte durch das „Zerstören von Kinderseelen“ angerichtet habe. Für die Opfer ende die Schädigung auch mit dem Ende des Prozesses nicht, die Aufarbeitung erstrecke sich über Jahrzehnte. Der Angeklagte verfolgte die Urteilsverkündung äußerlich regungslos. Zum Schutz der Persönlichkeit des Angeklagten und der minderjährigen Opferzeugen war die Öffentlichkeit weitgehend vom Prozess ausgeschlossen worden.

[ Google Translation:

Ex-priest must undergo therapy because of serious abuse

A priest gets the confidence of parents and goes to their children for years. He was sentenced to 8.5 years imprisonment. But first he has to be in therapy. Even the judge doubts a success.

ay serious sexual abuse of children has sentenced a former Catholic priest from Bavaria to a prison sentence of eight and a half years, the District Court Deggendorf. Previously, the 53-year-old will be housed for an indefinite period in closed psychiatry to complete a therapy. A subsequent preventive detention for the protection of the general public reserves the right of the judiciary. A revision is possible.

A treatment of the man will take “many, many” years, said the presiding judge Thomas Trautwein at the verdict. And a success is doubtful. 108 acts of abuse were investigated, which the native Wuppertal committed between 1997 and 2016 to five boys under 14 years at home and abroad.

The judge spoke of a “terrible calamity” that the defendant had caused by “destroying children’s souls”. For the victims, the damage does not end with the end of the process, the processing extends over decades. The defendant pursued the verdict externally motionless. To protect the personality of the defendant and the minor victims, the public had been largely excluded from the trial.

The youth chamber positively credited the defendant for having fully admitted the deeds – albeit late and only under the impression of being one of the victims. “Obviously he sees the injustice of his actions now, perhaps for the first time in his life.” The defendant was also willing to therapy. By the confession, he finally opened up the possibility of someday yet to come back into freedom, the judge justified the decision to reserve the preventive detention.

With the confession, the defendant procured the witness discharge and above all saves the still youthful victims a retraumatisierung by a statement in court. “That’s not high enough.” The court’s conviction has seen the man sexually abused the five boys on more than 100 occasions since the mid-1990s. The deeds are said to have happened above all in the Mainz area and in the Deggendorf district.

“Dreadful conditions for the children”

Already from 2003 to 2009, the defendant sat for a judgment of the district court in Karlsruhe for sexual offenses for five and a half years in prison. In 2008 he was released from the priesthood after a canonical judgment in Freiburg. He then pretended to be a priest again.

The man was always using the method of grooming, said the judge. He had sought contact with devout, pious families, where the father figure was missing or weak and the mother was overwhelmed. There, the man had taken root, taken over the education role and allowed to sleep with the children in the room. This allowed the former priest to commit the crimes in the first place and it was virtually impossible for the victims to escape. “These were horrible conditions for the children.”

The defendant exploited the trust placed in him and his position of power – over a long period of time and with a large number of victims. “Pedophilia is not curable, you can at best work to get a grip,” the judge said. The defendant had not done so far.

“A man to protect children from”

Several times Trautwein referred to the expert’s report, according to which the events like a “red thread” through the life of the defendant. In his current condition, the accused is “a man to protect children from.”

A therapeutic success is not likely, but also not ruled out. That’s why the 53-year-old is initially indefinite in psychiatry. After successful treatment, he must then take the prison sentence. This is offset with the years in psychiatry. Otherwise, the preventive detention can be arranged.

Two of the victims who appeared as co-plaintiffs in the trial were relieved after the verdict. It was important to follow the process, to understand how the defendant ticked – and to be able to break the years of silence, said one of the young men. ]

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Sutton man jailed for using his position as a priest to sexually abuse ‘vulnerable’ 10-year-old boy

GUILDFORD (ENGLAND)
Croydon Advertiser

February 22, 2018

By Sarah George

Ifor Whittaker would offer his young victim glasses of cola spiked with alcohol and urged him to keep quiet about his depraved abuse.

A pensioner from Sutton has been jailed after a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy while he worked as a priest in the late 1980s.

Ifor Whittaker, 73, currently of Rectory Road, Sutton, denied committing seven offences against the “vulnerable” young boy, but was found guilty following a nine-day trial.

Whittaker, previously known as Colin Pritchard before a legal name change, used his position of power at an East Sussex vicarage to abuse the boy.

He would spike the boy’s drinks with alcohol before sexually assaulting him, then urge him not to speak out about his experiences, Lewes Crown Court heard.

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Controversial child sex abuse legal tactic to be struck out

MELBOURNE (VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA)
The Age

February 24, 2018

By Royce Millar, Chris Vedelago, and Ben Schneiders

The controversial legal tactic that prevents survivors of child sexual abuse from suing the Catholic church would be invalidated by sweeping legislative changes planned by the Andrews government.

The Age has obtained a confidential draft of a bill that addresses several outstanding recommendations from the state’s 2013 Betrayal of Trust inquiry. The bill is expected to be introduced into parliament this year.

If passed, the law will expose billions of dollars in assets of the Catholic church and other religious organisations to potential legal action for the first time in more than a decade.

It is designed to tackle the so-called “Ellis defence” established when the NSW Court of Appeal ruled in 2007 that the Catholic Church does not exist in a legal sense because its property assets are held inside a special trust structure that is immune to lawsuits.

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Diocese compensation program to help clergy victims

EAST SETAUKET (NY)
Times Beacon Record

February 21, 2018

By Alex Petroski and Sara-Megan Walsh

A group of lawyers is working to deliver a clear message to survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy members: You are not alone.

Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse, a national team of attorneys, released a report Feb. 5 detailing allegations of childhood sexual abuse made against 51 individuals associated with the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The report, titled Hidden Disgrace II, is comprised of clergy referenced but not named in a 2003 Suffolk County grand jury investigation of the diocese, those accused in previous media reports and individuals accused by survivors.

The goal of the report was to create a central location where Long Islanders can easily find information about accused clergy members, to empower survivors and to enlighten communities to the abusers’ diocese appointments, according to Jerry Kristal, an attorney at the law firm Weitz & Luxenberg, who joined up with the law group behind the report.

At least one North Shore survivor has felt empowered and publicly shared his story in the aftermath of the report’s release.

The group is also working to make the public aware of the April 30 deadline to file a claim with the diocese compensation program for victims of abuse.

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Catholic Church wins lawsuit over confession

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WBRZ

February 22, 2018

By Trey Schmaltz and Chris Nakamoto

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: See also the earlier opinion of the LA Supreme Court.]

A long legal battle between the Catholic Church and a woman who argued she tried to use a confession as a way to report sexual abuse against a church parishioner has ended.

In a news release announcing its pleasure with the outcome, the Diocese of Baton Rouge said it and Father Jeff Bayhi had been dismissed from the lawsuit.

The lawsuit argued a priest should have to report being told about child abuse while hearing a confession – a meeting faithful believe is an exchange between themselves and a messenger of God who can clear their sins. In most cases, state law requires people with knowledge of child sex abuse to report such crimes to authorities. Though, a September 2017 ruling by a district court judge in Baton Rouge found priests were not bound under the law.

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Diocese of Baton Rouge and priest dismissed from lawsuit over confession

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WAFB

February 22, 2018

The Diocese of Baton Rouge has won a near decade-long court battle over confession.

The Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Father Jeff Bayhi have been dismissed from an 8.5-year long lawsuit to protect a priest from having to disclose possible allegations of sexual abuse against a teenage girl that he heard during confession.

Father Bayhi said fundamental core beliefs were challenged and he’s grateful religious liberties have been protected. “I think there are a lot of people that believe that the purpose of the church is to change so that we keep up with modern culture. The purpose of the church is to remain faithful to God and try to bring modern culture to God,” he said.

“The decision preserves the Seal and sanctity of the Confessional which the Church considers inviolable,” according to a statement released by the church Thursday.

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Victims of clergy abuse stand together at Cathedral of St. Mary

ST. CLOUD (MN)
St. Cloud Times

February 22, 2018

By Stephanie Dickrell

Victims of clergy abuse and supporters gathered Wednesday night at the Cathedral of St. Mary. A healing prayer service was planned in response to news a local priest was arrested and faces charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree.

Organizers hoped to reclaim space in sacred spaces for victims who may have had their connection to the church and faith damaged by abuse.

The Rev. Anthony Oelrich faces charges of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. He is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with an adult whom he was giving spiritual counsel.

On Wednesday night, two groups stood on the steps of the cathedral before the service: one to sing and one to protest. While both seek justice, their tactics differed.

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Catholic Diocese responds after student’s parent arrested on child rape charges

MEMPHIS (TN)
WREG – News Channel 3

February 21, 2018

By Eryn Taylor and Nina Harrelson

[Includes text of diocese’s statement.]

The details are disturbing.

An arrest affidavit shows 31-year-old James “Trey” Bradshaw III admitted to inappropriately touching his then-girlfriend’s son repeatedly sometime between 2015 and 2016.

He also admitted to having the boy perform oral sex on him.

* * *

Vince Higgins, with the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, confirms James Bradshaw was a parent volunteer coach of a kindergarten basketball team at Holy Rosary as recently as November.

Higgins says he was never alone with children and no additional allegations have surfaced.

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Former papal adviser says Francis needs to make sex abuse a priority

DENVER (CO)
Crux

February 22, 2018

By Claire Giangravè

Rome – A former member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has charged that Pope Francis is not making the fight against sexual abuse a priority, and expressed her frustration with the procedures and limitations of the group, which she said led her to hand in her resignation last year.

The commission is an advisory body to the pope on the issue of safeguarding minors and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse. Its first three-year mandate concluded in December 2017, and appointments of new members, along with the confirmation of some previous members, came earlier this month.

French child psychiatrist Catherine Bonnet said she tendered her resignation letter in June to Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a member of the C9 group that advises the pope and the president of the commission, after she failed to convince the majority of its members to enact changes she perceived as necessary.

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