ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

July 21, 2024

Pope to meet with sexual abuse victims during trip to Belgium

BRUSSELS (BELGIUM)
Brussels Times [Brussels, Belgium]

July 19, 2024

By The Brussels Times with Belga

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Pope Francis will meet victims of sexual violence during his visit to Belgium at the end of September, according to a statement from the Interdiocesan Press and Information Service (SIPI) released on Friday.

The schedule for the Pope’s visit to Belgium was disclosed by the Vatican on Friday. It will take place from the evening of Thursday 26 September to Sunday 29 September and will commemorate the 600th anniversary of KU Leuven and UCLouvain

Upon landing at Melsbroek on Thursday evening, Pope Francis will be officially welcomed by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, Belgian bishops, and the rectors of both universities, amongst others from the ecclesiastical and civil sectors.

On Friday morning, the King and Queen will receive the Pope at Laeken Castle, where he will address various constitutional representatives and Belgian civil society. The Pope is then expected to visit Louvain, where he will speak to professors and students, focusing…

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Eamonn Casey: Man of the people with life of lies and sex crimes

GALWAY (IRELAND)
Irish Examiner [Cork, Ireland]

July 21, 2024

By Terry Prone

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A new documentary focuses on the worst of Casey: child abuse. But it also strips away the last remnants of a once-golden reputation

He was the first — and mercifully the only — populist Irish Bishop. A legend in his own lavish lunchtime, protected against naysayers by his blustering man-of-the people persona. Uniquely loved, he was, for his come-all-ye-singing accessibility. Fans told eye-rolling stories of his dangerous, liquor-infused driving: sure wasn’t he a terrible man, all the same? One of our own. Authentic.

As a teenager in Catholic Ireland, I was aware that my parents viewed Eamonn Casey as an intellectual waste of space, but aware, too, that – in common with the small number of critics at the time — they viewed him as no worse than that.

An exclusive in the Mail on Sunday establishes that he was considerably worse than that. Anne Sheridan’s lead story states: “The…

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Former Luling Catholic priest now faces 2 sexual assault charges, 8 victims identified

WACO (TX)
Nola.com [New Orleans, LA]

July 19, 2024

By Poet Wolfe

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Former Luling priest Rev. Anthony Odiong has been charged with two counts of sexual assault after his arrest in Florida on counts of possessing child pornography, according to authorities.

A total of eight victims have been identified, Waco Police Department announced late Thursday evening, and authorities are continuing to search for additional victims.

In March of 2023, an unidentified victim reported Odiong to Waco, Texas, police for an alleged sexual assault that took place in 2012.

After further investigation, detectives were given permission by a judge to search through Odiong’s iCloud storage data, where they found images depicting sexual abuse of a child, according to The Guardian. The case of possession of child pornography led to the Tuesday arrest on a Texas warrant in Ave Maria, Florida.

Odiong was booked in Collier County Jail while he awaits extradition.

Authorities believe that there could…

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French church knew of abuse claims against revered priest: researchers

PARIS (FRANCE)
France 24 [Paris, France]

July 20, 2024

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The Catholic Church already knew by 2021 of claims of sexual abuse against a beloved humanitarian French priest, the late Abbe Pierre, members of an independent commission said Saturday.

Abbe Pierre, or Henri Groues, was a Capuchin monk and an ordained Catholic clergyman who died in 2007 aged 94. He left a legacy as a friend to the poverty-stricken and founder of the charities Emmaus and the Abbe Pierre Foundation.

Revered for his uncompromising position defending the homeless and other people on the margins of life in France, he regularly topped polls as the most popular public figure in the country.

On Wednesday, however, it was revealed that seven women had made allegations of sexual assault or harassment by the elderly cleric dating back to between 1970 and 2005.

And on Saturday, four researchers for an independent commission into sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church said that they had…

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Pope Francis accepts the resignation of a Colombian bishop mentioned in a book on sexual abuse

(COLOMBIA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 20, 2024

By Manual Rueda

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Pope Francis on Saturday accepted the resignation of a Colombian bishop who was mentioned in a book about members of Colombia’s clergy who have allegedly committed acts of sexual abuse.

The Vatican said in its daily news bulletin that the pope approved the resignation of Bishop Óscar Augusto Múnera from the apostolic vicariate of Tierra Adentro in southwest Colombia. The Vatican’s brief statement didn’t explain why the bishop had resigned from his post.

Múnera was accused of abusing of a young man in a book published last year by investigative journalists Juan Pablo Barrientos and Miguel Estupiñán, which also includes a list of more than 500 members of Colombia’s Roman Catholic clergy who have allegedly committed acts of sexual abuse. However, Colombian authorities haven’t filed any charges against Múnera.

In an article published in May on the news site Religion Digital, Estupiñán says that Múnera abused a young man in…

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July 20, 2024

Women accusing Catholic priest of sex assault say they felt they couldn’t turn him down

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWLTV [New Orleans, LA]

July 19, 2024

By Ramon Antonio Vargas, The Guardian

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“Mary said she felt she could not revoke consent or say no to [Father] Odiong due to his authority as a Catholic priest,” the lead investigator on the case wrote.

Two women let Roman Catholic priest Anthony Odiong become close to them because they believed he would provide them with spiritual advice they could use to confront difficult times in their lives.

Odiong previously ran into similar issues as a popular priest at a Catholic church in Luling, Louisiana and was dismissed from his pastoral duties here. 

But rather than simply minister to them, Odiong abused his position to have sexual intercourse with one of the women, police now allege. And he allegedly managed to pressure the other woman into letting her husband sodomize her despite her faith-based objections to that kind of encounter – while also successfully urging her to relay her experience to him.

Those graphic details were revealed…

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Church fires long-time pastor after finding out he was convicted sex offender

FORT MILL (SC)
CHVN 95.1 FM [Winnipeg, MB, Canada]

July 19, 2024

By Sylvia St. Cyr

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A church in South Carolina just fired their pastor after finding out some disturbing information about him regarding an assault on a 14-year-old girl. 

Pastor Donald Logan has been fired from his position at Eternal Church in Fort Mill, SC, in the U.S.A. It was recently revealed that Logan is a registered sex offender convicted of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old girl, an incident that took place 27 years ago.

“Effective immediately, we have made the decision to release Pastor Don Logan from his call as Pastor of Eternal Church,” reads an email church elders sent to the congregation on July 10, a copy of which was published by The Fort Mill Sun. “Our decision to release Don was made with much prayer and discernment around the biblical qualifications for overseers of the church. Retaining Don as our pastor is not consistent with the truth, wisdom, and practicality in this text.”

In 1997 Logan…

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Wilmington-area pastor indicted on child sex offenses, some dating back more than 25 years

WILMINGTON (NC)
Wilmington Star News [Wilmington, NC]

July 19, 2024

By Molly Wilhelm

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A pastor of a Brunswick County church faces multiple counts in a child sexual offense case.

On July 8, Jonathan Ballard, pastor of Straightway Ministries Wilmington and Church of the Living God in Leland and Whiteville, was indicted with 12 counts of taking indecent liberties with children, six counts of statutory sex offense, and one count of first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, according to a first appearance in New Hanover County Court Friday morning.

Four victims, including one who has since deceased, have come forward, Jason Smith, assistant district attorney representing the state in the case at Friday’s first appearance, said. The alleged abuse occurred between 1995 and 2019 across multiple counties.

Previous Coverage:Preacher’s sex charges are dropped

Previous Coverage:Pastor charged with multiple misdemeanor counts of assault on a female

One victim had joined Ballard’s church for bible study in 1996,…

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Bond Conditions Set for Adrian Pastor Charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct

ADRIAN (MI)
WLEN [Adrian, MI]

July 18, 2024

By WLEN news staff

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There was a bond hearing in Lenawee County District Court Thursday morning for the Adrian pastor charged with two counts of 2nd Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.

Michael Goble, 75, appeared in court before Lenawee County District Court Judge Laura J. Schaedler. Goble’s defense attorney, with the Public Defenders Office, presented a case to have his bond lowered, and that the court could accommodate something other that jail…such as house arrest or a GPS tether. Defense council told the Judge that Goble is 75 years old, a long-term resident of the county, and has no prior criminal history. He said that Goble is retired, a recent widower, and has three adult children in the area. Council also said that Goble has medical issues that he meets with a doctor on a regular basis, and is not a flight risk. The defense wanted Judge Schaedler to consider a $25,000 bond per count…a…

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Alleged Victims Of Father Rupnik Praise Lourdes, Knights Of Columbus

TURIN (ITALY)
Our Sunday Visitor [Huntington IN]

July 20, 2024

By Federica Tourn

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Alleged victims of Father Marko Rupnik welcomed the decisions of the Knights of Columbus and Lourdes sanctuary regarding the ex-Jesuit’s mosaics, saying they are “grateful.” “Words are not enough to show solidarity with the victims; actions are needed,” one of the women told OSV News.

The Knights of Columbus announced July 11 the Catholic fraternal organization will cover mosaics by Father Rupnik at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington and the Holy Family Chapel at the Knights’ headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut.

The Knights said the decision came at “the conclusion of a careful and thorough process.”
The mosaics will be obscured by fabric “which will remain in place at least until the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) issues its decision on the pending sexual abuse cases against artist Father Marko Rupnik.”

In Lourdes, where Father Rupnik’s mosaics cover the facade of the Basilica…

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Illinois Megachurch Accused of Mishandling Allegations of Clergy Sexual Abuse by Former Pastor

GRAYSLAKE (IL)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 18, 2024

By Ann Marie Shambaugh

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When The Chapel, a multi-site non-denominational megachurch with campuses clustered near the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, fired its associate pastor, Steven Ostrander, it didn’t tell church members why. At the time of Ostrander’s firing in October 2022, most congregants didn’t even know that he’d been let go, numerous former congregants and staff told The Roys Report (TRR).

The church certainly didn’t reveal that Ostrander, then 30, had reportedly admitted that he had a sexual interaction with a 19-year-old man who had previously been in Ostrander’s youth ministry. The church also didn’t mention allegations that Ostrander had made unwanted sexual advances toward several 20-something men under his pastoral care.

Not until 18 months had passed did church leaders – via a March 20, 2024, email – let the 4,500-member congregation know what was up. The missive described the allegations against Ostrander as “misuse of power to manipulate personal and professional relationships and/or…

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Healing from Adult Clergy Sexual Abuse

LEXINGTON (KY)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 18, 2024

By Sharon Clements

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Ten years ago, Sharon Clements’ world turned upside down. The pastor she trusted abused that trust and lured her into a sexual relationship. But when everything became public, her abuse was labeled an affair. And instead of receiving help, she received shame and rejection.

In this edition of The Roys Report, Sharon speaks out—not just about the abuse, but about her road to recovery.

The church where her abuse occurred—LexCity Church (formerly Quest Community Church) in Lexington, Kentucky—recently made headlines for another sex abuse scandal. And in the wake of that scandal, LexCity has closed.

It’s not often we see such a dramatic consequence to news like this. But then again, this is the second time LexCity has been rocked by scandal.

The first time was in 2014 when then-Pastor Pete Hise admitted to an “affair” with Sharon Clements. This not only rocked the church but led to years of confusion and…

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Ohio priest apologizes for destroying hard drive containing possible child porn

MASON (OH)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

July 18, 2024

By Daniel Payne

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A priest in Ohio has issued an apology to parishioners after a media report revealed that he had destroyed a hard drive reportedly containing inappropriate pictures of children — and potentially child pornography — and then delayed reporting the incident to police. 

In a July 12 letter to parishioners at St. Susanna Catholic Church in Mason, Ohio, Father Barry Stechschulte said he wanted to “address” and “apologize for” his involvement in a controversy surrounding a priest accused of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 

Local Cincinnati ABC affiliate WCPO reported earlier this month on a yearslong controversy involving a Dayton-area priest, Father Tony Cutcher, who left ministry in 2021 amid a scandal involving “hundreds of text messages he exchanged with a 14-year-old boy.”

Some of the text messages included implied sexual overtones. Cutcher ultimately resigned from active priestly duties after an evaluation recommended a “restriction…

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Police seeking additional victims of Catholic priest arrested on sexual assault charges out of Texas

WACO (TX)
KTEN [Denison, TX]

July 19, 2024

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Two charges of sexual assault have been filed against Anthony Odiong, with eight survivors identified thus far, according to the Waco Police Department.

The Waco Police Department is actively searching for additional survivors who may have been victimized by Odiong. Additional charges are pending. “Respect for your experience is our highest priority. You will not be required to go to court if you don’t prefer, nor will your name be made public,” stated the department.

In March of this year, credible information was reported to the Waco Police Department regarding a sexual assault that occurred in 2012. The individual who allegedly committed this sexual assault is a Catholic priest by the name of Fr. Anthony Odiong. During the subsequent investigation, a case of possession of child pornography was uncovered, which led to the arrest of Anthony Odiong on July 16, 2024, in Ave Maria, Florida, by the Florida Caribbean Regional…

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July 19, 2024

Services to be held for credibly accused priest at parish where he previously served

ALBANY (NY)
Spotlight News [Delmar NY]

July 18, 2024

By John McIntyre

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  • Services at St. Thomas in Delmar on Friday for Rev. Gregory Weider who accused in three sexual abuse cases
  • Diocese grants family’s request to hold funeral at parish

DELMAR – A priest removed from public ministry by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany is scheduled to have a wake and funeral at one of the parishes he served before allegations of child sexual abuse were made against him decades later.

According to the St. Thomas the Apostle parish calendar, a wake for Rev. Gregory Weider is scheduled for Friday, July 19, in its chapel from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a funeral mass to follow in the church.

Spotlight News specifically asked the Albany Diocese if any of the abuse allegations took place at St. Thomas, but the diocese declined to answer, citing the privacy of the victims.

Weider was added to the diocese’s “List of Credibly Accused” after…

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Emmaus founder Abbé Pierre accused of sexual assault

PARIS (FRANCE)
Vatican News - Holy See [Vatican City]

July 18, 2024

By Lisa Zengarini and Marie Duhamel

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The French-based Catholic solidarity movement founded by late Abbé Pierre releases the findings of an independent investigation, revealing alleged sexual abuses committed by its charismatic founder.

He is one of the most popular and iconic figures of the Church in France, known for his commitment to the French Resistance, for protecting Jews during World War II, and for his lifelong advocacy for the homeless and the destitute.

A report released on Wednesday by the Emmaus community, the now-international organization he founded 1949 in France to support the poorest and most vulnerable, has tarnished this image, revealing that Abbé Pierre committed acts amounting to sexual assault or sexual harassment.

A year-long investigation

The report is the result of an investigation the Catholic foundation entrusted in 2023 to an expert firm that specializes in abuse prevention, after a woman reported a sexual assault by the late priest and humanitarian…

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Activists voice concern over possible plea deal for accused child abuser

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
News Tribune [Jefferson City MO]

July 18, 2024

By Finnegan Belleau

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Boyd Householder died in June, before the beginning of his trial on 78 felony charges involving allegations of statutory rape, physical abuse and child neglect. On Wednesday, activists gathered in Jefferson City to ask that his wife, Stephanie Householder, not receive a plea deal.

“Stephanie Householder is perhaps the most notorious and prolific female perpetrator in Missouri,” said David Clohessy, Missouri volunteer director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Stephanie Householder faces 22 felony charges related to abuse and neglect that allegedly happened at Circle of Hope Girls Ranch, the Christian reform school in Humansville, Missouri, that was operated by her and her husband.

Young adults involved with the school spoke at Wednesday’s news conference while activists held up signs outside the Attorney General’s Office of Missouri. One sign read “No plea for Stephanie.”

Maggie Drew was a student at the boarding school from 2007-13. At the…

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Ltr to AG: “No plea for Stephanie!”

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
DavidClohessy.com [St. Louis MO]

July 17, 2024

By David Clohessy

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BEING SENT TO SHERIFFS & PROSECUTORS IN THESE COUNTIES: JOHNSON, GRUNDY, MORGAN, LAFAYETTE, PETTIS, STONE, JACKSON, SHELBY, TANEY, OREGON, AUDRAIN, DADE, LAFAYETTE, SCOTT, COLE, JASPER, CAPE GIRARDEAU AND GREENE.

July 17, 2024

Dear AG Bailey:

Our message to you is simple: No plea for Stephanie.

We have suffered immeasurably, and many of us continue to suffer severely, because of the heinous crimes at Christian boarding schools committed and concealed by both Boyd and Stephanie Householder.

Over decades, the two of them no doubt sexually, physically and emotionally abused countless other innocent kids.

Now, Boyd will not face justice. But Stephanie MUST face justice.

Boyd has evaded earthly justice. Stephanie, however, has not.

In the strongest possible terms, we beg you to take the criminal case against Stephanie to trial without delay. We beg you to give us the only real opportunity we likely will ever have to face and expose an…

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Catholic clergy abuse survivors still optimistic after investigation into Washington dioceses stalls

OLYMPIA (WA)
KHQ-TV/NBC affiliate [Spokane WA]

July 18, 2024

By Andru Zodrow

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OLYMPIA, Wash. – After a Washington Attorney General’s Office investigation alleging that the Dioceses of Seattle, Spokane and Yakima used charitable funds to cover-up sex abuse was halted by a superior court judge on Friday, clergy abuse advocates are still demanding accountability. 

Abuse survivors and reform advocates from the Catholic Accountability Project (CAP) traveled from Seattle to Spokane and Yakima on Tuesday promising that the AG investigation into alleged abuse cover-ups would be appealed to Washington’s Supreme Court. 

“It was a very sad day last week for survivors in court to have that kind of a setback, but we’re very hopeful about what the attorney general has committed to do in appealing this case,” CAP advocate Sarah Pearson said. 

Pearson helped to organize thousands of pages of abuse documentation ahead of the AG’s office filing investigating subpoenas against the three dioceses. She asserted that Bishop Thomas Daly’s office was actively avoiding addressing…

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Police seeking additional victims of Catholic priest arrested on sexual assault charges out of Texas

FORT WORTH (TX)
Star Local Media [Plano TX]

July 19, 2024

Read original article

WACO, Texas — Two charges of sexual assault have been filed against Anthony Odiong, with eight survivors identified thus far, according to the Waco Police Department.

The Waco Police Department is actively searching for additional survivors who may have been victimized by Odiong. Additional charges are pending. “Respect for your experience is our highest priority. You will not be required to go to court if you don’t prefer, nor will your name be made public,” stated the department.

In March of this year, credible information was reported to the Waco Police Department regarding a sexual assault that occurred in 2012. The individual who allegedly committed this sexual assault is a Catholic priest by the name of Fr. Anthony Odiong. During the subsequent investigation, a case of possession of child pornography was uncovered, which led to the arrest of Anthony Odiong on July 16, 2024, in Ave Maria, Florida, by the Florida Caribbean Regional…

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Catholic clergy abuse survivors call for alleged Washington abuse documents to be released

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY [Spokane WA]

July 16, 2024

By Maryssa Rillo and Taylar Ansures

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[Play Video]

SPOKANE, Wash. – Survivors and advocates are calling on the three Washington State Catholic diocese to release alleged documents they have that contain evidence of clergy abuse and cover-up.

This comes after a Washington State judge rejected Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s request to enforce a subpoena against the Seattle Archdiocese over its handling of sexual abuse cases. The Diocese of Spokane was also subpoenaed by Ferguson in May. 

Clergy abuse survivors and advocates met at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes on Tuesday to advocate for victims here in Spokane. 

“I am a survivor of priest and young nun abuse,” said clergy abuse survivor Mary Dispenza.

Dispenza said she was 7-years-old when she suffered abuse by the Catholic church in Los Angeles. Now, she stands strong advocating for others in Washington.

“I’m also here to ask and demand that the files be…

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Roman Catholic priest jailed for child abuse images charged with sexual assault

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The Guardian [London, England]

July 18, 2024

By Ramon Antonio Vargas in New Orleans

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New charges filed against Anthony Odiong after eight accusers came forward alleging unwelcome sexual conduct

Days after being jailed in Florida on counts of possessing child abuse imagery, a Roman Catholic priest with ties to south-east Louisiana and Texas has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.

Police in Waco, Texas, announced the new charges against Anthony Odiong late on Thursday in a statement. It said a total of eight victims had come forward alleging Odiong, 55, tried to use his influence as a priest to pursue sexual contact they either did not welcome or to which they could not consent.

Texas is one of about a dozen states with a law that criminalizes sexual activity between clergymen and adults who emotionally depend on their spiritual advice. Furthermore, Texas deems statutes of limitation – or filing deadlines – irrelevant if a “defendant has committed the same or similar sex offense…

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Survey: Most Southern Baptist Churches Use Background Checks, Fewer Receive Abuse Training

NASHVILLE (TN)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 18, 2024

By Aaron Earls

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New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro has used background checks in its ministry for more than 10 years.

“It gives us peace of mind,” said Kellie Clem, financial assistant at New Vision. “Also, there are occasions where it becomes a chance to talk with volunteers about their faith walk due to results that have come back.”

According to the 2023 Annual Church Profile (ACP), most Southern Baptist congregations, like New Vision, use background checks for volunteers. Fewer, however, say they have been trained in reporting sexual abuse or caring for sexual abuse survivors.

Almost 3 in 5 congregations affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (58%) use background checks. More than a third (36%) are trained in reporting sexual abuse, while 16% are trained in caring for survivors.

“Many within the Southern Baptist Convention and other denominations have been expressing a desire to do more to prevent sexual abuse,”…

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French priest Abbé Pierre accused of sexual assault

PARIS (FRANCE)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

July 17, 2024

By Luke Coppen

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A priest regularly voted France’s most popular personality has been posthumously accused of sexual assault and harassment by at least seven women, including one who was a minor when the first incident allegedly occurre

An investigative report, published July 17, said that at least five other possible victims were identified during a probe into allegations against Abbé Pierre, the founder of Emmaus, a charity serving the poor and homeless.

Abbé Pierre — who was a member of the French World War II Resistance and made a celebrated appeal for an “uprising of kindness” during the harsh winter of 1954 — is the latest prominent figure within French Catholicism to face posthumous accusations of sexual misconduct.

Others include Fr. Georges Finet, co-founder of the Foyers de Charité, Fr. Marie-Dominique Philippe, founder of the Community of St. John, and Jean Vanier, a Canadian who founded the L’Arche community in France.

The French bishops’…

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Largest housing provider for migrant children engaged in pervasive sexual abuse, US says

BROWNSVILLE (TX)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 18, 2024

By PAUL J. WEBER AND VALERIE GONZALEZ

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Employees of the largest housing provider for unaccompanied migrant children in the U.S. repeatedly sexually abused and harassed children in their care for at least eight years, the Justice Department said Thursday, alleging a shocking litany of offenses that took place as the company amassed billions of dollars in government contracts.

Southwest Key Programs Inc. employees, including supervisors, raped, touched or solicited sex and nude images of children beginning in 2015 and possibly earlier, the Justice Department said in a lawsuit filed this week. At least two employees have been indicted on criminal charges related to the allegations since 2020.

It was not immediately clear how many children are currently in Southwest Key’s vast network of shelters across three states, which have room for more than 6,300 children. A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment beyond the lawsuit announcement when asked whether the department recommended that…

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July 18, 2024

Parishioners want answers after Mason pastor says he ordered hard drive destroyed with alleged child porn

CINCINNATI (OH)
WCPO - ABC 9 [Cincinnati OH]

July 17, 2024

By Paula Christian

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St. Susanna’s pastor says he made ‘terrible mistake’ by failing to report priest for alleged child porn for six years, and ordering hard drive destroyed.

MASON, Ohio — Some local Catholics want a Mason pastor to resign, after the WCPO 9 I-Team reported last week that he ordered evidence of alleged child pornography be destroyed, and waited six years to report it to police while pastor of a different church.

“I understand that the information in this report is distressing for many of you and may impact your trust in me as your pastor… I instructed the hard drive be destroyed. I realize that not reporting it was a terrible mistake, which I regret,” Fr. Barry Stechschulte wrote in a July 12 letter to the St. Susanna community, where he is pastor and oversees a large school.

While the I-Team report focused on former priest Tony Cutcher, it also revealed Father…

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Beloved priest Abbe Pierre was the conscience of France. Several women now accuse him of assault

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 17, 2024

By Barbara Surk and Nicole Winfield

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Vatican City – A legendary French priest and a lifelong advocate of the homeless has been accused of committing acts that would amount to “sexual assault or sexual harassment,” his foundation said Wednesday, in the latest instance of a Catholic spiritual leader facing allegations of abusing his power to harm women.

Abbé Pierre, who died in 2007, was one of France’s most beloved public figures. The founder of the international Emmaus Community for the poor, Abbé Pierre had served as part of France’s conscience since the 1950s, when he persuaded Parliament to pass a law — still on the books — forbidding landlords to evict tenants during winter.

Several women have accused the late priest of sexual assault or harassment between the end of the 1970s and 2005, his foundation said in a statement. It explained that it is making public the allegations of seven women, including one who was…

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Circle of Hope abuse survivors ask Missouri to continue with trial of boarding school owner

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KCUR (NPR affiliate) [Kansas City MO]

July 18, 2024

By Annelise Hanshaw, Missouri Independent

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Stephanie Householder, who ran Circle of Hope Girls Ranch with her husband Boyd Householder, faces 21 charges of child abuse and neglect alleged by former students. Her husband, who died last month, had nearly 80 charges that include allegations of sexual abuse.

Survivors of abuse are asking Missouri’s attorney general to proceed with the trial of the co-owner of Circle of Hope Girls Ranch, a now-shuttered boarding school for troubled girls in Cedar County.

Stephanie Householder, who ran the school with her husband Boyd Householder, faces 21 charges of child abuse and neglect alleged by former Circle of Hope students. Her husband had nearly 80 charges, including allegations of sexual abuse.

But he died of a “cardiac incident,” according to his attorney’s statement published by KSMU.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey offered Householder a plea deal in 2023 if she would testify against her husband. She rejected…

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Take down his art or not: Who is alleged serial abuser Father Marko Rupnik?

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic World Report [San Francisco CA]

July 16, 2024

By Almudena Martínez-Bordiú and Yhonatan Luque Reyes for CNA

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Father Marko Ivan Rupnik is a former Jesuit priest whose artwork decorates Catholic churches, chapels, and shrines around the world, including the Redemptoris Mater chapel in the Vatican and the major seminary of Rome. He is accused of having committed serious sexual, spiritual, and psychological abuse of women for decades and his case is currently being investigated by the Vatican.

Rupnik’s career

Rupnik, 69, was born in 1954 in Zadlog, Slovenia. During his youth he studied at the School of Fine Arts in Rome and at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he earned a doctorate with a thesis on the theological significance of modern art in the light of Russian theology.

In the 1980s in his native country with the nun Ivanka Hosta he founded the Loyola Community, where he allegedly abused nuns.

He is also the founder of the Centro Aletti spiritual art workshop in Rome, from where many…

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Waco law firm suing Anthony Odiong, Catholic Diocese of Austin

AUSTIN (TX)
KXXV TV, ABC-25 [Waco TX]

July 16, 2024

By Art DeVitalis and Heidi March

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A former McLennan County priest is accused of serial sexual assault and has been charged for having child pornography.

UPDATE (6 p.m.)

According to a statement from the Diocese of Austin, they are ready to fully cooperate with law enforcement regarding this case.

The Diocese of Austin says it remains committed to its Safe Environment Program, and is encouraging anyone with additional information regarding Odiong, to report it directly to the Waco Police Department.

According to officials, since Odiong’s conclusion of service in the Diocese of Austin in 2012, he has not had authorization to minister as a priest within the twenty-five county area comprising the Diocese of Austin, and his bishop recalled him back to the Diocese of Uyo in writing in March 2024.

“In 2019, the Diocese of Austin sent written communication to Fr. Odiong confirming that he did not have authorization to engage in priestly ministry in…

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Texas police say former Luling priest accused of sex crimes could have more victims

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WDSU [New Orleans]

July 16, 2024

By Erin Lowrey

Read original article

LULING, La. — A former Louisiana priest who has been credibly accused of sex crimes in several states is under investigation in Texas, where police believe he may have more victims.

Anthony Odiong,55, who was a priest in Luling from 2015 to 2023, is accused of sexual assault and most recently possession of child pornography, according to a news release issued by the Waco Police Department.

Waco police say they were made aware of a sexual assault that happened in 2013 involving Odiong.

Odiong was arrested on Tuesday in Ave Maria, Fla. He is awaiting extradition.

According to Waco police, multiple women have come forward to share similar experiences as the sexual assault survivor who reported the initial allegation.

Police say those experiences ranged from sexual assault to groping and indecent assault.

Officers believe there are potentially more victims across the country.

Odiong served as a Catholic priest at St….

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Former Texas priest arrested in Southwest Florida after sexual assault allegations

VENICE (FL)
WBBH - NBC 2 [Fort Myers FL]

July 17, 2024

By Zach Scott

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AVE MARIA, Fla. — The U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, along with Collier County deputies, arrested a former Texas priest in Ave Maria Tuesday for possession of child pornography.

Father Anthony Odiong, 55, is also the subject of a sexual assault investigation.

In March 2024, police in Waco, Texas, report a woman came forward to tell them about a sexual assault that occurred in 2012. It was during this investigation that detectives found the child pornography leading to Odiong’s arrest warrant.

People living in Ave Maria’s Silverwood community witnessed Odiong’s arrest. Many neighbors reported not knowing the man well.

“Sexual abuse? That’s horrible,” Grygoriy Averchenko said. “And that’s like, I would never expect that to be living in the community.”

“I went outside, stepped outside and saw four police officers around in the side of his house. One police officer with an AR pointed out the window and probably like…

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Former Luling priest arrested, facing child porn and sex assault allegations in Texas

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
Nola.com [New Orleans, LA]

July 16, 2024

By Michelle Hunter

Read original article

Rev. Anthony Odiong, the priest dismissed last year from St. Anthony of Padua Church in Luling, was arrested Tuesday morning in Florida on a Texas warrant accusing him of possession of child pornography, according to authorities. 

The Waco Police Department is also investigating allegations that the Catholic priest sexually assaulted many other victims. 

“Multiple women have come forward to tell similar experiences as the sexual assault survivor who reported the initial allegation in 2012, Waco Detective Bradley DeLange said in a statement released Tuesday.

“Survivors’ experiences ranged from sexual assault, indecent assault — more commonly known as groping, and financial abuse, with some survivors experiencing every element of Anthony Odiong’s manipulation,” DeLange said.

Odiong could not be reached for comment Tuesday. An attorney who previously represented him also could not be reached for comment.

Texas investigation

Waco police opened their investigation in March after an unidentified victim reported…

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Popular Catholic priest who was dismissed in Luling charged with possessing photos of disrobed children

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WWL-TV [New Orleans LA]

July 16, 2024

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

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Anthony Odiong was investigated for allegations of sexually abusive misconduct with multiple women in Louisiana and was reported to the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office.

NEW ORLEANS — A popular former New Orleans-area Catholic priest who was dismissed as pastor from St. Anthony of Padua in Luling last year has been arrested and charged with illegally possessing child abuse imagery depicting unclothed children.

Anthony Odiong was arrested Tuesday as he was leaving his home in Ave Maria, Florida, on a warrant obtained by police in Waco, Texas. According to sworn statements in support of the arrest warrant that were obtained by the Guardian, police said they discovered the illicit pictures while investigating complaints from at least four women that made officers aware Odiong, 55, could be “a potential serial sexual assault suspect”.

Odiong was being investigated for allegations of sexually abusive misconduct with multiple women in Louisiana. He was reported to the…

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Affidavit in former Waco priest’s child porn arrest indicates string of sex assault complaints

FORT WORTH (TX)
Waco Tribune-Herald [Waco, TX]

July 17, 2024

By Christopher De Los Santos

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An affidavit in the arrest Tuesday of a former Waco-area priest indicates Waco police came across child pornography in his online accounts while they were investigating the complaint of one of four women who accused him of sexual assault.

The Rev. Anthony Okoneffiong Odiong, 56, was being held Wednesday in Florida’s Collier County Jail without bail on the child pornography charge, waiting for transfer to McLennan County.

Odiong, who served as pastor at St. Peter Catholic Student Center near Baylor University and St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in West from 2007 to 2012, was dismissed from a church in Luling, Louisiana, in December.

Since then, the Diocese of Fort Worth in February has warned churches not to allow Odiong to engage with parishioners, suggesting that he had disregarded a ban by the Diocese of Austin on ministering in that diocese, which includes McLennan County.

The arrest affidavit for…

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July 17, 2024

Kanakuk survivors calling for support as Peter Newman’s parole hearing approaches

BRANSON (MO)
Baptist News Global [Jacksonville FL]

July 16, 2024

By Mallory Challis

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Serial child sex abuser Peter Newman will be eligible for parole later this year due to the terms of his sentencing, and survivors of his abuse at Kanakuk Kamps are opposing that possibility.

Newman is one among a long list of child sex abuse perpetrators at Kanakuk Kamps, an evangelical Christian camp based in Branson, Mo., facing multiple lawsuits for fraudulent concealment of these sex crimes.

After confessing in 2009 to sexually abusing at least 57 children, Newman was sentenced in 2010 to two life terms plus 30 years in Missouri state prison on multiple counts of statutory sodomy and child enticement. Prior to his sentencing, prosecutors were aware of at least 57 alleged victims of this abuse, on which one prosecutor commented he was “the most prolific child molester I have ever dealt with.” Today it is believed his number of victims and survivors is much higher.

On Sept. 25,…

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Sex scandal involving an academic pastor. Former World Youth Days director arrested

ZAMOść (POLAND)
Polskie Radio [Warsaw, Poland]

July 16, 2024

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Priest Mariusz W. from Radom was arrested on his 45th birthday. He faces up to 12 years in prison for the sexual exploitation of young women and inciting false testimony.

The District Court in Zamość ordered his temporary detention for three months. He previously served as the director of the National Organizational Office for World Youth Days (WYD) and as a diocesan academic pastor in Radom.

The priest, who also lectured at a local university and served as a youth pastor, faces charges related to seven incidents spanning from 2011 to 2021.

The prosecution encourages any other potential victims of the priest’s sexual exploitation to come forward if they haven’t done so already.

The Radom Diocese informed authorities about the potential criminal activities of the Catholic clergyman as early as 2021. Since then, an investigation has been ongoing, including interviews with victims and witnesses.

“The Radom Diocese deeply regrets the…

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Washington AG will appeal court decision rejecting subpoena of Seattle Archdiocese

SEATTLE (WA)
Crux [Denver CO]

July 16, 2024

By John Lavenburg

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Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has said he will appeal a judge’s decision to reject his request to enforce a subpoena against the Archdiocese of Seattle in a clergy sex abuse investigation, while Archbishop Paul Etienne has renewed his offer for collaboration between the sides.

Alleging that the Archdiocese of Seattle refused to cooperate, Ferguson’s office announced in May that he filed a court petition to get the subpoena enforced. The subpoena sought archdiocesan records for an investigation into whether the archdiocese used charitable funds to cover up clergy sex abuse allegations.

Ferguson’s office first sent the subpoena to the Archdiocese of Seattle in July 2023, and then again this past April seeking additional information, including accounting and financial records. The Dioceses of Spokane and Yakima, also in Washington, were subpoenaed as well.

Rejecting Ferguson’s request on July 12, King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott ruled that the attorney…

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Republicans Let Archbishop With Horrific History Open the RNC

MILWAUKEE (WI)
The New Republic [New York NY]

July 16, 2024

By Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling

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Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki has a history of opposing consequences for sexual abuse in the church.

Conservatives seemingly had no problem tapping someone with a history of covering up sexual abuse scandals to deliver the opening remarks at the Republican National Convention.

During the opening prayer Monday night, Archbishop of Milwaukee Jerome Listecki reminded the conference to pray for the “wisdom” to place the nation “above personal interest” and to “respect justice” and “equality before the law.” But that wasn’t always the spiritual leader’s prerogative.

Fourteen years ago, Listecki was caught in the midst of a cover-up within the church, with local outlets underlining how far he had gone to thwart investigations of priests involved in the Catholic Church’s child sex abuse scandal, and how he had even permitted some of the accused—and charged—church leaders to remain in leadership positions.

In 2010, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel View Cache

Local Pastor Charged with Sexual Battery on Teen Family Member

(FL)
Hernando Sun [Brooksville, FL]

July 16, 2024

By Hernando Sun staff

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A teenage girl from New York who was visiting family in Brooksville reported to deputies that her step-grandfather, William Martinez, 55, touched her inappropriately and forced her to touch him.

Martinez is a pastor at Kingdom of Hope Ministries in Weeki Wachee.

After hearing of the incident, the teen’s mother informed the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

While her grandmother was at a doctor’s appointment, the teen said that Martinez gave her a drink that tasted funny and a THC gummy, which made her tired. He then proceeded to touch her. Blood and urine tests confirmed the presence of alcohol and THC in her system.

Detectives executed a search warrant at Martinez’s home and collected forensic evidence. Martinez denied the allegations made by the victim.

He was arrested on two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior of a Victim over 12, and less than 16 and two counts of Sexual Battery…

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Affidavit: Priest arrested in Waco sexual assault cases in possession of child porn, victim likely under the age of 10

WACO (TX)
KWTX-10 [Waco, TX]

July 16, 2024

By Danika Young

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Waco police asking other possible survivors of sexual assaults to come forward

The Waco Police Department on Tuesday announced it is searching for additional survivors who were sexually assaulted by Father Anthony Odiong, 55, a Catholic priest.

In March of this year, Waco police said they received credible information reporting that the priest – identified as Odiong – had committed a sexual assault in 2012.

During the investigation, police identified up to five victims and learned Odiong was in possession of child pornography, an arrest affidavit states.

The affidavit states Odiong was using his iPhone and iPad to communicate with the victims and police obtained a search warrant to access Odiong’s iCloud, where they found multiple lewd photos of a girl, the warrant further states.

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Another Dangerous Fresno Priest: Father Ramon Salvador Gomez

FORT LAUDERDALE (FL)
Adam Horowitz Law [Fort Lauderdale, FL]

July 15, 2024

By Adam Horowitz Law

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It leaves us scratching our collective heads as we just posted about another predator priest, but as best we can tell, not a single US TV station, radio station, newspaper, or even blogger has ever reported on the abuse allegations against Fr. Ramon Salvador Gomez. How can that be? In 2021, he was put on the ‘credibly accused’ list in the Fresno Diocese. He was on a similar list in the San Antonio Archdiocese two years prior.

Fr. Gomez was “dismissed after law enforcement officials in California informed the San Antonio Archdiocese that he was accused of child sex abuse in that state.” He later moved to Jalisco, Mexico, but sometimes returned to the Texas town of Carrizo Springs “without faculties or permission for priestly ministry, despite the objections of the parish pastor and a letter from the Texas archbishop to the Mexican bishop.”

On one…

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Johnny Hunt tells his side of the story, including his definition of ‘adultery’

ATLANTA (GA)
Baptist News Global [Jacksonville FL]

July 14, 2024

By Mark Wingfield

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Johnny Hunt finally got to tell his side the story about what happened at a beachside condo in 2010, when he is accused of sexually abusing a pastor’s wife the age of his own daughters.

In a court deposition taken April 18, the former Georgia pastor and denominational leader says the narrative of what happened that day was misrepresented by Guidepost Solutions in its report to the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee in 2022.

The 368-page deposition was made public last week. It covers a wide range of topics, from Hunt’s income stream, to his leadership of men’s conferences, to his tenure as president of the SBC, to his definition of adultery.

Defining adultery

Hunt, the former longtime pastor of Woodstock Baptist Church north of Atlanta, says he sees a difference between “adultery” and being “unfaithful” to one’s wife. It is only adultery, he says, if there is sexual intercourse involved.

That…

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Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct charged over child abuse images

AVE MARIA (FL)
The Guardian [London, England]

July 16, 2024

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Read original article

Anthony Odiong, prohibited from ministering in Texas and Louisiana amid criminal investigation, arrested in Florida

A Catholic priest under criminal investigation for sexual misconduct with multiple women – and consequently prohibited from ministering in two states – has been charged with illegally possessing child abuse imagery depicting girls.

Anthony Odiong was arrested Tuesday as he was leaving his home in Ave Maria, Florida, on a warrant obtained by police in Waco, Texas, charging him with possessing child abuse images showing disrobed children. According to sworn statements in support of the arrest warrant that were obtained by the Guardian, police said they discovered the illicit pictures while investigating complaints from at least four women that made officers aware Odiong, 55, could be “a potential serial sexual assault suspect”.

The Waco police statements say that at least some of the women’s complaints are too old to prosecute due to statutes of limitation….

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Accuser speaks out after sex abuse charges against former Dubuque priest dropped

DUBUQUE (IA)
KGAN - CBS 2 [Cedar Rapids IA]

July 16, 2024

By Valeree Dunn

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The first person to come forward with sexual abuse allegations against a former Dubuque priest is speaking out after Leo Riley’s charges were dismissed in court on Monday.

The dismissal of charges in Dubuque County due to an archaic Iowa law does not change what is the absolute truth: Leo Patrick Riley is a serial pedophile,” Jeff Buchheit said in a statement on Tuesday.

Evil escaped justice today, but it is only a matter of time before he is held accountable for other lives he destroyed in Iowa and Florida. I extend my sincere gratitude to the Dubuque Police Department investigators and County Attorney’s office. Their relentless and just pursuit of the truth has honored all of us who previously had no voice, especially the many altar boys from Resurrection who have passed on but still stand with us.

My resolve to bring Riley to justice,…

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Criminal charges against Fr. Leo Riley dismissed; SNAP Responds

DUBUQUE (IA)
SNAP - Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests [Chicago IL]

July 15, 2024

Read original article

The criminal case against an ex-Dubuque priest accused of multiple counts of child sexual abuse was dismissed today. There was no ruling on the accusations, just a decision that the case was beyond the criminal statute of limitations. SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is disappointed that once again an accused clergyman was able to avoid facing his accusers in court.

 Although Fr. Leo P. Riley had denied the charges and pleaded not guilty, we know that false accusations of child sexual abuse are rare, multiple false accusations are even rarer. We believe and stand with the brave survivors who came forward to accuse this cleric. Despite Fr. Riley’s attorney’s claiming that there was “no evidence” that the clergyman committed these crimes, the truth is that the testimony of these courageous victims would have been evidence.

 Many secular reports and individual investigations across the globe…

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July 16, 2024

Chr. boarding school abuse victims’ presser Wed. 7/17 in Jeff city

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
DavidClohessy.com [St. Louis MO]

July 16, 2024

By David Clohessy

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Victims beg AG: No plea deal for ‘horrific abuser

She’s ‘Missouri’s Ghislane Maxwell,’ they charge

Woman & her husband faced 100 counts of crimes vs. kids

But he just died & victims fear she’ll cut ‘a sweet deal’ from AG

At event, group will write to sheriffs & prosecutors in 20+ counties

A ‘potentially dangerous’ boarding school is in each one, they say

SNAP: ‘Don’t wait! Go after these Christian boarding schools now!’

WHAT

At a sidewalk news conference – chanting and holding signs that read “No plea for Stephanie!!” – victims of abuse at Christian boarding schools will hand-deliver an impassioned letter to Attorney General Andrew Bailey’s office urging him to

–take a notorious accused female serial abuser to trial this fall, and

–NOT offer her another plea deal.

Then, sitting on folding chairs, they will address, stamp and stuff envelopes with letters to sheriffs and prosecutors in 20+…

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Catholic bishops same as ever

TOLEDO (OH)
Sandusky Register [Sandusky OH]

July 14, 2024

By Claudia Vercellotti and David Clohessy

Read original article

Imagine a criminal breaks into your house and steals nearly everything. Years or decades later, you find out he’s carefully and shrewdly hidden it all in a storage facility, and all the while, others knew of his crimes but told no one.

So you finally get to confront the thief.

He refuses to admit his guilt.

He won’t let you in the storage facility.

He won’t even let you glance inside of it for a second.

But he offers to pay you what, on its face, seems to be a good amount of money.

But there’s a catch. You will never get your belongings back. And of course, your pain will never be relieved – all you suffered for all those years, when you couldn’t afford your medicine, cookware or a decent couch to stretch out on doesn’t matter.

This doesn’t even begin to address your psychological and emotional turmoil…

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The kids are not all right

()
Baptist News Global [Jacksonville FL]

July 15, 2024

By Susan M. Shaw

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A 20-year old tried to assassinate a presidential candidate this weekend. Now I know that, technically, we consider 20-year-olds adults. But I teach 20-year-olds. I know they’re still somewhere between childhood and adulthood, their brains not yet fully formed.

But what in the world would lead a such a young man to try to kill a former president?

The kids simply are not all right.

Teen anxiety, depression and other mental health struggles continue to rise. Nearly a quarter of teens girls have contemplated suicide, as have half of LGBTQ teens.

I recall a conversation with my goddaughter a few years ago when she was around 12 or 13 years old. We were talking about her anxiety about climate change, and she said, “I wish I’d been born sooner. I don’t think I have a future.”

Wow. This is a middle class white kid with everything going for her.

“I wish I’d…

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‘We are not going to give up’: Survivors of clergy sex abuse react to ruling in favor of Seattle Archdiocese

SEATTLE (WA)
MSN [Redmond WA ]

July 12, 2024

By Natalie Swaby, King TV

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On Friday, a judge decided to not force the Seattle Archdiocese to turn over records that the Attorney General’s Office has been asking for since last July.

Ahead of the hearing, survivors of clergy sexual abuse made a point to be at the courthouse.

“For me personally I have been working hard for this day for 31 or 32 years, since I faced my abuse by a priest when I was seven,” said Mary Dispenza.

Wearing a pin with a picture of her at that age, Dispenza is now on a mission to expose what she said the Catholic Church has kept hidden.

The Seattle Archdiocese has released its official record of clergy credibly accused. There are more than 80 names on the list.

“I don’t believe that 80 is the accurate number at all,” said Dispenza, who believes it is much higher.Expand article logo  Continue reading

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Charity regulator criticises safeguarding failures at school where monks abused pupils

(UNITED KINGDOM)
Charity Times [London, England]

July 15, 2024

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Safeguarding processes at two linked charities have been criticised by the Charity Commission in the aftermath of an abuse scandal at a religious school where monks were found to have abused children as young as seven.

Safeguarding failures were found at St Laurence Educational Trust, which runs independent school Ampleforth College on the site of Ampleforth Abbey, North Yorkshire.

Failures were also found at Ambleforth Abbey Trust, which manages the Abbey and whose monks provide chaplaincy and teaching to pupils.

These safeguarding weaknesses “put students at the college at risk of harm”, according to the Commission.

Among failures was “ineffective communication between the charities”, this includes ineffective support from their safeguarding committees at the time.

The slow pace of improvements to safeguarding at St Laurence Educational Trust exposed children to “risks of harm and the college to reputational harm”.

Meanwhile, trustees at Ampleforth Abbey Trust, who were all from the monastic community, were found to lack…

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Authorities searching for more victims after Lenawee County pastor arrested on criminal sexual conduct charges

ADRIAN (MI)
WTOL11 [Toledo, OH]

July 15, 2024

Read original article

The Adrian Police Department said Michael Ronald Goble was arraigned Monday after being arrested over the weekend.

LENAWEE COUNTY, Mich. — A Lenawee County pastor was arraigned Monday on charges of criminal sexual conduct after being arrested over the weekend.

Adrian police said Michael Ronald Goble faces two counts of criminal sexual conduct of the second degree.

APD said that based on the totality of the investigation, more victims are believed to exist that have not yet been identified. According to police, “locations of significance” may include the Maurice Spears Juvenile Campus, Church of the Good Shepherd and Goble’s home.

Adrian police said they are conducting a joint investigation with the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office. They are urging anyone wishing to report a crime to do so based on where the crime occurred using the following:

  • City of Adrian: D/Sgt. Kevin Putnam 517-264-4819 kputnam@adrianmi.gov 
  • Lenawee County Detective Dale…
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Pope Francis authors preface to book on “Women and Ministries in the Synodal Church”

VATICAN CITY (VATICAN CITY)
Catholic World Report [San Francisco CA]

July 15, 2024

By Walter Sánchez Silva for CNA

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Pope Francis has written the preface to the book “Women and Ministries in the Synodal Church,” authored by three theologians and two cardinals who participated in the meeting of the Council of Cardinals, C9, this past February at the Vatican.

The theologians, noted Vatican News, are Salesian Sister Linda Pocher, professor of Christology and Mariology at the Auxilium in Rome; who also wrote the book’s introduction; Jo Bailey Wells, a female Anglican bishop and undersecretary general of the Anglican Communion; and Giuliva Di Berardino, consecrated woman of the Ordo Virginum of the Diocese of Verona in Italy, liturgist, teacher and organizer of spirituality courses and spiritual exercises.

The cardinals are Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg and relator general of the Synod on Synodality, who in 2023 stated that “over time” the pope could allow the ordination of women; and Seán Patrick O’Malley,…

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New Zealand bishop expels traditionalist order

CHRISTCHURCH (NEW ZEALAND)
The Pillar [Washington DC]

July 15, 2024

By Luke Coppen

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A bishop has asked a traditionalist order to leave his diocese in New Zealand following a Vatican investigation.

Bishop Michael Gielen announced July 13 that priests of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer — also known as the Transalpine Redemptorists — would no longer be allowed to minister in his Diocese of Christchurch.

He said he had also asked all professed community members to leave the diocese, located on New Zealand’s South Island.

Gielen, who was appointed Bishop of Christchurch in May 2022, explained that he took the step following an apostolic visitation — a Vatican-ordered inquiry — of the community, led by the retired Australian canon law expert Bishop Robert McGuckin.

After McGuckin submitted a report to Rome, the Vatican department responsible for religious orders sent Gielen a list of recommendations, which he accepted.

“I am removing the faculties of the priests of the Sons of the Most Holy…

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1 In 10 K-12 Students Has Been Sexually Abused By A Teacher

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Federalist

July 15, 2024

By James Varney, RealClearInvestigations

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The rate of sexual misconduct in public schools far exceeds the high-profile abuse scandals that rocked the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.

Every day millions of parents put their children under the care of public school teachers, administrators, and support staff. Their trust, however, is frequently broken by predators in authority in what appears to be the largest ongoing sexual abuse scandal in our nation’s history.

Given the roughly 50 million students in U.S. K-12 schools each year, the number of students who have been victims of sexual misconduct by school employees is probably in the millions each decade, according to multiple studies. Such numbers would far exceed the high-profile abuse scandals that rocked the Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.

For a variety of reasons, ranging from embarrassment to eagerness to avoid liability, elected or appointed officials, along with unions or lobbying…

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Polish priest who organised World Youth Day charged with sex abuse

RADOM (POLAND)
Notes from Poland [Kraków, Poland]

July 16, 2024

Read original article

A priest who was Poland’s main national organiser for World Youth Day (WYD) – a major global event for young people held by the Catholic church – has been charged with sexual abuse and placed in detention.

Prosecutors in the city of Zamość announced on Monday that they had charged the 45-year-old man, who can be named only as Mariusz W. under Polish privacy law, with seven offences that took place between 2011 and 2021.

Mariusz W. served as a local coordinator of WYD in the Radom diocese from 2014 to 2016. In the latter year, Poland hosted the event (pictured above), which was attended by Pope Francis.

In 2021, he was appointed as director of the Polish church’s national organising office for WYD, overseeing preparations in Poland for the 2023 event, which was held in Portugal.

In December 2021, the Catholic diocese of Radom notified prosecutors of potential crimes…

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Vatican and Christchurch bishop strip authority from Catholic order The Sons after unauthorised exorcisms

CHRISTCHURCH (NEW ZEALAND)
NZ Herald [Auckland, New Zealand]

July 15, 2024

By Michael Morrah

Read original article

[VIDEO]

Christchurch-based Catholic order has had its authority removed and its priests have been stripped of their religious faculties, after an investigation by the Vatican into allegations of unauthorised exorcisms and spiritual and psychological abuse.

Priests for the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Transalpine Redemptorists or simply The Sons, previously had permission from the Catholic church to preach the Traditional Latin Mass from a chapel in St Albans in Christchurch.

They have now been banned from practicing and told to leave the Christchurch diocese.

The leaders, Father Michael Mary and Father Anthony Mary, have faced claims of manipulating and controlling their followers and interfering in the lives of families.

Priests were accused of tying people up during exorcisms and screaming at them for hours.

Leader father Michael Mary described the bonds as a “safety harness” which he said was sometimes required when the…

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Sexual battery charges against former Port Charlotte priest dismissed in Iowa

VENICE (FL)
WFTX - Fox 4 [Cape Coral FL]

July 15, 2024

By Alex Orenczuk and Kaitlin Knapp

Read original article

DUBUQUE, Iowa — A judge in Iowa dismissed five sexual abuse charges against former Port Charlotte priest Leo P. Riley.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said investigators worked with the Dubuque Police Department after allegations of Riley’s abuse came to light in May 2023. At the time, Riley was a priest at the San Antonio Catholic Church in Port Charlotte.

The Dubuque Police Department published a press release stating four victims had come forward claiming Riley had sexually abused them from 1984-1986, when they were school-aged boys, all serving as altar boys of Resurrection Parish.

According to the Archdiocese of Dubuque, a previous sexual abuse allegation was made against Riley in 2014.

Riley had been extradited to Iowa to face a judge in early April. On July 15, court records show the charges were dismissed. However, it’s not clear why.

Fox 4 has reached out for more information about the dismissal.

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Charges against former Dubuque priest accused of sexual abuse dismissed

DUBUQUE (IA)
KCRG-TV [Cedar Rapids IA]

July 15, 2024

Read original article

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) – The priest accused of sexually abusing boys at a Dubuque school in the 1980s has had the charges against him dismissed.

Attorneys for Father Leo Riley had filed a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing the statute of limitations had expired before the charges were filed against him.

Riley was charged with five counts of sexual abuse. Prosecutors said he molested multiple altar boys while he served at Resurrection School in Dubuque from 1984-86.

Riley was arrested in April in Florida, where he is serving at a Catholic Church. Riley is also facing a lawsuit in Florida from a former student, who also claims Riley sexually abused him at a school there.

Court documents filed on Monday confirmed the state acknowledged that the statute of limitations had run out on the charges against him from his time in Dubuque.

The case is now dismissed.

Riley’s attorneys released…

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Prosecutors: Criminal case against Charlotte County priest dismissed

VENICE (FL)
WWSB -ABC 7 [Sarasota FL]

July 15, 2024

By Bailey Striepling and Jordan Litwiller

Read original article

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) – The criminal case against Father Leo Riley, the Charlotte County priest accused of sexual abuse, has been dismissed and will not go to trial.

Riley was facing five counts of sexual abuse, allegedly committed during his time as a priest in Iowa in the 1980s.

The judge’s decision came down to the statute of limitations – a law that limits the amount of time after an incident occurs that someone can be prosecuted.

In this case, Iowa law required charges to be brought by 1989 but because that didn’t happen until this year, Riley cannot legally be tried on these allegations.

The judge dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning Riley cannot be tried again on these charges.

Copyright 2024 WWSB. All rights reserved.

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Pedophilia case dismissed against former SWFL priest, attorney says

DUBUQUE (IA)
WINK-TV, Ch. 11 CBS [Fort Myers FL]

July 15, 2024

Read original article

The case has been dismissed against a former Southwest Florida priest who allegedly sexually abused multiple young boys 40 years ago.

Leo Riley’s attorney, Guy Cook, reached out to WINK News and said, “Please know the Court has dismissed the defective and wrongful charges brought against Father Leo Riley.”

Cook said that he had previously filed a motion to dismiss the charges on Riley’s behalf since the statute of limitations had run out and a motion to suppress evidence due to the state’s unethical and unconstitutional conduct.

The motion to suppress was to be heard by the court on Monday, but the court canceled the hearing and entered an order dismissing the case instead.

Cook said that Riley vigorously denied the allegations.

According to Cook, Riley successfully passed two separate polygraph examinations conducted by two different former FBI special agents who are experts in polygraphs.

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Father Rupnik’s mosaics to be covered in the United States

NEW HAVEN (CT)
La Croix International [France]

July 15, 2024

By Fanny Uski-Billieux

Read original article

In the United States, the Knights of Columbus have announced in a statement that they will cover two mosaics by Slovenian Father Marko Rupnik, who is accused of sexual assault and psychological violence.

Two works by Slovenian artist Father Marko Rupnik will be covered in Washington and Connecticut in the United States. In a statement published July 11, the Knights of Columbus announced this decision. This is the first time such a decision has been made regarding the artistic works of the priest, who is currently accused of multiple sexual assaults.

“Our first concern must be for victims of sexual abuse, who have already suffered immensely, and who may be further injured by the ongoing display of the mosaics at the Shrine,” said Patrick Kelly, the supreme knight of the Catholic charitable organization, adding that this decision was the result of an “extensive process.”

“Every situation is different. In the United…

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July 15, 2024

New sex abuse allegations surface against ex-KCK priest who did prison time years ago

KANSAS CITY (KS)
Kansas City Star [Kansas City MO]

July 15, 2024

By Judy L. Thomas

Read original article

New substantiated sexual abuse allegations have surfaced against a former priest in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas who served prison time after being convicted in 2002 of indecent liberties with a child, church officials say.

“With deep sorrow for the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announces that former priest Dennis Schmitz, who was laicized from the priesthood in 2005, has been the subject of additional substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors and adults over whom he held a position of authority,” the archdiocese said in a July 12 notice in The Leaven, its official newspaper.

The time frame of the alleged abuse was in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the archdiocese said.

During that time, Schmitz served in numerous locations, including St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shawnee; Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park;…

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Portuguese abuse survivors tell bishops to stop ‘revictimization’

LISBON (PORTUGAL)
Crux [Denver CO]

July 15, 2024

By Eduardo Campos Lima

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SÃO PAULO, Brazil – An association of survivors abuse in Portugal has complained to the bishops’ conference earlier this week about the way how the Portuguese Church has been handling reporting and compensation of victims, and asked the prelates to stop “revictimization.”

The meeting between the Portuguese Episcopal Conference (known by the acronym CEP) and the Associação Coração Silenciado (“Silenced Heart Association”), which brings together dozens of victims, occurred in Coimbra on July 10.

António Grosso, one of the association’s founders, told Crux that the group expressed to CEP its concerns about the church’s management of the ecclesial abuse crisis.

“We talked to them, and we hope they will change their stance. We don’t need more words for the covers of the newspapers. We need them to be proactive,” he said.

After years of perceived inaction concerning reports of sex abuse in the church, the Portuguese episcopate faced pressure from a movement organized by…

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Vatican admits sexual abuse undermines the Church’s credibility

MADRID (SPAIN)
Los Ángeles Press [Ciudad de México, Mexico]

July 15, 2024

By Rodolfo Soriano-Núñez

Read original article

An official document for the Synod in October of this year explicitly accepts a loss of credibility due to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.

Although credibility has been at stake since the sexual abuse crisis exploded, this is the first time a Vatican document officially admits its pervasive effects.

In Spain, the Catholic bishops announced a plan to offer reparations to victims of clergy sexual abuse, but it is not clear how they will do so.

This week the issue of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church became a priority at the global scale and even more in Spain.

At the global scale, the most recent document of the ongoing Synod, a meeting of bishops and other church officials that has happened with certain regularity in the Roman Catholic Church since the early seventies, gave prominence to the issue when it acknowledged the risk of not…

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Long Island church leader charged with rape after allegedly abusing victim for years

NEW YORK (NY)
NBC News [New York NY]

July 12, 2024

By Tom Shea

Read original article

The leader of a Long Island church was arrested and charged with multiple sex crimes after police said he had a years-long sexual relationship with a girl starting when she was 12 years old.

While working at Iglesia Cristiana Unida in Hempstead from Aug. 2011 until April 2016, Jose Wilfredo Vazquez Cardoza was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a girl from when she was 12 years old until she was 16 years old, according to Nassau County police.

During that time, the 49-year-old Cardoza was acting as a church leader while doing security for the church. He has been serving as an active member and an elder for Iglesia Misionera El Redentor on Merrick Road in Amityville since March 2023, police said.

Cardoza was arrested on Wednesday. He faces charges including rape, sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a child and more. Attorney information for Cardoza was not immediately…

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Kentucky Megachurch Closes in Wake of Sex Scandal

LEXINGTON (KY)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 14, 2024

By Sheila Stogsdill

Read original article

A Kentucky megachurch has announced it’s closing in the wake of a sex scandal involving the church’s executive pastor.

As The Roys Report (TRR) previously reported, Zachary King, the former executive pastor at LexCity Church in Lexington, was arrested last week on allegations he raped and sexually abused a minor.  He is facing six charges, including first and third-degree rape, first and third-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse, and the unlawful use of electronics to engage in sexual acts with a minor.

King remains jailed on $250,000 bail.

This past Wednesday, LexCity posted a statement on its website announcing it will cease operations.

“Through thoughtful prayer and heartfelt tears, the leadership team of Lexington City Church has voted to permanently cease our ministry,” the statement says. “Due to the continued effects of the financial situation our church inherited several years ago and the impact of the ongoing investigation…

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Former Catholic priest Raymond Herven accused of child sexual abuse at mission in regional WA

(AUSTRALIA)
Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC [Sydney, Australia]

July 15, 2024

By Tabarak Al Jrood

Read original article

A former Catholic priest charged with more than a dozen historical child sexual offences has been granted bail after appearing in a Perth court.

It’s alleged Raymond Hevern, 82, sexually and physically abused a young girl who attended a mission in regional Western Australia between 1986 and 1987.

Police said it would be alleged the girl was nine years-old at the time of the first offence.

Detectives from the Sex Assault Squad arrested Mr Hevern following an investigation into a report made to the National Redress Scheme about abuse against children in state care.

The Rossmoyne man on Monday appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court charged with 14 counts of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 14.

He has also been charged with two counts of threatening to injure or cause detriment to a person, two counts of unlawful assault and two counts of assault occasioning bodily…

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Priest charged with abusing girl at regional mission

(AUSTRALIA)
Yahoo! [Sunnyvale CA]

July 14, 2024

By Aaron Bunch, Australian Associated Press

Read original article

A Catholic priest has been charged with a slew of historical sexual abuse offences over alleged assaults of a young girl in the 1980s.

The 82-year-old man is accused of sexually and physically assaulting the nine-year-old at a regional mission in Western Australia 1986 and 1987.

He has been charged with 20 offences including 14 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14 and two counts each of threatened to injure, unlawful assault and assault occasioning bodily harm.

He is scheduled to appear in Perth Magistrates Court on Monday.

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Spain’s Catholic Church takes further steps to give reparations to sexual abuse victims

MADRID (SPAIN)
YouTube [San Bruno CA]

July 9, 2024

By AP Video

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1. Leader of the Spanish Episcopal Conference Luis Arguello and Head of Spanish Clergy Jesús Díaz Sariego entering news conference

2. Arguello at the beginning of news conference

3. News conference

4. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Luis Arguello, leader of the Spanish Episcopal Conference: “When we refer to the recognition, to attention to victims, to prevention, to training and raising awareness, to informing and researching, although we still have a long way to go, we have already come a long way and shared a lot of work.”

5. News conference

6. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Jesús Díaz Sariego, Head of Spanish Clergy: “To the extent that we have been listening to the victims, we have also been sensitized to the harm that some of our members, some members of the Church over the years, over time, have done to children, to girls, to minors. And this attentive listening to…

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July 14, 2024

Pastor To ‘Rest’ As Church Acknowledges It Knew of His Child Sex Criminal Conviction

CHARLOTTE (NC)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 10, 2024

By Sheila Stogsdill

Read original article

A South Carolina pastor is taking time to “rest” after his status as a convicted sex offender became known.

Pastor Don Logan’s presence on sex offender lists in Indiana and South Carolina was reported in May in the Wartburg Watch. His church announced Sunday that he will not be leading services at Fort Mill’s Eternal Church until at least September, the Fort Mill Sun reported.

Pastor Jacob Collins and Elder Lorne James announced Logan would enter a “time of rest,” saying it was needed after the revelations of his criminal past and because he is fighting cancer, the paper reported.

Logan will not be “preaching, shepherding staff, or having administrative responsibilities,” Collins reportedly said.

In a statement Collins read to the congregation on Logan’s behalf, Logan reportedly said his family is “taking time to heal and seek emotional restoration and peace while we discern if we…

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Matt Chandler’s Church Hired His Father, an Admitted Child Sex Abuser, Former Elder Says

DENTON (TX)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 12, 2024

By Ann Marie Shambaugh

Read original article

Matt Chandler’s Dallas-area megachurch employed his father for five years as a custodian, despite his father’s admission he had committed a child sex crime, a former elder at The Village Church Denton said.

Matt Chandler’s father, Steve Chandler, worked at the Denton, Texas, campus of The Village Church from 2007 to 2012. In 2015, the Denton campus became an autonomous church, The Village Church Denton.

In a statement read during a members meeting July 14, 2019, The Village Church Denton stated that Steve Chandler had committed a child sex crime 40 years prior. The statement said that staff at both the Denton campus and all locations of The Village Church became aware of Steve Chandler’s criminal past in 2009, yet he remained on staff for another three years.

Until this week, news about Steve Chandler’s criminal past and church employment was not…

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Former MUSEUM member jailed over repeated sexual abuse of boy, 11

SAN ĠWANN (MALTA)
MaltaToday [San Ġwann, Malta]

July 14, 2024

By Matthew Agius

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50-year old Kevin Mifsud was sentenced to imprisonment for 2 years, 6 months and inscribed in the sex offenders register, after admitting to sexually abusing a child entrusted to his care

The 11-year old victim suffered PTSD as a result of the abuse.

A former member of Christian Doctrine Society, MUSEUM, has been jailed for two and a half years for sexually abusing an 11-year old boy during organised trips to the seaside.

50-year old Kevin Mifsud had admitted to defiling a minor entrusted to his care and participating in sexual acts with the child in 2021, but sentencing had been delayed by several factors, amongst them the reassignment of the case to a different magistrate.

Prosecuting police inspector Joseph Busuttil had told magistrate Claire Stafrace Zammit that the abuse itself had occurred in 2017 and 2018, the victim still bore the psychological scars.

The boy had been referred to the school psychologist at…

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Police charge educational assistant over alleged relationship with former student

WELLAND (CANADA)
The Canadian Press [Toronto, Canada]

July 14, 2024

Read original article

Woman faces charges in relationship with student

Police say an educational assistant at St. Mary’s Catholic School in the City of Welland has been charged with sexual assault and interference over an alleged intimate relationship with a 14-year-old male.

Niagara Regional Police say a 48-year-old female was in a relationship with the victim, who is a former student.

Detectives have been investigating the allegations of sexual assault and interference since June of this year.

Police say the relationship is alleged to have lasted for three months.

Tracy Coleman of Port Colborne was arrested and charged with the two offences.

Police say they have reason to believe there may be more victims, and are asking anyone with information to reach out.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2024.

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Washington judge denies state attorney general’s subpoena against Seattle Archdiocese

SEATTLE (WA)
Catholic News Agency - EWTN [Denver CO]

July 13, 2024

By Daniel Payne

Read original article

A judge in Washington state on Friday rejected the state attorney general’s request to enforce a subpoena against the Archdiocese of Seattle as part of an ongoing investigation into sex abuse. 

Attorney General Bob Ferguson had said in May that his office had sent subpoenas to the Seattle Archdiocese, the Diocese of Spokane, and the Diocese of Yakima as part of an investigation into whether the bishoprics “used charitable funds to cover up allegations of child sex abuse by clergy.”

The attorney general’s office claimed in May that the Seattle Archdiocese “refused to cooperate” with the subpoena, leading the prosecutor to request that the King County Superior Court enforce the demand under the state’s Charitable Trusts Act, which imposes transparency requirements on large charitable trusts. 

In a press release shared with CNA, the archdiocese said that King County Superior Court Judge Michael Scott on Friday…

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Judge rejects effort by WA AG’s office to get records from Catholic church

SEATTLE (WA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 13, 2024

By Gene Johnson

Read original article

A Washington state judge said Friday that Attorney General Bob Ferguson is not entitled to enforce a subpoena seeking decades of records from the Seattle Archdiocese, despite his assertion that the records are needed to learn whether the Catholic church used charitable trust funds to cover up sexual abuse by priests.

Judge Michael Scott sided with the archdiocese, which argued that under the state’s law governing charitable trusts, Ferguson did not have authority to enforce the subpoena. The law contains an exemption designed to ensure the state does not meddle in religious practices.

Nevertheless, Seattle Archbishop Paul D. Etienne said in a written statement after Friday’s decision that the church is willing to provide the state with relevant records and collaborate with Ferguson on the investigation “in a lawful manner.”

“Sexual abuse in the Church is a heart-wrenching part of our history, and I am deeply sorry for the pain caused…

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Sex abuse survivors rally to keep disgraced Kanakuk counselor behind bars

BRANSON (MO)
Branson Trilakes News [Hollister MO]

July 12, 2024

By Jason Wert

Read original article

The man convicted and sentenced to life in prison for molesting children over a series of years at Kanakuk will have a parole
hearing in September.

Pete Newman was convicted of seven felony counts related to sexually abusing boys while he was a counselor at Kanakuk. He
was sentenced in 2010 to two life terms plus 30 years, served concurrently, and is currently in the Jefferson City Correctional
Center. Under Missouri Law, the way Newman’s sentences were structured allows him to seek parole after serving 1⁄3 of his total
sentence.

Elizabeth Carlock Phillips, the sister of one of Newman’s victims who committed suicide as a result of the abuse suffered at
Newman’s hands, gave Branson Tri-Lakes News a copy of a letter from the Missouri Department of Corrections informing
victims and their families of Newman’s upcoming parole hearing on September 25, 2024.

She also released the statement she’s sending to the parole board to the newspaper.

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July 13, 2024

Longtime Pastor at Chuck Swindoll’s Dallas-Area Megachurch Fired for ‘Moral Failure’

FRISCO (TX)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 13, 2024

By Josh Shepherd

Read original article

A longtime pastor of a Dallas-area megachurch founded by radio preacher Chuck Swindoll has been fired for an unspecified “moral failure,” according to an email sent to church members.

On Tuesday, leaders of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, told members via email that Associate Pastor Tony Cammarota had been fired after “confess(ing) to church leadership of a moral failure” on Sunday, July 7. 

“After much prayer seeking God’s direction, discussions as leaders, and then talking to Tony, we have terminated his employment effective immediately,” stated the email from Stonebriar Senior Pastor Jonathan Murphy and Pastor Les Fleetwood. “He is deeply remorseful, but his sin disqualifies him from serving on our staff as a pastor.”

The email was first reported by blogger Amy Smith of Watchkeep, and later confirmed by local ABC affiliate WFAA. The nature of the “moral failure” by Cammarota, a View Cache

AG Ferguson’s statement on court rejecting request to enforce subpoena against Seattle Archdiocese

SEATTLE (WA)
Office of the Attorney General, Washington State

July 12, 2024

Read original article

Attorney General Bob Ferguson offers the following statement in response to the King County Superior Court denying a request to enforce his office’s subpoena against the Seattle Archdiocese in his Catholic Church investigation:

Our fight for survivors of clergy abuse is not over,” Ferguson said. “We plan to immediately appeal this decision because Washingtonians deserve a full public accounting of the Church’s involvement in and responsibility for the child sexual abuse crisis. As a Catholic, I believe in justice for survivors and I am disappointed by the Church’s lack of transparency. We will do everything we can to uncover the truth and bring a voice to survivors.” 

In May, Ferguson announced his office is investigating whether three Washington dioceses of the Catholic Church used charitable funds to cover up alleged child sex abuse by clergy.

The Attorney General’s Office sent subpoenas to the Seattle Archdiocese, the Dioceses of Spokane…

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Judge rejects effort by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson to get records from Catholic church

SEATTLE (WA)
Associated Press [New York NY]

July 12, 2024

By Gene Johnson

Read original article

A Washington state judge said Friday that Attorney General Bob Ferguson is not entitled to enforce a subpoena seeking decades of records from the Seattle Archdiocese, despite his assertion that the records are needed to learn whether the Catholic church used charitable trust funds to cover up sexual abuse by priests.

Judge Michael Scott sided with the archdiocese, which argued that under the state’s law governing charitable trusts, Ferguson did not have authority to enforce the subpoena. The law contains an exemption designed to ensure the state does not meddle in religious practices.

Nevertheless, Seattle Archbishop Paul D. Etienne said in a written statement after Friday’s decision that the church is willing to provide the state with relevant records and collaborate with Ferguson on the investigation “in a lawful manner.”

“Sexual abuse in the Church is a heart-wrenching part of our history, and I am deeply sorry for the pain caused…

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Judge denies state Attorney General’s request for records on priest sex abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
Komo News [Seattle, WA]

July 12, 2024

By Joel Moreno

Read original article

A King County judge has rejected a request by state investigators to compel the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle to release decades of records on priests who may have abused children.

Judge Michael Scott ruled that Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson lacks the authority to demand the documents and that the Catholic Church has a religious exemption.

“I have a lot of respect for Judge Scott,” Ferguson said. “Excellent judge, but we think he’s mistaken on this.”

Ferguson said the records are needed to see whether the church used charitable trust funds to cover up sexual abuse by priests. He has asked the Seattle Archdiocese to voluntarily hand over these documents but said he has been stonewalled for the past year, so he filed subpoenas to force their release.

During a hearing on Friday, the lead state investigator presented the state’s arguments to have Judge Scott enforce…

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After 35 years, a final settlement reached in the Mount Cashel Orphanage sex abuse cases

ST. JOHN'S (CANADA)
America [New York NY]

July 11, 2024

By Kevin Clarke

Read original article

The Weekly Dispatch takes a deep dive into breaking events and issues of significance around our world and our nation today, providing the background readers need to make better sense of the headlines speeding past us each week. For more news and analysis from around the world, visit Dispatches.

For many Catholics around the world, reports in 1989 of physical and sexual assaults at an orphanage for boys in Newfoundland may have been the first time they ever heard of the abuse of children by Catholic clergy and male religious. As awful as those first reports out of the Mount Cashel Orphanage were, they would prove to be not the end of something—a horror story from an isolated place—but the beginning of a scandal that would eventually rock the global church.

Last week, what may be the final act of the Mount Cashel scandal concluded. The Catholic Register of Toronto…

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Gateway Settled Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Harassment, Hostility At Church Robert Morris Founded

SOUTHLAKE (TX)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 11, 2024

By Sheila Stogsdill

Read original article

Less than a week after an Oklahoma woman accused Gateway Church founder Robert Morris of abusing her when she was a child, the church settled a sexual harassment claim against a former Gateway pastor.

Rachel Childress filed a civil lawsuit in 2023 alleging sexual harassment and a hostile work environment while employed at Gateway. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount on June 21, according to court records.

Telephone calls to Childress’ attorney, Debra Edmondson, were not returned.

Childress’ lawsuit comes on the heels of another lawsuit reported by The Roys Report (TRR). In that lawsuit, Gateway Church was accused of concealing the sexual assault of a girl who attended the church.

Childress took aim at former pastor Aldean “Al” Pearson, accusing him of sexual harassment and alleging Gateway pastors failed to listen and act on her accusations. She also accused the megachurch of failing to promote her, saying they wanted a man…

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Convicted Sex Offender Serving as ‘Prison Ministries Campus Pastor’ at Embattled Gateway Church

SOUTHLAKE (TX)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 11, 2024

By Ann Marie Shambaugh

Read original article

A Dallas-area megachurch, whose pastor recently resigned amid allegations of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl, employs a pastor who was convicted in 2004 of a child sex crime, according to Texas Department of Public Safety records.

Stephen Wilson, a convicted sex offender, is prison ministries campus pastor at embattled Gateway Church.

Last month, Gateway Pastor Robert Morris resigned, after a woman came forward with allegations Morris had sexually molested her from 1982—1986, when she was 12 to 16 years old.

In 2004, Wilson, a former middle school teacher, pleaded guilty to attempted indecency with a child, a third-degree felony. He was sentenced to two years in prison and required to register as a sex offender for 10 years. He also forfeited his teachers’ license.

According to Gateway’s website, Wilson founded G3 Prison Ministries in 2008, a nonprofit “determined to spread the Word of God inside…

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Matt Chandler’s Church Hired His Father, an Admitted Child Sex Abuser, Former Elder Says

DENTON (TX)
The Roys Report [Chicago IL]

July 12, 2024

By Ann Marie Shambaugh

Read original article

Matt Chandler’s Dallas-area megachurch employed his father for five years as a custodian, despite his father’s admission he had committed a child sex crime, a former elder at The Village Church Denton said.

Matt Chandler’s father, Steve Chandler, worked at the Denton, Texas, campus of The Village Church from 2007 to 2012. In 2015, the Denton campus became an autonomous church, The Village Church Denton.

In a statement read during a members meeting July 14, 2019, The Village Church Denton stated that Steve Chandler had committed a child sex crime 40 years prior. The statement said that staff at both the Denton campus and all locations of The Village Church became aware of Steve Chandler’s criminal past in 2009, yet he remained on staff for another three years.

Until this week, news about Steve Chandler’s criminal past and church employment was not…

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Saipan bishop appointed archbishop in Guam amid clergy abuse scandal

HAGåTñA (GUAM)
RNZ [Wellington, NZ]

July 12, 2024

By Naina Rao

Read original article

Guam’s Archdiocese of Agana’s new leader, Bishop Ryan Jimenez, prepares to take on the role of archbishop as the institution has been dealing with sexual abuse allegations involving clergy members.

Bishop Jimenez, 52, who spent nearly 20 years in Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, was appointed by the Vatican to become the Archbishop of Agana.

He will officially begin his new role on 15 August, filling the vacancy left by former Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes, who resigned in March 2023 due to a serious illness. The announcement was made on 6 July.

“When you’re new in your role, whatever leadership role, take the time to get to know people, the staff, the priests, the deacons, that community,” Jimenez said during a Tuesday news briefing with local media.

“I imagine myself visiting parishes, engaging in a conversation, and not make drastic changes.”

Jimenez expects mid-April of 2025 to implement any…

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Matt Chandler under fire as podcast alleges Village Church hired father despite known abuse

DENTON (TX)
Religion News Service - Missouri School of Journalism [Columbia MO]

July 12, 2024

By Kathryn Post

Read original article

The allegations, which were shared in the ‘Bodies Behind the Bus’ podcast earlier this week, have sparked controversy online.

On an episode of the “Bodies Behind the Bus” podcast Wednesday (July 11), two former members of the Village Church Denton in Denton, Texas, alleged that church leaders employed a custodian for five years, despite knowing he had previously admitted to sexually abusing a child. The custodian, they said, was Steve Chandler, the father of Matt Chandler, lead pastor of its umbrella church at the time.

The allegations have sparked controversy online, with some calling the church’s decision not to inform the congregation until 2019 “unacceptable” and others calling for the resignation of Matt Chandler, a popular author and Acts 29 executive chairman. A few have drawn comparisons to Hillsong Church co-founder Brian Houston, who was charged in Australia with concealing his late father, Frank Houston’s, sexual abuse of a young man….

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List: Tracking North Texas pastors who’ve left the ministry after being involved in controversies this year

DALLAS (TX)
WFAA-TV, ABC-8 [Dallas TX]

July 11, 2024

By Paul Wedding

Read original article

This year has seen a number of North Texas pastors become subjects of controversy, with some going as far as to step down from their positions. 

Multiple pastors have received allegations of sexual misconduct — with one even being charged — while other pastors face less clear allegations. 

Here is a look at all of the pastors facing controversy so far this year. 

Tony Cammarota of Stonebriar Community Church

The most recent incident became known this week when Stonebriar Community Church notified its members in an email that Tony Cammarota, who had been an associate pastor for 17 years, had been removed from his position due to a “moral failure.”

“He is deeply remorseful but his sin disqualifies him from serving on our staff as a pastor,” the email states.

While not addressing what that moral failure was, the church asked its membership not to speculate.

“And please…

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Longtime N.J. church pastor charged with repeated sexual assaults of teen

PARAMUS (NJ)
nj.com [New Jersey]

July 13, 2024

By Anthony G. Attrino

Read original article

A 74-year-old church pastor in Bergen County was charged Thursday with 21 crimes – 18 of them sex offenses involving a teen over several years, authorities said.

The Rev. Stephen E. Sweet, of Paramus, assaulted the teen, who was between the ages of 13 and 18, according to Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella.

The assaults allegedly occurred in River Edge, Paramus and Ridgewood, Musella said.

Sweet is pastor of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in River Edge. He was ordained and installed in 1997, according to the church website.

A woman who answered the phone at the church Friday said there was currently no one available to comment on the arrest or charges.

Musella said the prosecutor’s Special Victims Unit was contacted Thursday regarding the alleged sexual assault of a juvenile that had occurred in the past.

An investigation revealed Sweet sexually…

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Weeki Wachee pastor charged with sexual battery of teenage family member

(FL)
ABC 7 [Sarasota, FL]

July 11, 2024

By Bailey Striepling

Read original article

A pastor at a Weeki Wachee church was accused of sexually battering a teenage family member, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said in a release Thursday.

The girl told deputies that 55-year-old William Martinez gave her a THC gummy and a drink that tasted “funny” before touching her inappropriately and forcing her to touch him, the report states.

An out-of-state family member reportedly contacted the sheriff’s office in reference to the alleged sexual battery that occurred a day prior at a home in Brooksville.

Martinez, a pastor at Kingdom of Hope Ministries in Weeki Wachee, denied all of the allegations.

During the investigation, detectives executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence in Brooksville where forensic evidence was collected. Blood and urine tests, submitted by the victim, showed the presence of alcohol and THC.

Following questioning, Martinez was arrested on two counts of Lewd and Lascivious Behavior of a Victim…

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Former UK Evangelical Leader Charged with Sexual Assault

LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM)
Christianity Today [Carol Stream IL]

July 11, 2024

By Kate Shellnutt

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The man at the center of one of England’s most prominent church abuse scandals is now facing criminal charges.

Jonathan Fletcher, the former vicar of Emmanuel Church Wimbledon, has been charged with indecent assault and grievous bodily harm for incidents that occurred 25 to 50 years ago, during his decades of leadership in the Church of England.

The 81-year-old appeared Wednesday in Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court, just a mile from his longtime church in southwest London.

The charges follow several years of allegations against Fletcher and an independent investigation backing the claims. Starting in 2017, dozens of men recounted past instances of bullying, coercion, and inappropriate behavior by Fletcher. Their accounts include naked massages, ice baths, and sauna visits.

Fletcher was a high-profile evangelical voice in the United Kingdom, and the news came as “a kick in the guts,” one Christian wrote in 2021, describing the “disconnect…

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Leo Riley files motion to dismiss charges

CEDAR RAPIDS (IA)
KCRG-TV [Cedar Rapids IA]

July 11, 2024

By KCRG staff

Read original article

The priest accused of sexually abusing boys at a Dubuque school in the 1980s has filed a motion asking for the judge to dismiss the charges against him.

In the motion, Father Leo Riley’s attorneys argue that the statute of limitations had expired before the charges against Riley were filed.

Riley is charged with five counts of sexual abuse. Prosecutors say he molested multiple altar boys while he served at Resurrection School in Dubuque from 1984-86. Riley’s attorneys argue in this latest motion, that the state would have needed to file charges against Riley before December 31st, 1989.

Riley was arrested last month in Florida, where he is serving at a Catholic Church. Riley is facing a lawsuit in Florida from a former student, who also claims Riley sexually abused him at a school there.

He initially faced public accusations of sexual abuse in 2015 when a former altar boy went…

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Announcement of abuse allegations concerning Dennis Schmitz

KANSAS CITY (KS)
The Leaven [Archdiocese of Kansas City KS]

July 12, 2024

By The Leaven

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With deep sorrow for the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas announces that former priest Dennis Schmitz, who was laicized from the priesthood in 2005, has been the subject of additional substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors and adults over whom he held a position of authority. Schmitz served in a number of locations and capacities in the time frame of the abuse in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including St. Joseph, Shawnee; Bishop Miege, Roeland Park; St. Mary – St. Anthony, Kansas City, Kansas; St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center, Lawrence; and as vocation director for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

In October of 2002, Schmitz was convicted of indecent liberties with a child that occurred in 1998. He was removed from parish ministry, and the church began the process of laicization. Schmitz was sentenced to 32 months…

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Survivors of child sex abuse urging Pennsylvania lawmakers to put statutory window measure on ballot

HARRISBURG (PA)
WGAL-TV, NBC-8 [Lancaster PA]

July 8, 2024

By Tom Lehman

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Although efforts to pass a two-year window for child sex abuse survivors to file lawsuits against their abusers on otherwise outdated claims have seemingly stalled once again in Pennsylvania’s legislature, advocates for the measure are urging lawmakers to finish their roles to enact the measure before the effort must restart from square one.

The statutory window to allow lawsuits on time-barred claims of child sex abuse has long been sought by survivors as a means of naming abusers and holding both them and institutions accountable for the abuse.

But it faces an uncertain future in 2024 as lawmakers near a budget agreement, wrapping up their main work for the year and potentially embarking on a break for the summer ahead of elections.

Over the years, the statutory window has either stalled in the legislature or suffered from bureaucratic incompetence in 2021, which prompted the entire process to be restarted when…

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July 12, 2024

Further historical sexual abuse complaints against Monaghan priest

CLOGHER (IRELAND)
Northern Sound [Monaghan, County Tyrone, Ireland]

July 12, 2024

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He was a religion teacher and served as School President at the all-boys grammar school from 1994 to 2000.

More complainants have come forward accusing a priest from Monaghan Town of historical sexual abuse during his time as a teacher and president of a County Fermanagh school.

Canon Patrick McEntee, is on a leave of absence from his Co. Tyrone parish duties since 2022 to allow a safeguarding investigation to be carried out. Earlier in his career, the Monaghan priest was a Religion teacher at St Michael’s College in Enniskillen. He also served as School President at the all-boys grammar school from 1994 to 2000.

Last year, he was charged with sexual offences against two males in the Fermanagh area but denies indecently assaulting one complainant between 1988 and 1989 and also a single count of indecently assaulting another male between 1980 and 1981.Advertisement

Following his not guilty pleas, the priest’s…

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How the Fresno Catholic Diocese bankruptcy filing in August will impact abuse survivors

FRESNO (CA)
Fresnoland [Fresno CA]

July 12, 2024

By Gisselle Medina

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The Fresno Diocese would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization “to address the substantial number of claims brought forth by victims collectively.”

What’s at stake?

Once the Diocese of Fresno reaches a settlement, survivors and other “creditors” will receive a share of the financial compensation, but abuse survivors and organizations say it falls short of addressing their life-long injuries.

Karen Lowart and her family have been devout Catholics their entire lives—her parents frequently hosted priests and bishops at their home, attended Mass every Sunday, and were educated in religious schools from kindergarten through college.

Lowart, 63, continued these traditions after having three children of her own, until her youngest son, Jason, revealed to his parents that he had been molested by a priest at the age of four at his grandparents’ northwest Fresno home. 

“When Jason walked in the room, everybody was excited that he was there, he was that…

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Judge to decide if Catholic Church must release documents in priest abuse case

SEATTLE (WA)
Komo News [Seattle, WA]

July 12, 2024

By Joel Moreno

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Judge to decide if Catholic Church must release documents in priest abuse case

Efforts to uncover the extent of sexual abuse by Catholic priests will hinge on the decision by a judge on whether the church will have to turn over documents sought by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

A court hearing is set for Friday afternoon as Ferguson seeks to compel the release of evidence pertaining to the sexual abuse of children by potentially dozens of priests.

Last summer, the attorney general began his investigation when he sent subpoenas to the archbishops of the dioceses in Seattle, Yakima and Spokane. Ferguson said they refused to share any documents that were not already publicly available, and in May he filed a petition in King County Superior Court to compel the Archdiocese of Seattle to comply with his subpoenas.

Church leaders have expressed surprise at the…

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Clergy sex abuse survivors ask Vatican to investigate Seattle Archdiocese over withholding documents

SEATTLE (WA)
KUOW-FM [Seattle WA]

July 12, 2024

By Gustavo Sagrero Álvarez

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On Friday, officials at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C., and in Rome received a letter from Seattle area survivors of child sexual abuse and their advocates. They’re asking top officials to investigate leadership at the Archdiocese of Seattle for allegedly failing to comply with the Washington State Attorney General’s investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against its clergy members.

The letter follows a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson in May, an effort to compel the Seattle Archdiocese to turn over documents related to those sexual abuse allegations.

“The Church has more information than is shared with the public,” Ferguson said at a press conference about the lawsuit. “It has released names, but has not released its files on these abusive priests. No one has read files. The purpose of our investigation is to uncover whether the Church has misused charitable trust funds to cover up systemic sexual…

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Diocese of Toledo to Pay $1 Million to Three Priest Sex Abuse Victims

TOLEDO (OH)
National Catholic Register - EWTN [Irondale AL]

July 11, 2024

By Daniel Payne/CNA

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The laicized priest was sentenced to life in prison in November.

The Diocese of Toledo will pay out a seven-figure sum to three victims of priest sexual abuse after agreeing to a settlement.

The payout will go to victims of disgraced priest Michael Zacharias, who was convicted on five counts of sex trafficking by a federal jury in Ohio last May. His crimes, committed between 1999 and 2020, involved three victims, two of whom were minors when Father Zacharias began abusing them.

Konrad Kircher, a Cincinnati-area attorney who represented the victims, told CNA on Thursday that he was pleased with the results, which he called “a success” for his clients. 

“My clients were the three victims who testified in Zacharias’ case,” he said via phone. “When the criminal trial was over, I contacted the Diocese of Toledo and asked them to consider compensating my clients for what they had been through,…

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Survivors and Advocates to Deliver Church Whistleblower Documents to AG Ferguson’s Office

SEATTLE (WA)
Catholic Accountability Project (CAP) [Seattle WA]

July 11, 2024

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Groups urge Pope Francis to investigate Archbishop Etienne for breaking new church law by refusing to comply with AGO subpoena

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 10, 2024

When: Thursday, July 11th, 11:00am

Where: St. James Cathedral, 804 9th Ave, Seattle, WA; AG Ferguson’s Office, 800 5th Ave #2000, Seattle, WA

Who: Survivors of clergy sexual abuse, members of the Catholic Accountability Project (CAP), Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA), and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)

What: A press conference where survivors of clergy abuse and members of CAP will announce a complaint against Archbishop Etienne sent to the Vatican outside St. James Cathedral and march from the cathedral to AG Ferguson’s office to deliver thousands of pages of sexual abuse documents and evidence provided by church whistleblowers

Why: On July 26th, 2023, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sent subpoenas to Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle, Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima,…

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