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.
[Photo above: Vancouver Museum of Art, 215 pairs of children’s shoes, May 2021. Wikimedia Commons/Frozemint.]
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Online Via Livestream
The Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis is an ongoing wound that has caused immense anguish and pain for abuse survivors and their families and friends, as well as the entire Catholic community. Church leaders have taken steps to respond, but much more remains to be done to change the culture of clericalism that allows abuse and its cover-up to occur, and to increase accountability and transparency so that such grave crimes do not occur again.
Too often conversations about the abuse crisis neglect the voices of those within Native, Latino, and Black communities, even as members of those communities suffer disproportionately from abuse. The perspectives of Native, Latino, and Black Catholics can strengthen our understanding of how clergy abuse and its cover-up…
[Via Union of Catholic Asian News]
Mansour Labaky, 82, resides in Lebanon which does not extradite its nationals
Beirut – An elderly Lebanese priest found guilty in France of sexually assaulting children has been defrocked by the Vatican, the Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon said Tuesday.
APECL said it was notified of the Vatican’s decision to demote Mansour Labaky to “secular status”.
“We pray… for the victims of sexual assault,” it said.
In 2021, a French court sentenced Labaky to 15 years in prison after convicting him in absentia for sexually abusing girls in a dormitory he opened and managed for Lebanese orphans in Douvres-la-Delivrande in the Normandy region of northern France between 1991 and 1998.
Labaky, 82, resides in Lebanon which does not extradite its nationals.
An international arrest warrant was issued against him in April 2016, but Beirut has not taken action.
Labaky has repeatedly…
As Catholic dioceses across the state are getting hit with hundreds of new child sex abuse lawsuits, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone remains the only California bishop yet to release an internal list of priests “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children.
Northern California’s most powerful bishop steadfastly refuses to release an internal list of priests accused of sexually abusing children, even as hundreds of new lawsuits hitting Catholic dioceses across the state suggest new depths to the church’s sex abuse scandal.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone remains the lone bishop in California declining to take the significant step towards transparency, and pressure is mounting for him to do so.
“When you don’t publish a list and tell people the truth proactively, it’s a lie,” said Dan McNevin, a clergy sex abuse survivor and local leader for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). “And this is a religious…
The allegations come at a time when Catholic dioceses across California are being hit with a wave of new child sex abuse lawsuits enabled by a recent state law
The 1982 scene is still imprinted in Steven Chavez’s mind: His mom sitting at the kitchen table of their Santa Clara home, an ashtray brimming with cigarette butts in front of her, holding a letter that spelled out her son’s likely death sentence.
Chavez was heading to West Point after graduating from high school at the top of his class, he said, but that was before a blood test revealed HIV in the teen’s system.
“They told me I had less than six months to live,” Chavez said. “To get my things in order.”
Chavez’s story began just a year before, in 1981, as a South Bay teenager. The altar boy and straight-A student had his sights set on the White…
Performances will run this fall at The Tank.
Vatican Falls, the controversial play written by Frank J. Avella that closely examines the Catholic sex abuse scandal, will make its world premiere this fall in a limited off-Broadway run. Performances will be held from October 27-November 20 at The Tank. Avella co-directs with Carlotta Brentan.
Vatican Falls tells real survivor stories while exploring the fictional journey of one particular survivor. The play has had seven world premieres canceled in four different countries in the last decade due to its controversial content. The cast if this off-Broadway world premiere will star Broadway veteran Ace Young (Hair, American Idol), along with Carlotta Brentan, Tucker Aust, and Alice Barrett Mitchell. Rounding out the company are James Gracia, Danny Hilt, Kenon Veno, Edward L. Simon, Ryan Wright, and Jacopo Constantini.
The plot of Vatican Falls is described as follows: “Based on factual accounts, spanning decades and set against the…
Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo of East Timor won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996. Now he has been accused of sexually abusing several teenage boys.
Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo of East Timor has been accused of sexually abusing several teenage boys, according to a report published Wednesday in a Dutch news magazine.
Belo, 74, came to international attention in the 1990s for his outspoken role in opposing the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, which lasted from 1975 until 1999.
The bishop was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his work “towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor.” He shared the prize with José Ramos-Horta, who went on to become president of East Timor.
But in a Sept. 28 report, several men have claimed they were sexually abused by the bishop when they were teenagers. The allegations were reported by De Groene Amsterdammer,…
[Photo above: Geoff Drew was a music teacher at Elder High School from 1983-1990. Elder High School Year
Rape victim releases new records from investigation
In a “chilling” phone call to then-Rev. Geoff Drew, the Catholic priest who raped him three decades ago, Paul Neyer said he was so unnerved that he grabbed a table and felt like he could “squeeze through it.”
At the request of detectives investigating his case, Neyer called Drew on July 31, 2019, one day after investigators from Green Township and Cincinnati interviewed him about being raped, according to previously unreleased police records from the investigation.
According to the 20-page investigation report, Neyer told Drew he was “struggling from things that happened in the past.”
Unprovoked, Drew offered to meet Neyer in person, “so they could talk,” according to the report.
“If you think I did something to you when you were a minor, I…
‘What I want is apologies’
For years, Timor-Leste’s Nobel Peace Prize winner Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo has been sexually abusing boys, survivors and others claim. Meanwhile, the Catholic church imposed travel restrictions on Belo. ‘We have to talk about it, and shout it out louder to the world.’
There is also a Dutch translation of this article available.
It was Sunday morning. Paulo was standing among the other faithful listening attentively to the mass Bishop Belo was holding in the tropical garden at his residence in Dili, the capital city of Timor-Leste. After the mass, Belo walked up to Paulo, then a teenager of fifteen or sixteen years old. ‘He asked me to come to his place’, says Paulo, now 42, who wishes to stay anonymous for the privacy and safety of himself and his family.
It was an honour to be invited. ‘I was very happy,’ says Paulo. Bishop…
It was a frigid Sunday evening at the Catholic Newman Center in Salt Lake City when the priest warned parishioners who had gathered after Mass that their right to private confessions was in jeopardy.
A new law would break that sacred bond, the priest said, and directed the parishioners to sign a one-page form letter on their way out. “I/We Oppose HB90,” began the letter, stacked next to pre-addressed envelopes. “HB90 is an improper interference of the government into the practice of religion in Utah.”
In the following days of February 2020, Utah’s Catholic diocese, which oversees dozens of churches, says it collected some 9,000 signed letters from parishioners and sent them to state Rep. Angela Romero, a Democrat who had been working on the bill as part of her campaign against child sexual abuse. HB90 targeted Utah’s “clergy-penitent privilege,” a law similar to those in many states that exempts…
The priest served at two metro Atlanta parishes from 2005 to 2008
Sacramento police have charged a former Atlanta area priest with eight counts of sexual abuse of an underage girl in California between 1996 and 1998.
A felony warrant has been issued for the priest, Roberto Jaramillo, 70, who is believed to have moved to his home diocese in Colombia after serving for a decade in several parishes in Sacramento and Roseville, Calif. He later served in the Atlanta Archdiocese, according to a press release on the Diocese of Sacramento’s website and an article in The Sacramento Bee.
His name has been added to the Sacramento Diocese’s list of clergy “credibly” accused of sex abuse. In the warrant, which was signed in August, he is referred to as Roberto Leon Jaramillo-Alzate and is charged with eight counts of lewd and lascivious acts on the girl.
A former pastor at St. Andrew Church in Westwood who resigned in 2018 amid allegations of sexual misconduct from over three decades ago has been reassigned as chaplain to a Catholic resource facility in Newark that offers services to help pregnant, post-abortion, and sexual abuse victims “who need a safe and supportive environment.”
Former pastor James Weiner was found to be working at The Mercy House, a “family-oriented resource and referral center in the heart of Newark with a focus on assisting pregnant and parenting women who need a safe and supportive environment.”
The center also provides services and programs for post-abortion and sexual abuse healing.
Following a sexual abuse allegation raised anew in 2018 by the Rev. Desmond Rossi, Weiner stepped down from his new position as pastor at St. Andrew voluntarily, eventually resigning before an interim and then a new pastor was appointed at the church.
A former pastor in Nashua is facing 10 felony charges of possessing child sexual abuse images after being indicted by a grand jury.
The investigation of former pastor Stephen Bates began in 2016 when police received a tip from the online chat service Skype that someone had uploaded child sexual abuse images, police said.Sign up for our Newsletters
The charges each carry a potential sentence of 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison and a $4,000 fine.
The indictments detail graphic information about what was allegedly contained in the images, which include still pictures and videos, investigators said. The still pictures and the videos allegedly feature young girls, and, in one case, a young boy. One also includes adult male genitalia, officials said.
Bates was the former pastor at the Bible Baptist Church in Nashua. He was living at the parsonage until the…
A Catholic priest was arraigned Monday at the Resident Magistrate’s Court in Moshi over allegations of raping and sexually assaulting more than 10 children.
He had been in police custody since September 20.
His arraignment came after he was accused of giving a Standard Six pupil and a Form One student Tsh3,000 ($1.29) and Tsh5,000 ($2.14), respectively, for sexual favours.
The children had been attending First Holy Communion and Confirmation classes.
Regional Commissioner Nurdin Babu said “it is a disgraceful incident”.
Parents had raised the alarm that the priest had abused many students and planned to march in protest to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa’s office before the priest was arrested.
Sources said that the parents had reported the allegations to the leadership of the Catholic Church in Moshi and to the police.
The 55-year-old Father Vincent Pereira of Pune in western India has been accused of sex abuse many times since 2014
An Indian Catholic priest already under suspension following sex abuse complaints has fresh charges of sexual assault being lodged against him by a minor boy and his father, sparking calls for his dismissal from the priesthood.
Father Vincent Pereira, 55, was originally suspended from public priestly ministries after police arrested him in September 2018 for sexually assaulting a teenage boy in a school where he was the principal. Released on bail in March 2020, he now lives in the pastoral center of the Pune diocese in western India.
“He should be dismissed from priesthood forthwith because he attacked my son and even dared to violate me,” says Mathew Kuriokose, 55, a Catholic from Pune.
Kuriokose told UCA News on Sept. 20 that Father Pereira assaulted his 15-year-old son while visiting his…
In a Tuesday afternoon hearing, Judge Thomas Pyle set a preliminary hearing and ordered that Department of Social Services Children’s Division workers have 24-hour access to Agape Boarding School’s campus to observe the students there.
The preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 13 and 14. Pyle was assigned to the case after the Attorney General’s office requested a new judge. Cedar County Circuit Court Judge David Munton had initially been assigned.
The Missouri Attorney General’s office filed a new petition Monday, requesting that Agape Boarding School be shut down and its students removed to safety. The new petition comes after the AG office expressed intention to dismiss the Sept. 7 petition.
In a phone conference Monday morning, Cedar County Circuit Court Judge David Munton dissolved the order that allowed Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division workers to remain at Agape Boarding School.
The attorney representing Agape Boarding…
In a court hearing today, closed to the public, a judge will consider rejecting a lawsuit seeking to close a controversial Christian boarding school where horrific child abuse – sexual, physical, and emotional – has long taken place and been ignored or concealed.
The action is brought by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmidt against the Stockton-based Agape Boarding School. Schmidt wants the facility to be closed. For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we at SNAP agree.
Over just the past four months, Missouri investigators have substantiated ten cases of physical abuse at the Stockton-based ‘reform” school. Civil lawsuits have also been filed against the facility.
One victim and advocate said that “hundreds” have been victimized at Agape over the years. Some have described “being physically restrained, sexually abused, starved as a form of punishment, and taken off prescribed medications while reassured…
The Traunstein Regional Court in Bavaria has requested a deposition of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI over a lawsuit filed by a man who was abused by a priest, court spokeswoman Andrea Titz has confirmed.
“The defendants have the opportunity to indicate their willingness to defend themselves within two weeks, after which they have four weeks, or one month, to respond,” she explained.
As reported by German media when the complaint was filed, the plaintiff is a 38-year-old man from Bavaria who alleges he was sexually abused by the priest as a child.
The complaint is directed not only against Benedict XVI, when he was archbishop of Munich and Freising, as well as his successor Cardinal Friedrich Wetter.
The archdiocese also received the complaint earlier this week, its spokesman Christoph Kappes confirmed. “We do not comment on the ongoing court proceedings,” he has merely mentioned.
The so-called declaratory action is not…
Most students in psychology and psychiatry programs today are too young to have any firsthand memory of the moral panic engendered by the recovered memory movement in the 1980s and early 1990s. This was a time when therapists proudly advertised their ability to help clients unearth supposedly repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse; the accusations that followed shattered families and communities across the country.
The belief that such memories could be repressed and then recovered through special techniques was widespread among mental health professionals for well over a decade. In books and on television, therapists portrayed themselves as the first generation of healers to understand both these mechanisms of repression and how to unlock them without contaminating the story that emerged. The results were dramatic: Patients often recovered abuse memories that began in infancy and lasted for decades. Some came to believe not only that they had repressed memories but…
70-year-old Father Roberto Jaramillo is believed to have served in the Atlanta area from 2005-2008.
A catholic priest who once served in Atlanta is now accused of rape, with warrants out for his arrest in California.
The Atlanta Archdiocese confirmed the allegations Monday. According to the Diocese of Sacramento, where the charges stem from, he left California in 2005 and served in the Atlanta area until leaving for his home diocese in Colombia in 2008.
According to the Sacramento Diocese, 70-year-old Father Roberto Jaramillo faces criminal warrants for three instances of alleged sexual abuse going back more than two decades – the alleged “repeated” rape and abuse of a girl between 1996 and 1999, kissing a juvenile boy in 1999 and sexually abusing an adult male in 2001.
Meanwhile, a local group focused on helping sex abuse survivors is calling for more transparency in the…
When she began facilitating safe environment training in the Diocese of Palm Beach in 2005, Donna Eurich did not know that child protection would become her vocation and full-time work in the future. She was a middle school religion teacher at the time. Now she is the director of child and youth protection and the victim assistance coordinator for the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma, and the first graduate of the online Certificate in Child Protection and Safe Environments offered by the National Catholic School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America.
A year ago, Tulsa Bishop David Konderla asked Donna if she were interested in completing the online certificate program at Catholic University, promising that the diocese would fund this education. Eurich enthusiastically answered yes.
Eurich took courses online that addressed sexual abuse and exploitation, social work responses to trauma, and law and policy as it relates…
[Via National Catholic Reporter]
Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge will conduct an investigation into retired Bishop Christopher Saunders of Broome, using a process established by Pope Francis in 2019.
Young Aboriginal men from towns and bush communities in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia accused Saunders of sexual misconduct. The bishop has denied the allegations.
Local media reported the inquiry in February, but it was not confirmed until late September.
Brisbane’s Coleridge is president of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
The church investigation comes 14 months after police closed a three-year investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Saunders, who was not charged. While the church’s investigation is underway, the Vatican ordered that Saunders leave the diocese, where he has continued living since resigning in August 2021.
During 2020 and 2021, retired Bishop Peter Ingham of Wollongong traveled to Broome and interviewed parishioners, diocesan staff and volunteers about Saunders’ management style and financial management,…
A Catholic priest was arraigned Monday at the Resident Magistrate’s Court in Moshi over allegations of raping and sexually assaulting more than 10 children.
He had been in police custody since September 20.
His arraignment came after he was accused of giving a Standard Six pupil and a Form One student Tsh3,000 ($1.29) and Tsh5,000 ($2.14), respectively, for sexual favours.
The children had been attending First Holy Communion and Confirmation classes.
Regional Commissioner Nurdin Babu said “it is a disgraceful incident”.
Parents had raised the alarm that the priest had abused many students and planned to march in protest to Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa’s office before the priest was arrested.
Sources said that the parents had reported the allegations to the leadership of the Catholic Church in Moshi and to the police.
[Note from BishopAccountability.org: Labaki also worked in the United States.]
Mansour Labaki is believed to have sexually abused more than 50 individuals [in France and twice that number in Lebanon].
The Vatican defrocked former Lebanese priest and convicted paedophile Mansour Labaki on Tuesday, ten years after he was found guilty of the sexual abuse of minors.
The Assembly of the Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon issued a statement saying that Pope Francis decided that both Labaki and Priest George Karim Badr, will be “returned to their secular state.”
The statement added that they will “pray for the priests … so that the Lord may strengthen them in their testimony …. and help them over their weakness and we pray especially for the victims of sexual abuse.”
Labiki, 82, was a famous Maronite priest in Lebanon before the revelations of sexual abuse, founded an orphanage and has written several books. He abused…
A leading German bishop said on Thursday that he will remain in office despite a damning report on the handling of abuse cases in his diocese.
Bishop Franz-Josef Bode told journalists at a press conference on Sept. 22 that he had discussed whether to resign as bishop of Osnabrück, northwestern Germany, with the safeguarding expert Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J.
Zollner is a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the founding president of Rome’s Centre for Child Protection.
Bode said he had decided to stay in post to see the process of strengthening safeguarding procedures through to its conclusion.
The bishop held the press conference two days after Osnabrück University published a 600-page interim report scrutinizing abuse cases in the Diocese of Osnabrück since 1945. The study accused Bode and his predecessors of safeguarding failures.
It said: “In the first decades of his term of office, Bishop Bode repeatedly…
A bill aiming to protect kids online has been introduced in the New York state senate, and it could force social media companies to implement a host of safety features — including bans on advertising to youngsters and on mining their data.
The legislation, introduced by state Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn) on Friday, is modeled after a California bill that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law earlier this month despite searing opposition from Big Tech groups.
The Golden State’s Age-Appropriate Design Code Act — a first of its kind law in the US — requires that online platforms design their products with children in mind and put up guardrails to protect their privacy.
The New York legislation, while similar, takes further steps by including a number of provisions meant to help families in the event of serious harms committed against kids online.
“We want to make the Internet safe for everybody and…
Center for SafeSport is supposed to investigate alleged abusers. But no one has accused Jonathan Little of a crime
This is a tale full of Kafkaesque twists about the efforts of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and its affiliated national sport governing bodies (NGBs) to make it look as if they’re doing something about their sexual abuse problem. It’s also a story that gets pretty deep in the weeds and one that bumps up against a basic reality: Although many millions of viewers watch the Summer and Winter Olympics and debate the internal or international drama hyped up by multibillion-dollar broadcast rights holder NBC, very few of them know or care anything about USOC’s lords of the rings or their apparatchiks’ day-to-day operations, far from the flag-waving captured on TV.
One effect of that is near-total public indifference toward the exploitation of local age-group clubs as faux community-based programs for…
According to its website, the Catholic Conference of Oklahoma is “the official voice of the Catholic Church in Oklahoma on matters of public policy.” Founded five years ago to lobby state officials on issues of interest to the church, the organization is run by Brett Farley, an experienced political operative with extensive Republican Party ties.
“The shorthand of my job is that I’m a lobbyist for the bishops,” Farley said in an interview. “So I carry forward their thoughts, their commitments, their values as they shepherd the church.”
According to Farley, the organization is guided solely by Catholic doctrine and, if you boil it down, the Great Commission, in which Christ told his followers to “make disciples of all nations.”
“If the goal is to make disciples of all nations, we have to also consider the things that each individual is dealing with in their life here on Earth,” Farley…
A priest stood up and asked Ed Gavagan how he found hope after all that he’s endured. As a room full of Catholic clergy looked on, Ed told the priest that he had none. None at all.
Gavagan had been shaken when he walked into the community room attached to Sheridan’s Holy Name Catholic Church on Monday. The seats were filled by 50-some priests, plus a half-dozen nuns, all gathered to watch a documentary that follows Gavagan and five other men as they work to heal from the trauma they say they suffered at the hands of priests decades ago. He’d done this before, mostly: He and two of the other men from the film had attended two screenings in the preceding days, and they’d held Q&As after both. He’s talked about the film to reporters and audiences and critics for a year.
This was different. He hadn’t been in…
A priest who formerly was with the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento has been added to the list of clergy accused of child sex abuse, and authorities are searching for him.
Roberto Jaramillo, who served at multiple churches in the Sacramento region for 10 years, is accused of rape and other sexual assault involving a girl under the age of 14 between 1996 and 1999. The Sacramento Police Department confirmed on Saturday that a felony warrant had been issued.
Between 1995 and 2005, Jaramillo served at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Immaculate Conception Parish and St. Rose Parish in Sacramento and St. Rose Parish in Roseville. Jaramillo, 70, left the Diocese of Sacramento to work for the Archdiocese of Atlanta before returning to his home diocese in Colombia in 2008.
The diocese was notified of the allegations by a third party in 2021, according to a statement released Friday. They have…
The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced that it has asked three retired priests to remain out of ministry while its Independent Review Board investigates allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them. The priests are: Father John J. Rudnik, 87, Father James E. Flynn, 80 and Father John W. Clemens, 75. Each has one allegation against him, all dating from nearly a half century ago and all are cooperating fully with the process. The persons making the allegations have been offered the services of the Archdiocese Victim Assistance Ministry and civil authorities have been notified. In addition, parishioners in the parishes where these priests served have been notified.
“We take every allegation seriously and follow the policies and procedures we have had in place for decades,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “Only by conducting an impartial and thorough investigation can we fulfill our promise to protect the…
Three retired Chicago area priests are being asked to remain out of the ministry pending the investigation of nearly 50 year old allegations of sex abuse against minors, the Archdiocese announced Saturday.
Father John J. Rudnik, Father James E. Flynn and Father John W. Clemens are each facing allegations dating back nearly half a century and are fully cooperating in the process, church officials said.
The persons making the allegations have been offered services of the Archdiocese Victim Assistance Ministry and authorities have been notified, the Archdiocese said. Parishioners in the parishes where these priests served have also been notified.
“We take every allegation seriously and follow the policies and procedures we have had in place for decades,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago. “Only by conducting an impartial and thorough investigation can we fulfill our promise to protect the young people in our care and, if the…
The results of discussions ordered by Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality
Catholics in the United States are deeply divided over issues as disparate as LGBTQ inclusion, clerical sexual abuse and celebrating the liturgy, according to a summary of consultations carried out in dioceses across the country in recent months as part of Pope Francis’ Synod on Synodality.
“Participants felt this division as a profound sense of pain and anxiety,” the U.S. bishops wrote in a summary released Monday (Sept. 19) to the public after being sent to the Vatican last month.
In 2021, Francis launched a global discussion, requiring parish churches and a host of other religious organizations to gather their congregations to talk about how they view the hierarchy and issues facing the church. The discussion would inform a summit of bishops at the Vatican scheduled for October 2023 on the topic “For a Synodal Church: Participation, Communion and…
ONE of Northern Ireland’s most notorious paedophile priests has admitted yet another breach of his life-long sexual offences prevention order.
A court has been told the case of Daniel Gerard Curran “is to proceed by way of a guilty plea” to the single charge against him.
In August this year, the creep breached his lifelong SOPO by ‘loitering’ around Tollymore National Outdoor Centre in Newcastle.
A prosecution lawyer said Curran had walked into the activity centre “with a box of books for dissemination”.
But staff recognised him as the infamous child abuser he is and reported him to the cops.
At the hearing in Downpatrick on Thursday, the judge said she was “familiar with this defendant” and his “lengthy record”.
“He knew very well that he wasn’t supposed to go near the centre,” said Amanda Brady who added “I’m not dealing with this” without a pre-sentence report.
Curran, from Bryansford Avenue in Newcastle, didn’t appear in court…
FBI agents have questioned Lawrence Hecker, 91, who worked as a Catholic priest in New Orleans until 2002 despite the archdiocese being aware of molestation accusation since 1988
In arguably the clearest sign yet that he is under active criminal investigation, a retired Catholic priest from New Orleans who has been publicly accused of molesting “countless” children but never charged has acknowledged that the FBI recently questioned him.
Lawrence Hecker, 91, declined to elaborate on exactly when FBI agents met with him or what they asked him as they reportedly lead an investigation into whether clerics serving a Louisiana region that is home to nearly half a million Catholics took children across state lines to abuse them. But, in a brief conversation with the Guardian, Hecker admitted that FBI agents had spoken with him.
“I told them I needed to speak to my attorney, and that’s where we left it,” Hecker…
The Diocese of Sacramento today added Roberto Jaramillo, a priest who worked in Sacramento and Roseville between 1995 and 2005, to its listing of clergy who have been credibly accused of child sex abuse. Jaramillo, aged 70, is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a girl between 1996 and 1999. In 2005, Jaramillo left the Diocese of Sacramento to work for the Archdiocese of Atlanta before returning to Colombia in 2008.
A third party brought concerns of the 1996 rape and abuse to the diocese’s notice in 2021. To investigate the problem, the diocese alerted police authorities and according to a statement by the diocese, they purportedly made many attempts to reach and interview the victim.
The diocese had additional claims against Jaramillo. Jaramillo was accused of kissing a young boy in 1999. Jaramillo disputed the claim, and investigations conducted at the time by both the diocese and…
A priest with the Diocese of Sacramento has been added to a list of clergy accused of child sex abuse and now authorities have a search warrant out for his arrest.
Roberto Jaramillo, 70, was added to the list of accused clergy this week. He served as a priest in multiple churches across the Sacramento and Roseville area between 1995 and 2005, according to the Diocese of Sacramento.
The churches he served in were Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in downtown Sacramento, St. Rose Parish in Roseville, Immaculate Conception Parish in Oak Park and St. Rose Parish in south Sacramento.
Jaramillo has been accused of repeated sexual abuse and rape of a girl in the late 1990s, spanning from 1996 to 1999. The diocese was notified of the allegations by a third party in 2021.
They said they repeatedly tried to reach and interview the victim.
“The Diocese is cooperating…
A bipartisan group of senators is introducing new legislation Thursday aimed at improving the way the FBI interacts with underage victims and witnesses in sex abuse and trafficking cases.
The Respect for Child Survivors Act is the latest effort by Congress to address the FBI’s failures in its handling of the Larry Nassar investigation.
The former USA Gymnastics doctor is serving decades in prison for abusing underage athletes over several years. The FBI knew about the allegations in 2015 but failed to act, allowing him to continue to prey on gymnasts and other minors for more than a year.
“It takes tremendous courage for young victims of sexual assault to tell their story and overcome the fear that they may not be taken seriously, may be ignored, or may be wrongfully blamed,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, one of the bill’s sponsors.
“To avoid re-traumatizing victims during the investigation…
President Biden on Friday signed a bill that will eliminate the statute of limitations for people who were sexually abused as minors to file civil claims.
The Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act was passed by the House by voice vote on Tuesday after passing the Senate by unanimous consent in March.
The bill eliminates time constraints for survivors to file civil claims related to sex abuse crimes against minors, including forced labor, sex trafficking, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
Previously, minors who survived such abuse were able to file federal claims until they reached the age of 28 or until a decade after the violation or injury was discovered.
No federal statute of limitations was in place for criminal claims regarding child sex abuse.
The bill was initially introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Cornyn…
A former minister at the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg was among five people arrested by Montgomery County officials after allegedly using social media to attempt to solicit sex from minors.
In a statement Friday, the president of the board of trustees for the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg confirmed that David Kohlmeier was a minister at the church and has since been relieved of his duties.
According to a Thursday release from the office of the Montgomery County district attorney, detectives affiliated with Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) and members of the Montgomery County Detective Bureau developed a proactive effort to protect children by identifying and arresting people who use social media to arrange to meet and have sexual relations with minors.
Last week, the release from the district attorney’s office says, an undercover operation took place on multiple social media platforms, and during that operation, five suspects allegedly independently…
Unitarian Universalist Church of Harrisburg minister David Kohlmeier, 46, of Devon, was one of five men arrested Monday on felony charges after they were allegedly caught trying to solicit sex from an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old.
Police departments in Montgomery County, along with Homeland Security Investigations and the Pennsylvania Internet Crimes Against Children task force, discovered the suspects’ individual attempts to use social media platforms to contact minor children to have sexual relations with the children, according to a news release from the county district attorney’s office.
Each engaged in sexually explicit electronic communications with a person they believed was a minor child, and some of them also sent sexually explicit photos to the purported 14-year-old, according to the release. Each of the five defendants then appeared at an agreed-upon meeting location in Conshohocken with the intent of having sexual relations with the minor child, police said.
A Florida pastor was arrested this week for allegedly having sex with two teen girls he met through his church and kung fu dojo, according to a police report.
Roberson Douge, 42, was booked into Brevard County jail Thursday after the alleged victims contacted police this week and accused him of predatory sexual behavior.
Douge serves as a pastor at Apostolic Church of Christ, and also owns the Tiger Claw Kung Fu Academy in Palm Bay, according to police papers.
Cops said one of the girls told her friend she was troubled by her relations with Douge, prompting the other to recount a similar experience with him.
Neither victim has been named because they are both under 18, but one victim told investigators she first met Douge after her family moved to Palm Bay and joined his church in 2019.
The teen, whose age was not specified, told police she…
A 42-year-old Palm Bay pastor arrested was due to appear in front of a judge on Friday.
Roberson Douge is facing 20 charges, including 10 counts of lewd and lascivious battery of a minor and 10 counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
But he did not show up for his first appearance at the Brevard County Jail.
His attorney said it was for medical reasons, specifically high blood pressure.
Douge was a pastor at the Apostolic Church of Christ in Palm Bay.
According to the police report, two girls from the church came forward this week and detailed the alleged abuse to the police, saying it occurred inside the church building, in a church van and in the pastor’s office.
According to police, they arranged a call with Douge and one of the girls and recorded it.
Douge allegedly begged for her not to reveal their relationship and…
Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, the deputy chairman of the German bishops’ conference, said on Thursday that he will stay in office, despite the release of a critical report on the treatment of abuse allegations in his diocese. Osnabrück University presented a 600-page interim study on abuse incidents in the diocese since 1945 on Tuesday. The investigation criticized Bishop Bode, who has held the position since 1995, and his predecessors for failing to provide adequate safeguards.
According to the report, “in the early decades of his tenure of office, Bishop Bode routinely left accused individuals in their posts, even those whose danger could scarcely be denied, or assigned them to offices that provided further opportunity for perpetrating crimes.” In a media briefing on Thursday, the 71-year-old claimed he had discussed resignation with Father Hans Zollner, a safeguarding specialist and Director of the Institute of Anthropology Interdisciplinary…
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre on Wednesday told a New York bankruptcy judge that it hopes to negotiate a consensual Chapter 11 plan with its creditors before the end of November.
At a virtual status conference, counsel for the diocese told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn that the diocese hopes to sit down with creditors and “hammer out a resolution” within the next 30 to 60 days, saying that after two years in bankruptcy, all parties are “eager” for a conclusion to the case.
The diocese, which includes Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2020, marking it the country’s largest Roman Catholic diocese to do so. The measure was made after the Child Victims Act of New York, which extended the statute of limitations for filing claims of child abuse, left it facing suits from 223…
A former church official was jailed Monday after police said she used nearly $550,000 in parish donations to pay off her bills. The theft, which also involved a now deceased pastor, occurred over the course of five years at Holy Cross Catholic Church, officers said.
Deborah Lynn True, 69, of Colorado, was charged with organized fraud more than $50,000. True was released Monday from the Indian River County Jail on $25,000 bond.
The nine-month investigation began last December. The Diocese of Palm Beach contacted the Vero Beach Police Department in regard to a possible misuse of funds at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 500 Iris Lane.
The diocese suspected True, along with former Holy Cross Catholic Church Pastor Father Richard Murphy, embezzled more than $1 million in funds. Police described True as a former administrator and bookkeeper for the church.
Officers learned that True and Murphy opened a bank account in…
Police say Fr Richard Murphy “personally benefitted” from funds stolen from parishioners at Holy Cross Catholic Church in the US state
A Wexford priest and his secretary who once described him as “a fantastic leader,” have been accused of stealing $1.5 million from a church in Florida.
Police allege that Fr Richard Murphy “personally benefitted” from funds donated by parishioners at Holy Cross Catholic Church in the US state.
Fr Murphy, who passed away in 2020, and his associate Deborah True are accused of fraudulently depositing nearly $1.5 million of parishioners’ donations into a bank account over a five-year period.
The Vero Beach Police Department in Florida said it had recently concluded a nine-month fraud investigation after being contacted by the Diocese of Palm Beach in December 2021 in regard to a fraudulent bank account and possible misappropriation of funds.
As Fr Murphy had passed away, no criminal investigation was…
The deputy chairman of the German bishops’ conference said he accepts responsibility for failings.
A senior German bishop said Tuesday that he has accepted responsibility for failings highlighted in an interim study of his diocese’s handling of abuse cases.
Bishop Franz-Josef Bode reacted with dismay on Sept. 20 to the findings of a 600-page report addressing allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct since 1945 in the Diocese of Osnabrück.
Bode, who has led the diocese in northwestern Germany since 1995, said: “I had wanted this interim report so that the truth would also come to light as quickly as possible. Now I am very concerned about how blind we have actually been and how blind I have been for the suffering and the perspectives of those affected.”
“I bear responsibility for this, also for the system in the diocese. I will study the text this afternoon and have conversations, and we…
When senior ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel tried to silence or blame victims of sexual abuse who had been allegedly attacked by high-profile men in the community, young people expressed their anger. Some likened the furious response by young haredi Jews – for whom talk of sex is taboo and reaching out to police is often not an option – to the #MeToo movement.
Shayli Tevel weeps as he prays, calling out to God: “Father, I’ve no energy left to absorb all this.”
The former ultra-Orthodox Jew is wearing a white prayer shawl and tefillin – long leather straps with small boxes attached, containing scrolls with verses from the Torah.
After a decade of silence, Shayli, now in his early 30s, has recently broken strict religious conventions and spoken publicly about being groomed and sexually abused between the ages of 12 and 19, by a leading ultra-Orthodox – or haredi –…
A German bishop will remain in office after scandal – and says he consulted with a Vatican expert. Here’s why that matters.
It makes sense that Catholics have news fatigue over the publication of reports detailing the failures of diocesan bishops to adequately address allegations of sexual abuse or coercion among priests.
In 2018, each new revelation about a bishop’s failure prompted a new kind of outrage or dismay among Catholics. But four years later, the reactions have become muted – the roster of bishops found to have committed acts of negligence or misconduct is long enough that the names and details seem often somewhat muddled.
The problem can seem so enormous that tracking the details is either discouraging or exhausting.
But fallout from a report on abuse published this week — which touched on the negligence of Germany’s Bishop Franz-Josef Bode — is worth giving some attention.
For the past few months, religion has never been far from U.S. headlines.
The Supreme Court has overturned constitutional abortion rights. Congress is debating whether to codify protections for same-sex marriage. Courts have been asked to decide whether religious schools and business owners have to hire, serve or acknowledge LGBTQ members and organizations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Southern Baptist Convention after a consultant’s report revealed a history of sexual abuse and cover-ups – and new lawsuits alleging abuse in the Catholic Church continue to appear.
As an assistant professor of counseling who studies spirituality, I have seen how controversies like these can activate memories and symptoms of religious abuse. They can also be challenging for people who have not experienced abuse but have difficult relationships to religion – especially those who have seriously questioned or left their faith.
People may have built their world around a church or church…
A Surrey, B.C. woman who attended a Coquitlam Roman Catholic church as a child has filed a B.C. Supreme Court civil action alleging three priests sexually abused her between the ages of 9 and 13.
The woman, known only as LV in a notice of civil claim filed in court Sept. 14, makes her main allegations against the estate of Father Georges Chevrier who died in August 2003.
Also named in the suit are the Order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in B.C.; OMI Lacombe, Canada, Inc.; Missionary Oblates – Grandin Province; Oblates of Mary Immaculate – St. Peter’s Province; Roman Catholic Parishes and Missions in the Diocese of St. Albert; Le Diocese de Saint-Paul, the Catholic Diocese of Edmonton; the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver; John Doe #1 and John Doe #2.
Chevrier was a priest at Coquitlam’s Our Lady of Fatima Parish from 1971 to 1977, according…
A Hampden County Superior Court judge is poised to decide whether a reporter for The Berkshire Eagle must provide information the newspaper says would violate a promise of confidentiality to an anonymous source.
That information is needed to allow the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, its lawyer says, to defend itself against a civil lawsuit filed by a man who says he was raped by clergy, including former Bishop Christopher J. Weldon.
But in a hearing Thursday before Judge Karen L. Goodwin, an attorney for The Eagle said the diocese’s need isn’t great enough to violate that confidential source relationship and that the diocese failed to question others who might provide the information.
After hearing about 40 minutes of arguments over Zoom, Goodwin said she would reexamine her previous decision this summer to allow the diocese to obtain limited notes and communications from Eagle journalist Larry Parnass —…
[Via Catholic World Report]
The vice president of the German bishops’ conference said Thursday he had thought about resigning after the publication of a report claiming he mishandled abuse cases, but that he had ultimately decided against it.
A report published Sept. 20 said Bishop Franz-Josef Bode mishandled abuse cases in the Diocese of Osnabrück, in northwestern Germany, which he has led since 1995.
The 600-page interim report is titled “Sexual violence against minors and vulnerable by clergy in the Diocese of Osnabrück since 1945.”
The report said in the first decades of his term, Bode “repeatedly” kept people accused of abuse in office or appointed them to other positions, including management tasks in youth pastoral care.
“I bear responsibility for this, also for the system in the diocese,” Bode said in a statement Tuesday
“I had wanted this interim report so that the truth would also come…
A new federal law does away with any time limits for victims of child sex abuse who sue their abusers.
President Joe Biden signed the law last Friday.
For Georgia and South Carolina victims, the new law is a dramatic change that recognizes the psychology of child sex abuse victims, said attorney Mark Tate of Tate Law Group who has represented child abuse victims in multiple lawsuits over the years.
“It’s demonstrated psychologically that children who are the victim of any childhood trauma, but most especially sexual abuse compartmentalize that and put that away and forget it. And many times it’s decades – 40s and 50s – before they fully realize they are in a victim,” he said.
In 2015, Tate sued and later won a multi-million dollar settlement against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah for victims of convicted child rapist Wayland Brown, who was a…
Mark O’Neill alleged he suffered sexual abuse, physical abuse, and spiritual harm starting at age 13 at the Mission Roman Catholic seminary in British Columbia
A man who alleged he was sexually abused by Mission Roman Catholic priests and a seminary employee has reached an undisclosed settlement to end the case.
Mark O’Neill was seeking damages for sexual abuse he alleges he suffered as a teen during his time at a Mission Roman Catholic seminary from 1974 to 1978. He was 13- to 17-years-old at the time.
The defendants listed in the suit included the Seminary of Christ the King; Westminster Abbey Ltd.; the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver, a Corporation Sole; Emerick Lazar; Harold Vincent Sander, a.k.a. Dom Placidus Sander; Shawn Rohrbach; and John Doe.
A trial in the case had been due to start Sept. 12.
Allegations detail sexual and physical abuse
O’Neill alleged Rohrbach, a college student employed at the…
Recently, a notification was sent out from the Los Angeles Archdiocese to remind music ministers that the compositions of David Haas and Fr. Cesáreo Gabaráin have been banned due to allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct. The statement says:
This notification is being issued as a reminder of two matters concerning the use and performance of certain music in our Archdiocese.
In October 2020 a directive imposing a complete ban by the Archdiocese on the use or performance of any of David Haas’s music was issued. Specifically, the directive precludes the use or performance of any music written or composed by Mr. Haas and any performances by him. The directive concerning David Haas was issued after an investigation found allegations of sexual misconduct by him, which had been reported to the Archdiocese, to be credible.
In October 2021 the Archdiocese announced that parishes, schools, and ministries should refrain from…
[See also the John Doe v. Diocese of Springfield et al. complaint.]
The Berkshire Eagle is going to court today to fight the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in its bid to get a reporter to reveal a confidential source.
The Eagle says in court filings that doing so would break the reporter’s promise not to reveal the identity of a person who provided information about a Chicopee man’s claim in a civil lawsuit that as an altar boy in the 1960s he was repeatedly raped by clergy, including a former bishop, Christopher J. Weldon.
The Eagle’s coverage in 2019 revealed an attempt by the diocese to shield the late bishop from being exposed as an abuser. That coverage was supported by an independent judge’s report in 2020 and cited repeatedly in the man’s 2021 lawsuit against the diocese and eight of its officials, including former Bishop…
Sao Paulo, Brazil: Candidate for the Presidency of Brazil by the Brazilian Democratic Movement, Simone Tebet, participates in the meeting ‘Education Now for Brazil’, with the former secretary of Education of Sao Paulo and candidate for Federal Deputy Rossieli Soares.
Anti-abortion activists in Rhode Island are asking the US Supreme Court to take up the issue of foetal personhood just a few months after the Court overturned its nearly 50-year Roe v Wade precedent that had established a constitutional right to abortion. On 13 September, the group Catholics for Life filed a 46-page petition asking the court to “clarify whether an unborn human being has standing to access the courts”. In 2019, Catholics for Life and other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit arguing that a state law passed that year that codified abortion rights under Roe violated their rights as citizens of Rhode Island. Two of the plaintiffs were unborn children: a pre-viable 15-week old foetus and a…
A teacher at a Perth Catholic college, who claimed his sexual abuse of a teenage student was a “mutually beneficial relationship”, has been jailed for more than six years, with a judge slamming his explanation as an attempt to “victim blame”.
- The 40-year-old teacher began sexually abusing the student when she was 16
- Some of the offences occurred in a classroom, and others in the girl’s home
- The man won’t be eligible for parole until November 2026
The name of the man, and the school where he was a maths teacher, cannot be published to protect the identity of the victim, who was 16 and 17 when he repeatedly sexually assaulted her in her final year of studies.
He was 40 at the time and married, and met the victim at a religious retreat at the start of the year when what was described in the District Court as…
In an interview with CNN Portugal broadcast on Monday 5 September, Pope Francis says the Church is suffering due to sexual abuse and abuse of authority and power by men and women in the Church. The wide-ranging interview also covers topics such as World Youth Day, the importance of dialogue, and Synod on synodality.
Pope Francis emphatically repeated the Church’s commitment to “zero tolerance” when it comes to priests who abuse others, in an interview with CNN Portugal broadcast on Monday 5 September.
“I want to be very clear about this: Abuse by churchmen and churchwomen — abuse of authority, abuse of power and sexual abuse – is a monstrosity, because the churchman or churchwoman, whether priest, religious man or woman, or layman or laywoman, is called to serve and to create unity, to make grow, and abuse always destroys,” the Pope said.
“Abuse is a tragic reality of all…
Robert C. Cotton was a respected Servite teacher and administrator for more than 30 years. Lawsuit alleges he also sexually abused a student on a regular basis
Twice in the fall of 1980, Servite High School English teacher Robert C. Cotton had ordered a 16-year-old junior to an office near the school’s library so Cotton could search the student for drugs.
A few weeks earlier, the student said Cotton had caught him in class with drugs, “black beauties,” a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. That time and in two subsequent searches in the office, Cotton had aggressively frisked him in addition to going through the student’s backpack, the former student alleged in an interview.
The third office search, the former student said, would haunt him to this day.
Starting with that search, using the drug incident as leverage, the student claims Cotton sexually assaulted and molested him on a weekly…
Gordon MacRae, the Catholic priest now serving a state prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting four boys, once claimed in a lawsuit that the evidence against him was destroyed by a zealous investigator out to railroad him.
The cop who pursued MacRae was then-Keene Police Detective James McLaughlin.
The old lawsuit brought by the convicted child sex predator against McLaughlin is newly relevant now that McLaughlin’s recently released personnel file shows the decorated investigator was once accused by his own department of doctoring evidence.
MacRae has maintained his innocence despite the guilty pleas since he was convicted in the 1990s. According to the lawsuit he filed in the United States District Court in New Mexico in 1994, MacRae claimed McLaughlin was out to get him since at least 1988, and the detective used dishonest means to secure an arrest and conviction. MacRae pleaded guilty in 1988 to…
Funds will be used to pay claims for assaults by priests between 1955 and 1984, archbishop says
The Catholic Archdiocese of Moncton has reached a settlement in a multimillion dollar lawsuit against its insurance company regarding compensation paid to victims of sexual abuse by priests.
Although the details of the agreement with the Co-operators General Insurance Company are subject to a confidentiality clause, the resulting funds will be used to pay claims for sexual assaults that occurred in the archdiocese between 1955 and 1984, according to a statement issued by Archbishop Valéry Vienneau.
“The settlement made does involve some compromise, but it provides immediate certainty, particularly in light of advice that the pending court hearing would be put over for another year due to a shortage of judges,” he said.
The case had been scheduled for trial in October.
A recent survey distributed by Hockey Canada has left some shaking their heads over what they see as out-of-touch questions regarding the organization’s handling of sexual assault allegations.
The survey was distributed to parents, volunteers and coaches, seeking to gauge opinions on the sport’s national body.
It has been under intense scrutiny since news broke this spring of an alleged sexual assault following a 2018 gala in London, Ont., involving eight unidentified players — including members of that year’s world junior team — and the subsequent settlement.
Allegations of another gang sexual assault involving the 2003 world junior team emerged in July. None of the allegations has been proven in court.
‘How can they be so clueless’
Participants were asked to rate their level of agreement with several statements, among them:
- “The level of criticism by the media toward Hockey Canada is overblown.”
- “Incidents such as this are unlikely to happen again.”
- “The allegations are…
Church leaders in the northern German Diocese of Osnabrück failed over decades to fulfill their duties in responding to accusations of sexual abuse, according to a study presented by the University of Osnabrück Sept. 19.
The German Catholic news agency KNA said the study found that, until recently, officials had neglected to conduct adequate monitoring of clerics after they had been removed from their posts following accusations of abuse.
The main area requiring improvement was communication with victims, the project leaders said. In addition, the diocese had been defensive and bureaucratic in its handling of cases and “stingy” in its recognition payments.
The study found that Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, who has been in office since 1995 and is also deputy president of the German bishops’ conference, violated his duties “in a low single-digit range” of cases. The breaches were “negligent, but not intentional,” the study said.
It added that while…
Their spiritual leader is behind bars in California after pleading guilty to sexually abusing minors. Yet legions of followers of Naasón Joaquín García in his home base in Mexico remain fervently loyal to him, viewing his imprisonment as a challenge that will strengthen their church, La Luz del Mundo (The Light of the World), rather than weaken it.
His continued hold on his flock was evident recently at the Christian church’s main temple in Guadalajara, as thousands gathered to pray for their absent leader during their Holy Supper, the most sacred festivity for La Luz del Mundo. To gasps of surprise, Joaquín García addressed the congregation by telephone from his Los Angeles prison, where he is serving a 16-year sentence.
“I do not see the bars that separate me from you,” he told his followers. “I see your beautiful faces … because you are the children of God.”
A prominent Reform synagogue in the District has argued that parents suing over alleged child sex abuse surrendered their right to bring a lawsuit when they signed activity waivers upon enrolling their children in school, court documents show.
A group of parents in 2019 sued Washington Hebrew Congregation, claiming that leaders at Edlavitch-Tyser Early Childhood Center ignored warning signs as a teacher sexually abused toddlers. The suit also said the employee was allowed to be alone with students despite District regulations that require at least two adults to be present with toddlers in licensed child development centers.
Now, recent developments in the years-long suit have brought renewed attention to the case. In July, attorneys for Washington Hebrew Congregation filed a motion for summary judgment, a request for the court to make a ruling before a trial. The school’s attorneys argued that, in the paperwork parents signed, they gave up their…
Mercy Corps: A Statement of Support for Tania Humphrey
Into Account extends solidarity to Tania Humphrey in her lawsuit against Mercy Corps, the international aid organization co-founded by her sexually abusive father, Ellsworth Culver.
At Into Account, we are deeply, unfortunately familiar with the phenomenon of so-called independent investigations functioning as a means for culpable institutions to manage reputational damage at the expense of survivors. While survivors often request independent investigations and invest much hope and effort in their outcomes, the kind of traumatic institutional betrayal described in Humphrey’s complaint is a disappointingly common outcome.
When accountability and prevention of future violence are priorities, independent investigations center the emotional and physical needs of victims, always with the underlying recognition that a victim’s participation is a gift to the organization. Survivors who are treated with respect and kindness are invaluable allies in the search for the…
Speech at the USCCB Meeting in Dallas TX
June 13, 2002
Nine years ago, the roles were reversed. I stood silently as Father Gary’s side offering support, as
he became the first priest in America to sue a priest and his bishop over the crime of childhood
sexual abuse. It was a huge honor then and it’s a huge honor today.
We’re not here because you want us to be. We’re not here because we’ve earned it or have fought
hard for it. We’re here because children are a gift from God, and Catholic parents know this!
That’s why 87% of them think that if you’ve helped molesters commit their crimes, you should
resign. Because of their outrage, we stand before you today. Though Bishop Gregory played a
role, and though the letterhead said US Conference of Catholic Bishops, the return address on
that invitation was really thousands of parishes across the country. We are really here because…
Belgian bishops published Tuesday a new document on the pastoral care of Catholics who identify as LGBT, which includes a text allowing for a ritual blessing of same-sex couples.
The bishops of Flanders said that the three-page document, entitled “Being pastorally close to homosexuals: For a welcoming Church that excludes no one,” aims to “structurally anchor [the Church’s] pastoral commitment to homosexual persons and couples.”
The document was signed by the Flemish bishops, who belong to Belgium’s majority ethnic group. They are led by Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, president of the Belgian bishops’ conference, which also includes bishops from the country’s French-speaking minority.
The Flemish bishops’ text said that homosexual couples who choose to live “in lasting and faithful union with a partner” deserve “appreciation and support.”
“This relationship, although not a Church marriage, can also be a source of peace and shared happiness for those involved,” the bishops wrote.
Throughout the diocesan phase of the Synod on Synodality, U.S. Catholics consistently highlighted several “enduring wounds” that plague the nation’s church, including the still-unfolding effects of the sexual abuse crisis, divisions over the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, and a perceived lack of unity among the nation’s bishops.
The feedback was published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on Sept. 19, in a national synthesis of the diocesan synod phase. The synthesis is the culmination of diocesan Synod reports and contributions from other Catholic entities since last fall.
An estimated 700,000 people out of an estimated 66.8 million U.S. Catholics contributed to the feedback that went into creating the synthesis.
Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, the USCCB’s committee on doctrine chair who oversaw the national process, called the document a “significant moment” for the U.S. church, while cautioning that it’s only the first step in a larger…
The French Ministry of Justice announced that France will not extradite Oblate Father Joannès Rivoire to Canada.
However, the priest’s congregation, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, said it was moving to expel the former missionary accused of sexual assault against children in parishes he directed in northern Canada in the 1960s to early 1990s. Rivoire, now 92, left Canada in 1993 and now lives in France.
On Sept. 14, during a meeting with a delegation of six Inuit from Canada, Rivoire denied the accusations made against him.
Shortly before this meeting, the members of the Nunavut delegation, including an alleged victim of Rivoire and the two children of another victim, Marius Tungilik, now deceased, spoke with Father Vincent Gruber, superior of the Oblates in France.
Gruber confirmed in a statement that his congregation’s authorities are “determined to continue their efforts to convince Joannès Rivoire to appear before the Canadian justice…
Churches have been sold to compensate Mount Cashel abuse victims
Final masses were held Sunday at St. Pius X in St. John’s and St. Agnes in Pouch Cove — two Catholic churches on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula — as the buildings have been sold to pay reparations to Mount Cashel abuse survivors.
The provincial Supreme Court approved the sale of 43 church properties in July after a sale-by-tender process, which saw bidders submit offers in early June.
St. Pius X priest Father John Sullivan said the building held a lot of memories for parishioners who took sacraments, from baptism to weddings and funerals at the church.
“It was sort of the place that holds just these most sort of tender moments in a person’s life,” Sullivan said.
But Sullivan said the congregation recognized the “suffering and the pain and the hurt and damage that the abuse victims suffered” at the hands…
Most of Guam’s 270-plus clergy sex abuse claimants turned in their ballots by Monday’s deadline, but there’s no official tally yet whether a majority voted to support or reject the church settlement offer of $37 million to $101 million.
The settlement offer is part of the Archdiocese of Agana’s bankruptcy exit plan that it jointly filed with a panel of creditors led by a survivor of clergy sexual assaults.
Without a majority vote from survivors to support the plan, the archdiocese’s three-year-old bankruptcy case continues, and abuse claimants will have to wait longer to receive compensation.
At least 170 ballots were submitted to court as of Monday. Nearly 100 were submitted by Attorney Delia Lujan Wolff’s law firm, and 77 were submitted to the court by Attorney Michael Berman’s firm.
While all of Berman’s clients voted to support the plan and settlement, there’s no telling how Lujan Wolff’s clients voted….
Close to 200 bishops at the beginning of their ministries in dioceses and eparchies around the world met Pope Francis Sept. 19 at the end of a week of conferences.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic had forced the suspension of the annual formation course for new bishops, the 2022 courses were held in multiple sessions with the first groups of bishops — more than 150 of them — meeting Pope Francis in early September, and bishops from mission territories meeting him Sept. 17.
The Dicastery for Bishops, the Dicastery for Evangelization and the Dicastery for Eastern Churches organized the courses.
The themes for the 2022 sessions included: the meaning of “a synodal church”; crisis management with special attention to handling situations and allegations of abuse; the church after the pandemic; a review of what canon law says about administering a diocese; communication and use of the media, ministry to families with…
Joseph Fiorenza, the son of immigrants who steered a rapidly changing southeast Texas through its evolution as a beacon for newcomers as its first home-grown Catholic archbishop, died Monday, church officials said.
Fiorenza, bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston from 1985 until 2006, was 91. In a statement, Fiorenza’s successor, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, praised him as a “champion of civil rights and a tireless worker in overcoming the presence of racism in our community.”
Well past turning 90, Fiorenza remained a force for social change, as he had been for decades.
“We worked to de-segregate Houston’s schools and businesses, created alliances to provide solutions for Houston’s homeless, committed to increase Harris County’s responsiveness to the legal needs of the indigent and even labored to create a vision for age-friendly care which supports seniors who need geriatric services,” said the Rev. William A. Lawson, a local civil rights icon…
The Synod on Synodality was kick-started in October 2021.The first phase, the national level, was to conclude by August 16 and the National Syntheses (NS) were to be sent to the Synod Secretariat at the Vatican.
A communiqué from Rene Reid, Director, Catholic Church Reform International (CCRI) states that of 104 NS submitted to the Secretariat, more than half have not been made public. That would include the three NS from the Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Churches in India.
The CCRI organized a zoom meeting on September 17 to get a world-wide feedback on the progress of the Synod, now that all the NS would have been submitted; and preparations are on for the Continental phase.
CCRI’s preliminary survey showed that 93 percent of the respondents were deeply concerned about how the people of God would actually be represented in the Continental phase. Just 60 percent had faith in their…
Via Eye on the Arctic
When Steve Mapsalak left the meeting with his alleged abuser on Wednesday, he felt a weight lift from inside him.
Mapsalak, one of the Inuit delegates from Nunavut who went to France this week to press for the extradition of retired priest Johannes Rivoire, said Thursday the short-notice meeting with Rivoire brought memories flooding back to him.
It also gave him an opportunity to tell Rivoire face-to-face about the pain he and other delegates have gone through.
“It is still painful to have the memory when I see the building, the room [where the abuse happened]. And yet, when I was able to speak to him and share how deeply he had hurt us, I could feel that inside, the deep hurt I have carried for so long, some of it is lifted,” Mapsalak said in Inuktitut Thursday.
Aluki Kotierk, the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.,…
A 2019 bestseller in Malayalam, ‘In the Name of the Lord’ is a harrowing, moving account of Sister Lucy Kalapura’s life as a Catholic nun.
A young man had once remonstrated to me about a liaison between his aunt, who was a nun, and the parish priest. He told me that this very priest used to advise him constantly to be virtuous and celibate and not stray as he was a bachelor. During the special confession sessions at the silent retreat, her voice filled with pain, a nun confessed to me about fondling a novice. During the Sacrament of Penance, too, some of the priests have a lecherous approach to the nuns who come to them to confess their sins to God. I can say on the basis of what has been revealed to me from time to time that what appears in the press about the goings-on in convents…
Two sexual abuse allegations have been brought against a suburban priest who was reinstated as a pastor in 2021 after a review board found there was “insufficient reason to suspect” he had sexually abused children 25 years ago.
On Friday, the Archdiocese of Chicago was informed about two sexual abuse allegations of a minor against Rev. David Ryan, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish in Lake Zurich, Cardinal Blase Cupich said in a letter to parishioners.
Cupich added he asked Ryan to step aside as pastor while an independent review board can investigate the allegations, and Ryan agreed to “cooperate fully with our process,” which Cupich said will “move forward as expeditiously as possible.”
In November 2020, Ryan was asked to step away from the parish when an investigation into separate allegations began. In September of the following year, Cupich announced Ryan had been cleared and reinstated.
But a week…
Unholy Catholic Ireland: Religious Hypocrisy, Secular Morality, and Irish Irreligion by Hugh Turpin (published this week by Stanford University Press) is a must-read book for anyone interested in the changing role of religion in Ireland.
Unholy Catholic Ireland responds to longstanding gaps in our knowledge about the ‘irreligious’ in Ireland, to echo the term from the book’s subtitle. In scholarly literature, this rather disparate group is often referred to as those with ‘no religion’ or the ‘nones’. (In the text, Turpin also refers to such folks as ‘ethno-Catholic nones’).
Prior to Turpin’s research, there had been no systematic, in-depth studies of those who could be classified as nones in the Republic of Ireland. Unholy Catholic Ireland is a first and important step in what I hope and anticipate will become a topic of further research – by Turpin and by other scholars. Based on both qualitative and quantitative research, it lays a strong foundation…
There is a lot of talk about “synodality” in the Catholic church these days. Synodality refers to a process in which bishops and priests consult with lay Catholics about issues in the church.
In 2021, Pope Francis called for the “Synod on Synodality,” a worldwide discussion of issues that impact the church, which will culminate with a bishops’ meeting in Rome. A final report is scheduled for October 2023.
The Catholic Church in Germany has also moved forward with a national “synodal path” to restore trust after its own sexual abuse scandal.
The German synodal path has been controversial. On Sept. 8, 2022, a minority of German bishops blocked a motion to redefine Catholic teaching on homosexuality, bisexuality, gender identity and masturbation. In response, some proponents of these liberalizations warned they would “take it to Rome.”
Church leaders around the world and in the Vatican have closely watched the German meetings….
A few weeks ago, Gov. Tom Wolf and legislative leaders announced they had reached a bipartisan agreement to finish the long overdue job of giving long ago victims of child sex abuse an opportunity to seek justice.
Let’s just hope their pledge is honored after November’s midterm election. Nothing ever is guaranteed in the Capitol as political winds shift.
Democrat Wolf and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate and House agreed to prioritize legislation early next year on a referendum. It would ask voters if the state Constitution should be amended to allow a two-year window for child sex abuse victims to sue, despite the statute of limitations having expired.
If the plan is carried out, voters could see the referendum on a ballot in one of next year’s elections.
The referendum should have occurred last year. Lawmakers approved the necessary legislation, but the Pennsylvania…
A man who claimed he was sexually abused by a Catholic Priest almost 50 years ago has settled his High Court damages action for €350,000.
In his judgement on Friday Mr Justice Garrett Simons approved the settlement of the now 60-year-old man personal injuries claim, who currently resides in the UK, against The Sacred Heart Missionary Education Trust and his alleged abuser.
The case was settled by the Trust, without an admission of liability by either of the defendants.
The man claimed that he was sexually abused by a priest who taught at a secondary school operated by the Trust.
The alleged abuse was said to have occurred during the mid 1970’s when the complainant was a pupil at the school and aged in his teens.
As a result of the alleged abuse the man had sued the defendants’ seeking damages for the personal injuries, he claims he suffered.
The complaints of abuse against the teacher date to 2009 and 2011. After a long judicial process, the Supreme Court sentenced him to two years in prison in 2020, but since it was his first conviction and did not exceed a two-year sentence, he wasn’t imprisoned.
Bishop Joseba Segura Etxezarraga of Bilbao, Spain, has announced that Pope Francis has ordered a new canonical process for a case of abuse that took place at a school run by the Prelature of Opus Dei.
The announcement states that the Holy Father was aware in December 2014 of allegations of abuse against José María Martínez Sanz, a numerary member of Opus Dei and a teacher at Gaztelueta School.
“Since then, he has closely followed the situation of the persons (involved) and the different actions taken by the Spanish courts and by the Church,” the statement said.
“At this time, he has considered it appropriate…
In the past, victims sought legal help only to be met with the further humiliation of unjust settlements. But the tide has begun to turn
Margaret Spivey was just a toddler when the betrayals began.
Abandoned after the death of her father, Spivey was a made a ward of the state at the age of 22 months.
She was separated from her two sisters, placed into care, and then handed to a foster family in 1960s Geelong, where she faced shocking physical and sexual abuse, before being flung back into children’s homes.
Shuffled between the Allambie Reception Centre, Providence Children’s Home, and the St Vincent de Paul Children’s Home, her childhood was marked by trauma upon trauma, all enabled by the very institutions entrusted with her care.
“There have been many dark moments, but something kept compelling me to go on,” she says.
Like so many child abuse survivors, it…
A suburban priest is facing two allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.
The Archdiocese of Chicago has asked Father David Ryan of Lake Zurich to step aside — again — while it conducts an investigation.
In a letter Saturday, Cardinal Blase Cupich called the news “upsetting” and said Ryan has agreed to cooperate.
In late 2020 Ryan was asked to step aside amid an investigation into sexual abuse of minors 25 years prior.
He was reinstated in 2021.
Dear Parishioners of St. Francis de Sales Parish,
I am writing with upsetting news. Yesterday the Archdiocese received two allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against Fr. David Ryan. As is the case with all such matters, the archdiocese will report these allegations to civil authorities and offer assistance to the persons who made them. In keeping with our policies, I have asked Father Ryan to step aside until our Independent Review Board can investigate the allegations and present its recommendations to me. He has agreed to cooperate fully with our process, which will move forward as expeditiously as possible. We will provide Fr. Ryan with pastoral assistance, and I know he is grateful for your support.
We have appreciated your patience with this process in the past and your understanding that only with an impartial and thorough effort can we fulfill our duty to protect the young people…
A pastor at Saint Francis de Sales Catholic Parish in Lake Zurich has been suspended once again after two new allegations of child sexual abuse were reported, the archdiocese announced.
Cardinal Blase Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, wrote in a letter to the St. Francis community on Saturday announcing a new investigation into Father David Ryan.
The archdiocese received two allegations on Friday of sexual abuse of a minor, the letter said.
Further details on the allegations or when they reportedly occurred have not been released.
Cupich said the allegations will be reported to “civil authorities” and assistance will be offered to the persons who made them.
Ryan was asked to step aside until an independent review board can investigate the abuse report and present their recommendations.
“He has agreed to cooperate fully with our process, which will move forward as expeditiously as possible. We will provide Fr. Ryan with…
The Archdiocese of Chicago received two allegations Friday against the Rev. David Ryan, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich said in a statement.
The Rev. David Ryan, a pastor at St. Francis de Sales Parish and School, has again been asked to step away from his pastoral duties following new accusations that he sexually abused a minor.
The Archdiocese of Chicago will investigate two new accusations it received Friday against Ryan, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich said in a written statement that said the accusations also were shared with civil authorities.
The new accusations come a year after an investigation ruled prior accusations against Ryan were unfounded.
In November 2020, Ryan was accused of sexually abusing minors more than two decades ago when he was assigned to Maryville Academy in Des Plaines. The Independent Review Board of the Archdiocese of Chicago investigated the accusations and found insufficient evidence…
A lawsuit alleging the rampant sexual abuse of underage athletes at a competitive cheerleading gym in South Carolina has been amended to name six more coaches as defendants and three more accusers.
The accusers — now seven female and two male — say in the federal lawsuit amended Thursday that they were sexually abused by coaches at Rockstar Cheerleading and Dance in Greenville, which is in the northwestern corner of the state. The accusers’ lawyers allege that sexual abuse at the gym could date back two decades and that there could be 100 more victims who haven’t come forward.
One of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Bakari Sellers, likened the case to that of Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University doctor who is serving a minimum of 40 years in prison after admitting that he molested some of the nation’s top gymnasts for years.
None of the Rockstar coaches…
An attorney in the case is calling out the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to “act.”
A former Forest Lake middle school teacher has been sentenced for sexually assaulting two former students multiple times at his home.
James Edward Carter, 58, has been sentenced to one year in prison after being found guilty of 2nd and 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The former educator, who taught industrial tech at Forest Lake Area Middle School, was charged in August 2020 after he groomed and sexually assaulted two boys.
According to the criminal complaint, Carter paid several of his students and former students to do work at his home and other properties. He provided two boys – aged 16 and 17 – with gifts, bought them meals at restaurants and would attend church together (either in person or online at Carter’s home).
These boys both accused Carter of massaging their groins on at…
Johannes Rivoire accused of abusing children while working as a priest in Nunavut from 1960 to 1993
The last time Steve Mapsalak saw Johannes Rivoire was in 1993, at the Winnipeg airport.
Later, Mapsalak would learn that was the day the priest, who he had reported to police for allegedly sexually abusing him when he was 13, left Canada for the last time. Mapsalak, who is now 65, was 13 in 1970.
Five years passed before Mapsalak’s allegations — along with allegations from two other Inuit — resulted in historical sexual assault and indecent assault charges being laid against Rivoire in 1998.
Mapsalak would wait nearly 20 years for justice only to see those charges stayed in 2017, with Rivoire living in France, out of reach of the Canadian justice system.
On Wednesday, after 29 years, Mapsalak saw Rivoire again. This time, it was to tell the priest what he and other…
Happy Friday friends,
And a happy feast of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian, both of whom are remembered by the Church for their third-century defense of the faith, and witness to the Gospel in the face of imperial persecution.
Cyprian, a lawyer from Carthage, survived the persecution of the emperor Decius, but under Valerian found himself first exiled, then arrested.
Notably, his trial is remembered for its faultless procedure, and the calm and courtesy displayed by all sides as he was convicted and executed. A witness, if you will, to dialogue in the truest Christian sense.
Anyway, here’s the news.
The Archdiocese of New Orleans, like some other U.S. dioceses, has been in bankruptcy court since 2020, seeking Chapter 11 protection while it restructures to deal with a wave of historical clerical abuse lawsuits filed in the wake of the scandals of 2018.
But the case has taken a…
Claim against estate of Father Georges Chevrier is one of two recently filed against dead priests
A British Columbia woman claims she was told the late Father Georges Chevrier had no history of the kind of sexual abuse complaints she was bringing forward.
Then she listened to an acclaimed podcast titled Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s.
Now she’s suing.
The woman — known as LV — filed a B.C. Supreme Court claim this week against Chevrier’s estate and the corporation of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver, which she accuses of failing to tell her the dead priest had a “known history of allegations of sexual abuse” when she first asked for compensation.
LV claims she only learned about Chevrier’s past through Stolen, a podcast hosted by investigative journalist Connie Walker, which unearthed numerous allegations of sexual and physical abuse against staff at St….
As more sexual abuse allegations came to light at Oakville’s megachurch, The Meeting House retained the services of victim advocate Melodie Bissell.
The Meeting House, an Ontario megachurch headquartered in Oakville, recently reported that former pastor Bruxy Cavey is facing new allegations of sexual misconduct – one of them involving a minor.
Hamilton Police previously charged Cavey with sexual assault in June.
In solidarity with victims, the Meeting House retained the services of Melodie Bissell – a victim’s advocate; the church revealed, in June, that it had received 38 reports of sexual abuse against four former pastors from the megachurch.
Decades of consulting in abuse prevention have given Bissell the insight that abuse isn’t black and white.
“I don’t think there’s any abuser that wakes up in the morning and says ‘I’m going to abuse someone today’. It’s a slippery slope. I don’t think in their mind they would think that they were grooming someone,” stated Bissell.
In fact, most…
A pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run crash earlier this month in New Jersey served as a Catholic priest in Nebraska in the 1980s before he was convicted of sexual assault of a child, according to news accounts and a report by the Nebraska attorney general.
Paul F. Margand, 65, of Deptford Township, died Sept. 1 after he was struck by a car while walking along Cattel Road in Deptford shortly before 9:30 p.m., according to township police. He was taken to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, where he died a short time later.
The driver did not stop, police said.
Matthew B. Jefferson, 25, of Deptford, was later identified as the motorist, Deptford police said. He was charged with second-degree leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death and fourth-degree tampering with evidence.
Margand was serving as a priest at…
The announcement came after a reported claim by three brothers of repeated rape as children in a monastery over 30 years ago
The head of France’s Orthodox Church on Friday announced an internal investigation into alleged child abuse at a monastery in the southern Herault region more than 30 years ago.
The announcement came after Liberation newspaper reported the account of three brothers who said they had been repeatedly raped there as children.
They said two members of the of the Orthodox monastery of Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Dalmerie in the late 1970s had abused them, starting when they were 8, 10 and 12 years old respectively.
“Reading this article and the information it contains, their statement is well-founded,” said Metropolitan Dimitrios, head of the Orthodox Church in France.
In a statement he promised to “seek and establish the truth.
“The authors of these acts are now dead and the unspeakable acts they committed”…
The leader of a sect of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints based in Colorado City, Arizona, made an appearance in federal court Thursday following his arrest on tampering and destruction of evidence charges.
The arrest of Samuel Rappylee Bateman, 46, of Colorado City, came weeks before, authorities said, when Bateman was stopped on a highway in Flagstaff, Arizona, where several young girls were found in an enclosed trailer. After Bateman was released on bail, he was arrested again during an FBI raid Tuesday in Colorado City that turned up additional evidence, prosecutors said, and an Arizona child welfare agency removed children from the homes.
Bateman pleaded not guilty in U.S. Magistrate Court in Flagstaff on Thursday.
Bateman has been indicted on three federal charges, including tampering and destruction of records in an official proceeding, along with one count each destroying records in…
A leader of a small polygamous group on the Arizona-Utah line pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges of tampering with evidence, weeks after being stopped on a highway with young girls in an enclosed trailer.
Samuel Bateman, 46, was indicted earlier this month on three counts of destroying or attempting to destroy records, and tampering with criminal proceedings. He pleaded not guilty in U.S. Magistrate Court in Flagstaff, a mountain city where he was arrested in late August by a state police agency after someone spotted small fingers in a gap of the trailer’s rear door.
Authorities found three girls, between the ages of 11 and 14, in the trailer he was hauling through Flagstaff, according to court documents. The trailer had a makeshift toilet, a couch, camping chairs and no ventilation, the documents state. The documents didn’t say if the girls are related to Bateman, and it wasn’t…