Archive for the ‘child abuse’ Category

Matt Sandusky silent no more works to stop abuse, NCAA Restores Penn State’s Postseason Eligibility, Rotherham child abuse scandal: council chief executive to step down, Irish Catholic leader apologises for child abuse as he steps down

- Matt Sandusky, silent no more, works to stop abuse
– NCAA Restores Penn State’s Postseason Eligibility, Football Scholarships
– Rotherham child abuse scandal: council chief executive to step down Martin Kimber
– Irish Catholic leader apologises for child abuse as he steps down
– Dublin Rape Crisis Centre releases ‘shocking’ report

Matt Sandusky, silent no more, works to stop abuse
By Elizabeth Simpson   The Virginian-Pilot    September 8, 2014
VIRGINIA BEACH

The turning point, for Matthew Sandusky, was the 2012 courtroom testimony of Victim No. 4.

The witness’s description of sexual abuse mirrored Matthew’s own experience so vividly it moved him to disclose to police that he, too, had been molested by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky – who was also his adoptive father.

At the time, Matthew wished he also could have been identified by a number instead of a name, to shield his wife and children.

“Our world turned upside down,” Matthew, 35, said in a phone interview from State College, Pa., last week. “We lost family. We lost friends. It felt like everyone was against us and blaming us for everything. We were really alone.”

His father was convicted, and this year, Matthew has used that famous last name to become a national activist to help people disclose and recover from sexual abuse….

“I want to empower people to get help if they feel alone,” he said.

It’s been a brutal journey for him, one that led him to legally change his last name, and those of his wife and children, from Sandusky to one he doesn’t publicize.

He now reserves the Sandusky name that once opened doors and secured him a tuition break at Penn State for another reason: to raise awareness of child sexual abuse.

Matthew was first listed as a witness to defend his adopted father, but during the trial, the testimony of Victim No. 4 was so similar to his own that he went to the police and disclosed the abuse, hoping it would not be made public.

An audio recording was leaked to the media, but he never had to take the stand in the 2012 trial. Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 charges of child sex abuse and given a sentence of 30 to 60 years in prison.

Matthew met him when he was 7 years old through The Second Mile charity camp. The abuse began the next year and continued into his teens, he said….

In the phone interview, Matthew said he was confused about the abuse as a child because it was not physically painful, and it seemed like a fair trade-off for the financial and emotional stability of the Sandusky household, something he didn’t have from his biological family.

In the end, though, he realized there was nothing fair, or emotionally stable, about it…. http://hamptonroads.com/2014/09/matt-sandusky-silent-no-more-works-stop-abuse

NCAA Restores Penn State’s Postseason Eligibility, Football Scholarships  9/08/2014

There is likely nothing more horrifying or despicable in college football’s history than the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The legal fallout was immense, with Sandusky locked away for what most assume will be the rest of his life and another three Penn State officials are still standing trial for their alleged roles in covering up Sandusky’s actions. Many also called on the NCAA to drop the hammer on the football program that facilitated decades of child abuse, and the governing body did not disappoint: Penn State was forced to pay $60 million over a five-year period, plus the football team was hit with a four-year bowl ban and a loss of 20 football scholarships.

And yet on Monday, the NCAA announced that its executive committee has restored Penn State’s postseason eligibility, effective immediately, and next season the team will return to a full complement of 85 scholarships, which accelerates an easing of the sanctions already made last year. These changes are based on recommendations made in a report from George Mitchell, the school’s external athletic integrity monitor. Mitchell, who is responsible for monitoring Penn State’s efforts to enact recommendations made in the Freeh Report, cited the school’s progress since the sanctions were handed down two years ago, including the formation of a comprehensive compliance program.

It’s curious that the NCAA would agree to so radically mitigate sanctions stemming from what is the single most horrible scandal in its history, especially considering that the NCAA rarely diminishes punishments for even far less serious violations. For one example, Big Ten rival Ohio State was hit with NCAA sanctions in 2011 after it was discovered that some players traded memorabilia for money and tattoos; that punishment was never modified at a later date, and the team is still playing with a reduced number of scholarships…. http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2014/09/08/ncaa-restores-penn-states-postseason-eligibility-football-scholarships/

SECOND ANNUAL REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT ATHLETICS INTEGRITY MONITOR PURSUANT TO THE ATHLETICS INTEGRITY AGREEMENT AMONG THE NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE AND THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY AND AS EXTERNAL MONITOR APPOINTED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY http://www.dlapiper.com/~/media/Files/Insights/Publications/2014/09/NCAAMonitorsSecondAnnualReport.pdf

Rotherham child abuse scandal: council chief executive to step down

Martin Kimber, chief executive of the council at the centre of the child exploitation scandal, will quit at the end of the year
Helen Pidd, northern editor
theguardian.com, Monday 8 September 2014

The chief executive of Rotherham council is to step down, saying a new leader would help the town recover after it emerged councillors, police and social services turned a blind eye to the abuse of at least 1,400 children….

The independent Jay inquiry into historical cases of child sexual exploitation highlighted serious failings by agencies in the town involved in protecting children and young people.

Jay said the most “blatant” failures took place from 1997-2009. Kimber joined the authority in 2009. His predecessors all insist they were unaware of the scale of abuse perpetrated under their watch…. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/sep/08/rotherham-child-abuse-council-leader-martin-kimber-quits

Irish Catholic leader apologises for child abuse as he steps down
Agence France-Presse September 8, 2014

Cardinal Sean Brady, who was criticised over his handling of abuse scandals, stepped down as leader of the Irish Catholic Church on Monday with an emotional plea for forgiveness.

“I too need to say sorry and to ask forgiveness and I do so again today,” Brady told the faithful at a mass in Armagh in Northern Ireland.

Brady, who played a key role in the peace process after being appointed in 1996, had tendered his resignation to the Vatican last month after turning 75, the normal retirement age for senior clergy.

His years as leader of the Irish church coincided with a series of damning revelations of widespread clerical sex abuse.

Brady himself became directly embroiled in accusations that he mishandled child abuse allegations during an investigation into notorious paedophile Father Brendan Smyth.

In 1975, as a young priest and canon lawyer investigating the actions of Smyth, Brady did not report the allegations of abuse to the police. Smyth continued to abuse children until his arrest and conviction in the 1990s.

A television documentary in 2012 revealed Brady did not act when given the names of five other children abused by Smyth…. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140908/irish-catholic-leader-apologises-child-abuse-he-steps-down

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre releases ‘shocking’ report
By Neil Fetherston
Monday, September 8, 2014
THE Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s (DRCC) Annual Report has revealed the highest number of calls to their 24-hour helpline since 2009.

A total of 12,192 contacts were answered by the DRCC’s National 24-Hour Helpline, including 9,614 “genuine” calls, an increase of five per cent compared with 2012 figures.

A total of 43 per cent of these calls relate to adult rape, an increase of three per cent compared to 2012.

The report also indicates that 231 victims of rape and sexual assault were accompanied by trained DRCC volunteers at the Rotunda Sexual Assault Treatment Unit in 2013….

Other findings include the fact that the majority of callers (78 per cent) were female and 22 per cent were men; 43 per cent of calls related to adult rape; nine per cent of calls related to adult sexual assault; 53 per cent of calls related to adult sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and trafficking and 47 per cent of calls related to childhood sexual abuse, including ritual abuse and suspected abuse…. http://www.dublinpeople.com/article.php?id=4026&l=100

Satanic Craigslist Killers Dodge Death Penalty for Man’s Vicious Murder, ‘Culture of denial’ leaving UK children at risk of serious abuse

Satanic Craigslist Killers Dodge Death Penalty for Man’s Vicious Murder
By Dominic Gover  IB Times – Wed, Aug 27, 2014
A young married couple who killed a man who answered their Craigslist advert, and then claimed more victims, have dodged the death penalty for murder.

Miranda Barbour, 19 and Elytte Barbour, 22, admitted the murdered of Troy LaFerrara in Pennsylvania, United States, last year.

Forty-two year-old LaFerrara was stabbed and strangled by the couple when he met them in a car, after making contact on the popular website Craigslist.

Both Barbours pleaded guilty to murder, meaning they will not face a death sentence for the crime. The case saw them labelled the ‘Craigslist Killers’….

Police documents stated Elytte hid beneath a blanket in a car and then pounced upon LaFerrara when Miranda gave him a signal. She stabbed him repeatedly while Elytte strangled him from the back seat.

Following her arrest and charge for the murder of LaFerra, Miranda claimed to have killed 22 more victims and dumped their body parts in locations close to a venue where she previously worked as a go-go dancer.

Miranda said the alleged killing spree was motivated by her beliefs in Satanism. She also said her alleged victims were men who had “deserved it”.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/satanic-craigslist-killers-dodge-death-penalty-mans-vicious-142856708.html

Craigslist Killers: Satanic murder married couple lure man to death with sex ad on website
Aug 27, 2014 By Christopher Bucktin
Troy LaFerrara, 42, was stabbed and strangled to death by 19-year-old Miranda Barbour and her husband, Elytte Barbour, 22, in Pennsylvania

A satanic teen killer and her husband have avoided the death penalty after they pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing a married man whom she lured to his death using the Internet.

Miranda Barbour, 19, and Elytte Barbour, 22, had previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges that carried a possible death penalty upon conviction.

Following her arrest the 19-year-old boasted from her prison cell on Valentine’s Day she had killed at least 22 other people over six years in a cross-country murder spree motivated by her satanic cult beliefs.

She said she dumped body parts in Big Lake, Alaska, and also in Mexico Beach, Florida where she worked as a 15-year-old lap dancer but police have failed to find any victims….
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/craigslist-killers-satanic-murder-married-4114957

This culture of silence and denial around child abuse must end
I know from my own experience how difficult it is for victims to speak up, so when they do it is vital that we listen, believe and treat them with respect
James Rhodes         theguardian.com, Thursday 28 August 2014

Rotherham stands apart for many reasons: the sheer number of perpetrators; the sheer numbers involved (some survivors, some, sadly, inevitably victims) – 1,400 conservatively estimated – the contents of two state secondary schools or 127 school football teams. But there is a more devastating reason it stands alone: the resounding silence. The countless children who were brave enough to come forward at the time and afterwards, who were disbelieved, punished, mocked, accused and summarily dismissed.

We are told to keep quiet from the earliest, pre-verbal stages of life. Children should be seen, not heard. Don’t answer back. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Don’t speak until spoken to. Put up and shut up.

And then a child, doused with petrol and threatened to be set alight, gang-raped and forced to watch others suffer the same, digs deep down and somehow finds the extraordinary courage to stand up and say “this happened to me”. She risks the all-encompassing shame, the reliving and recounting of unimaginable horrors, the video evidence, diagrams of who did what and where, being questioned repeatedly by adults trying to pick holes in her story, the blame, recrimination, taunts, insults; the final, ghastly ripping of the child out of a child. She does it anyway.

I didn’t. I wasn’t that brave. I waited 25 years before going through all that. I was finally heard and believed, and the police tracked down and charged the teacher who raped me. But pick any one of those 1,400 children and look at their experience of the aftermath of abuse and hang your heads in shame.

There is a large section of society for whom talking about child abuse is in itself as bad as child abuse. We are complicit in the shaming, silencing, blaming and castigating of those who are our most defenceless and vulnerable, and it must not, can not, should not stand any longer….

Abuse thrives on silence. It exists because those who have endured it believe at a cellular level that they are in the wrong. They believe they are inherently evil. They believe it is their fault. Is that any surprise given the monstrosity of the Rotherham case?
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/28/silence-denial-chld-abuse-rotherham

‘Culture of denial’ leaving UK children at risk of serious abuse
Deputy children’s commissioner Sue Berelowitz says, despite Rotherham and gang violence cases elsewhere, police and authorities are practising ‘wilful blindness’
Randeep Ramesh The Guardian, Wednesday 27 August 2014

Children are at risk of serious abuse across England because of a culture of “wilful blindness” about the scale and prevalence of sexual exploitation across swaths of local government and in police forces, the deputy children’s commissioner warns.

In a highly critical interview given in the aftermath of the Rotherham abuse inquiry, which concluded that hundreds of children may have been abused there over a 16-year period, Sue Berelowitz said she had been “aghast” at the examples of obvious errors and poor practice she found.

Berelowitz told the Guardian she had discovered that police and council officers were in some cases still either looking the other way, not asking questions or claiming abuse was confined to a certain ethnic group – such as Asian men – or a particular social class….

Because the subject matter is uncomfortable and scrutiny damaging, Berelowitz added that there was a “culture of denial” that had been exposed by Prof Alexis Jay’s inquiry into the handling of child abuse in Rotherham. It found at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited by predominantly Asian criminal gangs between 1997 and 2013….
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/aug/27/culture-denial-rotherham-sexual-abuse-berelowitz-police

New Child Sex Abuse Claims Filed Against Michael Jackson, Wyoming couple accused of keeping child in a cage

New Child Sex Abuse Claims Filed Against Michael Jackson
By Melody Chiu 8/07/2014

Five years after his sudden passing, Michael Jackson is being accused of sexual abuse by a man who claims he was molested as a child by the superstar.

In court papers filed Monday, James Safechuck, 36, alleges he was abused by the singer when he was 10 years old after appearing in a Pepsi commercial with him.

After multiple visits to Jackson’s home (some of which were chaperoned by his parents) and several all-expense-paid cross-country trips, Safechuck joined the pop star on his “Bad” tour, which is when he alleges the first incident of sexual abuse occurred….

The papers allege Jackson gave Safechuck jewelry as a “reward” for sexual favors and taught him code words so others wouldn’t learn about their sexual activities.

The Jackson estate slammed the allegations Wednesday in a statement to E! News….

Claiming he was the first to stay at Jackson’s famed Neverland Ranch after it was built, Safechuck states in the papers that the pop star “installed chimes in the hallway to his bedroom” so he could be warned of people approaching and had a “secret closet” in his bedroom where he engaged in sexual activities with Safechuck.

During the four years that Safechuck claims the abuse took place, Jackson engaged in sexual acts with him “hundreds of times – on tour, at Plaintiff’s home, at DECEDENT’s apartment/condominium … at DECEDENT’s … Condominium … and at Neverland,” the papers say.

When Safechuck hit puberty at 12 years old, Jackson began “grooming him for separation [that] spanned several months” and focusing his attention on a younger boy named Brett, Safechuck claims….
http://www.people.com/article/new-sexual-abuse-claims-against-michael-jackson

Wyoming couple accused of keeping child in a cage
Robert Garrison, KUSA  August 5, 2014
An affidavit reveals the family had at least eight previous contacts with authorities but the child remained at the home.

LARAMIE, Wyo. – Authorities in Wyoming are pressing felony charges against a man and a woman alleging they kept a 7-year-old child in an outdoor cage.

The child’s mother, Jena Harman, and her boyfriend, Alexander Smith, face one count each of child abuse and three counts each of felonious restraint.

The pair were arrested July 24 after Albany County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a tip that the child was caged outside a home on Fox Creek Road.

The July 24 visit was not the only time the sheriff’s office was called to check on the child. Deputies went to the pair’s property on multiple occasions starting in February of this year.

Deputies said the child reported living in the 6-by-6-foot cage on and off for three weeks, taking meals there and sleeping there overnight, even during rainstorms….

The child’s school had complained to the sheriff’s office several times – saying the child had come to school with bruises and a limp. But each time, the sheriff’s office said the reports were unfounded. At one point, deputies witnessed the kid pulling food out of a garbage can and eating it in front of them.

Neighbors told 9NEWS they saw the abuse firsthand but didn’t report it, because they were scared of retribution from the mother’s boyfriend….
http://www.9news.com/story/news/crime/2014/08/05/caged-child/13634807/

SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets

SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets

By David Gibson Religion News Service July 29, 2014

When victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests first organized into a small band of volunteer activists in the late 1980s, reports of clergy molesting children were still new and relatively few. Most were minimized as anomalies or dismissed altogether — much the way the victims were.

But today, as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, marks its 25th anniversary at a conference in Chicago (Aug. 1-3), its members can take satisfaction in seeing that its claims have been validated, and a few (though hardly all) of its recommendations have been implemented by the church hierarchy.

And instead of facing constant verbal attacks and the occasional angry parishioner spitting on them at a protest, SNAP’s members today are far more likely to receive a handshake and a word of thanks, and maybe even a donation.

SNAP’s advocacy on the Catholic scandal also helped push the reality of sexual abuse into the public consciousness to the point that victims can regularly win in courts and get a hearing in the media, and they are much more likely to come forward to tell their stories, whether they were abused by clergy or by athletic coaches or Boy Scout leaders….

The group began life in the late 1980s, a couple of years after journalists — led by Jason Berry’s reporting on abusive clerics in Louisiana — began to pull back the veil of secrecy on the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy.

As the reports came to light, Barbara Blaine, a lawyer and social worker who had been molested by a priest when she was growing up in Toledo, Ohio, started contacting as many other victims as she could find, posting ads and asking prosecutors and attorneys to put her in touch with other victims.

SNAP soon developed a core membership of a few thousand people, mainly victims, who met in small support groups while also trying to push the issue onto the public agenda. It was a tough slog in the face of public indifference or outright hostility.

Then in January 2002, The Boston Globe began its groundbreaking series of exposes on the widespread abuse of children by priests in the Boston archdiocese, and the cover-up by bishops. The story caught fire and led to similar revelations across the nation and to an unprecedented level of media coverage, prosecutions, lawsuits and billions in payouts by dioceses….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/snaps-clergy-abuse-victims-mark-25-years-and-eye-new-targets/2014/07/29/6bc92466-1752-11e4-88f7-96ed767bb747_story.html

Effects Of Child Abuse And Neglect On The Brain, Man Charged With Child Abuse in Kenya

Effects Of Child Abuse And Neglect On The Brain Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of children suffer from neglect, abuse and trauma during their early years. Many of the psychological consequences are well known, but it’s becoming increasingly clear just how damaging they are to the developing brain.

Today in the final part of our series from WBUR called “Brain Matters: Reporting from the Frontlines of Neuroscience,” Iris Adler looks at a key issue in brain development: the biological consequences of early childhood neglect and trauma.
http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/07/23/child-abuse-brain-effects

Man Charged in Oklahoma With Child Abuse in Kenya
OKLAHOMA CITY — Jul 22, 2014
By SEAN MURPHY Associated Press

An Oklahoma man has been charged with sexually abusing boys and girls while volunteering at an organization in Kenya that assists neglected children.

Matthew Lane Durham, of Edmond, is accused of engaging in sex acts with as many as ten children aged from 4 to 10 years while volunteering at Upendo Children’s Home in Nairobi from April to June 2014.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Western Oklahoma last week says the 19-year-old Durham has volunteered with Upendo since June 2012.

Durham wrote and signed a confession that an Upendo official provided to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, according to an affidavit filed by FBI agent Scott Lobb.

In it, he admitted to sexually abusing boys and girls in a bathroom at the children’s home. At least one of the victims is HIV positive, according to the affidavit….

Durham’s attorney Stephen Jones said Tuesday the affidavit is riddled with inaccuracies and that his client is innocent….
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/man-charged-oklahoma-child-abuse-kenya-24662622

UK to Investigate Claims of Child Abuse Cover-Up, The alleged paedophile ring at the heart of the British Establishment

UK to Investigate Claims of Child Abuse Cover-Up
LONDON – Jul 7, 2014
By JILL LAWLESS Associated Press

The British government vowed Monday to discover whether public institutions have exposed vulnerable children to sexual abuse — and whether authorities suppressed abuse allegations to protect politicians and other powerful people.

Home Secretary Theresa May said a panel of legal and child-protection experts would investigate how public agencies, including governments and hospitals, handled child-abuse allegations. She said she set up the inquiry after “appalling cases of organized and persistent” sexual abuse, including decades of assaults by the late TV host Jimmy Savile.

“Some of these cases have exposed a failure by public bodies to take their responsibilities seriously,” May told the House of Commons.

May said a related investigation, led by National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children chief executive Peter Wanless, would examine whether abuse claims handed to authorities in the 1980s were lost or destroyed to protect wrongdoers.

Last year, an internal government inquiry found that 114 files relating to allegations of child abuse that were handed to officials had been lost or destroyed….

Savile was exposed after his death in 2011 as a predatory pedophile who assaulted victims in hospitals, children’s homes and TV studios.

TV entertainer Rolf Harris was sentenced last week to almost six years in prison after being convicted of 12 counts of abusing girls.

Several recent cases in which gangs of men have been convicted of sexually exploiting girls in the care of local authorities also exposed failures by police and social services.

And after the 2010 death of Liberal Democrat lawmaker Cyril Smith, prosecutors acknowledged that in 1970 eight men accused Smith of abusing them as teens. Prosecutors said Smith was never charged but should have been.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/uk-investigate-claims-child-abuse-cover-24448962

The alleged paedophile ring at the heart of the British Establishment
Investigation in to alleged child abuse ring in Westminster dogged by claims of cover ups and missing files
By Tom Whitehead, Security Editor 06 Jul 2014

The country was still reeling from the horrors of the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal that saw the BBC accused of cover up and culture of secrecy to protect itself.

But the expose opened the door on a potentially even more explosive scandal – the claims of a VIP Westminster paedophile ring operating from the heart of the British Establishment from the 1960s onwards.

It has led to allegations of a massive cover up across Whitehall spanning decades, pressure on the police and prosecutors not to pursue cases and the apparent disappearance of key dossiers and files detailing claims of child abuse and alleged attackers.

More than 10 current and former politicians are said to be on a list of alleged child abusers now being investigated by police and the pressure is growing for a public inquiry.

But the belated investigations only serve to highlight decades of apparent inaction in the corridors of power to get to the truth despite relentless campaigning by a number of MPs.

The story begins with Cyril Smith, the late Liberal Democrat MP, who was exposed as an alleged paedophile in 2012, two years after his death, aged 82.

Rumours of child abuse had dogged the 29-stone Rochdale politician throughout his career but no action was ever taken.

As early as the 1960s, he allegedly routinely assaulted young boys, especially in children’s homes and special schools in his home town, where he was MP from 1972 to 1992.

He was also said to have been a visitor to the notorious Elm Guest house in South-west London, now the focus of a Scotland Yard investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring

It was claimed earlier this year that police received 144 complaints against him over the years but no prosecution was ever brought fuelling allegations he was protected by influential friends….

However, Smith was only one of a number of alleged high profile child abusers within Westminster said to have been named in a 40-page dossier submitted to the Home Office by the late campaigning Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983.

Mr Dickens told his family at the time that it named leading public figures, including senior politicians, and was going to “blow it all apart”.

It was also said to contain information on the notorious Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) which was set up in 1974 to promote and lobby the legalisation of sexual activity between minors and adults….

The then Home Secretary Lord (Leon) Brittan was sent the file but no record of any subsequent criminal inquiry has been found and the dossier itself has disappeared….

It is understood more than 10 current and former politicians are now on a list of alleged child abusers held by police investigating claims of a Westminster paedophile ring.

MPs or peers from all three main political parties are on the list, which includes former ministers and household names….
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10950111/The-alleged-paedophile-ring-at-the-heart-of-the-British-Establishment.html

Fear of child abuse cover up secret dossier at the heart of establishment

Fear of child abuse cover up secret dossier at the heart of establishment

THE grim catalogue of sexual depravity by celebrities continues. This week’s conviction of Rolf Harris follows the jailing of presenter Stuart Hall and publicist Max Cliffford for serial abuse of under-age girls.

By: Leo McKinstry Thu, July 3, 2014

In addition there has been a stream of appalling revelations about the perverted activities of those two paedophile knights: sinister entertainer Sir Jimmy Savile and gargantuan Liberal politician Sir Cyril Smith, both of whom went to their graves without being brought to justice.

In all these cases what is so shocking is not just the scale of abuse but also the fact that these dangerous predators were allowed to get away with their crimes for so long.

Inevitably the failure by the state to take any action against these high-profile abusers has prompted concerns about a major cover-up within the establishment, reflecting the desire of officials and politicians to protect their own….

In one fascinating illustration of this apparent complacency he said that in 1984 Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens had presented the home secretary of the time, Leon Brittan, with a comprehensive dossier about a paedophile network operating within Westminster.

It’s not clear what happened to the dossier or if any serious investigations were pursued. Dickens complained that his stance against child abuse meant that he was subjected to a brutal campaign of harassment including two break-ins and the appearance of his name on the hit list of a notorious contract killer.

In the early 1980s Dickens was regarded as something of a crank. Today, given what we know about abuse, he could be seen as a moral visionary. Yesterday, in response to Danczuk’s intervention, Lord Brittan issued a statement in which he said he had asked his office “to look carefully” at the dossier he had been handed.

But Brittan did not explain what ultimately happened to it. As a result his declaration will do little to lessen suspicions about complacency. This is not just about a few individual cases it is about a culture that appeared to allow entire institutions to be exploited by paedophiles, with the political class providing a shield to hide abuse….
http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/leo-mckinstry/486431/Fear-of-child-abuse-cover-up-at-the-heart-of-establishment

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