Former children’s TV show host is linked to child abuse case, Study Links Child Abuse, Neglect to Earlier Onset of Bipolar Disorder

February 12, 2016 Comments Off on Former children’s TV show host is linked to child abuse case, Study Links Child Abuse, Neglect to Earlier Onset of Bipolar Disorder

Former children’s TV show host is linked to child abuse case  By Associated Press February 11, 2016
A California judge has determined that a man recently arrested in a San Diego suburb is a fugitive wanted in a 1979 child sexual abuse investigation in Louisiana, where he was a children’s TV show host known as “Mr. Wonder.”

A San Diego County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday after a brief identity hearing.

Authorities say Frank John Selas III assumed a new identity in the San Diego area, where he often invited children to his house to swim and was a Cub Scout leader. He was arrested in January.

The ruling sets the stage for extradition proceedings to begin.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-childrens-tv-show-host-child-abuse-20160211-story.html

Study Links Child Abuse, Neglect to Earlier Onset of Bipolar Disorder   HealthDay Feb. 11, 2016  By Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) — People with bipolar disorder who have a history of being abused or neglected as children may have more severe symptoms and a higher risk of suicide, new research suggests.

“Our findings have important implications for clinical practice, as they suggest that a history of childhood maltreatment could be used as an early indicator of high risk for poor outcomes among individuals with bipolar disorder,” said study author Jessica Agnew-Blais, a postdoctoral researcher at King’s College London in England.

“This information could be valuable for identifying patients with bipolar disorder who may benefit from greater support and treatment,” she said in a college news release.

The researchers reviewed 30 studies. While they only found an association, rather than a cause-and-effect link, they said bipolar patients who suffered from neglect or physical, sexual or emotional abuse as children were more likely to have more severe manic, depressive and psychotic symptoms compared to those who weren’t abused.

People with bipolar disorder who were abused as children also had a higher risk of anxiety disorders and substance and alcohol abuse disorders, the research showed.

Those abused as children developed bipolar symptoms more than four years earlier, the study found. They also were nearly four times more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder. And they were nearly twice as likely to attempt suicide as those who weren’t mistreated during childhood, the researchers said…. The study was published Feb. 9 in The Lancet Psychiatry.
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2016-02-11/study-links-child-abuse-neglect-to-earlier-onset-of-bipolar-disorder

Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says, Beyond clergy: Ex-Boy Scouts tap Minn. law to press sex abuse claims

February 11, 2016 Comments Off on Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says, Beyond clergy: Ex-Boy Scouts tap Minn. law to press sex abuse claims

Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says
Vatican guide says ‘not necessarily’ bishop’s duty to report suspects to police despite Pope Francis’s vows to redress Catholic church’s legacy of child abuse

Cardinal Bernard Law, who was forced to resign over sexual abuse scandals in his Boston archdiocese, where 150 priests were accused of molesting children.

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
Wednesday 10 February 2016

The Catholic church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.

A document that spells out how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse, which was recently released by the Vatican, emphasised that, though they must be aware of local laws, bishops’ only duty was to address such allegations internally.

According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds, the training document states.

The training guidelines were written by a controversial French monsignor and psychotherapist, Tony Anatrella, who serves as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family. The Vatican released the guidelines – which are part of a broader training programme for newly named bishops at a press conference earlier this month and is now seeking feedback.

Details of the Catholic church’s policy were first reported in a column by a veteran Vatican journalist, John Allen, associate editor of the Catholic news site, Cruxnow.com.

Allen noted that a special commission created by Pope Francis, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, had appeared to play no role in the training programme, even though it is supposed to be developing “best practices” to prevent and deal with clerical abuse.

Indeed, a church official familiar with the commission on abuse said it was the committee’s position that reporting abuse to civil authorities was a “moral obligation, whether the civil law requires it or not”. The official said the committee would be involved in future training efforts….
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/10/catholic-bishops-not-obliged-report-clerical-child-abuse-vatican-says

Beyond clergy: Ex-Boy Scouts tap Minn. law to press sex abuse claims
Todd Melby Feb 10, 2016
Jim McDonough is suing the Boy Scouts of America and its North Star Council claiming he was sexually abused by his scoutmaster….

Many stories like McDonough’s have come to light in the nearly three years since the Legislature passed the Minnesota Child Victims Act. Most have been focused on the hundreds of claims made against priests accused of sexually abusing children.

But the law, which extends the statute of limitations for older abuse claims, wasn’t written to respond exclusively to clergy abuse. And the Catholic Church hasn’t been the only target of lawsuits aimed at shedding light on a hidden past. Boy Scout organizations are also grappling with accusations of child molestation.

McDonough decided to use the law to sue the Boy Scouts of America and one of its local affiliates, the Northern Star Council. At least 16 lawsuits are pending in Minnesota against the Boy Scouts, including McDonough’s civil action. Most target the Northern Star Council. Three other lawsuits list another council as a defendant. At least 12 additional suits are expected to be filed before the law’s May 25 deadline….

McDonough’s suit seeks at least $50,000 from the Scouts. The Northern Star Council, which represent troops in 21 Minnesota counties and four counties in western Wisconsin, declined to talk about abuse suits filed by McDonough and others….

One of McDonough’s lawyers, Peter Janci, won a $19.9 million verdict against the Boy Scouts in 2010 in Portland, Ore. Janci says that when it comes to sexual abuse against children, the Boy Scouts have some things in common with the Roman Catholic Church.

“They both involve organizations that really believe in their mission. At times, that has led to them to make decisions where they put reputation of the organization above safety and health of individuals,” he said.

In the case of the Boy Scouts of America, that included the creation of what it called “ineligible volunteer” files, Janci said. When the Scouts learned that a volunteer had sexually molested or raped a child, it often created a file so it could bar that person from volunteering in another city or state.

Between 1955 and 1984, the Boy Scouts of America created 1,300 of these files. A judge ordered those files released, with some information redacted, after the Portland trial.

A small percentage of the “ineligible volunteer” files were atheists or homosexuals. The Scouts barred gay men and lesbians from the organization until just recently. But the vast majority of files focused on sexual molestation. They became known as the “Perversion Files.”

The Boy Scouts has been keeping secret tabs on suspected abusers since the 1920s, but it didn’t routinely report those people to police. The organization began requiring “mandatory reporting of suspected abuse” in 2011….
http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/02/10/ex-boy-scouts-tap-minnesota-sex-abuse-law

Horrifying regime of violence and sexual abuse, Congress moves to confront military child abuse with Talia’s Law

February 10, 2016 Comments Off on Horrifying regime of violence and sexual abuse, Congress moves to confront military child abuse with Talia’s Law

REVEALED: A horrifying regime of violence and sexual abuse: This chilling Mail dossier exposes the vital evidence the Deepcut coroner refuses to hear
By RICHARD PENDLEBURY FOR THE DAILY MAIL 9 February 2016
Private Kate Wilson claims she was assaulted and sexually harassed
Said she witnessed horrific abuse after joining Army as a teenage recruit
She spoke out as second inquest into death of Private Cheryl James began
Mail investigation has revealed that a ‘wider culture of sexual abuse’ within the Army may be what the Deepcut coroner should now be considering
By Richard Pendlebury for the Daily Mail
For Private Kate Wilson, the final insult came when an administrative major at Deepcut Barracks — a man — told her: ‘What you don’t seem to realise is that you are just a number to us. We have no further use for you.’

In the 18 months since Private Wilson had joined as a teenage recruit, the British Army had ‘used’ her in a quite horrific fashion.

She had, she says, been viciously assaulted for refusing to sleep with one of her bosses, sexually harassed by other male non-commissioned officers, urinated upon while asleep, and, finally, crippled for life thanks to the carelessness of a misogynistic instructor.

That injury — a broken hip — led to her interview with that callous major, and a medical discharge from the career she had wanted since she was four years old. She still suffers with the injury 20 years later.

Wilson was by no means unique. During her ‘training’, she had witnessed a serious but unpunished sexual assault by an instructor on one of her sleeping female room-mates, and the daily abuse of other vulnerable female recruits — little more than children — by much older NCOs.

‘These were men with no honour and no pride,’ she told me this week. ‘We were kids, and they were monsters; vile and barbaric. A lot of people in the Army who could have helped knew what was happening — and yet they did nothing.’….
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3439710/A-horrifying-regime-violence-sexual-abuse-chilling-Mail-dossier-exposes-vital-evidence-Deepcut-coroner-refuses-hear.html

Congress moves to confront military child abuse with Talia’s Law
By Drew Gerber, Medill News Service
The House on Tuesday passed a bill that would require anyone employed by the Defense Department to report cases of suspected child abuse on military installations to state child protective service agencies in addition to reporting such suspected crimes up their chain of command.

The legislation was approved by voice vote and sent to the Senate for consideration.

Called Talia’s Law, the bill is named for five-year-old Talia Williams who was tortured and beaten to death by her father — an active-duty Army specialist at the time — and step-mother in 2005 at Wheeler Army Airfield in Hawaii.

Talia’s mother, Tarshia Williams, sued the U.S. government in 2008 for what she argued were failures by military officials to report suspicions that her daughter was being abused. Williams was awarded $2 million in a settlement last May…..

Citing the 29,000 cases of child abuse and neglect in the military in the past decade, Gabbard said on the House floor Tuesday that her bill creates the same protections for military children that exist for any other child.

Rates of child abuse and neglect in the military, though half the rate typically seen in the civilian population, have been on the rise since 2010, according to a 2014 memorandum from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Rosemary Williams….
http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/family/2016/02/09/congress-moves-confront-military-child-abuse-talias-law/80089648/

Female genital cutting, Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns, Internet trolling: teenagers suffered online abuse, Catholic church alleged abuse at UK school, Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl

February 9, 2016 Comments Off on Female genital cutting, Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns, Internet trolling: teenagers suffered online abuse, Catholic church alleged abuse at UK school, Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl

– I’m a survivor of female genital cutting and I’m speaking out – as others must too
– Replace female genital mutilation with new rites of passage, says UN chief
– Expert Details Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns
– Internet trolling: quarter of teenagers suffered online abuse last year
– Catholic church pays compensation over alleged abuse at UK school
– Keighley abuse: Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl

I’m a survivor of female genital cutting and I’m speaking out – as others must too
Maryum Saifee
My aunt cut my genitals when I was seven years old. The culture of silence surrounding this FGM/C means laws alone won’t stop it
Monday 8 February 2016

Ifor a final, only half-listening to a fellow classmate describe her research project. “Female genital mutilation is the partial or total cutting of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons,” she mechanically described. “The procedure typically take places when the girl is seven years old. The process is usually carried out by an older female relative. And once the ritual takes place, it is almost never discussed.” As she spoke, goosebumps began to form and I sat paralysed in my seat. Memories I had suppressed since childhood came flooding to the foreground….

My aunt was a doctor. So when she led me downstairs to her clinic and instructed me to lie flat on my back on her operating table, I didn’t think to question her authority. With no anaesthetic and very little warning, she performed the ritualised cut. After it was over, we headed back to the party in silence….

When I confronted my parents, they were stunned. My aunt had carried out the ritual without their consent. My father felt a unique betrayal. This was the same little sister he encouraged to pursue medicine in the first place. He had no idea that female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C) was even practised within the Dawoodi Bohra community, a Shia subsect from India’s coastal state of Gujarat….

Like other forms of gender-based violence, FGM/C is a manifestation of power and means of controlling the sexuality of women and girls. In recent years, many countries have passed laws to criminalise the practice of FGM/C. Yet, it is an extraordinarily difficult crime to prosecute. Laws alone are not enough. For there to be a sustainable end to this practice, there has to be a radical culture change from the ground up, that promotes zero tolerance to any and all forms of excision….
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/feb/08/victim-fgm-speaking-out-cut-genitals-culture-of-silence


Replace female genital mutilation with new rites of passage, says UN chief

By Sebastien Malo  Mon Feb 8, 2016
NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – New, unharmful rites of passage should replace female genital mutilation, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday after new data showed there were more victims of the custom than previously estimated.

The call by the U.N. Secretary-General was heard by diplomats, campaigners and survivors gathered at the U.N. headquarters in New York to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, which fell on Saturday.

“I am especially inspired by communities that find better ways to mark the rite of passage into womanhood,” said Ban.

He gave the example of young girls in Kenya and Tanzania spending a week away from their families to learn life skills instead of being cut.

The U.N.’s children’s agency UNICEF said on Friday more than 200 million girls and women globally have suffered genital mutilation, far higher than previously estimated….
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-rights-women-fgm-idUSKCN0VH23R

Expert Details Sloppy Police Work of Mormon Towns
By JAMIE ROSS Friday, February 05, 2016 Courthouse News Service
PHOENIX (CN) – The Marshal’s Office in two towns on the Arizona-Utah border failed to investigate claims of child abuse or timely complete reports, an expert witness for the Justice Department testified Thursday during a religious discrimination trial.
Colorado City, Ariz. and Hildale, Utah are largely made up of followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Department of Justice sued the towns in 2012, accusing them of denying non-church members access to police protection, water and electricity. The sect’s leader, Warren Jeffs, is serving life in prison for sexually assaulting 12- and 15-year-old girls, whom he called his spiritual wives.
Joseph De Lopez, a former deputy superintendent for the Chicago Police Department hired to review policies of the Colorado City Marshal’s Office, told the jury the towns’ Marshal Office did not investigate reports that town members married underage girls.
“Not only should there be an Internal Affairs investigation if it involves an officer, but a criminal investigation,” De Lopez testified.
On Wednesday, the towns’ former Chief Marshal Helaman Barlow testified that the Marshal’s Office ignored claims of underage marriages.
“If it was a church marriage, I as a church member saw it as a valid marriage,” Barlow testified.
On Thursday, De Lopez said this was just one of the Marshal’s Office’s many “deficiencies” in investigating and documenting alleged crimes and failing to train its officers….
http://www.courthousenews.com/2016/02/05/expert-details-sloppy-police-work-of-mormon-towns.htm

Internet trolling: quarter of teenagers suffered online abuse last year
Survey of 13- to 18-year-olds reveals teenagers with disabilities and those from minority ethnic backgrounds are more likely to encounter cyberbullying
Four in five adolescents surveyed said they had recently seen or heard online hate.
Aisha Gani Monday 8 February 2016
One in four teenagers suffered hate incidents online last year, a figure described by experts as a “wake-up call” on the impact of internet trolling.

The survey of 13- to 18-year-olds found that 24% had been targeted due to their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability or transgender identity. One in 25 said they were singled out for abuse all or most of the time.

Will Gardner, chief executive of the charity Childnet and director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, which published the study, said: “It is a wake-up call for all of us to play our part in helping create a better internet for all, to ensure that everyone can benefit from the opportunities that technology provides for building mutual respect and dialogue, facilitating rights, and empowering everyone to be able to express themselves and be themselves online – whoever they are.”

The survey also found four in five adolescents had seen or heard online hate during the previous 12 months. Researchers defined such abuse as offensive, mean or threatening, and either targeted directly at a person or group or generally shared online.

Teenagers with disabilities and those from African, Caribbean, Asian, Middle Eastern and other minority ethnic groups were more likely to encounter cyberbullying, the report concluded…..
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/feb/09/internet-trolling-teenagers-online-abuse-hate-cyberbullying

Keighley abuse: Twelve men jailed for sexually exploiting girl
8 February 2016
Twelve men who sexually exploited a vulnerable teenage girl in West Yorkshire have received jail sentences of up to 20 years.

Eleven were jailed at Bradford Crown Court after being convicted of raping the girl in Keighley from the age of 13.

Another man was sentenced for sexual activity with the same girl.

The trial heard how the teenager was repeatedly attacked over a period of 13 months, between 2011 and 2012….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-35524340

Catholic church pays compensation over alleged abuse at UK school
Leslie Turner was paid £17,000 compensation after claiming two members of Christian Brothers abused him at school in Sunderland in 1960s
Jenny Kleeman and Helen Pidd
Leslie Turner: ‘The abuse was so common it became normal’
Wednesday 3 February 2016
The Catholic church continues to quietly pay out compensation to victims of alleged sex abuse at Catholic schools in Britain while refusing to accept liability.

Leslie Turner, a retired primary headteacher, was paid £17,000 in compensation by the Irish Christian Brothers in 2014, after claiming two members of the Catholic order sexually abused him at school in Sunderland in the 1960s.

Turner, now 66, has waived his anonymity in a film for the Guardian to allege he was molested from the age of 12 by two teachers at St Aidan’s Roman Catholic grammar school in Sunderland between 1961 and 1967. Both are long dead, but he sued after being diagnosed with delayed onset post-traumatic stress disorder in 2012 as a result of what he says he suffered as a child.

“After the abuse stopped was actually worse than when the abuse was taking place,” Turner told the Guardian. “I tried to become invisible. It never occurred to me to tell anybody. When the headteacher has been abusing you, who do you tell? I put it into a cupboard in my head and I shut the cupboard door.”

Turner is speaking out as the film Spotlight, is released in UK cinemas, which tells the story of the Boston Globe’s investigation into sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Boston in 2002. The Globe’s investigation helped unveil a pattern of abuse by Catholic priests on a global scale…..
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/03/catholic-church-pays-compensation-over-alleged-abuse-at-uk-school

The Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Child Abuse 2016 Conference – May 2016

February 6, 2016 Comments Off on The Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Child Abuse 2016 Conference – May 2016

The Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Child Abuse 2016 Conference – May 2016

On May 7 – 8, 2016 Survivorship will have a conference at the Executive Inn & Suite – 1755 Embaracadero – Oakland, CA 94606.

Two days of survivor and professional workshops, a great price, good food, a safe environment and working with others who are survivors. Working together in this unique opportunity to bring the survivor movement forward.
https://survivorship.org/survivorship-ritual-abuse-and-child-abuse-2016-conference/

Speakers will include:  Wendy Hoffman, Dr. Alison Miller, Dr. Steve Frankel, Neil Brick, Dr. Randy Noblitt, Pam Perksin and others.

To register for our conference or to get on our conference mailing list, please write conference2016@survivorship.org

Judge Won’t Stop Bill Cosby Sex Assault Trial Due to Old ‘Deal’

February 4, 2016 Comments Off on Judge Won’t Stop Bill Cosby Sex Assault Trial Due to Old ‘Deal’

Judge Won’t Stop Bill Cosby Sex Assault Trial Due to Old ‘Deal’ Feb 3 2016

A Pennsylvania judge ruled Wednesday that a sexual assault case against Bill Cosby can move forward after finding that a 2005 decision not to charge him with a crime doesn’t stop prosecutors from putting him on trial now.

The actor’s lawyers claimed that the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office made a no-prosecution deal a decade ago that is still in force, but the current DA argued it wasn’t a binding agreement.

After a two-day hearing, the judge decided not to toss out a charge of aggravated indecent assault against the 78-year-old comedian, setting the stage for a trial.

The charge stems from allegations by Andrea Constand that Cosby drugged and molested her at his home in the Philadelphia suburbs in 2004.

Cosby’s lead defense attorney, Brian McMonagle, declined to say Wednesday whether he will appeal the judge’s decision, but Cosby’s attorneys have that option.

Cosby’s publicist said the decision will be appealed. “After two days’ presentation of evidence and law in support of Mr. Cosby’s habeas petition, the decision reached by the court was wrong,” publicist Andrew Wyatt said….

Cosby has denied any criminal wrongdoing. In a deposition he gave in a lawsuit filed by Constand, he admitted he gave her Benadryl and wine but said the encounter was consensual….
http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/bill-cosby-scandal/judge-won-t-stop-bill-cosby-sex-assault-trial-due-n510746

Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand, Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California, Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits, Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

February 3, 2016 Comments Off on Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand, Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California, Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits, Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand
By Nicole Weisensee Egan  02/02/2016
Even though he declined to charge Bill Cosby when sexual assault allegations were brought to him in 2005, and despite spending much of his testimony Tuesday alleging that accuser Andrea Constand’s story had “inconsistencies,” former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr. nonetheless testified he thinks Constand was telling the truth.

“I believed Ms. Constand’s account,” Castor said at a hearing in Norristown, Pennsylvania. “What I think and what is provable in a courtroom are two different things. What I think is that Andrea Constand was inappropriately touched by Mr. Cosby.

“I’m analyzing back in 2005 what I can prove,” Castor said. “All of those combined together in my mind created a situation where she had ruined her own credibility and would not be believed by a juror. That does not mean she was not telling the truth.”

Castor testified he never interviewed or even met Constand himself. He testified for more than six hours Tuesday at a pre-trial hearing, and was the only witness to testify.

Constand, 42, is the former director of operations for the Temple University women’s basketball team who went to authorities in January 2005 with allegations that, in January 2004, Cosby gave her pills at his house that knocked her out and then sexually assaulted her.

Castor, the Montgomery County district attorney at the time, did not file criminal charges, but after Constand sued Cosby, she and the comedian agreed to a civil settlement in late 2006.

Cosby has denied Constand’s allegation, saying the sexual contact was consensual. He has also denied similar allegations from more than 50 other women…. http://www.people.com/article/bill-cosby-former-prosecutor-says-he-believes-accuser-andrea-constand

Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California
Maria Puente, USA TODAY  February 2, 2016

As Bill Cosby faced criminal sexual-assault charges in a Pennsylvania courthouse on Tuesday, there was good news and bad news for him in civil court in Los Angeles.

Chloe Goins, the youngest and most recent of Cosby’s five-dozen accusers, dropped her civil suit against him, according to the Associated Press, which cited federal court records showing the suit was dropped without explanation.

Meanwhile, in another civil case in Los Angeles, Cosby was ordered to sit for another grilling in a deposition for a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused accuser Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15.

Depositions have not been good for Cosby: His testimony in a deposition in a civil suit filed by an accuser in 2005 played a role in the filing of the criminal charges against him in Pennsylvania.

Cosby resisted sitting for the first deposition in the Huth case but was ordered by a judge to do so. When he didn’t answer every question, Huth’s attorney, Gloria Allred (who represents nearly half of the five-dozen women who have accused Cosby), sought to compel him to sit for another….

The Los Angeles district attorney declined last month to file charges against Cosby in connection with Goins’ accusations because the California statute of limitations for sexual assault had expired.

She had earlier filed a civil suit in federal court against Cosby alleging sexual battery. It was one of a half-dozen civil suits pending against Cosby stemming from the accusations that he had drugged and/or raped dozens of women in episodes dating to the mid-1960s. .

It is not clear why Goins dropped the suit, but when a plaintiff moves to dismiss her own lawsuit it often means the parties have come to a settlement. And often such a settlement is confidential.

One other accuser suit against Cosby, for defamation, was dismissed by a judge in Pittsburgh last month.

Goins’ lawyer, Spencer Kuvins, declined to comment. Cosby’s spokesman did not return emails seeking comment…. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2016/02/02/civil-suit-against-bill-cosby-dismissed-accuser/79698200/

EXCLUSIVE: Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits
Jan 29, 2016   By Keoki Kerr
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

The Roman Catholic Church has reached settlements in 30 lawsuits filed by people in Hawaii who claim they were sexually abused by priests decades ago when they were children.

They are among 63 people who have made abuse allegations against priests in 40 lawsuits, according to legal documents obtained by Hawaii News Now.

Some of the cases have been reported in the media, such as the 2012 lawsuit filed by Mark Pinkosh claiming two priests at St. Anthony Church in Kailua sexually abused him.

Pinkosh said when he told then-Father Joseph Ferrario that another priest had raped him, Ferrario told him to keep the incidents secret and then Ferrario raped him.  Ferrario, who is now deceased, went on to become the bishop of the Catholic Church in Hawaii.

Other cases have been kept quiet, with the plaintiffs listed as John or Jane Roe.

Hawaii News Now has learned that Pinkosh and 62 other alleged victims of priest sex abuse went to mediation last year with the Catholic Church to try to settle their 40 lawsuits…. http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/31095979/exclusive-catholic-church-settles-30-of-40-priest-sex-abuse-lawsuits

Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

Lawyer calls for trial to be held on Pitcairn Island, not in Auckland, as ex-mayor Michael Warren denies all 25 charges
Elle Hunt Tuesday 2 February 2016

The lawyer representing a former Pitcairn Island mayor facing charges of possessing child abuse films and photos has said the case should be dealt with under local laws rather than by a court in New Zealand.

Michael Warren, who served as mayor of the tiny British territory in the South Pacific from 2008 to 2013, appeared by video link from Pitcairn to an Auckland courtroom on Monday to deny 25 charges relating to more than 1,000 child abuse films, images and messages.

As mayor in 2010, it was alleged in court, Warren accidentally sent an email to a diplomatic staff member from an address in someone else’s name.

It was further alleged in court that the staff member searched for the address online and found it was linked to an online chat site containing explicit material.

Sergeant Geoff Medland, an officer seconded to Pitcairn Island in 2009 as part of the assistance provided by New Zealand police to the territory, was made aware of the allegations in late April 2010.

The crown alleges Medland found more than 1,000 child abuse images and videos in a search of Warren’s home on 26 May 2010.

Warren was arrested by Medland on behalf of the British high commission and charged with 20 counts of possessing child sexual abuse content under section 160 of the UK’s Criminal Justice Act 1988. He also received five charges under the Pitcairn summary offences ordinance for possession of indecent articles involving adults….

Warren pleaded not guilty in March 2013.

Pitcairn, settled in 1789 by Fletcher Christian and the mutineering crew of the Bounty, is a group of four volcanic islands that form the last British overseas territory in the Pacific. It has a population of about 50 people, originating from four families.

The hearing is set down for a week in Auckland and will reconvene on Pitcairn Island later this month.

In 2004 and 2006, seven of the island’s 12 men faced a total of 55 sex crimes, some dating back 40 years. Six were found guilty, with four sentenced to jail terms of up to five years. The crimes included rape, incest and indecent assault against girls from the age of seven. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/03/pitcairn-mayor-charged-with-possessing-child-abuse-material-wants-to-face-local-law

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