300 victims groomed and assaulted by Oxfordshire gangs, Ten men charged over Rochdale child abuse claim

300 victims groomed and assaulted by Oxfordshire gangs, report finds
Serious case review finds failings by police and social services as it identifies hundreds of victims

By Telegraph reporter

A damning report is expected to disclose that more than 300 young people have been groomed and sexually exploited by gangs in Oxfordshire over the past 15 years.

Systemic failures by police and social services meant victims were subjected to years of sexual torture, rape and trafficking, it is understood….

The report comes after seven men were jailed for a string of horrendous child sex crimes against six victims, aged between 11 and 15, over a seven-year period….

It is expected to condemn Thames Valley Police and Oxfordshire social services for failing to act.

Key findings are will expose how police officers and social workers failed to believe the girls when they detailed the abuse they were suffering, and dismissed their complaints.. .. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/11443868/300-victims-groomed-and-assaulted-by-Oxfordshire-gangs-report-finds.html

Ten men charged over Rochdale child abuse claim 2 March 2015

Ten men have been charged by police investigating child sexual exploitation in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

The men are accused of a catalogue of serious sex offences against seven females aged between 13 and 23 at the time of the alleged abuse, police said.

They were held under Operation Doublet, investigating child sexual exploitation of teen girls by older men in Rochdale.

The offences are alleged to have happened between 2005 and 2013.

They include rape, conspiracy to rape, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, sexual activity with a child and sexual assault….

“So far, 65 people have been arrested as part of Operation Doublet and the investigation continues…. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-manchester-31695832

Jimmy Savile: Hospital staff knew of abuse, report finds, Savile received a knighthood, Posed for the cameras with Prince Charles and Princess Diana

- Jeremy Hunt to apologise to Savile victims as ‘horrific’ scale of abuse emerges
An official report will reveal that Jimmy Savile allegedly assaulted and raped at least 44 victims at a single hospital
– In 1978, five years before he (Savile) had posed for the cameras with Prince Charles and Princess Diana at the opening of the new National Spinal Injury Centre
– Savile was so famous in Britain that he had met British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and received a knighthood.

Jimmy Savile: Hospital staff knew of abuse, report finds
Report finds that NHS hospital staff knew about Jimmy Savile abuse, hospital staff apologise for failings

By Charlotte Krol, and AP, video source Sky
26 Feb 2015

Two new reports into widespread sex abuse by the late BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) entertainer Jimmy Savile have found that victims’ complaints about his activities were ignored.

The reports released on Thursday showed an extensive pattern of abuse by Savile at numerous National Health Service (NHS) hospitals where the celebrity broadcaster was given wide access to patients, even though he was known by some staff to be a sexual predator.

Savile was so famous in Britain that he had met British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and received a knighthood.

The reports detailed numerous cases of abuse of patients who were helpless to protect themselves.

One report concluded he had abused roughly 60 patients at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital where he was an active fundraiser.

The victims included an eight-year-old boy who had tonsil surgery, an 11-year-old girl being treated for cancer, a pregnant mother and a 19-year-old paralyzed woman.

The report suggests his crimes were known to some hospital staff as early as 1973, but no action was taken, allowing his attacks to continue for 20 years….
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/11438623/Jimmy-Savile-Hospital-staff-knew-of-abuse-report-finds.html

Jeremy Hunt to apologise to Savile victims as ‘horrific’ scale of abuse emerges
An official report will reveal that Jimmy Savile allegedly assaulted and raped at least 44 victims at a single hospital

By Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor  25 Feb 2015

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, will apologise to dozens of hospital patients who were abused by Jimmy Savile amid new allegations about the “horrific” scale of abuse.

An official report, published by barrister Kate Lampard on Thursday, will disclose allegations that Savile assaulted and raped at least 44 victims at Stoke Mandeville hospital.

The victims, some of whom were as young as eight, say that their complaints about Savile’s behaviour were ignored by the authorities.

A former children’s doctor has also been convicted of sexually assaulting young girls at the hospital in the 1970s and 1980s, raising fears that there may have been a paedophile ring operating at the hospital.

The victims are calling on the government to make it a criminal offence not to report child abuse, an approach known as “mandatory reporting”. David Cameron has previously suggested that he is supportive of new legislation.

The report will also examine allegations about Savile’s activity at a further 43 hospitals across the country.

One woman told the inquiry that she was abused when she was eight-years-old and recovering from cancer surgery. At the time she had 144 stitches across the lower part of her body as a result of an operation.

She says that when she raised her complaint with a ward sister, she was met with the response: “Be quiet, you silly girl. Do you realise how much he has done for the hospital.”….
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/11434635/Jeremy-Hunt-to-apologise-to-Savile-victims-as-horrific-scale-of-abuse-emerges.html

The great dictator: Inside the mind of Jimmy Savile
“I’ve got a great aptitude for dead people”: the grotesque details in the latest Savile report confirm the star’s pyschopathy, says the man who spent a decade getting to know him

By Dan Davies 26 Feb 2015

There was a framed picture in the bathroom of Jimmy Savile’s flat overlooking Roundhay Park in Leeds. It contained pictures of the most fearsome dictators of the 20th century and there, among the images of Hitler and Stalin and Mao Tse-tung, was Savile’s business card from Stoke Mandeville. I know because I spent many days at the flat. In fact, in all I spent six years interviewing him before his death – part of a decade long quest to find the real Jimmy Savile….

In 1978, five years before he had posed for the cameras with Prince Charles and Princess Diana at the opening of the new National Spinal Injury Centre, the moment when his fame and status within Britain were at their peak, Jimmy Savile described what he got out of the association with the Buckinghamshire hospital. “There are forty wards at Stoke Mandeville… and they are all filled with people; I will be able to do exactly what I feel like doing. If I feel like going on the ladies’ ward and pulling their legs, I can do that. If I want to go the kids’ ward and have a bit of a knock about, I can do that.”

Some might say that this would have seemed innocent at the time. Not true. In the same period a detective constable with the Thames Valley Police was contacted by a nurse at the hospital because staff were said to be worried that Savile was touching girls inappropriately during hospital visits. When the police officer reported the matter to a senior colleague, he was told: “Jimmy Savile is a high-profile man. He must be OK. He could not be doing anything irregular. Don’t worry about it.” It was, tragically, just one of many missed opportunities….
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/11437966/The-great-dictator-Inside-the-mind-of-Jimmy-Savile.html

Jimmy Savile scandal: DJ’s brother abused patients, visitors and staff at psychiatric hospital
Report uncovers complaints, from at least five patients, one visitor and one member of staff against Jimmy Savile’s brother Johnny

By Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent  26 Feb 2015

Jimmy Savile’s older brother, Johnny, abused at least seven patients, visitors and staff at a psychiatric hospital in south London, a report has found.

Johnny, who died in 1998 worked as a recreation officer at the Springfield Hospital in Tooting between 1978 and 1980.

But an investigation into his activities at the unit revealed how he traded on his association with his famous older brother to sexually abuse people at the hospital.

Allegations relating to five patients, one visitor and one member of staff have now been uncovered.

The report stated that “on the balance of probabilities” Johnny Savile raped at least one of the victims.
He was eventually dismissed for gross misconduct, relating to a sexual matter, in 1980….
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/11436419/Jimmy-Savile-scandal-DJs-brother-abused-patients-visitors-and-staff-at-psychiatric-hospital.html

Jersey care inquiry: Sexual abuse ‘was common’, Savile Abuse, ‘Beast of Jersey’, Former Haut de la Garenne resident tells of abuse, Three arrested over child abuse in Rotherham and Sheffield

Jersey care inquiry: Sexual abuse ‘was common’ 
10 February 2015
Consensual sex and sexual abuse were both common at the Haut de la Garenne children’s home in the 1980s, a care inquiry has heard.

Witness D, now in his 40s, told the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry he was too scared to report the abuse he suffered to the authorities.

He was in the home from 1981 until he left care in 1984.

His testimony suggested there was widespread abuse of residents by other residents….
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-jersey-31375308

‘Beast of Jersey’ claims heard by abuse inquiry 18 February 2015

The Jersey Care Inquiry is examining historical abuse in the care system
A notorious sex offender dubbed the “Beast of Jersey” would sit girls on his knees and abuse them, the island’s care inquiry has heard.

In a statement, Witness 205, a female former resident of La Preference children’s home in St Martin, said Edward Paisnel was a regular visitor.

She said he encouraged young female residents to call him “Uncle Ted”.

The Independent Jersey Care Inquiry is investigating child abuse in Jersey’s care system dating back to 1945….
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-jersey-31521864

Former Haut de la Garenne resident tells of abuse  16 January 2015
A former resident of the Haut de la Garenne children’s home was abused by a member of staff and residents in the 1960s and ’70s, an inquiry heard.

A witness known as Mr K, aged 50, gave evidence to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (ICJI) by video link from the UK.

Mr K said he was at the home for 13 years, and described the time as “horrific”.

He told the inquiry he felt he missed out on his childhood completely….

Mr K said corporal punishment at the home was excessive, that he had been given three or six lashes with a cane for misbehaving, and then put in a detention cell.

“Staff went overboard and I actually think some of them enjoyed it; one time I was hit so much that the cane broke on me,” he said….
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-jersey-30842891

Jersey care inquiry: Police told of Savile abuse   15 January 2015

A Jersey care home resident told police in 2009 that he had been abused by Jimmy Savile, an inquiry has heard.

Savile, who died in 2011, was never prosecuted over the allegations, the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry (IJCI) has already been told.

The abuse happened at Haut de la Garenne in 1976, the victim told police as part of their investigation into alleged offences at the home.

Police have said there was insufficient evidence for investigating Savile.

The victim’s interview with police investigating abuse at the care home was read to the inquiry in Jersey.

Savile, a Radio 1 DJ who also presented the BBC’s Top Of The Pops and Jim’ll Fix It, died aged 84 – a year before allegations that he had sexually abused children were broadcast in an ITV documentary.

He is now believed to be one of Britain’s most prolific sex abusers and is thought to have assaulted hundreds of people between the ages of five and 75.

But was never charged with any offence.

The DJ was a regular visitor to Jersey and was Mr Battle of Flowers at the island’s annual parade three times, the last time in 2002….
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-jersey-30834994

Three arrested over child abuse in Rotherham and Sheffield    25 February 2015
…The trio, aged 21, 23 and 28, were held on suspicion of committing child sexual exploitation offences against underage girls between 2005 and 2009.

At least 1,400 children were subjected to appalling sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, a report published in August found.

Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other English cities, beaten and intimidated, the Jay report said.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-31631785

Online child abuse moving to Skype, Bitcoin: Europol, Gov’t drafts plan to fight child sacrifice

Online child abuse moving to Skype, Bitcoin: Europol
February 24, 2015

Like using legitimate, mainstream chat sites to broadcast the abuse, payment using virtual currencies such as Bitcoin also makes the criminals harder to trace than if they were taking credit card payments

Hi-tech criminals are increasingly selling live streams of child sex over legitimate chat sites and apps such as Skype for hard-to-trace virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Europe’s policing agency warned on Tuesday.

“Criminals that sexually exploit children online are becoming more entrepreneurial with technological developments and are profiting financially,” Europol said in a special report on commercial sexual exploitation of children online.

Compiled by Europol’s EC3 cybercrime centre, together with Eurojust, NGOs, credit card and online giants such as Google and Microsoft, the report paints a disturbing picture of rising online child abuse.

The sale of child abuse live streams over legitimate chat sites or video chat apps is much harder to trace than when the abuse is sold from a website.

“The research shows that the live streaming of abuse for payment is no longer an emerging trend but an established reality,” the report said.

Criminal gangs recruit disadvantaged children or their own children for the abuse.

“These persons offer homeless children or children from their own family for the sexual abuse by individuals, live in front of a camera, in the European Union or developing countries, for financial gain,” the report said.

Filippino police recently busted a paedophile ring that streamed live sex involving children as young as six, the report said….
http://phys.org/news/2015-02-online-child-abuse-skype-bitcoin.html


Gov’t drafts plan to fight child sacrifice

Publish Date: Feb 24, 2015

By Jacquiline Emodek

THE ministry of Gender, labour and social development with support from UNICEF, Makerere University, World Vision, Plan Uganda and ANPPCAN Ugandan Chapter have drafted the National Action Plan to end child sacrifice and child mutilation.

The plan complements the Trafficking in Persons Act (2009) and the Children Act 59 (2000) which promote the protection of rights of children in Uganda.

Speaking during the symposium towards eliminating child sacrifice and the mutilation of children in Uganda on Monday at Hotel Africana, Sulaiman Madada the state minister for the elderly and disabled said that the plan is a step towards curbing the vice that is compromising the protection of children.

Police records and media reports indicate that cases of child sacrifice and the mutilation of children linked to ritual murders have increased since 2006…. http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/665213-gov-t-drafts-plan-to-fight-child-sacrifice.html

Insurers accused of hampering child abuse inquiries, Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’, Child abuse civil claims: Victorian Government to remove time limit for legal action, Knox Grammar School was home to ‘large paedophile cohort’, victim tells inquiry

- Insurers accused of hampering child abuse inquiries
– Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’
– Child abuse civil claims: Victorian Government to remove time limit for legal action
– Knox Grammar School was home to ‘large paedophile cohort’, victim tells inquiry

Insurers accused of hampering child abuse inquiries
By Tim Whewell  23 February 2015
A BBC investigation has found evidence that some local authorities in England and Wales may have allowed fear of losing insurance cover to alter their approach to child abuse inquiries.

File on 4 has also been told of cases where insurers attempted to suppress information about abuse allegations.

An ex social services chief called the behaviour of one company “disgusting”.

The Association of British Insurers said the investigation “raised a number of serious matters”.

When Colin Lambert, then leader of Rochdale Council, proposed an investigation last year into a possible cover-up of child abuse in the town, he was shocked by a response from council officers.

Former pupils at the Knowl View special school for boys have alleged they were victims of sexual assaults by Rochdale’s former MP, the late Cyril Smith and others, in the 1970s, ’80s, and early ’90s.

Mr Lambert says he was told an inquiry could lead to problems with the council’s insurers.

“I can recall a conversation with officers that this could lead to the insurers withdrawing cover,” he says. “Holding an actual open inquiry would expose exactly who did know what – and therefore the council probably would have been liable. And that then opens up the insurers to claims.”….

The File on 4 investigation has found other cases across Britain, over many years, in which councils have expressed concern over the danger of losing insurance cover – and some in which insurers have attempted to suppress information about abuse allegations.

Tim Hulbert, former director of social services in Bedfordshire, says insurers “instructed” him on what to do when he was helping set up an inquiry into alleged child abuse at a children’s home in the early 1990s.

He said: “I had a phone call from the insurers who were anxious to influence the terms of reference of the inquiry, so they didn’t actually produce circumstances which would increase the likelihood of claims….

n North Wales in 1996, Clwyd County Council refused to publish the report of an inquiry it had set up into abuse in its children’s homes following legal advice that it would risk losing its insurance cover.

The government-appointed Waterhouse Tribunal on North Wales abuse later said the insurers had “acted throughout with the honourable intention” of preventing the council acting in such a way that they would be forced to repudiate liability for claims.

But when the Clwyd report by John Jillings was eventually published on a BBC Freedom of Information request in 2013, it revealed that the insurers had objected to the panel’s proposal for notices in the press appealing for information about abuse….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31594120

Insurance and Child Abuse File on 4
With a growing number of compensation claims arising from cases of historic sexual abuse and more recent high profile cases of sexual grooming, Tim Whewell investigates the key role which insurance companies play. In representing the local authorities where scandals occurred, insurers naturally seek to limit liability but are they doing so at a cost to victims? Lawyers say they have to battle to get access to files and other information – causing further distress and delaying help for those damaged by abuse. Some say the fight is getting harder as insurance companies have toughened their approach in recent years. And, with a national inquiry into historic cases of child sex abuse, how much influence did insurance companies have on the way some past investigations were carried out? File on 4 talks to senior local authority insiders who say they were told to alter their approach to abuse investigations to protect the insurers’ interests. But was that at the expense of children at risk?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0537662

Essex child abuse: Increase in case probes ‘not surprising’   23 February 2015
Concerns over the handling of child abuse cases by an Essex Police team are “not surprising”, the county’s police and crime commissioner (PCC) has said.

Eight extra cases have been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) on top of 30 already being looked into.

The investigations relate to a team covering north Essex.

Essex PCC Nick Alston said the increase was “distressing”. The force has been asked to comment but has yet to do so.

“As the review into the quality of child abuse investigations instigated by Essex Police progresses, regrettably I do not find it surprising that it has identified further cases of concern and fresh referrals to the IPCC,” he said….

Some cases are said to involve a “lack of honesty or integrity” by officers, and are based on allegations of historical abuse dating to the 1960s and 1970s….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-31588234

Child abuse civil claims: Victorian Government to remove time limit for legal action

2-24-2015

The Victorian Government is set to abolish a major legal hurdle for child abuse victims who want to sue their attackers.

Legislation will be introduced into the Victorian Parliament to remove the time limit imposed on child abuse victims who want to launch civil claims.

Currently under the law there is a 12-year time limit to take action over alleged abuse.

Changes will mean people who suffered abuse as a child decades ago will be able to seek civil damages.

Attorney-General Martin Pakula said victims should not be penalised for not acting immediately….
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/legal-hurdle-for-sex-abuse-victims-set-to-be-abolished/6243576

Knox Grammar School was home to ‘large paedophile cohort’, victim tells inquiry
By Ashleigh Raper
A former student of a Sydney private school says students were sexually abused so often, he was not sure it was wrong when he was assaulted by a teacher in the playground.

Former Knox Grammar student Scott Ashton told the royal commission into child sexual abuse of the shock, shame and confusion he suffered after being abused at the school in the 1980s.

He said it was clear the school harboured “a large paedophile cohort” and the abuse led to him becoming a sex worker as teenager.

Students were abused at the exclusive boys school, on Sydney’s north shore, over a 33-year period from the 1970s until 2003….
Mr Ashton said, in 1986, an acquaintance invited him to a sex party where he was paid for sex work, and which was attended by about 10 Knox Grammar teachers and some students.

He said a few of the teachers in attendance were later convicted of child sex offences.

Five former teachers were convicted, but the commission has been told the problem was worse than first thought.

Allegations that three other Knox staff members abused students were heard on Monday.

The commission also heard there was evidence the school knew about abuse but never told police, and the alleged perpetrators have not faced criminal proceedings….

Knox Grammar School’s lawyer, Geoffrey Watson SC, asked to speak before any of the witnesses on Monday.

He said that the school conceded what happened was disturbing and damaging.

“There is no excuse,” Geoffrey Watson SC said.

“The school owed a primary responsibility to those students, and to those parents, to keep them safe from this sort of thing.

“The school humbly and sincerely apologises for its failure.”….
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/knox-grammar-royal-commission-hears-child-abuse-rife-at-school/6247698

Investigation Claims Jehovah Witnesses’ Watchtower Is Hiding Child Sexual Abuse Claims, Yeshivah abuse victim says scholarship was removed after he reported rape, Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, Rabbi pleads guilty to taping nude women at ritual bath

Investigation Claims Jehovah Witnesses’ Watchtower Is Hiding Child Sexual Abuse Claims
The Huffington Post By Kira Brekke   02/18/2015

Evelyn Selimaj, 30, left, of East Haven and her sister Sybelle Almodovar, 35, of North Guilford hold a photograph of themselves together with their brother Ferdinand Almodovar that was taken about the time that the three siblings say they began to be sexually abused by a ministerial servant who acted as a church leader in their congregation. They were child members of the New Haven East Spanish Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation. In October 2014 in New Haven, Connecticut, their attorneys filed ch

A new report out of the Center for Investigative Reporting claims that the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ parent organization in the United States has systematically hidden child sexual abuse cases for more than 25 years.

Trey Bundy, the Reveal journalist behind the report, explained to HuffPost Live on Tuesday that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York has issued detailed memos since 1989 mandating spiritual leaders to immediately report any allegations of child abuse to the Watchtower’s legal department before the police.

“Essentially what they say is, ‘You don’t need to call police unless state law requires you to, and we’ll determine if that’s the case.’ They say not to warn other members of the congregation if you have a child abuser in your congregation, that’s confidential information,” Bundy told host Alyona Minkovski. “And they also … lay out a very sort of convoluted process for determining whether or not you’re even going to take child abuse seriously.”

But in the “many times” Jehovah’s Witnesses have been sued in civil court by alleged victims of abuse, Bundy explained, the freedom of religion has been invoked to protect them….

In a statement to Bundy in his article, Watchtower representatives defended the organization’s practices regarding abuse.

Watchtower officials say they instruct their members to obey state laws. Their policy memos direct elders who hear of alleged child abuse to “contact the Society’s Legal Department immediately” to learn whether the laws in their states require them to notify police….
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/18/jehovahs-witness-child-sex-abuse_n_6705852.html

Yeshivah abuse victim says scholarship was removed after he reported rape
Victim of jailed abuser David Cyprys says principal Rabbi Abraham Glick cancelled the award after telling him of incidents, royal commission hears
Yeshiva college
Rabbi Pinchus Feldman did not alert police when the alleged abuser said he might leave the country.

Melissa Davey Monday 9 February 2015

A child sex abuse victim who was repeatedly raped by a staff member of an Orthodox Jewish school said he was stripped of his scholarship when he told the principal what happened.

The victim, identified only as AVR, said a security guard at the Yeshivah centre and college in Melbourne, David Cyprys, raped him multiple times.

Cyprys was convicted of those offences in 2013, and is in jail….

His mother immediately flew to Melbourne see him, and together they reported the abuse to the principal of the school, Rabbi Abraham Glick, and the director, Rabbi David Groner, who is now dead.

“Rabbi Glick said my scholarship had been cancelled from that time,” AVR said. “I feel Rabbi Glick and Yeshivah did not want me there any more. They did not offer help or counselling. No one at Yeshivah would speak to us or help us. Even our own family members would not help us, and we had a lot of trouble getting back to the airport.”….

Cyprys was “a serial abuser of children”, the commission heard last Monday. AVR said his mother had stopped treatment for her cancer when she came to Melbourne to rescue him from Cyprys, and that she passed away a few years later, in 1995….

Last week, other victims told the commission how they were ignored by senior religious leaders within the orthodox Yeshivah community after reporting their abuse, and of being verbally abused and ostracised….
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/09/yeshivah-abuse-victim-says-scholarship-was-removed-after-he-reported

Royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
Latest news on Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse
February 2015
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/royal-commission-into-institutional-responses-to-child-sexual-abuse

Rabbi pleads guilty to taping nude women at ritual bath
February 19, 2015 By JESSICA GRESKO

WASHINGTON (AP) — A prominent Orthodox rabbi acknowledged Thursday that for years he videotaped women in a changing room of a Jewish ritual bath, ultimately recording approximately 150 nude women.

Barry Freundel pleaded guilty to 52 counts of voyeurism during a hearing at D.C. Superior Court. Each count is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Freundel’s attorney, Jeffrey Harris, acknowledged after the hearing that it was unlikely that his client would get a 52-year sentence but declined to say what sentence he would seek at a hearing set for May 15. Harris said his client was taking responsibility for his actions and was looking to move on with his life….

Freundel, 63, was a rabbi at the Kesher Israel synagogue in Washington for more than 25 years before his arrest in October on voyeurism charges. As part of the plea agreement Freundel entered into Thursday, he acknowledged that starting in 2009 he set up hidden recording devices in a changing and showering area of The National Capital Mikvah, a ritual cleansing bath affiliated with Kesher Israel. He acknowledged he secretly videotaped women who were partially or totally undressed before or after they showered.
http://helenair.com/news/national/rabbi-pleads-guilty-to-taping-nude-women-at-ritual-bath/article_0e282e91-f2cf-5966-9ccc-183bde2797f6.html

Rabbis’ absolute power: how sex abuse tore apart Australia’s Orthodox Jewish community, Brutal slaying leads to protests over violence against women in Turkey

Rabbis’ absolute power: how sex abuse tore apart Australia’s Orthodox Jewish community

Yeshivah leaders in Sydney and Melbourne chose to preserve the prestige of their faith over the safety of children. A national inquiry that reverberated around the world painted a devastating picture of how individuals were abandoned and ostracised as they fought to end the code of silence

David Marr   Wednesday 18 February 2015

Orthodox Judaism has never been exposed to such scrutiny. From a Melbourne courtroom, the torment of the Chabad rabbis was streamed live to the world as the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse probed the city’s secretive and powerful Yeshivah community.

Sharp divisions in the Jewish world have been exposed. Two rabbis, including one of the nation’s most prominent, have been forced from their posts. Whistleblowers, humiliated and ostracised for years by Yeshivah, have been dramatically vindicated. More victims have come forward. More criminal charges may follow. Yeshivah schools face a nightmare of civil litigation.

The cast is Jewish, yet the bones of this story are familiar to anyone who has followed the scandal of child abuse in Christian schools and parishes. Rabbis and bishops have shown over the years much the same failings when faced with a choice between guarding the prestige of their faiths and the safety of children. This story is about the dangers in any cult of blind obedience to holy men….
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/19/rabbis-absolute-power-how-sex-abuse-tore-apart-australias-orthodox-jewish-community

Manny Waks: I’m the ‘troublemaker’ who blew the whistle on Jewish abuse scandal

Manny Waks is still living with the impact of years of abuse inside Australia’s Yeshivah centres. Before he can reclaim his life, he says, more people must resign in the wake of the child sex abuse royal commission

Melissa Davey  Sunday 15 February 2015

When he was 18 years old, Manny Waks turned his back on life within the Orthodox sect of Judaism known as Chabad. But the effects on his life remain profound.

Now 38, Waks is still unable to read a novel, so dictated was his childhood by religious texts. Until the age of about 29, he believed rubbing his eyes with his fingers after waking up in the morning would cause him to go blind unless he carried out a religious washing ceremony first.

But the most damage has been caused by the repeated sexual abuse he suffered within the umbrella organisation for the movement in Australia, known as Yeshivah….

Since Waks first spoke publicly in 2011 about the abuse he suffered, he has helped to expose the centres, and the schools, synagogues and activities attached to them, as communities within which child sex abuse was covered-up, denied or ignored.

The rabbinic law of mesirah – the prohibition of a Jew informing on a fellow Jew to secular authorities – was used by leaders to keep victims silent, the commission heard. When victims did go to police, they were labelled mosers, or “informers”, a charge so serious they were threatened with exclusion so severe it was akin to being excommunication, which would mean being ripped away from a culture, identity, religion and community. It meant everything from marriage prospects to opportunities for religious honours would be forever taken away….

It does not matter that peak Jewish bodies have publicly said the concept of mesirah does not, and should never, apply to cases of child sexual abuse. Even today, Waks says, victims remain fearful of being shunned.

“The fact that to this day I am the only victim who has been willing to be named should say plenty,” Waks says.

“It is easier for me than for other victims, because I am no longer in that world. Most child sex abuse victims prefer anonymity because of a range of taboos and stigmas attached to them. It’s very sensitive.

“But within the Yeshivah community, those issues and barriers are multiplied tenfold, and by speaking out against them, your life will potentially be over. You will feel the consequences, you will be damaged goods.”

In 1988, when he was 11 years old, Waks was abused by a member of the Yeshivah centre known only to the commission as AVP because he left the country before he could be charged.

The man abused Waks multiple times….

Waks confided in a classmate at the Yeshivah college, who told other children. Soon, Waks felt like everyone knew about what was happening to him, and he faced daily taunts and bullying – including being called “gay” because he had been abused by a man….

Waks says Chabad has “all the hallmarks” of a cult – “every waking moment was dictated for us”, he said. He still has difficulty reading books or watching movies for pleasure, so heavily was his studying of religious texts and documentaries. He did not know what his secular birthday was until he was 15. His relationship with his father, who used a disciplinary approach to ensure his children adhered to Yeshivah values, is fractured….

Manny Waks believes the past two weeks of evidence means resignations now need to happen. Some of the rabbis were involved in malicious attacks against him and his family, it was revealed. They were so brutal that Waks relocated his wife and three children to Europe.

“Where was anyone at the time we were being abused, when we were going to the police?” he asks. Waks is now establishing a global organisation to investigate child sex abuse within the Jewish community.

“These leaders, these people, are the ones who are the biggest miscarriages of justice. They will do anything to protect themselves, their reputation and their institution, and that’s what’s so astounding and so offensive to the core….
http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/feb/16/manny-waks-i-was-the-yeshivah-troublemaker-i-hope-now-everyone-can-see-why

Brutal slaying leads to protests over violence against women in Turkey

By Glen Johnson  February 14, 2015  Reporting from Ankara, Turkey

The slaying of a young Turkish woman during an alleged attempted rape has prompted angry street protests across Turkey and demands that the government do more to combat violence against women.

Police on Friday discovered the charred corpse of Ozgecan Aslan, a 20-year-old psychology student, in a riverbed in southern Mersin province. She was killed while fighting back a sexual assault by the driver of a minibus she took to go home, authorities say.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the slaying, including the driver, authorities told local media. Protesters took to streets of major cities in Turkey on Saturday, as the victim was buried in her hometown.

Women’s rights activists argue that the Islamist ruling party, the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is not doing enough to halt such violence—or to ensure those guilty of crimes against women receive adequate punishment. Many argue that Turkey’s judicial system is sympathetic to perpetrators of such crimes.

The number of gender-related homicides of Turkish women has soared in recent years. Authorities reported fewer than 100 in 2002, compared to almost 300 in 2014….
http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-slaying-of-turkish-woman-leads-to-street-protests-over-womens-rights-20150214-story.html

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