June 30, 2012 Comments Off on What the Sandusky Verdict Means to Child Sexual Abuse Victims
What the Sandusky Verdict Means to Child Sexual Abuse Victims
By Mai Fernandez Thursday, June 28, 2012
While testifying about the abuse he had experienced, one of Jerry Sandusky’s victims was asked why he had never reported the crime. “Who would believe kids?” he asked. Sandusky is an “important guy.” So like his fellow witnesses—and so many other child sexual abuse victims—he didn’t tell a soul.
Sandusky’s 45-count conviction represents a watershed for all victims of child sexual abuse.
Sandusky’s victims—whose pained, halting, and strikingly similar testimony led to the conviction—described how pedophiles prey on children who trust and look up to them. The jury believed those victims, and they can now begin healing and rebuilding their lives.
The conviction frees them from the troublesome media label “alleged victims,” which reflected the judge’s stated view that there were no victims until a conviction was achieved. As state and federal law confirm, there ARE victims prior to conviction in a particular case, and they have rights in the criminal justice system.
As victims exercised their rights in this case, their suffering was recognized and their accounts of Sandusky’s grievous crimes were validated….
The Sandusky case, as well as the Catholic Church child sex abuse scandal, has suggested the true scope of child sexual abuse. Studies show that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are victims of sexual abuse, and an estimated 78,188 cases of reported child sexual abuse occurred in 2003.
Yet we know that the vast majority of these crimes are not reported; the numbers don’t begin to reflect the actual prevalence of child sexual abuse.
The Sandusky case also exposed the methods by which predators establish power over children’s lives. They systematically “groom” their victims, often showering them and their families with gifts and special favors, such as football tickets, access to star players, and camping trips. Sandusky preyed on children served by Second Mile, the charity he founded to help disadvantaged youth. Like so many predators, Sandusky built a reputation as a benefactor—rather than a destroyer—of youth. http://www.thecrimereport.org/viewpoints/2012-06-what-the-sandusky-verdict-means-to-child-sexual-abus
June 28, 2012 Comments Off on In the Wake of Jerry Sandusky To prevent child abuse, something has to change. So why won’t it?
In the Wake of Jerry Sandusky To prevent child abuse, something has to change. So why won’t it?
BY Barry Nolan 6/25/2012
After the verdict came down in the Jerry Sandusky case, Linda Kelly, the Pennsylvania State Attorney General, stood before the assembled press and said something very important. She said: “One of the recurring themes of the witness’ testimony was … ‘Who would believe a kid?’”
Yes indeed, who would take the word of a mere child over that of a beloved coach like Jerry Sandusky about sexual abuse? Even though we know that such terrible crimes are far too common and the numbers are staggering, we can’t believe it. So, from 2005 to 2006 about 135,300 children were sexually abused.
Who would take the word of a child against a respected adult even though we know that in up to 93 percent of the time, the child knows his abuser and as many as 47 percent of the perpetrators are family members.
Who would take the word of a child even though in the vast majority of cases the only witness to child sex abuse is the child?
The ugly truth about child sexual abuse is that we really don’t want to hear about it. And far too much of it happens after an initial complaint about a perpetrator has been made and it’s not investigated thoroughly.
Take the tragic sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and just imagine how things could have been different if there had been real listening and forceful action early on. There were 10,667 complaints of sexual abuse against 4,392 priests and deacons between 1950 and 2002 and yet no serious or thorough investigation took place. And so the abuse was allowed to continue. Until the Globe’s Pulitzer Prize winning series compelled self-examination and change….
The first child to make a complaint in the Sandusky case came forward 14 years ago. But who was going to believe a kid over Jerry Sandusky? So the complaint was not thoroughly investigated and, tragically, the abuse continued….
Back in 1993, most people simply didn’t want to believe the awful things a kid had to say about what Jackson did behind closed doors. After all, Michael Jackson was a lavishly talented and beloved public figure. But Dimond, and a few others, listened carefully and pursued leads and looked at the evidence. And the awful truth began to come out. The boy in that case would eventually accept a settlement from Jackson that was widely reported to be in the range of $20 million.
I asked her for her thoughts on the bigger picture, the Sandusky case, the scandal in the church, and the Jackson matter. Here is part of what she sent me in an e-mail:
“Pedophiles are really the very person you think they could never be. They are the most charming, personable, charitable, and kid-friendly people you would ever want to meet. They pay their taxes, they go to church, they cloak themselves in acts of charity and they say they just want to help you raise your child by being a positive influence in their lives … Too often detectives believe the perpetrator’s version of events and they are freed to violate again.”
Matt Sandusky details alleged sex abuse by his father, Teen prostitutes rescued, pimps held, in FBI sweep
June 27, 2012 Comments Off on Matt Sandusky details alleged sex abuse by his father, Teen prostitutes rescued, pimps held, in FBI sweep
“He estimated that at least 100,000 minors were victims of child prostitution and trafficking each year….”
NBC exclusive: Matt Sandusky details alleged sex abuse by his father
By Michael Isikoff, NBC News
Jerry Sandusky’s adopted son Matt told police he was sexually molested by his father for years — and once fled in fear from the Sandusky home — during a secret police interview that took place in the middle of his father’s trial for child sex-abuse, according to a copy of the tape obtained by NBC News….
NBC News has exclusively obtained the 29-minute audiotape, which was recorded by police detectives on June 15, four days after the Jerry Sandusky trial began. At the time, the detectives were preparing Sandusky’s son to testify as a surprise prosecution witness at his father’s trial.
For years, Matt Sandusky had publicly stood by his father and even showed up on the first day of the trial, sitting with the rest of the Sandusky family. But after listening to the first day of testimony from a young man known in court documents as “Victim 4,” Matt Sandusky contacted police and volunteered to testify on behalf of the prosecution. The prosecutors’ plan was to use Matt Sandusky as a rebuttal witness if Jerry Sandusky took the stand in his own defense.
It turned out to be a crucial turning point in the Sandusky trial. When Jerry Sandusky learned that his own adopted son was prepared to testify against him, it was a “complete shock,” and it played a big role in his decision not to take the witness stand, according to one of his lawyers, Karl Rominger….
In his interview with police, Matt Sandusky was asked directly why he decided to change his previous denials of abuse and cooperate with police.
“I came forward, I mean, for different reasons,” he said. “But I mean for my family you know so that they can really have closure and see what the truth actually is. And just to right the wrong, honestly, of going to the grand jury and lying.”….http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/26/12417694-nbc-exclusive-matt-sandusky-details-alleged-sex-abuse-by-his-father
Teen prostitutes rescued, pimps held, in FBI sweep
Lily Kuo Reuters June 25, 2012
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Seventy-nine teenagers held against their will and forced into prostitution were rescued at hotels, truck stops and storefronts in a three-day sweep of sex-trafficking rings across the United States, law enforcement officials said on Monday.
The FBI said 104 alleged pimps were arrested during sting operations in 57 U.S. cities including Atlanta, Sacramento, and Toledo, Ohio. The operation lasted between Thursday and Saturday and involved state and local authorities as well as the FBI….
One of the minors recovered in the sweep reported being involved in prostitution from the age of 11, according to Kevin Perkins, acting executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch.
He said the cases were not “one-off” incidents, but evidence of “criminal enterprises” that lure minors in, often through social media, hold them against their will through threats to them or their families, and then traffic them through different U.S. cities.
Child prostitution is “a problem that happens in all kinds of American cities and it happens to American kids,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children….
He estimated that at least 100,000 minors were victims of child prostitution and trafficking each year but said assessments were hampered due to under-reporting and other data complications….
To date about 2,200 children have been rescued in the program, the FBI said, adding that its figures do not take into account children recovered by other state and local investigations. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-prostitution-childbre85o19h-20120625,0,1822308.story
June 26, 2012 Comments Off on 22 Faces revives ritual sexual abuse controversy
22 Faces revives ritual sexual abuse controversy by Stephen Dark
2012-06-25 ….A new book, Twenty Two Faces: Inside the Extraordinary Life of Jenny Hill and Her Twenty-two Multiple Personalities, by retired, Saratoga Springs-based psychiatrist Judy Byington, tells the story of Hill, who, according to Byinton, was the victim of sexual assaults by both her father and by neighborhood boys. Hill told Byington that on June 21, 1965, in Garden Grove, Calif., she was tortured on an altar and forced to watch the murder of a 6-year-old by a satanic coven….
Subsequently, Hill was subjected to mind control experiments which resulted, Byington says, in Hill having 22 personalities. Hill moved to Utah County and ended up spending a year in the Utah State Hospital under the care of Weston Whatcott between 1984 and 1985. In a press release by the book’s publisher, Whatcott acknowledges that Hill’s multiple personalities were a result of childhood trauma, “namely repeated sexual assaults coupled with ritual abuse.”
Byington says Hill “really wanted her story told.” Byington drew on journals Hill and some of her other personalities kept from when she was 5 to 24. “We could all be multiple personalities if we have gone through all the trauma that these people have gone through,” Byington says.”Children under tremendous torture, their minds can separate into different personalities.”
Hill went to the FBI looking for the parents of the child she had seen killed, Byington says. While an FBI agent who looked at Hill’s medical records told Byington that there was confirmation that horrendous torture had occurred, “he wouldn’t open up a case for her.”
Byington has also investigated local satanic covens in Utah, she says, and talked to a special-investigations unit at the Utah Attorney General’s office in 2006 on ritual abuse cases. “”It’s still very much of a problem,” Byington says. “These covens are very active and it’s very difficult to prove what’s going on.”
Jerry Sandusky Juror Joshua Harper Discusses Deliberations While Victims’ Families Talk, Pediatrician Pleads Guilty To Child P_rn Charge
June 26, 2012 Comments Off on Jerry Sandusky Juror Joshua Harper Discusses Deliberations While Victims’ Families Talk, Pediatrician Pleads Guilty To Child P_rn Charge
Jerry Sandusky Juror Joshua Harper Discusses Deliberations While Victims’ Families Talk 06/25/2012
….Victims’ families and members of the jury have come forward to talk more about the monumental verdict that — if it holds up despite an expected appeal — will likely lead to a sentence of more than 400 years for Sandusky.
….The two-week trial was emotionally wrenching for some of the jury’s five men and seven women, including one who appeared to cry Friday night.
But one juror described the satisfaction that came from convicting a predator who abused disadvantaged boys for years.
“It feels good to expose something that was covered up,” said Joshua Harper, 31, a Penn State alumnus, according to the Washington Post. “It’s a statement that there needs to be accountability and change. It’s the beginning of our time to heal.”
Sandusky’s lack of outward emotion as the verdict was read convinced Harper that the jury reached the right conclusion.
“That was just confirmation again,” Harper told NBC’s Today show. “You know I looked at him during the reading of the verdict, and just the look on his face, no real emotion, just kind of accepting, you know, because he knew it was true.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/jerry-sandusky-juror-josh_n_1625166.html
Todd Parrilla, Pediatrician, Pleads Guilty To Child Porn Charge
HARTFORD, Conn. 06/25/12
A Connecticut pediatrician has admitted that he possessed more than 100,000 images and videos of child pornography, federal authorities said Monday
The U.S. Attorney’s office said 48-year-old Todd Parrilla of Stonington pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Hartford to receipt and distribution of child pornography. Parrilla had a pediatric practice in southeastern Connecticut.
“This defendant possessed and distributed tens of thousands of images and videos portraying the sexual abuse of children,” said U.S. Attorney David Fein. “This is a heinous crime. That it was committed by a pediatrician, whose profession is committed to the well-being of children, makes it especially disturbing.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/todd-parrilla-pediatrician-child-porn_n_1625197.html
Penn State signals it wants to settle Sandusky cases – University may have to pay millions to victims of sexual abuse by former coach, Analysis: Number of victims persuaded Sandusky jurors in ‘he said, he said’ case
June 25, 2012 Comments Off on Penn State signals it wants to settle Sandusky cases – University may have to pay millions to victims of sexual abuse by former coach, Analysis: Number of victims persuaded Sandusky jurors in ‘he said, he said’ case
Penn State signals it wants to settle Sandusky cases – University may have to pay millions to victims of sexual abuse by former coach
By Ian Simpson 6/24/2012
BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania — With former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky now behind bars for child sexual abuse, the university has given an unusual signal that it wants to wrap up civil suits as fast as possible, legal observers said on Saturday.
Shortly after Sandusky, 68, was convicted late on Friday on 45 counts of sexual abuse, Pennsylvania State University invited victims to try to resolve claims against the school.
“The purpose of the program is simple – the university wants to provide a forum where the university can privately, expeditiously and fairly address the victims’ concerns and compensate them for claims relating to the university,” it said in a statement.
Sandusky’s conviction clears a hurdle for potentially big-ticket civil suits since abuse victims suing the school now can point to a crime that was committed, the observers said.
At least two civil suits have been filed already against the school, both in Philadelphia. A filing by Sandusky’s lawyers last month put the number of potential victims at almost 20….
A former assistant coach, Mike McQueary, testified he told late head coach Joe Paterno, Curley and Schultz about a 2001 incident in which Sandusky abused a boy in a Penn State locker room.
Curley and Schultz face charges of perjury and failure to report suspected abuse in an alleged cover-up of the incident. “Schultz and Curley will tell us a lot more about what Penn State knew” about Sandusky’s pedophilia, Kennerly said. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47935946/vp/47934464#47934464
Analysis: Number of victims persuaded Sandusky jurors in ‘he said, he said’ case
By Wes Oliver, Special to msnbc.com ANALYSIS 6/23/12
Friday night was not a good night for the Penn State community but you couldn’t tell it from the atmosphere outside the courtroom. Jerry Sandusky was convicted of the overwhelming majority of the child sex abuse counts of against him. The verdict revealed that the jury believed the account of every of major witness the prosecution presented. There were only three verdicts of ‘not guilty’ in the 48 counts Sandusky faced….
The eight witnesses demonstrated a range of credibility. Ultimately the jury concluded that all of the victims were credible but carefully examined their testimony to see if it established the crimes alleged. It is entirely possible that no single victim could have prevailed in the he-said, he-said conflict in this case. But the victims reinforced one another. The odds that they were all lying were too remote for the jury to conclude anything other than they were all telling the truth.
June 23, 2012 Comments Off on Charles Lee Bergeron Molested Boys, Told Them He Needed Their S_men To Live
Charles Lee Bergeron Molested Boys, Told Them He Needed Their Semen To Live
The Huffington Post By Rebecca Ballhaus 06/22/2012
In a disgusting ploy to lure young boys in to molest them, Charles Lee Bergeron Sr. told them he “needed their semen to live,” prosecutors said.
Bergeron was sentenced Wednesday to 120 years in prison for sexually abusing young boys, said prosecutor Cynthia Guillory, according to the Houston Press.
Bergeron would invite young boys into his home, drug or sedate them, and then perform oral sex on them. One victim, who is now 23, told KPLC-TV that Bergeron gave him alcohol with Somas and Xanax, heavy sedatives.
Another victim, who was 13 at the time, said Bergeron gave him oral sex several times, both at his house and at a Westlake, La. cemetery.
Bergeron, 80, was charged with 12 counts of oral sexual battery, 12 counts of indecent behavior, and one count of sexual battery in December. He pleaded guilty to all charges.
Bergeron was previously convicted of molestation in 2000, and he was already in prison serving a 10-year sentence for failing to register as a sex offender when further victims came forward.