Eyewitness ‘saw Thatcher aide take boys to abuse’, Cyril Smith ‘sexually and physically abused young boys’
November 29, 2012 Comments Off on Eyewitness ‘saw Thatcher aide take boys to abuse’, Cyril Smith ‘sexually and physically abused young boys’
Cyril Smith ‘sexually and physically abused young boys’
Simon Israel Home Affairs Correspondent
Tuesday 27 November 2012 UK
Greater Manchester police have concluded that the former Liberal MP, Sir Cyril Smith, was guilty of physical and sexual abuse of young boys over a period of many years.
Allegations came from eight young men back in 1970. They alleged that Cyril Smith subjected them to various forms of abuse in the early sixties.
All were living were living at the privately run children’s home Cambridge House hostel, in Rochdale, at the time, or were dependent on Cyril Smith for employment, money or welfare.
Lancashire Police opened a file and sent that off to the director of public prosecutions with 80 pages of evidence and a one-page letter from the then chief constable of Lancashire. He wrote –
“Any charges of indecent assault founded on these allegations, as well as being stale, would be , in my view, completely without corroboration. Further, the characters of some of these men young men would be likely to render their evidence suspect.”
Outdated way of thinking
Today the Crown Prosecution Service says that way of thinking has gone and that, given the same today, Sir Cyril Smith would have been prosecuted
Nazir Afzal, chief crown prosecutor, said: “Prosecutors and police now recognise such crimes normally occur in private and that victims are often targeted because the offender doubts they will be believed.
Exclusive: Eyewitness ‘saw Thatcher aide take boys to abuse’
Tuesday 06 November 2012 UK
A former resident of the Wrexham care home at the centre of abuse allegations tells Channel 4 News that he saw evidence of abuse, and remembers seeing Sir Peter Morrison at the care home five times.
The former resident told Channel 4 News that although he did not recognise Sir Peter at the time, he later realised it was him.
Sir Peter, who died in 1995, was Margaret Thatcher’s parliamentary private secretary and was at the heart of the Tory establishment during the 1980s. Recently, he has been publicly linked to abuse at the care home.
The former resident, who was not abused himself, said: “Going through some stuff recently and I saw his face. I know now he was the MP for Chester at the time. Morrison. Red, wavy hair. I recognised him straight away.
“I saw him at Bryn Estyn, he turned up in a car, boy went off in his car, don’t know if he was in it. It was definitely his car, I saw him arrive in it then we went to bed and we saw it drive off….
David Cameron ordered an urgent investigation into whether the north Wales child abuse inquiry “properly did its job” after fresh allegations of abuse at Bryn Estyn emerged. It is alleged that a senior Thatcher-era politician, who has not been named, was involved….
Describing allegations of abuse from other residents, the former resident told Channel 4 News: “They said there was more than one, they said they were made to drink, there was a lot of people there, there was a party almost….
The resident said he did inform police: “I made a statement to South Wales Police with regard to some alleged offences in SW area – a statement was taken but didn’t hear anything else about it.”
However, describing the effect the events had had on him, he said: “I’ve been carrying this around for 35 years. It’s destroyed every relationship in my life. I don’t trust anybody. http://www.channel4.com/news/exclusive-eyewitness-saw-thatcher-aide-take-boys-to-abuse
Restitution for Child Victims Returns to the Supreme Court, More boys sexually abused at M’sian orphanage: NGO
November 28, 2012 Comments Off on Restitution for Child Victims Returns to the Supreme Court, More boys sexually abused at M’sian orphanage: NGO
Restitution for Child Victims Returns to the Supreme Court
By James R. Marsh on November 27, 2012
Today, the Marsh Law Firm, along with co-counsel Paul G. Cassell and Carol L. Hepburn, filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the United States Supreme Court.
Almost 20 years ago, Congress enacted the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2259, to benefit victims of federal child pornography crimes, including petitioners like Amy and Vicky, whose child sex abuse images are traded and collected over the internet by countless individuals worldwide….
The question presented in this cert petition is whether the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2259, excuses a defendant from paying restitution for the itemized loss categories unless there is proof that the victim’s losses were the proximate result of an individual defendant’s child pornography crime.
The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether or not to grant this petition early next year. If the Court decides to hear the case, oral arguments and a decision are likely this term which ends on October 1, 2013.
More boys sexually abused at M’sian orphanage: NGO
Asia News Network By R.S.N. Murali in Malacca/The Star | Asia News Network – Fri, Nov 23, 2012
Malacca (The Star/ANN) – An NGO has claimed that more underage boys are being sexually abused at a government home for boys in Durian Daun in the Malaysian state of Malacca.
Three boys, aged 13 and 14, lodged police reports on Nov 12 at the state police headquarters in Malacca, Malaysian Welfare and Social Organisation (Perbak) president Muhammad Khairul Hafiz claimed….
November 27, 2012 Comments Off on Catholic officials knew of teacher’s abuse, court files indicate
also: Brother convicted of sex abuse a church ‘treasure’
Catholic officials knew of teacher’s abuse, court files indicate
John Merzbacher, sent to prison, now seeks release
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun
November 25, 2012
The Catholic-school teacher had a pre-teen student pinned to the ground in his Baltimore classroom, the girl’s blouse open and her chest exposed when the doorknob suddenly turned and the school principal — a nun — burst in.
The screaming girl thought she was about to be rescued, according to court records that describe the scene at the Catholic Community Middle School in Locust Point. But Sister Eileen Weisman, who had a key to the room, merely chastised the teacher, John Joseph Merzbacher, for locking the door.
“[Weisman] looked down and her exact words were ‘John, oh John, I told you never to lock the classroom door,'” Linda Tiburzi, who described the incident in a civil court deposition in the mid-1990s, said in a recent interview. “And then she looked at me and said ‘I never want you staying after school again.’ … That’s all she said, that’s all she did, there was nothing, there was no investigation, there were no questions.”
That incident is one of several outlined in court documents, analyzed in a Baltimore Sun investigation, indicating that Weisman and other Catholic officials were aware of the lay teacher’s sexual abuse of students in the 1970s but did not report it until Merzbacher was criminally investigated in the 1990s.
Recent accounts from more than two dozen former pupils and a review of hundreds of pages of documents describe several situations in which critics claim the church had opportunities to protect schoolchildren from Merzbacher, but did not notify police of the allegations against the teacher.
The alleged failures took place in two phases. In the 1970s while the abuse was occurring, Weisman and at least two archdiocesan priests ignored the behavior, even when confronted with it directly, according to accusations in court records. Years later, Weisman and archdiocesan officials delayed reporting Merzbacher to enforcement agencies, despite a victim’s allegations of abuse….
In court records, former students describe Merzbacher, now 71, as a charmer who drew them in with rock records, forbidden foul language, alcohol and marijuana, then terrorized them. The potbellied English teacher beat the boys and humiliated the girls, engaging in sexual acts with both genders and forcing the kids to turn against one another, his accusers claim in the documents. He once fired a revolver in class, students testified during Merzbacher’s trial, and routinely used the weapon to threaten children with death….
Weisman and two archdiocesan priests — identified in court documents as Herbert Derwart and Richard Tillman — were involved in firing another teacher who said he brought concerns about Merzbacher to them in 1974. The officials allegedly told the teacher, Gary Homberg, that he could continue in his position “only under the condition [he] made no mention to anyone of [his] observations of John Merzbacher’s sexual misconduct, the allegations and rumors about John Merzbacher, or the school’s or church’s knowledge of these allegations.”
Weisman went to the archdiocese for guidance after Homberg’s allegations, telling officials that Merzbacher may have brought a gun to school and may have been “interacting inappropriately with the students.” Merzbacher was placed on leave, but reinstated after Weisman said she conducted an internal investigation….
Merzbacher was put on administrative leave while Weisman investigated the claims against him and reinstated shortly thereafter via a Feb. 22, 1974, letter from archdiocese attorney Joseph P. McCurdy Jr., which was submitted in court during the criminal case. That same day, the attorney sent a letter to Homberg advising him of his termination….
Brother convicted of sex abuse a church ‘treasure’
By Emma Alberici 11/26/12
The head of the Patrician Brothers in Australia has apologised after a brother jailed for child sexual abuse was referred to as a “treasure” in a church publication.
Patrician Brother Thomas Grealy was convicted of molestation and buggery charges in 1997.
He spent four years in jail for the rape and indecent assault of two boys when he was principal at the Patrician Brothers’ Primary School at Granville in Western Sydney.
During his trial the court heard Brother Augustine, as Grealy was then known, would cover the statue of the Virgin Mary in his office with a coat to hide his shame before abusing the nine and 10-year-old boys in his care.
Not only does he remain a Patrician brother, but in a September newsletter Grealy is pictured standing alongside leaders of the Patricians in Australia and is referred to in the caption as one of three “Patrician treasures”.
Lawyer Jason Parkinson represents five men who allege they were abused by Grealy in the 1970s.
“It’s had such a detrimental effect on their life that there’s been a number of suicide attempts and a number of serious issues in relation to self-harm,” he said.
“[I] just couldn’t believe that the order would refer to a child molester as a treasure.
“It just goes beyond belief that they would even be inviting him to remain within their group. He should’ve been shunned, should’ve been sent away. Shouldn’t be allowed in the order.”
Nearly 40 years later, Mr Parkinson said the Patrician Brothers had not taken responsibility for Grealy’s behaviour and was squabbling with The Archdiocese of Sydney over responsibility….
Brother Philip Mulhall, the head of the Patrician Order in Australia, was until recently also the executive officer for national standards around dealing with child sex abuse claims for the entire Catholic Church in Australia.
He says the publication describing Grealy as a treasure was a “dreadful, sad mistake”….
Brother Mulhall said Grealy had never been dismissed from the order….
Another Patrician Brother was charged with child sexual abuse at the Patrician Brothers College at Blacktown about 12 months ago but remained at the school for two months before his removal….
November 25, 2012 Comments Off on Utah kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart preparing memoir.
Utah kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart preparing memoir.
The Associated Press
Nov 23, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY — Ten years after her kidnapping, Elizabeth Smart is preparing her story of being held captive by a homeless street preacher, her improbable rescue after nine months, and how she advocated for children after the ordeal.
St. Martin’s Press bought the rights to the memoir from the now 25-year-old senior at Brigham Young University….
Smart has said she waited for the March 2011 sentencing of Brian David Mitchell before collaborating on the telling of her story, which has been in the works for nearly a year.
Mitchell, a onetime itinerant street preacher, was convicted of Smart’s kidnapping and sexual assault. He is serving two life sentences at a federal prison in Arizona.
Authorities say he snatched the then-14-year-old Smart from her bedroom at knifepoint on June 5, 2002.
The book won’t just be the story of Smart’s captivity but also will depict how she organized the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and brought more attention and law enforcement techniques to the cases of missing and abused children, said her publicist Christopher Thomas.
“She started the foundation to get her message across, and book was another way to do it,” Thomas said.
It will be the fourth book about the kidnapping that caused a national sensation.
November 24, 2012 Comments Off on Jimmy Savile scandal: George Entwistle to give evidence at Newsnight inquiry
Jimmy Savile scandal: George Entwistle to give evidence at Newsnight inquiry
Ex-director general to appear before Nick Pollard inquiry into handling of programme’s aborted investigation of presenter
Dan Sabbagh guardian.co.uk, Thursday 22 November 2012
George Entwistle, the former BBC director general, is expected to give evidence on Monday before Nick Pollard’s inquiry into the handling of Newsnight’s aborted investigation into sexual abuse by the late Jimmy Savile, in a demanding hearing that will see him grilled on what he knew about it by a silk.
The much criticised executive spent the last days of his short-lived director generalship preparing intensively for his appearance, which is expected to last several hours, and comes as the Pollard inquiry moves into its third week of evidence, having seen most of the senior BBC executives touched by the Savile film that never aired.
It is likely to be an exacting experience for a man who clearly struggled when he had to give evidence before MPs on on the culture media and sport select committee last month, and who performed poorly when interviewed by John Humphrys on the Today programme on the morning of what turned out to be the day he resigned….
However, he is likely to come under greater pressure over his handling of the Newsnight affair in the couple of months after the Savile allegations were first aired by ITV, and in particular will be questioned on why he relied for so long on the account of events provided by Newsnight’s editor Peter Rippon, an account that had to be corrected at least three times. For instance, Rippon wrongly said that the police were aware of all Newsnight’s unbroadcast material, when in fact one of the abuse victims filmed by the programme had never gone to the police….
November 22, 2012 Comments Off on Embattled Childhoods May Be the Real Trauma for Soldiers With PTSD
Embattled Childhoods May Be the Real Trauma for Soldiers With PTSD
ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2012) — New research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers challenges popular assumptions about the origins and trajectory of PTSD, providing evidence that traumatic experiences in childhood — not combat — may predict which soldiers develop the disorder….
“Most studies on PTSD in soldiers following service in war zones do not include measures of PTSD symptoms prior to deployment and thus suffer from a baseline problem. Only a few studies have examined pre- to post-deployment changes in PTSD symptoms, and most only use a single before-and-after measure,” says Berntsen….
Rather than following some sort of “typical” pattern in which symptoms emerge soon after a particularly traumatic event and persist over time, Berntsen and colleagues found wide variation in the development of PTSD among the soldiers.
The vast majority of the soldiers (84%) were resilient, showing no PTSD symptoms at all or recovering quickly from mild symptoms.
The rest of the soldiers showed distinct and unexpected patterns of symptoms. About 4% showed evidence of “new-onset” trajectory, with symptoms starting low and showing a marked increase across the five timepoints. Their symptoms did not appear to follow any specific traumatic event.
Most notably, about 13% of the soldiers in the study actually showed temporary improvement in symptoms during deployment. These soldiers reported significant symptoms of stress prior to leaving for Afghanistan that seemed to ease in the first months of deployment only to increase again upon their return home.
What could account for this unexpected pattern of symptoms?
Compared to the resilient soldiers, the soldiers who developed PTSD were much more likely to have suffered emotional problems and traumatic events prior to deployment. Childhood experiences of violence, especially punishment severe enough to cause bruises, cuts, burns, and broken bones actually predicted the onset of PTSD in these soldiers. Those who showed symptoms of PTSD were more likely to have witnessed family violence, and to have experienced physical attacks, stalking or death threats by a spouse. They were also more likely to have past experiences that they could not, or would not, talk about. And they were less educated than the resilient soldiers….
The findings challenge the notion that exposure to combat and other war atrocities is the main cause of PTSD.
“We were surprised that stressful experiences during childhood seemed to play such a central role in discriminating the resilient versus non-resilient groups,” says Berntsen. “These results should make psychologists question prevailing assumptions about PTSD and its development.”
Peace and War Trajectories of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Before, During, and After Military Deployment in Afghanistan
Dorthe Berntsen, Kim B. Johannessen, Yvonne D. Thomsen, Mette Bertelsen, Rick H. Hoyle and David C. Rubin
In the study reported here, we examined posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in 746 Danish soldiers measured on five occasions before, during, and after deployment to Afghanistan. Using latent class growth analysis, we identified six trajectories of change in PTSD symptoms. Two resilient trajectories had low levels across all five times, and a new-onset trajectory started low and showed a marked increase of PTSD symptoms. Three temporary-benefit trajectories, not previously described in the literature, showed decreases in PTSD symptoms during (or immediately after) deployment, followed by increases after return from deployment. Predeployment emotional problems and predeployment traumas, especially childhood adversities, were predictors for inclusion in the nonresilient trajectories, whereas deployment-related stress was not.
These findings challenge standard views of PTSD in two ways. First, they show that factors other than immediately preceding stressors are critical for PTSD development, with childhood adversities being central. Second, they demonstrate that the development of PTSD symptoms shows heterogeneity, which indicates the need for multiple measurements to understand PTSD and identify people in need of treatment.
November 21, 2012 Comments Off on $123M settlement Delaware abuse case, Institutional Abuse North Ireland, Rochdale, Gangs
– $123M settlement approved in Del. child abuse case
– Historic child abuse investigation will now cost £19m, Assembly told
– Rochdale child abuse case: exploited girls faced ‘absolute disrespect’
– 45 children a day at risk from sexual exploitation by gangs, warns inquiry
– Groomed, raped, frightened: the victims of child sexual exploitation
$123M settlement approved in Del. child abuse case
Esteban Parra, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal Share
The former pediatrician last year was found guilty of raping or assaulting more than 100 girls he treated. His own videos helped to convict him.
November 20. 2012 –
GEORGETOWN, Del. — A Superior Court judge approved a $123 million class-action settlement related to the child sexual abuse committed by former Lewes, Del., pediatrician Earl Bradley.
Under the Monday settlement’s terms, the money would be put into a pool for victims, similar to the system used for victims in priest sex-abuse cases.
A mediator will evaluate each claim and separate them into different categories based on the severity of abuse. A settlement amount then will be assigned to each category and all approved for that category will be paid.
“The approval of this class-action settlement marks the end of litigation arising from Dr. Bradley’s 15-year reign of terror and abuse in Sussex County,” Superior Court Judge Joseph R. Slights III wrote in his 56-page decision….
Historic child abuse investigation will now cost £19m, Assembly told
By Lesley-Anne McKeown
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Costs for an inquiry into historical institutional child abuse in Northern Ireland could reach £19m, the Assembly has been told.
Ulster Unionist MLA Mike Nesbitt, who chairs Stormont’s OFMDFM committee, said MLAs had been informed in September that predicted costs had doubled from initial estimates.
The Strangford MLA added: “On the estimated costs of the inquiry the committee sought clarification from the department whether the figures in the financial and explanatory memorandum of between £7.5m and £9m remained accurate.
“Officials advised the committee that the estimated costs had been revised upwards — doubled in fact to £15-19m to take into account the complexities of the inquiry and the associated legal costs.”….
Initially, the inquiry was to look at cases between 1945 and 1995, but MLAs have since agreed to extend it back to 1922.
The probe comes after the Ryan Report uncovered decades of endemic abuse in some religious institutions in the Republic of Ireland.
Rochdale child abuse case: exploited girls faced ‘absolute disrespect’
MPs question why the NHS crisis team that was praised for raising the alarm about sexual abuse in Rochdale has suffered job cuts
Rachel Williams The Guardian, Tuesday 20 November 2012
It was a simple yet powerful piece of evidence. Asked what lay behind the failures in Rochdale over sexual exploitation of teenage girls, Sara Rowbotham, co-ordinator of the local NHS crisis intervention team, paused before answering. “It was about attitudes towards teenagers,” she told the home affairs select committee earlier this month. “It was absolute disrespect that vulnerable young people did not have a voice. They were overlooked. They were discriminated against. They were treated appallingly by protective services.”
Since nine men were jailed in May for “sharing” five girls, plying them with fast food, drink and drugs so they could use them for sex, a picture has emerged of missed opportunities to help young girls being exploited – based on a mistaken belief they were simply “making their own choices”. The NHS team has emerged as one of the few services that got it right. But staff numbers on the team, which offers one-to-one sexual health advice to vulnerable teenagers, have been cut from 10 to seven over the past three years.
A Guardian investigation this year found the crisis intervention team made more than 100 referrals about girls it thought were either being sexually exploited, or at risk of it, to Rochdale borough council social services and Greater Manchester police between 2004 and the end of 2010. A report published in September by the local safeguarding children board (SCB) was damning of the “poor response” of Rochdale’s children’s social care department. It also praised the crisis intervention team’s ability to understand that girls were victims of abuse, rather than consenting young adults. Its work, Rowbotham told the select committee, had helped secure the recent convictions, because the victims’ evidence was corroborated by the service’s case notes….
45 children a day at risk from sexual exploitation by gangs, warns inquiry
Local authorities, police and healthcare professionals ignoring warning signs displayed by those at risk, says interim report
The Guardian, Tuesday 20 November 2012
As many as 45 children a day are at risk of rape, violence and sexual exploitation at the hands of gangs who prey on their vulnerability, according to the biggest study of its kind carried out in England….
The inquiry’s interim report found that 2,409 children had been sexually exploited in a 14-month period form August 2010 to October 2011, but the real figure was likely to be “far greater” because of lack of data and confusion in reporting sexual exploitation. As many as 16,500 children were identified as being at “high risk” of sexual exploitation – displaying three or more warning signs including running away from home, drug or alcohol misuse and criminality.
Groomed, raped, frightened: the victims of child sexual exploitation
Children living in residential care are particularly at risk of sexual exploitation, according to report
Alexandra Topping The Guardian, Tuesday 20 November 2012
Teegan, a white British girl, told report authors she had been sexually exploited from the age of 12. After being groomed she was taken to “parties” across England in nice houses, sometimes mansions, where men could choose which girls they wanted to have sex with from a book with photographs and ages of all of the girls available. Teegan thought she cost around £500 a hour, and said in some cases one girl could be hired for a group of men over an evening. If Teegan refused, she would be beaten and her family threatened. After the abuse, she took several overdoses, was placed in secure accommodation, and self-harmed – sometimes on a daily basis. She said she was too scared to make a formal complaint.
Marina, 16, and her 14-year-old sister were sexually exploited after being groomed by white British shop owners in return for alcohol and cigarettes. Marina also had a “boyfriend” in his late 30s, of North African origin, who would pass her around his friends for sex. She told the report that she was driven to “parties” where she would be raped by multiple men before being dropped off at home.
In another case, when Sahida, a 17-year-old British Pakistani girl, said a family member had sexually abused her she was threatened with a forced marriage. After the threats she began spending time with older Asian males, and was moved to multiple locations by them. She is now pregnant and has been physically assaulted by her family as a punishment.
Children living in residential care are particularly at risk of sexual exploitation, according to the report. A specialist sexual exploitation service told the report that a particular home was repeatedly targeted by groomers, and that new girls coming into the home were likely to be sexually exploited….