Horrific Pattern of Sexual Abuse by BBC Celebrity, “Sliver of Sky” sexual abuse

January 12, 2013 Comments Off on Horrific Pattern of Sexual Abuse by BBC Celebrity, “Sliver of Sky” sexual abuse

Report Depicts Horrific Pattern of Child Sexual Abuse by BBC Celebrity
– ‘Sliver Of Sky,’ Barry Lopez Confronts Childhood Sexual Abuse

Report Depicts Horrific Pattern of Child Sexual Abuse by BBC Celebrity
By JOHN F. BURNS and ALAN COWELL
January 11, 2013

LONDON — Scotland Yard and Britain’s leading child welfare group drew a horrific picture of more than 200 cases of sexual abuse of victims as young as 8 by the BBC host Jimmy Savile in a report released on Friday, and prosecutors admitted for the first time that “shortcomings” in interviewing some of the victims allowed Mr. Savile to escape prosecution before his death at the age of 84 in 2011.

The 37-page report, jointly written by the police and the welfare group, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, depicted a pattern of abuse in broadcast studios, hospitals, homes for the mentally disabled and other places of care for the vulnerable. It documented 23 offenses committed at the BBC’s television center in London during Mr. Savile’s 40 years there, including one assault during the taping of the last episode of his “Top of the Pops” show in 2006 — when the performer was nearing 80.

Only one location, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, about 40 miles northwest of London, with 24 attacks, was the site of more offenses than the BBC was. Mr. Savile maintained living quarters and an office at the hospital and was free to roam it as an honorary porter after raising millions of pounds with a charitable appeal for its spinal injuries unit.

The report, which referred to the entertainer in criminal fashion as James Wilson Vincent Savile, said the police had received more than 450 individual complaints against Mr. Savile, ranging from groping to forced oral sex and rape, with many of the allegations still awaiting police investigation. It gave a breakdown showing that the preponderance of the victims, 73 percent, were younger than 18, with the largest group 13 to 16 years old. Over all, the report said, 82 percent of the victims were female…. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/world/europe/jimmy-savile-sexual-abuse-scandal-report.html

Memoir — From the January 2013 issue
Sliver of Sky  Confronting the trauma of sexual abuse
By Barry Lopez

One day in the fall of 1938, a man named Harry Shier entered the operating room of a Toronto hospital and began an appendectomy procedure on a prepubescent boy. He was not a trained surgeon; he nearly botched the operation, and the boy’s parents reacted angrily. Suspicions about Shier’s medical credentials had already surfaced among operating-room nurses, and the hospital, aware of other complaints related to Shier’s groin-area operations on young boys, opened a formal investigation. By the time the hospital board determined that both his medical degree, from a European university, and his European letters of reference were fraudulent, Harry Shier had departed for the United States.

A few years later, a police officer in Denver caught Shier raping a boy in the front seat of his automobile. Shier spent a year in prison and then slipped out of Colorado. In the late 1940s, he surfaced in North Hollywood, California, as the director of a sanitarium where he supervised the treatment of people with addictions, primarily alcoholics….
http://harpers.org/archive/2013/01/sliver-of-sky/

In ‘Sliver Of Sky,’ Barry Lopez Confronts Childhood Sexual Abuse
January 10, 2013
Barry Lopez is known for writing about the natural world. His books include Arctic Dreams and Of Wolves and Men, where he explores the relationship between the physical landscape and human culture. But in a new essay in the January issue of Harper’s Magazine, Lopez writes that he was sexually molested by a family friend when he was a boy, and says the man was never brought to justice.

The abuse began when Lopez was 7 years old. The man, named Harry Shier, oversaw the alcoholism treatment for a relative of Lopez’s mother at the sanatorium Shier supervised in North Hollywood, Calif. He presented himself as a doctor. Lopez writes that Shier said there was something wrong with Lopez, and that the rape was treatment for that problem.
http://www.npr.org/2013/01/10/168964002/in-sliver-of-sky-barry-lopez-confronts-childhood-sexual-abuse

 

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