Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage, Cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House
April 16, 2015 Comments Off on Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage, Cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House
– Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, witness says
– Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage
– Childhood abuse drove me to prostitution
Carrickfergus man tells of the cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House which drove him to become a rent boy in London.
Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest ‘raped me well over 100 times’, witness says
By William Rollo and Marlina Whop Apirl 14, 2015
A witness at a child sex abuse inquiry says she was raped “well over 100 times” by a priest at St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage Rockhampton in central Queensland.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard the treatment of children at the orphanage was “vicious and sadistic”, while an earlier inquiry found hundreds of children were sexually abused, beaten and forced into hard labour there.
The inquiry has begun hearings into how the Sisters of Mercy, the Rockhampton diocese and the state government responded to complaints made by former residents of St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage.
The orphanage has already been the subject of several police and government investigations, and a 1999 inquiry led by former Queensland governor Leneen Forde.
After the so-called Forde Inquiry, the Queensland government at the time offered ex gratia payments of up to $40,000 to people as long as they dropped other legal action against the state.
Over the next two weeks, the royal commission will hear evidence from 18 witnesses, with 13 being former residents of the orphanage, who say they were abused by priests, workers, and nuns there from 1940 to 1975…. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-14/child-sex-abuse-inquiry-neerkol-orphanage-rockhampton/6391002
Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage
Michael Madigan, AAP The Courier-Mail April 15, 2015
….A FORMER resident of an infamous central Queensland orphanage says she tried to blow the whistle on sexual abuse she suffered while in care but was ignored by authorities.
A royal commission sitting in Rockhampton has heard that sadistic punishments and sexual abuse were rife at St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage, which was run by the Sisters of Mercy from 1885 and 1978.
Former resident Diane Carpenter, 62, told the second day of a public hearing that while at Neerkol in Rockhampton she was sexually abused by a priest called Father Michael Hayes and by a member of a foster family who took her in during holidays….
A CATHOLIC priest is alleged to have hypnotised a 12-year-girl with a silver fob watch before raping her, while another forced his victim to “confess her sin of impurity” after each attack.
In some of the more sinister evidence to come before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, two women yesterday told of a widespread climate of paedophilia mixed with religious piety in the Rockhampton Catholic community in the 1960s and ’70s.
Public floggings with a horse whip of runaway boys and ritual humiliation of bed-wetters, forced to stand in the communal dining room with their wet sheets on their heads, were alleged to be part of an often-sadistic climate at the Neerkol Orphanage, presided over by the Sisters of Mercy.
A 67-year-old woman told of being raped and attacked up to 100 times by local priest Father Reg Durham, the attacks continuing even as she trained to be a nun…. http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/victims-give-evidence-at-royal-commission-into-abuse-at-queensland-orphanage/story-fnihsrf2-1227304003352
Childhood abuse drove me to prostitution
Carrickfergus man tells of the cruel treatment at Lisburn’s Lissue House which drove him to become a rent boy in London.
By Lisa Smyth – 15 April 2015
A local man has told how he turned to booze and became a rent boy as a result of the horrendous abuse he suffered as a child. Carrickfergus man Chris Donnelly is a former resident of one of the facilities currently being examined by the Historical Abuse Inquiry….
“Lissue House was a hospital for children with mental problems but my only problem was that I had been bullied.”
Mr Donnelly said official records of his time at the hospital show he was living in constant fear of beatings by staff and other residents.
“I was constantly looking over my shoulder and the records prove that,” he said.
“There are so many examples of beatings, getting kicked or slapped just became a normal way of life…. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sunday-life/childhood-abuse-drove-me-to-prostitution-31144906.html
Father Charlie had curious hands, Terminated Chi Phi fraternity put pledge in casket, Fukuoka bans yakuza finger cutting
March 25, 2015 Comments Off on Father Charlie had curious hands, Terminated Chi Phi fraternity put pledge in casket, Fukuoka bans yakuza finger cutting
“(Father) Sylvestre, like most predators, had been cunning. His public demonstrativeness cast doubt on anything he might be accused of doing behind closed doors, especially because he was such a powerful and beloved man.”
Father Charlie had curious hands
In an exclusive story for the Star, bestselling novelist Lori Lansens recalls her childhood in Chatham, Ont., and her early encounters with Father Charles Sylvestre, later convicted of abusing dozens of girls.
Author Lori Lansens, pictured at her home in California. “God and Father Charlie were inextricably bound for me then,” she writes, reflecting on her childhood in Chatham, Ont. “That confusing incident in the rectory stole them both, and made me question everything that I’d ever believed.”
By: Lori Lansens Special to the Star, Published on Fri Mar 20 2015….
To hundreds of children during his lengthy residence at St. Ursula’s Parish, the priest was Father Charlie. A charismatic leader with sympathetic eyes, he roamed the hallways of our school and often walked the yard at recess, ready with his warm embrace. Sometimes he came into our classrooms and the teachers would sneak off for a cigarette break — so many of them smoked back then. He’d sit in the teacher’s big chair, gathering us close as we competed for the spot on his lap. I prayed that Father Charlie would favour me, as he clearly seemed to favour certain little girls….
When I was around 10 years old, I began to notice that Father Charlie had curious hands. They wouldn’t rest on a young girl’s shoulder, but encircle her waist or creep up her back, or touch the hair around her collarbone or at the back of her neck. He gave a lot of shoulder massages too. Had he always done that? Had my perception of his touching changed as I’d matured? I felt guilty and ashamed for wondering. He was a priest after all, and so it followed, in my young mind, that he was innocent and naive.
I was in the hallway with one of my Grade 5 classmates when Father Charlie appeared one day, spreading his arms to embrace us as he’d done since we were small children. He complimented my friend, an early bloomer, on her shamrock-patterned T-shirt as I seethed with envy. Then the priest fixed his gaze on her budding breasts and raised his index finger to touch her nipple, slowly tracing a series of shamrock graphics there as I watched in silent horror…..
(Somewhere around Grade 7, rumours had begun to circulate about our beloved Father Charlie. Maybe there had always been rumours and we just hadn’t heard them. Some of the girls had nicknames for him — Father Feeler and Sylvestre the Molester. Lisa and I didn’t believe the talk, which was usually vague and improbable sounding. His awkward affections had just been misunderstood, we insisted.)….
Then we pulled open the closet door to see a hefty, barely concealed collection of Playboy magazines. Lisa and I clutched each other, screaming silently.
A priest with Playboy? We thought it was hilarious. At least that was our first reaction. Then unease set in. The alcohol and the magazines were nothing we hadn’t glimpsed before at the homes of friends with older brothers, but this was Father Charlie….
I stiffened when he stepped up behind me and cringed when he touched a ringlet at my nape. I didn’t dare catch Lisa’s eye. The priest asked us questions as he played with my curls and I pretended not to notice when he pressed his pelvis into my bony upper back, concerned with how embarrassed Father Charlie would be when he realized that his private parts were touching my spine. When he put his big hands on my shoulders and began a too-rough massage, I seized up. His breath reeked of whiskey and made me feel sick.
He told me to relax but I couldn’t let my shoulders down. His hands were digging below my collarbone into the flesh of my tender chest and it hurt. I tried to unclench and felt awful for disappointing him, even as I wondered if it was possible that he was bumping his genitals against my back intentionally…..
I was in my late 30s and living in Toronto when two brave women whose names I knew, one a classmate’s sister, stepped forward, charging that Charles Sylvestre had abused them when they were students at St. Ursula School. The lawsuit against the London Diocese made headline news. The floodgates opened and more victims came forward from St. Ursula, and other parishes too, in a serial abuse career spanning four decades and five parishes. Charles Sylvestre was charged with fondling, digital penetration and rape in cases involving dozens of little girls. In many instances the abuse began when girls were asked to come and fold bulletins at the rectory after school, or to count the collection, or help with a chore. Sometimes he assaulted the children during confession.
Sylvestre, like most predators, had been cunning. His public demonstrativeness cast doubt on anything he might be accused of doing behind closed doors, especially because he was such a powerful and beloved man. The priest pleaded guilty to 47 counts of sexual assault and died a few months into a three-year prison term. But there were many more victims, other women who have come forward and continue to launch lawsuits against the institutions responsible for keeping pedophiles like Charles Sylvestre in positions of power over children…..
Records: Terminated Chi Phi fraternity put pledge in casket
University of Wisconsin cut ties with chapter after hazing incident landed student in hospital
by Rachael Lallensack · Mar 23, 2015
Chi Phi’s once-secret initiation ceremony was the cause for the chapter’s termination, records show.
A Chi Phi fraternity pledge who entered a “ritual casket” during their initiation ceremony went to the hospital after a member “curb stomped” the casket and broke through it, according to records obtained by The Badger Herald. The incident sparked a University of Wisconsin investigation that ultimately led to the fraternity’s March 18 termination.
Committee on Student Organizations unanimously approved Chi Phi’s termination due to hazing violations. CSO’s investigation began after the committee received a report on Jan. 20 with the allegations….
CSO found the fraternity had violated four of 12 items on the Registered Student Organization code of conduct list, three of which prohibit acts of violence, endangerment, sexual assault and substance abuse.
The decision is based off the January report and interviews that the Dean of Students’ office conducted….
The committee found Chi Phi caused “serious physical, psychological and emotional injuries” during its initiation. Among the activities that caused these injuries, CSO cited “food deprivation, stints of hooded isolation, loss of personal liberty, sleeping in a confined attic” and the ritual casket ceremony.
About 20 new members were “crammed” into space in the attic, Knueve said.
“The Committee, without hesitation, found that all aspects of the hazing to be egregious in nature, and unanimously believed that these actions demonstrated severe organizational misconduct,” CSO wrote in its decision. “The physical and emotional harm done to the new members of Chi Phi, whether they agreed to the hazing activities or not, is inexcusable by any standard, and has no place at the University of Wisconsin.”….
Fukuoka bans yakuza finger cutting
By on March 25, 2015
Members of the Dojin-kai are banned from coercing fellow gangsters into cutting off their fingers
FUKUOKA (TR) – Following recent incidents of abuse, the Fukuoka Prefectural Public Safety Commission on Tuesday announced a ban on a ritualistic form of atonement for one of the prefecture’s organized crime groups, reports the Nishi Nippon Shimbun (March 24).
In a meeting with a 41-year-old upper member of the Dojin-kai, whose headquarters is located in Kurume City, the commission said members of the gang would be prohibited from facilitating the removal of a finger of a fellow gangster.
Under the mandate, the act of coercion, whether in a meeting or through telephone or letter, and the provision of a cutting tool are banned acts.
The initiative, based on the Anti-Organized Crime Law enacted in 1991, is a nationwide first. The ban extends for a period of one year.
In the world of organized crime, the finger-cutting custom is a deep-rooted act to show responsibility for a transgression….
Child abuse, Clergy abuse and Ritual abuse articles and research https://ritualabuse.us
Rochdale child sex ring – No officers to be charged over Rochdale child abuse failure, say police, Clergy Sex Abuse Victims In Montana’s Diocese of Helena To Receive $20 Million In Payments
March 13, 2015 Comments Off on Rochdale child sex ring – No officers to be charged over Rochdale child abuse failure, say police, Clergy Sex Abuse Victims In Montana’s Diocese of Helena To Receive $20 Million In Payments
Rochdale child sex ring
No officers to be charged over Rochdale child abuse failure, say police
Greater Manchester police examined the conduct of 13 officers between 2008 and 2010 but found only one warranted disciplinary action
Thursday 12 March 2015
No police officer will be disciplined over a force-wide failure to tackle the sexual abuse of teenage girls in Rochdale, according to a report by Greater Manchester police (GMP).
The force looked at the conduct of 13 officers between 2008 and 2010, but served notices of misconduct on only seven. Ultimately only one officer, an inspector, was found to have warranted disciplinary action but he was able to retire without any sanction being taken against him. The remaining six officers were given “words of advice” by superiors.
GMP took four years to complete the investigation under the supervision of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The officer who retired had been in a supervisory role in 2008 when Girl A, the teenager at the heart of the landmark 2012 trial of nine paedophiles, made her allegations of abuse. He had been in the force for 30 years.
A second officer failed to serve an abduction notice on Shabir Ahmed, the leader of the gang who preyed on girls visiting two takeaways in Heywood. A third was criticised for yawning while interviewing Girl A about her allegations.
The assistant chief constable of Greater Manchester police, Dawn Copley, acknowledged “mistakes were made and victims let down”. She laid some of the blame at the force’s focus in 2008–10 on targeting such crimes as burglary.
There was also a widespread lack of understanding about the complexities of child sexual exploitation. But she insisted that lessons had been learned in the aftermath of the failings.
Nine men from Rochdale and Oldham were found guilty of offences that included rape and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child. Eight were of Pakistani origin, the other from Afghanistan. The court heard the group had plied five victims with drink and drugs and “passed them around” for sex.
Girl A reacted with fury at the report. “I’m fuming,” she said. “It’s taken them four years and it reads like a whitewash. These policemen have done wrong and yet none of them has been named and the one they wanted to discipline has been able to retire. It just seems very, very convenient.”…. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/mar/13/no-officers-charged-over-rochdale-child-abuse-failure-greater-manchester-police
Clergy Sex Abuse Victims In Montana’s Diocese of Helena To Receive $20 Million In Payments
AP By Matthew Brown 03/05/2015
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Hundreds of victims of clergy sex abuse that spanned decades in Montana stand to receive payments totaling about $20 million, after a federal judge on Wednesday confirmed the bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Terry Myers approved the plan during an hour-long court hearing in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in which representatives of both victims and the diocese voiced their support.
More than 360 abuse claims will now go through an adjudication process to determine final payment amounts. Each allowed claim will receive a minimum of $2,500, and attorneys involved in the case said only a handful of the claims are considered dubious.
A $920,000 trust will be established for victims who come forward in the future.
The diocese filed for bankruptcy last year to resolve abuse claims that prompted lawsuits in state court from two groups of victims in 2011.
The majority of abuse occurred at the hands of Jesuit priests at the Ursuline Academy and the St. Ignatius Mission, both in St. Ignatius, Montana. The abuse ranged from rape and fondling, to perpetrators taking sexual photographs of children. It began in the 1930s and continued through the 1970s, according to court documents.
The average age of the victims at the time of abuse was 10 years old…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/05/diocese-of-helena-bankruptcy-sex-abuse_n_6808486.html
Thousands of Vulnerable Children Go Missing from Britain’s Protective Services, Oxford officer was silenced over sex abuse fears, New lawsuit alleges sexual abuse in Fort Worth Catholic Diocese
March 6, 2015 Comments Off on Thousands of Vulnerable Children Go Missing from Britain’s Protective Services, Oxford officer was silenced over sex abuse fears, New lawsuit alleges sexual abuse in Fort Worth Catholic Diocese
Thousands of Vulnerable Children Go Missing from Britain’s Protective Services
By Leah McGrath Goodman March 3, 2015
A general view showing housing in Rotherham on September 1, 2014 in Rotherham, England. South Yorkshire Police are launching an independent investigation into its handling of the Rotherham child abuse scandal and will also probe the role of public bodies and council workers. A report claims at least 1,400 children as young as 11 were sexually abused from 1997- 2013 in Rotherham Care Homes but no council staff will face disciplinary action.
Many of the child sex abuse scandals that have shocked Britain in recent years involve victims who were supposed to be under the protection of the state—children identified as at risk by child protective services and in the care of local authorities.
Many in Britain have characterized the abuses as a thing of the past. Surely such horrors could never happen today. But an analysis of the most recent official data shows that each year the government loses track of around 2,000 vulnerable children in care, even as reports of human trafficking inside the country are on the rise….
Bad record-keeping has been a feature of the abuse scandals. Last autumn, a review by the U.K.’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children found that between 1979 and 1999, the U.K. Home Office had “lost or destroyed” 114 files relating to reported child abuse by high-ranking people, including senior politicians. The review came after a report last year from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, revealed that at least 1,400 minors were subjected to widespread, organized child-sex abuse from 1997 to 2013, including many who were in care….
The U.K.’s Human Trafficking Centre’s latest assessment shows a total of 2,744 people, including 602 children, reported as trafficked for exploitation in the U.K. in 2013, up 22 percent from 2012. The organization stresses that the numbers reflect only what’s been reported and are rough figures. Not all reports indicate confirmed trafficking, but, at the same time, the totals could be much higher, as not all incidents are reported. Victims were forced to work in brothels, hotels, private homes or on the street as sex workers, and also forced into domestic servitude or to work on building sites or in farms and factories….
Oxford officer was silenced over sex abuse fears
Police treated abuse victims as if they were ‘wayward girls’, report says
Paul Peachey Tuesday 03 March 2015
A council worker who wrote a series of increasingly exasperated emails warning of child abuse by Asian men in Oxfordshire was silenced after an official complaint by senior officials about his attitude, it has emerged.
Details came to light in a report published yesterday revealing that 373 girls were likely to have been victims of grooming, rape and trafficking after police and social services failed to take victims and their own staff seriously.
The worker, an ex-detective, raised repeated concerns with the director of children’s services and other officials at the county council in 2007 after seeing a 13-year-old in bed with an adult. He also reported a stream of men going into a flat every night and emerging in the early hours.
But instead of dealing with his complaints, a senior council official complained about his behaviour and his manager made an unreserved apology for the “unprofessional way” in which he had acted….
The serious case review, produced by Dr Alan Bedford, found that children as young as 12 were treated by police as “wayward girls”, complicit in their own abuse, despite being groomed by adults who had ensnared them through drink, drugs and menace.
One detective reported that a 14-year-old girl had initiated sex with two adult men, and reports used the term “boyfriend” for men in their 30s seen with girls as young as 13….
The report said the victims’ accounts were often ignored or seen as exaggerated when they did come forward to authorities….
In one incident, a girl told of how she turned up at a police station after 2am covered in blood after a sex attack. “They dismissed me as being naughty, a nuisance. I was bruised and bloody,” she told the report.
New lawsuit alleges sexual abuse in Fort Worth Catholic Diocese By Elizabeth Campbell 03/05/2015
A man who lives near Spokane, Wash., is suing the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese saying he was sexually assaulted in the 1990s by a priest who was his seventh-grade history teacher at a Catholic school in Wichita Falls.
The victim, identified in court documents as John Doe 117, also named Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson in the suit filed this week in Tarrant County district court.
The victim is seeking over $1 million in damages for emotional anguish, medical expenses and diminished earning capacity because of what is described in the suit as a “sadistic ritual of sexual abuse” by the late priest John Sutton.
Sutton, who died in 2004, told the student that if he told anyone of their encounters that “I have the power to ruin your life,” according to the suit….
Members of press issue mea culpas on botched Bill Cosby coverage, Spain arrests Granada priests over child sex abuse
November 26, 2014 Comments Off on Members of press issue mea culpas on botched Bill Cosby coverage, Spain arrests Granada priests over child sex abuse
Members of press issue mea culpas on botched Bill Cosby coverage November 25, 2014
Some members of the press who covered Bill Cosby over the past 40 years are now issuing mea culpas, saying they failed to follow up on the many accusations leveled at the comedy legend over the years.
Bill Cosby’s official biographer Mark Whitaker says he was wrong in not addressing the numerous allegations of sexual assault leveled against the comedian. Whitaker’s admission comes on the heels of New York Times columnist David Carr taking to task a number of writers – himself included – for turning a blind eye to the claims….
Cosby, 77, has been publicly accused by at least 18 women of sexually assaulting them or attempting to sexually assault them over the past four decades. His lawyers have denied the claims and called many of the women liars and opportunists. Cosby refused to address the stories in recorded interviews with the Associated Press and National Public Radio. He told the publication Florida Today: “I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos.”
But despite the denials, venues on Cosby’s tour are dropping like flies….
Spain arrests Granada priests over child sex abuse
24 November 2014
Police in Spain have arrested three priests and one layman on suspicion of child sex abuse, according to the country’s interior minister….
The Archdiocese of Granada suspended several priests last week after a man wrote to Pope Francis saying he was abused when he was an altar boy….
However, Spanish newspaper El Pais said all were believed to be members of the ultraconservative group known as Los Romanones….
Yazidi sex slaves, Deaf school clergy abuse, Chinese doomsday cult, Female genital mutilation, Knowl View – Cyril Smith, Manchester child sex grooming gangs
October 15, 2014 Comments Off on Yazidi sex slaves, Deaf school clergy abuse, Chinese doomsday cult, Female genital mutilation, Knowl View – Cyril Smith, Manchester child sex grooming gangs
– Thousands of Yazidi women sold as sex slaves ‘for theological reasons’, says Isil
– Deaf school group to honor Delavan man who helped expose priest abuse
– Wife axed in suspected ritual killing
– Chinese court sentences cult members to death
– Ancient ritual of female child abuse must end, activists say
– Child abuse inquiry to examine claims John Major’s government failed to act
– Greater Manchester police ‘failed to pursue child abuse gang claims’
Thousands of Yazidi women sold as sex slaves ‘for theological reasons’, says Isil
Article in Islamic State’s English-language online magazine Dabiq not only admits selling Yazidi women into sex slavery but justifies it according to the theological rulings of early Islam
By Richard Spencer 13 Oct 2014
Islamic State jihadists have given detailed theological reasons justifying why they have taken thousands of women from the Iraqi Yazidi minority and sold them into sex slavery.
A new article in the Islamic State English-language online magazine Dabiq not only admits the practice but justifies it according to the theological rulings of early Islam.
“After capture, the Yazidi women and children were then divided according to the Sharia amongst the fighters of the Islamic State who participated,” the article says.
It says there is a difference between women from Muslim sects the jihadists regard as heretical, who can be considered as “apostates”, and the so-called mushrikin – polytheists and pagans.
“Their women could be enslaved, unlike female apostates.”
The women were seized when the group swept across parts of northern Iraq in early August….
Deaf school group to honor Delavan man who helped expose priest abuse
By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
Oct. 13, 2014
Arthur Budzinski, a deaf man who helped expose one of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s most notorious child sexual abusers, the late Father Lawrence Murphy, will be honored Saturday by the Wisconsin School for the Deaf Alumni Association….
Budzinski was among dozens of boys molested by Murphy as children at the archdiocese’s St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis between 1950 and 1974. One church psychologist estimated Murphy may have molested as many as 200 deaf children before he died in 1998.
Budzinski was among a group of alumni who had been pushing the church since the 1970s to remove Murphy and confront its failure to protect children. Their work has been documented by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and New York Times and was featured in the 2012 Alex Gibney documentary, “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.”
He is among the 575 men and women who have filed sex abuse claims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy alleging they were molested by priests and others connected to the church as children….
Wife axed in suspected ritual killing
12/10/2014 by Staff Reporter
A 35-YEAR-OLD Binga man last Tuesday allegedly chopped off his wife’s head with an axe and hid it in a cardboard box under his bed.
The gruesome murder happened in Siabua village in Binga. Villagers who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com said they suspect Wonder Munsaka committed the crime for ritual purposes….
Chinese court sentences cult members to death
5 cult members killed woman in Zhaoyuan McDonald’s
By Tim Hume CNN Oct 13, 2014
(CNN) – Two members of a banned Chinese doomsday cult were sentenced to death Saturday for the brutal murder of a woman in a McDonald’s restaurant in May, Chinese state media reported.
Zhang Fan and Zhang Lidong were among five members of the Church of Almighty God, or “Quannengshen,” tried on murder charges in August over the killing in Zhaoyuan, Shandong Province, the state-run Xinhua agency reported.
Three fellow cult members, Lyu Yingchun, Zhang Hang and Zhang Qiaolian, were sentenced to life, 10 and seven years in prison respectively for their roles in the attack. The four Zhangs were related, according to the report.
A court statement said the victim, a 37-year-old woman named Wu Shuoyan, was attacked after refusing to give her phone number to the group, who were allegedly attempting to recruit new members.
Zhang Fan and Lyu called her an “evil spirit,”….
inked to kidnappings, violence and extortion, the Church of Almighty God has been on a list of 14 banned religious groups issued by China’s Ministry of Public Security since 1995.
Founded in the 1990s in Henan Province, the group believes that Jesus has been reincarnated as Yang Xiangbin, the wife of the group’s founder, Zhao Weishan. The couple fled to the United States in 2000, Xinhua reported.
The group, also known as Eastern Lightning (“Dongfang Shandian”), preaches that the righteous are engaged in an apocalyptic struggle against China’s Communist Party — which it refers to as the “great red dragon.”
Belonging to a tradition of heterodox, quasi-Christian Chinese religious movements, the cult was estimated as having between several hundred thousand and one million members, according to Emily Dunn, an Asian studies academic at the University of Melbourne who wrote her doctoral thesis on the group….
In a statement provided to CNN in June, Hong Kong-based members of the group responsible for its English-language website said it was “very natural” for the Chinese Communist Party to blame the group for the McDonald’s death because the party slandered and then suppressed those that disagreed with it….
Ancient ritual of female child abuse must end, activists say
By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation 10/13/2014
Africa can end female genital mutilation (FGM) in 20 years, activists said on Friday as they launched a continent-wide campaign, calling the ancient ritual a form of child abuse aimed at controlling women’s sexuality.
NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – FGM, a practice involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, can cause hemorrhage, shock, complications in childbirth, fistula and death….
“Unless the violence stops, we will not rest.”
Some 30 million African girls are at risk of FGM over the next decade. This includes tens of thousands of girls from diaspora communities in Europe and North America who are often taken abroad to be cut….
In Kenya, 27 percent of women undergo FGM, although it reaches 98 percent in some communities, such as the Somali.
Child abuse inquiry to examine claims John Major’s government failed to act
Information about abuse at children’s home frequented by Cyril Smith was allegedly received but not acted upon
Rajeev Syal The Guardian, Tuesday 14 October 2014
The independent inquiry into the apparent failure of politicians and public bodies to investigate historical sex abuse will examine allegations that John Major’s government failed to act when it was informed of widespread abuse at a children’s home frequented by the late paedophile MP Cyril Smith.
The inquiry has been told that in 1995, detailed claims of rape and sexual grooming of pupils at Knowl View school were sent to the office of Gillian Shephard, the then education secretary.
But instead of intervening, senior civil servants referred the dossier back to the council, the Guardian has learned. Shephard, who is now a baroness, confirmed that her office received the file but insists she knew nothing about it.
Paperwork from the Department for Education about the dossier has been passed on to the Home Office institutional abuse enquiry, headed by Fiona Woolf. She is examining allegations that figures in Westminster and Whitehall were implicated in the failure to protect children.
The same paperwork has also been referred to Greater Manchester police, the force that has launched a criminal investigation into an alleged coverup of child abuse at a Knowl View and the decision not to prosecute Smith.
Dozens of former pupils from Knowl View have come forward to say they were abused at the school. Smith, who died in 2010, is alleged to have assaulted several children at the school….
Greater Manchester police ‘failed to pursue child abuse gang claims’
Detectives say they identified offenders and victims more than a decade ago but no action was taken, says ITV investigation
Jamie Orme The Guardian, Tuesday 14 October 2014
Child sex grooming gangs have avoided prosecution due to a failure by one of the country’s biggest police forces to pursue claims against them, it has been alleged, threatening to reignite the debate over institutional neglect of young victims of sexual abuse.
Greater Manchester police (GMP), the third largest force in England and Wales, has been accused by serving and former detectives of attempting to cover up failings to tackle gangs of Asian men who were abusing young girls, according to an ITV News investigation.
A former detective constable with the force has come forward to reveal she named and identified offenders and victims more than a decade ago in an internal report but no action was taken.
Responding to the claims, GMP chief constable Sir Peter Fahy told ITV that officers had developed a “mindset” that victims in sexual abuse cases were “unreliable” but, while this had since changed, it was still present within the courts….
The claims against GMP come just months after a damning report found at least 1,400 children were subjected to sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, with “blatant” collective failings by the council and South Yorkshire police blamed for the abuse….
Another GMP detective, who has remained anonymous, looked at the issue six years later and revealed there was reluctance by senior officers to investigate sexual abuse claims despite her warnings the problem was spiralling out of control….
For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad, Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican
August 26, 2014 Comments Off on For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad, Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican
“the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic”
For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN AUG. 23, 2014
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — He was a familiar figure to the skinny shoeshine boys who work along the oceanfront promenade here. Wearing black track pants and a baseball cap pulled low over his balding head, they say, he would stroll along in the late afternoon and bring one of them down to the rocky shoreline or to a deserted monument for a local Catholic hero.
The boys say he gave them money to perform sexual acts. They called him “the Italian” because he spoke Spanish with an Italian accent.
It was only after he was spirited out of the country, the boys say, his picture splashed all over the local news media, that they learned his real identity: Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic….
The case is the first time that a top Vatican ambassador, or nuncio — who serves as a personal envoy of the pope — has been accused of sexual abuse of minors. It has sent shock waves through the Vatican and two predominantly Catholic countries that have only begun to grapple with clergy sexual abuse: the Dominican Republic and Poland, where Mr. Wesolowski was ordained by the Polish prelate who later became Pope John Paul II….
Mr. Wesolowski has already faced the harshest penalty possible under the church’s canon law, short of excommunication: on June 27, he was defrocked by the Vatican, reducing him to the status of a layman. The Vatican, which as a city-state has its own judicial system, has also said it intends to try Mr. Wesolowski on criminal charges — the first time the Vatican has held a criminal trial for sexual abuse.
But far from settling the matter, the Vatican has stirred an outcry because it helped Mr. Wesolowski avoid criminal prosecution and a possible jail sentence in the Dominican Republic. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic….
A Dominican bishop, Victor Masalles, visiting Rome in late June, said in a Twitter message that he was surprised to see Mr. Wesolowski “strolling the Via della Scrofa,” in the city’s picturesque ancient center. He added, “The silence of the Church has hurt the people of God.”….
Mr. Wesolowski, 66, was ordained at 23 in Krakow by Archbishop Karol Józef Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. In 1999, he was appointed papal nuncio to Bolivia, and in 2002, he was reassigned to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan….
Neither the cardinal, nor other church officials, reported the allegations to the local authorities, Dominican officials say. Vatican guidelines say that criminal sexual abuse accusations should be reported in countries where reporting is required….
The case has reverberated in Poland, where prosecutors have sought to extradite Mr. Wesolowski, who holds both Vatican and Polish citizenship. Poland has indicted another Polish priest, the Rev. Wojciech Gil, who fled the Dominican Republic last year amid allegations that he abused altar boys in his rural parish. Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic say that Father Gil and Mr. Wesolowski spent time with young boys at the nuncio’s beach house….
Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican
VATICAN CITY Mon Aug 25, 2014
(Reuters) – A Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic has appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal’s decision to defrock him, the Vatican said on Monday.
Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as a Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation, was sentenced in late June to be expelled from the priesthood, an extremely rare step against such a senior church official.
“Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, against the most serious canonical sentence, that of a return to the lay state, which has been imposed upon him,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement….
If found guilty in a criminal trial, Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case….
Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
August 22, 2014 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
Cardinal Pell spoke at the royal commission via a video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday
He said the church was no more legally responsible for priests who abuse than a trucking company that employs a driver who molests women
The Vatican has refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission
By Sarah Dean For Daily Mail Australia and Aap
21 August 2014
….When the Australian federal government announced the establishment of a Royal Commission in late 2012 into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell also caused controversy when he stated that priests who hear confessions from people who commit child sex abuse must remain bound by the Seal of Confession.
‘If that is done outside the confessional (it can be reported to the police)…. (But) the Seal of Confession is inviolable. If the priest knows beforehand about such a situation, the priest should refuse to hear the confession… That would be my advice, and I would never hear the confession of a priest who is suspected of such a thing,’ he said.
On Thursday the Vatican also refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission.
The Vatican said the commission’s request for documents on each allegation involving an Australian cleric was ‘neither possible nor appropriate’.
Reasons included ongoing church investigations, and that internal working documents were the sovereign property of the Holy See….
Pell denies church responsible in abuse
Friday, 22 August 2014
The Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company which employs a driver who molests women, Cardinal George Pell maintains.
Victims’ families say it’s a ludicrous comparison and even the chair of the child abuse royal commission thinks the situation is quite different when it comes to a priest getting access to a child.
Cardinal Pell accepts the church has a moral obligation to victims, but when it comes to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests are not necessarily its fault.
‘If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don’t think it’s appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,’ Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome on Thursday.
But Cardinal Pell said if the church had been warned about a priest or had bad policies or procedures in place, ‘then certainly the church official would be responsible’….
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said priests got access to children with the parents’ consent, unlike truck drivers.
‘The relationship between the priest and a child is quite different to that between the truck driver and the casual passenger, isn’t it?’ he asked Cardinal Pell.
‘Yes, I would certainly concede that,’ Cardinal Pell responded….
Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at child sex abuse inquiry, Child sexual abuse royal commission: O’Callaghan advised abuse victims on strength of cases
August 21, 2014 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at child sex abuse inquiry, Child sexual abuse royal commission: O’Callaghan advised abuse victims on strength of cases
“But victims were told if they chose to go to police, they were no longer eligible for compensation”
Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at child sex abuse inquiry
Pell was archbishop of Melbourne when the church set up the Melbourne Response compensation scheme
Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Wednesday 20 August 2014
Cardinal George Pell’s role in setting up a Catholic Church compensation scheme for victims of pedophile priests will be scrutinised on Thursday at the child abuse royal commission.
Pell was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 when the Melbourne archdiocese decided to respond to growing allegations of child sex abuse by its clergy. The church considered creating a legal entity that could be sued by victims, but designed the Melbourne Response compensation scheme instead.
Cardinal Pell told the royal commission earlier this year he believed the church should now create an entity that could be sued.
A Victorian parliamentary inquiry last year recommended the Catholic Church be incorporated so it could be sued….
Child sexual abuse royal commission: O’Callaghan advised abuse victims on strength of cases
By court reporter Peta Carlyon 20 August 2014
The man in charge of the Catholic Church’s so-called Melbourne Response to allegations of child abuse has rejected suggestions he failed to encourage victims to go to police.
Peter O’Callaghan QC has been dealing with complainants and deciding whether they are eligible for compensation since the scheme began in 1996.
He was repeatedly questioned about the legal integrity of his decision-making at today’s hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Mr O’Callaghan has been a Queen’s Counsel for 40 years and said the Melbourne Response was based in canon law and “natural justice”.
He said when there was a dispute with a claim he would take on a role similar to a magistrate in a criminal case.
He was again asked repeatedly why he did not report cases of abuse to Victoria Police and why he took it upon himself to advise victims on the potential strength of their cases….
Yesterday he told the commission he had made more than 330 adverse findings against priests within the Melbourne archdiocese since the complaint’s procedure began.
The church has paid out more than $17 million to abuse victims through the scheme.
But victims were told if they chose to go to police, they were no longer eligible for compensation….
Serial Predator Whom the Archdiocese Continually Disregarded as Being a Threat to Women and Children
August 12, 2014 Comments Off on Serial Predator Whom the Archdiocese Continually Disregarded as Being a Threat to Women and Children
– Years ago, he was a young priest — and alleged rapist
– Priest Diagnosed with Sexuality Disorder in 1989 Continued in Ministry until 2013
– Priest File of Father Kenneth LaVan
– Fr. Kenneth LaVan
Years ago, he was a young priest — and alleged rapist
By Emily Gurnon 08/11/2014
The Rev. Kenneth LaVan began sexually abusing girls with his first parish assignment in the 1960s and later threatened to burn down a woman’s house and have her husband killed — yet he was not removed from active ministry in the Twin Cities until last year, according to court and internal church records.
The Rev. Kevin McDonough told then-Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2005 that while he knew of LaVan’s “boundary violations with adult females, I had forgotten that there were two allegations in the late 1980s concerning sexual involvement with teenaged girls.”….
An early allegation against LaVan was by a girl who said the priest raped her when she was 14 or 15 at the Church of St. Raphael in Crystal, where he served from 1965 to 1970.
Psychologist Gary Schoener was hired by the archdiocese to examine LaVan. He also evaluated the girl’s account and that of another teenager, who said LaVan kissed her “passionately,” backed her up against a wall and fondled her. The abuse began when she was between the sixth and seventh grade, she said….
LaVan denied “anything close to” a rape, though Schoener said he believed LaVan was minimizing events with both girls.
“The alternative — that these stories are fabrications — seems extraordinarily unlikely,” Schoener wrote. Putting him back in a pastoral or counseling role, he said, would be “very risky.”
But that is what the archdiocese did, after sending LaVan to a seven-month inpatient treatment program at the St. Luke Institute in Maryland….
Priest Diagnosed with Sexuality Disorder in 1989 Continued in Ministry until 2013
08/11/2014 KSTP.com Megan Matthews
A file publicly released Monday, accuses the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis of ignoring the fact that a priest, Father Kenneth LaVan, was accused of inappropriate behavior multiple times. He continued in ministry until 2013.
The files, released by Jeff Anderson and Associates, say LaVan was first accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in the 1980s. He was sent for treatment twice and was diagnosed with compulsive sexuality disorder in 1989.
According to Anderson, LaVan’s history was reviewed in 1995, and despite the allegations and a lawsuit, the Clergy Review Board recommended LaVan continue in ministry. It wasn’t until December 2013, when Kinsale Management reviewed LaVan’s files, that he was removed from ministry. LaVan’s name was not part of the original list of credibly accused priests released by the Archdiocese last December; however, LaVan’s name was later added.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement Monday saying it made public that there were “substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor against Kenneth LaVan” in February 2014. A month later it released a statement saying LaVan was removed from ministry in 1989 to undergo treatment. He was only allowed to return to parish ministry at St. Joseph in Lino Lakes with monitoring, after he finished treatment….
Priest File of Father Kenneth LaVan
Aug 11 2014
Father Kenneth LaVan, removed from ministry in December 2013, is a serial predator whom the Archdiocese continually disregarded as being a threat to women and children.
Allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior were made in the 1980s and twice LaVan was sent for treatment. A lawsuit involving one of LaVan’s victims was settled in 1985 and by 1989 LaVan was diagnosed with a compulsive sexuality disorder. In 1995 the Clergy Review Board examined LaVan’s history and recommended he continue in ministry. Archbishop Flynn was informed in 2005 that LaVan was not part of the monitoring system and Flynn advised Father Kevin McDonough to leave the situation alone. Finally, after a review of Church files by Kinsale Management LaVan’s faculties were removed in December 2013….
Fr. Kenneth LaVan
The secret personnel file of Kenneth LaVan shows a pernicious “blind spot” among Catholic officials at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: the stunning and heartless minimization of the sexual abuse of girls and women. This disregard for female victims cuts across the entire chancery staff, including Archbishop Flynn, who openly questioned the credibility of multiple female victims and decided they were not covered under the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
Even more shocking is that LaVan’s file is littered with allegations of violence dating back to the 1980s. Women and girls came forward and told how LaVan sexually abused them — including the forcible rape of a teen, sexualized kissing of children, and threats of arson and murder. Despite all of this — as well as two stints in treatment and two lawsuits — LaVan was not included in any Archdiocese list of accused priests until January 2014, more than 25 years after the Archdiocese knew he was a violent threat. LaVan’s predatory behavior first came to light in the 1980s when one of his victims — who was a teenage girl at the time of the abuse — came forward with a lawsuit. After the suit settled in 1985, LaVan faced another allegation of sexual contact with a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi in Lake St. Croix Beach.
In an interview, the woman told Bishop Carlson that LaVan boasted about his sexual exploits with numerous women….
Despite all of this information, the Clergy Review Board determined in 1995 that LaVan could remain in a parish, as long as he was under supervision. By 2002, at least two more female victims had come forward — a child and an adult. The adult was a patient under psychiatric care at the time of the abuse….