Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic, French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

March 17, 2016 Comments Off on Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic, French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic
2016-03-16
Allegations of a cover-up in the highest reaches of French Catholicism have revived the spectre of clerical child sex abuse and cast a pall over France’s most prominent cardinal

….the allegations have the potential to profoundly rattle the Church in a country where half the population continues to consider itself Catholic. In particular, they threaten to derail the career of France’s most prominent clergyman, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, a man long touted as a possible candidate for the papacy.

The 65-year-old prelate has fiercely denied charges that he covered up paedophilia crimes by failing to remove a priest in his diocese known to have abused boy scouts decades before he took up his post in 2002. Barbarin is also accused of failing to act against another Lyon priest when it emerged in 2009 he had abused a boy in the past.

“I have never, never, never covered up acts of paedophilia,” Barbarin said at a press conference on Tuesday, noting that the cases had passed the legal statute of limitations when they were reported. He added an unfortunate “thank God” – and later apologised for his choice of words.

The cardinal spoke just hours after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged him to “take his responsibility and act” upon the allegations of cover-up – a rare step for France, which has a strict separation of church and state.

Pandora’s box

Barbarin is among six church officials targeted in a preliminary judicial investigation that grew out of allegations that a priest had molested boy scouts in the 1980s. Barbarin wasn’t a cardinal at the time and says he was convinced the priest had been reformed by the time he found out about the abuse in 2007.

The priest, Bernard Preynat, was charged on January 27 of this year with sexual aggression and rape of a minor by a person in authority. The charges are based on complaints filed by members of an association of alleged victims of the priest, known as Parole libérée (Freed word).

Several of the alleged victims have spoken to Euronews journalist Valérie Gauriat about the abuse….

The association says it has received dozens of testimonies from alleged victims, who had previously kept quiet about their story, or were simply not listened to. “Since our establishment, barely two months ago, we have been submerged by messages from victims seeking psychological support or advice,” says Dominique Murillot, the wife of a former child abuse victim and a psychologist at Parole libérée….

Adding to Barbarin’s woes, Le Parisien reported that the Lyon cardinal had in 2013 promoted a convicted sex offender, whose suspended jail term in 2007 was well known to the archdiocese….

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils.

On Wednesday, the Education Ministry said it had struck off twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools in 2015 because of paedophilia-related offenses, adding that it would tighten cooperation with the justice ministry to scrutinize the criminal records of all teachers it employs….
http://www.france24.com/en/20160316-child-abuse-spotlight-france-catholic-cardinal-barbarin-paedophilia


French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

016-03-16
Twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools were struck off in 2015 because of pedophilia-related offenses, Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Wednesday.

Vallaud-Belkacem said most of those fired where male staffers. She did not say whether they were teachers or administrative personnel, nor when the offenses happened.

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils. Earlier this year, a high school teacher who had been convicted in Britain 10 years ago was given preliminary charges of sexual assault after police found pornographic images and video in his mobile phone.

According to a report aiming at improving communication between the ministries of education and justice published Wednesday, 19 members of staff in schools and high schools were fired in 2014 in cases related to child pornography or pedophilia. There were 26 staff at French schools laid off in 2013 for the same reason, and 15 in 2012.

“We believe that a teacher, or an adult, or an administrative agent in contact with children can’t work with children as soon as he has been sentenced for offenses as serious as pedophilia or child pornography,” Vallaud-Belkacem told RTL radio….
http://www.france24.com/en/20160316-france-27-school-staff-fired-child-sex-abuse-paedophilia

 

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Supreme Court allows children’s indirect testimony in child abuse cases, Unofficial Secrets – Child Sexual Abuse: the Cleveland Case

June 19, 2015 Comments Off on Supreme Court allows children’s indirect testimony in child abuse cases, Unofficial Secrets – Child Sexual Abuse: the Cleveland Case

Unofficial Secrets – Child Sexual Abuse: the Cleveland Case
Just as there was a determined not-knowing in 1987, there was equal resistance to any attempt to follow up those 121 children, and reluctance to co-ordinate referrals. Some children did return to the attention of the statutory services. Some children did go on enduring abuse by adults who – having been acquitted by the public debate – had permission to carry on.”

Supreme Court allows children’s indirect testimony in child abuse cases
Richard Wolf and Brad Heath, USA TODAY June 18, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that teachers’ reports of child abuse based on conversations with young children can be admitted as testimony, despite a defendant’s constitutional right to confront his accuser.

The unanimous judgment came in the case of a 3½-year-old Ohio boy whose wounds were visible to teachers at his day care center. Upon questioning, he said his mother’s boyfriend was to blame.

Although the boy was too young to testify reliably in court, the teachers’ reports were admitted at trial, resulting in Darius Clark’s conviction and 28-year prison sentence….

Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the court’s majority, said that the teachers’ “primary purpose” in asking about the abuse was not to help the prosecution, so allowing their testimony did not violate Clark’s constitutional rights.

When police take children’s statements out of court and present it as testimony at trial, it can violate the confrontation clause. But in this case, Alito said, the child spoke to teachers immediately after his wounds were discovered, in an emergency setting on school grounds — not in preparing courtroom testimony….
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/18/supreme-court-child-abuse/27726965/

For a Day in July 2014…

FOR A DAY in July 2014, the advocates of children in care institutions who have been sexually abused by adults — including suspects shielded from scrutiny by the Establishment — tasted triumph: their campaign for an inquiry into historic abuse and cover-up had finally been rewarded, there was to be a public inquiry….

A new e-edition of my book, Unofficial Secrets – Child Sexual Abuse: the Cleveland Case, is forthcoming.
Meanwhile, here is an extract from the 1997 edition:

….The Cleveland case challenged our world view about sex. It also became a crisis of  knowing, of what is known and how it may become knowable. As the months and then the years went by, we were not allowed to know what had happened in Cleveland.

Just as there was a determined not-knowing in 1987, there was equal resistance to any attempt to follow up those 121 children, and reluctance to co-ordinate referrals. Some children did return to the attention of the statutory services. Some children did go on enduring abuse by adults who – having been acquitted by the public debate – had permission to carry on.

….For example, the first edition of this book contains an interview with a man and a woman whose children all showed worrying symptoms. The father was already a convicted sex offender. He was candid: yes, he had ‘previous’; yes, he’d confessed and then retracted. His explanation for anal and vaginal medical signs? He didn’t have one. I didn’t believe his protestations, but I faithfully reported his story. And I didn’t ask why his career as a sex offender and his absurd alibis weren’t relevant.

If this case was deemed controversial, it was not because a convicted sex offender was given custody of his children. It was because Dr. Marietta Higgs’ diagnosis had ignited an investigation. If this case was controversial, it was not because the convicted sex offender made a confession — like his previous record, that didn’t matter.

….That the signs scrolled on the bodies of children suggested serious sexual abuse. They also knew that, if the children had indeed been abused, then the signs were telling us something more – that the children were so marooned in their abusers’ needs and pressure and point of view that silence was itself a survival strategy. A tactic of accommodation was revealed by the signs: the architecture of the body suggested the anatomy of adaptation, of small bodies adapting to overwhelming intrusion, orifices scarred and altered by incoming objects, orifices speaking into the silence of their young subjects.

Not all the children were silent. Some spoke loudly and clearly. Some spoke obliquely and hesitantly. But the adult community chose to interpret the silence — rather than the signs — as the relief of suspicion, rather than as a clue to the difficulty of disclosure. Instead of interpreting the matrix of signs and silence as a dynamic, as a drama of physical suffering and survival shrouded by secrecy, it chose an interpretation of this eerie scenario that reinstated the ideologies and institutions that were so stiffly challenged by these children.
http://www.beatrixcampbell.co.uk/day-july-2014/

Janice Dickinson Bill Cosby Rape Allegation, Bill Cosby’s Joke About Drugging Women, Pedophile group member on Savile show, PIE Group campaigned for the age of consent to be reduced to four, Charles Napier guilty of historical child abuse, Rotherham child abuse scandal, Supermodel Ruslana Korshunova

November 19, 2014 Comments Off on Janice Dickinson Bill Cosby Rape Allegation, Bill Cosby’s Joke About Drugging Women, Pedophile group member on Savile show, PIE Group campaigned for the age of consent to be reduced to four, Charles Napier guilty of historical child abuse, Rotherham child abuse scandal, Supermodel Ruslana Korshunova

– Janice Dickinson accuses Bill Cosby of sexual assault during 1982 hotel meetup
– EXCLUSIVE: Janice Dickinson Details Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Accusations: He Raped Me
– Bill Cosby’s Joke About Drugging Women in 1969 Resurfaces as New Alleged Victim Speaks Out
– Rape victim aged 5 writes to police who failed her and asks: ‘Why did you let me down?’
– Convicted sex offender with links to notorious paedophile group appeared on Jimmy Savile show
– Paedophile group linked to Savile show guest
– Charles Napier guilty of historical child abuse
– Rotherham child abuse scandal: Police watchdog to investigate 10 officers over handling of exploitation complaints
– Supermodel Ruslana Korshunova had joined ‘dehumanising’ cult before jumping to death, author claims

Janice Dickinson accuses Bill Cosby of sexual assault during 1982 hotel meetup
In an interview with ‘Entertainment Tonight,’ the former supermodel said Cosby raped her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 1982. Dickinson is the third woman to accuse Cosby of sexual assault in the last month.
BY Philip Caulfield , Kirthana Ramisetti NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Former supermodel Janice Dickinson has accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her.

The 59-year-old “America’s Next Top Model” judge told Entertainment Tonight the 77-year-old TV legend raped her more than two decades ago.

Dickinson claimed that in 1982, Cosby invited her to Lake Tahoe, where he was performing, to discuss a job he had offered her, as well as advice on her singing career.

She said that after she arrived in Tahoe, the two had dinner, and then when the two returned to her room, Cosby gave her “wine and a pill.”….

Cosby has never been criminally charged for any of the alleged sexual assaults.

However, he did settle a civil case in 2006 brought by Temple University employee Andrea Constand who originally claimed he drugged and groped her in his mansion.

Cosby’s lawyer John Schmitt issued a statement that dismissed Tarshis and Bowman’s claims as “decade-old, discredited” allegations….
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/janice-dickinson-bill-cosby-sexual-assault-article-1.2015463

EXCLUSIVE: Janice Dickinson Details Bill Cosby Sexual Assault Accusations: He Raped Me
by Antoinette Bueno  November 18, 2014
With rape allegations against Bill Cosby mounting, supermodel Janice Dickinson tells ET in a new interview that the comedian sexually assaulted her in 1982.

Dickinson, now 59, recalls first meeting Cosby, now 77, when her agent set up a meeting with him to hire her for a role on The Cosby Show. After they had dinner, she says their next conversation was when he called her out of the blue while she was in rehab for drugs and alcohol. Following her stay in rehab, Dickinson says Cosby reached out to her during a trip to Bali and had her travel to Lake Tahoe, because he was performing there and wanted to offer her the job they had discussed as well as help her with a singing career.

Dickinson says they had dinner in Lake Tahoe, and claims that he gave her a glass of red wine and a pill, which she asked for because she was menstruating and had stomach pains….

Dickinson also says she tried to write about the assault in her 2002 autobiography No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World’s First Supermodel, but claims that when she submitted a draft with her full story to HarperCollins, Cosby and his lawyers pressured her and the publisher to remove the details.

“I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do, and it happened to me, and this is the true story,” she says about coming out with her story now. “I believe all the other women.”….
http://www.etonline.com/news/154076_janice_dickinson_details_alleged_bill_cosby_sexual_assault/

Bill Cosby’s Joke About Drugging Women in 1969 Resurfaces as New Alleged Victim Speaks Out
by Jackie Willis  November 18, 2014
With Bill Cosby’s rape allegations once again in the headlines, some of his old jokes are now being unearthed and scrutinized.

After two women have recently come forward claiming to have been drugged and raped by the comedian, a joke from Cosby’s 1969 album It’s True! It’s True! has been making the rounds. In the stand-up recording, he recounts a story of being a 13-year-old boy and learning that (allegedly) when you slip “Spanish fly” into a woman’s drink, it will make her more susceptible to a man’s advances.

“From then on, anytime you see a girl, ‘Wish I had some Spanish fly,'” Cosby is heard saying in his 1969 act. “Go to a party, see five girls standing alone. Boy, if I had a whole jug of Spanish fly I’d light that corner up over there. Haaa ha ha.”….

Cosby’s lawyer, John P. Schmitt, issued a statement on Sunday in response to the sexual assault allegations after Cosby’s initial response of just silence during an NPR interview.

“Over the last several weeks, decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact they are being repeated does not make them true,” the statement reads. “Mr. Cosby does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment….
http://www.etonline.com/news/154056_bill_cosby_talks_about_drugging_women_in_1969_comedy_act/

Rape victim aged 5 writes to police who failed her and asks: ‘Why did you let me down?’
Nov 18, 2014    By Jessica Best

The little girl, who is still waiting for justice, told officers:  ‘Something very bad happened and it was your job to make sure he was punished. But you didn’t do your job’….

A five-year-old rape victim has written a devastating letter to police saying officers had “let her down” over the way they investigated the crime.

The youngster was raped by the 12-year-old son of a family friend in 2011, but more than three years later she and her family are still waiting for justice.

The case was brought to light after it emerged the little girl, now aged eight, had written a heartbreaking letter to officers about what had happened to her.

Today, the police and crime commissioner for Essex has said he is “deeply sorry” for how his force failed the child….

The boy admitted the offence in a recorded interview and was given a youth caution, but officers wrongly claimed that they had reported the case to the Crown Prosecution Service, failed to have the rapist’s name added to the Sex Offenders Register and neglected to take fingerprints, DNA samples or photographs, the newspaper said.

The little girl’s letter went on: “Did you do this on purpose because he was 12? I trusted you to push me up but instead you pushed me down.

“I thought police are ment [sic] to be good and catch the bad people but you didn’t. So you are in the wrong and should know better.”

Crime Commisioner Nick Alston….said he became aware of the case in 2013 and immediately discussed the matter with the deputy chief and chief constable.

In April last year, the force referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and disciplinary action was taken against a number of officers.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/rape-victim-aged-5-writes-4647815

Convicted sex offender with links to notorious paedophile group appeared on Jimmy Savile show

Keith Harding, who was convicted of sex offences in 1950s, appeared on Jim’ll Fix It Christmas episode in 1980 Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith  Monday 17 November 2014

A convicted sex offender with links to a notorious paedophile campaign group appeared as a guest on the Jimmy Savile’s Jim’ll Fix It on a Christmas episode alongside children.

Keith Harding, a British antiques expert who restored items for royalty and who was involved in the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) group, appeared on the show in 1980, BBC News has revealed.

Harding, who died in June this year, was convicted for sex offences nearly thirty years earlier in the 1950s. He was labelled a “schedule 1 offender” after he was found guilty of indecent assault against four children aged eight and nine….

Despite his convictions, Harding was later given the Freedom of the City of London and became a member of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, which saw him introduced to business and political figures. He later ran a music box museum in Gloucestershire which was regularly visited by children.

BBC News has seen confidential social services reports from 1995 confirming Harding’s involvement with PIE, which campaigned for the age of consent to be reduced to four….

Richard Scorer, who is from the legal firm Slater & Gordon which is representing the near 200 alleged victims of Savile’s sexual abuse, said the information about Harding is “extremely troubling” and that it is “precisely” the kind of allegation that the Government child abuse inquiry should be investigating in detail.

The BBC responded to the news with the statement: “Today’s BBC has appropriate safeguards in place to protect children and young people….
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/convicted-sex-offender-with-links-to-notorious-paedophile-group-appeared-on-jimmy-savile-show-9865523.html

Paedophile group linked to Savile show guest
By Tom Bateman Reporter, Today programme   17 November 2014

A British antiques expert who restored items for royalty was a child abuser involved in a notorious paedophile campaign group, the BBC can reveal.

Keith Harding was active in the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), according to documents seen by the BBC.

A former chairman of the British Horological Institute, he appeared alongside Jimmy Savile in a Christmas edition of the BBC’s Jim’ll Fix It.

Harding, who died in June, had been convicted of sex offences in the 1950s….

He was convicted of indecent assault against four children aged eight and nine in the late 1950s and was a “schedule 1” offender – meaning his convictions remained on his police file for life.

But he was later given the Freedom of the City of London and became a member of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, meeting business and political figures at the height of his career.

The clockmaker and music box expert ran a museum regularly visited by children, despite social services being aware 20 years ago of his convictions for child abuse….

Harding’s involvement with PIE, which campaigned for the age of consent to be reduced to four, has never previously come to light.

BBC News has seen confidential social services reports from 1995 which confirm Harding’s “PIE involvement”….

The Corporation of London said Harding’s vetting for the Freedom of the City was carried out by his livery company.

About 1,800 people receive the honour each year.

The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers said Keith Harding did not disclose his offences and was “never involved in the running of the company”.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30051756

Charles Napier guilty of historical child abuse  18 November 2014
Charles Napier, a 67-year-old former teacher, has admitted sexually abusing 21 boys between 1967 and 1972.

Napier, of Newland in Sherborne, Dorset, pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court in London.

He admitted 28 indecent assault charges and one indecency offence on a child. All his victims were under 16….

The court heard that one boy was indecently assaulted on eight separate occasions between 1969 and 1972….

He faces two further indecent assault charges against two other boys, for which he has yet to enter to a plea.

Napier was cleared of one other charge in October due to lack of evidence.

Police arrested him in 2013 as part of Operation Cayacos, one of the strands of Scotland Yard’s wider investigation into historical child abuse.

That investigation – Operation Fairbank – was launched in 2012 after Labour MP Tom Watson wrote to Scotland Yard about allegations of a paedophile ring linked to Westminster….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-30097947

Rotherham child abuse scandal: Police watchdog to investigate 10 officers over handling of exploitation complaints
Adam Withnall Tuesday 18 November 2014

The police watchdog is to investigate 10 officers in South Yorkshire over their handling of the Rotherham sex abuse scandal.

The officers were among 13 identified as part of Professor Alexis Jay’s report in late August, which revealed that more than 1,400 children had been subjected to child sexual exploitation in the town from 1997 to 2013.

South Yorkshire Police referred the officers to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after the Jay report criticised the way agencies in the south Yorkshire town dealt with complaints from teenage girls who said they had been raped and trafficked….
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/rotherham-child-abuse-scandal-police-watchdog-to-investigate-10-officers-over-handling-of-exploitation-complaints-9868598.html

Supermodel Ruslana Korshunova had joined ‘dehumanising’ cult before jumping to death, author claims
November 18, 2014
….Ruslana Korshunova, 20, who graced the cover of British Vogue and had been signed to top agency IMG, had allegedly joined the Moscow-based Rose of the World cult before her death.

Journalist Peter Pomerantsev claims in his new book that Korshunova had been undergoing “dehumanising” treatment during training sessions with the bizarre sect.

….During the sessions, life coaches humiliated trainees and blamed them for the negative aspects of their life, the New York Daily News reports.

In one case, a rape victim who was blamed for her own assault and accused of self-pity,

In his book Nothing Is True And Everything Is Possible, Pomerantsev describes Korshunova as a victim of the new Russia.

….Thrust into a world of fame, money, power and oligarchs at the age of just 16, the stunning teen was wooed by a Moscow-based tycoon who eventually dumped her.

After a second failed relationship with another Russian businessman, the beautiful model’s world began to crumble, the author says.

Suffering from insomnia and losing weight, Korshunova’s modelling career — which had taken her to London, Paris and Milan — began to suffer and bookings dried up.

It was then that she fell into the clutches of the Moscow-based Rose of the World cult, Pomerantsev says….
http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/supermodel-ruslana-korshunova-had-joined-dehumanising-cult-before-jumping-to-death-author-claims/story-fn907478-1227126830712

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