December 21, 2012 Comments Off on School abuse victim $23m damages, Savile 450 alleged victims, Epigenetics and Stress
School abuse victim wins $23 million in damages
By Melissa Pamer, NBCLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES — A former student in Los Angeles was awarded $23 million in damages Tuesday for sexual abuse he endured at the hands of his elementary school teacher.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for less than five hours before finding in favor of the teen.
The lawsuit, filed on his behalf in October 2009, concerned abuse by Forrest Stobbe, the boy’s fifth-grade teacher at Queen Anne Elementary School in the Mid-Wilshire area.
Stobbe was sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading no contest to criminal charges in the case in 2011. He had been arrested in 2010, when he was 39….
Stobbe abused the boy 10 to 15 times in the classroom during the 2008-9 school years, and another five times during the summer of 2009, according to Estey.
Jimmy Savile abuse: Number of alleged victims reaches 450 12 December 2012
Police have confirmed that the number of alleged sex abuse victims of the late Jimmy Savile has reached 450.
The Operation Yewtree team said 589 alleged victims have come forward during their investigation of offences committed by Savile and others.
Of the alleged victims, 82% were female and 80% were children or young people.
Meanwhile, police have set up Operation Fairbank to investigate allegations by Labour MP Tom Watson of a paedophile ring in high places.
Mr Watson said in October that police should investigate claims of a “powerful paedophile ring” linked to a previous prime minister’s “senior adviser” and Parliament.
‘Exploited his position’
Savile, who died last year aged 84, was a Radio 1 DJ and the presenter of the Jim’ll Fix It show on BBC One.
Operation Yewtree, which launched 10 weeks ago, has a team of 30 officers and has so far cost about £2m.
Police said on Wednesday they have recorded 199 alleged crimes in 17 police force areas against Savile.
They said they had recorded 31 allegations of rape against Savile in seven force areas.
Met Police Commander Peter Spindler, head of Operation Yewtree, said: “Savile’s offending peaked in the 70s and what we can show, or will be showing in the New Year, is how he used his position in society across the country – the crimes relate to 17 different police force areas – how he exploited this position to get his sexual gratification.”
BBC home affairs correspondent Matt Prodger says the level of allegations against Savile – 450 in total – is unprecedented – never before have police received that number of allegations against a single person.
Our correspondent says he believes the police have a total of 20 suspects whom they wish to interview. They have interviewed seven people in total – six of whom were arrested.
Police are looking at three strands within their inquiry – claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others only….
‘I’m staying put’: Esther Rantzen claims she will remain child abuse charity patron after claims she ignored warnings over Jimmy Savile
Rantzen is a patron of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood
Child abuse campaigner Shy Keenan says she warned Rantzen about paedophile rumours but Rantzen strenuously denies this
Television presenter faces accusations that she failed to act on information
ChildLine founder says she cannot remember the incident and denies that Jimmy Savile’s name was ever mentioned
Department of Health launches inquiry about why Savile was appointed to ‘taskforce’ overseeing management of Broadmoor hospital
Rantzen said today she would remain as patron of child abuse charity, despite founder claiming trustees would discuss if she was still appropriate
By Anna Edwards, Alex Ward and Larisa Brown
15 October 2012
Esther Rantzen has strenuously denied rumours she is facing the sack as patron of a child abuse charity after she failed to act on allegations that Jimmy Savile molested youngsters….
Jimmy Savile abuse allegations: Timeline
2 November 2012 Allegations of sexual abuse by Sir Jimmy Savile continue to emerge after ITV broadcasts an investigation on 3 October. This timeline charts the presenter’s rise to fame, the claims against him and subsequent action by police and broadcasters.
Genes and Immune System Shaped by Childhood Poverty, Stress
Oct. 18, 2012 — A University of British Columbia and Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) study has revealed that childhood poverty, stress as an adult, and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity, all leave an imprint on a person’s genes. And, that this imprint could play a role in our immune response.
The study was published last week in a special volume of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that looks at how experiences beginning before birth and in the years after can affect the course of a person’s life.
Known as epigenetics, or the study of changes in gene expression, this research examined a process called DNA methylation where a chemical molecule is added to DNA and acts like a dimmer on a light bulb switch, turning genes on or off or setting them somewhere in between. Research has shown that a person’s life experiences play a role in shaping DNA methylation patterns.
The research team discovered that childhood poverty, but not socioeconomic status as an adult, was correlated with the marks or methylation patterns left on genes.
“We found biological residue of early life poverty,” said Michael Kobor, an associate professor of medical genetics at UBC, whose CMMT lab at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) led the research. “This was based on clear evidence that environmental influences correlate with epigenetic patterns.”….
L. L. Lam, E. Emberly, H. B. Fraser, S. M. Neumann, E. Chen, G. E. Miller, M. S. Kobor. Factors underlying variable DNA methylation in a human community cohort. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; 109 (Supplement_2): 17253 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1121249109