Family of ranchers who inspired Ore. militia takeover accused of abusing teen relative, family behind the Oregon militia cites Mormon beliefs for armed conflicts with government, Mormon leaders to Oregon militia: Your religion isn’t with you, Bill Cosby won’t be charged in two sexual assault cases in Los Angeles, U.N. Peacekeeping in Crisis as Fresh Child Abuse Allegations Emerge in CAR
January 7, 2016 Comments Off on Family of ranchers who inspired Ore. militia takeover accused of abusing teen relative, family behind the Oregon militia cites Mormon beliefs for armed conflicts with government, Mormon leaders to Oregon militia: Your religion isn’t with you, Bill Cosby won’t be charged in two sexual assault cases in Los Angeles, U.N. Peacekeeping in Crisis as Fresh Child Abuse Allegations Emerge in CAR
Family of ranchers who inspired Ore. militia takeover accused of abusing teen relative; grandmother denies claims, calling boy ‘disturbed’ BY Laura Bult, Nicole Hensley NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, January 5, 2016
A family of embattled ranchers whose beef with the government inspired the armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon were once accused of repeatedly abusing a 16-year-old relative — including scraping his chest raw with sandpaper.
OREGON MILITIA FAMILY CITES MORMONISM FOR ARMED CONFLICTS
Dusty Hammond was punched to the ground, forced to hike 10 miles to a family ranch and ordered to eat chewing tobacco, according to a 2004 police report against uncle Steven Hammond and grandfather Dwight Hammond Jr., who surrendered to federal authorities Monday on a 2012 arson conviction….
Steven Hammond used sandpaper to erase a homebrew tattoo from Dusty’s chest. The coarse abrasive left the rancher’s nephew with twin scabs.
Dusty refused to cry during the 10 minutes his uncle spent scraping away the initials “J” and “S,” which the teen had carved using a paperclip. If he had shed a tear, Steven Hammond would have kept going, he told a Harney County deputy at the time of the inquiry.
Dusty’s punishment was requested by his grandparents, Dwight and Susan Hammond, who witnessed the abuse. Steven Hammond later defended it as an attempt “to teach Dusty to respect his body.”
When it was over, Dusty’s grandmother, Susan Hammond, told him to clean his bleeding wounds with alcohol and “not to have a pity party.”….
The family behind the Oregon militia cites Mormon beliefs for armed conflicts with the government
BY Jason Silverstein NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, January 4, 2016
The menacing militia that has taken over a federal building in Oregon for three days (and counting) appears to be under an unlikely influence: Mormonism.
The Bundy family — a rancher clan with two brothers leading the Oregon siege and a history of flare-ups with the feds — have been known to cite their Mormon beliefs as justification for firearm-filled feuds with the government….
The Bundy brothers have not cited Mormonism during their siege, and Cliven — despite his public support for the Hammonds — has distanced himself from the armed takeover….
Mormon leaders to Oregon militia: Your religion isn’t with you
By PEGGY FLETCHER STACK The Salt Lake Tribune Jan 05 2016
If Ammon Bundy and other Mormons involved in taking over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon believe their religion is backing them, they should reconsider.
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility,” spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a news release Monday, “and are deeply troubled by the reports that those who have seized the facility suggest that they are doing so based on scriptural principles.”
The release further states that “this armed occupation can in no way be justified on a scriptural basis.”
Americans “are privileged to live in a nation where conflicts with government or private groups can — and should — be settled using peaceful means, according to the laws of the land.”…,
Bill Cosby won’t be charged in two sexual assault cases in Los Angeles
By Jean Casarez and Steve Almasy, CNN Wed January 6, 2016
CNN)Bill Cosby won’t be charged in two cases investigated by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, the DA announced Wednesday.
According to a charge evaluation sheet, prosecutors think neither of the two allegations could have resulted in charges within the statute of limitations.
The accusers, listed as Jane Does No. 1 and No. 2, had accused Cosby of sexual assault.
“We are satisfied that the Los Angeles DA’s office fully and fairly evaluated all the facts and evidence, and came to the right conclusion,” said Chris Tayback, a lawyer for Cosby.
Jane Doe No. 2 was identified by her lawyer as Chloe Goins, who accused the 78-year-old comedian of drugging her and sexually assaulting her at the Playboy Mansion in August 2008.
Prosecutors in District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office said the two potential criminal offenses described by Jane Doe No. 2 would be misdemeanors, and they were barred by the statute of limitations from prosecuting.
The office looked at possible felonies, such as sexual battery by restraint, but said the evidence was insufficient to prove a crime was committed….
U.N. Peacekeeping in Crisis as Fresh Child Abuse Allegations Emerge in CAR
By Conor Gaffey On 1/6/16
United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping personnel must lose their status as “a privileged class,” according to a former senior U.N. official, after fresh allegations of sexual abuse of minors by peacekeepers in Central African Republic (CAR) emerged.
The U.N. peacekeeping mission in CAR—known as MINUSCA— said on Tuesday that it was investigating allegations concerning sexual exploitation and abuse of minors, as well as other misconduct, by peacekeepers and international forces. The U.N. launched an investigation into its mission in CAR in June 2015 after allegations a peacekeeper sexually abused a young girl. Former colonial power France has also investigated claims of child abuse by its soldiers stationed in CAR .
MINUSCA said that staff from the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the capital Bangui had paid four visits to four alleged child victims of abuse, who have been provided with medical treatment and psychosocial assessments. MINUSCA declined to specify which countries the accused peacekeepers came from or how many were involved in the allegations. Unnamed sources told AFP that the peacekeepers came from Gabon, Egypt and Morocco, and AFP reported that the allegations brings the total number of sexual abuse cases against U.N. peacekeepers in CAR to 26….
April 23, 2015 Comments Off on W.Va. child sex abuse victims suing Mormon officials, UK gang raped and abused babies
David Clohessy: A test of justice for W.Va. child sex abuse victims
By David Clohessy Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Justice comes rarely for victims of childhood sexual assault. When it does, it’s only after a painful legal process. This week in Charleston, an appeals court could make that already difficult process even harder for West Virginia victims who use civil courts to warn the public about predators….
A dozen children and their parents are suing Mormon officials for allegedly enabling and concealing the heinous abuses committed by a now ex-Mormon, Christopher Michael Jensen. There’s no doubt about Jensen’s guilt — he was convicted of assaulting youngsters in both Utah and West Virginia.
But Mormon officials are fighting hard to defend themselves. In fact, they’ve convinced a judge to appoint a private lawyer to defend Jensen, a move that’s exceedingly rare in civil cases. Worse, they’ve persuaded that judge to force the victims to pay half of Jensen’s defense lawyers’ fees.
In the United States, we have a long and honorable tradition of making sure that every accused person, no matter how egregious his or her purported crimes, has legal representation. But no one is guaranteed an attorney in a civil matter. And very few, in a civil court, ever have to pay to help the opposing side…. http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150421/GZ04/150429951/110
‘Vile and depraved’ UK gang raped and abused babies
22 April 2015
Members of a paedophile network whose crimes were described as the most “vile and depraved” police had seen have been convicted of arranging abuse.
The UK-wide gang raped and abused babies and young children, streaming the attacks online to fellow members.
John Denham, 49, and Matthew Stansfield, 34, had denied plotting sex crimes against the victims.
They were found guilty after a trial at Bristol Crown Court. Five other members had earlier admitted various offences.
The group used the internet to plan and stream abuse and tried to groom pregnant women in order to find new victims, the trial heard.
In one case, they groomed a mother and father before their child was born.
Officers from the National Crime Agency, which led the investigation, said the crimes were the most “vile and depraved” it had ever investigated….
Prosecutor Robert Davies told the jury in the Denham and Stansfield trial: “This prosecution will take you into a world you wished did not exist.
“The evidence exposes the shocking interest a group of men had in sexually abusing babies, toddlers or pre-school children.
“A real baby was for certain abused and raped by some of those involved.”…. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-32413502
March 24, 2015 Comments Off on Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse, Going Clear Scientology documentary
LDS Church: No tolerance for sex abuse in scouting
By Scott Zamost and Kyra Phillips, CNN
Mon March 23, 2015
Former Boy Scout sues Mormon church for sexual abuse
(CNN) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States, says the church has strong measures in place to prevent the sexual abuse of scouts, as claims have been made it hasn’t done enough.
In the first interview about allegations of abuse in Mormon church-sponsored scouting troops, Church Elder L. Whitney Clayton told CNN that the church is at the forefront for prevention of child abuse….
Over several months, CNN examined allegations of abuse that were detailed in at least five lawsuits filed against the church and the scouts.
But Clayton said the church today is proactive, even constructing its buildings “in such a way as to try to avoid any situation where child abuse could occur.”….
The scoutmaster, Vance Hein, had been forced in resign from scouting in the early 1990s after reports surfaced that he failed to report a fellow scoutmaster who was engaged in homosexual activities. That scoutmaster ended up going to prison for sexual assaults on minors.
Hein’s name was added to the Boy Scouts of America’s ineligible volunteer files, which are widely known as the “perversion files.” The documents, which were made public in 2012, are lists of scout leaders suspected of sexual abuse or homosexual activity.
However, three years after being kicked out of scouting, Hein was allowed to rejoin the scouts after getting letters of recommendation attesting to his character. One of those letters was from Hein’s influential Mormon Bishop Jack Moyer, who wrote that Hein was “highly respected and liked.”….
But in a deposition taken as part of the lawsuit last year, he acknowledged that he would not have written the letter knowing what he later found out about Hein.
The lawsuit charged that Hein “actively groomed young boys under his charge for later sexual molestation.” Hein eventually was convicted of molesting Novak. He is now in prison for violating probation in the Novak case….
Going Clear is a ‘must-see’ Scientology documentary
Owen Gleiberman 20 March 2015
….Working with rare footage, Gibney burrows into the enigma of Scientology’s founder, L Ron Hubbard, capturing glints of delusion and megalomania. Hubbard‘s rise began in the 1930s, and he quickly became an astoundingly prolific science-fiction writer. But then in 1950 he published Dianetics, the perpetual bestseller in which he helped invent the principles of the therapeutic ‘self-help’ books that grew hugely popular by the 1970s. In Scientology, he wrapped these ideas around a theological core of interplanetary gibberish that could have come straight out of one his pulp novels. Going Clear captures how Hubbard fused reality, fantasy and the pursuit of enlightenment in a way that, according to the film’s witnesses, expressed his own highly unstable and even violent nature – at one point Gibney shows how Hubbard even told his wife that one of their children had died, just to manipulate her. Hubbard wound up a sea-faring outlaw on the run from US tax officials, and in Going Clear he emerges as a broken dictator who founded a religion based on control because he was so desperate to control his own demons.
Hubbard constructed Scientology around a ritual known as the ‘audit’, which is like a conventional therapy session fused with a Catholic confession and a visit to Room 101 in Orwell’s 1984. A member sits down and digs into their secrets and private traumas, as the auditor asks questions and takes notes, recording the subject’s responses on an ‘E-meter’, a gadget invented by Hubbard. Haggis, a Scientologist for 35 years before his highly publicised break with the Church in 2009, tells us how incredibly good an audit session could make him feel, as if he’d purged himself of all his toxins. Gibney suggests Hubbard’s method of healing was really just a superficial take on Freudian therapy, a comparison that Hubbard scorned – though only after his techniques had been rejected as rubbish by legitimate psychiatrists. Going Clear, however, suggests a dramatic difference between auditing and traditional therapy: it claims that the Church of Scientology holds on to the notes from the sessions and uses them to blackmail its members into staying….
Gibney interviews a handful of high-level Scientology officers who left the Church and are now willing to denounce it. Marty Rathbun, who spent years as Miscavige’s right-hand man, was at the very centre of the citadel, and his testimony has an unsettling authority. He alleges that Miscavige, in actions worthy of the Khmer Rouge, subjected his loyal officials to rituals of abuse, making them ‘confess’ to imagined crimes and assaulting them if they didn’t comply. The astounding thing is that when the victims were given the chance to exit this torture program, none of them did. They thought they deserved to be punished….
November 17, 2013 Comments Off on Mormon church denies lawsuit’s claims of sex abuse coverup
Mormon church denies lawsuit’s claims of sex abuse coverup
Fri Nov 1, 2013 by Matthew Umstead
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a statement released Wednesday adamantly denied claims made in a lawsuit that it covered up sexual abuse of 12 children in Berkeley County by a member who has since been excommunicated and imprisoned.
The lawsuit filed Sept. 16 names Mormon church officials and excommunicated member Christopher Michael Jensen and his parents as defendants. It was filed in Berkeley County Circuit Court on behalf of five families and 12 children among them.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has zero tolerance for abuse of any kind,” the church said in its statement, which was released by Martinsburg attorney William J. Powell, who is representing the church in this case….
The lawsuit alleges the church was repeatedly put on notice and/or had knowledge of Jensen’s “predatory acts,” but actively covered up the abuse and assisted him “in committing further unspeakable acts, by enabling (Jensen) to babysit for and live with other church families with young children.”….
“The church, in short, thwarted the protections that would have been triggered by reporting the abuses and provided (Jensen) the opportunity to abuse more and more children, which he did. This pattern continued for over five years, until (Jensen) was finally indicted in 2012,” the lawsuit said.