December 17, 2014 Comments Off on Briton Simon Harris guilty of child sex abuse in Kenya, Is This German Scouting Ritual Child Abuse?
Briton Simon Harris guilty of child sex abuse in Kenya 16 December 2014
The BBC’s Phil Mackie: “Harris would drive into the town of Gilgil and offer street children food and money to go home with him”
A British charity boss who preyed on vulnerable Kenyan street children has been found guilty of sexual abuse.
Simon Harris was convicted of eight charges of indecent and sexual assault on youngsters in Gilgil, and four of possessing indecent images of children.
Birmingham Crown Court heard he would lure boys to his house in Kenya by offering them food, shelter and money.
Harris, 55, of Pudleston, near Leominster, Herefordshire was cleared of 10 further charges, including rape….
Before the trial, Harris also admitted six offences of indecent assault against three boys aged between 13 and 14, when he was a teacher at Shebbear College, Devon in the 1980s….
Harris had faced 23 charges in total, including 18 allegations relating to assaults….
The offences in Kenya were committed while Harris was running a gap year charity he set up in the East African country, in the 1990s….
Harris was head of the gap-year charity VAE, which placed British volunteers in Kenyan schools….
It also emerged during the trial Harris had spent 15 months in a British jail for possession of indecent images of children following a 2009 conviction….
Is This German Scouting Ritual Child Abuse?
Though the country’s major scouting associations say the practice of “Pflocken,” in which children are tied down, isn’t acceptable, the timeworn practice continues.
Markus C. Schulte von Drach (2014-12-16)
MUNICH — It’s spring 2014 at a boy scout camp in southern Germany. Younger boys and adolescents are cavorting about, practicing, learning and generally having fun. Then word spreads that a boy named Mark is about to be targeted for “Pflocken,” so the boys gather to watch what’s about to happen. Mark, who’s about 11, has done something wrong, “something bad,” and he’s going to be punished.
Group leaders set him down on a table and bind his arms and legs, which are spread out. Gummy snake candy is then stuffed into his mouth. “Almost everybody thought it was funny,” say some of the kids who were there. But some boys didn’t find it funny at all. They may have worried they would face similar treatment one day.
The practice of so-called “Pflocken” usually happens outdoors. Online descriptions and photos confirm that. Four tent pegs are hammered into the ground, and the boy is tied to them with rope. The bound child doesn’t know what awaits him, so uncertainty and fear are part of the equation. He’s then tickled, body-marked with felt-tip pens and sometimes doused with water. There are stories on the Internet of kids being smeared with honey or leftover food.
How often this goes on is unclear. The Cologne-based Zartbitter association, whose mission is to protect boys and girls from abuse, reported in 2011 that groups used Pflocken either as punishment or as part of an induction ritual….
The three largest scout associations in Germany tell us that the practice is very well-known. In fact, according to Kerstin Fuchs, federal chair of the Catholic Saint George German Scout Association (DPSG), it used to be a timeworn tradition. But the associations all express surprise that the ritual is still happening….