Former Pitcairn mayor found guilty over child abuse images, Kenya child abuse: US ex-missionary gets 40yrs’

March 8, 2016 Comments Off on Former Pitcairn mayor found guilty over child abuse images, Kenya child abuse: US ex-missionary gets 40yrs’

Former Pitcairn mayor found guilty over child abuse images
Michael Warren, who downloaded more than 1000 images of child abuse while working in child protection, will serve his sentence on the tiny Pacific island
Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin  Monday 7 March 2016

The former mayor of Pitcairn Island has been sentenced to 20-months in prison after he was convicted of possessing more than 1000 images and videos depicting child pornography.

The tiny British territory in the South Pacific, which has a population of around 50 people, gained international notoriety in 2004 when seven of the island’s 12 men were accused of a total of 55 sex crimes, some dating back 40 years.

According to crown prosecutor Kieran Raferty, former mayor Michael Warren – who served as the island’s mayor from 2008 to 2013 – began downloading images of child abuse in 2004.

During the years Warren downloaded the images he was working in child protection on the island – and travelling to New Zealand and the United Kingdom in an official capacity for further training in child protection.

Raferty said Warren’s initial defence was that he had downloaded the images because he wanted to understand child pornography after the 2004 sex abuse cases.

Warren has also been found guilty of engaging in an internet “sex chat” with a person purporting to be a 15-year-schoolgirl, and of possessing a video that showed a bound and gagged naked woman….
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/07/former-pitcairn-mayor-found-guilty-over-child-pornography

Kenya child abuse: US ex-missionary gets 40yrs’
2016-03-07

Oklahoma City – A former missionary convicted of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya was sentenced on Monday to 40 years in a US prison.

Matthew Lane Durham, 21, had faced up to 30 years on each of four counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places. He was ordered to pay restitution of $15 863.

Durham asked the court for mercy. “All I wanted was to follow God’s plan for me,” he told the judge.

Defence attorney Stephen Jones has said Durham plans to appeal. He has described Durham, who was 19 when he was charged, as “an emotionally vulnerable teenager” who was struggling with sexual identity while being a devout Christian.

Prosecutors alleged Durham targeted orphans while volunteering at the Upendo Children’s Home in Nairobi between April and June 2014. Durham had served as a volunteer since 2012 at the orphanage, which specialises in caring for neglected children.

Orphanage officials and five of the children travelled from Kenya to testify at the trial.

Prosecutors asked that Durham be placed under supervision for the rest of his life in the event he is ever released from prison.

“He raped or sexually molested by force or threat four children ranging in ages from 5 years to 14 years – some multiple times – in a span of just 33 days,” prosecutors wrote….
http://www.news24.com/World/News/kenya-child-abuse-us-ex-missionary-gets-40yrs-20160307

Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand, Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California, Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits, Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

February 3, 2016 Comments Off on Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand, Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California, Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits, Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

Former Prosecutor Who Declined to Charge Bill Cosby in 2005 Says he Believed Accuser Andrea Constand
By Nicole Weisensee Egan  02/02/2016
Even though he declined to charge Bill Cosby when sexual assault allegations were brought to him in 2005, and despite spending much of his testimony Tuesday alleging that accuser Andrea Constand’s story had “inconsistencies,” former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr. nonetheless testified he thinks Constand was telling the truth.

“I believed Ms. Constand’s account,” Castor said at a hearing in Norristown, Pennsylvania. “What I think and what is provable in a courtroom are two different things. What I think is that Andrea Constand was inappropriately touched by Mr. Cosby.

“I’m analyzing back in 2005 what I can prove,” Castor said. “All of those combined together in my mind created a situation where she had ruined her own credibility and would not be believed by a juror. That does not mean she was not telling the truth.”

Castor testified he never interviewed or even met Constand himself. He testified for more than six hours Tuesday at a pre-trial hearing, and was the only witness to testify.

Constand, 42, is the former director of operations for the Temple University women’s basketball team who went to authorities in January 2005 with allegations that, in January 2004, Cosby gave her pills at his house that knocked her out and then sexually assaulted her.

Castor, the Montgomery County district attorney at the time, did not file criminal charges, but after Constand sued Cosby, she and the comedian agreed to a civil settlement in late 2006.

Cosby has denied Constand’s allegation, saying the sexual contact was consensual. He has also denied similar allegations from more than 50 other women…. http://www.people.com/article/bill-cosby-former-prosecutor-says-he-believes-accuser-andrea-constand

Good news, bad news for Bill Cosby in civil suits in California
Maria Puente, USA TODAY  February 2, 2016

As Bill Cosby faced criminal sexual-assault charges in a Pennsylvania courthouse on Tuesday, there was good news and bad news for him in civil court in Los Angeles.

Chloe Goins, the youngest and most recent of Cosby’s five-dozen accusers, dropped her civil suit against him, according to the Associated Press, which cited federal court records showing the suit was dropped without explanation.

Meanwhile, in another civil case in Los Angeles, Cosby was ordered to sit for another grilling in a deposition for a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused accuser Judy Huth at the Playboy Mansion around 1974 when she was 15.

Depositions have not been good for Cosby: His testimony in a deposition in a civil suit filed by an accuser in 2005 played a role in the filing of the criminal charges against him in Pennsylvania.

Cosby resisted sitting for the first deposition in the Huth case but was ordered by a judge to do so. When he didn’t answer every question, Huth’s attorney, Gloria Allred (who represents nearly half of the five-dozen women who have accused Cosby), sought to compel him to sit for another….

The Los Angeles district attorney declined last month to file charges against Cosby in connection with Goins’ accusations because the California statute of limitations for sexual assault had expired.

She had earlier filed a civil suit in federal court against Cosby alleging sexual battery. It was one of a half-dozen civil suits pending against Cosby stemming from the accusations that he had drugged and/or raped dozens of women in episodes dating to the mid-1960s. .

It is not clear why Goins dropped the suit, but when a plaintiff moves to dismiss her own lawsuit it often means the parties have come to a settlement. And often such a settlement is confidential.

One other accuser suit against Cosby, for defamation, was dismissed by a judge in Pittsburgh last month.

Goins’ lawyer, Spencer Kuvins, declined to comment. Cosby’s spokesman did not return emails seeking comment…. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2016/02/02/civil-suit-against-bill-cosby-dismissed-accuser/79698200/

EXCLUSIVE: Catholic Church settles 30 of 40 priest sex abuse lawsuits
Jan 29, 2016   By Keoki Kerr
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

The Roman Catholic Church has reached settlements in 30 lawsuits filed by people in Hawaii who claim they were sexually abused by priests decades ago when they were children.

They are among 63 people who have made abuse allegations against priests in 40 lawsuits, according to legal documents obtained by Hawaii News Now.

Some of the cases have been reported in the media, such as the 2012 lawsuit filed by Mark Pinkosh claiming two priests at St. Anthony Church in Kailua sexually abused him.

Pinkosh said when he told then-Father Joseph Ferrario that another priest had raped him, Ferrario told him to keep the incidents secret and then Ferrario raped him.  Ferrario, who is now deceased, went on to become the bishop of the Catholic Church in Hawaii.

Other cases have been kept quiet, with the plaintiffs listed as John or Jane Roe.

Hawaii News Now has learned that Pinkosh and 62 other alleged victims of priest sex abuse went to mediation last year with the Catholic Church to try to settle their 40 lawsuits…. http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/31095979/exclusive-catholic-church-settles-30-of-40-priest-sex-abuse-lawsuits

Pitcairn mayor charged with possessing child abuse material wants to face ‘local law’

Lawyer calls for trial to be held on Pitcairn Island, not in Auckland, as ex-mayor Michael Warren denies all 25 charges
Elle Hunt Tuesday 2 February 2016

The lawyer representing a former Pitcairn Island mayor facing charges of possessing child abuse films and photos has said the case should be dealt with under local laws rather than by a court in New Zealand.

Michael Warren, who served as mayor of the tiny British territory in the South Pacific from 2008 to 2013, appeared by video link from Pitcairn to an Auckland courtroom on Monday to deny 25 charges relating to more than 1,000 child abuse films, images and messages.

As mayor in 2010, it was alleged in court, Warren accidentally sent an email to a diplomatic staff member from an address in someone else’s name.

It was further alleged in court that the staff member searched for the address online and found it was linked to an online chat site containing explicit material.

Sergeant Geoff Medland, an officer seconded to Pitcairn Island in 2009 as part of the assistance provided by New Zealand police to the territory, was made aware of the allegations in late April 2010.

The crown alleges Medland found more than 1,000 child abuse images and videos in a search of Warren’s home on 26 May 2010.

Warren was arrested by Medland on behalf of the British high commission and charged with 20 counts of possessing child sexual abuse content under section 160 of the UK’s Criminal Justice Act 1988. He also received five charges under the Pitcairn summary offences ordinance for possession of indecent articles involving adults….

Warren pleaded not guilty in March 2013.

Pitcairn, settled in 1789 by Fletcher Christian and the mutineering crew of the Bounty, is a group of four volcanic islands that form the last British overseas territory in the Pacific. It has a population of about 50 people, originating from four families.

The hearing is set down for a week in Auckland and will reconvene on Pitcairn Island later this month.

In 2004 and 2006, seven of the island’s 12 men faced a total of 55 sex crimes, some dating back 40 years. Six were found guilty, with four sentenced to jail terms of up to five years. The crimes included rape, incest and indecent assault against girls from the age of seven. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/03/pitcairn-mayor-charged-with-possessing-child-abuse-material-wants-to-face-local-law

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