Smithsonian To Post Sign At Exhibition Featuring Bill Cosby-Owned Art, Alexis Jay on child sex abuse: ‘Politicians wanted to keep a lid on it’, Rotherham victims
July 15, 2015 Comments Off on Smithsonian To Post Sign At Exhibition Featuring Bill Cosby-Owned Art, Alexis Jay on child sex abuse: ‘Politicians wanted to keep a lid on it’, Rotherham victims
Smithsonian To Post Sign At Exhibition Featuring Bill Cosby-Owned Art
July 14, 2015 Krishnadev Calamur
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington will post a sign Wednesday telling visitors an exhibition that includes art owned by Bill Cosby and his wife, Camille, is “fundamentally about the artworks and the artists who created them, not Mr. Cosby,” representatives for the Smithsonian Institution say.
The sign, which will be posted at 10 a.m., comes amid allegations of sexual misconduct directed against Cosby by more than two dozen women. Some of them say he drugged and raped them. Cosby has not been charged in any of the alleged assaults.
Last week it emerged that the comedian testified in 2005 he obtained the sedative Quaalude with the intent of giving the drug to women with whom he wanted to have sex, and he acknowledged giving it to at least one woman. The Los Angeles Police Department says it is conducting at least one current criminal investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Cosby….
Alexis Jay on child sex abuse: ‘Politicians wanted to keep a lid on it’
Her devastating Rotherham report blew open the national debate on child sex abuse. Now the ‘retired’ social worker is investigating historic claims on an unprecedented scale, taking on Westminster, the BBC and NHS
Helen Pidd Monday 13 July 2015
Alexis Jay officially retired two years ago – not that you’d notice. In 2013 she stepped down from her role as Scotland’s chief social work adviser, shortly after being awarded an OBE. But rather than tending to her garden she ended up digging up horrific claims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. That job done, the scalps of many officials taken, she moved on to sort out Northern Ireland’s safeguarding children boards.
But last week the 66-year-old began her biggest task yet, when she joined the panel of what has been described as Britain’s most complicated and wide-reaching statutory inquiry ever. The independent inquiry into child sex abuse (IICSA) is expected to take five years investigating claims of abuse in faith and religious organisations, the criminal justice system, local authorities and national institutions such as the BBC, NHS and Ministry of Defence….
“By victims we are not talking about children who were at risk of sexual exploitation, who were friendly with victims or who moved in the same circle,” she told the journalists. “The 1,400 victims are those who had actually experienced sexual exploitation.” Determined that no one could bat away her findings, she had produced a 153-page report that spelled out in plain language the appalling abuse suffered by children aged 10-16 in the South Yorkshire town (Rotherham) between 1997 and 2013….
Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Organised Child Sex Abuse ‘widespread in England,’ British Murder Allegations of Paedophile Network of MPs and other VIPs
November 18, 2014 Comments Off on Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Organised Child Sex Abuse ‘widespread in England,’ British Murder Allegations of Paedophile Network of MPs and other VIPs
“Detectives are investigating an allegation that a young boy was murdered by a Conservative MP during a sickening sex attack.
The Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit, under ‘Operation Midland’, is also investigating a claim that a second boy was murdered during a depraved sexual assault in the presence of a former Conservative cabinet minister….the police are also investigating the murder of a third boy around 30 years ago by members of a paedophile network of MPs and other VIPs.”
– Bill Cosby’s Silence On Rape Allegations Makes Huge Media Noise
– Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?
– Dr. Huxtable & Mr. Hyde
– Bill Cosby Under Fire The Comedian Settles a Case Accusing Him of Sexual Abuse—but Other Women Make Similar Claims
– Barbara Bowman Speaks About Bill Cosby Sexual Abuse Allegations
– One Very Important Thing Is Missing From the New Cosby – Biography: A Timeline of the Abuse Charges [Updated]
– In interview with tabloid, Bill Cosby discusses molestation allegations
– Organised child sex abuse ‘widespread in England’, MPs say
– Alexis Jay: Years of missing records mean Rotherham child abuse numbers ‘much higher’ than 1,400
– ‘Operation Midland’ investigates Tory MP over boy’s murder
Met also probes slaying of second boy in sex attack in front of former cabinet minister
– Historical abuse inquiry: Police examine ‘possible homicide’
Bill Cosby’s Silence On Rape Allegations Makes Huge Media Noise
November 17, 2014 Eric Deggans
But in the recent explosion of attention to allegations that the comedy superstar drugged and sexually assaulted several women years ago, in incidents reaching back to the late 1960s, Cosby has remained uncharacteristically silent — epitomized by his interview with NPR’s Scott Simon, who found the comic would only shake his head and utter no sound when asked about the allegations.
His attorney did provide a statement posted on Cosby’s website that said, in part, “decade-old, discredited allegations against Mr. Cosby have resurfaced. The fact that they are being repeated does not make them true. Mr. Cosby doesn’t not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.”
Later, a joint statement from Cosby’s attorney and a lawyer for Andrea Constand, a woman who settled a lawsuit with Cosby over such allegations in 2006, was posted on the site that read, in part: “The statement released by Mr. Cosby’s attorney over the weekend was not intended to refer in any way to Andrea Constand. As previously reported, differences between Mr. Cosby and Ms. Constand were resolved to the mutual satisfaction of Mr. Cosby and Ms. Constand years ago.”
News of Cosby’s silence rocketed across media; the moment was covered everywhere from NBC’s Today show to CNN, USA Today and The Washington Post, which called it “perhaps the most significant dead air in the history of National Public Radio.”
When NPR most recently spoke to Cosby, four women had come forward publicly with rape allegations: Constand, Beth Ferrier, Tamara Green and Barbara Bowman. (See this story for a more detailed account of their allegations.) Over the weekend, another woman, 66-year-old publicist Joan Tarshis, also told media outlets she was drugged and raped by Cosby when she was 19 years old. Constand filed a lawsuit in 2005 that included 13 women willing to tell similar stories, Greene and Bowman among them; the suit was settled, no terms were disclosed and Cosby was never charged with a crime….
Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?
Only when a male comedian called Cosby a rapist did the accusation take hold.
By Barbara Bowman November 13
In 2004, when Andrea Constand filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby for sexual assault, her lawyers asked me to testify. Cosby had drugged and raped me, too, I told them. The lawyers said I could testify anonymously as a Jane Doe, but I ardently rejected that idea. My name is not Jane Doe. My name is Barbara Bowman, and I wanted to tell my story in court. In the end, I didn’t have the opportunity to do that, because Cosby settled the suit for an undisclosed amount of money.
Over the years, I’ve struggled to get people to take my story seriously. So last month, when reporter Lycia Naff contacted me for an interview for the Daily Mail, I gave her a detailed account. I told her how Cosby won my trust as a 17-year-old aspiring actress in 1985, brainwashed me into viewing him as a father figure, and then assaulted me multiple times. In one case, I blacked out after having dinner and one glass of wine at his New York City brownstone, where he had offered to mentor me and discuss the entertainment industry. When I came to, I was in my panties and a man’s t-shirt, and Cosby was looming over me. I’m certain now that he drugged and raped me. But as a teenager, I tried to convince myself I had imagined it. I even tried to rationalize it: Bill Cosby was going to make me a star and this was part of the deal. The final incident was in Atlantic City, where we had traveled for an industry event….
They, like other sexual assault victims, deserve our support. It’s the perpetrators who should be facing public humiliation – not the victims….
Dr. Huxtable & Mr. Hyde
Who is Bill Cosby? What’s happened to the man who taught us to laugh at ourselves — and what do we do with him now? By Robert Huber June 9, 2006
…. A young Canadian woman he met in Philadelphia through Temple University is accusing him of drugging her and then, when she was in a near-comatose state, molesting her. It went nowhere legally — the woman, Andrea Constand, waited a year before going to police, it boiled down to a he said/she said (Cosby claimed the sex was consensual, according to ABC News), and the police dropped the case for lack of evidence. But Constand filed a civil complaint in federal court in Philly last year, suing for an unspecified amount of money over $150,000. It is still Cosby’s no against her yes, except for one difference: Thirteen women are waiting to be deposed in the suit; in a court filing, Constand’s lawyer says that all of them — with nothing to gain, with no payout waiting, with their own statutes of limitations run out — have stories about Bill Cosby as well, and some of them will claim a similar drug-and-fondling M.O.
….The Story That Andrea Constand Tells
She met Bill Cosby in late 2002 when she was director of operations for Temple’s women’s basketball. He became a friend and mentor. In January 2004, Cosby invited Constand to his home in Elkins Park. She went there at about 9 p.m. Constand wanted to change careers and told Cosby she felt stressed. Cosby offered her three blue pills — herbal medication, he said, that would help her relax. She took the pills….
….The Story That Tamara Green Tells
Back in the ’70s, before Green became a lawyer, Cosby hired her to help him open a club in L.A. A week into the job, she felt sick, and called Cosby at Figero, a restaurant he owned, to say she was leaving for home. He invited her to the restaurant for lunch — it might make her feel better. She went. Cosby asked if she wanted some Contac, then handed her two gray-and-red capsules. She took them….
….The Story That Beth Ferrier Tells
Ferrier, 47, met Bill Cosby in 1984 when she was modeling in New York. They started an affair that lasted about six months. Cosby ended it without explanation. Then he called her one night in Denver, where she lived; they met backstage at a nightclub there, where he was performing. He said, “Here’s your favorite coffee, something I made, to relax you.” She drank it….
….The Story That Barbara Bowman Tells
Bowman’s incident with Bill Cosby occurred 20 years ago, when she was an aspiring actress. She told a lawyer. The lawyer laughed at her. She never mentioned it to an authority figure again. Bowman won’t disclose details of what happened before she’s deposed. But when she read about Andrea Constand, she decided that enough was enough — she couldn’t sit in silence any longer.
Bill Cosby Under Fire By Alex Tresniowski The Comedian Settles a Case Accusing Him of Sexual Abuse—but Other Women Make Similar Claims December 18, 2006 Vol. 66 No. 25
….What Cosby never mentioned was the civil lawsuit he settled just two days earlier with Andrea Constand, 32, a former Temple University employee who claimed Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her in his Philadelphia-area mansion in 2004. Constand’s lawyers Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz ended up with 13 witnesses, most referred to in court documents as “Jane Does,” who came forward voluntarily with strikingly similar claims of drugging and or abuse by Cosby. Terms of the settlement, reached before any of the women could testify, were not disclosed. But PEOPLE reporters have interviewed five of the women and share three of their stories now.
As in so many cases alleging sexual assault, these women make imperfect witnesses. They are talking about events two or three decades old. Many of their recollections are fragmentary, and in some cases, they are not even sure what happened between them and Cosby, though that is not unusual in cases where a possible date-rape drug is involved. None of the women ever contacted police with their stories, either at the time of the alleged assaults or in the years leading up to Constand’s revelations, and two of the five women reached by PEOPLE allowed Cosby to pay part or all of their travel and/or living expenses for some time. Three accepted cash from him years after the incidents, and two even went on to have consensual relationships with him.
But none of them stand to profit from suing Cosby for monetary damages; the statute of limitations on all their charges has expired. And their stories, which take place in several cities and span two decades, illustrate the same pattern of behavior….
Barbara Bowman Speaks About Bill Cosby Sexual Abuse Allegations
By Katie J.M. Baker 2/12/14
Last week, Newsweek interviewed Tamara Green, one of 13 women who accused Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting them in a civil lawsuit brought by Andrea Constand in 2004, and settled under undisclosed terms in 2006. Now, a second woman is speaking out: Barbara Bowman, a 46-year-old artist who says Cosby took her under his wing in the late ‘80s, when she was a teenager — and repeatedly emotionally and physically abused her.
Both Bowman and Green joined the 2004 lawsuit as witnesses after hearing about it on television; neither had anything to gain financially, as the statute of limitations had expired for both of them….
Why do you think people find it so hard to believe celebrities can be sexual assaulters?
The media creates this idealized image of celebrities: that they are untouchable, that they’re not one of us… I don’t think people want to believe it; to believe would shatter the illusion….
One Very Important Thing Is Missing From the New Cosby Biography: A Timeline of the Abuse Charges [Updated]
By Matt Giles
In interview with tabloid, Bill Cosby discusses molestation allegations
By Bill Bergstrom ASSOCIATED PRESS March 4, 2005
PHILADELPHIA – Comedian Bill Cosby, responding to a woman’s allegations of sexual molestation, said “words and actions can be misinterpreted,” but he insisted he wouldn’t give in to any attempt to “exploit” him because he’s a celebrity….
The 67-year-old entertainer, best-known as a warm, wisecracking TV dad, was cleared of criminal charges in connection with the allegations. Attorneys for the Canadian woman said they plan to file a civil lawsuit against Cosby next week.
In the interview, Cosby said he didn’t speculate on whether money was the woman’s motive. “Let’s not go there,” he said. But he asserted: “I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status.”….
The woman, who lives in Ontario, told Canadian authorities that, after a night out with friends in January 2004, Cosby gave her medication that made her dizzy, then fondled her.
Cosby denied the allegations. The accuser’s family had described Cosby as a friend and mentor to the woman, which he didn’t deny. He told the tabloid a role as mentor can lead to trouble.
“Sometimes you try to help people and it backfires on you and then they try to take advantage of you,” Cosby said.
Organised child sex abuse ‘widespread in England’, MPs say
17 November 2014
Organised child sex abuse is widespread in England, a report by MPs on the Rotherham exploitation scandal says.
A review of child protection systems across the country has been called for by the Commons’ Communities and Local Government Committee.
Its report also said Rotherham Council and Ofsted had “failed” the victims targeted in the town.
It suggested the council’s protection policies were “divorced from reality”, enabling the abuse to continue.
MPs said, however, the town was “not an outlier” for abuse and all councils needed to review child protection policies.
‘More rigorous inspection’
Their inquiry was prompted by a report by Professor Alexis Jay, which revealed up to 1,400 children were estimated to have been victims of abuse in the South Yorkshire town between 1997 and 2013….
Alexis Jay: Years of missing records mean Rotherham child abuse numbers ‘much higher’ than 1,400 11/17/04
….Inquiry author Professor Jay said five years of data from Rotherham Council about victims is missing, while South Yorkshire Police was unable to record the scale of the problem before 2013 as it did not categorise child sexual exploitation as a form of crime until last year.
Four years’ worth of meeting minutes discussing child abuse cases between 1999 and 2003 have also disappeared.
A letter Prof Jay sent to the Communities and Local Government Committee has been made public ahead of a report by MPs being published tomorrow. She said a category for recording child sexual exploitation cases was introduced by police only in 2013, meaning the force was ‘unable to quantify the scale of the problem’ prior to last year.
While social services did officially recognise the issue from 2001, she said some victims were wrongly classified as being ‘out of control’.
Prof Jay said Rotherham Council provided information for only 11 of the 16 years covered by the inquiry.
‘Operation Midland’ investigates Tory MP over boy’s murder
Met also probes slaying of second boy in sex attack in front of former cabinet minister
By Mark Conrad 15 November 2014
….Detectives are investigating an allegation that a young boy was murdered by a Conservative MP during a sickening sex attack.
The Metropolitan Police Service’s paedophile unit, under ‘Operation Midland’, is also investigating a claim that a second boy was murdered during a depraved sexual assault in the presence of a former Conservative cabinet minister…. http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5409/operation-midland-investigates-tory-mp-over-boy-s-murder
Historical abuse inquiry: Police examine ‘possible homicide’
By Tom Symonds Home Affairs correspondent 14 November 2014
The man says he was first abused by his own father before being “handed over” as a young boy to the group
Child abuse investigations
Police are investigating “possible homicide” linked to what has been described as a paedophile ring involving powerful people in the 1970s and 1980s.
The group is alleged to have included senior figures in public life, the military, politics and law enforcement….
A key witness who has spoken to police has told the BBC that he was abused for nine years as a boy….
Speaking anonymously to the BBC but using the name “Nick”, the alleged victim said he had given three days of video-taped evidence to detectives.
His accounts are being assessed as part of Operation Midland, a new Scotland Yard investigation which is under the umbrella of its inquiry into historical abuse, Operation Fairbank.
Nick, now in his 40s, says that he was first abused by his own father before being “handed over” as a young boy to the group.
“They were very powerful people and they controlled my life for the next nine years,” Nick added.
“They created fear that penetrated every part of me, day in day out. You didn’t question what they wanted, you did as they asked without question and the punishments were very severe.”
Nick said the group was “very organised” and would arrange for chauffeur-driven cars to pick up boys, sometimes from school, and drive them to “parties” or “sessions” at locations including hotels and private apartments in London and other cities.
Home Office worker investigating Rotherham child abuse ‘had data stolen’, 11-year-old victim was arrested
September 3, 2014 Comments Off on Home Office worker investigating Rotherham child abuse ‘had data stolen’, 11-year-old victim was arrested
Home Office worker investigating Rotherham child abuse ‘had data stolen’
Local council took data from office, accused me of insensitivity and tried to sack me, researcher claims on Panorama
Martin Williams The Guardian, Monday 1 September 2014
A Home Office official who investigated the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham accused the council of being involved in the unauthorised removal of information from her office.
Her report in 2002 suggested there were then more than 270 victims of the scandal, which was finally exposed last week with revelations that at least 1,400 children were abused from 1997 to 2013.
She told Panorama that she had sent her report to both the council and the Home Office on a Friday, but when she returned on Monday she found her office had been raided.
“They’d gained access to the office and taken my data, so out of the number of filing cabinets, there was one drawer emptied and it was emptied of my data. It had to be an employee of the council,” she said….
The Home Office researcher said that at one point the council tried to get her sacked and the report was never published.
A draft of the report severely criticised agencies working to tackle the child exploitation in the area, including “alleged indifference towards, and ignorance of, child sexual exploitation on the part of senior managers”.
It said: “Responsibility was continuously placed on young people’s shoulders rather than with the suspected abusers.”
She met the victims at a youth organisation called Risky Business. “The workers in that project were the only people that those young people trusted, that they were telling the complete story to,” she said.
“And some of the stories that I heard very early on were just so graphic that I don’t think I will ever forget them.
“I was subjected to the most intense personal hostility – there were threats made from a range of sources. I’ve never seen back-covering like it and I still feel extremely angry about that.”
Rotherham council and South Yorkshire police have both apologised for the abuse, but refused to be interviewed by Panorama.
Panorama identified one perpetrator who is still free, following a series of police failures to arrest him for exploitation. The man had 18 underage “girlfriends”….
Professor Alexis Jay, who wrote last week’s independent report on the abuse in Rotherham, said people had been “punished for speaking truth to power”….
Rotherham child abuse scandal: New victims come forward 2 September 2014
Twelve new victims have made allegations of child sexual abuse in Rotherham since a report found at least 1,400 children were abused, police say….
A report last week said hundreds of children were abused from 1997 to 2013.
Mr Crompton, who earlier announced he had commissioned an independent inquiry into South Yorkshire Police’s handling of the scandal, was giving evidence to the Home Affairs Committee.
Mr Crompton said he now had 62 officers dedicated to dealing with child sex abuse, compared with three in 2010 and eight in 2012.
He told the committee 104 convictions had been secured since the start of 2013, while 40 more suspects were on bail.
South Yorkshire Police is conducting nine “multiple victim, multiple offender” investigations, including two in Rotherham, he said.
However, he was unable to give direct answers about specific failures highlighted in Professor Alexis Jay’s report, including why an 11-year-old victim was arrested and why an officer described the rape of a 12-year-old girl by several men as “entirely consensual”….
Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says 1,400 Children in Rotherham, England, Were Sexually Abused, Report Says
August 28, 2014 Comments Off on Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says 1,400 Children in Rotherham, England, Were Sexually Abused, Report Says
Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says 1,400 Children in Rotherham, England, Were Sexually Abused, Report Says
By KATRIN BENNHOLD AUG. 26, 2014
LONDON — A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags.
Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers, the report said, and others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act….
Alexis Jay, the author of the report and a former chief inspector of social work, said that vulnerable girls as young as 11 and largely from disadvantaged backgrounds had been brutalized by groups of men.
“They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated,” she wrote.
The report described the failures of the political and police leadership as blatant. Even as social workers reported that the sexual exploitation of children was becoming a serious problem in Rotherham, senior managers in the local authority and South Yorkshire police ignored them. When victims came forward, Ms. Jay said, the police often regarded them “with contempt.”
Three earlier reports, published from 2002 to 2006, detailed the abuse, and according to Ms. Jay, “could not have been clearer in the description of the situation in Rotherham.” But the first one was “effectively suppressed” and the other two “ignored,” she said….
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013)
Independent inquiry CSE in Rotherham
Information relating to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham
27 August 2014
Rotherham child abuse: Calls for police commissioner to quit
1,400 children were abused, 1997-2013
+ 30% of victims were already known to social services
157 reports concerning child sexual exploitation made to police in 2013
9 prosecutions were made
Source: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham
Key findings of the report
Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple attackers, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated.
The “collective failures” of political, police and social care leadership were “blatant” over the first 12 years covered by the inquiry.
Police were said to have given child sex exploitation no priority, regarding many child victims “with contempt” and failing to act on their abuse as a crime.
The majority of those behind the abuse were described as Asian, while the majority of the reported victims were young white girls. The inquiry team noted fears among council staff of being labelled “racist” if they focused on victims’ descriptions of the majority of abusers as “Asian” men.