Child sex abuse ring which passed children round “like toys,” Australia’s child sex abuse, Confirmed 12,000 allegations of abuse relating to 3,500 religious and state institutions, Three Universities Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees
September 29, 2015 Comments Off on Child sex abuse ring which passed children round “like toys,” Australia’s child sex abuse, Confirmed 12,000 allegations of abuse relating to 3,500 religious and state institutions, Three Universities Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees
– Marie Black gets life term for child abuse
“A woman at the centre of a “gruesome” child sex abuse ring which passed children round “like toys” has been given a life sentence.”
– Lifting the lid on Australia’s child sex abuse
Commission’s work so far – Confirmed 12,000 allegations of abuse relating to 3,500 religious and state institutions
– Three Universities Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees
Marie Black gets life term for child abuse
28 September 2015 Norfolk
Marie Black, Michael Rogers and Jason Adams preyed on children aged under 13
A woman at the centre of a “gruesome” child sex abuse ring which passed children round “like toys” has been given a life sentence. Marie Black, 34, of Norwich, was convicted at Norwich Crown Court of 23 charges, including rape and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Victims were abused at parties and may have been offered in raffles….
The charges related to five young children over a 10-year period. Michael Rogers, 46, from Romford, north east London, was found guilty of 14 counts, including cruelty, rape and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. Jason Adams, 44, from Norwich, was convicted of 13 similar counts. Both were sentenced to 24 years.
The severity of the sentence means Marie Black has become one of the UK’s most notorious paedophiles.
Yet still she cries her innocence. She sobbed quietly and occasionally shook her head as her sentence was read out. Judge Nicholas Coleman said he had “had enough” of legal argument from her barrister and went at it both barrels….
All three had denied the charges against them, with Black accused of 26 counts and found guilty of 23.
“The offences included adults conspiring to rape children at so-called sex parties….
Lifting the lid on Australia’s child sex abuse
By Marie McInerney Melbourne, Victoria
27 September 2015 Australia
For decades, Peter Blenkiron remained silent about the abuse he had suffered at age 11 at the hands of his Catholic Christian Brother teacher.
Earlier this year, Mr Blenkiron relived the horror of his school days, telling an inquiry into child abuse about how he would be pressed against the wall at the back of the classroom while his teacher physically and sexually abused him, with the other students ordered to look away.
“If there was no sexual abuse after the belting, then you knew you’d had a good day,” the 53-year-old told a hearing of Australia’s landmark Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse….
Over the past two and a half years, six commissioners have held 32 public and 4,000 private hearings at sites across the country, from an outback orphanage run by the Sisters of Mercy to one of Australia’s most prestigious schools, Geelong Grammar, once attended by Prince Charles.
It has documented abuse by teachers, priests, nuns, foster carers and fellow students, and this year, extended its investigations into sporting bodies and the entertainment industry.
It will make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions.
Commission’s work so far
Confirmed 12,000 allegations of abuse relating to 3,500 religious and state institutions
Referred 727 matters to police….
It is too early to judge whether or not the Royal Commission will meet survivors’ expectations, Ms Courtin says.
Her research shows survivors want to tell their stories and have them publicly acknowledged, to hear the truth from institutions about what happened, to be compensated for the long-term impact on their lives, and for those in senior positions who concealed abuse to be held accountable.
“They want the bishops and others who have covered up crimes to be criminally accountable,” she says. “That’s high up on the list.”….
Three Universities Rescind Bill Cosby’s Honorary Degrees
September 28, 2015 by CNN Wire
Bill Cosby’s stunning fall from grace appears far from over.
In the latest setback over his sex assault allegations, three colleges in recent days have rescinded honorary degrees awarded to him years ago.
Fordham University in New York and Marquette University in Wisconsin announced last Thursday they had pulled the degrees given to the comedian to honor him. Then, on Monday, Brown University in Rhode Island said that it will do the same….
The fallout from the controversy over the sex assault allegations has been swift. Reruns of “The Cosby Show,” his landmark 1980s sitcom, have been pulled from the airwaves, and other projects and tour dates have been scrapped.
2 Bishops Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal, Vatican ex-envoy Wesolowski faces child sex abuse trial
June 16, 2015 Comments Off on 2 Bishops Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal, Vatican ex-envoy Wesolowski faces child sex abuse trial
2 Bishops Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal
By MITCH SMITH and LAURIE GOODSTEIN JUNE 15, 2015
CHICAGO — Two bishops in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis resigned their posts Monday, the second time this spring that American church leaders have stepped aside after complaints over their handling of sexual abuse claims involving priests.
In Minnesota, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt and an auxiliary bishop, Lee A. Piché, announced their departures less than two weeks after prosecutors in St. Paul accused the archdiocese of willfully ignoring warning signs of a pedophile priest. Their resignations followed the April exit of Bishop Robert W. Finn from the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri, who had been convicted of a misdemeanor for failing to report a priest who took pornographic pictures of girls….
John J. Choi, the prosecutor in Ramsey County, Minn., said the resignations would not affect his office’s criminal and civil cases against the archdiocese, which accused church leaders of failing to intervene against a priest despite repeated complaints of misconduct. That priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, has since been defrocked and imprisoned on sexual abuse charges involving boys in his parish.
“While today’s resignation will be viewed as a positive development by many in our community, the pending criminal action and civil petition and the ongoing investigation will continue,” Mr. Choi said in a statement. “As we have said, the goals of our actions are to hold the Archdiocese accountable, seek justice for the victims and our community, and to take appropriate steps to ensure that what we have alleged and intend to prove about the past conduct of church officials will never be repeated.”….
The Minnesota and Missouri church leaders are hardly the first bishops to resign under scrutiny or accusations that they failed abuse victims. Since the papacy of John Paul II — now St. John Paul — began in 1978, 16 other bishops have resigned or been forced from office under a cloud of accusations that they mishandled abuse cases, according to research by BishopAccountability.org, an advocacy group in Waltham, Mass. Archbishop Nienstedt is the 17th, by that group’s count.
Archbishop Nienstedt had become one of the most embattled figures in the American Catholic hierarchy, under fire in the courts, in the pews and on newspaper editorial pages. He had refused to resign about a year ago after coming under sharp criticism from his own former chancellor for canonical affairs, Jennifer M. Haselberger, who charged that the church used a chaotic system of record keeping that helped conceal the backgrounds of guilty priests who remained on assignment….
Catholic Archdiocese in Minnesota Charged Over Sex Abuse by Priest
By MITCH SMITH JUNE 5, 2015
CHICAGO — Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges on Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen.
The charges and accompanying civil petition, announced by the Ramsey County prosecutor, John J. Choi, stem from accusations by three male victims who say that from 2008 to 2010, when they were under age, a local priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, gave them alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting them.
The criminal case amounts to a sweeping condemnation of the archdiocese and how its leaders have handled the abuse allegations — even after reforms were put in place by church leaders to increase accountability — and the charges are among the most severe actions taken by American authorities against a Catholic diocese….
Mr. Wehmeyer, 50, who was dismissed as a priest in March, was sentenced to five years in a Minnesota prison in 2013 for criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography. He also has been charged with sex crimes in Wisconsin.
The six criminal charges filed Friday, misdemeanors with a maximum fine of $3,000 each, accused the archdiocese of failing to protect children. Mr. Choi also filed a civil petition against the archdiocese that he said was intended to provide legal remedies to prevent similar inaction from happening again.
The 44-page criminal complaint states that concerns about Mr. Wehmeyer date to the 1990s, when he was in seminary and supervisors suggested that his past sexual promiscuity and alcohol abuse made him a poor candidate for the priesthood….
The charging documents also say that archdiocese officials knew that Mr. Wehmeyer used a boys’ bathroom at a parish elementary school instead of the staff restroom; tried to give an elementary-age boy a tour of the rectory in violation of policy; and took camping trips with boys where some of the sexual abuse was said to have occurred.
The archdiocese placed Mr. Wehmeyer in a monitoring program for priests facing complaints of abuse or other problems, but prosecutors said in court documents that the supervision and follow-through was “lax or nonexistent.”….
Vatican ex-envoy Wesolowski faces child sex abuse trial
15 June 2015
The Vatican is to put its former envoy to the Dominican Republic, Jozef Wesolowski, on trial on child sex abuse and child pornography charges.
Pope Francis has also accepted the resignations of a US archbishop and his deputy, accused in Minnesota of having ignored a priest’s child abuse.
Jozef Wesolowski is accused of sexually abusing children in the Dominican Republic from 2008 to 2013. He is under house arrest in the Vatican.
The trial is to begin on 11 July.
Wesolowski, 66, is also charged with possession of child pornography, dating from his return to Rome in 2013….
Wesolowski, who is originally from Poland, was recalled from the Dominican Republic in 2013, after allegations surfaced accusing him of abusing Dominican boys.
He had spent five years in the Caribbean country as the papal envoy.
He was defrocked in June last year after he was found guilty by a Church tribunal – he is the highest-ranking church official to be defrocked for such abuse.
He will now be tried by a Vatican criminal court….
August 4, 2014 Comments Off on SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets
SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets
By David Gibson Religion News Service July 29, 2014
When victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests first organized into a small band of volunteer activists in the late 1980s, reports of clergy molesting children were still new and relatively few. Most were minimized as anomalies or dismissed altogether — much the way the victims were.
But today, as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, marks its 25th anniversary at a conference in Chicago (Aug. 1-3), its members can take satisfaction in seeing that its claims have been validated, and a few (though hardly all) of its recommendations have been implemented by the church hierarchy.
And instead of facing constant verbal attacks and the occasional angry parishioner spitting on them at a protest, SNAP’s members today are far more likely to receive a handshake and a word of thanks, and maybe even a donation.
SNAP’s advocacy on the Catholic scandal also helped push the reality of sexual abuse into the public consciousness to the point that victims can regularly win in courts and get a hearing in the media, and they are much more likely to come forward to tell their stories, whether they were abused by clergy or by athletic coaches or Boy Scout leaders….
The group began life in the late 1980s, a couple of years after journalists — led by Jason Berry’s reporting on abusive clerics in Louisiana — began to pull back the veil of secrecy on the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy.
As the reports came to light, Barbara Blaine, a lawyer and social worker who had been molested by a priest when she was growing up in Toledo, Ohio, started contacting as many other victims as she could find, posting ads and asking prosecutors and attorneys to put her in touch with other victims.
SNAP soon developed a core membership of a few thousand people, mainly victims, who met in small support groups while also trying to push the issue onto the public agenda. It was a tough slog in the face of public indifference or outright hostility.
Then in January 2002, The Boston Globe began its groundbreaking series of exposes on the widespread abuse of children by priests in the Boston archdiocese, and the cover-up by bishops. The story caught fire and led to similar revelations across the nation and to an unprecedented level of media coverage, prosecutions, lawsuits and billions in payouts by dioceses….
May 5, 2014 Comments Off on Vatican to craft sex abuse protocols
Vatican to craft sex abuse protocols
May 3, 2014 VATICAN CITY (AP) – Members of Pope Francis’ sexual abuse advisory board said Saturday they will develop “clear and effective” protocols to hold bishops and other church authorities accountable if they fail to report suspected abuse or protect children from pedophile priests.Victims groups have long blasted the Vatican for refusing to sanction any bishop or superior who covered up for priests who raped and molested children. They have listed accountability as one of the key issues facing Francis and a key test for his new advisory board….
Victims groups have long cited the case of O’Malley’s predecessor in Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned in disgrace as archbishop after the sex abuse scandal exploded publicly there in 2002. But Pope John Paul II then appointed Law to the plum assignment as archpriest of one of the Vatican’s four major basilicas in Rome. Even today, another U.S. bishop remains in office despite having been convicted of misdemeanor failure to report suspected child abuse….
The commission met on the eve of a U.N. committee meeting in Geneva in which the Vatican is expected to come under a second round of criticism for its handling of abuse. A U.N. committee monitoring implementation of a key treaty on children’s rights blasted the Holy See earlier this year, accusing it of systematically placing its own interests over those of victims by enabling priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children through its own policies and code of silence.
It recommended the Vatican immediately remove any priest suspected or known to have abused children, open its archives on abusers and the bishops who covered up for them, and turn the cases over to law enforcement.
April 10, 2014 Comments Off on Notorious pedophile priest convicted again, The Shame of the Church
Notorious pedophile priest convicted again 8 Apr 2014
More than half a century after he started sexually abusing the sons and daughters of his parishioners, Australia’s worst pedophile priest has learnt he is likely to die in jail.
Gerald Francis Ridsdale, 79, was given an eight-year sentence after pleading guilty to 30 new charges against 14 boys and girls between 1961 and 1980, conduct described by the judge as “evil hypocrisy.”
But the notorious pedophile, already serving time for a campaign of abuse dating back to 1961 when he was ordained, will not be eligible for parole until April 2019.
The protection of the Catholic church, which moved him from parish to parish throughout his career, meant his offending spanned three decades.
He abused 53 children in that time.
They included children of parishioners, wards of the state, altar servers, twin brothers and a girl as young as four-years-old.
It wasn’t until 1993 that he was de-frocked.
Two years later, he was jailed for 18 years….
Ridsdale portrayed himself as the “friendly priest”, luring his victims with inducements such as lollies and money to gain their trust.
He befriended victims and set up an after-school boys gathering, which was the setting for crimes against five children.
Many of Ridsdale’s victims were extremely vulnerable – some being wards of the state or from broken homes….
The Shame of the Church
By Retro Report March 30th, 2014
Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been making headlines for years. Some priests have been punished, but what about the bishops who shielded them?
July 21, 2012 Comments Off on Sex Abuse Scandal at Lackland Air Force Base, Bishops Told Pedophiles Lie, Victims Must Be Heard
Why Won’t Congress Investigate the Sex Abuse Scandal at Lackland Air Force Base? Soumya Karlamangla The Nation July 17, 2012
Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, has become the center of the nation’s biggest military sex abuse case in years. Over the past several months, a widespread sexual crime epidemic that began in 2009 has been uncovered at the camp, with twelve of 475 of the base’s instructors accused of either rape, sodomy and aggravated sexual assault, among other offenses, and thirty-one female trainees identified as victims.
Now dozens of lawmakers are calling for a Congressional hearing to investigate the incidents at Lackland. But there’s no sign that one will happen anytime soon…..
At a hearing last month, two female former trainees told a courtroom that they were pressured to have sex with two of their male instructors. The men called them over the intercom under false pretense and asked them to leave their dorm rooms, then led them to a supply closet where one of the men had sexual intercourse with one of the women, while the other woman performed oral sex on the other male instructor….
According to the Department of Defense, one in four women who join the military will be raped or sexually assaulted. And according to a report released last year by the department, 71 percent of women and 85 percent of men who experienced unwanted sexual contact chose not to report it. http://www.thenation.com/article/168918/why-wont-congress-investigate-sex-abuse-scandal-lackland-air-force-base
Call over the intercom led to Lackland sex tryst
By Sig Christenson Saturday, June 2, 2012
Two former Air Force trainees said Friday they were lured into a sexual tryst by a pair of trainers on their last night in San Antonio. Testifying at an evidentiary hearing, the women said Staff Sgt. Kwinton Estacio called over an intercom two days after they graduated from basic training last fall and asked them to leave the dorm and meet them. http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/military/article/Call-over-the-intercom-led-to-Lackland-sex-tryst-3602350.php
2010 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members Overview Report on Sexual Assault http://www.sapr.mil/media/pdf/research/DMDC_2010_WGRA_Overview_Report_of_Sexual_Assault.pdf
Bishops Told Pedophiles Lie, Victims Must Be Heard NICOLE WINFIELD 02/7/12
ROME — Priests who rape and molest children lie when confronted with an accusation but victims usually tell the truth, psychologists told Catholic bishops at a symposium Tuesday, advising them to listen first to the victims….
Survivors of clerical abuse have long said that once they summoned the courage to denounce their abusers to church leaders, Catholic bishops often dismissed their accusations and instead accepted the word of their priests, whom bishops consider their brothers and sons in the priesthood.
That pattern led to decades in which bishops shuffled pedophiles from parish to parish, protecting the church’s reputation at all costs, while victims were left to feel like they were to blame for the abuse.
Marie Collins, who was assaulted as a 13-year-old by a hospital chaplain in her native Ireland, told the bishops that dynamic led to multiple hospitalizations later in life for anxiety and depression. She told her story of abuse and how the church’s response to it – refusing to believe her, telling her it was her fault and taking the priest’s word over hers – made the initial trauma even worse….
Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, a psychologist who for a decade ran a U.S. treatment center for abusive priests, told the conference Tuesday that just like alcoholics or drug addicts, sexually abusive priests often lie when confronted with allegations. They manipulate, they con, they deny, he said.
“There are false allegations to be sure” and it’s critical to restore a priest’s good name when he has been cleared, Rossetti said in his prepared remarks. “But decades of experience tell us that the vast majority of allegations – over 95 percent – are founded.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/bishops-told-pedophiles-l_0_n_1259416.html
April 21, 2012 Comments Off on BishopAccountability.org Data on the Crisis The Human Toll
BishopAccountability.org Data on the Crisis The Human Toll
Thousands of Catholic clergy and religious have raped and sodomized tens of thousands of children—perhaps more than 100,000 children—since 1950. These crimes were committed in secret, and bishops nurtured that secrecy. Nearly 15,000 survivors have broken through the silence, and their accounts have created an in-depth picture of the crisis….
The U.S. bishops have reported receiving allegations of abuse by 6,115 priests in 1950-2011, or 5.6% of the 109,694 U.S. priests active since 1950….
Richard Sipe estimates that 9% of U.S. priests have offended, which extrapolates to 9,872 priests nationally….
Approximately two-thirds of sitting U.S. bishops were alleged in 2002 to have kept accused priests in ministry or moved accused priests to new assignments….
Fewer than 2 percent of sexual abuse allegations against the Catholic church appear to be false.