France’s church sex abuse trial, Victim of sex trafficking who killed man granted clemency, Battle to Stop Family Separation, R. Kelly under criminal investigation

January 9, 2019 § Leave a comment

–  Cardinal on trial in France’s biggest church sex abuse trial

–  Woman sentenced to life as teen in killing wins clemency

–  The Battle to Stop Family Separation

–  R. Kelly under criminal investigation following Lifetime documentary series; possible victims urged to come forward

Cardinal on trial in France’s biggest church sex abuse trial
NICOLAS VAUX-MONTAGNY Associated Press 7 January 2019

LYON, France (AP) — A Catholic cardinal and five other people went on trial Monday accused of covering up for a pedophile priest who abused Boy Scouts — France’s most important church sex abuse case to date.

The case poses a new challenge to the Vatican, amid growing demands in overwhelmingly Catholic France for a reckoning with decades of sexual abuse by the clergy.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, 68, appeared in a Lyon court Monday along with other senior church officials accused of failing to protect children from alleged abuse by the Rev. Bernard Preynat. The top Vatican official in charge of sex abuse cases, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, is among the accused — but won’t appear in court because the Vatican invoked his diplomatic immunity.

Nine people who said the priest abused them in the 1970s and 1980s brought the case to court, and hope it marks a turning point in efforts to hold the French church hierarchy accountable for hushing up abuse. The victims say top clergy were aware of Preynat’s actions for years, but allowed him to be in contact with children until his 2015 retirement.

Despite nationwide attention on the case, it may fall apart for legal reasons. Prosecutors initially threw out it out for insufficient evidence. Barbarin’s lawyer says his client never obstructed justice because the statute of limitations had passed on the acts in question by the time Barbarin was informed….

https://in.news.yahoo.com/cardinal-trial-frances-biggest-church-sex-abuse-trial-082122434.html

Woman sentenced to life as teen in killing wins clemency

A woman who says she was a victim of sex trafficking when she killed a man in 2004 was granted clemency Monday by Tennessee’s governor and will be released from prison

By KIMBERLEE KRUESI

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A woman who says she was a 16-year-old sex trafficking victim when she killed a man in 2004 was granted clemency Monday by Tennessee’s governor and will be released from prison later this year.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam granted clemency to Cyntoia Brown, who had been serving a life sentence but who will be released on parole on Aug. 7 — 15 years from the date she was first arrested.

“Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life,” Haslam said in his statement.

Brown, 30, will remain on parole supervision for 10 years on the condition she does not violate any state or federal laws, holds a job, and participates in regular counseling sessions….

Brown was convicted in 2006 of murdering Allen, a Nashville real estate agent. Police said she shot Allen in the back of the head at close range with a gun she brought to rob him after he picked her up at a Sonic Drive-in fast-food restaurant in Nashville to have sex with her.

Brown’s lawyers contended she was a sex trafficking victim who not only feared for her life but also lacked the mental capability to be culpable in the slaying because she was impaired by her mother’s alcohol use while she was in the womb.

According to court documents, Brown ran away from her adoptive family in Nashville in 2004 and began living with a man known as “Cut Throat” in a hotel, who then forced her to become a prostitute. Court documents say the man verbally, physically and sexually assaulted her.

One night, Allen picked up Brown at a Sonic Drive-In and she agreed to engage in sexual activity for $150. Once at his place, Brown eventually got into Allen’s bed. Brown told law enforcement officials she thought he was reaching for a gun, so she shot him with a handgun from her purse.

She took two of his guns and his money from his wallet before fleeing the scene….
https://apnews.com/199ec93abff34bf2a6c79b0ec385419b

The Battle to Stop Family Separation
By Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
December 26, 2018

This piece originally appeared at The New York Review of Books.

In March 2017, John Kelly, then Secretary of Homeland Security, said in an interview with CNN that the Trump administration was considering a national policy to separate parents from their children to deter immigrants from crossing the border into the United States. The proposal triggered a backlash because it was so unpalatable, and the administration didn’t move forward with it. But six months later, in December 2017, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that the administration was again considering the idea. At the same time, advocates who provide services to children in government custody told ACLU lawyers they were seeing children much younger than the teenagers they usually saw entering their facilities. As the stories began to multiply, the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project quickly realized that the administration wasn’t considering the separation of children from their parents—it was already doing it.

For at least six months before then Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy of prosecuting every adult who crossed into the United States without permission, which would result in more than 2,000 children being taken from their parents, the Department of Homeland Security had quietly began taking hundreds of children away from their parents to deter would-be asylum seekers from coming to the United States.

We had no idea how many children had been taken from their parents, but we knew we needed to file a class action lawsuit to stop the practice.
https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/immigrants-rights-and-detention/battle-stop-family-separation

R. Kelly under criminal investigation following Lifetime documentary series; possible victims urged to come forward
By Peter Sblendorio NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Jan 08, 2019

An explosive Lifetime documentary series covering distressing allegations against R. Kelly has reportedly prompted a criminal investigation in Georgia, while prosecutors in Chicago are urging any victims to come forward.

Investigators from the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Atlanta have tried to touch base with some of the women featured in the six-part series, TMZ reported.

Kelly — who’s faced numerous accusations of sexual misconduct, which he’s denied — is accused of manipulating women and controlling their lives….

Kelly, 52, has been accused of inappropriate behavior with multiple underage girls in the past, which he has denied. He allegedly married the late singer Aaliyah in 1994, when she was 15.

Kelly was acquitted in a highly publicized child pornography case in 2008 after being accused of appearing in a sex tape with an underage girl years earlier.

Savage’s father Timothy, meanwhile, accused Kelly’s manager Don Russell of threatening him earlier this month, a police report released by Henry County, Ga. cops reveals. The report claims Russell told Savage it “would be best for him and his family” if the Lifetime series did not air, and that Russell threatened to release information damaging to his “reputation, business, and family” if it did.

An arrest warrant for another Kelly manager, James Mason, was issued last year after he allegedly threatened Timothy….

https://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/ny-ent-r-kelly-investigation-20190108-story.html

Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic, French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

March 17, 2016 Comments Off on Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic, French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

Child abuse scandal casts ‘spotlight’ on France’s top Catholic
2016-03-16
Allegations of a cover-up in the highest reaches of French Catholicism have revived the spectre of clerical child sex abuse and cast a pall over France’s most prominent cardinal

….the allegations have the potential to profoundly rattle the Church in a country where half the population continues to consider itself Catholic. In particular, they threaten to derail the career of France’s most prominent clergyman, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon, a man long touted as a possible candidate for the papacy.

The 65-year-old prelate has fiercely denied charges that he covered up paedophilia crimes by failing to remove a priest in his diocese known to have abused boy scouts decades before he took up his post in 2002. Barbarin is also accused of failing to act against another Lyon priest when it emerged in 2009 he had abused a boy in the past.

“I have never, never, never covered up acts of paedophilia,” Barbarin said at a press conference on Tuesday, noting that the cases had passed the legal statute of limitations when they were reported. He added an unfortunate “thank God” – and later apologised for his choice of words.

The cardinal spoke just hours after French Prime Minister Manuel Valls urged him to “take his responsibility and act” upon the allegations of cover-up – a rare step for France, which has a strict separation of church and state.

Pandora’s box

Barbarin is among six church officials targeted in a preliminary judicial investigation that grew out of allegations that a priest had molested boy scouts in the 1980s. Barbarin wasn’t a cardinal at the time and says he was convinced the priest had been reformed by the time he found out about the abuse in 2007.

The priest, Bernard Preynat, was charged on January 27 of this year with sexual aggression and rape of a minor by a person in authority. The charges are based on complaints filed by members of an association of alleged victims of the priest, known as Parole libérée (Freed word).

Several of the alleged victims have spoken to Euronews journalist Valérie Gauriat about the abuse….

The association says it has received dozens of testimonies from alleged victims, who had previously kept quiet about their story, or were simply not listened to. “Since our establishment, barely two months ago, we have been submerged by messages from victims seeking psychological support or advice,” says Dominique Murillot, the wife of a former child abuse victim and a psychologist at Parole libérée….

Adding to Barbarin’s woes, Le Parisien reported that the Lyon cardinal had in 2013 promoted a convicted sex offender, whose suspended jail term in 2007 was well known to the archdiocese….

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils.

On Wednesday, the Education Ministry said it had struck off twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools in 2015 because of paedophilia-related offenses, adding that it would tighten cooperation with the justice ministry to scrutinize the criminal records of all teachers it employs….
http://www.france24.com/en/20160316-child-abuse-spotlight-france-catholic-cardinal-barbarin-paedophilia


French education minister says 27 school staff fired for child sex abuse

016-03-16
Twenty-seven members of staff in French schools and high schools were struck off in 2015 because of pedophilia-related offenses, Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said Wednesday.

Vallaud-Belkacem said most of those fired where male staffers. She did not say whether they were teachers or administrative personnel, nor when the offenses happened.

France was shocked last year by the disclosure that a school headmaster who had been appointed despite a previous conviction for possessing child pornography was charged with aggravated rape of several pupils. Earlier this year, a high school teacher who had been convicted in Britain 10 years ago was given preliminary charges of sexual assault after police found pornographic images and video in his mobile phone.

According to a report aiming at improving communication between the ministries of education and justice published Wednesday, 19 members of staff in schools and high schools were fired in 2014 in cases related to child pornography or pedophilia. There were 26 staff at French schools laid off in 2013 for the same reason, and 15 in 2012.

“We believe that a teacher, or an adult, or an administrative agent in contact with children can’t work with children as soon as he has been sentenced for offenses as serious as pedophilia or child pornography,” Vallaud-Belkacem told RTL radio….
http://www.france24.com/en/20160316-france-27-school-staff-fired-child-sex-abuse-paedophilia

 

Valls appeals to French cardinal over child abuse allegations, FORCEPS Poems About The Birth of The Self Wendy Hoffman

March 16, 2016 Comments Off on Valls appeals to French cardinal over child abuse allegations, FORCEPS Poems About The Birth of The Self Wendy Hoffman

Valls appeals to French cardinal over child abuse allegations
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says Cardinal Philippe Barbarin must “take responsibility” over an alleged pedophilia cover up. He is one of six people implicated in an investigation into a 70-year-old priest.

Valls told BFM TV on Tuesday that without wanting to overrule the Church or judges investigating the case, Barbarin “must take responsibility, speak and act.”

He stopped short of calling for Barbarin’s resignation but said “action, as well as words” were required.

Barbarin hit back at a press conference later, insisting for a second time: “I have never covered up pedophilia,” although he admitted he had made mistakes.

The scandal relates to an investigation into an elderly priest, Bernard Preynat, who was charged in January with historic child sex abuse.

Several victims have come forward making claims dating back to the 1980s. One of them, who was allegedly abused while in the Scouts, filed a complaint after he realized that the priest was still in service in 2015.

Church hush-up?

Prosecutors say Preynat has admitted the charges and was finally removed from service in May last year. But when the claims were initially investigated, he was just briefly suspended and then moved to another parish. Other victims have since come forward claiming to have been abused between 1986 and 1991.

Complaints have been filed against several senior officials in the Lyon diocese in eastern France, including Lyon archbishop Barbarin, accusing them of being aware of the abuse but failing to report the priest.

Barbarin has argued he was not Archbishop when the first complaints emerged against Preynat.

The Cardinal said he learned of Preynat’s “behaviors” in 2007 or 2008, and met with him “to ask if, since 1991, anything had happened; he assured me there had been absolutely nothing.”

French prosecutors are investigating whether charges of failure to denounce a crime and endangering the lives of others could be made in the context of the pedophilia investigation….
http://www.dw.com/en/valls-appeals-to-french-cardinal-over-child-abuse-allegations/a-19118938

FORCEPS
Poems About The Birth of The Self

The search for my true past came in distinct waves. This collection of poems includes some from the long period when I knew something was drastically wrong but didn’t consciously know what that was and some from the breakthrough when I discovered my never-bloomed self. The poems cover the outskirts of my awakening, my plowing through and arrival in the middle of awareness. When dissociated memories and emotions exploded inside, eventually they filtered into a poem. The horror transmuted itself. These poems are that record. I have regained a real, not imposed, self.
Karnac Books  March 2016     ISBN 13 : 9781782204107    ISBN 10 : 1782204105
https://us.karnacbooks.com/product/forceps-poems-about-the-birth-of-the-self/38047/

 

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