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
Federal Data Shows Nearly 3 Percent Rise in Child Abuse, UK child abuse victims sue Catholic Church, Scotland Yard child abuse probe into Kids Company, 5 of 77 western Washington priests suspected of child abuse were likely prosecuted, animal sacrifice ritual
January 26, 2016 Comments Off on Federal Data Shows Nearly 3 Percent Rise in Child Abuse, UK child abuse victims sue Catholic Church, Scotland Yard child abuse probe into Kids Company, 5 of 77 western Washington priests suspected of child abuse were likely prosecuted, animal sacrifice ritual
– New Federal Data Shows Nearly 3 Percent Rise in Child Abuse
– UK child abuse victims sue Catholic Church
– REVEALED: The true scale of Scotland Yard child abuse probe into “cult-like” Kids Company
– Report: 5 of 77 western Washington priests suspected of child abuse were likely prosecuted
– Man beheads dog, duck as part of animal sacrifice ritual, deputies say
New Federal Data Shows Nearly 3 Percent Rise in Child Abuse
By david crary, ap national writer
Jan 25, 2016
The number of U.S. children victimized by abuse and neglect increased by nearly 3 percent in the latest annual reporting period, according to new federal data.
According to the report released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services, the estimated number of victimized children in the 2014 fiscal year was 702,208 — up from 682,307 in 2013.
The report estimated fatalities attributable to child abuse and neglect at 1,580 — up from 1,530 in 2013….
UK child abuse victims sue Catholic Church
AAP January 26, 2016
The claims – dating back to the 1950s and featuring pupils at a church school in the northwest of England – mirror those in the film Spotlight, tipped for Oscars success for its depiction of similar allegations in the Catholic Church in Boston, US, in the 1980s.
Lawyers acting on behalf of the British victims, who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse, said they hope the positivity Spotlight’s release met with will help give other victims the strength to come forward.
Thomas Beale, representing victims with London-based child abuse lawyers AO Advocates, said there were “significant” similarities between Spotlight and the allegations of abuse at St Bede’s Catholic school in Manchester decades ago….
The allegations at St Bede’s relate to Monsignor Thomas Duggan, Father Charles Mulholland and Father Vincent Hamilton – three senior figures at the school who carried out the alleged abuse.
They died before being brought to justice, but the survivors are now taking out a civil case against the Diocese of Salford for what they say is a failure to protect them from abuse.
Allegations range from inappropriate touching to rape….
REVEALED: The true scale of Scotland Yard child abuse probe into “cult-like” Kids Company
POLICE and social services are investigating 36 separate cases of child abuse in connection with the failed Government-funded charity Kids Company.
By Jon Austin Fri, Jan 22, 2016
The true scale of the Metropolitan Police investigation into the former charity backed by Prime Minister David Cameron was revealed by a social services chief in a damning letter giving evidence to an ongoing Parliamentary inquiry into the relationship between Kids Company and Whitehall.
David Quirke-Thornton, Strategic Director for Children’s and Adults’ Services at Southwark Council, launched a stinging attack on the charity and former chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh in evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.
He wrote: “The ethics of practice within Kids Company appears to me to have been compromised by a cult of personality; a wilful blindness to the consequences and impact of their model on children, young people and their families; and a lack of acceptance by the leadership of the organisation of their accessorial liability.”
The charity, whose chairman was former BBC creative director Alan Yentob, closed in August just days after it pocketed a £3million final bailout from Whitehall.
It has since emerged the Government provided Kids Company a whopping £46m in funds over less than 10 years despite their being repeated concerns raised with officials over its management.
The closure came just days after it emerged the Scotland Yard was investigating a number of allegations of sexual abuse relating to some of its clients….
Report: 5 of 77 western Washington priests suspected of child abuse were likely prosecuted
By The Associated Press January 24, 2016
….Boyle, now deceased, retired from Mount St. Vincent in Seattle in 1984 and spent a total of about 15 years in the Seattle Archdiocese. He pleaded guilty in Nevada in 1987 to one count of lewdness with a child for exposing himself, according to news accounts and interviews.
….Since the late 1980s, the Seattle Archdiocese has paid about $74 million in civil settlements for 392 claims of sexual abuse of minors, including at least $1.1 million paid to three of Boyle’s victims.
Man beheads dog, duck as part of animal sacrifice ritual, deputies say By Kate Jacobson Sun Sentinel January 20, 2016
A man beheaded his dog and a duck as part of an animal sacrifice ritual in the front yard of his apartment complex while neighbors watched, deputies said.
Javier Orelly, 28, was arrested on Tuesday by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said they got a call just after 7 p.m. on Jan. 14 about a man who appeared to be setting up a shrine to kill his dog….
Animal sacrifices are common in Santeria, a religion typically practiced in parts of Africa and the Caribbean. Under U.S. and state law, some animal sacrifices are legal if the animal is killed humanely and for legitimate religious purposes.
Florida law prohibits the slaughter of dogs or cats.
Officers from animal care and control typically come across the discarded bodies of livestock like chickens and goats. Walesky said finding the person behind a slaughter is rare. The fact that the animal killed was a dog, Walesky said, is even more rare….
Catholic Church saves $62 million on sexual abuse claims, Priest warned police officer to drop investigation or lose job, child abuse hearing told, Lord Janner: Judge rules dementia sufferer is unfit to plead in child sex abuse trial
December 8, 2015 Comments Off on Catholic Church saves $62 million on sexual abuse claims, Priest warned police officer to drop investigation or lose job, child abuse hearing told, Lord Janner: Judge rules dementia sufferer is unfit to plead in child sex abuse trial
Catholic Church saves $62 million on sexual abuse claims
The Catholic Church avoided paying up to $62 million in compensation to sexual abuse victims by creating the controversial Melbourne Response program, which capped payments at $50,000 for each victim.
Internal documents also show church leaders ordered written records about sex abuse be “kept to a minimum” to avoid losing lawsuits, and hired one of the country’s best spin doctors in a bid to prepare for the scandal in the early 1990s….
In August 1996, Archbishop Pell discussed the idea of creating a special trust to “avoid an open-ended call on funding for counselling fees” for abuse victims, to only days later canvass suggestions of how the church could financially support three paedophile priests set to be released from prison.
Meetings also describe plans for multimillion-dollar property deals and commissioning a new painting of the archbishop, while senior leaders were also expressing concern about “being seen to apply the maximum penalty” against paedophile priests, the protection of church assets and their own exposure to liability in sexual abuse lawsuits…. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/catholic-church-saves-62-million-on-sexual-abuse-claims-20151205-glgavf.html
Priest warned police officer to drop investigation or lose job, child abuse hearing told
Father Peter Taffe ‘told officer Denis Ryan he would be out of a job’ if he pursued an investigation into the Mildura parish priest Monsignor John Day
Australian Associated Press Sunday 6 December 2015
A Victorian priest warned a police officer to drop his investigation into a colleague over child abuse allegations, an inquiry has heard.
Father Peter Taffe told the police officer he would be out of a job if he pursued an investigation into the Mildura parish priest Monsignor John Day, the child abuse royal commission was told.
Senior counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC, said 140 people had made child sex abuse claims against priests and others in religious orders in the diocese of Ballarat since 1980. Ninety per cent of the claims were against seven priests, including 78 against Gerald Francis Ridsdale and 15 against Day.
Furness said a man had told Mildura assistant priest Taffe in January 1972 his son had been abused by Day. She said Taffe’s first words had been: “I thought he was over all this.”
A former Mildura police officer, Denis Ryan, had already been investigating complaints against Day, she said, and would tell the commission Taffe had warned him in December 1971: “Drop the inquiry into Monsignor Day or you’ll be out of a job.”
Ryan wrote to then Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns setting out allegations from seven complainants. The inquiry was told Mulkearns had said he had been assured police were satisfied there was no substance to the charges, and it was impossible to move Day out of Mildura.
“Any such move would be tantamount to a public declaration that I consider him guilty,” he said….
Furness said Mulkearns had told another Mortlake victim’s mother: “How am I to take the word of a child over one of my priests?” http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/dec/07/priest-warned-police-officer-to-drop-investigation-or-lose-job-child-abuse-hearing-told
Lord Janner: Judge rules dementia sufferer is unfit to plead in child sex abuse trial
Court hearing on 87-year-old peer’s mental health is told former Labour grandee is suffering from ‘advanced and disabling’ dementia
By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent
07 Dec 2015
Lord Janner has been declared unfit to plead in a criminal trial over a range of sex abuse charges dating back 50 years, a senior judge has ruled.
In a hearing at the Old Bailey on the 87-year-old’s mental health, Mr Justice Openshaw said the peer was suffering from “advanced and disabling” dementia.
He detailed reports from four leading psychiatrists and psychologists which had been commissioned by both prosecution and defence – all of which agreed the peer’s mental health was very poor. Janner did not attend the latest court hearing….
Janner is accused of 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against a total of nine alleged victims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Twenty-one of the offences relate to complainants who were aged 16 or under at the time…. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/12036837/Lord-Janner-Judge-rules-dementia-sufferer-is-unfit-to-plead-in-child-sex-abuse-trial.html
UK police 2,228 child abuse suspects, Catholic church knew it had abuse ‘time bombs’, child sex abuse inquiry hears
December 4, 2015 Comments Off on UK police 2,228 child abuse suspects, Catholic church knew it had abuse ‘time bombs’, child sex abuse inquiry hears
Operation Hydrant: UK police identify 2,228 child abuse suspects
1 December 2015
More than 2,200 suspects are being investigated by UK police probing historical child sex abuse allegations. Figures from Operation Hydrant – which was set up by the National Police Chiefs’ Council – show the total has risen by almost 800 since May. It includes 302 people of “public prominence”, including 99 politicians and 147 from television, film or radio. Some 761 different institutions are now on the Hydrant database, including 288 schools and 204 children’s homes.
Operation Hydrant was set up last summer to oversee the investigation of allegations of “non-recent” child sex abuse within institutions or by people of public prominence. It does not conduct any investigations itself, but gathers information from other inquiries carried out by police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Of the 2,228 suspects currently under investigation:
Some 286 are now dead, while 554 are classified as unknown or unidentified
Among those of public prominence, 39 come from the music industry and 17 from the world of sport
A total of 1,217 are alleged offenders who operated within institutions, including 86 religious institutions, 39 medical establishments and 25 prisons or young offenders institutes
Other institutions named include 22 sports venues, 10 community institutions, such as youth clubs, and 81 other institutions, such as guest houses….
Catholic church knew it had abuse ‘time bombs’, child sex abuse inquiry hears
‘The big time bomb was ticking away’ in Ballarat diocese, former Melbourne archdiocese vicar-general Bishop Peter Connors tells royal commission
Australian Associated Press Thursday 3 December 2015
The Catholic church knew it had child abuse “time bombs” ticking away in a number of Australian dioceses, an inquiry has heard.
A special issues committee meeting at the Australian Catholic Bishops conference in 1992 noted: “It was agreed that there are serious time bombs ticking away in a number of dioceses at the present time.”
That was the case in a number of dioceses, former Melbourne archdiocese vicar-general Bishop Peter Connors, who chaired the committee, told the child abuse royal commission.
It also included Melbourne’s Doveton parish, where a succession of paedophile priests were sent.
“There would certainly be other dioceses where that problem, of time bombs ticking away, existed,” Bishop Connors said.
“That would certainly be the case, I think particularly, in the diocese of Ballarat, the big time bomb was ticking away there.”
The meeting of special issues groups, set up to deal with allegations against priests, noted it was important the alleged offender be treated fairly.
Bishop Connors agreed with Gail Furness SC, senior counsel assisting the commission, who said there was little, if any, concern about the victims.
The commission heard there was a culture in the Catholic church of keeping abuse allegations secret.
US Government trying to block Prince Andrew’s alleged ‘sex slave’ from Jeffrey Epstein case, Images of child abuse found in Vatican City
February 3, 2015 Comments Off on US Government trying to block Prince Andrew’s alleged ‘sex slave’ from Jeffrey Epstein case, Images of child abuse found in Vatican City
US Government trying to block Prince Andrew’s alleged ‘sex slave’ from Jeffrey Epstein case Monday, 2 February 2015 – Washington ANI
US Government is trying to bar Prince Andrew’s alleged ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts from Jeffrey Epstein lawsuit case with a new filing.
On January 30, the government filed the declaration of FBI Special Agent Timothy R Slater, who joined the investigation of Epstein in 2006, Radaronline.com reported. It was noted in the declaration that sometime during January – February 2007 Slater called Roberts and told about the investigation of Epstein but she quickly became uncomfortable and expressed her desire to let everything in the past and demanded to not be bothered about this again.
So now the government has been trying to prevent her from having any say in the ongoing civil suit. Sources have revealed that they are filling this evidence in order to do everything they could do to prevent the release of documents about what really went on relating to Epstein’s plea deal….
Woman’s Claims About Prince Andrew, Others Reignite Sex Case
MIAMI — Feb 2, 2015 By CURT ANDERSON AP Legal Affairs Writer
First came the allegations late last year that Britain’s Prince Andrew and a prominent American lawyer took part in a wealthy sex offender’s abuse of teenage girls aboard private jets, in luxury homes and on the financier’s Caribbean island.
The story, part of a long-running U.S. legal fight focused on the rights of the women, gained steam when Buckingham Palace took the unusual step of issuing a carefully worded denial of the kind of salacious claims that royal officials rarely acknowledge. Defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who represented the highly connected Jeffrey Epstein and was himself named in the latest court filings, then called the most outspoken of the four women a serial liar and practically dared her to prove her accounts.
Instead of letting the case play out from there, the woman known as Jane Doe No. 3 hit back with a 23-page affidavit detailing dates, locations and more about the powerful men she says Epstein forced her and the others to satisfy.
More than six years after Epstein pleaded guilty to Florida charges involving sex with underage girls, the case has erupted anew….
Dershowitz has accused Jane Doe No. 3 of making up most or all of her claims, including a story about seeing Clinton on Epstein’s island years ago.
Jane Doe No. 3 and three others who say Epstein victimized them want a federal judge to make public and throw out the part of Epstein’s plea deal that guaranteed that neither he nor any co-conspirators would face federal charges. Federal prosecutors oppose the request, contending they did their best to confer with the victims but that the women aren’t entitled to details of the plea negotiations….
Images of child abuse found in Vatican City
Holy See’s prosecutor general says two cases involving indecent material came to light last year, along with other crimes Rosie Scammell in Rome Sunday 1 February 2015
Two cases of child pornography possession were uncovered within the walls of the Vatican last year, along with numerous other crimes in the city state, the Holy See’s prosecutor general has announced.
Following worldwide allegations of sex abuse by priests, Gian Piero Milano, the Holy See’s Promoter of Justice, said the Vatican was now taking action against paedophilia in the heart of the Catholic church.
Unveiling the Vatican’s justice report, Milano stopped short of naming those accused of possessing child pornography. Holy See spokesman Federico Lombardi however identified Josef Wesolowski, a disgraced former ambassador, as one of the people facing charges.
Wesolowski was stripped of his diplomatic immunity last year following accusations that he abused young boys during his time as envoy to the Dominican Republic. The Polish former archbishop is currently awaiting trial at the Vatican, in what will be the first sex abuse trial ever held at the Holy See….
Vatican Arrests Former Archbishop On Child Abuse Charges, Don’t turn a blind eye to child abuse or neglect
September 25, 2014 Comments Off on Vatican Arrests Former Archbishop On Child Abuse Charges, Don’t turn a blind eye to child abuse or neglect
Vatican Arrests Former Archbishop On Child Abuse Charges
September 24, 2014
Jozef Wesolowski is the first high-ranking Vatican official to face criminal charges for sexually abusing children. Steve Inskeep talks to Joshua McElwee of the National Catholic Reporter.
….Vatican City, the home of the Catholic Church, is also a tiny, independent nation with its own laws. And today, one of its citizens is under house arrest. The Vatican took former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski into custody. He had already been defrocked in June. All of this follows allegations that he sexually abused young boys while he was the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He’s going to stand trial on a Vatican criminal court. Joshua McElwee, who is Vatican bureau chief for The National Catholic Reporter, is covering this story.
….Well, the Vatican had acted a couple months ago. What they’d done is they laicized Wesolowski, who was an archbishop, which basically made him a normal Catholic. He’s no longer a priest. He’s no longer an archbishop. And now they’re saying that they’re prosecuting him according to the laws of the Vatican City State for, apparently, accusations of abuse in the Dominican Republic.
Don’t turn a blind eye to child abuse or neglect
By Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist September 21, 2014
How is it possible that Erika Murray’s oldest children went to school, had friends, and saw relatives, yet nobody raised the alarm about the horrors filling their Blackstone home?….
It all went to hell the summer before Spadaro turned 11, when she found her mother on the floor, in seizures. Doctors removed a brain tumor, leaving her mother with impaired judgment and impulse control, and dependent on sedatives.Her father, who had broken his hip and quit work years earlier, was also heavily medicated. Depressed, and with strained finances, her parents mixed alcohol with the drugs, descending into addiction.
“That combination of the unwashed people and the unwashed pets and the food that may be halfway round the bend,” recalled Spadaro, now 48. “You learn to function with the smell, but I don’t think you ever stop noticing it.”
She did what many kids do in these situations: She became the parent, at 11. She remembers trying to clear some of the mess away, hauling trash to the garage, and cleaning up after the beagle. For meals, she warmed frozen pizza in a toaster oven. She did laundry so that she and her sister — several years younger — would look presentable.
“I tried to keep things as best I could, but I could not be in charge of two parents, a younger sibling, and the pet,” she said.
For three years, none of the many adults in their lives came to their rescue….
Three years after the spiral began, her mother’s family took the girls in. Spadaro does not know why they decided to intervene then, and not sooner….
Several times, though, neighbors complained about pets being mistreated at the home. There was only one call about the children, found to be unsubstantiated. How those kids must have envied the dogs…..
Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
August 22, 2014 Comments Off on Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse
Cardinal Pell spoke at the royal commission via a video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday
He said the church was no more legally responsible for priests who abuse than a trucking company that employs a driver who molests women
The Vatican has refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission
By Sarah Dean For Daily Mail Australia and Aap
21 August 2014
….When the Australian federal government announced the establishment of a Royal Commission in late 2012 into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell also caused controversy when he stated that priests who hear confessions from people who commit child sex abuse must remain bound by the Seal of Confession.
‘If that is done outside the confessional (it can be reported to the police)…. (But) the Seal of Confession is inviolable. If the priest knows beforehand about such a situation, the priest should refuse to hear the confession… That would be my advice, and I would never hear the confession of a priest who is suspected of such a thing,’ he said.
On Thursday the Vatican also refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission.
The Vatican said the commission’s request for documents on each allegation involving an Australian cleric was ‘neither possible nor appropriate’.
Reasons included ongoing church investigations, and that internal working documents were the sovereign property of the Holy See….
Pell denies church responsible in abuse
Friday, 22 August 2014
The Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company which employs a driver who molests women, Cardinal George Pell maintains.
Victims’ families say it’s a ludicrous comparison and even the chair of the child abuse royal commission thinks the situation is quite different when it comes to a priest getting access to a child.
Cardinal Pell accepts the church has a moral obligation to victims, but when it comes to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests are not necessarily its fault.
‘If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don’t think it’s appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,’ Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome on Thursday.
But Cardinal Pell said if the church had been warned about a priest or had bad policies or procedures in place, ‘then certainly the church official would be responsible’….
Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said priests got access to children with the parents’ consent, unlike truck drivers.
‘The relationship between the priest and a child is quite different to that between the truck driver and the casual passenger, isn’t it?’ he asked Cardinal Pell.
‘Yes, I would certainly concede that,’ Cardinal Pell responded….
Child sex abuse royal commission speaks to parents of children allegedly abused in Victorian state care, British Police Search Property of Cliff Richard Over Sex Abuse Claim
August 15, 2014 Comments Off on Child sex abuse royal commission speaks to parents of children allegedly abused in Victorian state care, British Police Search Property of Cliff Richard Over Sex Abuse Claim
Child sex abuse royal commission speaks to parents of children allegedly abused in Victorian state care
By the national reporting team’s Dan Oakes
15 Aug 2014
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has interviewed parents of children who were allegedly sexually and physically abused while in state care in Victoria….
Parents have called for the royal commission to hold public hearings over abuse in Victoria’s out-of-home care system, such as those already held regarding the Catholic Church, Salvation Army, Swimming Australia and after-school care operated by the YMCA.
The public hearings have exposed failings that led to the sexual abuse of children in the care of those institutions….
Public hearings about the Catholic Church’s “Melbourne response” to child abuse will be conducted for two weeks beginning on Monday.
The development comes after revelations in recent months by the ABC that children in residential care units have been targeted by paedophile gangs, and have been subjected to horrific sexual and physical abuse by older children.
Last month, a judgement handed down in a Victorian court savaged the Department of Human Services over its treatment of two young siblings who were allegedly raped by older children in residential care and witnessed the sexual and physical abuse of other children….
British Police Search Property of Cliff Richard Over Sex Abuse Claim
By KATRIN BENNHOLD AUG. 14, 2014
LONDON — Another prominent British public figure has been caught up in allegations of pedophilia.
On Thursday, the police searched a property belonging to Cliff Richard, one of Britain’s most successful recording artists, as part of an investigation into a claim “of a sexual nature.” The allegation, which dates to the 1980s, involves a boy who was younger than 16 at the time, a police statement said.
The claim relates to an alleged sexual assault at a 1985 faith rally in Sheffield where Billy Graham appeared, the BBC and The Guardian reported. The police did not say whether the search of Mr. Richard’s house made him a suspect or a witness or neither.
No arrests have been made and Mr. Richard, 73, who is currently out of the country, issued his own statement, calling the claim “completely false.”….
Leading the coverage was the explosive revelation in 2012 that Jimmy Savile, a former children’s television host with the name recognition of Johnny Carson, had raped and sexually assaulted scores of children. Mr. Savile, a BBC staple and friend of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, used his status and charity work to gain access to vulnerable children in schools and even hospitals. He died in 2011 at 84.
Since then, other well-known personalities have been accused or convicted of sexual offenses involving children, among them Rolf Harris, once one of Britain’s most popular television entertainers, who last month was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison for a range of sexual offenses committed decades ago against girls as young as 8. Others who have been convicted include Max Clifford, 71, Britain’s best-known publicist; and Stuart Hall, 84, a former broadcaster for the BBC.
The political establishment, too, has been in the spotlight, both for sexual misconduct and for apparently covering it up.
Cyril Smith, a once-respected member of Parliament who died in 2010, was accused of abusing boys in a children’s home in his constituency….
July 2, 2014 Comments Off on Harrowing tales at abuse royal commission
Harrowing tales at abuse royal commission
By Australian Associated Press
29 June 2014
Forty years later in 2006 the man giving evidence read an article by Tommy Campion, another former resident of the North Coast Children’s Home….
In the 1980s he had been diagnosed with depression and attempted suicide several times. He now had leukaemia. In broken voice he told of beatings that left him scarred; of being left at a table for ten hours because he could not eat the food. If he threw up he would be made to eat the vomit.
A priest who seemed kind made him lie naked while he performed a pseudo-religious ritual that involved molesting him sexually….
His life has been no life just like many among the thousands of people who are coming forward to tell their stories – often for the first time….
Children of abuse survivors are learning for the first time why their mum or dad could never hug them. A landscape of broken lives, failed relationships, drug use, anger, suicides, bravery and extraordinary honesty while people struggle still for happiness is being painted by these witnesses.
Preparing for and giving evidence is a renewed trauma and the commission always has counsellors on hand to help them through.
Institutions, the Christian and Marist brothers, the Salvation Army, Catholic and Anglican dioceses, the YMCA, Scouts Australia, state run child-protection agencies and police forces across the country are trying to explain how it happened on their watch.
When a Salvation Army witness started to say how different standards of child discipline in the 1960s and `70s might explain why boys were beaten until they bled in homes in NSW and Queensland, commission chair Justice Peter McClellan interrupted to remind her she was talking about criminal assaults.
Brand protection, systemic failures, wilful ignorances, whether it be in the YMCA, the Scouts or the Catholic Church are being uncovered daily at these hearings.
The Catholic and Anglican churches moved abusers when complaints were made.
They kept no records that can now be produced.
In the case of the Marist Brothers, a man who was jailed for 12 years in 2006 was put on a plane to a clinic for sex-offending priests in Canada three days after the order knew police were investigating him for offences dating back years….