Matriarch of Alleged Killer Church Cult Sentenced in Teen’s Fatal Beating, Thirty Years in Captivity – One woman’s escape from a London cult

December 14, 2016 Comments Off on Matriarch of Alleged Killer Church Cult Sentenced in Teen’s Fatal Beating, Thirty Years in Captivity – One woman’s escape from a London cult

Matriarch of Alleged Killer Church Cult Sentenced in Teen’s Fatal Beating
By Chris Harris December 7, 2016
The matriarch of a small religious sect that former members insist is a cult will spend the next two years in jail for her role in the prolonged, deadly beatings of two teenage brothers who tried to leave the group, PEOPLE confirms.

Traci Irwin, 50, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty in Oneida County Court in New York to two counts of felony unlawful imprisonment.

Irwin was charged, along with eight other members of the Word of Life Church, with the fatal beating of Lucas Leonard. The 19-year-old was savagely whipped and battered intermittently over a 12-hour period inside the church, which is located in New Hartford, New York — a suburb of Utica.

Lucas’ brother, 17-year-old Christopher Leonard, was also attacked in the Oct. 11, 2015, incident, but survived with numerous injuries.

The church’s 29-year-old pastor, Traci’s daughter Tiffanie Irwin, also participated in the beatings, as did the boys’ parents, Deborah and Bruce Leonard, and the brothers’ half-sister, Sarah Ferguson….

All told, nine people were indicted for their roles in the attack. Eight defendants accepted deals from the prosecution. Only Ferguson stood trial; she was convicted in July of manslaughter and assault and was sentenced to 25 years….
http://people.com/crime/traci-irwin-killer-church-cult-matriarch-sentenced-beating-death/


Thirty Years in Captivity
One woman’s escape from a London cult.

By Simon Parkin   December 3, 2016

Rosie grew up in a succession of decrepit houses in South London with one man and a rotating cast of women, who claimed that they had found her on the streets as an infant. The man, Aravindan Balakrishnan—Comrade Bala, as he wanted to be called—was the head of the household. He instructed the women to deny Rosie’s existence to outsiders, and forbade them from comforting her when she cried. “Balakrishnan told us that lesbianism was caused when females cuddle female babies,” one of the women, Aisha Wahab, told me recently. “No one dared show affection.”

Rosie was not registered with local authorities, health-care providers, or schools. As a child, she often stood by a window, hoping that passersby would notice her. Once, after she exchanged greetings with the granddaughter of an elderly neighbor through a hole in the garden fence, Balakrishnan warned her that the girl intended to lure her away to be held hostage. He regularly lost his temper with Rosie, beating her and threatening to kill her. Sometimes, after an argument, she would retreat to the bathroom, to check whether the toilet still flushed. “When it worked, I kissed the handle,” Rosie, who is now thirty-three, recalled earlier this year. “I told it, ‘Thank you for being on my side.’ ”

One day in 1995, when Rosie was twelve, Balakrishnan showed her an identification card from the hospital where she was born. In a box marked “relationship to child,” Sian Davies, one of the women living in the house, had written “mother.” The revelation sat strangely in Rosie’s mind; at the time, she explained, she “didn’t have a concept of parents.” …

Balakrishnan, meanwhile, is serving a twenty-three-year prison sentence, having been found guilty, late last year, of child cruelty, false imprisonment, and sexual assault against two women….
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/thirty-years-in-captivity

Arrest in investigation into abuse in North Wales care, Nova Scotia Home probe to proceed

November 2, 2013 Comments Off on Arrest in investigation into abuse in North Wales care, Nova Scotia Home probe to proceed

Arrest in investigation into abuse in North Wales care
Thu 31 Oct 2013
Police investigating historical cases of child abuse in the North Wales care system made their 14th arrest.

A 60-year-old man from Oswestry in Shropshire was detained for questioning on suspicion of a number of cases of child cruelty.

The offences are alleged to have taken place against three boys between 1978 and 1984, when they were aged between 15 and 16….
http://www.itv.com/news/wales/update/2013-10-31/arrest-in-investigation-into-abuse-in-north-wales-care/

McNeil: Home probe to proceed
October 31, 2013 By DAVID JACKSON PROVINCIAL REPORTER

An inquiry into alleged historical abuse at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children should start in the spring, but Premier Stephen McNeil is less definite about his new government’s position on court action by former residents.

McNeil had called for a public inquiry for months, and he made it an election promise. After his first official cabinet meeting Thursday, he said he’s hoping that the terms of reference will be set by the end of the year.

He said the government would then allow the inquiry to happen through the spring….
http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1164206-mcneil-home-probe-to-proceed

India rape case, rape case loophole, pedophilia article reply, abuse convictions

January 5, 2013 Comments Off on India rape case, rape case loophole, pedophilia article reply, abuse convictions

– India victim’s male friend recounts Delhi rape attack
– Delhi women ‘carry knives’ on board buses
– US rape case loophole prompts uproar
– A response to Jon Henley’s article on paedophilia
– 123 child victims of Internet sex abuse identified — one just 19 days old, US officials say
– Proof that children can be brainwashed into believing sadistic abuse is ‘horseplay’
– Robert Sullivan “Worst case I’ve ever heard”: Judge blasts sadistic paedophile who used young girls as “playthings”
– Website to boost rape reporting in London

India victim’s male friend recounts Delhi rape attack 4 January 2013
The victim’s friend, who witnessed the attack, speaks to Zee News
The friend of a woman who died after being raped on a bus in Delhi has given his first interview since the incident.

The man, who has not been named, told Zee News how he and the victim had boarded the bus and paid a fare, before he was beaten unconscious by men on board, who then attacked her.

He also criticised police for their slow response to the attack.
The woman died of her injuries last weekend, and five men are due to stand trial for her murder and rape. The five could face the death penalty if they are convicted. A sixth suspect is expected to be tried in a juvenile court.

The friend said the bus had tinted windows, and that he believed the group of men had laid a trap for them. “We tried to resist them. Even my friend fought with them, she tried to save me,” he said. She tried to dial the police control room number 100, but the accused snatched her mobile away.”

He confirmed earlier reports that the assailants had thrown them off the bus and tried to run them over. And he also criticised the authorities, accusing them of being slow to arrive, then arguing over jurisdiction, and eventually taking them to the wrong hospital.

“My friend was bleeding profusely. But instead of taking us to a nearby hospital, they [police] took us to a hospital that was far away,” he said….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20916131

Delhi women ‘carry knives’ on board buses  3 January 2013
Indian authorities have charged five men with the kidnap, gang-rape and murder of a woman in Delhi last month.
The 23-year-old was travelling on a bus when the men beat her and her companion with iron bars, raped her for nearly an hour and then threw them out of the moving bus into the street, say police.
The attack has sparked mass protests in India and there have been calls to improve safety for women….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20903937

US rape case loophole prompts uproar  4 January 2013
California lawmakers have vowed to close a loophole that allowed a man’s rape conviction to be overturned because his victim was not married.

An arcane state law says a person who gets consent for sex by pretending to be someone else is guilty of rape only if posing as the victim’s spouse.

Julio Morales was initially convicted of rape after pretending to be the unmarried victim’s boyfriend. A similar loophole has already been closed in the state of Idaho.

In the California case from four years ago, Morales went into a room and had sex with an 18-year-old woman after her boyfriend, whom she had fallen asleep beside, had left….

In its ruling on Wednesday, the California appeal court reluctantly decided that Morales was not guilty of rape, because he was pretending to be the woman’s boyfriend and not her husband.  A law dating back to 1872 makes it a crime for a man to have sex with a woman while posing as her husband, but not as a boyfriend….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20918642

A response to Jon Henley’s article on paedophilia  Tom Watson MP January 4th, 2013
Jon Henley had a piece in yesterday’s Guardian, entitled “Paedophilia: bringing dark desires to light”. He’s received a furious response on social media and I can see why. Many involved child protection will find it hard to see it as anything other than the commentariat’s backlash, a contrarian response to a public outcry over recent revelations about child abuse by the rich and famous….

My main argument against this article is that this approach ignores the evidence of the experiences of abused children, the experiences of adult survivors of child abuse and the experiences of many professionals who work to protect children. It is a risky strategy at the current time because so many of those who promoted the rights of the ‘paedophile’ have in later years been convicted of sexual crimes against children. Equally, so many of those whom this lobby attacked have been vindicated in their efforts to protect and gain justice for children and survivors….

No wonder many more enlightened academics like Dr Liz Davies talk of the “child sex abuse lobby”. She argues some academic writings have to be located in the context of what is known about those who spread those viewpoints and their agendas. Their views were clearly expressed in a document dated 1975 where Paedophile Information Exchange submitted evidence to the Home Office.This proposed abolition of the age of consent and the removal of consensual sexual activity at all ages from the criminal law….

In order to sexually abuse a child a perpetrator will often groom the child and so it is not uncommon for a child to have some positive feelings towards the person harming them. The perpetrator may also be someone who is close to them and the child wants the abuse to stop but does not want to lose the relationship. This is no way suggests that the abuse is justifiable. In fact a state of confused emotions and responses adds to the severity of the trauma experienced by the child. That this is not obvious to Jon Henley is alarming to me.

Whether or not a child voluntarily entered into sexual relations with their abuser, and how positive or negative they felt about it at the time, is irrelevant when it comes to both the long-term effects of child sex abuse, and how seriously we should treat the abuse. Even if it is true that for some survivors of this type of consensual abuse there were no “undesirable outcomes” (though this is surely hard to quantify), this is certainly not true for all, or even many, if any, children who entered into abusive relationships voluntarily; and to draw a distinction between children who were violently abused and children who submitted willingly is irresponsible and damaging when children who submitted willingly are already more likely to feel shame, self-blame and not seek help due to their belief it was their own fault….

Survivors of child sex abuse commonly suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, phobias, flashbacks, disturbing thoughts, intrusive memories, self-harming, alcoholism, eating disorders, and feelings of shame, anger and worthlessness. This is the reality, but Jon Henley doesn’t voice it in his piece.
http://www.tom-watson.co.uk/2013/01/6445

123 child victims of Internet sex abuse identified — one just 19 days old, US officials say By Andrew Mach, NBC News
In just over a month, more than 120 sexually exploited children — one just 19 days old — were identified in an international operation that found them depicted in child pornography on the Internet, U.S. officials said Thursday.

In Operation Sunflower, led by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation unit from Nov. 1 to Dec. 7, 123 victims of child sexual exploitation were identified, ICE Director John Morton said at a press conference in Washington.

Of that group, 44 children had been living with their abusers, and 79 children were exploited by people outside of their home or were victimized as children and are now adults. Seventy female and 53 male victims rescued; 110 of the victims were identified in 19 U.S. states and the rest were identified in six foreign countries….

Of the victims identified during Operation Sunflower, five were under the age of 3, and one of those was just 19 days old. Thirty others were below the age of 10, officials said….
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/03/16327023-123-child-victims-of-internet-sex-abuse-identified-one-just-19-days-old-us-officials-say

Proof that children can be brainwashed into believing sadistic abuse is ‘horseplay’
Parents who ‘brainwashed’ their three children to hide years of horrific abuse face jail

The Chorley, Lancashire, couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, subjected their children to years of abuse but convinced them that their sadistic punishments were ‘horseplay’
The parents were convicted of four counts of child cruelty having previously admitted five similar offences
By Nazia Parveen  6 December 2012

A care-home worker and her husband who subjected their children to years of horrific abuse were facing jail yesterday after being convicted of cruelty.

The couple hid their crimes for years by lying to social services and ‘brainwashing’ their daughter and two sons into believing their sadistic punishments were ‘horseplay’, a court heard….
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2244335/Parents-brainwashed-children-hide-years-horrific-abuse-face-jail.html

Robert Sullivan “Worst case I’ve ever heard”: Judge blasts sadistic paedophile who used young girls as “playthings” By Luke Traynor 4 Jan 2013  One of his two victims was four when he first assaulted her

….The court heard the defendant used the girls as “playthings” to fulfil his own sexual gratification in a “cycle of violent and sadistic behaviour.”
The abuse went on between 1977 and 1984.
Sullivan was arrested in 2009 but went on the run for 22 months before being caught last July. He admitted 25 sex charges, including nine rapes….
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/robert-sullivan-sadistic-paedophile-jailed-1517508

Website to boost rape reporting in London 5 December 2012
A website aimed at boosting the number of reported rapes has been launched by the Metropolitan Police. Called My Decision, the site provides a step-by-step guide for anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted.

It is designed to overcome barriers people may have to reporting such crimes – for example victims fearing they would not be believed. According to the Met only one in five rape victims go to the police and about 40% choose not to report it.

The Rape Crisis charity welcomed the fact the website will give information and answer victims’ questions, but said it lacks links to “crucial support services”….
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-20605215

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