McKayla Maroney says USA Gymnastics tried to silence her abuse story

December 21, 2017 Comments Off on McKayla Maroney says USA Gymnastics tried to silence her abuse story

McKayla Maroney says USA Gymnastics tried to silence her abuse story

by Sarah Fitzpatrick and Tracy Connor

When Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney came forward this fall with her story of being repeatedly molested by the team’s doctor, USA Gymnastics publicly praised her for having the “courage” to hold a predator accountable.

But a lawsuit filed Wednesday by Maroney alleges that USA Gymnastics actually tried to silence her nearly a year earlier by making her sign a non-disclosure agreement as part of a financial settlement she needed to pay for psychological treatment.

Maroney’s attorney, John Manly, called the confidentiality agreement “hypocritical, immoral and in this case illegal.”

USA Gymnastics said in a statement that “the concept of confidentiality” was initiated by Maroney’s attorney at the time of the settlement, Gloria Allred, who asked the organization to take part in a “confidential mediation process.” ….

“That agreement was written by USA Gymnastics lawyers, and it was designed to do one thing, which is keep their secret from the public.”

The agreement was inked just a few months after the first public accusations against Dr. Larry Nassar, who has since pleaded guilty to molesting 10 girls and possessing child pornography. At the time, law enforcement was encouraging women who were abused under the guise of treatments to come forward.

Maroney’s suit, filed in Superior Court in California, alleges that USA Gymnastics insisted on a confidentiality agreement so “it could further conceal and shield from public scrutiny, outside investigation, and law enforcement, the true nature of Nassar’s horrific sexual abuse of minors.”

“Plaintiff alleges that Defendant USAG had a plan to keep the sexual abuse of Nassar quiet, and allow Nassar to quietly leave USAG, further silencing his victims,” the suit charges….

Since then, more than 140 girls and women have filed complaints against Nassar. In October, Maroney became the highest-profile athlete to go public, posting on Twitter a harrowing account of abuse that allegedly occurred on three continents as Nassar traveled with the team.

“I had a dream to go to the Olympics, and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting,” she wrote….

Nassar was sentenced this month to 60 years in federal prison on the pornography charges and is awaiting sentencing on state sex abuse charges…..

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/mckayla-maroney-says-usa-gymnastics-tried-silence-her-abuse-story-n831416

Alleged Victim of Bill Cosby Will Cooperate with Prosecutors if Charges Are Brought Against Him, Time hasn’t run out on possible charges against Cosby in Pa., Percentage of students who had ever been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to – 5.7%

September 24, 2015 Comments Off on Alleged Victim of Bill Cosby Will Cooperate with Prosecutors if Charges Are Brought Against Him, Time hasn’t run out on possible charges against Cosby in Pa., Percentage of students who had ever been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to – 5.7%

– Alleged Victim of Bill Cosby Will Cooperate with Prosecutors if Charges Are Brought Against Him
– Time hasn’t run out on possible charges against Cosby in Pa.
– As Students Return To St. Paul’s, Specter Of Trial And School Culture Questions Linger
– New Hampshire High School Survey
Percentage of students who had ever been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to – 5.7%

Alleged Victim of Bill Cosby Will Cooperate with Prosecutors if Charges Are Brought Against Him
By Nicole Weisensee Egan 09/22/2015
If prosecutors decide to arrest Bill Cosby for allegedly sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in January 2004, she will fully cooperate, her attorney, Dolores M. Troiani, tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“I think she’s a very strong lady,” says Troiani, in the lawyer’s first public comments about the possibility of her case being reopened. “She’ll do whatever she needs to do, whatever they ask of her.”

However, both Constand and Troiani are taking no public stance on whether the case should be reopened, Troiani says. (The statute of limitations to charge Cosby does not expire until Jaunary 2016, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.)

Constand, 42, is a massage therapist who lives in Toronto. In January 2005, when she worked for Temple University in Philadelphia, she went to authorities alleging that Cosby, now 78, had sexually assaulted her in his Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, mansion the year before. Then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor, Jr. publicly called the case against Cosby “weak,” and decided not to press criminal charges against the veteran entertainer.

Constand later filed a civil suit against Cosby and agreed to a settlement with him, which came with a confidentiality agreement. In July, Constand filed a motion claiming that Cosby violated the confidentiality agreement. (In 2006, PEOPLE reported on the sexual assault allegations against Cosby from interviews with some of the women who backed up Constand’s account by making similar allegations against Cosby in court. Cosby has previously denied all sexual assault allegations.)….
http://www.people.com/article/bill-cosby-alleged-victim-prepared-to-cooperate-pending-case-reopening

Time hasn’t run out on possible charges against Cosby in Pa.

By Jeremy Roebuck and Laura McCrystal, Inquirer Staff Writers
September 14, 2015

Dozens of women have come forward this year to accuse Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct, their allegations bonded by one undisputed fact: Each claim is too old to prosecute.

But the clock is quietly ticking in Montgomery County on an exception.

A decade ago, Andrea Constand first reported to police that Cosby had drugged and molested her during a January 2004 dinner at his Cheltenham mansion. Under Pennsylvania’s 12-year statute of limitations on felony sex crimes, prosecutors still have until January to bring charges.

And though Constand’s claim was once investigated and closed, hers may be the rare allegation that has actually grown stronger with time, according to interviews with a dozen veteran sex-crimes prosecutors, defense lawyers, and criminal justice experts.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman would neither confirm nor deny whether her office was reconsidering the case her predecessor closed a decade ago….

But the allegations this year by more than 40 women that the 78-year-old comedian drugged and assaulted them mirror Constand’s claim. And Cosby’s own, potentially damaging sworn statements about his sexual past were released publicly for the first time this summer.

“We now have something pretty close to an admission from Cosby,” said Roger A. Canaff, a former New York deputy attorney general focused on sex-crimes cases. “We now have dozens of women reporting abuse along similar lines. Where there’s that much smoke, there’s usually fire.”….

Cosby’s own descriptions of the January 2004 encounter with Constand might also help investigators fill in previously unclear details from that night.

Because she was unconscious at the time, Constand only recalled Cosby groping her when she made her initial report to police. As a result, Castor’s office was looking primarily at misdemeanor charges, which carry a two-year statute of limitations.

In the newly released deposition excerpts, however, Cosby described more advanced sexual activity with Constand that night. According to the transcript, Cosby recalled a phone conversation some time after the alleged attack in which he said of his contact with her: “It was digital penetration.”

If true, such a statement could form the basis for a more serious felony charge, such as aggravated indecent assault, legal experts said.

Cosby’s lawyers are likely to fight any effort to introduce that deposition transcript at a trial. They have argued in separate legal proceedings that it was improperly released and remains subject to a confidentiality agreement the comedian signed with Constand in settling the civil suit.

But defense lawyers would face a challenge in trying to bar it in a criminal case, said Lisae C. Jordan, director of the Sexual Assault Legal Institute in Maryland….

http://articles.philly.com/2015-09-14/news/66500374_1_bill-cosby-cheltenham-mansion-andrea-constand

As Students Return To St. Paul’s, Specter Of Trial And School Culture Questions Linger
By Paige Sutherland September 23, 2015….

Last month 19-year-old Owen Labrie was convicted of statutory rape for having sex with a then 15-year-old freshman girl in May of 2014. During the trial, Labrie’s lawyer told the jury how the sexual encounter was part of a so-called tradition known as the “Senior Salute,” for which seniors try to hook-up with as many underclassmen as they can before they graduate….

According to New Hampshire’s 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Study, nearly six percent of all high school students say they have been physically forced to have sex with someone without their consent and more than 10 percent say they were forced to do sexual things by someone they were dating….
http://wnpr.org/post/students-return-st-pauls-specter-trial-and-school-culture-questions-linger#stream/0

New Hampshire High School Survey
Percentage of students who had ever been physically forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to – 5.7%

New Hampshire High School Survey
Among students who dated or went out with someone during the past 12 months, the percentage who had been forced by someone they were dating or going out with to do sexual things that they did not want to one or more times during the past 12 months – 10.2%

New Hampshire High School Survey
Percentage of students who had ever been bullied on school property during the past 12 months – 22.8%
http://education.nh.gov/instruction/school_health/documents/nhyrbsresultsgraphs.pdf

Bill Cosby seeks court sanctions, Child sex abuse inquiry: Leo Brittan Westminster, Jehovah’s Witnesses, UN Official who failed to act on child sex abuse allegations resigns

July 23, 2015 Comments Off on Bill Cosby seeks court sanctions, Child sex abuse inquiry: Leo Brittan Westminster, Jehovah’s Witnesses, UN Official who failed to act on child sex abuse allegations resigns

– Bill Cosby seeks court sanctions against accuser over deposition leak
– Child sex abuse inquiry: Leon Brittan among leading Westminster figures named in documents
– Is religion doing enough to root out abuse?
– UN official who failed to act on child sex abuse allegations resigns

Bill Cosby seeks court sanctions against accuser over deposition leak

Reuters By Steve Gorman July 21, 2015

Comedian Bill Cosby filed legal papers on Tuesday calling for court sanctions against a woman accusing him of sexual assault, saying she breached their confidentiality agreement in the leak of his full deposition from a 10-year-old civil case to the New York Times.

Cosby, 78, made the filing in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia in opposition to recent motions by Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee who has alleged the comedian tricked her into taking drugs before he sexually assaulted her.

The lawsuit she brought against Cosby was settled for an undisclosed sum in 2006, and all documents from the litigation were sealed until a federal judge on July 6 released limited redacted excerpts from Cosby’s 2005 deposition testimony in the case.

Those excerpts included Cosby’s admission under oath that he had obtained Quaaludes, the brand name for a sedative widely abused as a recreational drug in the 1970s, with the intent of giving the pills to young women in order to have sex with them.

On July 8, Constand filed papers in court seeking to unseal the entire deposition and her settlement agreement with Cosby, as well as to free her from any confidentiality restrictions.

The New York Times has since obtained its own record of Cosby’s deposition and posted additional excerpts on its website, revealing testimony in which the entertainer described how he had pursued women and how he obtained Quaaludes.

Cosby’s own court filing on Tuesday stressed that the deposition excerpts so far unsealed by the judge contain no testimony that he engaged in any non-consensual sex or gave anyone Quaaludes without their knowledge or consent….
http://news.yahoo.com/bill-cosby-seeks-court-sanctions-against-accuser-over-015512488.html

Child sex abuse inquiry: Leon Brittan among leading Westminster figures named in documents
22 July 2015 By Jack Blanchard
THE former Tory Home Secretary’s name is on government file along with other powerful Westminster officials from the 1970s and 80s including Sir Peter Morrison.

LEADING Westminster figures from the 1970s and 80s including the late Leon Brittan have been named in Government child abuse documents, it was reported last night.

Sky News said that after months of requests Whitehall has finally revealed that papers do exist relating to Margaret Thatcher’s former parliamentary secretary the late Sir Peter Morrison, former Home Secretary Sir Leon, former diplomat the late Sir Peter Hayman and former minister the late Sir William van Straubenzee.

It came after the Government released the details in January of a file prepared for Mrs Thatcher’s office on the ‘unnatural sexual’ behaviour of one of the men Sir Peter Hayman.

The new batch of file names reveal there were further Government papers relating to the former MI6 man and career diplomat.

The content of the papers have not been revealed, however.

Sky News said the documents have been shared with the police and will be passed to the Child Abuse Inquiry led by Justice Lowell Goddard….
http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/child-sex-abuse-inquiry-leon-6119976

Is religion doing enough to root out abuse?
Caroline Wyatt Religious affairs correspondent 22 July 2015

Karen Morgan said the church offered no help when she reported the abuse

From when Karen Morgan was 12, until she was well into her teens, she was sexually abused by her uncle – a ministerial servant with the Jehovah’s Witnesses….

But what is striking about the Jehovah’s Witnesses is their explicit policy of dealing with abuse in-house.

Because of their practice of following the Bible literally, they insist there must be two witnesses to a crime, often not the case in child abuse cases.

However, in Karen’s case a second witness did come forward: Wendy, a family friend and fellow member of the Barry congregation in south Wales. She had been raped by the same man.

When she reported the crime to elders, Wendy was made to describe it in minute detail to a group of older men.

Later, she had to give her account again in the same room as Sewell….

Afterwards, the elders told her that as it was only her account against that of Sewell, nothing more could be done.

This bringing together of the accused and the accuser in a “judicial committee” is a common feature of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ justice.

Karen, still a teenager at the time, was put through the process.
Reluctance to co-operate

The elders also ruled that their separate accusations didn’t constitute the required two witnesses.

Despite a pattern of predatory sexual behaviour, it took more than two decades to bring Wendy and Karen’s abuser to justice.

He is now serving a 14-year prison sentence.

His punishment from the Jehovah’s Witnesses? There wasn’t one.

Even when the case came to court, the organisation was reluctant to co-operate….

In a programme for Radio 4’s The Report, we have identified this lack of co-operation in several other similar cases.

Confidential documents from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Britain – the official name for the Jehovah’s Witnesses – that we have seen are explicit about the best way to deal with such matters being within the congregation….
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33609927

UN official who failed to act on child sex abuse allegations resigns
July 22, 2015 Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS –  The U.N. rights official who admitted not following up for months on allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers in Central African Republic has resigned.

The U.N. confirmed Wednesday that Flavia Pansieri has left the post of deputy high commissioner for human rights “for health reasons.” No more details were given.

The allegations by several children as young as 9 of trading oral sex and sodomy for food with French soldiers tasked with protecting civilians in the violence-torn country didn’t become public until late April, almost a year after U.N. staffers first heard the children’s stories. Pansieri’s comments and other leaked documents led the U.N. secretary-general this summer to order an investigation into how the U.N. handled the case.

In a confidential statement for a separate internal investigation, obtained by The Associated Press, Pansieri said she had been distracted from the case by other issues, including budget cuts for several months. “I regret to say that in the context of those very hectic days, I failed to follow up on the CAR situation,” Pansieri said in the statement dated March 26.

She said she and her boss, high commissioner Zeid Raad al-Hussein, had assumed French authorities were handling the allegations, even as France pressed the U.N. for months for more information….
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/07/22/un-official-who-failed-to-act-on-child-sex-abuse-allegations-resigns/

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