Sandusky Sex Abuse Report: Investigation Into Penn State University’s Role In Child Molestation Case To Be Published Thursday, 14 moms sue LA schools in child abuse case
July 12, 2012 Comments Off on Sandusky Sex Abuse Report: Investigation Into Penn State University’s Role In Child Molestation Case To Be Published Thursday, 14 moms sue LA schools in child abuse case
Sandusky Sex Abuse Report: Investigation Into Penn State University’s Role In Child Molestation Case To Be Published Thursday
Reuters By Ian Simpson 07/10/2012
WASHINGTON, July 10 (Reuters) – An investigation into Penn State University’s role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal will be published on Thursday, and the family of late football coach Joe Paterno has questioned its fairness and confidentiality.
The head of the eight-month probe, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, said on Tuesday its report would be published online at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT) on Thursday. He will hold a news briefing at 10 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT) in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania State University’s trustees hired Freeh and his law firm to investigate the school’s handling of explosive allegations involving Sandusky, a former assistant coach in the high-powered football program, and university officials.
Sandusky, 68, was convicted last month of 45 counts of child molestation involving 10 boys. Some of the sexual abuse took place at Penn State football facilities.
The charges involving Sandusky prompted the firing in November of university President Graham Spanier and head coach Paterno, who won more games than any other major college football coach. Paterno died of lung cancer in January at age 85.
At the heart of the Freeh probe is how Paterno and other Penn State officials reacted to allegations by Mike McQueary, a graduate assistant. McQueary told them in 2001 he had seen Sandusky in a sexual position with a boy in a football locker room, but neither police nor children’s services were informed.
Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, a former university vice president, face charges of perjury and failure to report suspected abuse stemming from the alleged cover-up. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/11/sandusky-sex-abuse-report-penn-state_n_1663691.html
14 moms sue LA schools in child abuse case By Jonathan Lloyd, NBCLosAngeles.com 7/11/12
Attorneys representing 14 mothers of students at Miramonte Elementary School announced Tuesday the filing of a lawsuit that alleges the school district did not protect their children from a teacher accused of lewd acts involving children.
The lawsuit claims the Los Angeles Unified School District was negligent in the case of former teacher Mark Berndt, charged with lewd acts involving at least 20 children at the school.
Berndt was arrested in January.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday morning, claims the children were sexually abused by Berndt between 2002 and 2011, and that the LAUSD “was negligent and did not protect their children from sexual abuses; and that the Los Angeles Unified School District completely ignored previous complaints,” according to a statement from attorney Luis A. Carrillo.
The charges against Berndt involve 23 children who were 7 to 10 years old. His arrest stemmed from an investigation that began after a film processor — mandated by state law to report child abuse — provided photos to sheriff’s deputies….
Deputies recovered more than 100 similar photos at Berndt’s home, according to investigators. The film processor later discovered more photos….
Berndt pleaded not guilty.
His arrest was followed by another Miramonte Elementary teacher and the dismissal of the entire school staff. Martin Bernard Springer is charged with three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14. http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/11/12684038-14-moms-sue-la-schools-in-child-abuse-case
February 16, 2012 Comments Off on Teacher Abuse, Secrecy in Child Sexual Abuse Allegations Orthodox Jewish Cases
Teacher Abuse Cases – Miramonte Elementary School, Tender Care Learning Center
Recently, several school teachers have been either charged or convicted of sexual crimes committed against children. Here are two cases, one from Los Angeles and one from Pittsburgh.
Public Secrecy About Child Sexual Abuse – The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism
Attorney and author Michael Lesher will make oral arguments on February 14 before New York State’s Court of Appeals in his longstanding Freedom of Information (FOIL) lawsuit against Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. If Lesher prevails, the district attorney may be forced to provide some much needed transparency regarding cases of child sexual abuse in fervently Orthodox (sometimes referred to in media reports as the “Haredi” or “ultra-Orthodox”) communities….
Hella Winston’s Reporting
Winston has reported for several years—primarily in the New York Jewish Week, the nation’s largest Jewish weekly—about allegations of secrecy and cover-ups involving child sexual abuse in fervently Orthodox Jewish communities. Despite many roadblocks, including community members’ fears of speaking out and a lack of transparency from both the communal leadership and law enforcement authorities (similar to the resistance Lesher has experienced), Winston, perhaps more than any other journalist, has reported relentlessly and extensively about this issue….
Michael Lesher’s Freedom of Information Lawsuit
Lesher is suing to compel the Brooklyn district attorney to release, under FOIL, documents related to efforts to extradite alleged serial child molester, Avrohom Mondrowitz. Mondrowitz, a member of the fervently Orthodox community, fled from New York to Israel in 1984—likely mere hours before a warrant for his arrest could be executed, law enforcement sources told Winston. Mondrowitz was indicted in absentia by a Brooklyn grand jury in 1985 on 14 counts, including five counts of sodomy in the first degree. After two failed attempts to extradite him, Mondrowitz remains in Israel to this day.
February 12, 2012 Comments Off on Abusers Target Impoverished Schools – Miramonte Elementary School
Abusers Target Impoverished Schools Feb 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES – The charges are shocking, but the choice of victims comes as little surprise.
The horrors alleged at Miramonte Elementary School echo previous cases of sexual abuse: vulnerable children, plied with attention and gifts and groomed to trust adult predators.
The abuses claimed here may be different – children blindfolded, gagged and fed a substance investigators say was semen. But the setting follows a pattern alleged at Penn State University, where former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of using a charity he founded to target vulnerable boys from single-parent homes or troubled families, people unlikely to speak out.
At Miramonte, the victims could hardly have been more disadvantaged: The 1,400 students are virtually all from poor Latino homes….
A former teacher’s aide, Ricardo Guevara, is serving a 15-year sentence in state prison after being convicted in 2004 of sexually abusing three kindergarten girls at Miramonte. The Los Angeles school system was ordered to pay $1.6 million to his three victims’ families.
Beverly Hills lawyer Keith Davidson….now represents four children, three boys and one girl, ages 9 to 13, who were students of accused teacher Mark Berndt, the man at the center of the scandal.
Berndt, 61, who was removed from his third-grade class a year ago, was charged last month with 23 counts of committing lewd acts on children ages 6 to 10 from 2005 through 2010.
Investigators say they have found 600 photographs Berndt took of the children, many performing what he told them was a game….
While investigating claims against Berndt, the Los Angeles sheriff’s department brought charges against another Miramonte teacher. Martin Springer, 49, pleaded not guilty this week to charges he fondled a second-grade girl.
Springer taught at Miramonte for 26 years. Berndt taught there 32 years, a span that saw the neighborhood transform from a heavily African-American population to almost uniformly Latino.
Berndt had been the subject of complaints before. The sheriff’s department investigated a September 1993 incident at the school, but prosecutors decided they didn’t have enough evidence to charge him, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for District Attorney Steve Cooley….
In a separate incident, school system officials said they fired a female teacher’s aide at the school in 2009, after a mother reported finding love letters the aide wrote to her 11-year-old son….
Ellen Greenwald, a University of Texas-Dallas psychologist, says kids who are victims of sex abuse often fear that going to adults will get them in more trouble and that no one will believe them, or that adults will blame them.
“That’s what really creates the silence that continues,” she says.
Lisa Aronson Fontes, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts who wrote Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families, says, “There’s a culture of silence at most schools … and a culture of disbelief and denial.”