Clergy abuse survivors push for federal investigation into Catholic Church
August 31, 2018 § Leave a comment
Clergy abuse survivors push for federal investigation into Catholic Church By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor Thu August 30, 2018
(CNN) Survivors of clergy sex abuse stood in front of the Vatican embassy in Washington on Thursday and urged two higher powers — the Pope and the US Department of Justice — to take concrete steps to prevent more abuses and hold abusers accountable.
“They have plenty of evidence,” said Peter Isely, spokesman for the group Ending Clergy Abuse. “Let’s launch this investigation. Let’s do it now.”
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and Center for Constitutional Rights have also sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein demanding an “investigation and prosecution of high-level officials in the Catholic Church” for sexual crimes and cover-ups.
“It is long past time for the US Department of Justice to initiate a full-scale, nationwide investigation into the systemic rape and sexual violence, and cover-ups in the Catholic Church, and, where appropriate, bring criminal and/or civil proceedings against the hierarchy that enabled the violations,” the groups said in the letter….
SNAP’s letter demanding a federal investigation is dated August 15, one day after a damning report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania said there is credible evidence that 301 “predator priests” abused more than 1,000 children in six dioceses since 1947.
Because the statute of limitations had run out on most of the crimes, only two priests have been charged as a result of the two-year-long investigation.
But the Pennsylvania report has prompted officials in several other states, including Illinois and Missouri, to open inquiries into allegations of sexual misconduct by Catholic clergy.
SNAP said they have been asking for a federal investigation into the Catholic Church since 2003, during the church’s last widespread scandal of clergy sex abuse….
In an explosive letter published Sunday, former Vatican ambassador Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said that top church officials, including Pope Francis, knew that McCarrick had been accused of abusing seminarians but covered it up. Viganò also accused Francis of lifting restrictions placed on him by the previous pope, Benedict XVI.
Vigano wrote that documents backing up his accusations were in Vatican files in the Washington embassy, where he worked from 2011-2016, when he was removed by Pope Francis.
The Pope has said he will not comment on the accusations.
Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses, Church Of England ‘Colluded And Concealed’ Bishop’s Sex Abuse, Leader Says
June 30, 2017 Comments Off on Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses, Church Of England ‘Colluded And Concealed’ Bishop’s Sex Abuse, Leader Says
– Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses
– Church Of England ‘Colluded And Concealed’ Bishop’s Sex Abuse, Leader Says
Top adviser to Pope charged with sexual assault offenses
Laura Smith Spark-Profile-Image
By Joshua Berlinger and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN Thu June 29, 2017
Cardinal George Pell, a senior adviser to Pope Francis and the third-ranking official in the Holy See, is taking leave from the Vatican to fight historical sexual assault charges in his home country of Australia.
The case is the latest black mark against the Catholic Church, which has been reeling from sexual abuse scandals across several countries that date back decades. It could also have ramifications for Pope Francis, who counts Pell among his closest aides.
Australian police have not released a detailed list of charges against Pell and didn’t disclose any information about alleged victims, saying only that there were multiple charges and “multiple complainants.” ….
“I’m innocent of these charges, they are false,” Pell said. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”….
Pell has previously denied covering up abuse committed by priests when he served as the Archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 to 2001. But he acknowledged his predecessor, Archbishop Frank Little, now deceased, had destroyed documents to protect priests.
A 2013 Australian government inquiry, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, found that 7% of priests in Australia were accused of abusing children, from 1950 until 2015. At least 1,880 alleged perpetrators were identified and 4,444 victims came forward…..
In the United States, analysis of information on 110,000 priests who served the Church between 1950 and 2002 found that 4% of them had been accused of abuse…..
Church Of England ‘Colluded And Concealed’ Bishop’s Sex Abuse, Leader Says
June 22, 2017 Colin Dwyer
When faced with allegations of sex abuse against one of its bishops, the Church of England “colluded and concealed rather than seeking to help those who were brave enough to come forward,” the church’s leader acknowledged Thursday.
“For the survivors who were brave enough to share their story and bring Peter Ball to justice, I once again offer an unreserved apology,” Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, said in a statement. “There are no excuses whatsoever for what took place and the systemic abuse of trust perpetrated by Peter Ball over decades.”
Welby was responding to the findings of an independent investigation into how the church handled the allegations against Ball, a former bishop who pleaded guilty in 2015 to indecent assault against young men. That report, also released Thursday, found that Ball “abused many boys and men over a period of twenty years or more.”
“That is shocking in itself but is compounded by the failure of the Church to respond appropriately to his misconduct, again over a period of many years,” Moira Gibb, who led the investigation, said in the report. “Ball’s priority was to protect and promote himself and he maligned the abused. The Church colluded with that rather than seeking to help those he had harmed, or assuring itself of the safety of others.”….
Neil Brick will be speaking at S.M.A.R.T. Child and Ritual Abuse Conference – August 11 – 13, 2017
Neil Brick has developed Internet resources to publish scientific information about child and ritual abuse. He publishes a bimonthly newsletter and organizes informational conferences. The goal of these resources is to help stop child and ritual abuse through public education.
The Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Mind Control 2017 Conference
Video Presentations from The Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Mind Control 2017 Conference https://survivorship.org/presentations-from-the-survivorship-ritual-abuse-and-mind-control-2017-conference
How to Avoid Being Mind Controlled at a Conference and Freedom from Mind Control – 2017 Presentation by Neil Brick
Strong accuracy and validity of ritual abuse research:
Fran and Dan Keller legal case information
Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel, Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims
February 17, 2016 Comments Off on Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel, Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims
Pope’s efforts to stop church child abuse appear to unravel
Will Carless, GlobalPost February 15, 2016
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A member of a commission set up by Pope Francis to advise him on child abuse says the group is a “token body” exercising in “smoke and mirrors” that won’t help children stay safe from abusive priests.
Peter Saunders, the commission member, is now on a leave of absence as he considers whether to continue with an effort he says he has lost faith in.
Meanwhile, new Catholic bishops are still being taught they’re not obliged to report cases of child abuse by priests to the police.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which Francis set up with much fanfare in 2014, was supposed to issue guidelines for the Vatican on how to deal with child abuse. But the body was never consulted about the training for new bishops on exactly that topic.
These are just some of the signs that Francis’ reform efforts, and his pledge to clean up the Catholic Church’s most damaging crisis, seem to be unraveling before they’ve even really gotten started.
The problems come as Pope Francis pays a visit to Latin America, a region where, as GlobalPost has reported, the church is accused of reassigning and protecting many alleged predator priests. Among the latest scandals in the region, Chileans are outraged that the pope appointed a bishop accused of shielding the country’s most despised pedophile priest from investigation….
Vatican riven by internal battle over handling of child abuse claims
Rift comes amid signs that special commission created by Pope Francis to handle issue is being sidelined by senior church officials in Rome
Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome Tuesday 16 February 2016
A battle is being waged within the Vatican over how senior clergy ought to handle accusations of sexual abuse amid signs that a special commission created by Pope Francis to handle the issue is being sidelined by senior church officials in Rome.
The rift was exposed after a report in the Guardian about a training course that was offered to new bishops last year in which a controversial French monsignor instructed them that it was “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of abuse to law enforcement authorities if local laws did not require it.
That stance was rejected this week by Pope Francis’s point man on abuse issues, Boston cardinal Seán O’Malley, who heads a special pontifical commission to protect minors.
“We, the president and the members of the commission, wish to affirm that our obligations under civil law must certainly be followed, but even beyond these civil requirements, we all have a moral and ethical responsibility to report suspected abuse to the civil authorities who are charged with protecting our society,” he said in a statement on Monday.
O’Malley also said that the special commission was committed to “extensive education efforts” within local churches since its founding two years ago, and that its members had reiterated their “willingness to provide this material at courses offered in Rome”, including at the training courses for new bishops and the offices of the Roman Curia, or bureaucracy.
But it is clear that these offers have not been accepted….
Two of Bill Cosby’s accusers join push to have entire deposition unsealed, Vatican delays trial of pope’s ex-diplomat accused of child porn, pedophilia, Only Half of Abused Children Evaluated for Occult Fracture
July 14, 2015 Comments Off on Two of Bill Cosby’s accusers join push to have entire deposition unsealed, Vatican delays trial of pope’s ex-diplomat accused of child porn, pedophilia, Only Half of Abused Children Evaluated for Occult Fracture
Two of Bill Cosby’s accusers join push to have entire deposition unsealed
Beth Ferrier and Rebecca Lynn Neal, ‘Jane Does’ in the 2005 case, join motion as Neal also spoke out against National Enquirer for pulling an interview with her
Monday 13 July 2015
Two more of Bill Cosby’s accusers have joined a motion to have the whole of a deposition unsealed from a 2005 case in which the former comedian testified to having given a woman the sedative quaaludes before having sex with her.
Bill Cosby’s defenders split after revelation comedian drugged women
One of them has also attacked the National Enquirer for allegedly suppressing a 2005 interview with her in exchange for an exclusive from Cosby about his daughter’s drug use.
Beth Ferrier and Rebecca Lynn Neal were unidentified witnesses – known as “Jane Does” – in a 2005 case in which Cosby was sued by Andrea Constand, the first of more than two dozen women to come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against the comedian.
Last week a judge granted a motion by the Associated Press to unseal part of Cosby’s deposition. Constand has now been joined by Ferrier and Neal in a motion to have the rest of the deposition, which has so far been barred from public view, unsealed.
In a statement Gloria Allred, the lawyer representing both Ferrier and Neal, said she was concerned the partial testimony, “if believed”, would cause reputational damage to her clients.
….“The National Enquirer, more than any other publication, was unflinching in our aggressive coverage of allegations against Mr Cosby beginning in 2000 when everyone else avoided the story,” a spokesman told the Wrap. “We continue to remain aggressive in our reporting today and stand by the integrity of our coverage of this story which we have taken the lead on for more than a decade.”
Only Half of Abused Children Evaluated for Occult Fracture
Jenni Laidman July 13, 2015
Despite some 20 years of recommendations to perform a skeletal survey on infants and toddlers with injuries associated with abuse, hospital personnel failed to conduct such surveys in roughly half of suspected abuse cases, according to results from a study published online July 13 in Pediatrics.
Joanne N. Wood, MD, MSHP, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and colleagues examined data from 4486 children younger than 2 years with a diagnosis of abuse or injuries often associated with abuse at 366 hospitals from 2009 to 2013.
The study indicated that 48% of children with an abuse diagnosis and 51% of infants with traumatic
brain injury were evaluated with a skeletal survey for occult fracture. Only 53% of infants with femur fractures were examined for further fractures, the researchers found.
Previous studies suggest that skeletal surveys would have revealed occult fractures in approximately 25% to 30% of the children in the study, which means about 1 in every 7 or 8 children might have had an undiagnosed occult fracture, the authors report….
Vatican delays trial of pope’s ex-diplomat accused of child porn, pedophilia
By Faith Karimi, Delia Gallagher and Hada Messia, CNN
Sat July 11, 2015
A former papal ambassador accused of sexually abusing minors has been hospitalized in an intensive care unit — pushing back his trial once set to start Saturday in Vatican City.
Jozef Wesolowski, 66, was under house arrest in Vatican City when he fell ill Friday night and was rushed to a public hospital.
A judge held a short hearing and adjourned Wesolowski’s trial to a yet undetermined date, the Vatican Press Office said. It did not provide any details on his condition.
Wesolowski, 66, is the highest-ranking Catholic official arrested for alleged sexual abuse of minors.
In addition to sexual abuse allegations, he is accused of possession of child pornography during his time as papal nuncio — or ambassador — to the Dominican Republic. The maximum punishment for these crimes could be 9 years in prison, although sentencing is entirely at the discretion of the judges.
The Vatican, which operates as a city-state, has its own judicial system. This is the first trial on charges of sex abuse to be heard by the Vatican tribunal, which is composed of 3 lay Italian judges….
Before arriving in the Dominican Republic seven years ago, Wesolowski was nuncio to Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
He began his career as a priest in Poland in 1972, and became a bishop in 2000….
Pope sacks Paraguay bishop accused of protecting abuser priest
September 26, 2014 Comments Off on Pope sacks Paraguay bishop accused of protecting abuser priest
Pope sacks Paraguay bishop accused of protecting abuser priest
Pope Francis’s latest crackdown on clerical sex abuse comes days after Vatican ordered Polish archbishop to be put on trial for allegedly abusing young boys
Livieres Plano, a member of the conservative Opus Dei movement, has been removed by Pope Francis from a Paraguayan diocese
By Nick Squires, Rome 25 Sep 2014
Pope Francis has sacked a bishop in South America who for years protected a priest accused of sexual misconduct.
The Pope, who has vowed to adopt a much tougher stance than his predecessors on priests accused of sexual abuse, forcibly removed Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as bishop of a diocese in Paraguay.
The bishop is accused of protecting an Argentine priest whose former superiors in the United States had described as a “serious threat to young people.”
The bishop’s removal was the result of an investigation instigated by the Vatican earlier this year.
He had refused to resign, leaving the Pope no option but to remove him in what the Vatican described in a statement as a “hard decision”….
Mass grave of up to 800 dead babies exposed in County Galway, Pope to meet abuse victims with Boston’s O’Malley, Re-Watching Woody Allen The newly-chilling themes that you can see throughout his movies
May 27, 2014 Comments Off on Mass grave of up to 800 dead babies exposed in County Galway, Pope to meet abuse victims with Boston’s O’Malley, Re-Watching Woody Allen The newly-chilling themes that you can see throughout his movies
Mass grave of up to 800 dead babies exposed in County Galway
Cahir O’Doherty May 26,2014
According to a report in the Irish Mail on Sunday, a mass grave has been located beside a former home for unmarried mothers and babies in County Galway. The grave is believed to contain the bodies of up to eight hundred babies, buried on the former grounds of the institution known locally as “The Home” in Tuam, north of Galway city, between 1925 and 1961
Run by the Bon Secours nuns, “The Home” housed thousands of unmarried mothers and their “illegitimate” children over those years.
According to Irish Mail on Sunday the causes of death listed for “as many as 796 children” included “malnutrition, measles, convulsions, tuberculosis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia.”
The babies were usually buried without a coffin in a plot that had once housed “a water tank,” the report claims. No memorials were erected, the site was left unmarked and unmourned.
The staggering mortality rate of “The Home” was apparently replicated elsewhere in Ireland….
Pope to meet abuse victims with Boston’s O’Malley
By John L. Allen Jr. Globe Staff May 26, 2014
ROME — Pope Francis said Monday that he plans to celebrate a Mass with a small group of victims of sexual abuse in the coming weeks and to hold a private meeting to hear from them, a session in which Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston will also take part.
Francis also revealed that three Catholic bishops are under Vatican investigation for matters related to sexual abuse, citing those inquiries as proof that there will be no “daddy’s boys” in the clergy who enjoy special privileges on his watch.
Francis did not make it clear whether those three bishops are being investigated for abuse they are alleged to have committed or for an alleged failure to respond properly to possible abuse by others….
Re-Watching Woody Allen The newly-chilling themes that you can see throughout his movies By Stephen Marche on February 4, 2014
….Nobody except Dylan Farrow and Woody Allen knows what happened in that attic, and no one else ever will. But the sheer vividness with which Farrow recounts the experience, as well as the forum in which she does so, is enough to make even the most ardent fan reevaluate an artist’s entire body of work, especially one as personal as Allen’s.
So what happens when you go looking for evidence of sex crimes in Woody Allen movies? If you look, you find it, again, and again, and again….
Pope updates Vatican law, criminalizing sex abuse, leaks, The case of Fran and Dan Keller – Fran’s Day Care, PTSD treatments
July 13, 2013 Comments Off on Pope updates Vatican law, criminalizing sex abuse, leaks, The case of Fran and Dan Keller – Fran’s Day Care, PTSD treatments
Pope updates Vatican law, criminalizing sex abuse, leaks
New laws apply to clergy, others in the city-state
By Nicole Winfield Associated Press
July 12, 2013 VATICAN CITY
Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican city-state on Thursday, criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and specifically listing sexual violence, prostitution, and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison.
The legislation covers clergy and laypeople who live and work in Vatican City and is different from the canon law which covers the universal Catholic Church.
It was issued at a critical time, as the Vatican prepares for a grilling by a UN committee on its efforts to protect children under a key UN convention and prevent priests from sexually abusing children. The Vatican signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 yet only now — 23 years later — has it updated its legislation to reflect some of the treaty’s core provisions….
Fran’s Day Care Case – Randy Noblitt, PhD
The case of Fran and Dan Keller
“Some of the parents whose children attended the preschool became suspicious when their children returned home wearing underwear not their own, or with their clothes inside out or with their hair wet. There were always reasonable explanations: the child had an accident and was changed into clothes on hand for that purpose; or the child splashed water on herself when the children were cleaning up; and so forth. However, when one of the children made an outcry, the parents more closely scrutinized the strange behaviors some of the children had started engaging in and the aforementioned episodes, and they took their concerns to the police. The police took the concerns seriously and collected statements and evidence. The grand jury found a basis for indictment. The Kellers responded to the warrant for their arrest by fleeing the state in disguise, obtaining false identifications in their new personas, and attempting to leave the country. They were apprehended in Las Vegas, Nevada and extradited back to Travis County.”
“The case ended with the conviction of the Kellers and their sentencing to 48 years in prison each. They are in prison still, any efforts for appeal having failed to date.”
“the perspective was one of advocacy for falsely accused, persecuted, prosecuted, and convicted victims of a malicious or inept legal system that places too much trust in the stories children tell. A particular flaw in this story was the story. It was certainly not founded on anything I witnessed during my participation in the case. Evidence was not withheld from the prosecution to my knowledge. The defense was left flat-footed by their own conviction that the children would not be believed. And the advice I offered may have helped to prevent influence or contamination of the children’s testimony. The children’s stories were credible – Fran and Dan Keller’s defense was not.”
“One of the child victims, Veejay Staelin, a now 21-year old…re-asserted that he had been abused by Fran and Dan Keller.”
Meta-analysis of the efficacy of treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder. Authors Watts BV, et al
J Clin Psychiatry. 2013 Jun;74(6):e541-50. doi: 10.4088/JCP.12r08225.
OBJECTIVE: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an important mental health issue in terms of the number of people affected and the morbidity and functional impairment associated with the disorder. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of all treatments for PTSD….
RESULTS: Effective psychotherapies included cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (g = 1.63, 1.08, and 1.01, respectively). Effective pharmacotherapies included paroxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine, risperidone, topiramate, and venlafaxine (g = 0.74, 0.41, 0.43, 0.41, 1.20, and 0.48, respectively)….
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that patients and providers have a variety of options for choosing an effective treatment for PTSD. Substantial differences in study design and study participant characteristics make identification of a single best treatment difficult. Not all medications or psychotherapies are effective.
Pope: Stopping child sexual abuse key to ‘credibility’ of Catholic Church, Leesburg child p_rn suspect had more than 500,000 images and videos at his home
April 6, 2013 Comments Off on Pope: Stopping child sexual abuse key to ‘credibility’ of Catholic Church, Leesburg child p_rn suspect had more than 500,000 images and videos at his home
Pope: Stopping child sexual abuse key to ‘credibility’ of Catholic Church
By Philip Pullella, Reuters Fri Apr 5, 2013
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis wants the Catholic Church to “act decisively” to root out sexual abuse of children by priests and ensure the perpetrators are punished, the Vatican said on Friday.
Francis, in a meeting with the Holy See’s doctrinal chief, Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, had declared that combating sexual abuse was important “for the Church and its credibility”, a statement said.
Francis inherited a Church mired in problems and a major scandal over priestly abuse of children. It was believed to be the first time he had taken up the issue of sex abuse with a senior member of his staff since his election on March 13….
Judge could order Leesburg child porn suspect to pay for own attorney
Friday, April 5, 2013 LEESBURG, Fla.
A man who the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said downloaded the most child pornography in the state of Florida was denied bail Friday morning.
Officers said John Shearen had more than 500,000 images and videos at his home in Leesburg.
He was arrested Thursday, on his 51st birthday, at his home in the Lakeside Pointe apartment complex, FDLE said. Agents said they identified Shearen last month while monitoring child porn websites, and they caught him at his computer Thursday morning as he was downloading more videos….
“We were able to seize anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million images and videos. They were stored on several computers and external hard drives to actually being transferred from the computers to separate DVDs, and he has a DVD collection of child pornography. So, we have a lot of work to do. Those initial cases will be charged today,” said Special Agent Jeff Duncan.
Agents said Shearen admitted his crimes….
Shearen faces 20 counts each of distribution and possession of child porn, but agents said there may be more charges filed as the investigation continues.
“He is the No. 1 person who can distribute child pornography throughout the world,” said Duncan. “And he’s been doing it.”
No bond for Leesburgh child porn suspect
A man who the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said downloaded the most child pornography in the state of Florida was denied bail Friday morning.
Clergy abuse victims call on Pope Francis to open files on Argentina’s pedophile priests, Indian legislators pass strict anti-rape law, Abuse inquiry to proceed under changed law
March 20, 2013 Comments Off on Clergy abuse victims call on Pope Francis to open files on Argentina’s pedophile priests, Indian legislators pass strict anti-rape law, Abuse inquiry to proceed under changed law
Clergy abuse victims call on Pope Francis to open files on Argentina’s pedophile priests
By Associated Press, Tuesday, March 19, 2013
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Activists against abuse by Roman Catholic clergy urged Pope Francis on Tuesday to apologize for what they called the Argentine church’s protection of two priests who were eventually convicted of sexually assaulting children.
The U.S.-based Bishop Accountability group cited the case of Father Julio Cesar Grassi, who ran the “Happy Children” foundation and was convicted of pedophilia in 2008, and Father Napoleon Sasso, convicted in 2007 of abusing girls at a soup kitchen in suburban Buenos Aires.
The Buenos Aires archbishop’s office didn’t immediately respond Tuesday.
The pope’s authorized biographer, Sergio Rubin, told The Associated Press before Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope last week that he had drawn an increasingly tough line on clergy abuse. Bergoglio insisted that accused priests face trial, and imposed a thorough screening process in an attempt to weed out future problems, Rubin said…..
Grassi was well known in Buenos Aires for persuading celebrities to donate to his “Happy Children” foundation, which ran orphanages and social outreach programs. Before he was convicted, Grassi praised Bergoglio for “never abandoning him.” Now he’s free on appeal, thanks in part to a church filing on his behalf.
Sasso, meanwhile, enjoys prison furloughs after serving half of a 17-year sentence for abusing five girls.
Sasso was assigned to the soup kitchen, at a chapel where his bedroom shared the only bathroom, after living in a home for wayward priests where he had been sent after accusations of pedophilia were raised against him in remote San Juan province.
“The bathroom had two doors. The girls would come in through the outside door, and the priest would bring them into his bedroom through the other, sexually abusing the girls,” Moreau said. “These were really poor people, who were there for free meals while their parents worked. They found an enormous amount of child pornography in his computer, semen, condoms.” It was a medical priest and a nun who discovered that Sasso abused 25 girls aged 3 to 16, but when they informed church officials, they were told to “remain patient,” and nothing was done, Moreau said.
Eventually, they sought higher authorities and the case was taken up by the criminal courts, but the mid-level officials who covered it up still have their positions, while the priest and nun were forced to work elsewhere, the lawyer said….
Indian legislators pass strict anti-rape law
By Rama Lakshmi Tuesday, March 19, 2013
NEW DELHI — The Indian Parliament’s lower house passed a landmark law Tuesday that sets tougher penalties for rapists and for police officers who refuse to file a woman’s complaint of rape, as well as criminalizing offenses such as stalking, voyeurism and acid attacks.
The amendments to existing law incorporate some of the sweeping changes that were demanded after the fatal gang rape of a young paramedical student in New Delhi in December, an incident that sparked a nationwide outcry against the lack of safety for women.
Despite the unprecedented protests that galvanized tens of thousands of Indians, the number of incidents of sexual assault has not diminished.
As lawmakers discussed the new law in Parliament on Tuesday, a British tourist fractured her leg when she jumped from the balcony of her hotel room in Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal, to escape being molested by the hotel owner, police said….
A provision requiring government approval for the trial of police officers, officials, politicians and judges on rape charges also has been lifted.
For the first time, the law criminalizes stalking and voyeurism, acts of sexual harassment that have long been grouped under the benign euphemism “love-teasing.” Hereafter, rapes that occur during religious and caste riots also will be treated as cases of aggravated sexual assault.
The law does not, however, address contentious issues such as marital rape or the legal impunity afforded to Indian military officers. Nor does it include a provision to prohibit politicians charged with rape from running for office….
Some activists working to end the trafficking of minors said the law is a watered-down version of what was initially proposed.
“Under the new law, trafficking of a minor is a crime only if rape or sexual exploitation occurs,” said Bhuwan Ribhu, a children’s rights activist….
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