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
February 10, 2014 Comments Off on Dylan Farrow Responds to Woody Allen: ‘Distortions and Outright Lies’
– Dylan Farrow Responds to Woody Allen: ‘Distortions and Outright Lies’
– 10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation
– Woody Allen’s 1992 custody suit against Mia Farrow
Dylan Farrow Responds to Woody Allen: ‘Distortions and Outright Lies’ 2/7/2014 by THR Staff
The director’s adopted daughter denies Allen’s suggestion that Mia Farrow coached her to say he sexually assaulted her.
Dylan Farrow has responded to an op-ed Woody Allen published in The New York Times Friday.
In the response, provided to The Hollywood Reporter, Farrow denounced Allen’s op-ed — in which he suggested Farrow’s mother, Mia Farrow, had coached her to accuse Allen of sexually assaulting her as a child.
“I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life,” Dylan said.
She went on to challenge other points in Allen’s op-ed, calling it ‘the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has leveled at me for the past 20 years.”….
Read Dylan’s full response below.
Once again, Woody Allen is attacking me and my family in an effort to discredit and silence me — but nothing he says or writes can change the truth. For 20 years, I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life….
His op-ed is the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has leveled at me for the past 20 years. He insists my mother brought criminal charges — in fact, it was a pediatrician who reported the incident to the police based on my firsthand account. He suggests that no one complained of his misconduct prior to his assault on me — court documents show that he was in treatment for what his own therapist described as “inappropriate” behavior with me from as early as 1991. He offers a carefully worded claim that he passed a lie detector test — in fact, he refused to take the test administered by the state police (he hired someone to administer his own test, which authorities refused to accept as evidence). These and other misrepresentations have been rebutted in more detail by independent, highly respected journalists….
10 Undeniable Facts About the Woody Allen Sexual-Abuse Allegation By Maureen Orth February 7 2014
This week, a number of commentators have published articles containing incorrect and irresponsible claims regarding the allegation of Woody Allen’s having sexually abused his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow. As the author of two lengthy, heavily researched and thoroughly fact-checked articles that deal with that allegation—the first published in 1992, when Dylan was seven, and the second last fall, when she was 28—I feel obliged to set the record straight.
1. Mia never went to the police about the allegation of sexual abuse. Her lawyer told her on August 5, 1992, to take the seven-year-old Dylan to a pediatrician, who was bound by law to report Dylan’s story of sexual violation to law enforcement and did so on August 6.
2. Allen had been in therapy for alleged inappropriate behavior toward Dylan with a child psychologist before the abuse allegation was presented to the authorities or made public….
3. Allen refused to take a polygraph administered by the Connecticut state police. Instead, he took one from someone hired by his legal team. The Connecticut state police refused to accept the test as evidence….
4. Allen subsequently lost four exhaustive court battles—a lawsuit, a disciplinary charge against the prosecutor, and two appeals—and was made to pay more than $1 million in Mia’s legal fees….
5. In his 33-page decision, Judge Wilk found that Mr. Allen’s behavior toward Dylan was “grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her.”….
6. Dylan’s claim of abuse was consistent with the testimony of three adults who were present that day….
7. The Yale-New Haven Hospital Child Sex Abuse Clinic’s finding that Dylan had not been sexually molested, cited repeatedly by Allen’s attorneys, was not accepted as reliable by Judge Wilk, or by the Connecticut state prosecutor who originally commissioned them….
8. Allen changed his story about the attic where the abuse allegedly took place. First, Allen told investigators he had never been in the attic where the alleged abuse took place….
9. The state attorney, Maco, said publicly he did have probable cause to press charges against Allen but declined, due to the fragility of the “child victim.”….
10. I am not a longtime friend of Mia Farrow’s, and I did not make any deal with her….
Woody Allen’s 1992 custody suit against Mia Farrow
February 3, 2014 Comments Off on An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow
An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow
By DYLAN FARROW February 1, 2014
(A note from Nicholas Kristof: In 1993, accusations that Woody Allen had abused his adoptive daughter, Dylan Farrow, filled the headlines, part of a sensational story about the celebrity split between Allen and his girlfriend, Mia Farrow. This is a case that has been written about endlessly, but this is the first time that Dylan Farrow herself has written about it in public. It’s important to note that Woody Allen was never prosecuted in this case and has consistently denied wrongdoing; he deserves the presumption of innocence….)
What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me. He talked to me while he did it, whispering that I was a good girl, that this was our secret, promising that we’d go to Paris and I’d be a star in his movies. I remember staring at that toy train, focusing on it as it traveled in its circle around the attic. To this day, I find it difficult to look at toy trains.
For as long as I could remember, my father had been doing things to me that I didn’t like. I didn’t like how often he would take me away from my mom, siblings and friends to be alone with him. I didn’t like it when he would stick his thumb in my mouth. I didn’t like it when I had to get in bed with him under the sheets when he was in his underwear. I didn’t like it when he would place his head in my naked lap and breathe in and breathe out. I would hide under beds or lock myself in the bathroom to avoid these encounters, but he always found me. These things happened so often, so routinely, so skillfully hidden from a mother that would have protected me had she known, that I thought it was normal. I thought this was how fathers doted on their daughters. But what he did to me in the attic felt different. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore.
When I asked my mother if her dad did to her what Woody Allen did to me, I honestly did not know the answer. I also didn’t know the firestorm it would trigger. I didn’t know that my father would use his sexual relationship with my sister to cover up the abuse he inflicted on me. I didn’t know that he would accuse my mother of planting the abuse in my head and call her a liar for defending me. I didn’t know that I would be made to recount my story over and over again, to doctor after doctor, pushed to see if I’d admit I was lying as part of a legal battle I couldn’t possibly understand. At one point, my mother sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was lying – that I could take it all back. I couldn’t. It was all true. But sexual abuse claims against the powerful stall more easily. There were experts willing to attack my credibility. There were doctors willing to gaslight an abused child….
Savile ‘boasted of under-age sex’ during BBC meeting, Sugar Ray Leonard : I was child sex abuse victim
October 30, 2012 Comments Off on Savile ‘boasted of under-age sex’ during BBC meeting, Sugar Ray Leonard : I was child sex abuse victim
– Jimmy Savile ‘boasted of under-age sex’ during BBC meeting
– Jimmy Savile: Children in Need had ban – Sir Roger Jones
– Jimmy Savile: the BBC emails
– Jimmy Savile: Agencies could have spotted ‘pattern of behaviour’ police chief admits
– Sugar Ray Leonard: I was child sex abuse victim
Jimmy Savile ‘boasted of under-age sex’ during BBC meeting
During a meeting with Jimmy Savile, a Radio 1 researcher says the late DJ boasted that he’d “had three 14-year-old girls” in his trailer that morning.
12 Oct 2012
Richard Pearson was a 21-year-old working at Radio 1 and meeting with a senior producer in BBC Broadcasting House’s restaurant when he says Jimmy Savile joined them and claimed “not particularly quietly” that he’d just “had” three underage girls in his trailer.
“And when he said ‘had’ he didn’t mean they’d come to criticised his curtains, he meant he’d had sex with them.” Mr Pearson said.
He went onto claim that Savile openly said having sex with the girls “kept him young”.
29 October 2012
Jimmy Savile: Children in Need had ban – Sir Roger Jones
A former BBC governor for Wales and Children in Need chairman says he had suspicions about Jimmy Savile more than a decade ago and would not allow him any involvement with the charity.
Sir Roger Jones heard of rumours from London staff, and the charity decided not to allow Savile “anywhere near” it.
He said he did not tell management because he did not have evidence Savile abused children while a BBC employee.
Police believe Savile may have abused as many as 300 people over 40 years.
Sir Roger’s comments come on the day the investigation into the BBC’s child protection and whistle-blowing policies begins.
He was a member of the board of governors between 1997 and 2002, and said he would have stepped down from his Children in Need role if Savile had become involved with the charity….
Jimmy Savile: Agencies could have spotted ‘pattern of behaviour’ police chief admits
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has admitted to being shocked by the scale and extent of the Jimmy Savile allegations.
By Martin Evans, Crime Correspondent
29 Oct 2012
Bernard Hogan-Howe also suggested more could have been done when complaints were originally made to spot patterns of behaviour that could have led to the entertainer being stopped.
The Commissioner said it was possible that the authorities including the police and the BBC had relied too much on Savile’s reputation when considering whether to dig deeper.
Mr Hogan-Howe told reporters: “You might have thought that people would at least have talked about it and intervened.
“It does look as if from time to time people have been concerned, they’ve made the start to intervene, but probably then they’ve relied a little bit too much on his reputation and his word that he did nothing.
“If you accept all the public accounts of the activity then it’s possibly spanned 50 years which is a huge amount of time….
Four police forces were contacted by seven potential victims while Savile was alive. Surrey, Sussex and Jersey all found that there was not enough evidence to proceed.
Two potential victims came forward to Scotland Yard – one of whom claimed she had been abused in the 1970s but did not want to pursue a criminal investigation.
Officers are trying to find the original file relating to a second claim made by a woman who claimed she was assaulted in the 1980s, possibly in a caravan outside BBC premises in west London….
So far around 300 potential victims have been identified, with Met officers following more than 400 lines of inquiry.
Meanwhile it has emerged that the Savile scandal has led to a surge in the number of people reporting child sex abuse allegations to the authorities.
Peter Davies, the chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop), said the exposure had encouraged victims unconnected to Savile to come forward and unburden themselves….
Jimmy Savile: the BBC emails
Emails between senior members of BBC staff give insight into whether the corporation scrapped its Jimmy Savile Newsnight investigation after coming “under pressure” from managers.
22 Oct 2012
…. 2 DEC Head of news Helen Boaden tells George Entwistle at an awards lunch that if the Newsnight programme goes ahead he might have to change the Christmas schedules, which include a handful of Savile tribute programmes.
7 DEC Email, Meirion Jones to Peter Rippon. He insists “the story is strong enough” and the danger of not running it is “substantial damage to BBC reputation”.
9 DEC The Crown Prosecution Service tells Newsnight it did not investigate Savile because of lack of evidence. Rippon axes Newsnight item on Savile.
2 OCT 2012 Blog, Peter Rippon, BBC News website. Mr Rippon says on his blog that all the women spoken to by Newsnight had gone to the police already and that no new information had been uncovered by the investigation. Both points are denied by Meirion Jones in the Panorama programme.
5 OCT 2012 Email, George Entwistle to all BBC staff: “The BBC Newsnight programme investigated Surrey Police’s inquiry into Jimmy Savile towards the end of 2011.”
5 OCT Email, Meirion Jones to George Entwistle: “George – one note – the investigation was into whether Jimmy Savile was a paedophile – I know because it was my investigation. We didn’t know that Surrey police had investigated Jimmy Savile – no one did – that was what we found when we investigated and interviewed his victims.”
Sugar Ray Leonard: I was child sex abuse victim Reuters October 29, 2012
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard recounted his own sexual abuse by coaches he trusted, telling a Penn State audience Monday he hoped to encourage other victims to report abuse to police.
Leonard spoke at a sold-out conference on child sex abuse hosted by Penn State weeks after former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, 68, was sentenced to prison for 30 to 60 years for sexually assaulting 10 boys he befriended through his charity for at-risk youth.
Leonard, 56, who retired after winning world boxing titles in five different weight classes, said as a youth he was sexually assaulted by men he trusted as his boxing coaches.
“Trust is a very sacred thing, especially for young people, kids, or a young boxer, so I trusted these people, these individuals who impacted my life,” said Leonard said. “They told me everything I wanted to hear, and more.”
The former champion said he used drugs and alcohol to “numb” his shame of being a victim of child sexual abuse.
“I beat myself up for years,” said Leonard as the two-day conference got underway with Hurricane Sandy quickly approaching Pennsylvania.
Now Leonard said he wants to step into the spotlight as a leader in the fight against child sex abuse in the hopes it will help other victims find the courage to report crimes to police.
“I’m going to be the poster child. I don’t care,” Leonard said to applause.
“I will be that leader. I will stand right there and say, ‘Yes, something must be done now. Not later, now,'” Leonard said….
May 23, 2012 Comments Off on Green Bay diocese liable for molestation cover-up
Jury awards brothers $700K in Wis. diocese lawsuit
Monday, May 21, 2012
APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — An Outagamie County jury on Monday awarded two brothers $700,000 in a fraud trial against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.
The civil jury found the diocese responsible Monday for concealing a former priest’s history of child molestation.
Brothers Todd and Troy Merryfield sued the diocese in 2008, alleging the diocese was aware the Rev. John Feeney sexually assaulted others before 1978, when it assigned him to Freedom’s St. Nicholas Church. Feeney was convicted in 2004 for the sexual assaults of the Merryfields and has already served his prison sentence.
The jury awarded Troy Merryfield $475,000 and Todd $225,000 in damages, The Post-Crescent reported….
Over the past week, Jeffrey Anderson and John Peterson, the Merryfields’ attorneys, called several priests as witnesses. The priests testified there were allegations of inappropriate behavior by Feeney — that he swam naked with boys and showered with them after basketball games — long before he assaulted the Merryfields in 1978.
But the bishop, who died in 2005, said in a previous deposition testimony that if there was merit to complaints of sexual abuse by Feeney, he would have immediately suspended the priest.
Green Bay diocese liable for molestation cover-up
May. 21, 2012
APPLETON — When an Outagamie County jury decided the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay covered up a priest’s history of child molestation, it sent a message to the rest of Wisconsin, an advocate for sexual abuse victims said….
Rev. John Feeney molested the Merryfields in 1978, when they were 12 and 14 years old. In 2004, Feeney was convicted of sexual assault of the brothers. After the criminal trial, the brothers said they learned the priest had a history of similar assaults in the 1960s and 1970s that the diocese knew about and hid from parishioners at St. Nicholas Church in Freedom, which the Merryfields attended.
So in 2008, they sued the diocese and now-deceased Bishop Aloysius Wycislo, who was in charge of ensuring priests were fit to serve, for fraudulent misrepresentation and sought unspecified damages….
Feeney was attending mental health counseling in 1974 after he touched girls inappropriately at a church retreat, Rev. Lawrence Canavera testified. Anderson and Peterson presented a letter forwarded from psychologist Thomas Kelley to the bishop stating under stress Feeney’s “usual controls over sexual impulses may fail and cause some indiscretions.”