17,000 People Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War, George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims, Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel, Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives

August 18, 2016 Comments Off on 17,000 People Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War, George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims, Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel, Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives

– 17,000 People Have Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War: Report
– George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims
– Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel
– Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
– Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women


17,000 People Have Died in Syrian Prisons Since Start of War: Report

By Lucy Westcott  8/17/16

More than 300 people die in Syrian prisons every month, often after being subjected to brutal torture and abuse by security forces, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

The report says at least 17,723 people have died in custody in Syrian prisons since the start of the country’s conflict in 2011, and it documents crimes against humanity committed by government forces. While detainees dying in Syrian prison custody isn’t new—in the decade leading up to 2011, there were around 45 deaths in custody each year, according to Amnesty—it’s “never been to the scale that we’re currently seeing,” Claudia Scheufler, the report’s author, tells Newsweek.

“Anyone who could in any way be seen as opposing the government,” including journalists, human rights activists and medical workers, could end up in prison in Syria, says Scheufler. More recently, humanitarian workers who have been providing support to those displaced by the fighting have increasingly been jailed. One woman told researchers that someone she was giving food to didn’t like the way tomato paste was being distributed. That person complained to the security forces, and the woman ended up in prison.

Amnesty spoke with 65 survivors of prison torture and abuse in security facilities operated by Syrian intelligence agencies and the infamous Saydnaya Military Prison, located outside Damascus. A number of people told Amnesty that in addition to being tortured, they witnessed extrajudicial killings, saw fellow detainees being beaten to death and shared cells with dead bodies.

Those who spoke with Amnesty described a “welcome party” ritual when they arrived at a detention center, which involved beatings with metal bars or electrical cables. Women detainees suffered from sexual assault and rape by male guards. Forms of torture that survivors described to Amnesty, and that were used to extract “confessions” from detainees, include dulab, the process of forcibly contorting a body into a rubber tire, and falaqa, flogging the soles of the feet….
http://www.newsweek.com/syrian-prison-custody-death-amnesty-491226


George Pell: police consider whether to charge cardinal over child abuse claims
Victoria police will not confirm whether detectives intend to interview Pell in Rome over historical child sex abuse allegations, which he has denied
Melissa Davey  Wednesday 17 August 2016

Victoria police are considering whether to charge Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, with historical child sexual abuse offences.

Last month the chief commissioner of Victoria police, Graham Ashton, confirmed allegations against Pell had been referred to the Office of Public Prosecutions for a recommendation as to whether police should drop the investigation, investigate further or lay charges.
George Pell exposed himself to young boys at surf club, says Victorian man

In a statement issued on Wednesday the Victoria police media office confirmed it had received the office’s recommendation but would not confirm what had been recommended or whether detectives would be sent to Rome to interview Pell, who is the Vatican’s chief financial advisor.

“We have received advice and will now take the time to consider it,” the statement said. “As with any investigation, it remains a decision for Victoria police as to whether charges will be laid.”

Police have been investigating allegations that Pell exposed himself to three young boys at Torquay life saving club in Victoria in the summer of 1986 or 87.

Another two allegations involve two former St Alipius students, who allege Pell repeatedly touched their genitals while swimming with them at the Eureka pool in Ballarat in 1978-79. At the time, Pell was episcopal vicar for education in the Ballarat diocese.

Pell has vehemently denied the allegations against him, describing them as “nothing more than a scandalous smear campaign”. He accused police of leaking to the media, and called for a Victorian government inquiry into the alleged leaks….
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/17/george-pell-police-consider-whether-to-charge-cardinal-over-child-abuse-claims


Beth Din of America Added to $100M Civil Suit Against ‘Peeping Rabbi’ Barry Freundel
In the civil case, the plaintiffs claim that the mikvah, the synagogue, the religious court and the RCA ignored warning signs against Freundel, convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath.
JTA Aug 17, 2016

The Beth Din of America has been added to the list of defendants in a $100 million class action suit against Rabbi Barry Freundel, the prominent Washington, D.C., spiritual leader who was convicted of secretly videotaping women in his synagogue’s ritual bath.

On Tuesday, the attorneys representing the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in Superior Court in Washington, D.C., that included the rabbinical court, according to a news release on behalf of the Sanford Heisler and Chaikin Sherman Cammarata Siegel law firms.

The suit, which was filed originally in December 2014, also names as defendants Freundel’s former synagogue, Kesher Israel; the Rabbinical Council of America, the main professional association for modern Orthodox rabbis in the United States, and the National Capital Mikvah, the ritual bath Freundel used to spy on his victims.

In the civil case, the plaintiffs claim that the mikvah, the synagogue, the religious court and the RCA ignored warning signs of Freundel’s behavior.

Freundel is believed to have violated the privacy of at least 150 women he filmed while they undressed and showered at the mikvah, or ritual bath. They included members of Kesher Israel, candidates for conversion to Judaism and students at Towson University in Maryland, where Freundel taught classes on religion and ethics. The rabbi also secretly filmed a domestic violence abuse victim in a safe house he had set up for her.

He pleaded guilty last year to 52 counts of voyeurism and began serving a 6 1/2-year sentence in federal prison….
http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/americas/1.737376

Child Abuse May Shorten Some Women’s Lives
Extreme stress may affect the way the body’s cells function
By Amy Norton  HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Women who suffered physical or emotional abuse as children often die at a younger age than other women, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that among nearly 6,300 middle-aged U.S. adults, female survivors of child abuse were more likely to die over the next 20 years, versus other women.

And the worse the abuse was, the greater the impact appeared to be on a woman’s life span. Those who said they’d suffered severe physical abuse were 58 percent more likely to die during the study period, compared with women with no history of child abuse.

Experts said the findings, published online Aug. 17 in JAMA Psychiatry, highlight the lasting and extensive effects of child abuse.

Previous research had already shown that survivors of abuse are at risk of poorer physical and mental health as adults….

Although the study found a link between abuse in childhood and a shorter female life span, it’s important to note that the study wasn’t designed to definitively prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Still, Shalev, who does research on the biological effects of stress during early life, had at least one theory as to how abuse may lay the groundwork for an earlier death.

Adversity in early childhood may leave a biological “fingerprint” that affects how body cells function over a lifetime, he suggested….

“We know that both men and women suffer long-term effects,” he said.

That’s not true of all child abuse survivors, of course, Shalev pointed out. And the point is not to “alarm” people with a history of abuse, he added.

Instead, Shalev said, they should be aware of the possible long-term risks, because they can do something about it — by eating well, exercising, and seeing their doctor for routine health screenings.

“A healthy lifestyle can help mitigate the effects,” Shalev said.

An estimated 702,000 U.S. children suffered some form of abuse or neglect in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention….
https://consumer.healthday.com/women-s-health-information-34/misc-women-s-problem-news-707/child-abuse-may-have-shorten-women-s-lives-713979.html

Association of Reports of Childhood Abuse and All-Cause Mortality Rates in Women 
Edith Chen, PhD1,2; Nicholas A. Turiano, PhD; Daniel K. Mroczek, PhD; Gregory E. Miller, PhD  JAMA Psychiatry. Published online August 17, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.1786 August 17, 2016

….Results  Of the 6285 participants included in the study sample, 2987 were men (48%) and 5581were white (91%), with a mean (SD) age of 46.9 (12.95) years. Women who reported childhood emotional abuse (hazard ratio [HR],?1.22; 95% CI, 1.01-1.49; P?=?.04), moderate physical abuse (HR,?1.30; 95% CI, 1.05-1.60; P?=?.02), or severe physical abuse (HR, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.20-2.08; P?=?.001) were at increased risk for all-cause mortality during the follow-up period. Reports of more types of childhood abuse were also associated with a greater risk of all-cause mortality in women (all vs none HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.24-2.30; P?=?.001; some vs none HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.01-1.52; P?=?.04). These effects could not be accounted for by childhood socioeconomic status, personality traits, or adult depression. No associations were observed in men.

Conclusions and Relevance  These results suggest that in addition to the established psychiatric consequences of abuse, women who report childhood abuse also remain vulnerable to premature mortality into adulthood. Thus, reported childhood abuse may have long-term ramifications for health and longevity in women.
http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2545073 

Priest abused every young boy at regional Victorian school, inquiry hears, – Rabbi sentenced to six and a half years prison term for voyeurism, Reduced Child Abuse Sentence Causes Uproar in Argentina

May 19, 2015 Comments Off on Priest abused every young boy at regional Victorian school, inquiry hears, – Rabbi sentenced to six and a half years prison term for voyeurism, Reduced Child Abuse Sentence Causes Uproar in Argentina

Child abuse royal commission: Priest abused every young boy at regional Victorian school, inquiry hears
By court reporter Peta Carlyon  5/12/15

A notorious paedophile priest abused every boy at a regional Victorian school between the age of 10 and 16, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is holding long-awaited public hearings in Ballarat to examine historical abuse suffered by children at a number of schools in the regional centre, at the hands of Catholic clergy and other members of the Church.

Some of Australia’s most notorious abusers were part of a paedophile ring operating in and around Ballarat for years, including Gerald Ridsdale, Robert Best and Edward Dowlan.

In her opening address, Senior Counsel Assisting the Commission, Gail Furness SC, outlined the extent of Ridsdale’s offending.

She said the inquiry would hear evidence of Ridsdale’s time at the Mortlake parish during the early 1980s, including comments from the priest who took over from Ridsdale.

“Father Dennehy told the Catholic church’s insurance investigator that he thought every male child between the ages of 10 years and 16 years, who were at the school, had been molested by Ridsdale,” she said.

Ms Furness said Ridsdale was a “prolific offender” during his time at Mortlake….

Ridsdale is serving an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to 30 child sex offences in 2014.

It is the fourth time he has been jailed after three previous stints in prison for more than 100 other offences….
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-19/child-abuse-inquiry-begins-ballarat-hearings/6479902

Rabbi sentenced to six and a half years prison term for voyeurism
May 18, 2015 By Mike McDaniel, News Reporter
This is a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Bernard “Barry” Freundel, 63, of Washington D.C., a rabbi who had worked for a Jewish congregation in Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to a prison term of six years and six months on 52 counts of voyeurism stemming from a series of incidents between 2009 and 2014 in which he secretly took video recordings of women preparing for a Jewish ritual bath….

The National Capital Mikvah has two changing/showering rooms connected to the room with the ritual bath.  On numerous occasions between early 2009 and October 2014, the defendant installed and maintained electronic recording devices in the larger of the two changing/showering rooms.  Freundel did so for the sole purpose of secretly and surreptitiously recording women who were using the bathroom and shower; these women were totally and partially undressed before and/or after showering.  The women recorded did not know they were being recorded and did not consent to being recorded…..

In addition to the 52 recordings that were the subject of the plea, computer forensic examinations revealed that Freundel secretly and surreptitiously recorded approximately 100 additional women totally or partially undressed before and/or after showering in the large bathroom at the National Capital Mikvah between 2009 and September 2014.  These women did not know that they were being recorded and did not consent to being recorded….
http://www.wdam.com/story/29090052/rabbi-sentenced-to-six-and-a-half-years-prison-term-for-voyeurism

Reduced Child Abuse Sentence Causes Uproar in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — May 18, 2015
Associated Press

Two Argentine judges are under fire for reducing the sentence of a convicted child abuser on the grounds that his 6-year-old victim had suffered earlier abuse and therefore had already been traumatized.

In the newly publicized 2014 ruling, the judges cut the sentence of Mario Tolosa, a sports club vice president, from six years to 38 months. They ruled that his acts should not be considered “gravely outrageous” in legal terms because the boy already “was making a precocious choice” of his sexuality, apparently a reference to homosexuality.

Other attorneys criticized the decision and the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans has demanded the judges be removed from the bench for a ruling it said placed a 6-year-old victim “in the position of a suspect.”

One of the two judges, Horacio Piombo, defended the ruling Monday in interviews with Radio La Red and the television station Todo Noticias, saying that before Tolosa molested him, the child already had suffered “the initiation by his father into the worst of worlds, leading him to depravation.”

He said that “as a result of that experience with the father, the child had showed “signs of a transvestite conduct, of conduct we had to take into account.”….

Interior Minister Florencio Randazzo, who is running for the presidency, said via Twitter that the ruling was “an embarrassment.”

“It’s repugnant to say that the presumed sexual orientation of an abused six-year-old boy is a reason to reduce the sentence of the abuser.”
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/reduced-child-abuse-sentence-uproar-argentina-31129194

Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism, Lost church rescued from Satanists, Gender Based Violence, Britian’s Child Sex Abuse

October 22, 2014 Comments Off on Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism, Lost church rescued from Satanists, Gender Based Violence, Britian’s Child Sex Abuse

– Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism is focus of other allegations
– Praise be! 85-year-old defies death threats from Satanists to spend 22 years returning 1,000-year-old derelict church to its former glory
– Lost church is rescued from the Satanists by saviour Bob Davey
– About Gender Based Violence, practice of muti-killing/ ritual murders
– In Britain, Child Sex Abuse Defies Easy Stereotypes

Georgetown rabbi accused of voyeurism is focus of other allegations
By Michelle Boorstein and Pamela Constable October 20

The case of a Georgetown rabbi accused of secretly videotaping women in the ritual bath expanded significantly Monday when a national rabbinical board said it had known since at least 2012 of complaints by women converts of inappropriate behavior.

The news triggered an outpouring by converts and advocates for women in Modern Orthodoxy who said the case reflected deeply embedded problems with sexism….

But on Monday, the Rabbinical Council of America — the country’s main group for Modern Orthodox rabbis — said it had received reports going back at least two years that women working with Freundel toward becoming Jewish felt coerced into performing clerical work for him and donating money to a tribunal he led. There was also an allegation that he inappropriately acted as a co-signer on a checking account with one woman….

More female converts began speaking out Monday, including those who converted with Freundel and said he abused the power he had over them as the sole arbiter of their conversions….

Sugarman said Freundel made “constant” comments praising her appearance, asked about her dating life and encouraged her “not to dress so modestly,” she said.

She said other younger female converts had the same complaints and that Kesher’s leadership was informed. “They spoke with him and he promised he’d stop, but it literally never stopped, not even for one day.”….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/national-rabbi-board-knew-of-misconduct-allegations-against-georgetown-rabbi-for-at-least-two-years/2014/10/20/f3c924ca-5865-11e4-bd61-346aee66ba29_story.html

Praise be! 85-year-old defies death threats from Satanists to spend 22 years returning 1,000-year-old derelict church to its former glory

Bob Davey began work on the Norfolk tower when he retired 22 years ago
1000-year-old church last used in 1930s before it was hit by a German bomb
When he first entered he was horrified to find satanic      and pagan altar
The Christian guarded church from cult members who once drove car at him
During restoration he discovered dazzling religious murals hidden by plaster

By Mario Ledwith for Daily Mail  20 October 2014

It has been struck by a German bomb, torn apart by American GIs and left in squalor by a pagan cult.

So when the ruins of an ancient church were discovered in thick woodland by Bob Davey, he could have been forgiven for thinking its fate had already been sealed. Instead, the determined church warden used his retirement to embark on a 22-year crusade to return the dilapidated building to its former glory – despite receiving a death threat from the cult….

He initially had to guard the property at night to deter the cult members, who once drove a car at him and sent him a death threat. He even enlisted the Territorial Army to guard it for a time after the pagans smeared the walls with blood.  In spite of some local opposition, he built a road to the church under an old law stating that any consecrated site should have an access route…..
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2799430/praise-bob-85-defies-deaththreats-satanists-returnderelict-church-former-glory.html


Lost church is rescued from the Satanists by saviour Bob Davey

TWO decades ago, this 1,000-year-old building was a roofless, overgrown ruin whose existence was almost forgotten.
By: John Geoghegan
Published: Mon, October 20, 2014

Now, it’s a flourishing church thanks to one remarkable man.  Bob Davey, 85, has forked out thousands of pounds of his own cash and even fought off Satanic worshippers in his bid to restore the ninth century Anglo-Saxon church in Swaffham, Norfolk.

In doing so, he uncovered rare and valuable historical wall paintings that he says have international status. Bob is now a warden at St Mary’s Church, which welcomes visitors from across the world and has even received Prince Charles and Princess Margaret.

The building was discovered by Bob’s late wife Gloria one morning in June 1992 while she was on a ramble with friends. Hidden in woodland at the top of a small hill, stood a tower shrouded in dark ivy.

Gloria managed to force her way in, through piles of rubbish, and found a disturbing scene. Soon realising it was an old church, Gloria found it laid out as a Satanic      with a pagan alter and anti-Christian symbols.

“This annoyed me intensely,” Bob recalled. “I’ve been a Christian all my life and wasn’t putting up with this on my patch. “That very afternoon, I cleared all their rubbish out and burnt what I could.”….

But he was forced to guard the building at night from black-clad Satan-worshippers who were still trying to use it. Bob claims the devil-worshippers tried to run him down with a car and on another occasion came to his house and threatened him with his life if he carried on his work.

Help came from the Territorial Army who sent soldiers to stand guard with Bob.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/524854/Lost-church-rescued-from-Satanists-saviour-Bob

Girls leading the way
21/10/2014 By Colani Hlatshwayo

….About Gender Based Violence
Gender based Violence remains one of the biggest barriers of gender equality in Swaziland ranking as the major human rights violation amongst women. There are escalating incidences of gender based violence in the country in general as per the Surveillance on Violence report of 2011 which revealed that 77% of females were victims of abuse and perpetrators were males, were known to the survivors (CSO, 2011). Serial rapists’ occurrences which abduct and later kill women and girls are also seen from time to time.

The practice of muti-killing/ ritual murders is also from time to time surfacing especially soon before the year of national elections. During this period, women and children disappear and are later own found dead or never recovered.

Testimonials of young women alleging that they were married under Swazi Customary Law without being told about the intended marriage and without their consent being elicited first are common. The marriageable age for girls under Swazi Law and Custom is not defined and it is believed that puberty is used to determine that a girl can be a wife.

The prevalence of this violation of rights is stemmed from a turbulent socio-economic status of women and girls in Swaziland. In the past decade of Swaziland’s political and socio-economic history a lot of disparities have made women and girls much more vulnerable to gender based violence resulting in its upsurge. Socio-economic indicators such as education (formal and informal), role or status in society and levels of income have been the key drivers of Gender Based Violence in the home space as such peace is not being ensured in the home never mind the public space…..
http://www.observer.org.sz/features/67018-girls-leading-the-way.html

In Britain, Child Sex Abuse Defies Easy Stereotypes
By KATRIN BENNHOLD OCT. 21, 2014

LONDON — First there was abuse at the hands of a popular BBC host. There were scandals at private schools and in the church and talk of a pedophile ring in Parliament. Then there was Rotherham: over a thousand teenagers sexually exploited as the authorities looked away.

Over the past two years, high-profile revelations of sexual abuse of children have painted a picture of Britain as a place where such abuse is not just endemic but systematically covered up — either because the perpetrators are of the very highest status or because the victims are of the very lowest.

There are two lessons here, scholars and officials say. The first is that sexual abuse is far more common than previously believed: Currently, 2,500 children in England have child protection plans because they are deemed to be at risk of sexual abuse. But the police now speak publicly of “tens of thousands” of victims a year.

The second lesson is that the main driver of abuse is impunity: “Abuse happens in a context of permissibility,” said Helen Beckett, an expert on the subject at the University of Bedfordshire.

Whether Britain’s lingering class system has made abuse more permissible is an open question, she said. But fixating on a particular stereotype — the white celebrity or the pedophile priest or the Pakistani taxi driver — may allow other perpetrators to go undetected.

In 2012, it emerged that Jimmy Savile, a former children’s television host and BBC staple who died in 2011, had raped scores of children as colleagues and the police turned a blind eye. Mr. Savile, who was a friend of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, used his charity work to gain access to his victims in schools and hospitals. Since then, Rolf Harris, 84, once a popular television entertainer; Max Clifford, 71, a well-known publicist; and Stuart Hall, 84, another former BBC broadcaster, have been among those convicted for offenses involving children.

Meanwhile, in July, Britons learned of allegations that Cyril Smith, a former member of Parliament who died in 2010, abused boys in a care home in his constituency. The allegations against him and others were detailed in a file prepared three decades ago by a crusading lawmaker who described a pedophile ring of “big, big names.” But the file mysteriously disappeared….
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/world/europe/in-britain-child-sex-abuse-defies-easy-stereotypes.html

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….

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/clergy-abuse-victims-call-on-pope-francis-to-open-files-on-argentinas-pedophile-priests/2013/03/19/ed810cb2-90c6-11e2-9173-7f87cda73b49_story.html

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….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/british-tourist-jumps-from-indian-hotel-balcony-to-escape-sexual-assault-police-say/2013/03/19/1c25919c-9094-11e2-9173-7f87cda73b49_story.html 

New trial date set for Steven Powell

March 19, 2012 Comments Off on New trial date set for Steven Powell

New trial date set for Steven Powell
March 16, 2012, by Ben Winslow
TACOMA, Washington

A new trial date has been scheduled for the father of Josh Powell. Steven Powell appeared briefly in Pierce Co. Superior Court on Friday, where a judge scheduled an April 23 hearing on a motion to suppress evidence in the criminal case against him. The judge also scheduled a May 7 trial.

Steven Powell is facing voyeurism and child pornography-related charges. He’s accused of taking photos and video of girls and women. Police claim that one of those he filmed without their knowledge is his daughter-in-law, missing West Valley City mother Susan Cox Powell.

She vanished in 2009 and has not been found. Powell’s son, Josh Powell, killed himself and his children last month in an explosion and fire at a home he was renting.
http://fox13now.com/2012/03/16/new-trial-date-set-for-steven-powell/

Powell’s story: cruelty, abuse at early age, Father dragged deeper in Powell saga

February 13, 2012 Comments Off on Powell’s story: cruelty, abuse at early age, Father dragged deeper in Powell saga

articles:
– Powell’s story: cruelty, abuse from an early age
– Father-in-law dragged deeper into Powell saga
– Charlie and Braden Powell: Family, Teachers Remember Powell Boys At Tacoma Funeral

Powell’s story: cruelty, abuse from an early age – A look at the divorce file of Josh Powell’s parents shows extreme discord between the parents over everything from religion to pornography. And both parents had concerns about Josh. The Salt Lake Tribune; and The Associated Press February 10, 2012

Long before Josh Powell killed himself and his sons, the pages of his parents’ divorce file portrayed him as a seriously troubled teen who attempted suicide, killed pet gerbils, once threatened his mother with a butcher knife and early on adopted his father’s allegedly disparaging view of women.

As an adult, Powell appears to have repeated in his own marriage to Susan Cox Powell some of the same emotionally abusive behavior he witnessed growing up, according to a story in The Salt Lake Tribune….

Court files show the divorce of Steve and Terrica Powell involved not only serious conflicts over parenting and religion, but allegations of mental unfitness, pornography, polygamy and even witchcraft, The Tribune reported.

A tug of war ensued over the children, who at the time ranged in age from 18 to 7. Josh, the second-oldest child, was 16.

In 1992 court filings, Steve claimed his wife, who studied herbs and natural healing, had mixed a New Age mysticism with Mormon beliefs in a way that amounted to practicing “witch craft and devil worship.”

Terrica responded that Steve’s interest in pornography, which he shared with their sons, had corrupted him, the newspaper said, quoting court files….

In the divorce case, Terrica told the court her husband’s parenting was offensive.

He subjected Josh in particular to overly harsh discipline, she said.

“For years, he pointedly attacked Josh very frequently, nearly every day for a time,” she wrote.

Steve acknowledged Josh was a challenge.
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017479417_powell11m.html

Father-in-law dragged deeper into Powell saga
Feb 10, 2012 By GENE JOHNSON and MIKE BAKER
Associated Press

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – In a folder on his work computer labeled “Personal Pics,” Steve Powell maintained a peculiar collection of photos: 55 depicting his daughter-in-law Susan but few if any showing his son.

Thousands of images and emails on his Washington state government-issued laptop provide a small glimpse into his increasingly scrutinized world. Authorities said this week that he is a person of interest in her 2009 disappearance in Utah.

The files, obtained by The Associated Press as part of a public records request, portray Steve Powell as a meticulous worker who gathered photos by the thousands and had his life upended by the constant inquiries that ensued after Susan vanished.

He is now in jail on voyeurism and child pornography charges – and on suicide watch.

Powell’s son and Susan’s husband, Josh, killed himself and the couple’s two young sons in a gas-fueled inferno Sunday that a prosecutor considers an admission that he killed his wife….

Until this week, authorities have only publicly discussed Steve Powell in relation to the charges he now faces. But a warrant and emails indicate that he has been dragged deeply into the Utah investigation surrounding his son, and police say they want to interview him to see if he knows anything about his daughter-in-law’s disappearance….

Steve Powell said last year that he had a flirtatious and somewhat sexual relationship with Susan Powell. Her parents said she thought he was a creep and moved to Utah in part to get away from him.

In a search of Steve Powell’s Washington state home last year, authorities found explicit images on his computers and images of people being photographed without their knowledge. Among them were pictures of Susan Powell.

Those findings led to the voyeurism and child porn charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty. The state took custody of Josh Powell’s boys and turned them over to Susan’s parents, Chuck and Judy Cox.
http://ap.worldnow.com/story/16909661/father-in-law-dragged-deeper-into-powell-saga

Charlie and Braden Powell: Family, Teachers Remember Powell Boys At Tacoma Funeral By RACHEL LA CORTE   02/12/12

TACOMA, Wash. — More than a thousand people mourned the deaths of Charlie and Braden Powell at a public funeral Saturday, nearly a week after the young boys’ father killed them and himself in a gas-fueled blaze….

The boys’ father, Josh Powell, was in the middle of a custody battle with Cox when he torched his rental home in Graham last Sunday.

Josh Powell was a person of interest in his wife’s disappearance in Utah two years ago, and prosecutors consider the fire an admission that he killed her.

Cox gained custody of the children more than five months ago after police arrested Josh Powell’s father, Steve, on voyeurism and child pornography charges.

The kids were arriving for a supervised visit when Josh Powell blocked a social worker from entering the home. He then attacked the boys with a hatchet and torched the house, authorities said.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/12/charlie-and-braden-powell-funeral_n_1271692.html

Powell Family Tragedy, murder, voyeurism and child p_rn allegations

February 11, 2012 Comments Off on Powell Family Tragedy, murder, voyeurism and child p_rn allegations

articles:
– Josh Powell Told Sons He Had ‘Surprise’ For Them, Social Worker
– Josh Powell Threatened His Mother With Knife, ’90s-Era Court Documents Allege
– Powell Family Tragedy: A Timeline of Events

Josh Powell Told Sons He Had ‘Surprise’ For Them, Social Worker By CHRIS CUOMO, HARRY PHILLIPS and COLLEEN CURRY
TACOMA, Wash. Feb. 9, 2012

Josh Powell told his sons he had a “big surprise” for them as they ran toward his home Sunday, just moments before he attacked them with a hatchet and then blew them up, social worker Elizabeth Griffin-Hall told ABC News today.

“He caught my eye, his shoulders were slumped. He had a sheepish look,” Griffin-Hall told “20/20” in an exclusive interview. “He just shrugged his shoulders and slammed the door.”

Griffin-Hall said she had been taking the boys, Charles, 7, and Braden, 5, on supervised visits to Powell’s house for three months.

Powell, who was the sole suspect in his wife Susan Cox’s disappearance in 2009, had lost custody of the children in September and lost an appeal to get his children back just four days before he decided to kill them.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/josh-powell-told-sons-surprise/story?id=15549745

Josh Powell Threatened His Mother With Knife, ’90s-Era Court Documents Allege
By ALICE GOMSTYN , CHRIS CUOMO , GERRY WAGSCHAL, BROOKE STANGELAND and JOE RHEE
Feb. 9, 2012

Josh Powell, the husband of a missing Utah woman who killed himself and his two young sons last week, was a disturbed adolescent who threatened and hit his mother, according to 1992 court documents obtained by ABC News.

The documents, filed during the divorce of Josh Powell’s parents in Washington state, Steven and Terrica Powell, include several statements by Terrica Powell describing her son’s disturbing behavior.

Terrica Powell wrote that her son once tried to commit suicide and also threatened her with a butcher knife. On other occasions, he and one of his brothers pushed and hit her, she wrote….

Josh Powell was the only named person-of-interest in Susan Powell’s disappearance, but he was never charged. He continually denied involvement in his wife’s disappearance and later moved himself and his sons to live with his father, Steven Powell — Terrica Powell’s ex-husband — in Washington state.

The couple’s two sons were placed in the custody of Susan Powell’s parents after Steven Powell was arrested on charges of voyeurism and child pornography in September 2011. Steven Powell has denied the charges.
A judge ruled earlier this month that Josh Powell could not have custody of his sons until he underwent a psycho-sexual evaluation.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/josh-powell-threatened-mother-knife-90s-era-court/story?id=15544558#.TzXqXVFH6c8

Powell Family Tragedy: A Timeline of Events

….In an interview with “Good Morning America” Steven Powell (father of Josh Powell) makes new claims that he had a flirtatious relationship with his daughter-in-law that was “a little beyond the pale.”

“Father-in-law – daughter-in-law flirting with each other, maybe some sexual touching or whatever,” Steven Powell said of the relationship that he developed with his son’s wife, adding that he started to fall in love with her, and stated, “there’s no question in my mind that the feelings were mutual.”….

Sept. 22, 2011: Steven Powell is charged with using a telephoto lens to take photos of two young girls in the bathroom of a neighboring house. The photos, which were found during the August search of his home, are among thousands he secretly took of women’s buttocks and breasts, according to charges filed against him. Powell was charged with 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of child pornography and held on $200,000 bail.

Josh Powell is named a “subject” in the child porn investigation, according to assistant Attorney General for Washington John Long.

Susan Powell’s parents file to gain custody of the two boys in court the following day…..

Sept. 28, 2011: Josh and Susan Powell’s two boys are ordered by a Washington court to remain in the custody of her parents Chuck and Judy Cox, because they had been living in a dangerous home environment with sexually explicit material, and because of the possibility that Josh Powell participated in the voyeurism and child pornography charges against his father. He is, however, granted visitation rights with his boys.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/powell-family-tragedy-timeline-events/story?id=15520239#.TzXrTFFH6c-

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