- Abuses At Legion Of Christ-Run High School, Immaculate Conception Academy In Rhode Island
- Officials See Child Welfare Dangers on a North Dakota Indian Reservation
- Parents allege school ignored concerns in sex abuse case
- Feds say they have found more sex victims of Indiana man
- Guilty plea: Child rapist was accused of giving girls 'special juice' before assaults
Abuses At Legion Of Christ-Run High School, Immaculate Conception Academy In Rhode Island By NICOLE WINFIELD 07/09/12 VATICAN CITY —
Dozens of women who attended a high school run by the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order have urged the Vatican to close the program, saying the psychological abuse they endured trying to live like teenage nuns led to multiple cases of anorexia, stress-induced migraines, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
The women sent a letter this weekend to the pope's envoy running the Legion to denounce the manipulation, deception and disrespect they say they suffered at the hands of counselors barely older than themselves at the Rhode Island school. For some, the trauma required years of psychological therapy that cost them tens of thousands of dollars.
A copy of the letter was provided to The Associated Press by the letter's 77 signatories, a dozen of whom agreed to be interviewed about their personal problems for the sake of warning parents against sending their children to the program's schools in the U.S., Mexico and Spain.
"I have many defining and traumatic memories that I believe epitomize the systematic breakdown of the person" in the school, Mary told The Associated Press in an email exchange....
It's the latest blow to the troubled, cult-like Legion, which was discredited in 2009 when it revealed that its founder was a pedophile and drug addict who fathered three children. The Legion suffered subsequent credibility problems following its recent admission that its most famous priest had fathered a child and the current Legion superior covered it up for years.
The Legion saga is all the more grave because its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, had been held up as a living saint by his followers and a model of holiness by Pope John Paul II because of his ability to recruit men and money to the priesthood, even though the Vatican knew for decades that he had sexually abused his seminarians....
The school's current director said things have changed dramatically recently and many of the spiritual and psychological abuses corrected. But she acknowledged the harm done, apologized for the women's suffering and asked for forgiveness.
"For any errors made by our order in the past, we do apologize," said director Margarita Martinez. "We are sorry these young women have suffered and been harmed in any way."
Officials See Child Welfare Dangers on a North Dakota Indian Reservation
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS July 7, 2012
Federal and state officials say they have documented glaring flaws in the child welfare system at the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in North Dakota, contending that while child abuse there is at epidemic levels, the tribe has sought to conceal it. The problems uncovered by medical and social services administrators include foster children on the reservation who have been sent to homes where registered sex offenders live and a teenage female sexual-abuse victim who was placed in a tribal home and subsequently raped.
The tribe, according to federal officials, also hired a children’s case worker who had been convicted of felony child abuse....
The conditions led the State of North Dakota to take the unusual step this year of suspending financing for 31 tribal children in foster care....
Parents allege school ignored concerns in sex abuse case
by JONATHAN BETZ WFAA July 9, 2012
MURPHY – The parents of several child abuse victims have filed a lawsuit against a school principal and the Plano school district accusing them of ignoring warnings about a sexual predator.
Parents of three elementary students say administrators at Hunt Elementary in Murphy repeatedly dismissed concerns about kindergarten teacher Joseph Garbarini. Garbarini, 30, is currently serving a 62-year prison sentence after he was convicted of child sexual abuse last year.
The explosive accusations involving diapers, bottles and cages horrified parents when the news broke in May 2010. In the months before his arrest however, the lawsuit said parents and teachers had unsettling suspicions about Garbarini. He was often seen tickling, hugging, photographing and encouraging young girls to sit on his lap. Yet the school’s principal, Linda Engelking, dismissed the concerns, according to the lawsuit. “She simply did not care,” lawyers wrote in the suit filed Friday in federal court in Sherman, adding that she chose “to protect the teacher and place her loyalty to him above her concerns for the minor children.”
The lawsuit claims Garbarini’s actions so bothered parents that several asked their students to be moved to a different teacher. Lawyers allege the mother of one of the victims tried at the beginning of the school year to have her daughter assigned to a different class, but that Engelking discouraged the transfer. A man who answered the door at Engelking’s Plano home refused to comment. The district said she retired this year after 33 years in Plano ISD....
Garbarini’s trial revealed the teacher played ‘mommy-baby’ games with his students, which involved him molesting young girls while putting them in diapers. The lawsuit alleges he brought bags of diapers and children’s clothes to school and made excuses to undress the young children behind a bookshelf in his classroom. He would threaten to harm the student’s family if they cried, according to court documents.
Feds say they have found more sex victims of Indiana man
Associated Press July 10, 2012
An Indiana man was formally charged Tuesday with tricking 10 teenagers in nine different states into performing sex acts on webcam that he recorded and used to coerce them into making more sexually explicit videos.
Federal prosecutors said Richard Finkbiner, 39, told some of his online victims that he intended to amass the largest collection of amateur pornography in the world. U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett called it a “systematic scheme to victimize hundreds of children.”
Documents filed in U.S. District Court in Terre Haute charge Finkbiner with 10 counts of child sexual exploitation, two counts of extortion and one count of possession of child pornography. Hogsett said prosecutors plan to seek an effective life sentence if Finkbiner is convicted.
The victims were nine boys and one girl, all between the ages of 12 and 16, according to the charges. Court documents said Finkbiner coerced children from Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Illinois and Colorado into making explicit videos for his use....
After recording the initial sexual acts, prosecutors said Finkbiner threatened to upload the images to pornographic websites unless his victims agreed to email him at one of several emails that he used as aliases. When the teens responded, he threatened to expose the chat videos to their family and friends unless they made more explicit videos for his use, according to court documents.
Guilty plea: Child rapist was accused of giving girls 'special juice' before assaults By Kelly Bayliss and Dan Stamm, NBCPhiladelphia.com 7/10/12
A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty Tuesday to various child sex abuse charges, putting a surprising end to his trial on charges that he drugged and raped three young girls and posted images of the acts on the Internet. Barry McOwen, 67, was charged with 651 total counts including multiple rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual abuse of children, endangering the welfare of children, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors, invasion of privacy and drug violation charges. He wound up taking the stand in court Tuesday -- the second day of the trial -- to plead guilty to some of those charges, including one count of child rape, three counts of indecent assault, four counts of creating child pornography and one count of dissemination of child porn, McOwen's lawyer George Yacoubian Jr. said. According to investigators, McOwen took pictures and videos of the incidents and shared them with others over the Internet.
He often used Internet chats to share his horrific acts....
McOwen also referred to his "sleep assaults" in many online conversations.
Investigators say the assaults took place over the course of five years -- between January 2006 and June 2011.