Thursday, August 28, 2014

Satanic Craigslist Killers Dodge Death Penalty for Man's Vicious Murder, 'Culture of denial' leaving UK children at risk of serious abuse

Satanic Craigslist Killers Dodge Death Penalty for Man's Vicious Murder
By Dominic Gover  IB Times – Wed, Aug 27, 2014
A young married couple who killed a man who answered their Craigslist advert, and then claimed more victims, have dodged the death penalty for murder.

Miranda Barbour, 19 and Elytte Barbour, 22, admitted the murdered of Troy LaFerrara in Pennsylvania, United States, last year.

Forty-two year-old LaFerrara was stabbed and strangled by the couple when he met them in a car, after making contact on the popular website Craigslist.

Both Barbours pleaded guilty to murder, meaning they will not face a death sentence for the crime. The case saw them labelled the 'Craigslist Killers'....

Police documents stated Elytte hid beneath a blanket in a car and then pounced upon LaFerrara when Miranda gave him a signal. She stabbed him repeatedly while Elytte strangled him from the back seat.

Following her arrest and charge for the murder of LaFerra, Miranda claimed to have killed 22 more victims and dumped their body parts in locations close to a venue where she previously worked as a go-go dancer.

Miranda said the alleged killing spree was motivated by her beliefs in Satanism. She also said her alleged victims were men who had "deserved it".

Craigslist Killers: Satanic murder married couple lure man to death with sex ad on website
Aug 27, 2014 By Christopher Bucktin
Troy LaFerrara, 42, was stabbed and strangled to death by 19-year-old Miranda Barbour and her husband, Elytte Barbour, 22, in Pennsylvania 

A satanic teen killer and her husband have avoided the death penalty after they pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing a married man whom she lured to his death using the Internet.

Miranda Barbour, 19, and Elytte Barbour, 22, had previously pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges that carried a possible death penalty upon conviction.

Following her arrest the 19-year-old boasted from her prison cell on Valentine's Day she had killed at least 22 other people over six years in a cross-country murder spree motivated by her satanic cult beliefs.

She said she dumped body parts in Big Lake, Alaska, and also in Mexico Beach, Florida where she worked as a 15-year-old lap dancer but police have failed to find any victims....

This culture of silence and denial around child abuse must end
I know from my own experience how difficult it is for victims to speak up, so when they do it is vital that we listen, believe and treat them with respect
James Rhodes, Thursday 28 August 2014

Rotherham stands apart for many reasons: the sheer number of perpetrators; the sheer numbers involved (some survivors, some, sadly, inevitably victims) – 1,400 conservatively estimated – the contents of two state secondary schools or 127 school football teams. But there is a more devastating reason it stands alone: the resounding silence. The countless children who were brave enough to come forward at the time and afterwards, who were disbelieved, punished, mocked, accused and summarily dismissed.

We are told to keep quiet from the earliest, pre-verbal stages of life. Children should be seen, not heard. Don’t answer back. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Don’t speak until spoken to. Put up and shut up.

And then a child, doused with petrol and threatened to be set alight, gang-raped and forced to watch others suffer the same, digs deep down and somehow finds the extraordinary courage to stand up and say “this happened to me”. She risks the all-encompassing shame, the reliving and recounting of unimaginable horrors, the video evidence, diagrams of who did what and where, being questioned repeatedly by adults trying to pick holes in her story, the blame, recrimination, taunts, insults; the final, ghastly ripping of the child out of a child. She does it anyway.

I didn’t. I wasn’t that brave. I waited 25 years before going through all that. I was finally heard and believed, and the police tracked down and charged the teacher who raped me. But pick any one of those 1,400 children and look at their experience of the aftermath of abuse and hang your heads in shame.

There is a large section of society for whom talking about child abuse is in itself as bad as child abuse. We are complicit in the shaming, silencing, blaming and castigating of those who are our most defenceless and vulnerable, and it must not, can not, should not stand any longer....

Abuse thrives on silence. It exists because those who have endured it believe at a cellular level that they are in the wrong. They believe they are inherently evil. They believe it is their fault. Is that any surprise given the monstrosity of the Rotherham case? 

'Culture of denial' leaving UK children at risk of serious abuse
Deputy children's commissioner Sue Berelowitz says, despite Rotherham and gang violence cases elsewhere, police and authorities are practising 'wilful blindness'
Randeep Ramesh The Guardian, Wednesday 27 August 2014

Children are at risk of serious abuse across England because of a culture of "wilful blindness" about the scale and prevalence of sexual exploitation across swaths of local government and in police forces, the deputy children's commissioner warns.

In a highly critical interview given in the aftermath of the Rotherham abuse inquiry, which concluded that hundreds of children may have been abused there over a 16-year period, Sue Berelowitz said she had been "aghast" at the examples of obvious errors and poor practice she found.

Berelowitz told the Guardian she had discovered that police and council officers were in some cases still either looking the other way, not asking questions or claiming abuse was confined to a certain ethnic group – such as Asian men – or a particular social class....

Because the subject matter is uncomfortable and scrutiny damaging, Berelowitz added that there was a "culture of denial" that had been exposed by Prof Alexis Jay's inquiry into the handling of child abuse in Rotherham. It found at least 1,400 children were sexually exploited by predominantly Asian criminal gangs between 1997 and 2013....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says 1,400 Children in Rotherham, England, Were Sexually Abused, Report Says

Abuse Cases in British City Long Ignored, Report Says 1,400 Children in Rotherham, England, Were Sexually Abused, Report Says

LONDON — A report released on Tuesday on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags.

Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers, the report said, and others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act....

Alexis Jay, the author of the report and a former chief inspector of social work, said that vulnerable girls as young as 11 and largely from disadvantaged backgrounds had been brutalized by groups of men.

“They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated,” she wrote.

The report described the failures of the political and police leadership as blatant. Even as social workers reported that the sexual exploitation of children was becoming a serious problem in Rotherham, senior managers in the local authority and South Yorkshire police ignored them. When victims came forward, Ms. Jay said, the police often regarded them “with contempt.”

Three earlier reports, published from 2002 to 2006, detailed the abuse, and according to Ms. Jay, “could not have been clearer in the description of the situation in Rotherham.” But the first one was “effectively suppressed” and the other two “ignored,” she said....

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013)
Independent inquiry CSE in Rotherham
    Information relating to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham

27 August 2014
Rotherham child abuse: Calls for police commissioner to quit
....Rotherham abuse
1,400 children were abused, 1997-2013
+ 30% of victims were already known to social services
157 reports concerning child sexual exploitation made to police in 2013
9 prosecutions were made
Source: Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham

Key findings of the report
    Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple attackers, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated.

    The "collective failures" of political, police and social care leadership were "blatant" over the first 12 years covered by the inquiry.

    Police were said to have given child sex exploitation no priority, regarding many child victims "with contempt" and failing to act on their abuse as a crime.

    The majority of those behind the abuse were described as Asian, while the majority of the reported victims were young white girls. The inquiry team noted fears among council staff of being labelled "racist" if they focused on victims' descriptions of the majority of abusers as "Asian" men.

Monday, August 25, 2014

For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad, Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican

"the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic"

For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad


SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — He was a familiar figure to the skinny shoeshine boys who work along the oceanfront promenade here. Wearing black track pants and a baseball cap pulled low over his balding head, they say, he would stroll along in the late afternoon and bring one of them down to the rocky shoreline or to a deserted monument for a local Catholic hero.

The boys say he gave them money to perform sexual acts. They called him “the Italian” because he spoke Spanish with an Italian accent.

It was only after he was spirited out of the country, the boys say, his picture splashed all over the local news media, that they learned his real identity: Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic....

The case is the first time that a top Vatican ambassador, or nuncio — who serves as a personal envoy of the pope — has been accused of sexual abuse of minors. It has sent shock waves through the Vatican and two predominantly Catholic countries that have only begun to grapple with clergy sexual abuse: the Dominican Republic and Poland, where Mr. Wesolowski was ordained by the Polish prelate who later became Pope John Paul II....

Mr. Wesolowski has already faced the harshest penalty possible under the church’s canon law, short of excommunication: on June 27, he was defrocked by the Vatican, reducing him to the status of a layman. The Vatican, which as a city-state has its own judicial system, has also said it intends to try Mr. Wesolowski on criminal charges — the first time the Vatican has held a criminal trial for sexual abuse.

But far from settling the matter, the Vatican has stirred an outcry because it helped Mr. Wesolowski avoid criminal prosecution and a possible jail sentence in the Dominican Republic. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome last year before he could be investigated, and then invoked diplomatic immunity for Mr. Wesolowski so that he could not face trial in the Dominican Republic....

A Dominican bishop, Victor Masalles, visiting Rome in late June, said in a Twitter message that he was surprised to see Mr. Wesolowski “strolling the Via della Scrofa,” in the city’s picturesque ancient center. He added, “The silence of the Church has hurt the people of God.”....

Mr. Wesolowski, 66, was ordained at 23 in Krakow by Archbishop Karol Józef Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II. In 1999, he was appointed papal nuncio to Bolivia, and in 2002, he was reassigned to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan....

Neither the cardinal, nor other church officials, reported the allegations to the local authorities, Dominican officials say. Vatican guidelines say that criminal sexual abuse accusations should be reported in countries where reporting is required....

The case has reverberated in Poland, where prosecutors have sought to extradite Mr. Wesolowski, who holds both Vatican and Polish citizenship. Poland has indicted another Polish priest, the Rev. Wojciech Gil, who fled the Dominican Republic last year amid allegations that he abused altar boys in his rural parish. Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic say that Father Gil and Mr. Wesolowski spent time with young boys at the nuncio’s beach house.... 

Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse: Vatican

VATICAN CITY Mon Aug 25, 2014
(Reuters) - A Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic has appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal's decision to defrock him, the Vatican said on Monday.

Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as a Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation, was sentenced in late June to be expelled from the priesthood, an extremely rare step against such a senior church official.

"Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, against the most serious canonical sentence, that of a return to the lay state, which has been imposed upon him," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement....

If found guilty in a criminal trial, Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case....

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse

Cardinal George Pell compares priests to truck drivers as he claims Catholic Church leaders should not be held responsible for child sex abuse

Cardinal Pell spoke at the royal commission via a video link from the Vatican in Rome on Thursday
He said the church was no more legally responsible for priests who abuse than a trucking company that employs a driver who molests women
The Vatican has refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission

By Sarah Dean For Daily Mail Australia and Aap
21 August 2014

....When the Australian federal government announced the establishment of a Royal Commission in late 2012 into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Cardinal Pell also caused controversy when he stated that priests who hear confessions from people who commit child sex abuse must remain bound by the Seal of Confession.

'If that is done outside the confessional (it can be reported to the police).... (But) the Seal of Confession is inviolable. If the priest knows beforehand about such a situation, the priest should refuse to hear the confession... That would be my advice, and I would never hear the confession of a priest who is suspected of such a thing,' he said.

On Thursday the Vatican also refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission.

The Vatican said the commission's request for documents on each allegation involving an Australian cleric was 'neither possible nor appropriate'.

Reasons included ongoing church investigations, and that internal working documents were the sovereign property of the Holy See....

Pell denies church responsible in abuse
Friday, 22 August 2014

The Catholic Church is no more legally responsible for priests who abuse children than a trucking company which employs a driver who molests women, Cardinal George Pell maintains.

Victims' families say it's a ludicrous comparison and even the chair of the child abuse royal commission thinks the situation is quite different when it comes to a priest getting access to a child.

Cardinal Pell accepts the church has a moral obligation to victims, but when it comes to its legal responsibility, the actions of its priests are not necessarily its fault.

'If the truck driver picks up some lady and then molests her, I don't think it's appropriate, because it is contrary to the policy, for the ownership, the leadership of that company to be held responsible,' Cardinal Pell told the commission via video link from Rome on Thursday.

But Cardinal Pell said if the church had been warned about a priest or had bad policies or procedures in place, 'then certainly the church official would be responsible'....

Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan said priests got access to children with the parents' consent, unlike truck drivers.

'The relationship between the priest and a child is quite different to that between the truck driver and the casual passenger, isn't it?' he asked Cardinal Pell.

'Yes, I would certainly concede that,' Cardinal Pell responded.... 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at child sex abuse inquiry, Child sexual abuse royal commission: O'Callaghan advised abuse victims on strength of cases

"But victims were told if they chose to go to police, they were no longer eligible for compensation"

Cardinal George Pell to give evidence at child sex abuse inquiry
Pell was archbishop of Melbourne when the church set up the Melbourne Response compensation scheme

 Australian Associated Press, Wednesday 20 August 2014

Cardinal George Pell’s role in setting up a Catholic Church compensation scheme for victims of pedophile priests will be scrutinised on Thursday at the child abuse royal commission.

Pell was archbishop of Melbourne in 1996 when the Melbourne archdiocese decided to respond to growing allegations of child sex abuse by its clergy. The church considered creating a legal entity that could be sued by victims, but designed the Melbourne Response compensation scheme instead.

Cardinal Pell told the royal commission earlier this year he believed the church should now create an entity that could be sued.

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry last year recommended the Catholic Church be incorporated so it could be sued....

Child sexual abuse royal commission: O'Callaghan advised abuse victims on strength of cases
By court reporter Peta Carlyon  20 August 2014

The man in charge of the Catholic Church's so-called Melbourne Response to allegations of child abuse has rejected suggestions he failed to encourage victims to go to police.

Peter O'Callaghan QC has been dealing with complainants and deciding whether they are eligible for compensation since the scheme began in 1996.

He was repeatedly questioned about the legal integrity of his decision-making at today's hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Mr O'Callaghan has been a Queen's Counsel for 40 years and said the Melbourne Response was based in canon law and "natural justice".

He said when there was a dispute with a claim he would take on a role similar to a magistrate in a criminal case.

He was again asked repeatedly why he did not report cases of abuse to Victoria Police and why he took it upon himself to advise victims on the potential strength of their cases....

Yesterday he told the commission he had made more than 330 adverse findings against priests within the Melbourne archdiocese since the complaint's procedure began.

The church has paid out more than $17 million to abuse victims through the scheme.

But victims were told if they chose to go to police, they were no longer eligible for compensation....

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Judge confirms that KC diocese must pay $1.1 million in breach of contract case, Former teacher Charles Napier charged with child abuse

Judge confirms that KC diocese must pay $1.1 million in breach of contract case
By JUDY L. THOMAS  The Kansas City Star  08/14/2014

The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese must pay the $1.1 million ordered by an arbitrator last spring for violating the terms of a 2008 settlement with priest sexual abuse victims, a judge has ruled.

Calling the award a “scathing indictment of the defendant,” Jackson County Circuit Judge Bryan Round said in his ruling that “there can be no doubt that the diocese, through its leadership and higher-level personnel, failed in numerous respects to abide by the terms” of the 2008 agreement. Those terms included immediately reporting any abuse or suspicion of abuse to law enforcement authorities — something the diocese failed to do in the child pornography case of the Rev. Shawn Ratigan in 2010....

The plaintiffs pointed to the diocese’s failure to immediately report Ratigan after finding hundreds of disturbing images of young girls on the priest’s laptop computer in late 2010. They contended that the diocese broke the 2008 agreement by failing for almost a year to report allegations and concerns about Ratigan‘s behavior to police, withholding evidence of possible child pornography from law enforcement for months and leaving another credibly accused priest in a parish for nearly two years.

A Jackson County judge in 2012 found Finn guilty of failing to report suspicions of child abuse to police or state child welfare authorities in the Ratigan case. Finn was sentenced to two years of probation for the misdemeanor. Ratigan pleaded guilty to state and federal child pornography charges and is serving 50 years in prison.

In issuing the award, Hanover found that the diocese had breached five of 19 non-monetary terms of the 2008 agreement. He said he hoped “that I am dead wrong in my opinion that this diocese as presently constituted will not mend its ways.”....

In his ruling, Round rejected all of the diocese’s arguments and said the arbitrator’s findings could be best summarized by a passage from the award.

The diocese, the award said, “was and is constitutionally incapable of placing the preservation and protection of the clergy culture in a subordinate position to any other consideration, including the timely reporting to law enforcement of a priest involved in the use of diocesan children as pornography models.”

Former teacher Charles Napier charged with child abuse 
19 August 2014
Charles Napier, 67, from Sherborne, Dorset, is accused of indecently assaulting 21 boys aged between eight and 13.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place between 1968 and 1973.

Mr Napier, who is the half-brother of MP John Whittingdale, will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on 2 September....

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Child sex abuse royal commission speaks to parents of children allegedly abused in Victorian state care, British Police Search Property of Cliff Richard Over Sex Abuse Claim

Child sex abuse royal commission speaks to parents of children allegedly abused in Victorian state care
By the national reporting team's Dan Oakes
15 Aug 2014

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has interviewed parents of children who were allegedly sexually and physically abused while in state care in Victoria....

Parents have called for the royal commission to hold public hearings over abuse in Victoria's out-of-home care system, such as those already held regarding the Catholic Church, Salvation Army, Swimming Australia and after-school care operated by the YMCA.

The public hearings have exposed failings that led to the sexual abuse of children in the care of those institutions....

Public hearings about the Catholic Church's "Melbourne response" to child abuse will be conducted for two weeks beginning on Monday.

The development comes after revelations in recent months by the ABC that children in residential care units have been targeted by paedophile gangs, and have been subjected to horrific sexual and physical abuse by older children.

Last month, a judgement handed down in a Victorian court savaged the Department of Human Services over its treatment of two young siblings who were allegedly raped by older children in residential care and witnessed the sexual and physical abuse of other children.... 

British Police Search Property of Cliff Richard Over Sex Abuse Claim
LONDON — Another prominent British public figure has been caught up in allegations of pedophilia.

On Thursday, the police searched a property belonging to Cliff Richard, one of Britain’s most successful recording artists, as part of an investigation into a claim “of a sexual nature.” The allegation, which dates to the 1980s, involves a boy who was younger than 16 at the time, a police statement said.

The claim relates to an alleged sexual assault at a 1985 faith rally in Sheffield where Billy Graham appeared, the BBC and The Guardian reported. The police did not say whether the search of Mr. Richard’s house made him a suspect or a witness or neither.

No arrests have been made and Mr. Richard, 73, who is currently out of the country, issued his own statement, calling the claim “completely false.”....

Leading the coverage was the explosive revelation in 2012 that Jimmy Savile, a former children’s television host with the name recognition of Johnny Carson, had raped and sexually assaulted scores of children. Mr. Savile, a BBC staple and friend of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, used his status and charity work to gain access to vulnerable children in schools and even hospitals. He died in 2011 at 84.

Since then, other well-known personalities have been accused or convicted of sexual offenses involving children, among them Rolf Harris, once one of Britain’s most popular television entertainers, who last month was sentenced to five years and nine months in prison for a range of sexual offenses committed decades ago against girls as young as 8. Others who have been convicted include Max Clifford, 71, Britain’s best-known publicist; and Stuart Hall, 84, a former broadcaster for the BBC.

The political establishment, too, has been in the spotlight, both for sexual misconduct and for apparently covering it up.

Cyril Smith, a once-respected member of Parliament who died in 2010, was accused of abusing boys in a children’s home in his constituency....

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mutilated newborn still haunts detectives 28 years later, 30-35% of the kids had been preyed upon by sexual predators

Mutilated newborn still haunts detectives 28 years later
August 12, 2014 by Mary Murphy

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (PIX11) – Detective Kerry Dalling was still in grade school when a dead newborn boy was left in the woods near Lake Mohegan in March 1986.  His face was mutilated and a burlap altar was placed near his body, with fruit and coins tossed on top of it.

“Whoever left this child wanted us to believe it was for a religious sacrifice,” Dalling told PIX 11 Investigates in a recent interview at her detective squad in Fairfield, Connecticut....

A review of child welfare records showed the household was troubled.

“We discovered there were a lot of complaints of sexual abuse that were happening in the home” Dalling said.... 

Child abuse cases tumble out at camps
Rajiv Kalkod, TNN  Aug 13, 2014

BANGALORE: Over 2,000 schoolchildren in Bangalore have been sexually abused. A police drive led to this horrifying discovery during the course of camps conducted with Makkala Sahayavani (child helpline) in 60 schools.

Slowly but surely, the stories are coming out, in the form of experiences penned down on paper. Police officials are sifting through them, counseling the survivors and booking cases against the accused.

The cases came to light at awareness camps attended by close to 6,000 children. The revelation was shocking: about 30-35% of the kids had been preyed upon by sexual predators. Police officials, accompanied by counsellors from Makkala Sahayavani, showed the children videos, and explained the appropriate and inappropriate touch....

They faced abuse both on campus and outside, and in homes too. This loss of innocence has led to many behavioural disturbances among the children: depression, suicidal tendencies, a drastic drop in academic performance.

"Between March 2013 and April 2014, Makkala Sahayavani received 450 calls. We got at least 150 calls since the schoolgirl rape case was reported in mid-July," Rani said....

10% -- School teachers
20-30% -- Stepfathers and close family members
Rest? Strangers, school bus driver, servants, neighbours.... 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Serial Predator Whom the Archdiocese Continually Disregarded as Being a Threat to Women and Children

- Years ago, he was a young priest -- and alleged rapist
- Priest Diagnosed with Sexuality Disorder in 1989 Continued in Ministry until 2013
- Priest File of Father Kenneth LaVan
- Fr. Kenneth LaVan

Years ago, he was a young priest -- and alleged rapist
By Emily Gurnon 08/11/2014 

The Rev. Kenneth LaVan began sexually abusing girls with his first parish assignment in the 1960s and later threatened to burn down a woman's house and have her husband killed -- yet he was not removed from active ministry in the Twin Cities until last year, according to court and internal church records.

The Rev. Kevin McDonough told then-Archbishop Harry Flynn of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 2005 that while he knew of LaVan's "boundary violations with adult females, I had forgotten that there were two allegations in the late 1980s concerning sexual involvement with teenaged girls."....

An early allegation against LaVan was by a girl who said the priest raped her when she was 14 or 15 at the Church of St. Raphael in Crystal, where he served from 1965 to 1970.

Psychologist Gary Schoener was hired by the archdiocese to examine LaVan. He also evaluated the girl's account and that of another teenager, who said LaVan kissed her "passionately," backed her up against a wall and fondled her. The abuse began when she was between the sixth and seventh grade, she said....

LaVan denied "anything close to" a rape, though Schoener said he believed LaVan was minimizing events with both girls.

"The alternative -- that these stories are fabrications -- seems extraordinarily unlikely," Schoener wrote. Putting him back in a pastoral or counseling role, he said, would be "very risky."

But that is what the archdiocese did, after sending LaVan to a seven-month inpatient treatment program at the St. Luke Institute in Maryland.... 

Priest Diagnosed with Sexuality Disorder in 1989 Continued in Ministry until 2013
08/11/2014  Megan Matthews

A file publicly released Monday, accuses the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis of ignoring the fact that a priest, Father Kenneth LaVan, was accused of inappropriate behavior multiple times. He continued in ministry until 2013.

The files, released by Jeff Anderson and Associates, say LaVan was first accused of inappropriate sexual behavior in the 1980s. He was sent for treatment twice and was diagnosed with compulsive sexuality disorder in 1989.

According to Anderson, LaVan’s history was reviewed in 1995, and despite the allegations and a lawsuit, the Clergy Review Board recommended LaVan continue in ministry. It wasn’t until December 2013, when Kinsale Management reviewed LaVan’s files, that he was removed from ministry. LaVan's name was not part of the original list of credibly accused priests released by the Archdiocese last December; however, LaVan's name was later added.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released a statement Monday saying it made public that there were “substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor against Kenneth LaVan” in February 2014. A month later it released a statement saying LaVan was removed from ministry in 1989 to undergo treatment. He was only allowed to return to parish ministry at St. Joseph in Lino Lakes with monitoring, after he finished treatment....

Priest File of Father Kenneth LaVan
Aug 11 2014

Father Kenneth LaVan, removed from ministry in December 2013, is a serial predator whom the Archdiocese continually disregarded as being a threat to women and children.

Allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior were made in the 1980s and twice LaVan was sent for treatment. A lawsuit involving one of LaVan's victims was settled in 1985 and by 1989 LaVan was diagnosed with a compulsive sexuality disorder. In 1995 the Clergy Review Board examined LaVan's history and recommended he continue in ministry. Archbishop Flynn was informed in 2005 that LaVan was not part of the monitoring system and Flynn advised Father Kevin McDonough to leave the situation alone. Finally, after a review of Church files by Kinsale Management LaVan's faculties were removed in December 2013.... 

Fr. Kenneth LaVan
The secret personnel file of Kenneth LaVan shows a pernicious “blind spot” among Catholic officials at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: the stunning and heartless minimization of the sexual abuse of girls and women. This disregard for female victims cuts across the entire chancery staff, including Archbishop Flynn, who openly questioned the credibility of multiple female victims and decided they were not covered under the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Even more shocking is that LaVan’s file is littered with allegations of violence dating back to the 1980s. Women and girls came forward and told how LaVan sexually abused them — including the forcible rape of a teen, sexualized kissing of children, and threats of arson and murder. Despite all of this -- as well as two stints in treatment and two lawsuits -- LaVan was not included in any Archdiocese list of accused priests until January 2014, more than 25 years after the Archdiocese knew he was a violent threat. LaVan’s predatory behavior first came to light in the 1980s when one of his victims -- who was a teenage girl at the time of the abuse -- came forward with a lawsuit.  After the suit settled in 1985, LaVan faced another allegation of sexual contact with a parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi in Lake St. Croix Beach.

In an interview, the woman told Bishop Carlson that LaVan boasted about his sexual exploits with  numerous women....

Despite all of this information, the Clergy Review Board determined in 1995 that LaVan could remain in a parish, as long as he was under supervision. By 2002, at least two more female victims had come forward -- a child and an adult. The adult was a patient under psychiatric care at the time of the abuse....  

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A warning on ‘torture report’ release

A warning on ‘torture report’ release
By Michael Isikoff August 8, 2014 Yahoo News

....The memo, with its stark warnings about potential violence, is the latest development in a struggle  between Feinstein’s committee and the CIA over how many details should be made public about the agency’s use of “enhanced interrogation” — including the near drowning technique known as waterboarding — of top terror suspects. The techniques were authorized by the Bush administration in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, but were banned by President Obama when he took office .

Intelligence sources familiar with the report say it graphically describes — in some cases, with grisly details — the harsh tactics that agency officers and contractors used for weeks at a time to try to get top suspects like Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to talk. The report also recounts the death of an Afghan suspect after he was shackled and left half naked in freezing temperatures in an agency interrogation facility known as “the Salt Pit” in 2002.

The committee accuses CIA officials of misrepresenting the program to Congress and the Justice Department, claiming it yielded important intelligence about potential terror plots that were actually learned elsewhere, the sources said. Another charge is that the agency undercounted the number of detainees who were subjected to such harsh methods, asserting in 2006 it was no more than 100, leaving out about 20 others who received similar rough treatment in Afghanistan. Both findings have been sharply challenged by former CIA officials who are planning a lengthy rebuttal when the report is released.

When the intelligence committee approved, on a partisan vote, the report last April, Feinstein said “the results were shocking” and that the report “exposes brutality that stands in stark contrast to our values as a nation.”

“This will be an ugly story when it comes out,” agrees one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the findings of the report.....

Friday, August 8, 2014

End passing the trash of child-abusing teachers, Edmond teen to enter plea in Kenyan child abuse case

End 'passing the trash' of child-abusing teachers
Friday, August 8, 2014
BY PAT TOOMEY, Special to the New Era

....Since Jan. 1, 275 teachers have been arrested across America for sexual misconduct with children. That is more than one for each day of the year....

Arrests only occur when we know about the charges and have the evidence to prosecute.

There are other cases, of course, and we know of some instances where school officials learned of sexual abuse by a teacher and they not only failed to report it, but also helped the predator be quietly reassigned.

It’s called “passing the trash.”

It is all too common, and it cost 12 year-old Jeremy Bell his life.

A school in Delaware County quietly dismissed a teacher for molesting several children. But instead of acting to stop the predator, the school helped him land a new job in West Virginia, where he eventually sexually assaulted and murdered young Jeremy.

Stories of child abuse by educators are horrifying and heartbreaking: A 13-year-old girl raped 30 times by her teacher; a special-needs young boy assaulted by a teacher’s aide who was supposed to be leading him to the boys’ room; a kindergarten girl kept after class, so her teacher could sexually assault her; and numerous teachers arrested for possessing child pornography....

That’s why I introduced the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act, with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin.

My bipartisan bill requires any state receiving federal funds to perform background checks on all employees and contractors — new hires and existing employees — who have access to children.... 

Edmond teen to enter plea in Kenyan child abuse case
Prosecutors say Matthew Durham engaged in sex acts with as many as 10 children
Aug 08, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY —An Oklahoma teen is scheduled to enter a plea to federal charges that accuse him of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya.

Arraignment is scheduled Friday in federal court for 19-year-old Matthew Lane Durham of Edmond. Durham was indicted by a grand jury on three felony counts earlier this week that accuse him of traveling from Oklahoma City to Kenya so he could sexually abuse children. A federal judge has ordered that Durham remain in custody until his trial, which has not been set.

Prosecutors have alleged that Durham engaged in sex acts with as many as 10 children aged 4 to 10 while volunteering at the Upendo Children's Home near Nairobi from April to June 2014.... 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Child Sex Abuse Claims Filed Against Michael Jackson, Wyoming couple accused of keeping child in a cage

New Child Sex Abuse Claims Filed Against Michael Jackson
By Melody Chiu 8/07/2014

Five years after his sudden passing, Michael Jackson is being accused of sexual abuse by a man who claims he was molested as a child by the superstar.

In court papers filed Monday, James Safechuck, 36, alleges he was abused by the singer when he was 10 years old after appearing in a Pepsi commercial with him.

After multiple visits to Jackson's home (some of which were chaperoned by his parents) and several all-expense-paid cross-country trips, Safechuck joined the pop star on his "Bad" tour, which is when he alleges the first incident of sexual abuse occurred....

The papers allege Jackson gave Safechuck jewelry as a "reward" for sexual favors and taught him code words so others wouldn't learn about their sexual activities.

The Jackson estate slammed the allegations Wednesday in a statement to E! News....

Claiming he was the first to stay at Jackson's famed Neverland Ranch after it was built, Safechuck states in the papers that the pop star "installed chimes in the hallway to his bedroom" so he could be warned of people approaching and had a "secret closet" in his bedroom where he engaged in sexual activities with Safechuck.

During the four years that Safechuck claims the abuse took place, Jackson engaged in sexual acts with him "hundreds of times – on tour, at Plaintiff's home, at DECEDENT's apartment/condominium … at DECEDENT's … Condominium … and at Neverland," the papers say.

When Safechuck hit puberty at 12 years old, Jackson began "grooming him for separation [that] spanned several months" and focusing his attention on a younger boy named Brett, Safechuck claims....

Wyoming couple accused of keeping child in a cage
Robert Garrison, KUSA  August 5, 2014
An affidavit reveals the family had at least eight previous contacts with authorities but the child remained at the home.

LARAMIE, Wyo. - Authorities in Wyoming are pressing felony charges against a man and a woman alleging they kept a 7-year-old child in an outdoor cage.

The child's mother, Jena Harman, and her boyfriend, Alexander Smith, face one count each of child abuse and three counts each of felonious restraint.

The pair were arrested July 24 after Albany County Sheriff's deputies responded to a tip that the child was caged outside a home on Fox Creek Road.

The July 24 visit was not the only time the sheriff's office was called to check on the child. Deputies went to the pair's property on multiple occasions starting in February of this year.

Deputies said the child reported living in the 6-by-6-foot cage on and off for three weeks, taking meals there and sleeping there overnight, even during rainstorms....

The child's school had complained to the sheriff's office several times - saying the child had come to school with bruises and a limp. But each time, the sheriff's office said the reports were unfounded. At one point, deputies witnessed the kid pulling food out of a garbage can and eating it in front of them.

Neighbors told 9NEWS they saw the abuse firsthand but didn't report it, because they were scared of retribution from the mother's boyfriend....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning admits 29 child sex abuse charges, Teen accused in 'satanic' murder of girl to stand trial as adult

Former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning admits 29 child sex abuse charges
Denning, 73, pleads guilty to offences against boys aged nine to 16 between 1967 and 1984, but faces trial on 12 other charges

Press Association, Tuesday 5 August 2014

The former Radio 1 DJ Chris Denning has pleaded guilty to a string of sex offences against young boys.

The 73-year-old admitted 29 charges involving boys as young as nine when he appeared at Southwark crown court in London on Tuesday. He denied a further 12 charges and will face trial on 24 November.

The offences he admitted were committed between 1967 and 1984 and involved boys aged from nine to 16.

Denning, of Basildon, Essex, was one of the original Radio 1 lineup when the BBC station was launched in 1967. He was also the first announcer heard on BBC2 when the television channel took to the air in 1964.

He was first arrested by detectives from the sex crime inquiry Operation Yewtree in June last year.... 

Teen accused in 'satanic' murder of girl to stand trial as adult
KTRK By Deborah Wrigley Wednesday, August 06, 2014
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- At age 16, Victor Manuel Alas is technically a juvenile. Today, before a judge, he was deemed old enough to stand trial as an adult for capital murder.

Alas and an alleged 17-year-old accomplice are accused in an especially horrific killing six months ago in clear lake. A 15-year-old girl named Corriann Cervantes was found dead inside a vacant apartment on El Camino Real.

Investigators said at the time that the victim had been stabbed with a screwdriver, beaten and sexually assaulted. Her killers are also accused of carving an upside down crucifix on her body.

Jose E Reyes, 17, was arrested shortly after the February murder. Alas was taken into custody shortly after that....

As for the motivation behind Cervantes' murder, prosecutors read from a police report that said Alas told detectives, "He did it so he could sell his soul to the devil."....    

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

US Grand Jury Indicts Oklahoma Child Abuse Suspect

US Grand Jury Indicts Oklahoma Child Abuse Suspect
OKLAHOMA CITY Aug 5, 2014 By TIM TALLEY Associated Press

A 19-year-old man is accused of traveling from Oklahoma City to Kenya so he could sexually abuse children at an orphanage there, according to charges in a three-count indictment handed down by a federal grand jury Tuesday.

Prosecutors have alleged that Matthew Lane Durham of Edmond engaged in sex acts with as many as 10 children aged 4 to 10 while volunteering at the Upendo Children's Home near Nairobi from April to June 2014. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of engaging in illegal sexual conduct in foreign places, aggravated sexual abuse with children and other charges.

The indictment alleges that Durham traveled from Oklahoma City to Kenya in order to engage in illicit sexual conduct with children at Upendo, which specializes in assisting neglected Kenyan children by providing them with food, housing, clothes and academic and religious instruction.

The indictment also accuses Durham of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with minors under 18 years of age and aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 12....

"The defendant in this matter by his own detailed admission both orally and in writing has brutally raped and molested young girls and boys in an orphanage in Kenya," the appeal filed in U.S. District Court alleges.

"He has confessed his crimes in writing, on video, and has admitted to a life-long struggle of desires to touch children and 'child predation,'" it says.

An affidavit filed in federal court said Durham, who has volunteered with the children' home since June 2012, wrote and signed a statement acknowledging the sexual misconduct. An Upendo official provided the statement to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, the affidavit says.

But Jones has challenged Durham's statements about the allegations and claims they were coerced by orphanage officials in Kenya who kept him in isolation and confiscated his passport....

Monday, August 4, 2014

Houston man charged with child porn possession after Google cyber-tip, BBC News - Google 'reveals user' over Gmail child abuse images, Hamill: Court ruling allowing parents to spank their kids could lead to further abuse, Child abuse cases reach record 73,765 in Japan

Houston man charged with child porn possession after Google cyber-tip
Tim Wetzel, KHOU 11 News July 30, 2014

HOUSTON – A cyber-tip generated by Google and sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children led to the arrest of a 41-year-old Houston man who is charged with possessing child pornography.

Police say Google detected explicit images of a young girl in an email that John Henry Skillern was sending to a friend, the company then alerted authorities....

Skillern is a registered sex offender who was convicted of sexually assaulting an 8 year old boy in 1994....

"He seemed like a nice, normal man," said neighbor Yesenia Gonzales. "Thank goodness for Google."

After obtaining a search warrant, investigators said they found child porn on Skillern's phone and tablet device. They also found text messages and e-mails where he talked about his interest in children.

According to police, Skillern worked as a cook for a Denny's restaurant in Pasadena. They say he had video on his cell phone of young children visiting the restaurant with their families.

Skillern has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of promotion of child pornography. He's being held on a $200,000 bond....

BBC News - Google 'reveals user' over Gmail child abuse images
4 August 2014
Google has revealed the identity of a user after discovering child abuse imagery in the man's Gmail account in Houston, Texas, according to a local news report.

It alerted a child protection agency, which notified the police and the man was arrested, KHOU 11 News reported....

Police in Houston told the local news station that Google detected explicit images of a young girl in an email being sent by John Henry Skillern. After the existence of the email was referred to them by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the police obtained a search warrant and arrested the man.

The 41-year-old is a convicted sex offender. He has been charged with possessing child pornography, it was reported....

Google works with the IWF and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children extensively, he said, adding: "We have built technology that trawls other platforms for known images of child sex abuse. We can then quickly remove them and report their existence to the authorities."

Google automatically scans email accounts to provide ads within Gmail, which has more than 400 million users worldwide.... 

Hamill: Court ruling allowing parents to spank their kids could lead to further abuse
The New York Appellate Division ruled on July 19 that it was a 'reasonable use of force' when a Long Island father spanked his 8-year-old son for cursing at a party. The spanking also did not constitute excessive corporal punishment, the panel ruled. But this ruling sets a scary legal precedent and seems to be following a national pattern of making corporal punishment of children acceptable.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, August 4, 2014 BY Denis Hamill....

The New York Appellate Division ruled on July 19 to overturn a child abuse case against a Long Island man who spanked his 8-year-old son for cursing at a party. He was also accused of beating the child with a belt on his bare buttocks and legs when he got him home.

The court ruled that the allegations involving the belt were unsubstantiated. Of course they were. It was a little kid’s word against an adult’s.

“The father’s open-handed spanking of the child as a form of discipline after he heard the child curse at an adult was a reasonable use of force and, under the circumstances presented here, did not constitute excessive corporal punishment,” the four-judge panel ruled in a unanimous decision....

The Daily News on July 20 reported that a federal appeals court in California ruled last year that a woman who hit her 12-year-old daughter in the rear with a wooden spoon should not be labeled a child abuser. Another federal panel in Florida found that a single spank does not qualify as domestic violence. And the Minnesota Supreme Court cleared a father who hit his 12-year-old son 36 times on the upper thighs with a wooden paddle, ruling that spanking isn’t necessarily abuse....

According to Safe Horizon, an organization that monitors child abuse, one in 10 kids is maltreated in America; 45% of maltreated kids are under age 5; 1,593 children died in America from abuse in 2012; 85% of those fatalities were white children and 80% of the abusers were parents. The gender breakdown of abusers was 45.3% male and 53.4% female....

But this ruling sets a scary legal precedent and seems to be following a national pattern of making corporal punishment of children acceptable....

Child abuse cases reach record 73,765 in Japan
The Japan News/Asia News Network Tuesday, Aug 05, 2014

A record 73,765 cases of child abuse were brought to the attention of 207 child consultation centers across the nation in fiscal 2013, according to a preliminary report released Monday by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

It was the highest figure since the ministry began carrying out this type of survey in fiscal 1990, and topped the figure for fiscal 2012 by 7,064. It was also the first time in the survey's history that the nationwide figure exceeded 70,000.

"Active responses to child abuse are a significant factor behind the increase in reported cases," a ministry official said. The situation remains serious, however, as cases in which abused children have died continue unabated.... 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets

SNAP’s clergy abuse victims mark 25 years and eye new targets
By David Gibson Religion News Service July 29, 2014

When victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests first organized into a small band of volunteer activists in the late 1980s, reports of clergy molesting children were still new and relatively few. Most were minimized as anomalies or dismissed altogether — much the way the victims were.

But today, as the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, marks its 25th anniversary at a conference in Chicago (Aug. 1-3), its members can take satisfaction in seeing that its claims have been validated, and a few (though hardly all) of its recommendations have been implemented by the church hierarchy.

And instead of facing constant verbal attacks and the occasional angry parishioner spitting on them at a protest, SNAP’s members today are far more likely to receive a handshake and a word of thanks, and maybe even a donation.

SNAP’s advocacy on the Catholic scandal also helped push the reality of sexual abuse into the public consciousness to the point that victims can regularly win in courts and get a hearing in the media, and they are much more likely to come forward to tell their stories, whether they were abused by clergy or by athletic coaches or Boy Scout leaders....

The group began life in the late 1980s, a couple of years after journalists — led by Jason Berry’s reporting on abusive clerics in Louisiana — began to pull back the veil of secrecy on the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy.

As the reports came to light, Barbara Blaine, a lawyer and social worker who had been molested by a priest when she was growing up in Toledo, Ohio, started contacting as many other victims as she could find, posting ads and asking prosecutors and attorneys to put her in touch with other victims.

SNAP soon developed a core membership of a few thousand people, mainly victims, who met in small support groups while also trying to push the issue onto the public agenda. It was a tough slog in the face of public indifference or outright hostility.

Then in January 2002, The Boston Globe began its groundbreaking series of exposes on the widespread abuse of children by priests in the Boston archdiocese, and the cover-up by bishops. The story caught fire and led to similar revelations across the nation and to an unprecedented level of media coverage, prosecutions, lawsuits and billions in payouts by dioceses....