Sunday, November 2, 2014
Jehovah’s Witnesses Church to pay $13.5M for alleged child abuse, Child abuse survivors tell Theresa May: inquiry must have full force of law
Jehovah’s Witnesses Church to pay $13.5M for alleged child abuse
November 1, 2014 by Ellina Abovian
SAN DIEGO — Jose Lopez was awarded a $13.5 million judgment Wednesday from the head of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Church for alleged sexual abuse by Gonzalo Campos of the Linda Vista Spanish Congregation and Playa Pacifica in Pacific Beach.
Lopez, 36, claims that the abuse began around 1986, when his mother enrolled him at age 7 in bible study classes with Campos....
Lopez’s mother went to the heads of the congregation but said that the allegations were overlooked.
“If they don’t get a confession from the perpetrator or they don’t get two eye witnesses to the abuse…under their policies and practices, they will do nothing,” Zalkin said.
After years of staying quiet, Lopez filed a lawsuit against Campos and the church in 2012.
He is one of eight children who have accused Campos of sexually abusing them between 1982 and 1995, according to his lawsuit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the entity that oversees Jehovah’s Witnesses churches.
During the litigation, the head church in New York refused to provide documents and witnesses, Zalkin said....
Associate General Counsel for Watchtower Mario Moreno commented in a statement: “Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and strive to protect children from such acts. The trial judge’s decision is a drastic action for any judge to take given the circumstances of this case. We will seek a full review of this case on appeal.”
Zalkin said Campos moved to Mexico soon after allegations against him began to surface....
Child abuse survivors tell Theresa May: inquiry must have full force of law
Victims call for Fiona Woolf’s successor to be given statutory powers over witnesses and evidence Child protection The Observer Jamie Doward and Daniel Boffey Saturday 1 November 2014
Home secretary Theresa May is coming under new pressure to redraft the terms of the independent inquiry into child abuse so that it has powers to compel witnesses to give evidence and see those who give false statements prosecuted.
The potentially huge shift in the scope and the nature of the inquiry, hinted at by government-appointed lawyers to the inquiry when they met survivors of abuse on Friday, would go some way to addressing concerns that it will be little more than a whitewash.
The current inquiry has been plunged into chaos after its second chair, Fiona Woolf, resigned on Friday after accepting that abuse survivors had lost confidence in her ability to conduct the investigation impartially. Her resignation followed concerns over her links with the former home secretary, Lord Brittan, who has been accused of failing to act on a dossier of paedophile allegations in the 1980s. Woolf’s departure was a huge blow for the government after the inquiry’s previous chair, Baroness Butler-Sloss, also quit.
The former attorney general, Dominic Grieve MP, said on Saturday that May might need to look abroad for someone to chair the inquiry into historical child sex abuse, in order for the victims to have full confidence that it is independent of the British establishment....