Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chicago Evangelist Named in Sex Abuse Case

Chicago Evangelist Named in Sex Abuse Case                                         
Attorney says Gordon McLean took advantage of his connections to gain access to his alleged victims
By Tammy Leitner and Lisa Capitanini

A prominent evangelist who built a following ministering to gang members in Chicago and around the United States, who had unprecedented access to inmates, and who is credited with helping hundreds, if not thousands of youths change their lives, also allegedly had a secret life in which he preyed upon some of the same youths he vowed to help. Tammy Leitner reports. (Published Thursday, Apr 30, 2015)

Holman and five others are part of a civil lawsuit against McLean filed in 2013 alleging the author of 18 books sexually abused them in exchange for money....

But in 2008 McLean was arrested in west-suburban River Forest, accused of soliciting sex from someone he had previously counseled through the ministry. The arrest was eventually expunged, but soon after he left Metro Chicago Youth for Christ. The circumstances under which he left are unclear.

McLean continued to work with the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for three more years. A spokesman said the office knew nothing about McLean’s arrest for solicitation until 2011. That’s when they finally revoked his access to inmates.

But McLean continues to work with Chicago kids today as part of a new group he formed called Friends With Youth....

Civil lawsuit against McLean filed in 2013 alleging the author of 18 books sexually abused them in exchange for money.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

France investigates claims of Central African Republic child abuse by soldiers - UN aid worker suspended for leaking report, Child abuse inquiry judge to investigate Lord Janner allegations

France investigates claims of CAR child abuse by soldiers
A Parisian prosecutor says an investigation is under way into claims French soldiers in the Central African Republic sexually abused children.

France sent an initial 1,600 troops to the country in December 2013 after violence flared following a coup.

On Wednesday, the Guardian newspaper reported that a United Nations worker was suspended after leaking a report on abuses by French troops.

It says a UN report claimed children as young as nine were abused.

Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor's office, said an investigation had been under way since July 2014.

The Guardian said that the alleged abuse took place between December 2013 and June 2014 at a centre for internally displaced people in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui.

Quoting an internal UN report, it says that in one case, a nine-year-old boy and his friend were forced to carry out a sex act by two French soldiers....

UN aid worker suspended for leaking report on child abuse by French troops
Anders Kompass said to have passed confidential document to French authorities because of UN’s failure to stop abuse of children in Central African Republic     Sandra Laville  Wednesday 29 April 2015
A senior United Nations aid worker has been suspended for disclosing to prosecutors an internal report on the sexual abuse of children by French peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic.

Sources close to the case said Anders Kompass passed the document to the French authorities because of the UN’s failure to take action to stop the abuse. The report documented the sexual exploitation of children as young as nine by French troops stationed in the country as part of international peacekeeping efforts.

Kompass, who is based in Geneva, was suspended from his post as director of field operations last week and accused of leaking a confidential UN report and breaching protocols. He is under investigation by the UN office for internal oversight service (OIOS) amid warnings from a senior official that access to his case must be “severely restricted”. He faces dismissal....

Entitled Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces and stamped “confidential” on every page, the report details the rape and sodomy of starving and homeless young boys by French peacekeeping troops who were supposed to be protecting them at a centre for internally displaced people in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic.

Donovan said: “The regular sex abuse by peacekeeping personnel uncovered here and the United Nations’ appalling disregard for victims are stomach-turning, but the awful truth is that this isn’t uncommon. The UN’s instinctive response to sexual violence in its ranks – ignore, deny, cover up, dissemble – must be subjected to a truly independent commission of inquiry with total access, top to bottom, and full subpoena power.”

The UN has faced several scandals in the past relating to its failure to act over paedophile rings operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo and Bosnia. It has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct by its troops in Haiti, Burundi and Liberia....

The children described how they were sexually exploited in return for food and money. One 11-year-old boy said he was abused when he went out looking for food. A nine-year-old described being sexually abused with his friend by two French soldiers at the IDP camp when they went to a checkpoint to look for something to eat.

The child described how the soldiers forced him and his friend to carry out a sex act. The report describes how distressed the child was when disclosing the abuse and how he fled the camp in terror after the assault. Some of the children were able to give good descriptions of the soldiers involved.

In summer 2014, the report was passed to officials within the office of the high commissioner for human rights in Geneva. When nothing happened, Kompass sent the report to the French authorities and they visited Bangui and began an investigation....

Child abuse inquiry judge to investigate Lord Janner allegations
Lowell Goddard has asked director of public prosecutions to hand over files, will talk to Labour peer’s alleged victims and could call on him to give evidence
Josh Halliday  Wednesday 29 April 2015

A high court judge is to investigate whether child sexual abuse allegations against Lord Janner were the subject of an establishment cover-up.

Justice Lowell Goddard, the chair of a major independent inquiry into child abuse ordered by the home secretary, Theresa May, will seek evidence from the Labour peer’s alleged victims and may even summon the 86-year-old to give evidence.

The New Zealand judge has also asked Britain’s top prosecutor, Alison Saunders, to hand over all the prosecution files against Janner as part of an “exhaustive and critical examination of the institutional decision-making processes” in the case. She said she would scrutinise three missed opportunities to prosecute Janner by the police or the CPS in 1991, 2002 and 2007 and “whether any inappropriate influence was brought to bear in any effort to shield Lord Janner from prosecution”.

The announcement came after Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, attracted widespread criticism earlier this month when she said there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Janner over 22 alleged sexual offences but that he would not be prosecuted because he has Alzheimer’s disease....

Janner, who has dementia, was accused of carrying out a catalogue of abuse against young boys, and more than a dozen people came forward to claim he abused them during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s....

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lord Greville Janner child sex abuse file 'lost' by Home Office, Abused children in Norfolk were 'sexual playthings', Long Island shopkeeper admits to sexually abusing employee

Long Island shopkeeper admits to sexually abusing employee
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — The owner of a Long Island religious supplies store pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing a teenage employee and then trying to hire someone to kill the victim so he couldn't testify at trial.

Daniel Miller, 47, admitted in court that he drugged the 17-year-old boy with lorazepam, an anti-anxiety medication, and then sexually abused him while the teen worked at his Santaria store in Inwood in January 2012. Prosecutors said the teen woke up at 4 a.m. the next day at Miller's home.

While he was in jail and awaiting trial on those charges, Miller allegedly offered to pay $15,000 to have the victim killed and make it look like a cellphone robbery to prevent him from testifying at trial, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Miller also asked a relative to have someone make a Voodoo doll of the victim and stick it with pins and knives and use dirt from the teen's house and his photo in a ritual that was intended to give the victim cancer.

Miller pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that include sexual abuse, conspiracy and criminal solicitation and is expected to be sentenced to nine years in prison and 10 years of post-release supervision when he is sentenced in June....

Abused children in Norfolk were 'sexual playthings'
By Julian Sturdy BBC Look East
27 April 2015

Six women and four men have gone on trial accused of abusing five young children and treating them as "sexual playthings".

The 10, who face 38 charges, deny playing any part in the sexual abuse in Norfolk, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Angela Rafferty QC told the court the children were "sexually and physically abused and neglected... in the early parts of their lives".

Nine of the defendants are from Norwich and one is from Romford, London.

Mrs Rafferty said the "dreadful truth" was these five children "became sexual playthings within that group."...

Lord Greville Janner child sex abuse file 'lost' by Home Office

23 April 2015    By Tom Pettifor

Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders – who ruled Labour peer Janner will not face trial because he has Alzheimer’s – denied having any role in it

A file on Lord Greville Janner is among 114 dossiers on child sex abuse that have gone missing from the Home Office.

Details of the 1986 Janner file are buried in the appendix to the Wanless report, which investigated the missing sex abuse dossiers.

The report, published in Nov­­ember, studied claims that the 114 files disappeared as part of an Establishment cover-up.

And today Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders – who ruled Janner will not face trial because he has Alzheimer’s – denied having any role in it and refused to quit....

Ms Saunders has said that, had he been judged fit to stand trial, Janner, 86, would have been charged with 22 sex offences against nine children from 1969 to 1988.

She said it was not in the public interest to prosecute because of his ill health. But a House of Lords spokesman has confirmed Janner signed a letter requesting a leave of absence this month.

And last March, three months after his home was searched by police, he signed the property over to his three children, putting the £2million house out of reach of potential child abuse victims suing for compensation....

AAP: Peds Serve as Primary Prevention for Child Abuse
Early recognition of child abuse by clinicians can be life-saving.
    by Molly Walker
    Contributing Writer
    Physical abuse of children and infants, while often difficult to diagnose, can lead to lifelong physical and mental health disorders.
    The most common signs of physical abuse are skin injuries, skeletal injuries, thoracoabdominal injuries, and head injuries.

Physical abuse of children and infants is often difficult to diagnose, but can lead to lifelong physical and mental health disorders, according to a new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The most common signs of physical abuse are skin injuries, skeletal injuries, thoracoabdominal injuries, and head injuries, reported Cindy W. Christian, MD, chairperson of the 2013-2014 AAP Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect.

Because 80% of deaths in child abuse and neglect cases occur in children under 4-years-old, infants and toddlers are at the highest risk for severe and fatal abuse, they wrote in Pediatrics.

The authors acknowledged the difficulty for clinicians to identify physical abuse, because most injuries to children are not due to abuse, and "unusual accidental events happen to children."

They also said that because so much of a child's history is reliant on a parent's report, physicians may not be likely to be critical or skeptical of the information provided....

The authors point out that child abuse and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) can have lifelong effects into adulthood. These events effect how the brain, neuroendocrine stress response, and immune system function, they wrote, and start as early as adolescence. Abused adolescents are more likely to have depression, conduct disorder, drug abuse, and cigarette smoking....

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

W.Va. child sex abuse victims suing Mormon officials, UK gang raped and abused babies

David Clohessy: A test of justice for W.Va. child sex abuse victims
By David Clohessy  Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Justice comes rarely for victims of childhood sexual assault. When it does, it’s only after a painful legal process. This week in Charleston, an appeals court could make that already difficult process even harder for West Virginia victims who use civil courts to warn the public about predators....

A dozen children and their parents are suing Mormon officials for allegedly enabling and concealing the heinous abuses committed by a now ex-Mormon, Christopher Michael Jensen. There’s no doubt about Jensen’s guilt — he was convicted of assaulting youngsters in both Utah and West Virginia.

But Mormon officials are fighting hard to defend themselves. In fact, they’ve convinced a judge to appoint a private lawyer to defend Jensen, a move that’s exceedingly rare in civil cases. Worse, they’ve persuaded that judge to force the victims to pay half of Jensen’s defense lawyers’ fees.

In the United States, we have a long and honorable tradition of making sure that every accused person, no matter how egregious his or her purported crimes, has legal representation. But no one is guaranteed an attorney in a civil matter. And very few, in a civil court, ever have to pay to help the opposing side....

'Vile and depraved' UK gang raped and abused babies

22 April 2015

Members of a paedophile network whose crimes were described as the most "vile and depraved" police had seen have been convicted of arranging abuse.

The UK-wide gang raped and abused babies and young children, streaming the attacks online to fellow members.

John Denham, 49, and Matthew Stansfield, 34, had denied plotting sex crimes against the victims.

They were found guilty after a trial at Bristol Crown Court. Five other members had earlier admitted various offences.

The group used the internet to plan and stream abuse and tried to groom pregnant women in order to find new victims, the trial heard.

In one case, they groomed a mother and father before their child was born.

Officers from the National Crime Agency, which led the investigation, said the crimes were the most "vile and depraved" it had ever investigated....

Prosecutor Robert Davies told the jury in the Denham and Stansfield trial: "This prosecution will take you into a world you wished did not exist.

"The evidence exposes the shocking interest a group of men had in sexually abusing babies, toddlers or pre-school children.

"A real baby was for certain abused and raped by some of those involved."....

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop Who Failed to Report Priest's Suspected Child Abuse, True Detective season two: the secret occult history of the United States transportation system

Pope Accepts Resignation of Bishop Who Failed to Report Priest's Suspected Child Abuse
By Taylor Wofford 4/21/15

Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, who in 2012 pleaded guilty in Clay County circuit court to a misdemeanor charge of failure to report suspected child abuse by one of the priests in his diocese. The announcement was given a single sentence in the Vatican Information Service's emailed morning news bulletin, listed under "Other Pontifical Acts."....

In December 2010, Finn failed to contact police when a computer technician informed him that he had discovered hundreds of lewd photographs of young girls on the laptop of Shawn Ratigan, a priest in Finn's diocese, some of which were believed to have been taken by Ratigan. According to The New York Times,

Bishop Finn sent Father Ratigan to live in a convent and told him to avoid contact with minors. But until [the following] May the priest attended children’s parties, spent weekends in the homes of parish families, hosted an Easter egg hunt and presided, with the bishop’s permission, at a girl’s First Communion, according to interviews with parishioners and a civil lawsuit filed by a victim’s family.

Ratigan was arrested after the second-ranking officer in the diocese, Monsignor Robert Murphy, contacted the police about the material on Ratigan’s laptop in mid-May 2011.

Ratigan later pleaded guilty to five child pornography charges in 2012 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Two weeks after Ratigan's arrest, Finn removed another priest, Michael Tierney, from his parish after finding "recent reports of Father Tierney’s sexual abuse of minors in the early 1970s were credible," according to a law firm asked by Finn to conduct an independent investigation into the diocese's handling of the incident....

While Finn has resigned from his post in the diocese, he will remain a Catholic bishop with all attendant rights, including being allowed to practice Mass. "He's still a bishop in good standing," Smith said....

True Detective season two: first trailer
Watch Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch in the new True Detective trailer
09 Apr 2015   The first teaser trailer for the hotly anticipated second season of HBO's True Detective has been released.

Starring Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Taylor Kitsch and McAdams, the new season is set in Seventies California, and will tell the story of a mob boss (Vaughn) who joins with law enforcement officials to investigate a strange murder case....

The first season of the show, which was set in the Nineties, starred Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as partners investigating a Louisiana murder case: it's storyline dealt with the disturbing topic of satanic child abuse.

Writer Nic Pizzolatto has said the new season will continue these dark themes, exploring "the secret occult history of the United States transportation system".

Season two of True Detective premieres on June 21.... 

Monday, April 20, 2015

New Lord Janner child abuse victims come forward since no charge revelations, One of Scotland’s leading schools is facing claims by former students that they were abused by paedophiles, Trial to begin for last 3 defendants in FAMU hazing case

- New Lord Greville Janner 'child abuse' victims come forward since no charge revelations
- Rape, child abuse and Prince Charles’s former school
One of Scotland’s leading schools is facing claims by former students that they were abused by paedophiles.
- Trial to begin for last 3 defendants in FAMU hazing case

New Lord Greville Janner 'child abuse' victims come forward since no charge revelations

20 April 2015 By Tom Pettifor
It comes after the decision to not prosecute the ex-Labour MP due to his poor health was branded “a disgrace” by one alleged victim.

A number of new alleged victims of Lord Greville Janner have come forward since it was announced he will not be charged with child sex offences, police have revealed.

It comes after the decision to not prosecute the ex-Labour MP due to his poor health was branded “a disgrace” by one alleged victim, who claimed Janner was “being protected” due to his VIP status.

Leicestershire Police had already traced 25 potential victims during a two-year probe codenamed Operation Enamel.... 

Rape, child abuse and Prince Charles’s former school
One of Scotland’s leading schools is facing claims by former students that they were abused by paedophiles. Alex Renton reveals how the country’s archaic laws are failing to bring them justice
Alex Renton  Sunday 12 April 2015

...,Gordonstoun was a success, especially after Prince Philip of Greece, now the Duke of Edinburgh, arrived. Other royals followed: five of the Queen’s children and grandchildren went there, despite Charles’s complaints. By the 1970s it was touted as a place for spoilt or wealthy children who needed toughening up – Sean Connery and David Bowie’s sons went, and so did Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter. Physical punishment, strict discipline and cold showers were key to Hahn’s approach to keeping children in line.

....Mutual respect, resilience and trust were the cornerstones of Hahn’s notions of how to educate a child. His ideas have made Gordonstoun one of Britain’s most famous public schools. But a series of complaints sent to me covering 40 years reveal a dark alternative history. Not all of the stories can be detailed here. But, too often to be excused, Gordonstoun and its junior school appear to have let down the trust of parents and failed to respect the rights and needs of children. Predatory paedophiles are a part of the history of many celebrated schools in Britain. But Gordonstoun’s story is particularly urgent because Scotland’s archaic laws around proving sexual assault dissuade victims from coming forward. They can mean predators, who might be brought to trial, remain at large and free to offend.

....Such events and others, coupled with the stream of recent stories about sex scandals and cover-ups in celebrated public schools, sparked talk among Gordonstoun’s ex-pupils. In 2013 some of them began a private Facebook group, discussing things that had happened at the school, “that you don’t see in the brochures and the class photographs”, as one of them put it. Rapes, of boys and girls, were mentioned. Kate started to receive messages from girls she had known, apologising for the gossip and rumours, for the bullying, and for not having done more to help.

The group eventually involved more than 100 ex-pupils. Acting in concert, they presented the school with a list of demands: it should do more to address bullying and sexual abuse, issue an apology to past victims and fund help for them and, notably, promise in future to report any incidents to the police.

John briefly joined the group, but left it, thinking the chatter was futile: “It was mainly about bullying, old classroom rows.” But he had already decided that he had to act on Jones: “I had a duty to make sure this bastard was not still out there doing things to kids.” So in February 2014 he went to the police. Their subsequent investigation stretched as far as New Zealand. Eventually, John was told Derek Jones could not be brought to trial or offend again. He had died in a car crash in Kenya, five years earlier.

But if that was any consolation for John, it was spoilt by the shock of the other information the officer – who has declined to comment – then handed over. Despite Gordonstoun’s solemn assurances, Derek Jones had gone on to teach, and potentially abuse, elsewhere. He had been forced to leave a school in Essex and had then surfaced and taught in Kenya. It is unclear what happened in East Africa, but former colonies there have provided a home for several predatory paedophiles sacked from English private schools – some of whom have gone on to offend again. Scottish police have identified both the Essex and Kenya school where Jones taught, but have refused to name them to the Observer....

Trial to begin for last 3 defendants in FAMU hazing case

By KYLE HIGHTOWER  April 20, 2015

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The manslaughter trial of the remaining three former band members charged in the hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major has begun.

Before jury selection, Judge Renee Roche dismissed misdemeanor hazing charges faced by defendants Benjamin McNamee, Aaron Golson and Darryl Cearnel, who are being tried together. Each still faces 15 years on manslaughter and felony hazing counts for the November 2011 death of 26-year-old Robert Champion.

Champion — from Decatur, Georgia — was beaten during a hazing ritual after a football game in November 2011.

Fifteen former band members were charged with manslaughter. Dante Martin, now 27, was convicted last year and is serving six years....

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Three chances to prosecute Labour peer Lord Janner for child abuse were missed, California court guts child abuse ruling against Jehovah’s Witnesses

Three chances to prosecute Labour peer Lord Janner for child abuse were missed: CPS admits mistakes were made but now it is too late because he has dementia

    Lord Janner will not face prosecution despite facing credible evidence
    Director of Public Prosecutions says decision comes with 'deep regret'
    Alison Saunders tells of botched investigations in 1991, 2002 and 2007
    Former Labour MP allegedly preyed on boys in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s
By Chris Greenwood for the Daily Mail and Martin Robinson for MailOnline  16 April 2015
Lord Janner should have been charged with historic child sex offences on three occasions over 25 years and will now never be prosecuted because of the 'severity' of his dementia, the Crown Prosecution Service said today.

Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions, has expressed her 'deep regret' that the 86-year-old former Labour MP for Leicester West will not face trial because of botched investigations in 1991, 2002 and 2007.

The decision not to charge him with 22 alleged sex attacks on children has infuriated police and campaigners, who have called it 'perverse' and a 'step backwards for justice'.

Leicestershire Police may appeal because they handed the CPS 'credible evidence', including videos, showing 'this man carried out some of the most serious sexual crimes imaginable'....

More than a dozen people came forward to claim Lord Janner abused them during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the CPS said.

Today they admitted there is enough evidence to prosecute the peer for 16 indecent assaults and six counts of buggery, but he is no longer fit to stand trial....

Lord Janner attended the House of Lords 15 times in November 2013 and 12 times in December 2013. Police searched his home on December 20, 2013 and he has not attended Parliament since.... 

California court guts child abuse ruling against Jehovah’s Witnesses
By Trey Bundy April 14, 2015
Candace Conti drew worldwide attention in her fight against the Jehovah’s Witnesses when a jury awarded her $28 million in damages – the largest verdict for a single victim of child abuse against a religious organization in U.S. history.

The amount was later reduced to $15.6 million, including $8.6 million in punitive damages.

Now, three years later, an appeals court has eroded her courtroom victory even further by ruling that the leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses had no duty to warn congregants that a confessed child molester was one of their own. As a result, judges eliminated the punitive damages in the case. Conti still stands to receive $2.8 million.

The decision by the California Court of Appeal is the latest ruling in a rash of lawsuits aimed at Jehovah’s Witnesses policies directing elders to keep child abuse secret from their congregations and secular authorities.

Conti, who is no longer a Jehovah’s Witness, had sued her abuser, her former congregation in Fremont and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York – the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ parent corporation – in 2011. She claimed that Watchtower policies allowed a Witness named Jonathan Kendrick to molest her repeatedly when she was 9 and 10 years old.

Kendrick had admitted to North Fremont congregation elders that he had sexually abused his stepdaughter. The elders informed the Watchtower of Kendrick’s confession in 1993, but in accordance with Watchtower policy did not notify police or warn the congregation. Soon after, Conti says, Kendrick began abusing her.

In their ruling Monday, the judges said forcing the leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses to warn congregants about child abusers would be too burdensome....

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest 'raped me well over 100 times', Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage, Cruel treatment at Lisburn's Lissue House

- Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest 'raped me well over 100 times', witness says
- Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage
Childhood abuse drove me to prostitution
Carrickfergus man tells of the cruel treatment at Lisburn's Lissue House which drove him to become a rent boy in London.

Child sex abuse inquiry: Rockhampton priest 'raped me well over 100 times', witness says

By William Rollo and Marlina Whop  Apirl 14, 2015

A witness at a child sex abuse inquiry says she was raped "well over 100 times" by a priest at St Joseph's Neerkol Orphanage Rockhampton in central Queensland.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard the treatment of children at the orphanage was "vicious and sadistic", while an earlier inquiry found hundreds of children were sexually abused, beaten and forced into hard labour there.

The inquiry has begun hearings into how the Sisters of Mercy, the Rockhampton diocese and the state government responded to complaints made by former residents of St Joseph's Neerkol Orphanage.

The orphanage has already been the subject of several police and government investigations, and a 1999 inquiry led by former Queensland governor Leneen Forde.

After the so-called Forde Inquiry, the Queensland government at the time offered ex gratia payments of up to $40,000 to people as long as they dropped other legal action against the state.

Over the next two weeks, the royal commission will hear evidence from 18 witnesses, with 13 being former residents of the orphanage, who say they were abused by priests, workers, and nuns there from 1940 to 1975....

Victims give evidence at Royal Commission into abuse at Queensland orphanage

Michael Madigan, AAP  The Courier-Mail    April 15, 2015

....A FORMER resident of an infamous central Queensland orphanage says she tried to blow the whistle on sexual abuse she suffered while in care but was ignored by authorities.

A royal commission sitting in Rockhampton has heard that sadistic punishments and sexual abuse were rife at St Joseph’s Neerkol Orphanage, which was run by the Sisters of Mercy from 1885 and 1978.

Former resident Diane Carpenter, 62, told the second day of a public hearing that while at Neerkol in Rockhampton she was sexually abused by a priest called Father Michael Hayes and by a member of a foster family who took her in during holidays....

A CATHOLIC priest is alleged to have hypnotised a 12-year-girl with a silver fob watch before raping her, while another forced his victim to “confess her sin of impurity” after each attack.

In some of the more sinister evidence to come before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, two women yesterday told of a widespread climate of paedophilia mixed with religious piety in the Rockhampton Catholic community in the 1960s and ’70s.

Public floggings with a horse whip of runaway boys and ritual humiliation of bed-wetters, forced to stand in the communal dining room with their wet sheets on their heads, were alleged to be part of an often-sadistic climate at the Neerkol Orphanage, presided over by the Sisters of Mercy.

A 67-year-old woman told of being raped and attacked up to 100 times by local priest Father Reg Durham, the attacks continuing even as she trained to be a nun....  

Childhood abuse drove me to prostitution

Carrickfergus man tells of the cruel treatment at Lisburn's Lissue House which drove him to become a rent boy in London.

By Lisa Smyth – 15 April 2015
A local man has told how he turned to booze and became a rent boy as a result of the horrendous abuse he suffered as a child. Carrickfergus man Chris Donnelly is a former resident of one of the facilities currently being examined by the Historical Abuse Inquiry....
"Lissue House was a hospital for children with mental problems but my only problem was that I had been bullied."

Mr Donnelly said official records of his time at the hospital show he was living in constant fear of beatings by staff and other residents.

"I was constantly looking over my shoulder and the records prove that," he said.

"There are so many examples of beatings, getting kicked or slapped just became a normal way of life....

Monday, April 13, 2015

Former Devon headmaster jailed for abuse, Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse images

"The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it assisted in the removal of 31,266 pages last year, compared with 13,182 in 2013."

Former Devon headmaster and organist jailed for "cruel and shocking" abuse regime on vulnerable school boys

By Exeter Express and Echo  4/12/15

A boarding school teacher has been jailed for 21 years after being found guilty of inflicting a reign of terror over vulnerable boys for two decades.

John Downing took advantage of the children by sexually abusing them after they were sent away to a boarding school in North Devon where he was a teacher and deputy headmaster.

He preyed on boys by sexually abusing them in the classroom, wash rooms, on beach outings and during midnight feasts which he arranged for a select group who he called his ‘Good Boys’.

Downing imposed a regime of fear in which he regularly beat boys with a slipper or wooden coat hanger.

He punished boys who talked after lights out by making them parade naked in the corridor outside their dormitory and encouraged boys on beach trips to walk around in the nude.

Downing, now aged 74, was a teacher and deputy headmaster of Heanton School, near Braunton, North Devon, from its founding in 1968 to its closure in 1985.

The converted rectory was a privately run boarding school for boys aged six to 12, most of whom were sent there by local authorities because they had problems at home.

This meant they had no-one to turn to when they were sexually and physically abused and their secrets remained hidden for years.

Two of them went to the police in the 1990s but officers decided there was not enough evidence. In the years that followed several got in touch over the internet and fresh complaints were investigated by police....

Downing has been the organist at Torrington church for 50 years during which his activities at the school have remained a secret. He went on to be a teacher at schools all over North and Mid Devon before he retired.

Downing, of Warren Lane, Torrington, denied 39 charges of indecent assault or gross indecency against seven boys aged seven to 12 between 1970 and 1985.

He was jailed for 21 years by Judge Graham Cottle who told him that some of his assaults would now be classified as rape.... 

Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse images  4/13/15
A child abuse watchdog has said it helped identify and remove more than double the number of sexually explicit web pages depicting youngsters in 2014 than in the previous year.

The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it assisted in the removal of 31,266 pages last year, compared with 13,182 in 2013.

It said in many cases, each address contained more than one photo or video.

The figures do not necessarily indicate that illegal activity is increasing.

Instead, they may simply reflect that the charity recently began taking a proactive approach, seeking out child abuse imagery rather than just acting on others' reports.

It was able to do this after the UK's four biggest internet service providers committed an extra £1m over four years to fund its efforts.

If the material is hosted overseas, the organisation notifies local authorities and then repeatedly chases up complaints until the material is removed....

The body's annual report discloses that of the discovered material:
    Fewer than 0.3% of the web pages detected were hosted in the UK
    56% were hosted in North America
    41% were hosted in Europe, including Russia 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Child abuse was streamed live to gang, jury hears

Child abuse was streamed live to gang, jury hears
10 April 2015
Paedophiles who raped and abused a baby and a young boy streamed attacks online for other members of an alleged child sex ring to watch, a court has heard.

Those involved - who preyed on young families - travelled long distances to carry out attacks together, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Attacks were streamed live using hi-tech video software, prosecutors said.

Matthew Stansfield, 34, from Hampshire, and John Denham, 49, from Wiltshire, both deny conspiring to rape a child.

Prosecutor Robert Davies told the jury that the evidence in the case would "take you into a world you wish did not exist".

"The evidence exposes the shocking interest a group of men had in sexually abusing children and babies - particularly pre-school children and babies," he said.

"A real baby was for certain abused and raped by some of those involved."....

They would connect to the internet using the "dark web" - hiding their online activity - the jury heard....

Thursday, April 9, 2015

British Child-Abuse Survivors Are Threatening Direct Action if They Don't Get Justice from the Government, Scotland's child abuse survivors call for compensation

British Child-Abuse Survivors Are Threatening Direct Action if They Don't Get Justice from the Government
April 9, 2015  By Ben Gelblum....

This weekend, demonstrators will take to the streets outside Parliament and around the UK to ask why, three months after John Mann MP handed police and parliament a dossier of 22 politicians named by victims and informants as child abusers, nothing appears to have moved on. Mann's Labour colleague Simon Danczuk MP, who is compiling complaints of alleged pedophile rings, recently warned that if survivors who have come forward are denied justice, they would resort to direct action....

On Tuesday, Phil, Nigel, and other survivors, traveled to London to present a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, calling on her to reverse the decision to exclude survivors from the national inquiry into child sex abuse.

The survivors' letter, also signed by prominent human rights lawyers such as Michael Mansfield QC, and child protection experts, warns that the inquiry into historical child abuse in England and Wales lacks credibility amongst those it is supposed to be representing....

Phil Frampton spent his childhood in care homes, and at age 14, blew the whistle on the sexual and physical abuse he and others were subjected to in a Barnardo's children's home. "I wrote a letter on behalf of the children to Barnardo's," recalled Phil. "The abuse continued until the children staged a revolt like civil rights activist Rosa Parks, refusing to get off a bus until police were summoned. We told them what was going on. Barnardo's had to sack the abusers. The kids had won!"

Forty-six years later, Phil's fight for justice continues, and he thinks it should be a bigger part of the election debate. "Whoever gets elected in May they will have to deal with the fact that there has been an attempt to cover up the role of establishment figures that is still going on," said Phil. "We should ask election candidates what they and their parties' leaders have done to root out child abusers and those who cover for them."....

The government recently voted against a Labour-supported amendment to protect child abuse whistleblowers from prosecution under the Official Secrets Act, legislation many say has been used to silence allegations against high-powered pedophiles. "There are many examples of police saying they were not able to speak out about abuse because they were threatened by the Official Secrets Act," said Phil. "It raises serious questions about whether the Conservative and Lib-Dems are serious."

The PM's office told me, "Anyone worried about whether people will be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act for coming forward should be reassured by the assurances given by the Attorney-General and the Home Secretary. It is in everybody's interest that we get to the bottom of what happened."....

Phil argues that these assurances do not cover whistleblowers and officials talking to investigative journalists. "People are beginning to realize that this is not about 'conspiracy theorists' as David Cameron called us. This is about real cover-up and real politicians involved in the worst sort of crimes," added Phil. "It's now become quite clear the Cabinet Office—David Cameron and Nick Clegg attempted to suppress evidence about Margaret Thatcher's role in covering up what Cyril Smith got up to. The Cabinet Office tried to block Freedom of Information requests on the subject on four occasions."

A Cabinet Office Spokesperson told me that, "There is no cover up, nor was the Cabinet Office forced to release information by the Information Commissioner. This is a sensitive and complex case. It is right that we considered advice from a range of officials. After considering the advice, the Cabinet Office decided to disclose information."

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation has now been launched into why police child sex abuse operations into figures of power including Brittan were stalled....

Child abuse survivors call for compensation
April 10th, 2015 Janice Burns

SURVIVORS of historical child abuse in care homes, educational institutions, by religious orders and high-profile members of the Scottish establishment are calling for compensation to be granted as part of a forthcoming public inquiry.

At the end of this month, Education Secretary Angela Constance will announce the remit and timing of the inquiry after holding months of discussions with victims and those who ran the institutions where they were abused.

Survivors want interim payments, similar to those given to victims in Ireland, so they can seek the help they so desperately need while Scotland’s biggest child abuse inquiry is being held.

In Care Abuse Survivors (INCAS), which represents nearly 400 victims of institutional abuse, said that, over the past 17 years of campaigning for an inquiry, scores of victims have died of old age, ill-health and suicide while waiting for justice for the shocking abuse they suffered as children while in care....

Helen (Holland) said that, although many of the big institutions like Nazareth House, Quarriers and Smyllum Park have closed down, child abuse in care is still going on.

She added: “While they are still dealing with cases dating back 60 to 70 years, abuse in care is still happening now. We need to make sure this doesn’t happen again and the sooner this inquiry gets up and running the better.

“Young people in care need to know that they will be taken seriously when they complain about what happened to them....

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools, MI5 'hid' child abuse at boys' home: Former Army intelligence officer claims security chiefs told him to 'stop digging' when he reported possible paedophile ring, Kincora historic VIP paedophile ring

- National Scandal Over Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools
- MI5 'hid' child abuse at boys' home: Former Army intelligence officer claims security chiefs told him to 'stop digging' when he reported possible paedophile ring
- Kincora historic VIP paedophile ring - shock revelations

"The U.S. Department of Justice and State Department say that 25 to 35 million people are enslaved worldwide — more than “all of the slaves in the transatlantic slave trade over generations cumulatively," Reyes said.

National Scandal Over Major Child Abuse Cover-Up in French Schools
By Felicity Capon  April 8, 2015
Information passed to Newsweek has revealed that global horror over child abuse and its concealment by the Establishment, hitherto focused squarely on the UK, now needs to be widened to France as well.

Thousands of children in French schools have been sexually abused by paedophile teachers, an international NGO has claimed, accusing the French education authorities of a decades-long “cover-up”....

The French education system is set to become the focus of a national scandal after minister for education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem was forced to admit last week that 16 teachers were allowed to work in schools last year despite holding previous convictions for paedophilia....

Homayra Sellier, founder of Innocence en Danger, an NGO dedicated to child abuse victims, says: “The ministry of education has covered this up for years. The government has never been inclined to listen to these stories.”

Sellier says her NGO is now being “showered” with reports of abuse. In the past few days, she has received dozens of new cases. One case can include complaints from as many as 20 children, and Sellier forecasts thousands of cases will emerge, a concern echoed by another French NGO, Lueur d’Enfance, which works to support and defend the rights of children.

According to Grimaud, teachers who try to speak out about child abuse at the hands of other teachers are silenced by school directors and local officials, and even threatened with legal action – usually defamation. Others have lost their jobs. As for the teachers the children accuse, they usually stay at the same school, or are quietly transferred to another. “The taboo is extremely strong within the French national education system about the existence of paedophile acts committed against students,” she says.... 

MI5 'hid' child abuse at boys' home: Former Army intelligence officer claims security chiefs told him to 'stop digging' when he reported possible paedophile ring

    Brian Gemmell said spy chiefs ordered him to 'stop digging' at boys' home
    Former Army Intelligence officer claims MI5 covered up the sexual abuse
    Staff jailed in 1980s for sexual abuse at notorious Kincora children's home

By Ian Drury, Home Affairs Correspondent, for the Daily Mail 7 April 2015
MI5 covered up the sexual abuse of boys in the notorious Kincora home, a former Army Intelligence officer claimed last night.

Brian Gemmell, a former captain in the Intelligence Corps, said spy chiefs ordered him to ‘stop digging’ when he reported a possible paedophile ring at the Northern Ireland children’s’ home.

He spoke out during a meeting with victim Richard Kerr, who claimed he was one of three youngsters trafficked from the home before being molested by ‘very powerful’ figures in a Westminster paedophile gang....

He claimed he was sexually abused by politicians and other senior men at Dolphin Square apartment complex in Pimlico and Elm Guest House, in Barnes, west London, which are being investigated by Scotland Yard amid ‘credible’ claims a Tory MP murdered a young boy.

Campaigners claim Mr Kerr’s account provides a clear link between VIP paedophile rings in London and Belfast.

MI5 has faced long-standing allegations of covering up child abuse to enable it to gather intelligence on Loyalist politicians during the Troubles. But it has also been accused of not acting to protect leading Establishment figures involved in the crimes.

Mr Gemmell, who served in military intelligence in Belfast, presented a report on allegations of abuse at Kincora to a senior MI5 officer in 1975 but to his astonishment was told to quit his probe....

Boys - many in local authority care - are alleged to have been abused by figures including the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, Cabinet ministers, clergymen, pop stars, spies, judges and members of the royal household.

MI5 has been accused of suppressing allegations of child abuse against the politician, who died in 2010, when they were made during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

The Kincora children’s home in east Belfast was run by William McGrath, the head of an extreme Protestant loyalist group called Tara and an alleged MI5 informant.

He and two other members of staff – William Semple and Joseph Mains – were jailed in 1981 for sexually assaulting boys in their care.

In February, lawyers for victims challenging the refusal to include Kincora in Justice Goddard’s wide-ranging inquiry told the High Court in Belfast that MI5 was aware of the abuse but allowed it to continue to protect those responsible from prosecution. 

Kincora historic VIP paedophile ring - shock revelations
Tuesday 07 April 2015
A Kincora abuse victim from Northern Ireland has told Channel 4 News how he was also abused at London's Elm Guest House and Dolphin Square at the hands of "very powerful people"....

Richard Kerr's harrowing account of what happened to him as a boy links three of the most important alleged VIP paedophile ring locations for the first time - Dolphin Square, a luxury complex, popular with MPs and civil servants; Kincora Boy's Home in Belfast, where boys were systematically abused and Elm Guest House, a former gay brothel where young children are also said to have been molested.

Last month Channel 4 News brought Mr Kerr to England from America, with his counsellor, to revisit his past. On being back in London for the first time, he tells reporter Cordelia Lynch he feels "very emotional, very painful. I'm scared."

He was introduced to the world of Westminster as a teenager and has suffered for nearly 30 years in silence. His memories are vivid and distressing.

In an interview with Channel 4 News to be broadcast tonight at 7pm, Kerr insists a VIP paedophile ring did exist.... 

Utah Attorney General speaks on sex trafficking sting operation
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 By Kevin Opsahl

....(Attorney General) Reyes and Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) — a nonprofit organization that rescues kidnapped children from slavery — conducted the sting in cooperation with local government and U.S. law enforcement, saving 54 children as young as 9 years old from future abuse.

....Reyes said human trafficking is “the second most lucrative business behind drug dealing,” eclipsing counterfeiting, which was in the No. 2 spot about 5 to 10 years ago.

“I think normal folks just find it hard to believe that this could happen in modern times, but in our community, it does,” Reyes said.

The U.S. Department of Justice and State Department say that 25 to 35 million people are enslaved worldwide — more than “all of the slaves in the transatlantic slave trade over generations cumulatively,” Reyes said....

Monday, April 6, 2015

Michael Jackson Allegedly Paid $200 Million to 20 Child Sex Abuse Victims

Lawyers say Jacko paid $200M in hush money to ‘victims’
By Stacy Brown April 5, 2015

Wade Robson and James Safechuck may accomplish what countless prosecutors could not: prove in court that Michael Jackson was a serial child molester.

The purported victims must first overcome a major hurdle — both their legal claims were filed more than a year after the King of Pop’s 2009 death, missing the statutory deadline....

Lawyers say the King of Pop shelled out nearly $200 million to as many as 20 victims.

Safechuck first met Jacko in 1987, when James was 8 years old. Safechuck will testify that Jacko repeatedly molested him a year later during a tour and that Jacko wrote a check for more than $1 million to Safechuck’s father, a sanitation worker.

Safechuck claims in court filings that Jacko held a secret wedding ceremony, with the young boy as his bride. He said the singer gave him a marriage certificate and a wedding band as keepsakes and confirmation of their “undying love.”

It was Safechuck and another alleged victim, Jordan Chandler, to whom Jacko’s sister LaToya ­referred in a 1993 Tel Aviv press conference in which she vowed to “not be a silent collaborator in my brother’s crimes.”....

Safechuck’s attorney alleges that Jacko molested Safechuck more than 100 times....

The duo for the first time will be allowed to detail past, undisclosed settlements between Jacko and boys. Sources contend there were at least 20 young victims, who reaped — with their parents and attorneys — upward of $200 million cumulatively in hush money.

The Chandler lawsuit alone cost Jacko more than $40 million, sources said....

Michael Jackson allegedly paid millions to silence accusers
Apr 5th 2015
Two new civil cases have accused Michael Jackson of paying millions in hush money to sexual abuse accusers over the years.

Two men, claiming to have been abused by Jackson as children, are suing his estate for punitive damages. Because they are civil cases, lawyers will be able to use evidence excluded from the criminal proceedings.

The New York Post reports that Jackson paid out nearly $200 million to at least 20 alleged victims and their families over the years....

One of the men suing Jackson's estate, James Safechuck, claims he was abused more than 100 times by the pop star, beginning when he was eight years old. The suit also claims that Jackson wrote a $1 million check to Safechuck's father.

Both the cases were filed over a year after Jackson's death, which misses the statutory deadline. A Los Angeles court judge will decide Thursday if the cases can proceed.... 

Michael Jackson Allegedly Paid $200 Million to 20 Child Sex Abuse Victims
Monday, April 6, 2015
by Nina Ulloa
Why is it that Michael Jackson child sex cases always seemed to get pushed under the rug? It could be because Jackson allegedly paid $200 million to keep victims quiet.

Lawyers for Wade Robson and James Safechuck say as many as 20 victims were paid off. Both Robson and Safechuck says Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. A judge is deciding whether they can bring this information to court for the first time.

Safechuck says the abuse happened when he was nine, and that Jackson paid his father $1 million. He also says Jackson held a secret wedding ceremony and he was the child bride.

Robson says he was seven when Jackson began molesting him. He also says he shared a bed with the pop star for a year....

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Influential Secret Society Blamed For Problems On Campus Dodges Transparency Push, Victims and family reveal how lives were devastated by Rotherham grooming scandal

Influential Secret Society Blamed For Problems On Campus Dodges Transparency Push
Tyler Kingkade 04/01/2015

The University of Alabama student government voted down a proposal last week to establish political parties, which could have forced a well-known secret society, blamed for many social ills on campus, to go public.

In a 21-9 vote on March 26, the Student Government Association Senate shot down a resolution that called for allowing students to set up political parties for on-campus elections. Currently, UA rules forbid official political parties. However, an underground society called "The Machine" is widely known to pick and endorse candidates and allegedly intimidates and harasses its opponents.

According to the United Alabama Project, a student group that came up with the proposal, all but one of the senators who voted against the resolution were backed by the Machine. None of them spoke publicly in opposition to the resolution during the senate meetings....

The Machine has existed for roughly a century, and is comprised of members from select fraternities and sororities. The group directs its members, and by extension their fellow fraternity brothers and sorority sisters, to vote for candidates of their choosing. The Machine has even been known to influence local political elections, according to The New York Times.

Students have accused the Machine of being a major reason why UA sororities were still excluding black women from joining in 2013, as well as for acting as a roadblock in subsequent attempts by other SGA representatives to push the Greek system toward integration in 2014....

Victims and family reveal how lives were devastated by Rotherham grooming scandal
Wednesday 01 April 2015

The way lives were devastated by the Rotherham grooming scandal has been laid bare in a new collection of first-hand accounts.

Child victims made pregnant by rapists, fathers racked with guilt and even families of convicted abusers have bravely shared their harrowing stories.

Liam Harron with the report co authored with Chrissy Meleady

The new compilation, called ‘Voices of Despair, Voices of Hope’, is designed to provide an outlet for those who have suffered directly as a result of the scandal....

The daughter of a man convicted of child abuse also shared her story for the report. She said their family have been condemned by their community, while she has been threatened with revenge rape attacks....