Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bill Cosby charged with felony sexual assault in Pennsylvania, South Korea, Japan reach agreement on 'comfort women'

Bill Cosby charged with felony sexual assault in Pennsylvania
NORRISTOWN, Pa. By Daniel Kelley  Wed Dec 30, 2015

Bill Cosby was charged on Wednesday with sexually assaulting a woman after plying her with drugs and alcohol in 2004, marking the only criminal case against the once-beloved performer whose father-figure persona has been tainted by dozens of misconduct accusations.

Cosby, 78, walking with a cane and accompanied by two lawyers, appeared for his arraignment hours later at a courthouse in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia, where he posted a $1 million bond, turned over his passport and was ordered to avoid any contact with his accuser.

Smiling and politely thanking District Court Judge Elizabeth McHugh at the end of the brief proceeding, Cosby left the courthouse and was driven to a nearby police precinct to be finger-printed and booked.

He emerged from the police station 10 minutes later and was whisked away in the same black sport utility vehicle that had delivered him to the courthouse. He made no statements as a throng of reporters shouted questions at him.

He is due to return to court on Jan. 14 for a preliminary hearing.

The case against Cosby was filed just before the statute of limitations deadline for criminal prosecution was due to lapse in January. The charge stems from allegations leveled by Andrea Constand, who settled a civil case against Cosby for an undisclosed sum in 2006.

"Today, after examination of all the evidence, we are able to seek justice on behalf of the victim," Kevin Steele, the newly elected district attorney for Montgomery County, told an earlier news conference. Steele made a campaign issue of his intent to prosecute Cosby.

Constand, a former basketball team manager at Temple University in Philadelphia, Cosby's alma mater, is one of more than 50 women who have publicly accused the star of sexually assaulting them in incidents dating back decades.

Cosby has not entered a plea in Wednesday's case. But he and his lawyers, while acknowledging marital infidelity on his part, have consistently denied any allegations of sexual misconduct.... 

South Korea, Japan reach agreement on 'comfort women'
By Holly Yan, KJ Kwon, Junko Ogura and Tiffany Ap, CNN

Tue December 29, 2015

(CNN) Japan and South Korea have reached an agreement over the long-standing issue of "comfort women," a term that describes sex slaves used by the Japanese military during World War II.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said his government will give 1 billion yen ($8.3 million) to a fund to help those who suffered.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said that as long as Tokyo sticks to its side of the deal, Seoul will consider the issue "irreversibly" resolved.

In addition, the two governments "will refrain from criticizing and blaming each other in the international society, including the United Nations," Yun said at a joint news conference Monday.

Kishida said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women."

Abe later stated himself: "I think we did our duty for the current generation by reaching this final and irreversible resolution before the end of the 70th year since the war."....

But an advocacy group for former comfort women said the deal announced Monday is "a diplomatic humiliation."

"Although the Japanese government announced that it 'feels (its) responsibilities,' the statement lacks the acknowledgment of the fact that the colonial government and its military had committed a systematic crime," said the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery. "The government had not just been simply involved but actively initiated the activities which were criminal and illegal."

The group took issue that it did not address the issue of Japanese history textbooks glossing over the scope of the war crimes.....

China's foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the forced recruitment of the "comfort women" was a grave crime against humanity.

"The Chinese side always maintains that the Japanese side should face up to and reflect upon its history of aggression and properly deal with the relevant issue with a sense of responsibility."

China, which was also occupied by Japan prior to and during the World War II has long been critical of its neighbor's role in the war and its apparent lack of remorse for war crimes following defeat in 1945....

Monday, December 28, 2015

New trial ordered for Msgr. Lynn, chief defendant in Phila. clergy abuse case

New trial ordered for Msgr. Lynn, chief defendant in Phila. clergy abuse case   
Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Pennsylvania appellate court on Tuesday ordered a new trial for Msgr. William J. Lynn, overturning for a second time a landmark verdict that was the first conviction nationwide of a Catholic Church official for covering up child sex abuse by priests.

A three-judge Superior Court panel found that Lynn's 2012 conviction had been tainted by prosecutors' presentation of nearly two dozen examples of the Philadelphia Archdiocese's failure to handle pedophilia within its ranks. Lynn, however, was only charged in connection with his supervision of two priests.

Such evidence, said Judge Emeritus John T. Bender, writing for the majority, was "unfairly prejudicial" and effectively turned Lynn into a scapegoat for the wider sins of the church. Some of those crimes predated by decades Lynn's tenure as the archdiocesan official in charge of handling sex-abuse complaints.

The court's decision again threw into doubt what District Attorney Seth Williams has touted as a historic prosecution, and raised questions about the 64-year-old cleric's future, two years into his three- to six-year sentence on child endangerment charges.

His lawyer, Thomas A. Bergstrom, said he intends once again to seek Lynn's release from prison....

Lynn was convicted after a 13-week trial and 12 days of deliberations of allowing the Rev. Edward V. Avery, who had a history of sexually abusing children, to live in a rectory of St. Jerome Catholic Church in Northeast Philadelphia, where he later assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy. Avery pleaded guilty in the 1999 attack and was sentenced to five years in prison. He is currently at the state prison in Laurel Highlands, Somerset County....
Philadelphia prosecutors seek rehearing in Catholic church official's clergy abuse case
Published December 28, 2015 Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA –  Philadelphia's district attorney wants an appeals court to take another look at the case of a Roman Catholic church official whose conviction over his handling of sex-abuse cases was overturned last week.

Monsignor William Lynn has been imprisoned intermittently since his 2012 trial.

District Attorney Seth Williams says in a statement he has filed an application for a re-argument of Lynn's case before the full state Superior Court. He says the filing is in response to a decision by a three-judge panel on Tuesday to award a new trial to Lynn.... 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

White Witch in a Black Robe by Wendy Hoffman - a memoir about secret high-level mind control

White Witch in a Black Robe by Wendy Hoffman is a memoir about how secret high-level mind control is performed throughout victims’ lives and the ways heads of governments and religious organizations participate in this, as well as the healing process and how the mind becomes whole again.

The memoir begins with the author’s childhood in a multi-generational cult family, her ordinary life in the normal world and her simultaneous secret tortuous world. She describes her world travels as a satanic cult queen and prophet, encountering well-known and influential people. The final section portrays the process of weaving the pieces of her mind back together with the help of a therapist, and adjusting to life with a whole mind.

This is an important book for survivors of mind control and ritual abuse, their therapists, and the general public, revealing one of the world’s best-kept and grimmest secrets. As the author says in her introduction, ‘This book is not for the delicate or for those who are convinced the world is fine just the way it is.’

Wendy Hoffman is a survivor of organized criminal abuse and has been a psychotherapist for over two decades working in general practice and the field of recovering dissociated memories. She has a Master of Social Work and two Masters of Fine Arts. Her first memoir The Enslaved Queen, about electricity and mind control, was published by Karnac Books in 2014, and her book of poetry, Forceps, is forthcoming. Now that she has brought together the separated parts of her mind, taken her life back, and achieved freedom, she wants to help other survivors also become free of mind control.   ISBN 13 : 9781782203667  ISBN 10 : 1782203664 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Lord Janner sex abuse case may still go on despite his death in 'trial of facts', radiographer jailed for possessing more than a million child abuse images and videos

Lord Janner sex abuse case may still go on DESPITE his death in 'trial of facts'
    Labour peer denied accusations he abused boys between 1960s and 1980s
    He was ruled unfit for trial then died before 'trial of facts' could be held
    Former head of the CPS has said a trial without a defendant could go ahead
    CPS will consider how to deal with the case at a hearing next year
By Richard Spillett for MailOnline 21 December 2015

A trial of the facts in the case against Lord Janner could still go ahead despite his death, a former Director of Public Prosecutions has said.

Janner, a one-time Labour MP for Leicester West, had been accused of 22 counts of historical sex offences against boys but died at the weekend.

His victims have complained they have been 'robbed of justice' by his passing, which is likely to prompt the scrapping of a 'trial of facts', which had been planned for April.

But Ken Macdonald, a former head of the CPS, the body which decides whether prosecutions a should go ahead, has said there is no reason the Old Bailey case could not still be heard despite Janner's death.

He told Radio 4's Today programme: 'The whole point of a trial of the facts is that it does not exist to determine the guilt or innocence of anyone.... 

Warped radiographer jailed for possessing more than a MILLION child abuse images and videos
22 Dec 2015 By Mathew Di Salvo

Christopher Daldorph, 45, spent 14 years amassing the vile collection by trawling the 'dark web' - a hidden layer of the internet used by paedophiles and drug dealers

A hospital radiographer has been jailed for possessing more than a MILLION child abuse images and videos - the biggest haul ever seen by the National Crime Agency.

Sick Christopher Daldorph, 45, spent 14 years amassing the vile collection by trawling the 'dark web' - a hidden layer of the internet used by paedophiles and drug dealers.

The married pervert was arrested in April 2015 after officers searched his home and found a number of devices containing images - featuring children as young as two.

One of the hard drives which Daldorph had concealed was found to contain 1.8 terabytes of footage data - the equivalent of 3,000 full-length feature films.

He faced charges today relating to 141,539 pictures and videos, but officers are still trawling through his computers, and reckon he stored more than ONE MILLION....

The vile material included thousands of Category A abuse images and videos - the most extreme kind.

When officers searched his house he admitted his guilt, and gave them the passwords to access the numerous laptops, hard drives and USBs containing the images....

Christian Hall, who led the investigation for the NCA, said: "Daldorph was responsible for amassing hundreds of thousands of indecent images, some of them the most extreme possible involving very young children.

"Each of those involved a child being abused in some of the worst ways imaginable.

"While we have no evidence to show he committed any contact offences himself, what he has done has perpetuated demand for products that can only be produced through the abuse of children.".... 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Rotherham victim's sex abuse claims 'dismissed by police officer', Rotherham sex abuse trial: Arshid Hussain 'had sex with child 100 times'

Rotherham victim's sex abuse claims 'dismissed by police officer'
Court hears that complainant, then aged 12, was accused of lying after telling officer about the abuse

Lisa O'Carroll Tuesday 15 December 2015

A police officer in Rotherham dismissed claims of child sexual abuse by a 12-year-old girl and told her she was lying, Sheffield crown court heard.

The complainant, who is now 31, reported the abuse she suffered to an officer after telling a staff member at the care home where she lived about being assaulted.

In an interview taped by police ahead of the trial and shown to the jury, she said the officer took her out of the home in a car to discuss the matter. He drove her down a country lane and told her she was making up the stories. The complainant said: “He ripped loads of paperwork up and said I was lying.”

He did not take a statement from her and she did not hear from any other police officers afterwards, the court heard. She said she did not know the officer’s name, but he was known by girls at the home as “Kimble the thimble”.

A second complainant in the trial said she had a baby after being raped by two of the defendants at a pub. The woman, now 36, claimed she started being abused, aged 11, at the hands of “Mad Ash”, a man the prosecution say is defendant Arshid Hussain....

Hussain denies having met the woman in person. The 39-year-old, of no fixed abode, denies one rape, five indecent assaults, one count of procuring a girl under 21 to have unlawful sexual intercourse with another, false imprisonment, three counts of indecency with a child, one count of procuring a woman under 21 to become a common prostitute, two assaults occasioning actual bodily harm, and one count of making threats to kill.

All seven defendants in the case deny all 52 counts including rape, indecent assault, conspiracy to rape, false imprisonment and procuring a woman for prostitution or sex with another....

Rotherham sex abuse trial: Arshid Hussain 'had sex with child 100 times'
From the section Sheffield & South Yorkshire   Wednesday 16 December 2015

An alleged victim of child sexual exploitation has said she was forced to have sex with Asian men against her will in houses, a park and churchyard.

The woman, who cannot be named, told Sheffield Crown Court she was given heroin in exchange for sex and beaten up when she tried to leave a house.

The woman said Arshid Hussain, one of seven defendants, had sex with her about 100 times from the age of 11.

All seven defendants deny the range of charges they face in court.

The woman said she was introduced by Mr Hussain to 10 or 11 other men for her to have sex with.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cosby sues 7 accusers for defamation, Cardinal Pell told to attend child abuse inquiry after video link request denied

Cosby sues 7 accusers for defamation, seeks damages and retractions
By Ralph Ellis, CNN Mon December 14, 2015

Bill Cosby has struck back against some of the dozens of women who've accused him of sexual assault.

The world-famous comedian countersued seven women who'd sued him for defamation, saying they actually defamed him.

By saying he sexually assaulted them, the women hurt his reputation so much that plans for a new family comedy on NBC were derailed, the counterclaim said.

The women made "malicious, opportunistic, and false and defamatory accusations of sexual misconduct against" Cosby, his lawyer Monique Pressley said in a statement. They made the accusations to hurt Cosby's reputation and to obtain financial gain, Pressley said.

Cosby is seeking unspecified damages and public retractions from the seven women: Tamara Green, Therese Serignese, Linda Traitz, Louisa Moritz, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and Angela Leslie.

The lawyer for the seven women, Joseph Cammarata, issued a statement on Monday saying his clients want their day in court and "expect that their good name and reputation will be restored."

"If anyone is surprised by Cosby's actions today, they shouldn't be," Cammarata said. "He's taken a page out of the defense attorney's playbook in an effort to shift the focus of this legitimate inquiry. It is curious that he has filed a claim only against these seven women, when there are scores of other women who have made similar allegations of sexual abuse and assault against Mr. Cosby."

Cosby also denied he had sexually assaulted any of the seven women. He has not been charged with any crime. More than 40 women have come forward to publicly accuse Cosby, 78, of assaulting them over four decades, often saying he supplied them with drugs.  Cosby's lawyers or representative denied the accusations in the media....

Cardinal Pell told to attend child abuse inquiry after video link request denied
Request from Australia’s highest-ranking cleric to appear by video link because of health reasons has been refused by chair of royal commission   Melissa Davey  Thursday 10 December 2015

The chair of the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse has refused to allow Cardinal George Pell to appear by video link, instead deferring the hearing until February to ensure Pell can appear in person.

A lawyer representing Pell, Allan Myers, made an application for Pell to give evidence next week via video link from Rome rather than appear in person, citing health reasons....

Stephen Woods – who was abused by the notorious paedophile priest Gerald Francis Ridsdale and the convicted paedophile brother Robert Charles Best while a student at St Alipius primary school – told Guardian Australia that he was deeply angered that Pell would not be appearing next week....

Pell, Australia’s highest-ranking cleric, was due to give evidence about child sexual abuse that occurred in institutions run by Catholic church authorities in and around Ballarat, and evidence about measures taken by the archdiocese of Melbourne to investigate child sexual abuse, known within the church as “the Melbourne Response”, before Melbourne’s county court....

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Teachers and medical staff among 682 child abuse suspects arrested

Teachers and medical staff among 682 child abuse suspects arrested
More than a hundred people in positions of trust among those arrested since March, newly released figures reveal
Jamie Grierson  Thursday 10 December 2015

A senior police chief has expressed fears that child abuse in Britain is on the rise as new data revealed teachers and medical staff were among hundreds of potential sex offenders arrested in the last nine months.

Chief constable Simon Bailey, the national policing lead for child protection, said it was his professional opinion that higher figures reflected more abuse being perpetrated rather than an increase in the number of victims coming forward....

Some 104 people in positions of trust were among 682 potential sex offenders arrested since March, according to figures from the National Crime Agency and police.

Among these figures are 32 working in education, 23 working in medicine and care, 15 working in law enforcement, criminal justice, armed forces and government. There were no MPs or lords arrested.

Of those arrested, 93% were not previously known to law enforcement in relation to child abuse and 147 have been charged.

In addition, in the six months to September this year, 187 British victims of abuse have been identified in seized indecent images – already higher than the 177 identified in the previous 12 months.

A total of 399 children have been safeguarded as a result of the operation....

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Convicted child abuser Peter Dundas Walbran arrested teaching at Thai school, Attempted murder recounted by giggling teens

Convicted child abuser Peter Dundas Walbran arrested teaching at Thai school
December 9, 2015 Lindsay Murdoch South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media

Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand: Police have detained a Sydney man jailed in 2012 over the rape and molestation of Indonesian boys as young as eight who was found teaching at a school in north-eastern Thailand.

Fairfax Media witnessed police confronting Peter Dundas Walbran, a former head of the Australian International School in Jakarta, with a warrant to search his apartment on suspicion of possessing child pornography as he was leaving to go to school on Wednesday....

That Walbran came to be teaching children in Asia again, after being deported from Indonesia to Australia last year, raises questions about the effectiveness of Australia's National Child Offender Register.

Melbourne investigator Glen Hulley tracked 59-year-old Walbran to an international school in Ubon Ratchathani, 630 kilometres from Bangkok, where he has been teaching children aged 12 to 17 for eight months....

Walbran was sentenced to three years' jail on the Indonesian island of Lombok in 2012 for offences that shocked investigators, including the repeated rape and abuse of children over a period of nine years....

Indonesian authorities alleged that Walbran befriended children on beaches and paid them as little as the equivalent of $3 after committing acts on them that distressed investigators.... 

Crime Read: Attempted murder recounted by giggling teens
December 3, 2015 
Kate Kyriacou The Courier-Mail

THE two girls sat just off the sandy path of the Tanglewood track, waiting for their prey.

They’d talked about robbing someone but Sarah had been hacking into a tree trunk with the knife she’d brought. And she’d been talking for years about killing someone. Hopefully several someones.

When the woman with the bum bag appeared on the shady Noosa walking trail – a cooler alternative on hot days to the blinding white sand of the beach – they decided she was a good fit.

She was alone, for a start. Older, too. And maybe the bum bag clipped around her waist had a hidden stash of money....

They followed her for 20 minutes. Twenty minutes of Sarah steeling herself, getting ready for this thing she’d dreamed about, fantasised over, for so long.

This had nothing to do with the devil, with her obsession for the occult. This was her. This was what she wanted.

Sarah pulled the knife from under her shirt and ran forward, lunging at the unsuspecting bushwalker.

She crushed her hand over the woman’s mouth to stifle her screams and started hacking at her throat.

Aleaha chased with a pair of wooden nunchakus in hand. As Sarah stabbed and slashed, pushing the knife into the terrified woman’s side, Aleaha drew back her arm and brought the nunckakus down on their victim’s head....

They were still in Year 10 when they began to dabble in Satanism. They used the computers in the school library to download material from the internet. Sarah didn’t have the internet at home.

They used the internet to order a copy of the Satanic bible and began reading it obsessively. They kept journals and diaries on their new religion.

For Sarah’s parents, it was as though she had changed overnight. Their gentle, animal-loving daughter had been very immature for her age but she’d also been creative and bright. She wrote imaginative stories and poems. She was obsessively neat and clean. She took great care with her appearance.

She’d gone to a party with friends one night. The next day, everything was different.

“It was like throwing a switch,” her mother would explain in an interview in 1999.

“Sarah had always been very aware of her appearance. She liked her hair to be perfect. And then suddenly I had to force her to wash her hair … to make herself look decent.

“Her whole personality seemed to change overnight.”

Their only child was soon spending days on end locked away in her bedroom listening to death metal....

The girls had not given up on their infatuation with Satanism.

Sarah was “Cargulin” the Antichrist and number two on the satanic totem pole. Aleaha was “Satiryn”, the Angel of Sorrows – ranked number three.

Sarah had made her a certificate. Aleaha was her “satanic, sadistic ritual sex partner”.

“Am I really Satan’s, am I that worthy?” Aleaha had written.

They’d sacrificed animals as part of their obsession. They’d shared blood.

But Sarah wanted more. She fantasised about killing people.

“Spill the blood of all!” she wrote on a blood splattered journal page.

“Slaughter their innocent souls!! Cast their worthless prayers!! Leach the light away!! Bring evil to this land!! PURE MASSACRE!!”....

“About three years ago it (the dream) started. It’s not much to do with the occult thing. My parents call me a Satanist … really Satanism doesn’t have anything to do with killing people … (it’s) just a side interest. My interest is killing people.”....

Monday, December 7, 2015

Catholic Church saves $62 million on sexual abuse claims, Priest warned police officer to drop investigation or lose job, child abuse hearing told, Lord Janner: Judge rules dementia sufferer is unfit to plead in child sex abuse trial

Catholic Church saves $62 million on sexual abuse claims
The Catholic Church avoided paying up to $62 million in compensation to sexual abuse victims by creating the controversial Melbourne Response program, which capped payments at $50,000 for each victim.
Internal documents also show church leaders ordered written records about sex abuse be "kept to a minimum" to avoid losing lawsuits, and hired one of the country's best spin doctors in a bid to prepare for the scandal in the early 1990s....

In August 1996, Archbishop Pell discussed the idea of creating a special trust to "avoid an open-ended call on funding for counselling fees" for abuse victims, to only days later canvass suggestions of how the church could financially support three paedophile priests set to be released from prison.

Meetings also describe plans for multimillion-dollar property deals and commissioning a new painting of the archbishop, while senior leaders were also expressing concern about "being seen to apply the maximum penalty" against paedophile priests, the protection of church assets and their own exposure to liability in sexual abuse lawsuits....  

Priest warned police officer to drop investigation or lose job, child abuse hearing told

Father Peter Taffe ‘told officer Denis Ryan he would be out of a job’ if he pursued an investigation into the Mildura parish priest Monsignor John Day

Australian Associated Press  Sunday 6 December 2015 

A Victorian priest warned a police officer to drop his investigation into a colleague over child abuse allegations, an inquiry has heard.

Father Peter Taffe told the police officer he would be out of a job if he pursued an investigation into the Mildura parish priest Monsignor John Day, the child abuse royal commission was told.

Senior counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC, said 140 people had made child sex abuse claims against priests and others in religious orders in the diocese of Ballarat since 1980. Ninety per cent of the claims were against seven priests, including 78 against Gerald Francis Ridsdale and 15 against Day.

Furness said a man had told Mildura assistant priest Taffe in January 1972 his son had been abused by Day. She said Taffe’s first words had been: “I thought he was over all this.”

A former Mildura police officer, Denis Ryan, had already been investigating complaints against Day, she said, and would tell the commission Taffe had warned him in December 1971: “Drop the inquiry into Monsignor Day or you’ll be out of a job.”

Ryan wrote to then Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns setting out allegations from seven complainants. The inquiry was told Mulkearns had said he had been assured police were satisfied there was no substance to the charges, and it was impossible to move Day out of Mildura.

“Any such move would be tantamount to a public declaration that I consider him guilty,” he said....

Furness said Mulkearns had told another Mortlake victim’s mother: “How am I to take the word of a child over one of my priests?”

Lord Janner: Judge rules dementia sufferer is unfit to plead in child sex abuse trial

Court hearing on 87-year-old peer's mental health is told former Labour grandee is suffering from 'advanced and disabling' dementia

By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent
07 Dec 2015
Lord Janner has been declared unfit to plead in a criminal trial over a range of sex abuse charges dating back 50 years, a senior judge has ruled.

In a hearing at the Old Bailey on the 87-year-old's mental health, Mr Justice Openshaw said the peer was suffering from "advanced and disabling" dementia.

He detailed reports from four leading psychiatrists and psychologists which had been commissioned by both prosecution and defence - all of which agreed the peer's mental health was very poor. Janner did not attend the latest court hearing....

Janner is accused of 15 counts of indecent assault and seven counts of a separate sexual offence against a total of nine alleged victims in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Twenty-one of the offences relate to complainants who were aged 16 or under at the time....

Thursday, December 3, 2015

UK police 2,228 child abuse suspects, Catholic church knew it had abuse 'time bombs', child sex abuse inquiry hears

Operation Hydrant: UK police identify 2,228 child abuse suspects
1 December 2015

More than 2,200 suspects are being investigated by UK police probing historical child sex abuse allegations.  Figures from Operation Hydrant - which was set up by the National Police Chiefs' Council - show the total has risen by almost 800 since May. It includes 302 people of "public prominence", including 99 politicians and 147 from television, film or radio. Some 761 different institutions are now on the Hydrant database, including 288 schools and 204 children's homes.

Operation Hydrant was set up last summer to oversee the investigation of allegations of "non-recent" child sex abuse within institutions or by people of public prominence. It does not conduct any investigations itself, but gathers information from other inquiries carried out by police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Of the 2,228 suspects currently under investigation:
    Some 286 are now dead, while 554 are classified as unknown or unidentified
    Among those of public prominence, 39 come from the music industry and 17 from the world of sport
    A total of 1,217 are alleged offenders who operated within institutions, including 86 religious institutions, 39 medical establishments and 25 prisons or young offenders institutes
    Other institutions named include 22 sports venues, 10 community institutions, such as youth clubs, and 81 other institutions, such as guest houses.... 

Catholic church knew it had abuse 'time bombs', child sex abuse inquiry hears
‘The big time bomb was ticking away’ in Ballarat diocese, former Melbourne archdiocese vicar-general Bishop Peter Connors tells royal commission
Australian Associated Press Thursday 3 December 2015  

The Catholic church knew it had child abuse “time bombs” ticking away in a number of Australian dioceses, an inquiry has heard.
A special issues committee meeting at the Australian Catholic Bishops conference in 1992 noted: “It was agreed that there are serious time bombs ticking away in a number of dioceses at the present time.”

That was the case in a number of dioceses, former Melbourne archdiocese vicar-general Bishop Peter Connors, who chaired the committee, told the child abuse royal commission.
It also included Melbourne’s Doveton parish, where a succession of paedophile priests were sent.

“There would certainly be other dioceses where that problem, of time bombs ticking away, existed,” Bishop Connors said.
“That would certainly be the case, I think particularly, in the diocese of Ballarat, the big time bomb was ticking away there.”
The meeting of special issues groups, set up to deal with allegations against priests, noted it was important the alleged offender be treated fairly.

Bishop Connors agreed with Gail Furness SC, senior counsel assisting the commission, who said there was little, if any, concern about the victims.
The commission heard there was a culture in the Catholic church of keeping abuse allegations secret.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bill Cosby Lawyers Seek to Reseal Court Records, Jehovah's Witnesses 'fostered distrust' of secular authority

"Since 1950 the church has received 1,066 allegations against its members and did not report any of them to police. Stewart’s recommendations arise out of a public hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses and its oversight body, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, in July." 

Bill Cosby Lawyers Seek to Reseal Court Records


Lawyers for Bill Cosby argued in a court filing on Wednesday that a federal judge in Philadelphia had violated Mr. Cosby’s rights and set a dangerous precedent for other public figures by unsealing court records from a 2005 lawsuit against the entertainer.
In the filing, the lawyers argued that the judge had been wrong in July to release the documents, which included an acknowledgment, under questioning, by Mr. Cosby that in the 1970s he obtained quaaludes to give them to young women with whom he wanted to have sex. Mr. Cosby’s team is seeking to have the documents resealed.
Mr. Cosby’s lawyers had fought the release of the court records after The Associated Press requested that they be unsealed.... 

Jehovah's Witnesses 'fostered distrust' of secular authority – royal commission counsel
Church’s response to child sexual abuse fell short of best practice, says Angus Stewart QC in his damning submission, published on Tuesday
Australian Associated Press  Tuesday 1 December 2015 

A damning submission to the royal commission on child sexual abuse has recommended 77 adverse findings against the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia.

It was open to the commission to find the church fostered distrust of secular authorities and its response to child sexual abuse fell short of best practice, counsel to the commission Angus Stewart QC found in his submission, published on Tuesday.

Since 1950 the church has received 1,066 allegations against its members and did not report any of them to police.

Stewart’s recommendations arise out of a public hearing into the Jehovah’s Witnesses and its oversight body, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia, in July.
He said the Witnesses received about three or four reports of allegations of child abuse a month.

The Jehovah’s Witness organisation presented its members with “conflicting and ambiguous teachings regarding their relationship with secular authorities, thereby fostering a distrust of such authorities”, Stewart said....

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

One in five Peace Corps volunteers sexually assaulted blamed, punished for reporting sexual assault?, Fraternity president testifies against brothers in pledge's death

Peace Corps volunteers blamed, punished for reporting sexual assault?

CBS News November 30, 2015

Nearly 7,000 Peace Corps currently serve in about 65 countries. Roughly one in five of them is sexually assaulted during that service, according to the results of a recent anonymous Peace Corps safety questionnaire, obtained exclusively by CBS News.

The report also shows that nearly half don't report the assaults.

Pressure to change a culture of victim-blaming goes back years, but some survivors still claim they are blamed or punished. One volunteer wrote that in reporting an assault, "I made myself a target."

"My thought was they're going to rape me. These men are going to rape me," said Danae Smith, who volunteered in the remote Dominican Republic town of Los Mosquitos for eight months.

In April, two men with machetes forced the 23-year-old off the village's main road. Smith got away and reported the assault to the Peace Corps and within a week, the agency told her she was going home.

"They also told me that my attack had occurred because I had been walking in my site and that as a volunteer, it was my job to have been more proactive to prevent it from happening," Smith said.

More than 500 volunteers have reported experiencing a sexual assault in a little over two years. CBS News spoke with nearly a dozen who questioned how their recent cases were handled. They told us they felt criticized and were threatened they would be fired....

Inspector General reports show multiple cases of Peace Corps personnel - accused in sexual assaults - resigning ahead of administrative action, then being allowed to re-apply to the agency.

A 2014 Inspector General report warned the Peace Corps' screening process for re-hiring was not detecting past misconduct.

One volunteer who admitted to violating the agency's sexual assault policy was later hired to work at the agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"That person is no longer employed by Peace Corps. But I will also say that we are putting in place systems, mechanisms that will make sure that that does not happen again in the future," said Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. "This is unacceptable to us and we are trying to change the culture."....

Fraternity president testifies against brothers in pledge's death
November 30, 2015
STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania college fraternity president says he and four others charged in a pledge's death during a hazing ritual in the Poconos tried to "cover it all up" when they met weeks later.

Daniel Li is cooperating against four Baruch College fraternity brothers charged with third-degree murder in the beating death of 18-year-old Chun Michael Deng.

Li says the Pi Delta Psi brothers gathered in New York afterward to decide what to tell police and their attorneys.

Defense lawyer Steven Brill, who represents co-defendant Sheldon Wong, says no one initially thought the injuries to Deng were life-threatening.

Brill calls the 2013 death accidental. Other defendants are Charles Lai, Kenny Kwan and Raymond Lam.

Police say fraternity members blindfolded Deng, forcing him to wear a heavy backpack, and then repeatedly tackled him during the hazing ritual, known as glass ceiling.

Deng fell unconscious and was carried inside the house while fraternity members changed his clothes and did an Internet search of his symptoms, waiting an hour before taking him to the hospital, according to court documents. Deng, who suffered a brain injury, died a day later....