Friday, January 29, 2016

Senate probe faults gov't for migrant child abuse, UN finds more cases of child abuse by European troops in CAR

UN finds more cases of child abuse by European troops in CAR
Up to six more cases of alleged sexual abuse, including girl of 7 and boy of 9, by EU and French soldiers in Central African Republic, says human rights chief

Associated Press in Geneva  Friday 29 January 2016

The UN human rights office says it has turned up six more cases of alleged sexual abuse against children by European troops in Central African Republic, including a 7-year-old girl who said she had to perform sexual acts on soldiers in exchange for water and cookies.

A UN team recently interviewed five girls and a boy who claimed their abusers were part of French and European Union military operations in the troubled African country, the office of Zeid Raad al-Hussein, the high commissioner for human rights, said.

The sexual abuse allegedly took place in 2014 in or near a camp for displaced people near M’Poko airport in CAR’s capital, Bangui, but only came to light in recent weeks in the latest in a string of similar allegations.

France, CAR’s former colonial ruler, deployed several thousand troops to the country in late 2013 as violence between Christians and Muslims sent thousands fleeing from their homes. An African Union mission that began in April 2014 was taken over by a UN peacekeeping force five months later, while the EU force ended an 11-month mission in March last year.

At a news conference later on Friday in New York, the UN also announced new allegations against UN peacekeepers. Assistant secretary general Anthony Banbury came close to tears as he described four new child sex abuse cases in CAR involving UN troops and police from Bangladesh, Congo, Niger and Senegal.

He also announced an allegation of sexual assault against a minor by a member of Morocco’s military contingent serving with the earlier AU mission.

Banbury said there are likely to be 69 confirmed allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation in the UN’s 16 peacekeeping missions around the world, including 22 in CAR, for all of 2015. That figure is up from 51 in 2014 when there were no reported cases, he said....

Senate probe faults gov't for migrant child abuse
Friday, January 29, 2016  Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Migrant children in the government's care were placed in U.S. homes and left vulnerable to human trafficking due to sometimes non-existent screening by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a congressional report released Thursday.

The investigation says HHS failed to run background checks on the adults in the sponsors' households, failed to visit sponsors' homes and failed to realize some sponsors were accumulating multiple unrelated children, which can be a sign of human trafficking.

Lawmakers contend the government weakened its child protection policies as it was overwhelmed by tens of thousands of children crossing the border. A Senate subcommittee held a hearing Thursday to release the report and examine weaknesses in the department's placement of migrant children.

At the hearing, HHS officials declined to fully answer many of the senators' questions, at times saying they did not have the legal authority from Congress to follow up on the children.

The investigation by the panel echoes the findings of an Associated Press investigation that found more than two dozen unaccompanied children were sent to homes across the country where they were sexually assaulted, starved or forced to work for little or no pay.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, the chairman of the panel, says the HHS placement program for migrant children suffers from "serious, systemic defects."

The congressional investigation and hearing are in response to a case in Portman's home state of Ohio, where six Guatemalan unaccompanied minors were placed with human traffickers, including sponsors and their associates. Lured to the U.S. with the promise of an education, the teens instead were forced to work up to 12 hours a day on egg farms under threats of death.

The report says the department did not conduct any home visits in the Ohio case and performed visits in less than 5 percent of cases overall from 2013 to 2015....

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kony's cannibals: Commander 'ordered his men to cook and eat captured civilians and use rape to train child fighters in Uganda', Police drop Kids Company 'sex abuse' investigation

describes extreme violence

Kony's cannibals: Commander 'ordered his men to cook and eat captured civilians and use rape to train child fighters in Uganda'

    Dominic Ongwen, himself a child soldier, 'turned children into militants'
    He was operating as a commander for Joseph Kony's rebel army
    A court today heard he ordered his soldiers to cook and eat human flesh
    He appeared at the International Criminal Court to face war crime charges
By Corey Charlton for MailOnline  21 January 2016

A former Lord's Resistance Army commander ordered his men to cook and eat the flesh of abducted civilians and used rape to turn children into sex slaves or soldiers, a court has heard.

Dominic Ongwen, himself a former child soldier who rose through the ranks of Joseph Kony's rebel group, is also accused of slaughtering locals in a campaign of terror across Uganda.

Surrendering last January after years on the run as one of the world's most wanted criminals, he faces 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court....

Prosecutor Ben Gumpert told judges Kony found children easiest to shape by a process of brutalisation into the fighters he needed....

Ongwen, by turns generous and cruel, played a role in this.

Mr Gumpert said: 'Witnesses tell of how he instructed his personal escorts to administer dreadful beatings and... even, on at least one occasion, to kill, cook and eat civilians who had been abducted in attacks.'....

'Nursing mothers whose babies slowed up the progress or who simply cried too loudly saw them killed or thrown into the bush and left behind,' Mr Gumpert said.

A video taken by Ugandan authorities showed thatched huts burned to the ground and abandoned corpses of children in shallow graves in the aftermath of an attack.

More than 130 people - many of them children and babies - died in these attacks and dozens of others were abducted, prosecutors said.

He added that Ongwen played a crucial role in transforming abducted children into soldiers, whom Kony saw as 'most easily molded into the ruthless killers he needed'.

They were forced to perform 'individual acts of torture and murder designed to convince recently abducted children that they were so steeped in blood that there could be no acceptance for them back in civilian society,' Mr Gumpert said....

The LRA is accused of slaughtering more than 100,000 people and abducting 60,000 children in its bloody rebellion against Kampala.

It first emerged in northern Uganda in 1986, where it claimed to fight in the name of the Acholi ethnic group against the government of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

But over the years it has moved freely across porous regional borders, shifting from Uganda to sow terror in southern Sudan before heading into northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and finally crossing into southeastern Central African Republic in March 2008.

Combining religious mysticism with a bent for astute guerrilla tactics and bloodthirsty ruthlessness, Kony has turned scores of young girls into his personal sex slaves while claiming to be fighting to impose the Bible's Ten Commandments....

Police drop Kids Company 'sex abuse' investigation
Tom Marshall 28 January 2016

A police investigation into allegations of physical and sexual abuse linked to failed charity Kids Company has been dropped.

Detectives found no evidence to justify any charges after studying 32 pieces of information or intelligence, Scotland Yard announced.

A spokesman for the Met added: "Nor have we identified any failings by the charity in respect of them carrying out their duty to safeguard children or vulnerable adults."

The Met launched an inquiry into reports of alleged physical and sexual abuse in July "following the receipt of information from a journalist"....

These reports concerned allegations or information relating to children and staff based at the charity, the force said, adding: "However, the majority were third-party reports which were vague in detail."

Officers carried out "detailed and extensive inquiries" to establish the veracity of the information, speaking to a number of individuals connected to the charity. No-one was arrested or interviewed under caution in connection with the investigation.

An incident which had previously been investigated by police and resulted in a "male adult service user" of the charity receiving a three-month suspended sentence for assaulting a member of staff was included within the reports.

The Met spokesman added: "Aside from this case, to date the Met has identified no evidence of criminality within the 32 reports which would reach the threshold to justify a referral to the Crown Prosecution Service....

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Webcam sex abuse 'established reality', Mental health care 'insufficient for abused children'

Mental health care 'insufficient for abused children'
27 January 2016   UK
Nearly all health professionals believe there are not enough mental health services for children who have suffered sexual abuse, a survey has suggested.

The NSPCC surveyed 1,256 people in the UK, including psychologists, teachers, GPs and social workers, and 96% said there was insufficient help.

Just over half blamed waiting lists, and 78% said accessing help had become more difficult in the last five years.

The government says an extra £1.4bn is being spent to improve the situation.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said the situation "shames the nation" and called for better access to therapy.

The charity says abused children often have to develop chronic mental health problems, be suicidal or self-harming before services become available to them.

It found that in many cases children have to wait more than five months to get specialist support....

Webcam sex abuse 'established reality' in the UK

By Angus Crawford BBC News  26 January 2016  UK
Paedophile Trevor Monk paid for the live streaming of child abuse from the Philippines and then travelled there to carry out the abuse himself. His case represents a growing problem of British men ordering abuse over the internet.

A webcam and an internet connection was all Monk needed to carry out a catalogue of abuse on children as young as eight years old.

Having arranged "facilitators" to co-ordinate from Manila, the 47-year-old transferred money in exchange for young girls performing sex acts in front of a computer.

Watching the live stream from his home in Erith, south-east London, Monk later went a step further and travelled to the Philippines where he abused at least nine young girls in person. He is also known to have travelled to Thailand.

Police and charities are concerned this type of abuse is a growing trend, made easier by the amount of untraceable messaging services now available.

Typically offenders like Monk use social media or live pornography sites to make contact - either with a family or a pimp.

They then pay as little as £15 via international transfer and are allowed to direct the abuse over the internet.

But this case also reveals just how much money can be involved. Over a four year period between 2010 and 2014 Monk paid out more than £14,000 to pay for what he called "shows", transferring the money in small amounts via Western Union....

Two years ago, I travelled to the Philippines to observe the effects of this global crime on the local population.
The BBC found in 2014 that the abuse took place in slum areas in the Philippines

I met children as young as five who had been sexually assaulted by their own parents - paid to do so by sex offenders in Europe.

During visits to slums in Cebu City in the south of the country, I saw that whole areas had been taken over by the trade.

Police took me to a house where children would be brought by their relatives to take part in the live streaming.

I was told that it had become "a cottage industry"....

Monday, January 25, 2016

Federal Data Shows Nearly 3 Percent Rise in Child Abuse, UK child abuse victims sue Catholic Church, Scotland Yard child abuse probe into Kids Company, 5 of 77 western Washington priests suspected of child abuse were likely prosecuted, animal sacrifice ritual

- New Federal Data Shows Nearly 3 Percent Rise in Child Abuse
- UK child abuse victims sue Catholic Church
- REVEALED: The true scale of Scotland Yard child abuse probe into "cult-like" Kids Company
- Report: 5 of 77 western Washington priests suspected of child abuse were likely prosecuted
-  Man beheads dog, duck as part of animal sacrifice ritual, deputies say

New Federal Data Shows Nearly 3 Percent Rise in Child Abuse

By david crary, ap national writer
Jan 25, 2016
The number of U.S. children victimized by abuse and neglect increased by nearly 3 percent in the latest annual reporting period, according to new federal data.

According to the report released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services, the estimated number of victimized children in the 2014 fiscal year was 702,208 — up from 682,307 in 2013.

The report estimated fatalities attributable to child abuse and neglect at 1,580 — up from 1,530 in 2013....

UK child abuse victims sue Catholic Church

AAP January 26, 2016
The claims - dating back to the 1950s and featuring pupils at a church school in the northwest of England - mirror those in the film Spotlight, tipped for Oscars success for its depiction of similar allegations in the Catholic Church in Boston, US, in the 1980s.

Lawyers acting on behalf of the British victims, who were aged between 11 and 15 at the time of the abuse, said they hope the positivity Spotlight's release met with will help give other victims the strength to come forward.

Thomas Beale, representing victims with London-based child abuse lawyers AO Advocates, said there were "significant" similarities between Spotlight and the allegations of abuse at St Bede's Catholic school in Manchester decades ago....

The allegations at St Bede's relate to Monsignor Thomas Duggan, Father Charles Mulholland and Father Vincent Hamilton - three senior figures at the school who carried out the alleged abuse.

They died before being brought to justice, but the survivors are now taking out a civil case against the Diocese of Salford for what they say is a failure to protect them from abuse.

Allegations range from inappropriate touching to rape....

REVEALED: The true scale of Scotland Yard child abuse probe into "cult-like" Kids Company

POLICE and social services are investigating 36 separate cases of child abuse in connection with the failed Government-funded charity Kids Company.
By Jon Austin Fri, Jan 22, 2016

The true scale of the Metropolitan Police investigation into the former charity backed by Prime Minister David Cameron was revealed by a social services chief in a damning letter giving evidence to an ongoing Parliamentary inquiry into the relationship between Kids Company and Whitehall.

David Quirke-Thornton, Strategic Director for Children’s and Adults’ Services at Southwark Council, launched a stinging attack on the charity and former chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh in evidence to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

He wrote: "The ethics of practice within Kids Company appears to me to have been compromised by a cult of personality; a wilful blindness to the consequences and impact of their model on children, young people and their families; and a lack of acceptance by the leadership of the organisation of their accessorial liability."

The charity, whose chairman was former BBC creative director Alan Yentob, closed in August just days after it pocketed a £3million final bailout from Whitehall.

It has since emerged the Government provided Kids Company a whopping £46m in funds over less than 10 years despite their being repeated concerns raised with officials over its management.

The closure came just days after it emerged the Scotland Yard was investigating a number of allegations of sexual abuse relating to some of its clients....

Report: 5 of 77 western Washington priests suspected of child abuse were likely prosecuted
By The Associated Press January 24, 2016

....Boyle, now deceased, retired from Mount St. Vincent in Seattle in 1984 and spent a total of about 15 years in the Seattle Archdiocese. He pleaded guilty in Nevada in 1987 to one count of lewdness with a child for exposing himself, according to news accounts and interviews.

....Since the late 1980s, the Seattle Archdiocese has paid about $74 million in civil settlements for 392 claims of sexual abuse of minors, including at least $1.1 million paid to three of Boyle's victims.

Man beheads dog, duck as part of animal sacrifice ritual, deputies say 
By Kate Jacobson Sun Sentinel  January 20, 2016

A man beheaded his dog and a duck as part of an animal sacrifice ritual in the front yard of his apartment complex while neighbors watched, deputies said.

Javier Orelly, 28, was arrested on Tuesday by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Deputies said they got a call just after 7 p.m. on Jan. 14 about a man who appeared to be setting up a shrine to kill his dog....

Animal sacrifices are common in Santeria, a religion typically practiced in parts of Africa and the Caribbean. Under U.S. and state law, some animal sacrifices are legal if the animal is killed humanely and for legitimate religious purposes.

Florida law prohibits the slaughter of dogs or cats.

Officers from animal care and control typically come across the discarded bodies of livestock like chickens and goats. Walesky said finding the person behind a slaughter is rare. The fact that the animal killed was a dog, Walesky said, is even more rare....

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Lord Janner: Three chances missed to put MP on trial for child abuse, 'abused 12 at children's home' as child sex case is dropped, Leaked email may derail criminal case against Bill Cosby, Woman tells how she was sold into sex slavery aged 14 and raped 110 times in a day

- Janner: Three chances missed to put MP on trial for child abuse
- Lord Janner 'abused 12 at children's home' as child sex case is DROPPED
- Leaked email may derail criminal case against Bill Cosby
- Woman tells how she was sold into sex slavery aged 14 and raped 110 times in a DAY

Lord Janner 'abused 12 at children's home' as child sex case is DROPPED

LORD JANNER allegedly abused 12 former residents of a children's home, as the former Labour MP's historic child sex abuse case was DROPPED in light of his death.
By Rebecca Perring  Fri, Jan 15, 2016

Legal proceedings were left in limbo last month following the announcement that the elderly peer had died.

But it has since emerged that the peer regualrly visited Leicestershire children's homes between 1970 and the mid to late 1980s.

An ex-police officer claims he reported suspicions about Lord Janner, a decade before police began a full inquiry....

The former Labour peer had been accused of 22 counts of sex offences against boys dating back to the 1960s - allegations his family vigorously denied, insisting he was "entirely innocent".
A jury was to decide - without resolving whether he was guilty or sentencing - if the incidents involving nine alleged victims had taken place. But Greville Janner died in December following a long illness, aged 87.

He had already been declared unfit to stand trial due to his "deteriorating and irreversible" dementia.

In a statement by the Crown Prosecution Service, seen by, the investigation into the trial of Frank Beck, a care home manager who was eventually convicted of child abuse, is also explored....

The CPS say they have information about 22 alleged victims.

These include four indecent assaults on a male under 16 between 1969 and 1988, two indecent assaults between 1984 and 1988, four counts of buggery of a male under 16 between 1972 and 1987 and two counts of buggery between 1977 and 1988.

Earlier this year, there was outrage when Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders decided it was not in the public interest to put Janner on trial because he was so ill.

She later reversed her decision following a review of the case by David Perry, QC, who said there should be a trial of facts....

Cambridge-educated Greville Janner was MP for Leicester North West from 1970 to 1974 and for Leicester West until 1997.

The father-of-three then left the Commons to take a seat in the House of Lords as Baron Janner of Braunstone....

Janner: Three chances missed to put MP on trial for child abuse
By Ciaranfagan    January 19, 2016
Three chances to put Greville Janner on trial for child abuse were blown because of mistakes by the police or prosecutors, according to a senior legal figure today.

Retired High Court judge Sir Richard Henriques said the former Leicester MP, who died aged 86 last month, should have been charged with offences against boys in 1991, 2002 and 2007.

The cases did not proceed because of the "inadequacy" of police investigations or decisions by senior prosecutors.

The peer's family has always insisted he was innocent of any crime....

Sir Richard's review of the authorities' handling of the Janner case was commissioned by the Crown Prosecution Service last year.

He found the decision not to charge Lord Janner in 1991 with a series of offences against a 14-year-old boy was wrong. Sir Richard said police investigation was "inadequate" and the CPS should have pressed for further inquiries instead of closing the case.

In 2002, Leicestershire Police did not tell the CPS about a second alleged victim's claims, he revealed....

The death of the veteran Labour politician – who was accused of 22 sexual offences against boys between 1963 and 1988 – ended the prospect of his alleged victims' evidence ever being tested in a criminal court.

All case files have been handed to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, (IICSA),

It will sit for the first time in March to begin its investigation into the late peer.... 

Leaked email may derail criminal case against Bill Cosby
By Ray Kelly January 18, 2016

A former district attorney says he agreed more than a decade ago that his office would not use a civil deposition given by Bill Cosby in any criminal matters, according to an email obtained by CNN.

The email written by former Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Bruce Castor  details a verbal agreement Castor had with Cosby's attorneys about his 2005 sexual assault case.

"I can see no possibility that Cosby's deposition could be used in a state criminal case, because I would have to testify as to what happened, and the deposition would be subject to suppression," Castor said in the email written three months before criminal charges were brought against Cosby.

In Cosby's deposition, Cosby detailed his romantic interest in the alleged victim; his pursuit of other young women during his long marriage; and his use of quaaludes in the 1970s as a seduction tool.

His lawyers have asked for the aggravated sexual assault charges to be dismissed, contending that they "violate an express agreement" with the district attorney at the time which they say constitutes an immunity deal....

Woman tells how she was sold into sex slavery aged 14 and raped 110 times in a DAY
A BRITISH woman has told how she was sold as a teen sex slave by her evil Albanian boyfriend and raped hundreds of times for cash.  By Kieran Corcoran  Tue, Jan 19, 2016

The woman was just 14 when her holiday flame turned vicious, beat her and sold her on to be pimped out.

She told how at her lowest ebb she was raped by 110 men in a single day, who paid €20 to spend five minutes with her.

The woman, who used the false name Megan to speak about her experiences, spent six years captive in Greece before making her escape.

Speaking to MailOnline, Megan told how she fell for Jak, a charming Albanian whom she fell for on a dream holiday to Greece.

Incredibly, after the break was over she was allowed to stay in the country with him by her permissive mother.

But after her parent, whom she said struggled with alcoholism, was off the scene, her new love turned.

The man, whom she called Jak, sold her to a Greek pimp, who took her far away and made her have sex for as many as 22 hours per day.

She was forced to hand half the money she made over to the pimp and wire the rest back to Jak every week....

Friday, January 15, 2016

Bishop who didn’t report child abuse gains new post

Bishop who didn’t report child abuse gains new post   
By Associated Press January 15, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. — A Roman Catholic bishop who was convicted in Missouri of not reporting suspected child abuse has become chaplain at a convent in Nebraska.

Bishop Emeritus Robert Finn is spiritual adviser to the nuns at the School Sisters of Christ the King convent in Lincoln.

Finn was found guilty in 2012 of one misdemeanor count of failure to report suspected abuse and was given two years’ probation, making him the highest-ranking church official in the US to be convicted of taking no action over abuse allegations.

Lincoln Diocese spokesman J.D. Flynn said Friday the 62-year-old Finn resigned as bishop for the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese in Missouri but retains the religious title of bishop emeritus....

Child abuse information

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Spotlight: the reporters who uncovered Boston's Catholic child abuse scandal

Spotlight: the reporters who uncovered Boston's Catholic child abuse scandal

A Boston Globe investigation into widespread child abuse by Catholic clergy has been turned into a new film starring Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. The Pulitzer-winning team talk small-town secrets, collective guilt – and whether anything has really changed within the church

Henry Barnes Wednesday 13 January 2016

In 2002, the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, a group of five investigative journalists, uncovered the widespread sexual abuse of children by scores of the district’s clergy. They also revealed a cover-up: that priests accused of misconduct were being systematically removed and allowed to work in other parishes.

The team’s investigation brought the issue to national prominence in the US, winning them the Pulitzer prize for public service. The journalists’ story, and those who suffered at the hands of the clergy, are the subject of Spotlight, a Hollywood movie starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. It is a love letter to investigative journalism and a reminder that, 13 years and some $3bn in settlement payments later, survivors in Boston and beyond are still waiting for satisfactory long-term action from the Vatican....

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

UN peacekeepers 'paid 13-year-olds for sex', FBI hacked into 'dark web' to bust up largest ever child abuse network

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly interrupted and shut down a massive online child abuse network after hacking into the so-called dark web in an operation that may lead to 1,500 prosecutions."

UN peacekeepers 'paid 13-year-olds for sex'

Four peacekeepers allegedly paid young girls as little as 50 cents in exchange for sex
Kevin Sieff Tuesday 12 January 2016

The United Nations has been grappling with so many sexual abuse allegations involving its peacekeepers that Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon recently called them "a cancer in our system."

Now, officials have learned about what appears to be a fresh scandal. Investigators discovered this month that at least four UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic allegedly paid young girls as little as 50 cents in exchange for sex.

The case is the latest to plague the UN mission in the Central African Republic, whose employees have been accused of 22 other incidents of alleged sexual abuse or sexual exploitation in the past 14 months. The most recent accusations come in the wake of Ban’s efforts to implement a "zero tolerance" policy for such offenses....

The most recent allegations involve at least four peacekeepers who are accused of paying girls as young as 13 for sex at a camp for the internally displaced next to the international airport in Bangui, the capital. The site, known as M’Poko camp, is home to 20,000 people, mostly Christians. It is a vast agglomeration of white tents surrounding old, decaying airplanes, just yards from the airport runway.

The United Nations has not publicly released the nationalities of the acccused troops, or provided details of the alleged abuse. But in interviews, UN officials said the peacekeepers were from Gabon, Morocco, Burundi and France. The prostitution ring they allegedly used was run by boys and young men who offered up girls "for anywhere from 50 cents to three dollars," according to one official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation....

Human Rights Watch documented nine cases of sexual violence between September and December in and around the displacement camp. In several instances, Christian women were raped by members of the mostly Christian "anti-balaka" militia after being accused of interacting with Muslims. Across Bangui, the conflict has fallen largely along religious lines.

"M'Poko is a lawless zone run by anti-balaka thugs a few hundred meters away from the international airport. The camp is not being protected, and women are being raped," said Lewis Mudge, Human Rights Watch's Central Africa Republic researcher....

FBI hacked into 'dark web' to bust up largest ever child abuse network

The FBI used an unprecedented technique to hack into the protected bulletin board
Andrew Buncombe New York Friday 8 January 2016

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly interrupted and shut down a massive online child abuse network after hacking into the so-called dark web in an operation that may lead to 1,500 prosecutions.

Vice Motherboard reported that federal investigators used an unprecedented approach to hack into the dark web bulletin board site named Playpen. The bulletin board was launched in August 2014 and within one year had 215,000 accounts with 11,000 unique visitors each week.

The report said that the FBI seized the North Carolina-based server running the board in February 2015 but did not shut it down immediately. Rather, the investigators ran the site via its own servers and deployed a hacking tool known, or network investigative technique (NIT), to identify the IP addresses of those visitors to the site.

The dark web is a section of the internet not discoverable by conventional means, such as through a server search or by directly entering a website URL.

Playpen was apparently the largest child abuse site discovered to date. It enabled users to sign up and then upload any images they liked. According to court documents, the website’s primary purpose was to advertise and distribute child pornography.... 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Police officers involved in cover up of paedophile ring, says former Deputy Police Chief Lenny Harper led the investigation into allegations of child abuse at former children's home Haut de la Garenne in 2008, Pope accepts resignation of Australian bishop accused of being evasive at abuse inquiry

Police officers involved in cover up of paedophile ring, says former Deputy Police Chief

12 January 2016

A former Deputy Chief Officer of Jersey's police force has today claimed senior police officers were involved in the cover up of a paedophile ring.

Lenny Harper led the investigation into allegations of child abuse at former children's home Haut de la Garenne in 2008.

Today he told the inquiry into historical child abuse in the island of his growing concern there was a top-level cover up.

    I was hugely concerned there was a cover up happening in Jersey and I was concerned that a lot of evidence was going missing and that witnesses were being intimidated. There was a clear story emerging in my mind and whilst I may not have used the term paedophile ring, my view there was certainly a culture emerging in Jersey of systematic child abuse.
– Lenny Harper, former Deputy Chief Officer of Jersey's police

He went on to give examples of times, he claims, officers were pressured to drop investigations: "A former senior detective where his credibility and integrity were questioned by two paedophiles. Others where a police officer on another case alleged that he was obstructed and intimidated throughout the investigation."

When asked by counsel for the inquiry who was responsible for the alleged cover up, he replied: "It was a group of individuals who were involved in a number of cases. It was the involvement of police officers that concerned me, with allegations by junior officers that led me to believe that some senior officers were involved in the cover up of abuse of children."

    I was told about exhibits in a case disappearing, that officers were not allowed to look at other exhibits, generally speaking exhibits and files were going missing.
– Lenny Harper, former Deputy Chief Officer of Jersey's police.... 

Child abuse investigation could have started four years earlier says former Deputy Police Chief

12 January 2016 

A former Deputy Chief Officer of Jersey's police force says officers could have begun their investigation into claims of child abuse at Haut de la Garenne four years earlier than they did.

Lenny Harper is giving evidence to the inquiry into historical child abuse.

Today the inquiry heard Operation Rectangle was originally set up to investigate historical allegations of abuse in Jersey's Sea Cadets. That happened over a period of years and the team had - at one point - worked with the FBI as part of a global effort to find abusers. Today, Mr Harper explained that line of inquiry hit a stumbling block in 2006....

He went on to say: "Senior officers were ignoring requests for an investigation. There was a decision not to follow up. The request was ignored. There's no way around it. Even inertia, whether it was too difficult, whether indeed it was malicious, it was still ignored and it was wrong."

Lenny Harper because the senior investigating officer into allegations about abuse at Haut de la Garenne in early 2008.

When asked if he was the right person to be in charge, he said: "Yes. I think I was able to engender the trust of victims who had mistrust in not only the police but in all of the caring agencies in Jersey....

Pope accepts resignation of Australian bishop accused of being evasive at abuse inquiry

Brian Finnegan was accused of not being candid about his knowledge of paedophile priests in a bid to protect himself and the Catholic church

Guardian staff and agencies Wednesday 30 December 2015
An Australian bishop accused of protecting himself and the Catholic church at the child abuse royal commission has resigned.

The pope has accepted Brisbane auxiliary bishop Brian Finnegan’s resignation upon his reaching the retirement age, the Vatican’s press office has announced.

Finnegan, 77, was accused of not being candid about his knowledge of paedophile priests in a bid to protect himself and the church during his December evidence to the child abuse royal commission’s inquiry into the Ballarat diocese.

Finnegan was secretary to the bishop of the Ballarat diocese, Ronald Mulkearns, between 1979 and 1985 when the priest Gerald Ridsdale was abusing children in parishes within the diocese.

Finnegan repeatedly told the commission he was unaware of Ridsdale’s abuse at the time and had no concerns about the priest.

But the commission heard evidence Finnegan had been phoned by a mother who was concerned about Ridsdale’s interactions with her eldest son.

In documents revealed by the commission, Finnigan once described the Mortlake parish where Ridsdale worked as priest in 1981 and 1982 as “a real trouble spot” where there was “drama” around “kids in classes”.... 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Police Investigating Sexual Abuse Claims at Prestigious New England Boarding School

Police Investigating Sexual Abuse Claims at Prestigious New England Boarding School
By Chris Harris 01/06/2016

Two New England attorneys are saying they've been in touch with more than 40 alumni of an affluent Rhode Island boarding school that allege staff members or other pupils sexually assaulted them during the 1970s and 1980s.

PEOPLE spoke Wednesday with Eric MacLeish, one of the two lawyers behind a press conference held on Tuesday in which four graduates of the St. George's School in Middletown accused school officials of covering up years of systemic abuse.

"I have never run across anything like this," MacLeish, who has spent his career representing victims of childhood sexual abuse, tells PEOPLE; he's a St. George's alum.

"Officials were not reporting claims from students but instead, imposing gag orders on those victims," MacLeish explains. "There are prosecutable crimes that occurred here and I expect more victims will be coming forward."

At Tuesday's press conference, MacLeish and his co-counsel, attorney Carmen Durso, issued a 36-page response to findings released by St. George's headmaster, Eric Peterson, and the school's Board of Trustees back in December.

The school's own report, which was obtained by PEOPLE, capped a 10-month investigation into sex abuse allegations from 26 staff and students who'd worked at or attended the school during the '70s and '80s.

It concluded there was no evidence to indicate school officials "simply ignored" complaints of sexual misconduct while acknowledging "the school could have done more to keep its students safe." The school's report also included an apology and outlined steps administrators would be taking to get potential victims mental health counseling.

But Tuesday's detailed response alleges school administrators deliberately dropped the ball, failing to report known or suspected abuse to Rhode Island's Department of Children, Youth and Families. Instead, offenders were either terminated or expelled, MacLeish claims....,,20977939,00.html

Dozens of alums from elite boarding school come forward with tales of sexual abuse  Jan 7th 2016

More than 40 Rhode Island boarding school alumni are speaking out, demanding justice for a string of alleged sexual assaults by staff and peers going back into the 1970s..... 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Family of ranchers who inspired Ore. militia takeover accused of abusing teen relative, family behind the Oregon militia cites Mormon beliefs for armed conflicts with government, Mormon leaders to Oregon militia: Your religion isn’t with you, Bill Cosby won't be charged in two sexual assault cases in Los Angeles, U.N. Peacekeeping in Crisis as Fresh Child Abuse Allegations Emerge in CAR

Family of ranchers who inspired Ore. militia takeover accused of abusing teen relative; grandmother denies claims, calling boy 'disturbed' BY Laura Bult, Nicole Hensley NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A family of embattled ranchers whose beef with the government inspired the armed takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon were once accused of repeatedly abusing a 16-year-old relative — including scraping his chest raw with sandpaper.


Dusty Hammond was punched to the ground, forced to hike 10 miles to a family ranch and ordered to eat chewing tobacco, according to a 2004 police report against uncle Steven Hammond and grandfather Dwight Hammond Jr., who surrendered to federal authorities Monday on a 2012 arson conviction....

Steven Hammond used sandpaper to erase a homebrew tattoo from Dusty’s chest. The coarse abrasive left the rancher’s nephew with twin scabs.

Dusty refused to cry during the 10 minutes his uncle spent scraping away the initials “J” and “S,” which the teen had carved using a paperclip. If he had shed a tear, Steven Hammond would have kept going, he told a Harney County deputy at the time of the inquiry.

Dusty’s punishment was requested by his grandparents, Dwight and Susan Hammond, who witnessed the abuse. Steven Hammond later defended it as an attempt “to teach Dusty to respect his body.”

When it was over, Dusty’s grandmother, Susan Hammond, told him to clean his bleeding wounds with alcohol and “not to have a pity party.”.... 

The family behind the Oregon militia cites Mormon beliefs for armed conflicts with the government

BY Jason Silverstein NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Monday, January 4, 2016

The menacing militia that has taken over a federal building in Oregon for three days (and counting) appears to be under an unlikely influence: Mormonism.

The Bundy family — a rancher clan with two brothers leading the Oregon siege and a history of flare-ups with the feds — have been known to cite their Mormon beliefs as justification for firearm-filled feuds with the government....

The Bundy brothers have not cited Mormonism during their siege, and Cliven — despite his public support for the Hammonds — has distanced himself from the armed takeover.... 

Mormon leaders to Oregon militia: Your religion isn’t with you
By PEGGY FLETCHER STACK   The Salt Lake Tribune Jan 05 2016

If Ammon Bundy and other Mormons involved in taking over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon believe their religion is backing them, they should reconsider.

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "strongly condemn the armed seizure of the facility," spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a news release Monday, "and are deeply troubled by the reports that those who have seized the facility suggest that they are doing so based on scriptural principles."

The release further states that "this armed occupation can in no way be justified on a scriptural basis."

Americans "are privileged to live in a nation where conflicts with government or private groups can — and should — be settled using peaceful means, according to the laws of the land."...,

Bill Cosby won't be charged in two sexual assault cases in Los Angeles
By Jean Casarez and Steve Almasy, CNN  Wed January 6, 2016
CNN)Bill Cosby won't be charged in two cases investigated by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, the DA announced Wednesday.

According to a charge evaluation sheet, prosecutors think neither of the two allegations could have resulted in charges within the statute of limitations.

The accusers, listed as Jane Does No. 1 and No. 2, had accused Cosby of sexual assault.

"We are satisfied that the Los Angeles DA's office fully and fairly evaluated all the facts and evidence, and came to the right conclusion," said Chris Tayback, a lawyer for Cosby.

Jane Doe No. 2 was identified by her lawyer as Chloe Goins, who accused the 78-year-old comedian of drugging her and sexually assaulting her at the Playboy Mansion in August 2008.

Prosecutors in District Attorney Jackie Lacey's office said the two potential criminal offenses described by Jane Doe No. 2 would be misdemeanors, and they were barred by the statute of limitations from prosecuting.

The office looked at possible felonies, such as sexual battery by restraint, but said the evidence was insufficient to prove a crime was committed....

U.N. Peacekeeping in Crisis as Fresh Child Abuse Allegations Emerge in CAR
By Conor Gaffey On 1/6/16
United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping personnel must lose their status as “a privileged class,” according to a former senior U.N. official, after fresh allegations of sexual abuse of minors by peacekeepers in Central African Republic (CAR) emerged.

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in CAR—known as MINUSCA— said on Tuesday that it was investigating allegations concerning sexual exploitation and abuse of minors, as well as other misconduct, by peacekeepers and international forces. The U.N. launched an investigation into its mission in CAR in June 2015 after allegations a peacekeeper sexually abused a young girl. Former colonial power France has also investigated claims of child abuse by its soldiers stationed in CAR .

MINUSCA said that staff from the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the capital Bangui had paid four visits to four alleged child victims of abuse, who have been provided with medical treatment and psychosocial assessments. MINUSCA declined to specify which countries the accused peacekeepers came from or how many were involved in the allegations. Unnamed sources told AFP that the peacekeepers came from Gabon, Egypt and Morocco, and AFP reported that the allegations brings the total number of sexual abuse cases against U.N. peacekeepers in CAR to 26....

Monday, January 4, 2016

U.S. Troops Suspected Of Sexually Assaulting Military Dependents: Report

U.S. Troops Suspected Of Sexually Assaulting Military Dependents: Report


WASHINGTON (AP) — Cpl. Aaron C. Masa became fast friends with a fellow Marine during field training in North Carolina. But behind his buddy's back, Masa was sexually abusing his friend's 3-year-old stepdaughter. He also took sexually explicit photos of the girl and the Marine's infant daughter.

A military judge convicted Masa last year of sexual abuse of a child and production of child pornography, according to court records and other documents detailing the case. Under the terms of a pretrial agreement, he pleaded guilty and received 30 years in prison.

In total, the children of service members, or military dependents, are sexually assaulted hundreds of times each year, data the Defense Department provided exclusively to The Associated Press show. The abuse is committed most often by male enlisted troops, according to the data, followed by family members....
An AP investigation published in November found more inmates are in military prisons for child sex crimes than for any other offense. But the military's opaque justice system keeps the public from knowing the full extent of their crimes or how much time they spend behind bars.

Responding to AP's findings, three Democratic senators have urged Defense Secretary Ash Carter to lift what they called the military justice system's "cloak of secrecy" and make records from sex-crimes trials readily accessible.

The senators also raised another concern. Child sex-assault cases are not included in the Defense Department's annual report to Congress on sexual assaults, which focuses primarily on adult-on-adult incidents, they said. The senators — Barbara Boxer of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii — told Carter in a Dec. 8 letter they are concerned the department may be underestimating how many sexual assaults are occurring in the military.

There were at least 1,584 substantiated cases of military dependents being sexually abused between fiscal years 2010 and 2014, according to the data. Enlisted service members sexually abused children in 840 cases. Family members of the victims accounted for the second largest category with 332 cases.

Most of the enlisted offenders were males whose ranks ranged between E-4 and E-6. In the Marine Corps and Army, for example, those troops are corporals, sergeants and staff sergeants. Officers were involved in 49 of the cases. The victims were overwhelmingly female.... 

Friday, January 1, 2016

The house of tears: Secret tapes of woman who spent years at controversial Irish home for unmarried mothers reveals there WAS an unmarked mass grave for up to 800 children

The house of tears: Secret tapes of woman who spent years at controversial Irish home for unmarried mothers reveals there WAS an unmarked mass grave for up to 800 children

    Some 796 children died at a single Irish care home between 1925 and 1961
    It was feared children's bodies were buried in a mass grave at the site
    A worker at the home in Galway made a taped interview before her death
    That interview confirms the existence of a mass grave at the site in Tuam  

By Alison O'reilly For The Irish Mail On Sunday

27 December 2015

A shocking recording from a woman who worked in an Irish home for unmarried mothers where almost 800 children died confirms there is an unmarked grave on the grounds of the infamous institution.

Julia Devaney entered St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County  Galway when she was nine years old and spent 36 years there until it closed in 1961. She worked as a domestic servant for the Bon Secours nuns.

Mrs Devaney gave a stark account of the home in a recorded interview with a former employer who ran a shop in Tuam some time in the 1980s. However, the tapes only resurfaced earlier this year.

From the 1920s, unmarried pregnant women in Ireland were routinely sent to institutions to have their babies, many of whom were sent to America for adoption.

Local historian Catherine Corless, who researched the names of the 796 children who died in the home from 1925 to 1961, has spent a number of months transcribing Ms Devaney’s interview.

Today, the Irish Mail on Sunday can reveal how Mrs Devaney said that children would ‘die like flies’ in the home. Mrs Devaney said: ‘Scores of children died under a year and whooping cough was epidemic. Sure they had a little graveyard of their own up there. It’s still there, it’s walled in now....

The MoS has published extensive extracts from her interview that reveal she believed the children were ‘never cared for’. Ms Devaney, who never had any children of her own, constantly refers to the orphans in the home and how it was apparent to her that they meant nothing to the nuns.

She said it was a ‘horrid place’, which was ‘cold, sad and loveless’: ‘It was not like a home, they’d be better off with a drunken father at home. It was an awful lonely old hole. Not natural, unnatural.

‘The children had a language all their own, they didn’t talk right at all, nobody to teach them, nobody to care. When the children came home from school they got their dinner and then their hair was fine-combed for nits and fleas....

The Magdalene Laundries

The Magdalene Laundries were institutions, generally run by Catholic religious organisations that operated for more than 200 years from the 18th century to the late 20th Century. In Ireland the first was founded in Dublin in 1765 and the last closed in 1996. They were established to house unmarried mothers. An estimated 30,000 women were confined in these institutions in Ireland.

Julia describes them – along with mental institutions – as the ultimate punishment for women in the homes.

‘None of the mothers would kick up, because if they did, then they knew they would be put into the Magdalene, they’d be punished. It’s a place you wouldn’t want to make too much talk about your child, it’s a place you’d want to be very careful of what you’d say or you would pay for it. … If children came back from being fostered out, and if they were a bit slow, they would be sent into the Magdalene Laundry as well....