Feds May Seek Racketeering Suit for Clergy Abuse in Diocese
By The Associated Press PITTSBURGH Apr 3, 2016
A federal prosecutor may file a racketeering lawsuit against a Roman Catholic diocese where a state grand jury found two former bishops helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 clergy over a 40-year period.
The ongoing investigation of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese grew out of the prosecution of the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., U.S. Attorney David Hickton said Friday.
The 71-year-old Somerset County priest was convicted last year of molesting two street children during missionary trips to Honduras. He was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison, fined $50,000 and forced to pay his victims $10,000 each.
Hickton said the ongoing investigation concerns whether diocesan officials engaged in a pattern of criminal activity that would fall under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO.
The statute of limitations has lapsed on criminal racketeering charges, but there is no time limit for filing a RICO lawsuit, Hickton said. KDKA-TV first reported that Hickton was considering such a lawsuit. A diocesan spokesman didn't immediately comment.
"The remedy that would be available under a civil RICO would be some sort of injunctive relief," Hickton said. "If we were able to get a consent decree, that would be one route."
Injunctive relief is simply a court order requiring the diocese to do something. A consent decree is a voluntary agreement between prosecutors and a target that certain reforms would be enacted....
The vile sex abuse by UN peacekeepers is leaving the United Nations in tatters
Cathy Newman Channel 4 News Presenter
14 April 2016
Sexual violence in war “is as destructive as any bomb or bullet”, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said a couple of years ago....
Sexual violence in conflict is one of the oldest crimes....
There were no fewer than 99 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by the “blue helmets” – as UN military personnel are nicknamed – last year, and there have been 25 new claims this year. And those are just the ones we know about.
What’s perhaps even more shocking is that this isn’t the first time such claims have surfaced about the conduct of UN peacekeepers. There was an alleged paedophile ring in the Democratic Republic of Congo, UN police officers in Bosnia were paying for prostitutes and trafficking young women from Eastern Europe, and Pakistani peacekeepers were found guilty of sexual abuse in Haiti. There’s a track record going back decades....