So far in the 21st century nearly a third of a billion children have been sexually abused, most of them multiple times, some thousands of times. 6 out of 7 are girls. Anything you can do to get this message to as many people as possible will help save abused children all over the world, and maybe even some of the abusers. Please read "Save A Child from Sexual Abuse by 3:15 PM" under "First Time Visitor?" May God bless you and anoint this ministry.
Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!
3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
I strongly recommend caution for sensitive or vulnerable people
- this is horrific stuff!
I greatly hesitate to put this post on my blog. The blog is dedicated to raising awareness of child sexual abuse. I fear losing credibility for even raising this subject, and yet I have seen stories that suggest ritual abuse really happens. Indeed, one of my most popular stories is Demi and Nirvana in Great Danger as Police Pedophile Ring Gets Exposed. There are suggestions that Satanic Rituals may be involved in the infuriating story of Demi and Nirvana in the Netherlands.
The article below, from Wikipedia, mentions Marc Dutroux. Dutroux is the central figure in my most popular story, and arguably, the most horrific story among the many thousands on my blog. Dutroux kidnapped girls off the streets, locked them up in the basements of his several houses, often naked, and brought them out, all drugged up, to be used in God only knows what kind of horrific abuse. There are strong assertions that the abuse went up to the highest levels of the government and possibly even Belgian royalty.
There is a video at the bottom of this article from 60 Minutes Australia, of a 15 year old girl from England who endured extreme ritual abuse at the hands of her own grandmother and many others, and in a large British estate. The video was made in 1989 and I can find nothing to update this story with. Her testimony is very convincing from her words, her posture, her eyes, to the tears at the mention of her baby. There is abundant documentation that it was real.
Before you watch it, I suggest you skim through this list of Satanic Ritual cases that have hit the media in the last half decade or so. If you read it thoroughly, you will realize that some of the accusations were completely false, some were not false but exaggerated, and some were completely true.
One other thing that emerges is that many of the rituals are less about Satan worship than just plain paedophilia. You may also come away thinking that these are likely to be small, isolated groups. I believe that is true, and yet there is the testimony of Theresa in the video, and there is the Dutroux case.
List of satanic ritual abuse allegations
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Note: numbered links will not work on this blog
During the 1980s and 1990s a moral panic about alleged Satanic ritual abuse (SRA) occurred, mainly in parts of the English-speaking world. This was propagated by certain psychotherapists, social workers, Christian fundamentalists and law enforcement officials.
Some of the cases ended in prosecution and imprisonment. Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have had several incidents of alleged SRA which received national and international news coverage. Other countries have also had isolated events in which abuse or murder took place with Satanic ritual elements, including Argentina and Brazil.
Perth, Western Australia
In 1991, police in Perth linked Scott Gozenton, a self-professed Satanist, with organised child sexual abuse. His lawyer claimed 13 Satanic covens existed in the area, holding bizarre orgies involving children, and that Gozenton had been followed and threatened by "coven" members throughout the court proceedings.
In 2001, the Melbourne diocese of the Catholic Church acknowledged as "substantially true" allegations that a Melbourne priest took part in Satanic ritual abuse in which a number of deaths occurred in the 1960s, and paid compensation to a surviving victim.
Central Coast, New South Wales
In 1999, two journalists from the Sun-Herald claimed to have seen evidence of the ritual abuse of children. They interviewed six mothers whose children had disclosed experiences of SRA and organised abuse in New South Wales. The children's disclosures were corroborating, although they had never met one another, and they had been able to draw representations of "Satanic" ritual sites which were similar to ritual sites uncovered by police on the central coast of New South Wales.
One mother stated that her sons remembered being drugged and hypnotised. "He said they dressed in black robes and had eye and mouth pieces cut out," she said. "I know they're dangerous people. I have had warnings outside the house telling me to stop investigations. We're fearful for our lives. The boys never want me out of their sight."
Main article: Marc Dutroux
During the investigation of the Belgian serial killer Marc Dutroux, a number of women approached police claiming to be adult survivors of a network of sexual offenders. One witness described satanic ceremonies with a goal of disorienting new victims, causing them to doubt the reality of their memories and prevent disclosure.
Main article: Anísio Ferreira de Sousa
In the early 1990s, Superior Universal Alignment, an Argentinian-based international cult, was implicated in the ritualistic murders of several children. One of the leaders of the group, Osvaldo Marcineiro, confessed to murdering a number of young children in Satanic rituals in which the children were tortured and their body parts cannibalised.
A number of prominent citizens were arrested in relation to the murders, and it later emerged that they had paid the cult to conduct the murderous ceremonies. A search of cult member's houses turned up cult registers, guns, hooded cloaks, 100 videotapes of cult ceremonies and satanist publications, including a 200-page book by cult leader Valentina de Andrade called God, the Great Farce. Brazilian authorities suggested that the cult was connected to Satanic groups internationally.
In 2003, five members of the Superior Universal Alignment cult in the Amazonian town of Altamira were convicted for the ritualistic murders of three children and the castration of two others. The victims were aged between eight and thirteen years, and they were kidnapped, tortured or killed between 1989 and 1993. Their genitals were removed and used in Satanic rituals by 75-year old village clairvoyant, Valentina de Andrade, the leader of the Superior Universal Alignment cult. De Andrade had previously been sought by police in Argentina and Uruguay prior to her arrest in Brazil on suspicion of involvement in other satanic ritual killings.
Following the castration of victims, two doctors involved in the sect removed the victim's other organs for sale on the international black market. Other people sentenced in relation to the murders included a former police officer, a businessman and the son of an influential landowner. The charges related to the murders of three young children and the attempted murder of another, however, victim's families say that there were at least nineteen other murdered children. The cult is based in Argentina and has branches in Holland.
Main articles: Michelle Remembers and Martensville satanic sex scandal
One of the earliest claims of SRA was made in the book Michelle Remembers co-written by Canadian psychiatrist Lawrence Pazder and Michelle Smith, later Pazder's wife. The book detailed a Satanic cult that allegedly operated in Victoria, British Columbia.
A protracted child custody case contested in family court in Hamilton, Ontario, from 1985-1987, centred on allegations of Satanic ritual abuse; it was later documented in a book written by a Globe and Mail reporter who was assigned to cover the case.
The Martensville Satanic sex scandal occurred in Martensville, Saskatchewan in 1992, where an allegation of day care sexual abuse hysteria escalated into claims of satanic ritual abuse.
In 2007, a jury at Dublin Country Coroner's court unanimously ruled that an infant found stabbed to death over three decades ago was the daughter of Cynthia Owen (then 'Sindy Murphy'). The infant was alleged to have been murdered by the infant's grandmother. The Minister of Justice had previously rejected a request by Cynthia Owen to have the body of the child exhumed, a decision Ms. Owen did not contest. The inquest was prohibited from assigning blame due to the Coroners Act of 1962 and therefore returned an open verdict. Also, the jury was instructed that the standard of proof was not the "beyond a reasonable doubt" benchmark of criminal trials, but rather the lesser standard of determining whether Owen's claims were true based "on the balance of probabilities". Ms. Owen made claims about a stillborn second child buried in the family garden, but police found no human remains after digging up the plot. Owen's parents, as well as her older siblings, denied her allegations of abuse.
During the trial, Owen provided her account of incest, organised abuse, and satanic ritual abuse orchestrated by her parents involving at least nine other men and her account was supported by her psychologist. She claimed that her brother, Michael, and sister, Theresa, were also abused, a charge that was denied by her older brother and father. One of the alleged abusers is Cynthia Owen's older brother, Peter Murphy Junior, while the father, Peter Murphy Senior, is also an alleged abuser. One brother, Martin, committed suicide in 1995 after revealing he had been sodomised in his family home, while another brother, Michael, disappeared in 2002 and sister Theresa committed suicide shortly after the discovery of his body in 2005; Theresa's detailed 37-paged suicide note corroborated Cynthia's account. A friend of Theresa's testified at the trial, stating that Theresa had spoken to him at length about her sexual abuse in childhood. Theresa Murphy committed suicide on February 24, 2005 as a result of childhood sexual abuse, this finding was supported by police evidence. Theresa was the child of her older sister, Margaret Murphy.
Following the findings of the Coroner's Court, Owen has raised questions regarding the disposal of her daughter's body and the failure of the police to investigate the murder. In particular, she has highlighted the fact that no blood or tissue samples were kept, that the bag and sanitary towels found alongside the murdered child have gone missing, that the records of the first inquest into the murder have gone missing, and that her daughter was buried in a mass grave alongside other infants. Owen claimed that the police knew about the murder and did nothing. She also stated that she felt robbed of justice by her mother's natural and peaceful death.
Owen's father, Peter Murphy Senior, and three of her sisters won the right to appeal the findings of the inquest from the High Court. The family claimed that the coroner was biased toward Owen, shielded her when giving evidence and was selective in the evidence presented to the jury. The case of the murdered child was reported in 2008, and in 2013, to be the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Garda Síochána.  A petition calling for further investigation received 10,256 signatures, and was submitted to government authorities on April 3, 2014.
Peter Murphy Senior has since died.
In 1998, six adults in Emilia-Romagna were arrested with allegations of prostituting their children and the production of child pornography. The children were also reported to be involved in Satanic rituals. In 2002, four people were arrested for "Satanism and paedophilia" in Pescara. Police believed that the group may have abused dozens of children in rituals involving bodies stolen from ceremonies. In April 2007, six people were arrested for sexually abusing fifteen children in Rignano Flaminio. The suspects were accused of filming the children engaged in sexual acts with 'Satanic' overtones.
Main article: Peter Ellis (childcare worker)
In September 1991, a conference in Christchurch, New Zealand, included a workshop on Satanic Ritual Abuse run by a member of the Ritual Action Group. Immediately after the conference, the print and TV media published articles and broadcast documentaries which raised public awareness and concern over the ritual abuse of children and a moral panic followed several high profile child sex abuse cases. Repeated newsmedia articles on satanic abuse and a report that police were searching for a near-mythical pornography-paedophile ring that was never found but supposedly involved high profile people in Christchurch, preceded the arrest of Peter Ellis, a child-care worker at the Christchurch Civic Crèche in New Zealand. He was found guilty on 16 counts of sexual abuse against children in 1993 and served seven years in jail. Four female co-workers were also arrested on 15 charges of abuse but were released after these charges were dropped. Peter Ellis has consistently denied any abuse, and the case is still considered controversial by many New Zealanders.
In 1994, Wellington Hospital worker Geoffrey David Scott was jailed on eight of 20 charges of child sexual abuse and sentenced to seven years. The allegations were made 1991-1992. The case had none of the bizarre allegations of the Ellis case but was based on now-unacceptable repeated questioning of children and the testimony of Karen Zelas, the controversial psychiatrist who testified in the Ellis trial. 
In 1989 a group of parents published allegations in a conservative magazine that their children had witnessed SRA and had been ritually abused from May, 1987 until October 1988 in Oude Pekela, a city in the north-eastern province of Groningen, the Netherlands. During the initial investigation, only the non-ritual aspects were reported in the press and investigated by the authorities and the allegations were unconfirmed.
In 1989 the conservative Christian news program Tijdsein reported allegations that included Satanic ritual abuse, to which there was no official response. After attending a conference in which the concept of satanic ritual abuse was discussed, Oude Pekela general practitioners Fred Jonker and Ietje Jonker-Bakker alleged that several children had been abused by unknown men in the context of Satanic rituals. This was first reported in a lecture at the Institute of Education of London University and later published in several academic journals in both English and Dutch, but their findings were heavily criticised by American and Dutch scholars.
National authorities were informed in 1991 and 1992 of the allegations, though no action was taken until the press was informed. The State Secretary of Justice responded to the allegations by appointing the Werkgroep Ritueel Misbruik multidisciplinary workgroup to study SRA in the Netherlands, which produced a report in 1994. The report concluded that it was unlikely SRA had occurred or the allegations were factually true, suggested the allegations were a defence mechanism produced in part by suggestive questioning by 'believing' therapists, and that the stories were contemporary legends dispersed through a network of therapists and patients who were concerned with dissociative identity disorder.
See also: Alleged Satanic cases in South Africa
Van Rooyen case
In 1990, Gert van Rooyen and his accomplice were accused of murdering several young girls, ultimately committing suicide while running from the police. One of the accused's sons was later himself accused of murdering a Zimbabwean girl in 1991; the same son claimed his father's victims were involved in international child pornography rings, slavery and Satanism rituals, but no evidence of this was found. The case was so similar to crimes committed by Marc Dutroux that multiple agencies investigated a possible international smuggling ring in prostituted children and body parts.
There have been a number of cases in the United Kingdom in which SRA has been alleged. Some of these cases have garnered significant media attention, and they are listed below.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children documented allegations of ritual abuse in 1990, with the publication of survey findings that, of 66 child protection teams in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 14 teams had received reports of ritual abuse from children and seven of them were working directly with children who had been ritually abused, sometimes in groups of 20. An investigation into SRA allegations by the British government produced over two hundred reports, of which only three were substantiated and proved to be examples of pseudosatanic, in which sexual abuse was the actual motivation and the rituals were incidental.
Main article: Cleveland child abuse scandal
The Cleveland child abuse scandal featured allegations of satanic ritual abuse.
In 1990 there was a case in Rochdale in which around twenty children were removed from their homes by social services, who alleged the existence of SRA after discovering 'Satanic indicators'. No evidence was found of Satanic apparatus, and charges were dismissed when a court ruled the allegations were untrue. The children who were removed from their homes sued the city council in 2006 for compensation and an apology. Richard Scorer acted for five of the families.
Main article: South Ronaldsay child abuse scandal
In 1990-1991 nine children suspected of being sexually abused by their families and an alleged child abuse ring were removed by social services in Orkney. The abuse was also alleged to involve "ritualistic elements". The parents approached the media and made the case national and international news. In April 1991, a sheriff ruled that the evidence was seriously flawed and the children were returned home.
In June, social services appealed the sheriff's ruling but the appeal was overturned and an official inquiry was established in August 1991, which after 9 months' investigation at a cost of £6 million, published its report in October 1992. It described the dismissal of the first judgment as "most unfortunate" and criticized all those involved, including the social workers, the police, and the Orkney Islands Council. Social workers' training, methods, and judgment were given special condemnation, and the report stated that the concept of "ritual abuse" was "not only unwarrantable at present but may affect the objectivity of practitioners and parents". A 1994 government report based on three years of research found that there was no foundation to any of the Satanic abuse claims.
In October 1987 children were removed from their families in Nottingham, and in February 1989 a Broxtowe family was charged with multigenerational child sexual abuse and neglect. A 600-page report on the incident concluded that there was no evidence of the SRA claims made by children or corroborating adults. Though the children may have been 'sadistically terrorized', allegations of organized Satanic abuse were found to be baseless and the indicators used by the Social Services department were without validity.
In 2003 allegations by three children in Lewis, Scotland resulted in the arrest of eight people for sexual abuse occurring between 1990 and 2000. A 2005 investigation by the Social Work Inspection Agency found extensive evidence of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect. Police investigation resulted in allegations of an island-wide "Satanic paedophile ring", though charges were dropped nine months later following an inconclusive investigation.
A key witness who had implicated her family in the abuse and whose evidence was "vital" to the case of satanic abuse recanted her testimony in 2006 and the media raised questions about the nature of the police interviewing techniques. with a police spokesperson replying that the witness was questioned appropriately and that allegations were made by numerous witnesses.
Main article: Kidwelly sex cult
In March 2011, four adults who lived in a cul-de-sac in the Welsh town of Kidwelly were convicted of multiple sex offences against children and young adults. The group led by Colin Batley was described by the media as a "Satanic sex cult", a "quasi-religious sex cult" and a "paedophile cult" however the group members were not followers of Satanism. The prosecution said they practised "free sex" and were influenced by Aleister Crowley, a practitioner of ceremonial magic who founded the belief system of Thelema. They dressed in hoods and read from Crowley's The Book of the Law, the central text of Thelema and some victims were made to wear inverted crosses. Members of the cult were initiated in a ceremony involving sex with an adult, and they were threatened with being killed if they did not take part in the ceremony. Some of the victims were forced into prostitution. The abuse also took place outside of a ritual context, such as Batley taking victims to a caravan  to rape, in line with Jean La Fontaine's findings and her conclusion that sexual gratification, not religion, is the motive of abusers.
Main articles: Kern County child abuse cases, McMartin preschool trial, Ricky Kasso, West Memphis 3, Little Rascals Day Care Center, Oak Hill satanic ritual abuse trial, Fells Acres Day Care Center preschool trial, and Pace memorandum
In the United States, major allegations of Satanic ritual abuse occurred in the Kern County child abuse cases, McMartin preschool trial and the West Memphis 3, which garnered world-wide media coverage. It was eventually determined that no satanic abuse ever took place in these cases due to false testimony and police misconduct. There have been countless, debunked allegations of SRA in the United States; of which the most recent allegation was Pizzagate; a speculated pedophile ring in the Washington D.C area at ping pong themed restaurant, Comet Ping Pong. In the allegations, Hillary Clinton was an avid supporter and member in the pedophilia ring, with various sources of selected evidence pointing to her possible involvement and the possible involvement of Clinton's associations.
The first such case occurred in Jordan, Minnesota, in 1983, where several children made allegations against an unrelated man and their parents. The man confessed and then identified a number of the children’s parents as perpetrators. Ultimately twenty-four adults were charged with child abuse though only three went to trial with two acquittals and one conviction. Despite strong medical findings of sexual assault, all other charges were dropped after the young child witnesses decompensated under the duress of the criminal trial.
During the investigation, the children made allegations regarding the manufacturing of child pornography, ritualistic animal sacrifice, coprophagia, urophagia and infanticide, at which point the Federal Bureau of Investigation was alerted. No criminal charges resulted from the FBI investigation, and in his review of the case, the Attorney General noted that the initial investigation by the local police and county attorney was so poor that it had destroyed the opportunity to fully investigate the children’s allegations.
Judge Antonin Scalia referred to the Minnesota case in his summation on a later case, and stated, "[t]here is no doubt that some sexual abuse took place in Jordan; but there is no reason to believe it was as widespread as charged," and cited the repeated, well-intentioned but coercive techniques used by the investigators as damaging to the investigation. The bizarre allegations of the children, the ambiguities of the investigation and the unsuccessful prosecutions were widely covered by the media. A number of accused parents confessed to sexually abusing their children, received immunity, and underwent treatment for sexual abuse, while parental rights for six other children in the case were terminated.
In December 2007, Austin Trey Bernard was found guilty of raping his son and daughter, convicted on the basis of three previous confessions and a detailed diary of his actions although he pleaded not guilty. The allegations came to light upon the confession of one of the defendants. Bernard confessed the sexual abuse of his children as well as claiming to have participated in satanically-themed ritualistic abuse including the use of animal parts and blood.
166 Children Were Abused By Colorado Priests. Just One Went to Prison
By Chuck Murphy, CPR News
The Archdiocese of Denver is headquartered at the St. John Paul II Center for the New Evangelization in the Cory-Merrill neighborhood of Denver, Colo. Jim Hill/CPR News
In the last 70 years, hundreds of allegations of abuse that veteran prosecutors classify as credible have been lodged against Colorado priests.
Just one is serving time for a crime.
Several others are still alive, and living in retirement, but special investigator Bob Troyer said making a criminal case against any of them would be a challenge for local authorities.
That’s because, in his view, whether by design or coincidence, Colorado’s Catholic dioceses prevented prosecutions by failing to report abuse in a timely manner, counseling victims to keep them quiet and moving priests out of the communities where they committed abuse.
Church officials weren’t legally required to report alleged sex abuse claims to law enforcement in Colorado until 2002. But that law was ignored by most church leaders for almost a decade.
Of the 39 alleged cases of abuse reported to diocesan authorities in Denver after 2002, 25 weren’t reported to law enforcement. The church’s explanation: It was unclear that it had to report these abuse claims because many of the victims were then adults.
“Since 2010, the Denver Archdiocese has never failed to report during that period when mandated by Colorado law,” Denver Archdiocese Spokesman Mark Haas said. “Archbishop Samuel Aquila has been strong in his public commitment to make sure all allegations are immediately reported to local authorities for investigation and potential prosecution.”
But in the 2000s, priests went unpunished for alleged crimes and were allowed to retire, move out of state — even leave the country.
"I'm at a loss, frankly,” Troyer said. “I've received some explanations from the church that don't add up to me. They talk about exemptions, we don't have to report when the victim is an adult, but that was not the law, that was not what the statute said, that was not common practice."
Rev. Harold Robert White was among the most egregious serial abusers in Colorado’s history. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser’s report names more than 60 victims abused by White, mostly in the 1960s and 1970s.
White died in 2006. But between 2002 and 2006, at least 18 claims of abuse were filed at the Denver Archdiocese about his abusive behavior, including alleged rape, with boys going back to the 1960s.
The police were brought in to investigate four of those complaints. The church quietly settled most of the others. Though White was laicized, he avoided prosecution and was able to travel to Mexico where he died.
“We offer absolutely no excuse or defense for the way White was protected and moved around in the 1960s - 1980s,” Haas said. “Absolutely unacceptable.”
Because of statute of limitations laws, he may still not have faced any criminal charges. Statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims changed in 1996 — abuse that occurred since then can be prosecuted at any time. Before then, abuse victims usually had 10 years to report the crime.
Troyer calls what the church did by dragging their feet on reporting to law enforcement a “run the clock out” strategy. “It worked,” he said.
Another priest, Neil Hewitt, abused a minimum of eight children in four different parishes. One victim committed suicide in 1991. His suicide letter described the abuse. The church received complaints of Hewitt’s abuse starting in 1992 — but didn’t report any of it to law enforcement.
In August, Hewitt admitted that he abused seven of eight victims to state investigators. Though the priest was laicized in 2018, he never faced any criminal charges for his abuse. He is in his 80s and retired in Arizona, where he lives with his wife.
The case of Timothy Evans shows the difference the church could have made if its leadership had chosen to consistently report abuse allegations to police.
In 1993, a victim reported that Evans had abused him more than 13 years earlier. In that case, for reasons that remain unclear, Archdiocesan officials chose to file a report with police. With a credible, contemporary report from the first victim, law enforcement was able to discover other victims and build multiple charges of sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust against Evans.
He was convicted — the only Colorado priest tried and convicted of sexual assault since the sex abuse scandal broke in 2002 — and is now serving 14 years to life in prison.
Earlier this year, lawmakers attempted to crack down on so-called mandatory reporters — teachers, priests, doctors — who took too long to report child abuse crimes they knew about.
One proposed bill would have extended the statute of limitations to up to 10 years, giving police and prosecutors more time to hold a mandatory reporter accountable for concealing information from law enforcement.
The church and the teachers union fought that bill and it died in the legislature.
Good grief! With encouragement from their insurance companies, no doubt.
Indianapolis priest arrested, charged with child sex crimes
INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — An Indianapolis priest charged with child sex crimes is in custody.
Father David Marcotte is accused of Child Solicitation, Vicarious Sexual Gratification when the victim is under 16 and Dissemination of Matter Harmful to Minors.
He was booked into the Hamilton County Jail early Tuesday morning.
The allegations against Marcotte go back to 2016. According to the Archdiocese, at that time, Marcotte was an administrator at St. Martin of Tours Parish in Martinsville.
He has worked at more than half a dozen churches across central Indiana since being ordained in 2014.
The complete list of his ministry assignments are as follows: 2014, associate pastor, SS. Francis and Clare Parish, Greenwood, and Catholic chaplain, University of Indianapolis; 2015, associate pastor, St. Malachy Parish, Brownsburg; 2016, administrator, St. Martin of Tours Parish, Martinsville; 2017, chaplain, Roncalli High School, Indianapolis, Catholic chaplain, University of Indianapolis, and sacramental assistance, SS. Francis and Clare Parish, Greenwood.
The Archdiocese of Indianapolis suspended Marcotte in February, prohibiting him from performing priestly duties during the investigation.
If you are a victim of sexual abuse or misconduct by a person ministering on behalf of the Church, or if you know of anyone who has been a victim, please contact civil authorities and the Archdiocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator Carla Hill at 317-236-1548 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1548 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Confidential reports can also be made on-line at www.archdioceseofindianapolis.ethicspoint.com or by calling 888-393-6810.
Lawsuits: Woman sexually abused students in NY Catholic School before teaching in Florida
By Olivia Hitchcock, Palm Beach Post
A longtime Spanish River High School teacher is accused of sexually abusing two students in New York before she moved to Florida in the 1980s.
BOCA RATON — Civil lawsuits filed last month have raised allegations of sexual abuse involving a longtime Spanish River High School teacher, three years after Palm Beach County School District police investigated a similar, anonymous complaint.
The suits filed under New York’s Child Protection Act accuse Dianna Vacco of sexually abusing two young students hundreds of times in the early 1980s when she taught fifth- and sixth-grade science at a Catholic school in Angola, a village outside Buffalo.
In their complaints, the two former students claim that the sexual abuse occurred both in New York and Florida when they were between the ages of 10 and 15. Court documents do not detail where in Florida the abuse is alleged to have taken place.
Vacco, 65, who appears to live in St. Augustine after moving from Wellington, could not be reached for comment. Court records do not list an attorney representing her in the civil cases.
Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney who has represented numerous sexual abuse victims in high-profile cases, including cases against the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, is one of several attorneys representing the two women in the civil suits. Reached by telephone last week, Garabedian declined to comment.
Vacco taught at Angola’s now-defunct Most Precious Blood Catholic Schoolbetween 1976 and 1984, court records show. She spent one year at another New York school before taking a job at Lake Worth’s Sacred Heart Catholic School in 1986, according to Palm Beach County School District records. She worked there until 1999, when she landed a job at Spanish River.
She taught science and theater at the Boca Raton-area high school until her retirement in 2017, school district records show.
Evaluations in Vacco’s school district personnel file characterized her as a well-liked and hardworking teacher who was instrumental in establishing the theater department at the school. The only allegation of misconduct was an anonymous email sent in October 2016 to then-principal William Latson.
In it, “Elena Noname” wrote that Vacco had “extremely inappropriate relationships” with two young girls when she was in western New York. The writer described Vacco as a “child predator” who “mentally, emotionally and sexually abused” the girls.
The email did not mention when the abuse reportedly occurred and did not specify exactly where it is said to have happened. The email writer did not respond to follow-up questions, according to police records.
The email stated that the two girls never reported the abuse in part because Vacco manipulated them, adding that “she is an expert at grooming her targets and targeting the kids who nobody is really paying attention to.”
“Please be aware of who you have in your school,” the email read. “The kids are not safe with her there.”
Vacco spoke in February 2017 with district police about the allegations, saying that she never had sexual contact with any children, though she added that “she did do some stupid things during that time that nowadays would be considered inappropriate,” according to the police report.
Vacco elaborated saying that when she coached girls’ basketball in New York, she would drive the children home. She said that on several occasions, she also had sleepovers with players.
Police could find “no evidence to suggest that Vacco is a sexual predator as indicated in the anonymous complaint.” Latson told officers that he never had received complaints about Vacco, and authorities closed the investigation, ruling it unfounded.
Vacco retired at the end of that school year, records show. The district declined to comment on Vacco.
The email writer mentioned that Vacco reportedly threatened the girls, “obviously ... considering her brother’s job in NY.”
Vacco’s brother is Dennis Vacco, who was the New York State Attorney General between 1994 and 1999. He currently represents a Franciscan order in a decades-old sexual abuse case in which a New York clergyman is accused of abusing a student.
Dennis Vacco has argued in court filings that the case against the Franciscan order should be thrown out because the state’s Child Victims Act, another name for the Protection Act, is unconstitutional, according to a report by The Buffalo News.
Signed into law in February, the act gives victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York one year to bring civil lawsuits against alleged abusers and their employers without being time-barred by the state’s statute of limitations.
Dianna Vacco’s prior employer, the now-defunct Most Precious Blood school, along with Most Precious Blood Catholic Church and the Diocese of Buffalo, are named in the two lawsuits as well. In filings last week, attorneys for the school, the church and the diocese questioned the legality of the Protection Act by arguing that the women waited too long to file the lawsuits.
The attorneys also argued that neither the school, nor the church nor the diocese, knew of any of Vacco’s alleged abuses.
Former prestigious boarding school housemaster sentenced for child sex offences
The historic assaults took place at Westminster Cathedral
Choir School in central London
By Mike Bedigan, PA Ruth Ovens
A former housemaster at a prestigious Catholic boarding school "stole the innocence" of two underage boys, a court has heard.
David Lowe, 66, abused the boys, aged eight and 10 respectively, as part of a series of attacks which he carried out in the 70s and 80s.
Southwark Crown Court heard on Monday that the historic assaults took place at Westminster Cathedral Choir School, in Victoria, central London, where Lowe was working as a music teacher.
The first victim was abused by Lowe after he was taken to a private room at the school as punishment for being a “bad student”, and told to undress.
Lowe abused the second victim when he was around eight-years-old in the boy’s school bedroom.
In an impact statement read out by Prosecutor Gary Rutter one of the victim's said he had "poor self-worth and self-confidence" as a result of the assault and that Lowe "stole his innocence".
Lowe was jailed for 10 years in 2015 after he was found guilty of multiple counts of sexually assaulting pupils and appeared at Southwark via videolink from HMP Ashfield, near Bristol.
The attacks took place at both Westminster Cathedral Choir School and the Benedictine monk-run Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire between 1978 and 1982.
Some victims made the decision to come forward after reports of Operation Yewtree, the police investigation into historic sexual abuse in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
Stephen Lee, defending, said that Lowe and his family had been affected by the latest abuse allegations, which he was only charged with earlier this year. "When he received the summons to Westminster Magistrates court he describes it as a 'hammer blow'," he said. "It's caused him a lot of heartache."
It's cause your victims heartaches all their lives, so I hope you don't expect sympathy.
Lowe pleaded guilty to two further counts of indecent assault on a boy aged under fourteen, when he appeared at Westminster Magistrates in October.
Sentencing Lowe, judge Sally Cahill said: "At the time you were a teacher and also a housemaster at the Westminster Cathedral Choir School. You were in a position of responsibility in relation to young boys. "They were away from their parents, very young and very vulnerable. Those then young boys are now grown men. They have had to live with what you did their whole lives."
Judge Cahill referred to the remarks made at Lowe's previous sentence hearing and also gave him credit for pleading guilty to the latest counts.
Lowe was sentenced to two years in prison which will run concurrent to his previous sentence of 10 years. In other words - they are freebies! How do you think that makes his victims feel Judge Cahill? If they didn't feel worthless already, they sure as Hell will now.
DC Shirley Lovell, of Operation Winterkey, said: "David Lowe is already in jail after being convicted of abusing young boys he taught over a period of many years, and he has now admitted to further offences. A common theme of his offending was his willingness to take advantage of the vulnerability of the boys who were away from home, and abusing the position of trust he held.
“The victims in this case had lived with the abuse they had suffered for many years, and felt emboldened to come forward after seeing the publicity around the first trial. I hope that seeing justice served for the crimes committed against them goes some way to helping them to heal.
"The Met is committed to investigating child abuse allegations and seeking justice for victims, no matter how many years have passed."
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “Lowe horrifically abused his position of trust and was clearly a significant threat to the young people he should have been protecting. “Talking about child sexual abuse is incredibly challenging for survivors but this case is further proof that they will be listened to – no matter how much time has passed.
And then a thoughtless judge will give the rapist a slap on the wrist. I'm glad they had their day in court, but sick that the rapist didn't get another day in prison.
Father Denis Alexander faces extradition to UK
for child sexual abuse
By Bridget Brennan on AM
An Australian priest is one step closer to being extradited to Scotland, where he's accused of sexually abusing children decades ago at a Catholic boarding school in the highlands.
83-year-old Father Denis Alexander taught at the Benedictine Fort Augustus Abbeyduring the 70s before returning to Australia.
He was arrested in Sydney two years ago with Scottish authorities requesting he be sent to the UK for a trial.
Women raped by Colorado priest call for accountability from Archdiocese of Denver
By: Tony Kovaleski, Denver7 ABC
DENVER – Three sisters of the Catholic Church are breaking their silence, accusing a Colorado priest of violating their childhood, in the hope their confession will inspire others to come forward.
Their message doesn’t stop there. A significant part of their motivation is holding the Archdiocese of Denver accountable for what they say was an overt cover-up that last more than five decades.
Cate Stover, Carol Clear and Marcia Stover decided to speak about the painful memories they’ve kept inside since they were little girls, following a special investigation into Colorado’s Catholic Church that found at least 166 children were sexually abused by 43 priests since the 1950s.
Their report cards and grade school picture show memories of their days of Catholic school at St. John’s in Loveland. But behind those faces, the sisters kept secret the abuse they endured by someone they thought they could trust.
“I remember him coming to the classroom and selecting me… pulling me up,” said Clear. “I recall vividly being in a bathroom stall of the girl’s restroom at school and Father White in the stall with me... I was huddled in the corner and he forced me to have oral sex.”
Father Robert White was described in this report as “the most prolific known clergy child sex abuser in Colorado history.”
“The priest is standing… I am 10… he’s looking down at me. I am doing what I am told. He takes me up to the rectory… takes me downstairs and he rapes me,” Stover recounts.
“I know for a fact – I’m not listed in there and I should be,” said Clear, mentioning the state’s report of 63 confirmed victims of Father White. “They know about me and the abuse of Father White when I was at school.”
In fact, the special master’s recently released report, which graphically details Father White’s trail of terror – molestations that continued for 21 years at six different parishes – does not include any of the three sisters.
“They had a list of kids he had abused that the diocese knew about, and it’s documented in letters back and forth,” said Clear.
The letters provide disturbing proof of the cover-up by the Archdiocese.
One of those letters, from 1963, reads, “Father (White) must leave parish immediately because of the wide knowledge of his offenses in St. Catherine’s Parish and Holy Family School.”
Another, from 1965, reads as follows: “Because of boy troubles I felt it best to get Father Robert White out of Colorado Springs immediately.”
“He was moved at least eleven times in 33 years,” said Stover. “He would only last two or three years in a parish before they were worried that parents were going to talk or there would be a scandal.”
A letter from 1961 reads, “I questioned… as to possibility of scandal, and he is satisfied… there is no danger.” No concern for the welfare of the children, only the threat of scandal.
Perhaps most disturbing for the three sisters is a 1968 letter about Father White at St. Anthony’s in Sterling – a letter that includes, “the parish would be better off without Father White,” and which concludes, “Father White should not be assigned to a parish where he will be involved with a school.”
It would only take eight days for another letter to inform Father White he would be transferred to St. John’s in Loveland. “That letter in Sterling warned he shouldn’t be around kids… and yet they sent him to a school where we were and he abused us… they could have stopped that, absolutely,” said Clear.
The special master’s report strongly criticized Denver’s Archdiocese for its handling of Father White, stating the Archdiocese, “never did a thorough and independent investigation… never voluntarily reported him to police… was frequently dishonest with his victims…” and concludes Father White’s file, “reveals that broad, deep and permanent harm to children was the consequence.”
The Archdiocese of Denver finally removed Father White in 1993 after he terrorized children for more than three decades. He died in 2006.
In 2015, after mediation, Clear and the diocese agreed on a financial settlement. The Stover sisters have recently filed claims against the church. All three say any money will never heal the lifelong pain caused by Father White.
The archdiocese released this statement last month following the release of the report from U.S. Attorney Robert Troyer:
“Sexual abuse is a societal problem and there is no single answer or single action to eliminate all sexual abuse, but we will not rest in our efforts to protect children. We will use our resources and community partnerships to be a leader in this area, and we will strive to improve. For a full list of my promises to you, and for additional information about the report, please visit archden.org/promise,” Aquila said in the statement. “Please join me in praying for all survivors, their families, and our communities, and for our ongoing efforts to bring healing and reconciliation to the survivors of sexual abuse.”
Retired priest, 88, convicted of abusing boy at
Munhall, Pa., church in 2001
WTAE, Bob Mayo
PITTSBURGH — The Rev. Hugh Lang has been found guilty on six of eight charges he sexually abused a then-11-year-old boy in the basement of Saint Therese Church in Munhall in 2001.
The victim, now 30, returned from Southeast Asia to testify against Lang. Allegheny County Judge Mark Tranquilli reached his verdict Friday after a non-jury trial, finding the 88-year-old Lang guilty of one felony and five misdemeanor counts and not guilty of two felony counts.
Lang remains free on bail. Sentencing is set for Feb. 6.
Lang was on the witness stand for nearly an hour Friday, testifying in his own defense. The retired priest insisted he does not know the victim and never abused him.
Lang said he played no part in the June 2001 server camp at Saint Therese, his church at the time, during which the victim claims Lang took him to the basement, forced him to strip naked, photographed him and sexually abused him.
Lang said that, during his 63 years as a priest, including as superintendent of Pittsburgh Catholic schools for most of the 1980s, he had contact with 10,000 children and never faced allegations of abusing anyone.
Lang denied knowing anything about the state grand jury report on child sex abuse by priests and denied he may be one of the eight priests whose names have been redacted from that report.
The prosecution questioned Lang about his iPad search history within days of the release of the grand jury report, searching for criminal defense attorneys, attorney general report and the word "pedophile." Lang insisted it had nothing to do with any concern that he could face charges.
In his closing argument, defense attorney Kerrington Lewis called the allegations "absolutely preposterous." He attacked the credibility of the alleged victim and noted that the man has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the diocese.
Assistant District Attorney Greg Stein said the victim first told a friend about the assault when he was 14 and has been consistent since he came forward last year. Stein argued this was a crime of opportunity by someone who used his authority to intimidate his victim by threatening to show others the naked photo if he talked.
Lewis, in his closing statement, noted that Tranquilli worked for years in the District Attorney's Office, and said he told Lang that "Mark Tranquilli is a hell of a prosecutor." Lewis then insisted he wasn't saying that Tranquilli was biased and was not questioning the judge's integrity. Lewis said twice that Lang wanted a non-jury trial.
Before announcing his verdict, Tranquilli spoke at length from the bench about how he weighed the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution and defense evidence and testimony. But his conclusion was firm -- that Lang did take the victim to the church basement and commit the sex crimes against him.
A spokesman for the DA's office said Lang was found guilty of: Felony unlawful contact with a minor Misdemeanor indecent assault (three counts) Misdemeanor indecent exposure Misdemeanor corruption of minors
Lang was found not guilty of two felonies: aggravated indecent assault, and sexual abuse of children - photographing, videotaping, depicting on computer or filming sexual acts.
Tranquilli explained that the evidence showed Lang took the photograph, not for sexual purposes, but to blackmail the victim not to tell anyone what had happened.
Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver aware of 36 cases of clergy sex abuse since 1950s
Rest assured - that's the tip of the iceberg
No Canadian Catholic diocese has ever released list
of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse
Laura Clementson, Gillian Findlay · CBC News
Clergy sexual abuse survivor Leona Huggins is fighting to make sure that the Catholic Church
in Canada comes clean about what happened to her and others. (Doug Husby/CBC)
The Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver was aware of 36 cases of abuse by clergy under its jurisdiction, including 26 involving children, results of an internal review of cases of clergy sexual abuse obtained by CBC's The Fifth Estate show.
The review, commissioned in 2018 by Archbishop Michael Miller, examined church files dating back to the 1950s. No Catholic entity in this country has ever made this kind of information public before.
The Vancouver review also found three of their priests had fathered children.
I think that the church has an ethical and moral responsibility
to reveal those names.
- Leona Huggins, clergy sexual abuse survivor
The information was uncovered in a Fifth Estate investigation into how the Catholic Church has dealt with abuse allegations over the years.
Vancouver's archbishop has not released the results of the case review committee's work, but in February he promised transparency. In a letter posted to the archdiocese website, Miller committed "to correcting any systemic flaws that contributed to abuse or cover-up."
In 2018, Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miller commissioned the case review committee to
examine church files relating to sexual abuse dating back to the 1950s. (Archdiocese of Vancouver )
The Fifth Estate investigation also reveals details about how the archdiocese handled allegations of abuse.
Watch The List: Unravelling Church Secrets on
The Fifth Estate on CBC-TV Sunday at 9 p.m. ET
Some accused priests moved jurisdictions, and some went for treatment instead of being referred to police.
In some cases, victims were paid money and had to sign confidentiality agreements. The information shows that church officials often knew of credibly accused perpetrators and yet did not share that information with the community at large.
Being "credibly accused" does not require that someone be convicted of abuse, only that the church believes there is enough evidence to believe an incident took place.
In addition to reviewing the cases, the committee produced 31 recommendations, including that the names of clergy deemed credibly accused be released publicly.
"I think that the church has an ethical and moral responsibility to reveal those names," said Leona Huggins, an abuse survivor Miller asked to join the case review committee.
'I was just horrified'
The committee was made up of church-appointed individuals from different professions, including clergy, lawyers and laypeople.Four members are described as victim-survivors of clergy abuse.
As an elementary school teacher, Huggins said her highest priority is the safety of children, and that's one of the reasons she felt compelled to take part in the review.
Huggins was living in New Westminster, B.C., in the 1970s when her parish priest, John "Jack" McCann, started sexually abusing her. She was 14.
Growing up in a Catholic household of 12 children, Huggins and her family welcomed the attention McCann paid to them, especially when Huggins and one of her sisters were asked to work in the rectory.
Huggins said the abuse started subtly, when McCann would wrap his arm around her or put his hand on her leg. It then advanced to shoulder massages. Huggins said "it was gradually more and more," and eventually led to sex.
It wasn't until 1991, two decades later, that she revealed the abuse to police. McCann pleaded guilty to sexual offences involving Huggins and another teenaged girl and spent 10 months in jail.
Huggins believed that was the end of McCann's career as a priest. But in 2011, she discovered the priest who sexually abused her was working in a church in Ottawa.
"I was beside myself. I was just horrified. I was pacing up and down in my kitchen and just going … like, this is not okay," said Huggins, who volunteers with the Vancouver chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
When SNAP revealed McCann's criminal past, the Archdiocese of Ottawa revoked McCann's duties. He died in August 2018.
Victims Relive Trauma as Wisconsin Clergy
Sexual Abuse Grows
By Associated Press U.S. News & World Report BY ERICA JONES OF Wisconsin Watch.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — When she was 7, Patty Gallagher was chosen to bring the priest who served her parish and school in Monona, Wisconsin, his daily milk.
The Rev. Lawrence Trainor was practically a member of the family. He came over for dinner and visited the family cottage. Trainor, a priest at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, ingratiated himself with her parents. And then, Gallagher said, he “raped me in every way possible.”
“I had to make my first confession with this man and say the words, ‘Bless me, Father, for I have sinned,’ to the man who raped me in the most horrific ways,” said Gallagher, of Milwaukee, whose last name is now Gallagher Marchant.
Gallagher Marchant, a psychotherapist, said she repressed these traumatic memories for decades.
When Gallagher Marchant was 35 and her daughter turned 7 — the same age she was in 1965 at the time of her own abuse — the memories flooded back.
She notified the Catholic Diocese of Madison in 1991, eventually receiving a “six-figure” settlement in 1992. Ever since, Gallagher Marchant has been speaking out “because I can’t not talk about what’s so blatantly wrong.”
Many U.S. institutions have been rocked by sexual abuse scandals in recent years, including the Southern Baptist Convention, the Boy Scouts of America and USA Gymnastics.
But it is the scandal within the Catholic Church that continues to garner the most attention, prompting Pope Francis in May to issue the first worldwide mandate that all child sex abuse allegations be reported to church authorities — a measure that critics say still falls short.
“Abuse can happen everywhere and it does,” said Brent King, communications director for the Diocese of Madison. “The scandal in the church is different because these men were supposed to represent God and his church.”
More than 11,000 accusations of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic priests and brothers have been made across the United States since the 1970s, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, a nonprofit that conducts social science research on the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church has paid tens of millions of dollars in settlements in Wisconsin, including an estimated $21 million from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to compensate 330 sexual assault survivors.
In Wisconsin, the number of credibly accused priests reported by dioceses, religious orders and law firms now stands at roughly 170, a Wisconsin Watch investigation shows. And it could rise.
Wisconsin Watch found wide variations in the approach of Wisconsin’s five dioceses and dozens of religious orders to publicly report alleged abuse. Critics say the Catholic Church must do a better job of reaching out to survivors to help them heal. A survivors’ group is pushing for independent investigations, including criminal probes, to root out allegations of abuse.
Altar boys say they were abused by priests at the Vatican
Victims describe purported assaults at college located
steps away from residence of Pope Francis
Andy Gregory Independent
Pope Francis receives audience participants of the World Congress of the International Association of Penal Law on Friday 15 November 2019 ( EPA/Vatican media handout )
Former altar boys have claimed they were molested by priests inside the Vatican, as a lingering scandal surrounding widespread abuse in the Catholic Church erupts at its headquarters once again.
Several anonymous former altar boys at the Vatican’s youth seminary alleged at least two priests kissed and fondled three of them in the Nineties.
The claims will be aired on Sunday on Le Iene (“The Hyenas”), an Italian investigative TV programme, which first broke allegations in 2017 that the senior seminarian, now a priest, had sexually abused teenagers who served as altar boys at papal masses in St Peter’s Basilica.
The fresh cases come to light two months after the Vatican announced Father Gabriele Martinelli and Father Enrico Radice, who allegedly covered up his suspected crimes, would stand trial over claims made in the first TV programme.
In one of the new cases, an alleged victim said a priest sat him on his lap and fondled his penis. In another case, an alleged victim marvelled how Le Iene had heard about things he had only told his confessor.
In conjunction with previous testimony gathered by Le Iene, an impression emerges of a closed, religious atmosphere in which sexualised touching was normalised for boys as young as 11.
The 2017 testimony suggested a series of priests, bishops and even a cardinal had covered up the alleged sins for years.
In a statement issued ahead of the programme, the Vatican press office said a decision on whether to issue indictments in the original case was “imminent”. The statement said any new elements or evidence of other crimes that emerge would be considered by Vatican prosecutors in a new investigation.
The case concerns the opaque world of the St Pius X youth seminary, located inside a palazzo just a few steps from the residence of Pope Francis. The seminary houses about a dozen boys aged 11 to 18, who serve as altar boys at papal masses.
A small Italian religious order called the Opera Don Folchi runs the seminary. The group has described the allegations as “mud”, a “violent attack on the church” and nothing more than “calumny and falsifications”.
One of the victims in Sunday’s programme claims that a priest who was managing the school’s communal showers attempted to take his dressing gown off, according to The Guardian.
“He wanted to undress me, I tried to wriggle away,” the victim says. “I was 13 years old. I fell to the ground and asked him: ‘What are you doing?’. I then got up and ran away.”
The Catholic Church has been rocked by thousands of reported incidences of sexual abuse across the globe. In response, Pope Francis issued a law earlier this year that requires all Catholic priests and nuns to report sexual abuse and cover-ups by their superiors.
But in October, the lead counsel of an independent inquiry into child sex abuse in the UK criticised the Catholic Church’s lack of cooperation with the investigation. Brian Altman QC described the church’s “refusal to provide the inquiry with all the evidence it has sought” as “very disappointing”.
The most senior cleric implicated so far in the global scandal, Cardinal George Pell, was on Wednesday granted the chance to appeal his convictions for molesting two 13-year-old choirboys, by Australia’s highest court.
Pell was previously the Vatican’s finance minister.
(UPI) -- British police arrested 17 suspected human traffickers early Thursday and rescued more than two dozen women they'd been holding captive as part of a global ring, Scotland Yard investigators said.
The Metropolitan Police Service busted the ring with early morning raids in the London areas of Redbridge, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Brentwood and Tower Hamlets. They said others were simultaneously arrested in Romania.
Investigators said the 17 accused -- 14 men and three women between 17 and 50 years old -- were arrested on suspicion of modern slavery, controlling prostitution, drug offenses and firearms charges.
"[We] recognize the seriousness of modern slavery and the devastation it brings to people's lives," Met Police Det. Chief Inspector Richard McDonagh, said.
"We have an investigative capability across frontline policing and have invested in specialist resources through our central specialist crime -- vulnerability investigations team, which tackles complex cases. This allows us to target offenders and support victims."
The rescued women, who ranged in age from 20 to 40, were moved to a safe location, McDonagh said.
"Romanian police officers working shoulder to shoulder with our British partners is a great achievement, a proof of our mutual permanent support and a great professional reward," said Romanian Ambassador to Britain Dan Mihalache.
Well done people!
Shamed PSNI officer discovered with stash of 16,000 child porn images pictured for first time
Jason Johnson, The Irish Sun
Robert Jason Ainscough was rumbled after police launched a probe over claims he had been sending women pictures of his privates while in uniform.
One of his victims told The Irish Sun he had sent her x-rated snaps from the toilets of a Co Down PSNI station.
Ainscough, 34, originally from Dublin, was sacked and charged with a number of offences.
Yesterday he was due to be sentenced for misconduct in public office and making indecent images of children at Craigavon Crown Court. But Judge Roseanne McCormick QC delayed her decision until Monday saying: “I want to consider all matters very carefully.”
Ainscough, whose address was given as c/o Lurgan PSNI station, pleaded guilty to six counts of misconduct in public office. He also admitted 13 charges of making indecent images of children.
ON DUTY OFFENCES
All the offences were committed between 2014 and 2016.
Prosecutor Nicola Auret said Ainscough exchanged sexually explicit messages, including texts, photographs and videos with three different women while on duty.
A constable for eight years, he also used the police computer to access and share personal information on two of the women.
Ms Auret said the offences were brought to light in September 2016 when one of the women came forward. She told the court: “The photos indicated a male in full police uniform exposing his penis.” The photos and videos were taken in the toilet of Banbridge PSNI station.
She said that “all the texting was consensual.”
That investigation led police to seize computer hard drives and memory sticks from Ainscough’s home. It was then that detectives found 16,681 indecent images of children.
Ms Auret outlined how the vast majority, some 16,673 images and videos, were classified in the lowest category C, with eight being classified as B.
Defence QC Charles McCreanor conceded that while “it’s his own fault,” Ainscough has “effectively lost everything. He has lost his career, he has lost his good character, he has lost the respect that he had...he has lost out on every front imaginable,” said the lawyer adding that Ainscough’s mental health has spiralled downwards to such an extent that there had been “suicidal ideations.”
He said he is “very much a shell of what he might have been...contrite, ashamed, embarrassed.”
He urged the lawyer Judge McCormick “to be as merciful and lenient as you can.”
Earlier, one of his victims – who did not give evidence in the case - told us how they met on dating website Plenty of Fish as she was emerging from an abusive relationship.
She said: "He just kept sending me pictures and asking for more pictures from me.
"I did send him pictures and it went on like that for a while but I got into a bit of a spiral when they started to become flirty."
She said the officer began sending shots of himself in uniform, then of himself in civilian clothes and flashing his manhood.
She added: "He had no concerns, he seemed to think there was no problem with any of it.
"Things tailed off but he would always get back to me asking for more and more photos. It really started to freak me out."
Ainscough was freed on continuing bail until Monday morning.
Afghanistan paedophile ring may be responsible
for abuse of over 500 boys
Social workers claim teachers and local officials are implicated, and believe thousands more children may have been targeted
Stefanie Glinski in Kabul, Guardian, UK
Experts warned that the poverty of victims plays a role in the silencing of sexual abuse crimes.
Photograph: Stefanie Glinski
A paedophile ring involved in the abuse of at least 546 boys from six schools has been discovered in Afghanistan’s Logar province.
Some of the victims of the abuse have since been murdered according to the campaigners who first discovered videos of abuse posted to a Facebook page. Honour killings
Five families killed their sons after their faces were seen on videos posted to social media. Two other boys – a 13 and 15 year old – were killed last week, although the perpetrators are unknown.
Civil society organisation, The Logar Youth, Social and Civil Institution, which has been working in the region for 16 years, revealed the extent of the abuse after discovering more than 100 videos on the social media site.
The institution is investigating other high schools in the region, believing thousands more children may have been abused.
Mohammed Mussa, a lead social worker at the institution, alleges that teachers, headteachers and local authority officials are implicated in the abuse ring.
“The boys we have spoken to are between the ages of 14 to 20 and the cases were reported in relatively secure areas. That’s one of the reasons why we think that the numbers could peak significantly,” he said. “Perpetrators might coordinate because they understand that if legal action is taken against them, they work as a group rather than an isolated incident.”
One school boy, Tamim*, 17, from Logar province, said that he recorded his headteacher’s demands on his phone last year. “He told me that he loved me and wanted to have sex with me,” Tamim said. His parents hadn’t believed him until they heard the recording.
Students said the headteacher had built a private room in the school’s library, where he molested male students after school and on weekends.
Tamim said the headteacher has been fired from his post, but is understood to now hold a position in the Ministry of Education.
A Ministry of Education spokesperson Nooria Nazhat said: “If there is a complaint about our staff, the judicial authorities are responsible to investigate it. If a teacher behaves inappropriately, the teacher is punished according to the law … Detecting crime and investigating it is not the task of the Ministry of Education. We have 220,000 teachers – we can’t check on all of their lives.”
Another student, Daud*, 18, who used to attend a different high school, said one of his teachers would fail him in class and then demand sexual services in return for a passing grade.
So far, 66 cases of abuse have been identified at his school.
“My teacher said, ‘you don’t need to study, I will pass you anyway’,” Daud told the Guardian. “Often, students from poor families were singled out because they were vulnerable,” he said.
According to Mussa, some of the teachers were reported to the police but were released shortly after and have not been charged.
“The rapists are teachers, older students, authority figures and even extended family members,” he said. He and his team have received death threats since exposing the abuse. Blackmail
He added that many of the abused boys have also been threatened. “Many of the victims are blackmailed. They are forced to sell drugs or engage in illegal activities in exchange for their rape videos to not be released,” Mussa said.
“Impunity, toxic gender norms and poverty of victims play a big role in the silencing of these crimes. These boys come from the most marginalised sections of society, they don’t have a voice and very few speak up on their behalf,” said Charu Hogg, executive director of the All Survivors Project, an organisation working with male victims of sexual violence in Afghanistan where, she said, sexual abuse was massively underreported.
Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, added: “There is impunity for child rape because very often the perpetrators are powerful men in the military, police, or other official institutions. Even though the practice has been criminalised, the law too often goes unenforced.”
The mountains of southern Logar. Children often fear speaking out about sexual abuse for fear
of ruining their family’s ‘honour’. Photograph: Stefanie Glinski
And ruining their families 'honour' often means they will be murdered by their own families
Male sexual abuse is widespread in Afghanistan. Psychologist Lyla Schwartz, who runs mental health initiative Peace of Mind Afghanistan, said victims rarely report what happens as any attention or subsequent trial can ruin the family’s “honour”.
“Oftentimes, families blame the receivers of sexual violence instead of the perpetrators, not believing that respected authority figures would engage in such behaviour. That’s part of the reason there has been not a single prosecution for male rape this year – and few, if any even – in previous ones.”
Schwartz has now started counselling several of the boys.
“If the children aren’t being helped to deal with the traumatic experience, it can exasperate into violence, mental health disorders, PTSD or even perpetration of sexual abuse.The students are so vulnerable and they will put the blame on themselves and feel shame, even though they didn’t do anything wrong,” she explained, admitting that since the cases were so rampant and on such high levels, there isn’t capacity to help everyone.
Afghanistan’s 37-million-strong population continues to lack widespread psychological support and more than 18 years of war have left much of the country devastated, with the both the Taliban and Islamic State continuing to gain territory.
Much of Logar – home to less than half a million people – is controlled by the Taliban, who have killed several of the sex abusers, according to the Logar Youth, Social and Civil Institution.
A further 25 families of raped boys have relocated to different provinces. “Hundreds of others don’t have the means to do that,” explained Mussa, who has since asked the US Embassy in Kabul to help to support the boys.
Sexual violence causes deep and long-lasting psychological harm to victims, said Hogg, warning of limited numbers of staff to respond to the needs of sexual violence survivors of all genders in Afghanistan. “Stigma causes a significant barrier to seeking support,” she added.
It’s hard to say just how many boys have been abused in Afghanistan. “The practise is frowned upon, but it’s still practised widespread,” said Schwartz.
“Every class we talked to had students report forceful sexual abuse,” explained Mussa. “It happens in every province. Children’s rights are completely neglected.”
* Names have been changed.
Logar Province, Afg
MPs React to Logar, Afghanistan, Sex Abuse Claims
A heated discussion over a recent report in the UK’s Guardian about widespread sex abuse of school-aged children in Logar province roiled the House of Representatives on Saturday, with some members outraged by the abuse and others outraged by the claims.
The Guardian article, published on Wednesday, alleged sexual abuse of “550 children and youth” from “six schools” in the province.
Rahman Rahmani, the House speaker, described the alleged child abuse in Logar schools as "appalling" and called for the punishment of the perpetrators. “The news of children sexual abuse in Logar province was really terrifying,” said Rahmani.
“Logar's case and the like ... it's not normal. Anyone who commits an act of sodomy twice is entitled to death,” said Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, a member of the Afghan House of Representatives.
Two days ago, Mohammad Mussa Mahmoudi, the head of Logar's civil society, in an interview with TOLOnews claimed that a study he conducted in six schools in the province revealed that 550 students had been sexually abused. Ostrich Syndrome
On the other hand, some members of the House of Representatives said that the allegations of mass sexual abuse of children in Logar province are false.
“Some countries, some advertising networks, are trying to destroy this great and heroic nation,” said Sayed Ahmad Khadem, an Afghan Parliament member.
“Several members of the Education and Internal Security Commission, and a few members from the same province, need to investigate the incident,” said Lailuma Hakimi, another member of parliament.
A group of Logar residents on Saturday held a protest against the claims made by the Guardian and called for these “allegations” to be cleared.
“This report is completely baseless and a lie and everyone who said it… is only for their own personal interest,” said Sayed Daoud Hashimi, one of the protesters.
On the other hand, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) called on the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to ensure the safety of those who had revealed the allegations.
“The AIHRC also calls on security agencies to ensure the safety of human rights activists and civil society activists working in this regard,” said Razia Sayad, Commissioner for Children, Human Rights Commission.
“The police have taken serious security measures today to secure their office. They must report to relevant security authorities to ensure that threats are properly addressed,” said Nasrat Rahimi, the MoI spokesman.
The acting education minister, Mirwais Balkhi, says the issue will be seriously investigated in the province’s schools. Good. Because I can tell you one thing for sure, 550 sexually abused children in those schools is an underestimate. Stigma, which is based in false pride, has enabled paedophiles for generations. It's time to stop!
Logar Province, Afg
Male rape and sexual torture in the Syrian war:
‘It is everywhere’
When Sarah Chynoweth was asked to report on sexual violence against men and boys
in the Syria crisis, she had no idea of the scale of the problem
The toll of the war on Syria has been immeasurable. The Old City of Homs has been destroyed by
years of conflict. Photograph: Andrew McConnell/UNHCR
Last year I agreed to undertake a fact-finding mission for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on sexual violence against men and boys in the Syrian crisis. We knew that many women and girls were being targeted for rape and other sexualised violence, but we didn’t know much about what was happening to men and boys. Drawing on a few existing reports, I assumed some boys were being victimised, as well as some men in detention centres, but that sexual violence against males was not common. I worried that few refugees would have heard of any accounts and that they wouldn’t talk to me about such a taboo topic anyway. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
In October 2016, I landed in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, where more than 200,000 Syrian refugees had fled. The UNHCR arranged for a translator and discussions with refugees at a nearby camp. I met with the first group, eight Syrian men who had fled the war. I asked them about their lives in the camp, how they were getting by, and what their main concerns were. Once we had established some rapport, I tentatively probed whether they had heard of any reports of sexual violence against men or boys in Syria. They looked at me incredulously, as if they couldn’t believe that I was asking such a basic question, saying: “Yes, of course. It is everywhere. It is happening [from] all sides.”
I was surprised at their response and their candour. I was also sceptical: rumours are rampant in war zones. Had they heard any accounts from someone they knew personally? Again, resounding replies of “yes” from the men. As I met with more and more refugees – almost 200 across Iraqi Kurdistan, Jordan and Lebanon – I received similar responses, and was inundated with heartbreaking stories.
We cannot think of any family who doesn’t have someone who was detained and sexually abused
In Lebanon, a Palestinian man who had lived his entire life in Syria asked to speak with me after the group discussion. He told me how armed men had entered his village and raped him. The experience had left him devastated, and he was too emotionally distraught to work, even though he had to care for his younger sister.
In Jordan, one young Syrian man told me about his uncle, who had been randomly detained. While in detention, his captors sexually tortured him. After his release, he stopped eating and became an alcoholic, dying from liver failure soon after.
A number of women described how men changed after these experiences – isolating themselves, no longer interested in sex, and at times becoming violent. Some were not able to work because of the physical and mental impact of the violence, putting their families at risk of poverty.
I met one man who suffered from painful and debilitating injuries as a result of sexual torture, and a few aid workers said anal injuries were not uncommon for men who had been detained.
The accounts were heart-rending and horrific. They were also abundant. At a large refugee camp in Jordan, I met a group of women who were eager to talk about the issue. According to them, men and boys are routinely sexually abused during detention in Syria, a comment echoed by other refugees, and scores of men had been detained by different armed groups. I asked them to guesstimate how many men in the camp had undergone sexual violence while in detention. They said, “Between 30% and 40%. We cannot think of any family who doesn’t have someone [who was detained and sexually abused].”
Other refugees told me how armed groups would conduct raids on homes, during which “they raped everyone” – both women and men. I heard that phrase a number of times from refugees across the three countries.
People said that after having fled to neighbouring countries, some younger boys were being sexually victimised by older boys and men, who lured them with promises of food or money. A few women said that their sons were too scared to go to school, afraid of being sexually assaulted on the way or at the school by their peers.
What surprised me most were accounts of sexual exploitation at work. An 18-year-old Syrian man who was working two jobs was the first person to tell me about it. He described how his boss demanded sexual favours before paying his wages. He felt he couldn’t refuse because he had to care for his mother and two sisters; his despair and shame were palpable. It was a story I would hear from other refugee men and boys, many of whom were working without a legal permit. Faced with grinding poverty, diminishing aid and intense pressures to provide for their families, they felt they had no choice but to submit.
I also met with a group of gay and transgender refugees who faced the double stigma of being both refugees and sexual and gender minorities. One gay man told me how, in Syria, he had been detained for four months, during which he and other male detainees were raped anally with sticks and bottles. He still experiences pain when sitting. He had fled to a neighbouring country, but didn’t find safety there. He was again sexually assaulted by a local gang as well as by a security guard. He knew he was still at risk.
Other members of the group shared disturbing accounts of sexual assault by taxi drivers, neighbours, landlords and military personnel. They were too afraid to report these to the police, who could assault them again, or even arrest them under laws addressing “public morality” or “unnatural practices”.
In Jordan I met a group of psychotherapists who specialised in treating torture survivors, and asked them why sexual torture was being used in this conflict. They said torture was designed to inflict deep psychological pain that disrupts one’s sense of self. In places such as Syria, where same-sex sexual activity is strictly forbidden and traditional gender roles are entrenched, the use of sexualised torture against men and boys is unsurprising.
Studies from other wars where sexual violence was documented – such as in Liberia, northern Uganda and the former Yugoslavia – also show that men and boys are targeted for a range of sexualised violence. Wartime sexual violence is a complex issue, but it can also be a very effective way to humiliate, terrorise and subjugate women and men.
And though women and girls are the main victims during conflict and displacement – with an estimated one out of five forcibly displaced women having suffered sexual violence, and this is likely to be an underestimate – it doesn’t mean the number of male survivors is small. For example, a 2010 study in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo found that almost one-quarter of men in selected conflict-affected territories had experienced sexual violence: an estimated 760,000 men. LGBTI people are particularly at risk of sexual violence in detention and as refugees.
One woman's fight to stop the 'generational curse'
of child abuse in N.Z.
One Survivor's Story
Kath Coster is on a mission to make sure no child has to suffer the abuse she did. She is one of about 110,000 adults who were abused as children while in state or faith based care - the subject of a Royal Commission of Inquiry. Cate Broughton reports.
When her mother died, Kath Coster curled her hair as she lay in an open casket. "Everyone kept rubbing her hair so I had to go back day after day and curl her hair because it was all flat, stuck against her head."
Coster's mother gave her up as a baby, and later nearly killed her during three years of violent abuse.
The violence ended when Coster, then about 10 years old, was removed and made a ward of the state.
It marked the beginning of years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of foster parents and girls homes.
But when her mother died six years ago, Coster had long forgiven her.
"I thought I was white because my Mum, at that stage was Australian and my Dad was English. No one told me."
"I thought I was white because my Mum, at that stage was Australian and my Dad was English and no one told me."
"I loved my Mum when she died because Mum took accountability. She carried it to the grave when she didn't need to, because I was over it by that stage."
Coster, a member of the survivors advisory panel advising the Abuse in State Care Royal Commission, cannot say the same for the government – yet.
"The state has never taken accountability for any damage it has done to me or any other children. And for me to move forward and know that lid has been put on, that accountability is the first step."
In her later years, Coster's mother told her she had given her up because she wanted a better life for her.
Kath Coster, aged 2 years, with her first foster mother. Coster is a member of the survivors advisory panel for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in State and Faith-Based Care.
She was fostered to pākehā parents as their only child and knew nothing of her Māori heritage.
Coster has happy memories of her first seven years in their home, mainly in Central Otago, but later came to resent being stripped of her family and culture. "I thought I was white because my Mum, at that stage was Australian, and my Dad was English, and no-one told me."
When she was suddenly taken back to her own family, the change came as a huge shock.
Her mother did not cope with her arrival. The family had grown from three to six children, as Coster and two other siblings returned home around the same time.
Her father was a heavy drinker and it was a volatile household.
Kath Coster pictured with her birth mother (right) and her daughter (middle) in the early 1980s. Coster is on the survivors advisory panel to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into State and Faith-based abuse.
The abuse by her mother resulted in broken bones and at one stage her mother tried to drown her.
Eventually the police were called, Coster was removed and she was made a ward of the state.
While the intervention meant she stayed alive, from the age of eleven Coster was subjected to sexual predators behind the closed doors of foster homes, as well as brutality in girls homes.
An elderly couple in Rangiora only accepted young girls and Coster soon discovered the foster father was a paedophile. He regularly molested her. "It was a really nice home apart from what he was doing and I didn't know what was what because things were getting worse."
Coster became withdrawn and physically ill as a result of the abuse and the couple decided they didn't want to keep her. She went to Strathmore Girls Home in Christchurch before being placed in another foster home in Motukarara, near Akaroa.
"It was fine for two years. And then my foster father at the time decided he would try and repetitively have sex with me." A scar on her leg remains to this day, a gash from barbed wire during a desperate attempt to escape the man.
Kath Coster suffered years of abuse after being removed from her family at the age of 11 years old. She was eight years old in this photo. Coster is a member of the survivors advisory panel for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into State and Faith-Based Abuse.
Coster's foster mother became involved with another man, increasingly leaving Coster alone on an isolated rural property with the abusive foster father.
"I used to sit in the bedroom sometimes and be too scared to come out and go to the toilet, and there was a towel in the bedroom and I'd wet on that rather than go out into the hallway to take the chance that he's going to be walking around somewhere."
A social worker realised what was happening and she was taken back to the girls home.
Once there staff told her to take all of her clothes off to be photographed naked. When she refused she was sent to 'the cells' where she remained for two weeks until reluctantly agreeing to the photograph. But she then learned she had to undergo an internal pelvic examination. Terrified, she refused and was taken back to the cells for several weeks before finally succumbing.
The experience left her with a life-long terror of such tests. "Years later I ended up with cervical cancer because the horrific side of having smears was way too much."
During her time at the girls home, she was frequently punished, and found the place more closely resembled a prison than a place for children.