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.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Monday, 30 April 2018

22 Arrests - 350 Rescues, Japanese Teens in Danger, Gang-Rape, Child Brides, 2 y/o on Today's Global PnP List

Interpol rescues 350, arrests 22 in Caribbean human-trafficking operation
By Ed Adamczyk

Interpol announced the arrests on Monday of 22 people and the resucue of nearly 350 people involved in sex trafficking and forced labor. The investigation centered in Caribbean countries. Photo courtesy of Interpol

UPI -- Nearly 350 potential sex-trafficking and forced labor victims were rescued in an Interpol operation, the international police agency announced Monday.

A statement issued at Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, said the operation was centered in Central and South America and in the Caribbean, with its operations center in Barbados. Men and women, including minors, were found working in nightclubs, farms, mines and markets in a weeklong action called Operation Libertad.

Twenty-two people were arrested, and computer equipment, mobile phones and cash were seized.

The statement mentioned women in Guyana, working as prostitutes near a gold mine, were unable to escape.

"Isolated locations make it difficult for officers to avoid detection when traveling to these camps. By the time intelligence is acted upon, perpetrators have had the opportunity to act and move the victims," said Diana O'Brien, assistant director of public prosecutions of Guyana's Ministry of Public Security.

The 2 1/2-half year investigation was funded by the Canadian government, which provided special training to investigators and immigration officers. It is one of several projects of the Interpol Global Task Force on Human Trafficking. Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Curacao, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands and Venezuela participated in the police operation.

Children as young as 10 committing sex crimes
in Queensland

Children as young as 10 are among hundreds being charged with sex crimes – including rape – every year in Queensland.

An estimated 450 sexual offences were committed by children between the ages of 10 and 16 last year, according to statistics obtained by The Sunday Mail.

More than 90 rapes were committed, with most offenders found to be overwhelmingly male – 450 compared to 52 females.

Griffith Youth Forensic Service deputy director and criminologist Danielle Harris said that most of these offences involve other young people, the Mail reports. Half of all sex abuse nationwide is committed by children.

Brother released after pleading guilty to incest with slain 12-year-old foster sister Tiahleigh Palmer

Dr Harris said sexual offences by children can be sparked by factors from existing psychological makeup to incidents of severe trauma.

“For one kid, that might be he was sexually abused since he was six months old... but it might also just be maltreatment or neglect,” she said.

Or, might part of it be a matter of children getting easy access to pornography?

Dr Harris said that the forensic service she represents has been able to rehabilitate most offenders through one-on-one counselling.

She nevertheless believes young children as young as six should be exposed to education programs teaching them what constitutes appropriate behaviour.

"(Children) need to have that language that allows you to describe to a trusted adult if someone – even one of your trusted people – has done something that made you feel uncomfortable,” she said.

Japan's children snared by social media crime
By Thomas Beecher

Last February, a 14-year-old girl arrived at a Tokyo train station to meet Ryusei Nakama, a 21-year-old ramen shop worker from the city’s bustling harbourside Shinagawa neighbourhood.

Nakama, who was later arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, had contacted the teenager four days earlier on Twitter, saying he wanted to “shelter her” after learning about the girl’s abusive father, he later told police. Along with another 18-year-old male, she spent more than 10 days in his apartment.

Japan's national police chief says rates of social media-related crimes are "alarming”.
Photo: Illustration by Richard Giliberto

A month earlier, 28-year-old newspaper deliveryman Kazunari Saito had raped and attempted to murder a teenage girl he became acquainted with online.

Saito had lured the girl, who was allegedly suicidal, into his residence and strangled her with a plastic rope. According to Saito the girl, who managed to escape the following morning, said she “wanted to die” on Twitter.

Crimes like these are not uncommon in Japan. According to the latest data from Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA), close to 1000 minors – mostly 15 to 17-year-old girls – were victims of social media-related crimes in the first half of 2017 alone. The number is “on the rise", said NPA chief Masayoshi Sakaguchi. “The situation is alarming.”

Of the 919 cases – which included 20 incidents of rape and assault, 350 violations against child-protection ordinances, 289 cases of child pornography and 243 cases of child prostitution – more than 30 per cent were linked to Twitter. The previous year’s report indicated that cases involving Twitter had more than quadrupled since 2014.

Some of these crimes begin in the commonplace - a young person running away from home. Every day, dozens of posts appear on Twitter with hashtags like “iede shojo” (“run away”), from mostly teenage girls looking for a place to spend the night. Many of their tweets include phrases like “I had a fight with my parents” and “is there anywhere I can stay?”.

A car carrying "Twitter Killer" Takahiro Shiraishi leaves a Tokyo police station in November.
Photo: Yomiuri Shimbun via AP

On March 25, one 14-year-old girl posted: “I’m currently in the city. My parents kicked me out and I’m looking for somewhere to stay. I only have ¥4000 (around $50) on me. I only need to stay one night, will someone please help me?”

For other young people living outside Japan’s major urban areas, this “dangerous subculture” may also be a route to the big cities, said Professor Shinichi Ishizuka, head of the Criminology Research Centre at Kyoto’s Ryukoku University: “Girls come to Tokyo to see Tokyo culture, youth culture.”

Lurking on the other side of the Twittersphere are people like 37-year-old freelance programmer and photographer Konosuke Yokota, who is believed to have given lodging to several underage runaways.

Youth culture: a party in Tokyo's Shinjuku district. Runaways are often drawn to the bright lights of the capital.
Photo: Supplied

He was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of paying a minor for sexual acts, and again in June 2016 for keeping a 16-year-old girl in his Tokyo apartment after she reportedly tweeted: “I have no money, is there anyone that can let me stay over?”

More than three weeks passed before she was found, after another runaway – a 16-year-old girl from Osaka who was also invited into Yokota’s apartment – called the police.

“This classification of crime is traditional, but the method to commit [them] is new,” said Professor Ishizuka. And “it is very difficult for police to control freedom of expression, freedom of interaction”. This, he says, “is a new problem" for Japan.

Other minors take to Twitter with the hashtag “enjo kosai” to find “compensated dates” – a thinly-veiled euphemism in Japan for child prostitution.

Stories like these are routine in Japan’s crime-hungry media. In late 2016, 35-year-old businessman Takayuki Hirakawa was arrested when a 15-year-old girl he met on Twitter reported him to authorities after he didn’t pay her a promised ¥40,000 for sexual acts at a hotel in Nerima, in Tokyo’s west. Hirakawa, who once gave a lecture on protecting minors from sexual abuse to a Tokyo primary school PTA, confessed to police that he had “committed similar acts before”.

The following year, 39-year-old temp worker Haruomi Onishi was arrested for paying a 16-year-old girl he met on Twitter ¥20,000 for sexual acts at a hotel in Kasukabe, outside of Tokyo. A month after that, 51-year-old high school teacher Tadatomo Ebihara was arrested for paying another 16-year-old girl he met on Twitter ¥16,000 for sexual acts at a karaoke parlour in Saitama prefecture.

But the role of Japanese social media in luring vulnerable young people burst into the national spotlight towards the end of 2017 after a string of gruesome murders in Zama, a quiet suburb outside of Tokyo.

An image of Takahiro Shiraishi on Japanese TV. He was arrested after severed body parts were found in picnic coolers in his apartment.
Photo: Screengrab/ANN News

Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, was arrested on suspicion of killing nine young people aged between 15 and 26, whose mutilated remains were found throughout his apartment.

Shiraishi – soon dubbed the “Twitter Killer” – lured his victims by targeting young people who took to the social media platform expressing suicidal thoughts.

Portrayed on one account as a scarred, noose-necktie-wearing manga character, Shiraishi described himself as a hanging expert, offering to “help people who are really in pain”. “Please DM me anytime,” he disquietingly wrote on @hangingpro.

In one post, Shiraishi tweeted: “Bullying is everywhere, in school and at work. There must be many people in society who are suffering after attempting suicides, thought their cases are not reported in the news. I want to help such people.”

His victims included Hitomi Fujima, a 26-year-old divorced mother of one; and 15-year-old Kureha Ishihara, who apparently sent out one final tweet – complaining about homework – before she went missing last August.

Police discovered Shiraishi while investigating the disappearance of 23-year-old Aiko Tamura, who was hanged after tweeting: “I want to die, but doing so alone is terrible. I’m looking for someone to die with me.”

Shiraishi was finally apprehended when police used Twitter to lure him into a fake meeting. When they entered his house, they found the severed heads of his victims rotting away inside water coolers, some covered in cat litter.

Responding to Shiraishi’s “extremely dirty trick to lure victims and murder them”, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga promised that the Abe government would “take steps to prevent this happening again”.

But despite current laws safeguarding minors, internet services like Twitter are broadly protected under Article 21 of Japan’s constitution, which prohibits censorship.

“The Japanese legal system makes it difficult to tackle the problem,” said Yushi Okajima, an associate professor at Chuo University’s Faculty of Policy Studies. “If you try to remedy the negative aspects of Twitter, it would also take away some of the positive ones.”

Authorities largely rely on cyber patrols and volunteers to flag online misconduct. This includes monitoring sites like Twitter, which allows its users to sign up anonymously and does not require age verification.

The Internet Hotline Centre Japan is one group that works with national police to receive and direct reports of online abuse. In 2016, they claimed to have logged close to 280,000 reports ranging from child pornography to broader misconduct such as promoting illegal substances – around 30,000 more cases than in the previous year and close to twice as many as in 2014.

In 2008, the government sought to curb crimes stemming from online dating services by revising a 2003 law requiring Japanese dating sites to prohibit sexual content involving minors and verify their customers’ ages. It was an apparent success: only 42 crimes were recorded in 2016, according to NPA data.

Another forthcoming effort will require smartphone providers to activate filtering mechanisms for customers under 18 from June this year. The measure follows a similar initiative by the popular messaging app LINE – which also appears in the NPA’s soon-to-be-released annual report – restricting the ability of users under 18 to search for or be searched by others.

For its part, Twitter claims to have suspended at least 75 per cent of those Japanese users in violation of child sexual exploitation laws during the second half of 2017 before the user made their first tweet, using Microsoft PhotoDNA image technology and complaints received. That number rose from 50 per cent in the first half of the year, Twitter says.

“We take a proactive approach to combat child sexual exploitation on our platform,” a spokesperson told Fairfax Media by email. “Twitter has a zero-tolerance policy for child sexual exploitation and we remain steadfastly committed to preventing the sexual exploitation of minors everywhere.”

Japan remains one of Twitter’s largest and fastest-growing markets, with around 45 million users. Earlier this year, the company reported a 34 per cent rise in sales from the previous year to over ¥11 billion (over $130 million) during the last three months of 2017.

Takahiro Shiraishi, dubbed the "Twitter Killer", leaves a Tokyo police station to face prosecutors in November.
Photo: Kyodo

Speaking in Tokyo just days after Shiraishi’s arrest, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey told the Japanese public broadcaster NHK that the company needs to “take on a responsibility to make sure [the] tool is being used in positive and healthy ways”. At around the same time, Twitter announced revisions to their rules to ensure that users do not “promote or encourage suicide or self-harm” on the platform.

Twitter’s rules also state that the company will “permanently suspend accounts promoting or containing updates with links to child sexual exploitation”. According to their terms:

“We do not tolerate child sexual exploitation on Twitter. When we are made aware of links to images of or content promoting child sexual exploitation they will be removed from the site without further notice and reported.”

Despite this, 2018 has shown little sign of the growing trend being contained. This month, a 48-year-old night school manager was arrested for paying a middle-school boy ¥5000 for sexual acts in a Tokyo parking lot. Predictably, they met on Twitter.

“Safety got away from Twitter,” one former Twitter vice-president was quoted as saying recently. “It was Pandora’s box. Once it’s opened, how do you put it all back in again?”

Gang rape verdicts spur 3rd day of protests in Spain
The Associated Press 

People shout slogans during a protest against sexual abuse in Pamplona, northern Spain, on Saturday.
(Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press)

Tens of thousands of people marched in northern Spain for a third consecutive day to protest the acquittal of five men on gang rape charges.

Local police in Pamplona estimated the size of the crowd at Saturday's march was 35,000.

An 18-year-old woman was attacked during the city's famed San Fermin bull-running festival in 2016.

Local police in Pamplona estimated the size of the crowd at Saturday's march was 35,000.
(Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press)

The five men, whose members named their WhatsApp group "The Pack," were convicted Thursday on a lesser felony of sexual abuse and sentenced to nine years each in prison. Lawyers say the victim is appealing.

The court's decision has also prompted thousands of women to share their experiences of abuse on Twitter under #cuentalo, Spanish for "tell it."

The Spanish government has announced plans to convene discussions on possible legal reforms.

Hundreds of people chanted 'We want justice' and waved signs that read 'No means No' and 'Justice!'
(Alvaro Barrientos/Associated Press)

India Rules Sex With a Child Bride Is Always Rape in a Massive Win for Girls’ Rights

It’s a landmark change to India’s marital rape laws

India’s top court has ruled that sex with a child is always rape, quashing a clause that allowed men to have sex with underage girls if they were married to them. 

The Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Wednesday closed a legal loophole that has historically allowed perpetrators of rape to escape punishment.

While the age of consent in India is 18, there was a clause in India’s rape laws that lowered the age of consent to 15 if the girl was married. 

But the court has now ruled that the clause is “discriminatory, capricious, and arbitrary”, and “violates the bodily integrity of the girl child”. 

“This is a landmark judgement that corrects a historical wrong against girls,” Vikram Srivastava, the founder of campaign group Independent Thought, told the BBC . “How could marriage be used as a criteria to discriminate against girls?”

Girls under 18 will now be able to report their husbands for rape, as long as they lodge a complaint within a year of it happening.

“The judgement is a step forward in protecting girls from abuse and exploitation, irrespective of their marital status,” Divya Srinivasan, from women’s rights organisation Equality Now , told Global Citizen.

“This positive decision by the Supreme Court will hopefully encourage the Indian government to protect all women by removing the marital rape exemption in all cases,” she said.

Commentators say the ruling will be difficult to enforce in the country, however, due to the high rates of child marriage. 

India is ranked 10th in the world for child marriage, with an estimated 47% of girls married by the time they turn 18, according to the campaigning organisation Girls Not Brides. 

Girls are often seen as an economic burden, particularly in poor, rural areas, and many parents marry off their children in the hope of improving their financial security. 

There is also a shame associated with pre-marital sex that can lead to girls’ parents forcing them to marry their rapists, according to news agency AFP .

Child marriage is a serious barrier for the girls involved, often leading to them dropping out of school to focus on their domestic responsibilities, or suffering health problems from giving birth at a young age.

(Caption: A young actress plays the role of Giorgia, 10, forced to marry Paolo, 47, during a happening organised by Amnesty International to denounce child marriage, on October 27, 2016 in Rome.)

India’s rape laws have, prior to this ruling, specifically excluded married couples. Men can currently still have non-consensual sex with their wives without it being classed as rape. 

While Wednesday’s ruling represents progress, there are still steps to be taken in criminalising marital rape.

A challenge to the laws on marital rape is currently going through the Indian courts, reported AFP , but the government has said it opposes criminalising marital rape as it would damage the institution of marriage.

The government has said that criminalising marital rape could “destabilise” marriages and could be used by wives as “an easy tool for harassing the husbands”.

Police charge West Australia man with
historical child sexual assault offences
by Lisa Thomas The Advocate NEWS

A GERALDTON man is due to face court today on a series of historical child sexual abuse charges.

The 61-year-old man allegedly assaulted a girl known to him between 1982 and 2001, who was five years old at the time of the first offence.

It is further alleged between July 2017 and February 2018, the man also sexually assaulted another girl who was known to him, who was seven years old at the time of the first offence.

The man has been charged with five counts of knowingly sexually penetrating a child (lineal relative), two counts of indecent dealings with a child who is a lineal relative or defacto child, 10 counts of indecent dealings with a child under 14 years and three counts of unlawful and indecent assault.

He will appear in Geraldton Magistrates Court today.

Anyone with information on this matter is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

If you are, or have been a victim of sexual abuse, or have information about someone being abused, please contact police on 131 444.

‘Too young to testify’: Rape case of 2yo alleged victim is shelved in South Africa

Alleged rapist will soon return to work at creche

FILE PHOTO: A protester holds on October 18, 2013 a placard reading "Stop Raping and Kill(ing) our Children" during a demonstrating in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg. © Alexander Joe / AFP

A child rape case in South Africa was dropped after a court ruled that the alleged victim, 2, was too young to testify, her mother said. The case was reportedly reopened Friday after the girl’s parents complained to police.

"The perpetrator [creche employee] was arrested. We have a case number, and my daughter's forensic examination confirmed that she was raped,” the mother told News24 in an email. “The prosecutor said they could not pursue the conviction due to lack of evidence and my daughter was deemed too young. My daughter has outstanding language ability [and] was able to identify the perpetrator and provide details of what happened."

A creche is a daycare for pre-school children.

In a newsletter, the principal of the creche told parents that an employee, who had been arrested, would be returning to work in the near future – without specifying exactly why they had been taken into police custody in the first place.

"A 38-year-old was arrested and his first appearance was [on December 7, 2017]," explained Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk. "On [April 17, 2018], the case was provisionally withdrawn by the Wynberg court. Consultation was done with parent and child on [February 13, 2018], by the prosecutor, and [it was] explained that the child is too young.

"[The] case will be placed back on the court roll as soon as [the] child is ready and done with her forensic social worker assessment," Van Wyk added.

Meanwhile, the pervert can go back to work and rape more babies. Good grief!

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) reportedly withdrew the case as the “investigation is not complete.” Western Cape NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila told News24 that, after an initial consultation, the child was found to be unable to testify. "We also asked for a forensic social worker's report since the outset, which would obviously assist us [in] dealing with the case and the matter, but we have not received it."

"We were also hoping that the school would be able to access video footage (even though we do not have an exact date of the incident), but the video footage for that time period has been 'over-written.'" The NPA will re-examine the child in October.

"Apart from the child's version and a J88 which shows old injuries, we have no other evidence and at this stage, we will not be able to secure a conviction," Ntabazalila said.

J88 forms record all forensic evidence taken and processed in examinations following an alleged rape. The child's parents removed her from the school and opted for a police rather than a school investigation reports news 24.

"The school confirmed to social workers that, since the alleged perpetrator was arrested, he had been suspended and has not returned to the school to date," Sihle Ngobese spokesperson for the Department of Social Development in the Western Cape.

Everything about this case is so 3rd world. 

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Australian Mining Town Breaks Its Silence About Grim Past of Child Sexual Abuse


The ribbons tied to a fence outside St. Patrick’s cathedral in Ballarat, Australia, are in support of victims of child sexual abuse at the hands of the Catholic clergy. Credit Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

BALLARAT, Australia — Rob Walsh was outside Melbourne Magistrates’ Court recently awaiting a pretrial hearing for Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking official, when, he said, he unexpectedly walked into the cardinal himself.

The encounter wasn’t their first. They both were raised in the same old mining town, which could be why the cardinal extended his hand, inviting Mr. Walsh to shake it. Mr. Walsh declined — a gesture that signified the lasting impact of a decades-long sexual abuse scandal that has rocked this town, Ballarat, and sent shock waves around the world.

“The ripple is still on the lake and it’s still occurring,” Mr. Walsh said from his home in Ballarat, referring to the lingering effects from that scandal, in which priests preyed on children, including Mr. Walsh, during the 1960s and 1970s.

“It’s gone through families and generations.”

This town, officially a city of about 100,000 people, was once the center of Australia’s gold rush, but is now better known as the epicenter of that pedophile ring, in which Catholic clergy preyed on those who depended on them the most — children from Ballarat’s poor, blue-collar neighborhoods.

The scale of the abuse in Ballarat was staggering. Gerald Ridsdale, the former chaplain of St. Alipius Primary School in Ballarat, was imprisoned for sexually abusing 65 children from the early 1960s to late 1980s. He was only one of several priests convicted of abusing children.

An open-air museum depicting Ballarat in the 1850s, during the gold rush. Credit Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

About 45 victims were estimated to have committed suicide, prompting an outpouring of grief from once devout Catholic parents who said the church robbed them of their sons.

Today, survivors speak of broken marriages, children being raised without fathers, lives spent in a haze of drugs and alcohol or in and out of institutional care.

What happened here is often likened to a big black cloud hanging over the city that has never fully lifted.

“It’s a never-ending story,” said Mr. Walsh, whose two brothers and cousin were also abused at St. Alipius Primary School. In the years that followed, all three committed suicide.

“It just keeps going and going and going,” added Mr. Walsh, who has not alleged that Mr. Pell abused him.

Survivors in Ballarat remained silent for decades. The city has, until recently, prided itself on being a conservative community in which the Catholic Church was held in high regard. Some victims felt trapped — worried their families wouldn’t believe them. Others feared the church’s dominance here.

“It’s a never-ending story,” said Rob Walsh, an abuse survivor whose two brothers and cousin were also abused at St. Alipius Primary School. In the years that followed, all three committed suicide. Credit Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

On the road into the city from Melbourne, the state capital, the red brick Gothic-like presbytery of St. Alipius immediately stands out. Further into town, ornate churches have an imposing presence on many main streets.

The Ballarat Diocese, one of the largest Catholic dioceses in Australia, is a major power center. With its property and other assets, the Catholic Church’s holdings in and around Ballarat are estimated to be worth more than 175 million Australian dollars, or about $135 million, according to news reports.

Young George Pell

Many of the city’s Catholic families were descendants of poor Irish immigrants, most of whom were Catholic and came to Ballarat in the 1800s to work in its gold mines. Far from the mansions in other parts of town, they tended to gather in the working-class area of East Ballarat, seeking community in churches like St. Alipius after the mining industry slowed in the early 1900s.

East Ballarat “was really left over from the gold rush days,” said Maureen Hatcher, who has lived in Ballarat most of her life. “There would have been a lot of people that would have come here that were incredibly poor and never made any money but thought they would.”

Pubs have also played a major role in Ballarat life since the gold rush, say historians. And though they have dwindled in number, some residents said they have contributed to the malaise of alcoholism and depression that still lingers.

The abuse was particularly damaging because, without the basic social services prevalent today, residents of East Ballarat relied on the church for support, to serve as a bedrock for their community.

“This community has been ravaged by the Catholic Church,” said Stephen Woods, who was abused as a child starting in the 1970s at his old school, St. Alipius, above, and later at the nearby St. Patrick’s College. Credit Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

Ultimately, the priests betrayed those they were supposed to protect, say the victims.

“This community has been ravaged by the Catholic Church,” said Stephen Woods, who was abused as a child starting in the 1970s.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the dam finally broke, said Mr. Woods, whose abuse took place at St. Alipius, and later at the nearby St. Patrick’s College, a Catholic day and boarding school.

He publicly revealed his abuse in 1994 and was among those who led the way for others to share their truths.

But he added that it was the Loud Fence movement, which began about three years ago, that finally gave this community a voice to speak about its dark past.

The movement began as thousands of residents and people from across Australia began hanging colorful ribbons on the fence outside St. Alipius and St. Patrick’s to show support for the victims.

Ms. Hatcher, the movement’s founder, said though ribbons had at times been stripped from the fences by parishioners, they tied people together and now served as a symbol of speaking out against abuse.

Some say the new willingness to speak out about the abuse scandal has turned Ballarat from a closed, conservative former mining town and industrial city into a more tolerant and inclusive community. Credit Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

“There are more ribbons on the fence now than there was before,” said Frank Sheehan, a former state lawmaker from Ballarat.

Finding its voice has helped Ballarat become something even more. Just as the rush to find gold transformed Ballarat from a small sheep station into a major mining settlement, the new willingness to speak out about the abuse scandal has turned Ballarat from a closed, conservative former mining town and industrial city into a more tolerant and inclusive community.

Belinda Coates, the city’s former deputy mayor, said she had seen a shift, with many major organizations here now choosing female leaders.

Ballarat is the first city in Australia to join the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Network, a statement of intent to become a more culturally diverse and welcoming community, as also seen in Ballarat’s acceptance of a growing number of new immigrants from countries including Sudan and Afghanistan.

“There’s a bit of a quiet revolution going on in Ballarat,” Ms. Coates said.

“When you start to challenge the status quo, it ripples out into the community,” she added. “More people are finding their voices.”

But this transformation is in large part because of a great tragedy. Residents and former victims hope an impending court decision on whether Cardinal Pell should stand trial for “historical sexual offenses” will help Ballarat find some closure.

“We’re all waiting on a decision,” said Mr. Walsh, who refused to shake the cardinal’s hand on the street. “The Catholic Church has just really got to change. It’s as simple as that.”

Saturday, 28 April 2018

In Oregon, Lawyers for Foster Children Don't Even Have to Show Up

Children are often the first to suffer from adult's weaknesses; but children are mostly voiceless. In Oregon, even some children with lawyers are voiceless. And, no-one is doing anything about it. 
The Oregonian/OregonLive

Illustration by Randy Mishler | The Oregonian/OregonLive

A pair of Oregon sisters were 5 and not quite 2 when state workers removed them and three older half-siblings from their Medford home in March 2014. Police were concerned about the children’s lack of food and their parents’ drug use and domestic violence, court records say.

The little girls deserved a say in what happened to them next, and one person was paid by Oregon taxpayers to be their voice: Central Point lawyer Risa Hall.

But when child welfare officials signed off on the girls moving into a home with a convicted sex offender, Hall raised no objection, according to a lawsuit filed on their behalf. An April 2014 document in the girls’ file called attention to the danger that man, an adult relative, posed to the children.

Hall should have known about the danger and argued against the move, which happened that May, the lawsuit says.

Instead, it says, the sisters endured months of physical and sexual abuse by the sex offender before a judge removed them from the home at the end of July 2014. By then, Hall had been paid to represent the girls for more than four months.

But she had never met or even talked to them, the lawsuit alleges.

An Oregon State Bar rule requires lawyers to communicate with their clients, even if they are young children. During hearings on foster care and adoptions, government lawyers argue for what child welfare workers say is in a child’s best interest. Children also are assigned attorneys, and those lawyers are supposed to stand up for what the child wants, not what the lawyer thinks is best.

Face-to-face meetings are the only way to fully understand a child’s circumstances and learn what the child truly wants, according to some attorneys who do this type of work. In a system that often prioritizes the interests of adults, lawyers are supposed to provide a voice for the child.

But Oregon’s system can fail the vulnerable children it is meant to help, The Oregonian/OregonLive has found. Some lawyers don’t meet with their clients. Attorneys sometimes rely on staff or other intermediaries, even though child advocates and officials at the state legal contracting agency say that approach shortchanges children.

The state has no system to monitor the quality of legal work for foster children. Instead, it leaves the contractors who do that work to police themselves. Even when complaints arise and officials conclude an absent advocate denied a child appropriate legal help, they rarely mete out consequences. 

Judge Andrea Janney listens as caseworker Grant Laugsand provides an update on two boys in state care, during a hearing in Klamath County Circuit Court on September 26, 2017.  Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian/OregonLive

Over time, the bar’s best practice guidelines have either said lawyers for foster children “should” or “must” meet with the child within 72 hours of appointment and then communicate with the child at least every 90 days. They’re also supposed to talk to the child before every court hearing and when the child faces “a significant change of circumstances.”

Lane Borg took the helm as director of the agency that contracts with lawyers in 2018. He said he is familiar with the sentiment that attorneys don’t need to speak to or visit young children who are clients. And he doesn’t buy it.

“People that started practicing in this area when I started practicing 30-plus years ago, they would be like, ‘What’s the point of driving five hours to go see a baby in foster care somewhere? I’m not going to learn anything that’s going to help me in court. That’s a waste of my time,’” he said.

“No,” Borg countered, “it’s not a waste of your time, it’s what you should be doing in your practice.”

But Oregon does not check how often or even whether lawyers meet with the vulnerable children they represent.

Unless Hall met the Medford sisters she was assigned to represent, she could not serve as their true voice. In recent years, at least nine other lawyers also breached standards requiring them to communicate with child clients and represent their wishes, The Oregonian/OregonLive found. State officials determined most of them went for long stretches without contacting their clients. Others did not dispute the allegation they did the same. In addition to formal complaints, state officials who oversee the more than 300 lawyers who represent roughly 7,600 foster children a year say many more are resolved informally.

Through her lawyer, Hall declined to answer questions. In court filings, she said the abusers, not she, are to blame for any harm. She did not say if she ever met with the sisters. The state still pays Hall to represent other foster children.

Oregon taxpayers spend nearly $12 million a year to provide lawyers for every child in the foster system. Oregon’s approach to calculating pay for foster children’s lawyers tends to reward those who take on high caseloads and give less to those who devote long hours on the cases of fewer children.

In most of Oregon, there are no limits on how many foster children one lawyer can represent, and the state does not track caseloads. The state contracts with law firms or legal nonprofits and pays them primarily based on how many foster children they anticipate they will represent. Typical payments are $830 per child, and a lawyer who visits a child 10 times is paid no more than a lawyer who never does.

Borg acknowledges the system creates a financial incentive for a lawyer to maximize caseloads and do minimal work for each child.

“You incentivize people to take massive amounts of cases,” said Borg, who formerly headed Portland-based Metropolitan Public Defenders, which represented foster children under contract with the state. “We’re not really measuring whether you get any good outcomes or how much work you do. … For 30 years, it’s been cheap and predictable.”

Borg, who became executive director in January, said his Office of Public Defense Services can’t do more to enforce performance standards for foster children’s lawyers because the budget is tight and the lawyers are private contractors, not state employees. 

Schuyler Davis of Springfield, who entered the foster system at age 7, said he only realized about five years later that a lawyer or lawyers had been representing him in court. Davis says the lawyer he was assigned then, Ilisa Rooke-Ley, listened to him and made a big difference in his life.
Beth Nakamura | The Oregonian/OregonLive


Experts who drafted the Oregon State Bar best practices for children’s lawyers stressed the importance of personal interactions. The state agency that provides attorneys for foster children has adopted those practices as performance standards.

“Establishing and maintaining a relationship with the child client is the foundation of representation,” the bar’s task force wrote in 2014. “It is often more difficult to develop a relationship and trust with a child client than with an adult. … The child’s needs and interests, not the adults’ or professionals’ interests, must be the center of all advocacy.”

Young children can reasonably express preferences about where they live, even when they are too young to put them into words, an expert panel assembled by the Oregon bar asserted.  

Face-to-face meetings with grade schoolers are an opportunity for lawyers to explain the status of the case in an age-appropriate manner and learn what outcomes the child wants. A lawyer who visits a toddler should ask the caregiver questions such as “Where does the child sleep? Where do they spend their time?” Borg said. It sends a signal that the child has his or her own legal advocate and can reveal what a child likes or fears.

“When a lawyer can discern the child client’s preference … the lawyer must advocate for that preference,” the bar’s experts wrote.

The stakes for children and families are incredibly high. Losing a child, a parent or a sibling or being placed in an uncaring or unsafe foster home can do lifelong emotional damage. An emotionally secure, loving adoptive family can put a child on a life-saving, life-affirming path.

Young adults who spent time in the child welfare system testify to the importance of having a good lawyer. Schuyler Davis of Springfield says he “grew up in the foster care system from 7 to 21.” Now 24, he works security at concerts and volunteers for various causes, including an organization he started to raise awareness of children in state care called Project Foster Kids USA.

Davis said he didn’t realize until he got a new attorney at age 12 that another lawyer or lawyers had represented him in court during his previous five years in foster care. His new lawyer, Ilisa Rooke-Ley, “asked what I wanted,” Davis said. When Davis told Rooke-Ley that he needed help to cope with anger, she got him into a treatment program.

“What helped me to be as successful as I am today is being able to get that help that I needed,” said Davis. “Her listening to what I wanted was especially important to me. … It wasn’t common, especially with (the Department of Human Services).”

Schuyler Davis, who grew up in Oregon's foster care system, speaks about the importance of having a lawyer who listened to him and advocated for his needs. 

A decade ago, Washington County Judge Jim Fun started asking children’s lawyers during court hearings when they last met with their clients. A new federal law required judges to consult with children in an age-appropriate manner, he said, so he checked to make sure the lawyer was actually serving as a conduit to the child.

“A child has just as much right as any adult to be heard in court, and the only way that that can be accomplished is for counsel to have an opportunity to see the child,” Fun said.

Having a lawyer know the child’s circumstances first-hand isn’t a nicety, Amy Miller, acting deputy director at the agency that oversees foster children’s legal services, advised one child’s lawyer. “Attorneys who represent young children play a critical role in child safety,” she wrote.

But there have been questions about the failure of lawyers to meet performance standards in Klamath, Jackson, Baker, Clatsop, Lincoln and Washington counties during the last five years, The Oregonian/OregonLive found.


Oregon’s only system for enforcing foster children’s rights to timely, well-informed legal representation is for someone to complain to the state Office of Public Defense Services or the Oregon State Bar. Not surprisingly, toddlers, grade-schoolers and teens who depend on state-paid lawyers almost never file complaints.

People have filed 14 complaints with the state defense office over the past five years regarding the quality of legal representation for foster children in Oregon, records show. One was filed by a minor.

State law allows the Office of Public Defense Services to keep those complaints confidential. The agency declined to release the minor’s complaint about a Washington County attorney, and it is not clear what the client was unhappy about. The office heavily redacted most of the complaints it did release.

Most of those complaints said lawyers weren’t meeting or communicating with children they represented. Several were said to have failed to connect with their child clients at all. One, Baker County lawyer Ted Martin, told Oregon juvenile court program director Leola McKenzie he wasn’t required to visit clients, state officials found. 

A redacted copy of a 2015 complaint about a lawyer in Jackson County lists concerns raised by a foster mother caring for two children, one with significant medical needs, whose lawyer had not visited them. The state released this and other complaints in response to a public records request.
Office of Public Defense Services

In December 2015, a foster mother in Jackson County complained that attorney Vance Waliser never met with the two children in her care, including one with “severe medical needs.” The woman said she sent Waliser more than 100 emails and left numerous voicemails, including a request that Waliser advocate for more help for the high-needs child. When Miller investigated, Waliser confirmed that he never met these clients, Miller’s notes say.

But the state organization that issues contracts to groups of lawyers imposed no consequences on Waliser, who is a member of the same for-profit legal consortium as Hall. Miller noted that she told Waliser about the performance standards for children’s lawyers and the requirement to independently investigate the circumstances of each client. She also authorized funds for him to travel to visit his clients, then marked the complaint “resolved.” Waliser did not respond to requests for comment.

Waliser and Hall are among five co-owners of the Jackson Juvenile Consortium, state records show. The state continues to pay the consortium $1.5 million a year to represent children and low-income adults.

Eastern Oregon foster parent Mary Collard says no one has more at stake in a family court decision than the foster child, so their lawyers’ advocacy is essential. She told the state that for roughly five months, Ontario lawyer Renee Denison hadn’t visited her foster son. Collard said Denison missed court hearings and citizen reviews for the boy and his siblings, whom Denison was also assigned to represent.

“It was so evident that everyone else had an attorney there EXCEPT the very most important ones!” Collard wrote. “I don't understand how legally, these proceedings can go on without him being represented. Huge decisions are being made for this child's future.”

Questioned by Miller, Denison did not dispute that she failed to visit the boy and missed events in his case. But she blamed some problems on the district attorney’s office and the state child welfare program. Denison withdrew from representing all three siblings, Miller said, but continues to represent other foster children. Denison did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2013, leaders from Washington County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates program shared a lengthy list of concerns with the state about Hillsboro law firm Karpstein & Verhulst, including that siblings represented off-and-on by a lawyer for six years didn’t know who he was. They said the lawyer “had little knowledge of the case other than parroting the DHS or (advocates) report,” the advocates wrote. A 2015 state review of legal contractors in the county noted ongoing concerns about the firm’s reliance on staff to visit children. As that review was underway, Nathan Law and Jacob Griffith took over the firm from Gregory Karpstein, state business filings show. Law told The Oregonian/OregonLive that the firm no longer relies solely on staff to visit children, and attorneys are the primary contact for clients. 

Frederick Carman, one of six attorneys at the firm, also vouched for the quality of legal representation. “I stand on my 42 years as an attorney in private practice,” Carman wrote. “It is a fact of life as a practicing lawyer that there will be the occasional unhappy client.” 

Friday, 27 April 2018

Monster Gets Slap-on-Wrist for Torture/Death of Daughter, Another Texas Pastor & More on Today's USA PnP List

Father gets just five years in prison for torturing his three-year-old daughter who suffered a fatal seizure after being starved, beaten and tortured with a wire coat hanger

No sexual abuse in this story, but the abuse is inhuman and the man gets a token jail sentence

A Wisconsin father has been jailed for just five years after starving his daughter to death

A father who watched his three-year-old daughter slowly starve to death will spend just five years behind bars.

Wisconsin man Dylan Bartsh, 33, will also spend the following five years on an extended supervision order after the 2014 death of his daughter Audryna, Winona Daily News reported.

The toddler, who was in an emaciated condition with 28 bruises on her head, a black eye, bite marks and sunken ribs, had suffered a seizure just three days before she died. 

She had also been hit with a wire coat hanger and on her neck, a coroner found 70 scars which appeared to have been caused by an adult fingernail.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said Audryna suffered 'a worse death than many of the homicide cases we've seen'. 

'This was preventable for days and weeks. She was literally dying right in front of [Bartsh's] eyes,' he said.

When Audryna was one and a half years old, her mother agreed to share custody with Bartsh. The 33-year-old took her away and refused to let mother Sheena Poldoski see her again, despite the woman's best efforts. 

Dylan Bartsh (pictured), 33, said his daughter had not been eating for two weeks before she died. He will serve five years behind bars and a further five years on a supervision order

The court heard Bartsh had 'checked out' of caring for his daughter, leaving his girlfriend Jaymie Rundle to look after her, and had avoided seeking medical care when he knew his daughter was unwell because of fears her physical injuries would invite police attention.

Audryna had stopped eating two weeks before her death, the court heard, and the youngster was spanked with a fly swatter and forced into lengthy time outs. 

After her seizure, doctors saw the girl's body was covered in bruises and scratches. Scars from previous attacks covered her face and body, the court heard.

An autopsy of her body revealed bleeding on the brain, 22 scrapes on her head, a black eye and a torn lip.  

Her death was ruled a homicide by Dane County Medical Examiner Vincent Tranchida.

Bartsh earlier pleaded no contest to child neglect resulting in death in the October 2014 death of Audryna Bartsh.

Bartsh's girlfriend, Jaymie Rundle, was sentenced to eight months in jail last year after pleading no contest to misdemeanour child neglect in Audryna's death.

The toddler's mother, Sheena Poldoski, was in court for Bartsh's sentencing. She took to a Facebook page set up in memory of her daughter afterwards and shared a brief message with supporters.

'This is not what I wanted but it's what we got,' she wrote. 

'I love you Audryna.' 

So, all the abuse, the busted lip, the bleeding brain, the bruises and scars count for nothing! The man is a monster and he's sentenced as though he were simply negligent. This is not justice and will almost certainly end in another death down the road. Whoever agreed to this plea deal is pathetic and ought to find a job they are good at.

Texas pastor sentenced to 50 years in prison
for child sexual abuse

Unbelievable! Another Texas pastor - that is at least 4 this month

BY STEPHEN ENGLISH, senglish@star-telegram.com

The former pastor of a church in Mansfield was convicted of child sexual assault on Thursday and sentenced to 50 years in prison, according to the Tarrant County district attorney.

Jose Luis Pizarro, 42, was also sentenced to eight years for indecency in a jury trial in state district court. The sentences will run concurrently, the district attorney's office said.

Pizarro was originally accused by Mansfield police in July 2016 of inappropriately touching an 8-year-old female congregation member at his Iglesia de Dios Nuevo Amanecer church in May of that year.

"He committed multiple sexual assaults of an 8-year-old girl who attended his church over a period of time," Tarrant County district attorney's office spokeswoman Samantha Jordan said via e-mail.

"Some assaults occurred in the church," she said.

Jordan said that during an interview with a Fort Worth police interpreter, brought in because Pizarro preferred to speak Spanish, Pizarro "admitted to improper bodily contact with the child."

The victim, now 10 years old, testified during the trial, Jordan said. Also testifying on her behalf were a nurse from Cook Children's Medical Center, a forensic interviewer from Alliance for Children and the victim's mother.

The site of Pizzaro's former church is now Living Hope Bible Church.

Pizarro was also indicted on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child stemming from an incident in 2013 in Johnson County, court records show. His trial in that case has been postponed multiple times and is now scheduled for Dec. 29.

His trial in Tarrant County began Monday and ended Thursday, Jordan said.

North Carolina man accused of years of
sexual abuse involving a child
by Kristy Steward

HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) A Hendersonville man has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of rape and indecent liberties with a child dating back to 1984.

In a press release, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office says an ongoing investigation led to charges against Larry Freeman Coggins, 64, of Hendersonville.

Through the investigation, it was determined the alleged incidents occurred between 1984 and 2016. Coggins was arrested and charged with first-degree rape, two counts of indecent liberties with a child and two counts of statutory sex act.

Coggins is being held in the Henderson County Jail on a $440,000 secured bond.

His first appearance in the District Court of Henderson County happened on April 27, 2018.

Based upon new information received following the earlier media release, detectives now have reason to believe there may be other victims and ask that anyone with information related to this case, contact Detective Brad Woodson with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office by calling 828-697-4911. 

Feds charge Missouri man with making child pornography during visit to Pennsylvania
Peter Hall Of The Morning Call

A Missouri man is charged with enticing a child to engage in sexual activity to produce pornography during a 2016 visit to Lehigh County, according to an indictment filed Thursday in federal court.

Joseph Michael Willard, 54, of Cole Camp, Mo., was indicted on one count of production of child pornography and six counts of possession of child pornography. The charges stem from an investigation by the Lehigh County Computer Crimes Task Force that resulted in child pornography charges in state court in February.

According to an affidavit by Lehigh County detectives, Bethlehem Detective Michael DiLuzio, working with the task force, detected illegal internet activity Oct. 31 and Nov. 25. Detectives obtained the physical address of the internet connection used to carry out the activity and obtained a warrant to search the Trexlertown home.

No computers at the home contained child pornography, but the residents recalled that Willard had visited on the dates of the illegal activity. Willard was arrested Feb. 23 on Hamilton Boulevard in Lower Macungie Township. In his van, detectives found a laptop that held about 175 video files of children as young as 6 engaged in sex acts, the affidavit says.

The federal indictment additionally alleges that on April 20, 2016, Willard coerced a child younger than 12 to engage in a sex act, and made images of the act that he transmitted by computer.

According to Megan’s Law records, Willard was required to register as a sex offender in Missouri. His offenses include aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl in Illinois in 1995 and possession of child pornography in Arkansas in 2002.

Willard was being held Friday in Lehigh County prison under $100,000 bail on the state charges. His initial court appearance on the federal charges has not been scheduled. If convicted of the federal charges, Willard would face a maximum sentence of lifetime incarceration and a mandatory minimum of 25 years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Miami-Dade Will Close Sex Offender Camp by May 6, Threatens Jail Time for Stragglers

Since 2014, a colony of homeless sex offenders has been rapidly growing by the railroad tracks near Hialeah. Nobody wants them there, including the dozens who call the ramshackle camp home. Everyone, from the Homeless Trust to the ACLU to the county commission, agrees the encampment is a public health and safety hazard. But for years, the sex offenders have said that restrictive county laws mean they have nowhere else to legally live (5th story on link) and that county officials have failed to solve the problem.

In December, after New Times published its latest story chronicling the squalid conditions of the camp and its effect on local business owners, Miami-Dade's Public Safety and Health Committee took action. With a vote of 3-1, commissioners on the committee voted to amend an outdoor camping ordinance in a way that would effectively shut down the camp. The rest of the county commission passed the item in January, and Mayor Carlos Gimenez in March issued a memo giving the homeless residents 45 days to vacate.

With the May 6 deadline quickly approaching, outreach groups have been working with the sex offenders to find new places to live. But thanks to stringent local laws governing where sex offenders can live, many homeless advocates worry they have few alternatives to their camp near the intersection of NW 71st Street and 36th Court. According to the mayor's letter, Miami-Dade Police officers have the option to "remove" those who stay, a clause that refers to a local law permitting police to arrest those who trespass on county property.

"The message being given to the people living there is if you're there on May 7, that you'll be subject to arrest," says Jeffrey Hearne, an attorney with Legal Services who has represented residents of the camp.

As many as 300 sex offenders have a registered address at or near the encampment, according to state records. Under a 2005 county law ordinance named for Lauren Book, a Florida senator and survivor of child sex abuse, offenders who abused victims under the age of 16 must live 2,500 feet from any school, much farther than the 1,000 feet required under state law.

A 2017 report commissioned by the ACLU found that across the county, only 320 affordable rental units met those guidelines.

Since August, the Homeless Trust, its chairman Ron Book (Lauren's father), and the Housing Assistance Network of Dade have been distributing information about rental assistance to the homeless offenders who live at the camp. But other homeless advocates say the assistance is no good if the offenders can't find a landlord who will rent them a home.

"Many people there would love to accept that rental assistance, but they have not been able to find the housing which would permit them to accept it," the ACLU's Jeanne Baker told commissioners in December.

As the deadline looms, it remains unclear what will become of the people who stay behind at the camp. Frank Diaz, a pastor who works with the homeless residents, says probation officers are encouraging some offenders to move near the Krome Service Processing Center at the edge of the Everglades.

"They have been told starting May 6, whoever remains is gonna be taken away, have all their possessions thrown away, and possibly be arrested," Diaz says.

The Miami-Dade Police Department has not yet answered New Times' questions about what will happen after the deadline.

Update: Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for Miami-Dade Police, says the department’s sexual predator unit is aware of the memorandum and is monitoring the situation to determine a plan of action come May 6.

“We’re hoping everyone gets placed and everything works itself out between the county and them,” he says. “The memo says we are the last resort. We want to make sure that is the case.”

No formal directive has been issued yet because it’s still unclear if or how many offenders will remain at the camp after the deadline.

“The last thing we want is to have to take any enforcement,” Zabaleta says. “It just depends how everything lays out between now and May 6. It’s hard for us to have a plan of action if we don’t know how things are going to go.”

Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park renamed because of namesake’s allegedly racist past

Yawkey also protected a serial pedophile who worked for him for 20 years
By Jacob Bogage 

Fans gather along Yawkey Way outside of Fenway Park before Game 1 of the 2007 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Colorado Rockies,  October 24, 2007. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo)

Historic Fenway Park’s “front door” will get a new name after the Boston Public Improvement Commission voted unanimously to strip the moniker Yawkey Way because of allegations of racism in the namesake’s past.

Thomas A. Yawkey owned the Boston Red Sox from 1933 until his death in 1976, the longest single ownership period in major league history. Under his leadership, the Sox were the last major league ballclub to integrate, doing so in 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

By the time Boston signed infielder Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green, Robinson had retired.

Red Sox owner John Henry asked to change the name of the street, which before games becomes a pedestrian walkway, to distance the franchise for Yawkey’s racist reputation. It will be called “Jersey Street,” its name before 1977.

But the request came against vociferous outcries from Yawkey supporters. The longtime owner was beloved around the city. The foundation started in his honor a year after his death became one of the Northeast’s largest philanthropic donors, giving $453 million away in grants since its inception, according to its website.

“Tom Yawkey’s name will no longer be on the street, and I and others like me can go to Fenway Park feeling very proud of the Red Sox of today and of the city of Boston which we all love so much,” Walter Carrington, a former member of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, who investigated racism within the Red Sox organization in 1959, told the Boston Globe.

“Tom Yawkey deserved to have his name live on at Fenway Park,” the Yawkey Foundation said in a statement. “We can’t change today’s decision, but we remain hopeful that he will be remembered as the good and decent man he truly was.”

Except for the racism, and, oh yeah, employing a pedophile for 20 years (6th story on link). Clubhouse attendant Don Fitzpatrick ended up costing the team more than $3 million dollars in lawsuit settlements from all the boys that he abused. Yawkey was aware of the abuse and covered it up for many years.

The Public Improvement Commission, a group of city department heads who review projects on public rights of way, emphasized that it decided the name change not on the merits of Yawkey’s character, but because the five businesses that abutted the street all agreed to the switch.

Street name changes are usually procedural affairs, commissioners said.

“I know a lot of people are talking about ‘this is going to help us end racism,’ ” Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said, according to the Globe. He declined to publicly state whether he supported the renaming campaign. “This is not the answer to that.

“The way we end racism is we deal with racism, we talk about racism, and we educate people about racism, and we have dialogues about racism. That’s the way we end racism.”

How do we end pedophilia? Not with people who cover it up?

New Jersey man sentenced for having 16K
child porn videos
Suzanne Russell, @SRussellMyCJ 

ELIZABETH - A 37-year-old Roselle man has been sentenced to five years in state prison for distributing child pornography through a social media account and possessing more than 16,000 child pornography videos and images on his computers.

Charles Diggs was sentenced Friday by Union County Superior Court Judge William A. Daniel, according to Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. On Dec. 11, 2017 Diggs pleaded guilty to second-degree distribution of child pornography on his Twitter account. He will be required to register as a Megan's Law sex offender.

Diggs was charged as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit (DTIU), the Division of Criminal Justice, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office and additional members of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. 

According to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, the investigation began when the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding a Twitter account that was uploading child pornography.

Prosecutor's office detectives and the New Jersey State Police DTIU traced the Twitter account to Diggs and identified 12 images of child pornography Diggs had distributed through his Twitter account. He was arrested Sept. 3, 2016 when the New Jersey State Police and other members of the ICAC Task Force executed a search warrant at his Roselle home and seized five computers and numerous hard drives.  

A full forensic examination of Diggs' computer equipment at the Regional Forensic Computer Laboratory in Hamilton revealed more than 16,000 files of child pornography, including numerous videos depicting the rape of very young children.

“Diggs’ huge collection of child pornography illustrates the scope of this problem, both in terms of the number of children who are brutally abused to produce these materials and the length to which offenders will go to satisfy their deviant desires,” said Grewal. “Of course, many offenders go further and engage in hands-on abuse of children.  We’ll continue to protect children by dedicating the investigative resources necessary to identify these offenders and remove them from our communities.”

Here's an idea. How about if someone is caught with videos of children being raped they are charged, or at the least, sentenced, as if they raped the child. That might just reduce the market for them.

“Beyond the large volume of child pornography seized, this case is noteworthy because it demonstrates that offenders are finding new ways to distribute this filth, including Twitter,” said Elie Honig, Division of Criminal Justice director.  “We urge parents to be aware of this dark side of the internet and social media and be vigilant to protect and educate their children against the dangers.” 

Twitter and other social platforms have the ability, or should have the ability to stop the sharing of such horrific things. If only they had the will!

Grewal commended the detectives who investigated the case for the New Jersey State Police Digital Technology Investigations Unit and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the other members of the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who assisted.

Anyone with information about the distribution of child pornography on the internet – or about suspected improper contact by unknown persons communicating with children via the internet or possible exploitation or sexual abuse of children – to contact the New Jersey Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Tipline at 888-648-6007.

Prominent Olympic taekwondo coaches accused of
child sexual abuse
By Kathleen Joyce | Fox News

Steven Lopez, left, and Jean Lopez were both accused of sexual abuse.  (Reuters)

Two brothers who were once prominent taekwondo coaches were both accused of sexual abuse this week, in the latest sex assault scandal to hit Olympic officials.

Steven Lopez, 39, a two-time Olympic gold medal-winner, and his brother, Jean Lopez, were each sued Wednesday in District Court in Denver by two California women. The lawsuits were filed in Colorado because the two men coached athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center there.

Steven Lopez is being sued by Amber Means Randall, who alleges the athlete drugged and raped her. Heidi Gilbert is suing Jean Lopez after saying he sexually assaulted her in Germany during a meet. The two men are accused of “neglect for not providing a duty of care as either a coach or teammate and coach,” USA Today reported.

Each woman reported multiple instances of sexual abuse spanning several years and multiple states, and their lawsuits seek at least $75,000 in damages.

The lawsuits come after the U.S. Center for SafeSport found Jean Lopez engaged in "a decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct" against underage athletes. Steven Lopez retired from the sport after the 2012 Olympics cycle.  

Steven Lopez is one of the most famous taekwondo stars to compete in the Olympics. He won two Olympic gold medals, in 2000 and 2004, and said he planned to go to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 as an athlete. His brother was a coach for the U.S. team for four Olympic Games.

USA Today reported in June that at least four women had accused the Lopez brothers of sexual misconduct.

The lawsuits are the latest scandal to hit Olympic-affiliated athletes and coaches. Hundreds of women accused disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse spanning years. Nassar is currently in prison and will most likely spend the rest of his life behind bars for the abuse. 

Colorado man sexually assaulted children
at photography business
Sady Swanson, sswanson@coloradoan.com 

A Berthoud man was arrested this week after he allegedly sexually assaulted children at his photography business. 

Benjamin Macaluso, 47, was charged with sexual assault on a child and two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, all Class 4 felonies.

Investigators learned Macaluso was accused of sexual assault in Berthoud over several years, according to a news release from the Larimer County Sheriff's Office.

Two victims told authorities the abuse occurred in 2009 at Macaluso's photography business, BellaClaire Studios. While the business's location on Berthoud's Mountain Avenue closed in 2013, authorities say it's possible Macaluso continued to operate the business out of a private residence in Berthoud.

Macaluso was arrested April 24 and released on $1,750 bond the next day. His next court appearance is scheduled for May 2.

According to court records, Macaluso does not have a significant criminal history in Colorado. 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Larimer County Sheriff's Office investigator Tyler Schall at 970-498-5168.

Berthoud, CO

Convicted sex offender accused of sexually abusing a minor, incest
Melissa Pettitt, New Era 

A sex offender who was convicted in January on charges of possessing child pornography was indicted Friday by a grand jury on accusations he sexually abused a minor — the fourth such case against him since 2014.

John P. Reed, 49, of West Seventh Street, was indicted for first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse (victim under 12 years), first-degree sexual abuse and incest.

Unfortunately, this was as much of the story as I was able to extract. But I sure have a lot of questions that I would like answered about this case.

Washington State man sentenced to 26.5 years in prison after found guilty of child rape
By:  Aaron Polevoi 

SPOKANE, Wash. - A man found guilty of child rape back in January was sentenced to 26.5 years in prison to life on Thursday.

68-year-old Milford "Bear" Butcher has been in the Spokane County Jail since Jan. 16, 2018 after a child sexual abuse case against him back in July of 2014 came to a conclusion with a guilty verdict. Butcher was found guilty on two counts of first-degree child rape and six counts of first-degree child molestation. 

In July of 2014, Detective Brandon Armstrong of the Spokane County Sheriff's Office Sexual Assault Unit began to investigate severe allegations of Butcher's inappropriate behavior and touching of three young victims. At the time of the report, the victims, two girls and one boy, were 7 and 8 years old. 

Armstrong's investigation revealed Butcher abused children from families he knew, starting in 2011 through June of 2014.