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
Saturday, 30 June 2018
By Angus Thompson
Parents at a prestigious NSW private school have accused the school of heaping “abuse on abuse” over its handling of a sexual affair involving a female staff member and five male students.
The 25-year-old woman pleaded guilty in April this year to months of having sex with students as young as 15 while working at the school.
This follows the jailing in February of a former Sydney Grammar School female teacher (4th story on link) for having sex with a male student.
A father caught up in the scandal at the other NSW private school told The Herald he and his wife held fears their son would harm himself during the fallout from the incident.
"All of these boys were victims under their (the school's) duty of care, an institution supposedly providing a safe place for the boys during their education," the father said.
His wife said that her son believed he was to blame for the abuse. "When [the staff member] pleaded guilty, he was like, 'it's not my fault?'" the mother said. "All the time, he felt that it was his fault." Her son was 15 at the time the offences took place.
The details of the case have been largely concealed by suppression orders prohibiting publication of the name, location and type of the school, as well as the name of the woman and her role within the school.
But in an extraordinary revolt, parents of affected students now want the school to be named, claiming educators need to be held accountable for their failure to properly care for the teenagers.
"Stating the school's name makes the situation real, makes parents aware that this school does exist and that, as parents, they should not be ignorant of the fact that it too could happen in their child's school," one mother said in an email to Department of Public Prosecutions solicitors seen by The Herald.
Why protect one school when Sydney Grammar School was not protected. Why protect schools at all. You should be protecting children, not schools.
It's understood NSW District Court judge Christopher Armitage will hear an application to lift the orders when the case returns for sentencing in September.
Some parents allege their sons received inadequate support, in the form of counselling, from the school, and that they weren't communicated to properly about developments in the matter.
These claims formed part of a detailed list of questions the The Herald put to the school, including whether the school believed it had breached its duty of care to the students. A spokesman for the school said: “As the matter is still before the courts, [we] will not be making any comment at this time.”
A court previously heard the staff member exchanged text and social media messages with the students, understood to be aged between 15 and 17 at the time, and arranged to meet them for sex. She had asked them to change her name in their mobile phones and to delete messages of their conversations.
It's understood the offences took place between late 2014 and September 2015, when the behaviour was reported by a third party. In an October 2017 letter sent to the school, a mother said she had been "alarmed" by several examples of inaction by those in senior school positions.
"It is unfortunate and alarming that a family could feel as though the school did not care about what had happened to their son," the mother wrote.
In a letter of reply, the chairman of the school board apologised to the family and said the headmaster admitted his communication had been "unsatisfactory". "It is clearly not what any of us would have wanted for your son and it is deeply regretted by all of us," the chairman wrote, adding the school intended to conduct a "full and formal review" of its procedures after legal proceedings had finished.
The scandal will also form part of the mountain of material before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse following one mother's submission.
"The school let the boys down. We feel this has been abuse upon abuse," she alleged.
In his response, Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald AM said the woman's contribution "would help make a difference. I note with deep concern your detailed account of the school's responses and the actions of senior staff," he wrote.
The woman will be sentenced in September after pleading guilty to six counts of sexual intercourse with a person under her care and three counts of aggravated sexual intercourse.
It comes after Bronwen Williams, a former teacher at Sydney Grammar School, was in February sentenced to at least seven months behind bars after the 34-year-old pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual intercourse with a person under her care over three months in 2016.
Court papers reveal that Williams, pregnant when she was sentenced, gave birth to a baby daughter by her husband on May 9. She was told two days earlier that she would not be able to keep her baby at the mother and children's program at the correctional facility.
Williams met up with the victim at her home, a classroom and a school storage cupboard, previously told the court she thought at the time they were involved in a “very mutual love affair”. She has since said she was “deeply sorry”.
According to District Court judge Paul Lakatos, the teenage boy said in his victim impact statement that Williams' domineering insistence made him feel he had few rights or personal choice in what was happening.
Judge Lakatos said she had placed her own needs above those of the victim.
I'm not sure 'needs' is the correct term here.
What the criminologist says
Adult women who pursue teenage boys in cases of sexual abuse are often trying to substitute failed relationships with older men, a criminologist says.
Dr Xanthe Mallett, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Newcastle, said that in cases of abuse involving female offenders, the motivation was not necessarily sexual, but due to being able to exert control in situations where they previously hadn't.
"It's not necessarily about the sex with these offenders," Dr Mallett told The Sun-Herald.
"They have more emotional control over them (the victim) because of their age."
The Herald does not suggest these comments account for the motivations of the offenders in the adjoining article.
"It's an emotional need with these women rather than a sexual predation on younger males," she said.
Dr Mallett said there was little statistical evidence on such behaviours as reporting of incidents was rare.
"Reporting in this area of females offending against children is really low. Often the teenage boys feel they are in a meaningful relationship with these women," she said.
Between the ages of 13 and 16 boys become sexually aware but are still emotionally immature, making them vulnerable to older, more emotionally mature people, she said.
Dr Mallett said there was a stigma attached to males reporting situations of abuse by older women.
#JusticeforSanskritiRai: Tweeps ask Indian government to act
A week after a 17-year-old girl’s violent death, tweeps are asking why the police hasn’t arrested anyone yet?
A Twitter user shared Sanskriti Rai's picture and demanded justice
By Sanya Nayeem, Deputy Social Media Editor
Dubai: Around this time last week, on a Friday morning, while a man was walking through a field in Madiaon in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, he discovered a girl lying in a pool of blood. He immediately informed the police.
Exactly a week later, social media users are using the hashtag #JusticeForSanskritiRai to demand movement in the case regarding the kidnapping and murder of the 17-year-old polytechnic student.
Tweep @Tabish88212027 wrote: “Polytechnic student Sanskriti Rai was killed on June 21. Who was the murderer of Sanskriti? Where is the police? When will they take action on the murderer?”
Polytechnic student sanskriti rai was killed at 21st june
Who was the murdrer of sanskriti?where is police?
Where is yogi sarkaar?
When they action on murderer?
@anita_chauhan80 tweeted: “No one can give #SanskritiRai her life and dignity back. Can India give her justice? Can UP [Uttar Pradesh] government ensure this?”
According to Times of India, Rai was a resident of Ballia district and had planned to return there after her exams, with her roommate, whom she was supposed to meet at the railway station at 8am. Although Rai did leave her house, she never made it to the station.
Police officials stated that Rai had suffered grievous injuries to her head, as if from a blunt and heavy object, with multiple bruises on her hands and face.
No arrests have been made, so far.
A 20 yr old girl, a polytechnic student, went missing on Thursday and was found murdered in Madiaon on Friday. The girl, identified as Sanskriti Rai of Ballia district was daughter of an advocate and was living in Indiranagar #JusticeForSanskritiRai #StopRapeCulture
Some social media users criticised the lack of attention her brutal death was receiving, and questioned the media’s priorities.
@FZahn3 tweeted: “Fight for our girls rather than for Padmaavat!”
He was referring to the controversial Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, released earlier this year, which was based on a 14th century queen. The film’s release prompted months of protests across India, as Hindu right-wing groups believed it distorted history.
Other tweeps demanded that government officials look into the case.
@Prem_Kumar912 tweeted to Yogi Adityanath, the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, saying: “Crime is crime. Don’t differentiate on the basis of caste and religion. Same goes for justice. It’s your duty to find criminals of such crime and ensure that they get hanged till death.”
Last week, a Thomson Reuters Foundation survey found that India is the world’s most dangerous country for women.
Tweeps said this incident proves that a lot more has to be done to ensure women are able to live and travel safely in the country.
@AhmadAteed tweeted sarcastically: “Congratulations to everyone for making India the most unsafe country in the world. At least somewhere, we stand first. Is this the so-called ‘Ache din’ [good days]? Where are we going? Once again, another child has suffered. #JusticeforSanksritiRai”
Child sex abuse: 8-year sentence for German planning to abuse and torture 9-year-old boy
The verdict is part of the wider Staufen case concerning the sexual abuse of a 9-year-old boy. Two other men have already been convicted as part of a trial that has horrified the country and more hearings are scheduled.
A German man who planned to rape and torture a 9-year-old boy was sentenced to eight years in jail on Friday in the latest verdict linked to a busted pedophile ring in the southwestern German town of Staufen.
The 44-year-old man from the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein contacted the male partner of the boy's mother over the darknet ― a mainly anonymous and hidden part of the internet accessible only with special software ― and asked him if he could sexually abuse and kill the boy.
The partner, who along with the boy's mother is on trial for sexually abusing the boy and offering him for sex online, declined the request.
Unaware the mother and her partner had been detained, the man contacted the couple again in September 2017. Police set up a fake meeting in Karlsruhe and arrested him at the beginning of the year when he showed up handcuffs, duct tape and a gagging cloth.
The 44-year-old is one of eight defendants in the Staufen abuse case
The defendant had previous run-ins with authorities. In 2010, a court sentenced him to 11 years in jail for speaking with a Swiss man about sexual abuse and murder and offering to exchange his son with the Swiss man's on an online forum. A higher court overturned the decision and he was released in 2015.
The man is one of eight defendants on trial for crimes linked to the pedophile ring set up by the 9-year-old boy's mother and her partner.
A 41-year-old German man was given a 10-year prison sentence for rape and severe sexual abuse in April, and a 50-year-old soldier in the German army was sentenced to eight years in jail in May for raping the boy and distributing self-filmed pornographic material on the internet.
The verdict against a 37-year-old Swiss citizen, who confessed in early June to sexually abusing the boy, is set for next week.
Paedophile priest investigation turns to regional Western Australia to reveal full extent of child abuse
ABC Mid West and Wheatbelt By Laura Meachim
A close up of the cross above St Mary's Cathedral in Perth.
The sex abuse royal commission went to some dark places — here's a snapshot
The horrific crimes of paedophile priest, Denis McAlinden, are being investigated in regional Western Australia by lawyers committed to revealing the full extent of his abuse of young children.
McAlinden died in 2005 before he could be charged over five decades of sexual abuse that spanned Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.
Now, Canberra-based law firm, Ken Cush and Associates, is turning its attention to the Diocese of Geraldton, where McAlinden was sent in the 1980s.
The prolific paedophile priest spent time at the Diocese of Geraldton in the 1980s and the Diocese of Bunbury in the 1990s. (ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt: Laura Meachim)
It wants to hear from witnesses and victims from the Diocese of Geraldton, Bunbury and the parish of Wickham and Kojonup.
Senior Associate Nick Kitchin said the firm was currently working on several cases, both in Australia and overseas, involving the former priest.
"We are retracing his steps to gather information on his past actions," he said.
"As we undertake this work, we are encountering more people who were abused by him."
"We do not know, despite the various inquiries and the commission that has taken place. People are still coming forward for their own reasons and in their own time.
"The number of victims could only increase."
Five decades of abuse
McAlinden started abusing young children in 1949, before he was incardinated in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle as a parish priest.
In 1976, a letter, revealed the Catholic Church knew of McAlinden's abuse and suggested he be moved to the Diocese of Geraldton in a bid to cover up his actions.
Exposing a national shame
The letter detailed McAlinden's "inclination to interfere [touching only] with young girls, perhaps aged seven to 12" and that the church did not believe it was really serious.
Mr Kitchin said this was a key piece of evidence used in inquiries and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
"The 1976 letter is really significant because it is in writing," he said.
"If there was any doubt about what they knew beforehand, there was absolutely no doubt that the diocese that was responsible knew about this."
"From that day forward, there was absolutely nothing stopping them whatsoever from approaching an authority, approaching the police to say this person is abusing children. Nothing whatsoever."
In 1981, McAlinden arrived in WA's north-west and in 1982 he abused a young girl, who was 10 years old at the time.
She reported the events to police in 1991 and in 1992 McAlinden went on trial in the District Court of Western Australian.
He was acquitted based on the evidence presented in the trial, but later a warrant for his arrest was issued as more complaints were heard.
McAlinden went into hiding and died in a nursing home without ever being charged.
The current Geraldton Bishop, Michael Morrissey, said he was a young priest starting his career when he met McAlinden.
Diocese of Geraldton Bishop, Michael Morrissey, says it will take years for the church to recover from "this terrible disease". (ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt: Laura Meachim)
He said when he found out he was shocked and extremely disappointed.
"It makes me feel terrible," he said.
"I would not want my own personal faith to be shattered. In some way it is tested by what other people have done."
"It really affects me in my own commitment to what I do and how I would like to operate as a priest and now as a bishop." He said there would always be support at the church for those who wanted it.
"As we know, a lot of these people do not come forward for 30 years or more," he said. "This has been like a cancer within them, affecting their whole life and their wellbeing and all their relationships.
"Often we can have these physical wounds and mental wounds that are there, but I think the wound that is much deeper than that is actually like a spiritual wound, it goes to the core of your being."
WA's new legislation helps victims
In April, the WA Government lifted the statute of limitations on reporting child abuse, meaning time restrictions on when victims can launch civil action have been removed.
Mr Kitchin said it had encouraged people to share their stories.
"That was a very positive development. I think that victims of child sexual abuse come forward at different times for different reasons.
"Obviously it is incredibly difficult circumstances for them."
Ex-teacher from Sydney Grammar jailed for sex with teen boyAndrew Koubaridis@akoubaridis news.com.au
A PREGNANT ex-teacher — who labelled herself a “f****** monster” for having sex with a student — has been jailed for her crimes.
The 34-year-old mother-to-be will have to give birth in May behind bars after being sentenced to 15 months’ jail at the Sydney District Court this morning. She will serve a minimum term of seven months.
Judge Paul Lakatos said it was a “sad result” she would have her first baby in custody and wished her a “successful” pregnancy.
The woman pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual intercourse with a person under her care over three months in 2016 while she worked at the elite Sydney Grammar School.
The father of her baby is her husband, not the teenage boy.
She cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, who was 17 when she began to abuse him. The pair began to meet in relation to a school activity but their text messages soon became emotionally charged.
“The nature of the interaction changed between them,” Judge Paul Lakatos said.
A former teacher from an elite Sydney school has been jailed after having sex with a male student.
A former teacher from an elite Sydney school has been jailed after having sex with a male student.Source:News Corp Australia
The teacher performed oral sex on the student on school grounds and in a store room as well as in her home. Their relationship turned sexual after she showered him with gifts, including books of poetry, and told him personal details of her life, including problems in her relationship with her husband.
The court heard “she made him write sex fantasies for her and they exchanged sexual fantasies”.
Judge Lakatos said the ex-teacher had no criminal history and was a “high achieving, well regarded” teacher “which in itself is a tragedy”.
He said it was “difficult and unpalatable for judges and magistrates to impose jail for the first time ... But in my view I consider no other alternative to full custodial term.
“It was her duty to care for her student’s welfare and exercise proper regard for his welfare in circumstances where he could not.”
He said the jail term would be “onerous” due to her pregnancy, the nature of her offending and her mental health issues.
The teacher met the 17-year-old victim at her home, a classroom and a school storage cupboard as they embarked on what she thought was a “very mutual love affair”.
She also wrote in a report to his parents that the boy was “a delight to teach”.
The then-teacher bombarded the student with text messages for months after he ended their sexual relationship, apologising, telling him she loved him and referring to herself as a “f****** monster”.
One extraordinary message was sent on behalf of her dog, who “would like to say hello and ask how you are”. The message read: “He knows it’s over between us, but he still cares about you. He hopes you won’t stay angry too long and that maybe we can talk before school goes back.”
In his victim impact statement, the victim said he felt harassed and stalked and “didn’t feel safe at school”. He said the ex-teacher was “domineering” and he felt “overwhelmed” by her advances. Despite her emotional blackmail” he tried to end the relationship a number of times
According to a pre-sentence report, the former teacher later said she knew the relationship wasn’t appropriate but “it felt right”. However, she admitted to feeling “shame and remorse” about the “damage she’d done”.
She had already been the subject of several complaints and had been reprimanded over her conduct with other male students. “If all boys had his sense of humour and level of engagement with the world around them, then teachers would skip to school,” the teacher wrote in the school report.
Prosecutors this week sought a jail term for the woman, despite her being pregnant.
The police facts state the relationship continued despite the victim being “scared to end the sexual relationship with the offender because he ... was worried she would self-harm”.
They continued: “He repeatedly said to her, ‘I can’t’ ... The offender responded to the complainant in a dismissive way saying, ‘what do you mean you can’t?’”
The teen finally ended the relationship in April but the teacher continued to contact him.
He attempted suicide in the school toilets at the end of 2016. Judge Lakatos said he accepted the victim believed the offending led to the attempt on his own life, but there was no medical evidence before the court “that was the cause”.
When the teacher found out a friend of the victim knew about the relationship, she asked, “Am I going to jail?” The student replied: “No, you’re not.”
The ex-teacher will be eligible for parole on September 1.
President of Alberta College of Family Physicians charged with child exploitationCBC News
Dr. Fred Janke, 62, has been charged with making arrangements to commit sexual offences against a child, making child pornography, and distribution of child pornography, the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams said Friday.
"One of the things that a lot of the accused will do when they're engaging in conversations with undercover operators is write lots of narrative in regards to the descriptions of what they have done or want to do," said Staff Sgt. Stephen Camp.
"That, under the Criminal Code, is making child pornography. When you press the send button that's distribution."
Janke has been a practising physician in Sylvan Lake for almost 30 years. He was in the second year of his term as president of the Alberta College of Family Physicians, but was removed from the position Friday, spokesperson Susan Wong Armstrong said.
The college said in a statement it was "shocked and saddened by this news announced today." Dr. Vishal Bhella has assumed the role of president.
Janke is identified on the University of Alberta website as an associate professor in the department of family medicine. The institution initially said privacy laws prevent them from commenting on Janke's employment, but later provided an update on his status.
"Dr. Janke has been placed on leave and his duties have been reassigned," the U of A said in a statement Friday.
Janke's U of A biography cites numerous accolades, including Outstanding Clinician of the Year for the David Thompson Health Region in 2000 and recipient of a fellowship from the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada in 2009.
'Must not and will not practise medicine'
While this matter is pending, it's "unacceptable" that a physician in this position would practise, said Steve Buick, spokesperson for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. "Our position is simply, Dr. Janke must not and will not practise medicine while this matter is pending," Buick said Friday.
Janke will be asked to voluntarily withdraw immediately from providing medical services. If he refuses, the college will suspend his licence using the emergency powers it has under the Health Professions Act. "We will get that done today, if possible, or as soon as we can," Buick said.
The college is responsible for the registration, regulation and discipline of physicians in Alberta.
Whether or not the criminal charges against Janke result in a conviction, the college could lay additional sanctions as a disciplinary action, said Buick.
The Sylvan Family Health Centre in Sylvan Lake, Alta. (Michelle Bellefontaine / CBC)
He added that the college has no records of disciplinary action against Janke. "The truth is, it's a shock to us as the regulator, just as it is to the public and to his patients," Buick said.
Dating back to October 2017, a suspect is alleged to have been engaged in sexually explicit conversations with a person he met online, ALERT said in a news release.
The sexual conversations allegedly progressed to attempts being made to arrange for sex with the person's five-year-old daughter.
However, the daughter did not exist and the conversations were actually with an undercover operator with the Victoria Police Department, said ALERT.
The Victoria police department's Internet Child Exploitation Unit had been conducting an investigation involving a website that is known to host online chat rooms geared toward child sex. Once it was determined the person being monitored was from Alberta, police in Victoria referred the case to police in Edmonton.
While the investigation and charges are related strictly to online offences, ALERT's Internet Child Exploitation Unit is asking anyone with information about this case to come forward and contact police or cybertip.ca.
ALERT is an integration of law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.
Former Rochdale social worker jailed for
child sex abuse in the 1970’sBy Nigel Barlow
A former Rochdale social worker who sexually abused a young boy during the 1970s has been jailed.
He was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault on a boy under 14 and one count of attempted buggery on a child under 16
The court heard how throughout the 1970s Gavin – who had access to the boy through his role as a social worker – sexually abused him on a number occasions.
This abuse took place while the boy stayed at foster homes as well as the former Foxholes Children’s Home in Rochdale.
Gavin would often drive the victim to a location where he would sexually assault him.
The boy never told his carers at the time out of fear he’d get in trouble or that no one would believe him. Gavin also threatened him.
He bravely reported it to police in 2015. Following an investigation, Gavin was arrested and interviewed where he continued to deny the offences.
PC Karen Bancroft, from GMP’s Rochdale borough, said: “Gavin preyed on a vulnerable boy who should have been cared for and supported during an unsettling time in his life. “Instead, for his own sick sexual gratification, he sexually abused him knowing the distress it would cause.
“Not once did he care about the emotional damage he was inflicting on an innocent child who has had to carry this pain with him his entire life.
“Gavin is a twisted, manipulative predator and thanks to the courage of the victim, his patience and his strength, he is now where he belongs.”
Historic UK sex offender forced child to watch sex act and took indecent photos of children
Adam Austin-Andrew, 38, was arrested by police in March in connection with recent sex offences involving children under 13 years old.
Following his arrest, officers received shocking details of historic sexual abuse dating back the 1990s on a child, who was aged under 13 at the time.
Austin-Andrew, from Harwich, came before Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday (June 28) where he admitted to 12 vile crimes, including five counts of sexual assault against a child.
The charges admitted by Austin-Andrew
One count of engaging in sexual activity in front of a child;
Two counts of indecent assault;
Two counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act;
Five counts of sexual assault on a child; and
Two counts of taking indecent images of children.
He was sentenced to 10 years and nine months in total for his sickening acts.
Investigating officer detective constable Vicky Blackmore, of Essex Police’s Child Abuse Investigations Team, said: “Austin-Andrew subjected young children to horrendous and sickening sexual crimes, which will have a life-long impact on them.
“I would like to praise the victims and their families for their courage throughout our investigation and subsequent court case. Austin-Andrew is a dangerous abuser and has received a lengthy prison sentence. I hope this outcome offers some justice to his victims.”
NSPCC respond to Austin-Andrew's sentence
A spokeswoman for the charity said: “Offenders like Austin-Andrew pose a serious risk to children and it is right that he is now behind bars for the vile abuse he has perpetuated over the years.
“It’s vital that all victims of sexual abuse know it is never their fault and are fully supported when they come forward and report it – the survivors in this case must be commended for their extraordinary bravery in speaking out against their attacker.
But they need counselling support to overcome the abuse, and it may have to go on for many years.
“We want young people to be able to recognise and report abuse, which is why the NSPCC visited 194 schools in Essex last year with our Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies and workshops.”
Any child who needs help and support can contact ChildLine 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or by visiting www.childline.org.uk.
The hidden cancer of Roebourne after child sex abuse
Paul Murray The West Australian
Leader of the WA Government in the Upper House, Sue Ellery
Last November, State Opposition child protection spokesman Nick Goiran started asking a simple but sensitive question in the Legislative Council which should be of intense importance to all West Australians.
Goiran was after some assurance from the McGowan Government that none of 184 alleged victims of child sexual abuse in the Pilbara town of Roebourne remained exposed to any of the 36 men who faced more than 300 charges against them.
It is open to conclude that Goiran was trying to test whether or not the Government is paying more than lip service to protecting the children after the WA Police’s Operation Fledermaus, which began in 2016, uncovered the true extent of the Roebourne scandal (5th story on link).
During a week in which Premier Mark McGowan offered an apology to the victims of sex abuse in State institutions, this issue is starkly relevant.
What Goiran has met is repeated obstruction. Every question the Liberal MLC put through the Leader of the Government in the Upper House, Sue Ellery, was blocked.
Roebourne has a diabolical social history since white colonisation. The 1991 royal commission into the death of John Pat in police custody exposed the isolated town’s alcohol and violence problems to the nation for the first time, but brought little change.
The 1993 film, Exile and the Kingdom, explored the damage done to the Yindjibarndi, Ngarluma, Banyjima and Gurrama people. It was an overnight sensation.
Since then, native title created winners and losers among the Aboriginal communities who live together, but haven’t evenly shared the wealth. And endless welfare appears to have done little for the entrenched social dysfunction.
In essence, this is the question Goiran has asked in many forms on 12 occasions: “Can the minister confirm that none of the 184 victims is currently residing with a person either charged or convicted with one or more child sex offences?”
This was Ellery’s answer on behalf of Child Protection Minister Simone McGurk on December 5: “Roebourne is a very small community and providing detailed information as asked by the member could result in the identification of children and young people affected.”
It seems obvious to me that if the answer was 'yes' that there would be no issue with identification.
The Roebourne scandal is shaping up as one of the
worst social breakdowns WA has seen.
For obvious reasons, that palpable nonsense didn’t satisfy Goiran, but when he pushed on, he got this “trust us” response from Ellery on March 13 this year:
“The minister is satisfied that the Department of Communities continues to undertake the necessary actions to appropriately protect and support children and families in Roebourne.”
So Goiran, a lawyer by profession, started pursuing whether the minister was doing her job properly.
Throughout April, he tightened the focus to questions about who McGurk was relying on for information about Operation Fledermaus and if she had pursued his questions with her bureaucrats.
Labor’s deflection strategy was to offer Goiran a private briefing, a time-honoured way of shutting down dissent.
He rightly insisted on the Government being held publicly accountable to the people through the Parliament — which is its role.
The farce reached its zenith last week in another of the parliamentary processes that is meant to keep governments accountable: the Budget estimates hearings.
Sitting in front of Goiran was the public servant entrusted with the job of protecting the 184 children, the Director-General of the Department of Communities, Grahame Searle.
Goiran began questioning Ellery about the so-called West Pilbara Plan which the Government announced in February to deal with Roebourne’s problems. He inexorably brought his focus to a concession from her that Searle had briefed McGurk on the policy.
Searle had earlier answered several questions from other MPs, but only on Ellery’s invitation. So Goiran pounced:
“At the briefing at which the Director-General attended with the Minister for Child Protection, did the minister seek an assurance that none of the 184 victims of child sex offences in Roebourne are residing with a person charged or convicted with one or more child sex offences?”
Ellery: “I am not going to provide you with an answer to that question now because there are two parties that need to recall what happened. I am representing the minister and she is not here. I am happy to take that question on notice.”
Goiran: “The Director-General is here.”
Ellery: “And I am providing you with the answer.”
Goiran: “And you have indicated to me that the Director-General was personally present and I am asking whether an assurance was sought at that briefing and he is, according to you, the only person present here before the committee who is in a position to answer the question.”
Ellery: “And I have given you the answer that I am going to give you. I am happy to take the question on notice.”
Goiran: “You are refusing the Director-General to answer to the committee whether at the briefing he attended the minister sought an assurance.”
Ellery: “I give the answers and if I need assistance, I will ask for it from the agency officers who are here today.”
The committee chair, Labor’s Alanna Clohesy, ruled that Ellery was only required to indicate whether the question could be answered and noted she wanted it taken on notice.
Goiran: “The Director-General is sitting no more than 30cm away from you. Are you willing to ask him whether he has briefed any other minister on the West Pilbara plan?”
Ellery: “Honourable member, I have given you the answer to the question, which is that I am more than willing to provide you with an answer on notice that sets out how the briefings were conducted. The officers are here to assist me; if I think I need assistance from them, I will ask for it, otherwise I provide the answers.”
The Roebourne scandal is shaping up as one of the worst social breakdowns WA has seen. Hundreds of children have been harmed.
This is a town with a cancer that was allowed to grow. The Government appears to be trying to “manage” the public’s knowledge about it.
Along the way, it is trashing the processes of Parliament.
Well, it certainly appears to be more concerned with protecting itself than with protecting the children. It seems obvious that there are children right at this moment who are being sexually abused by known paedophiles, and the government has no plan to do anything about it.
Friday, 29 June 2018
Cows have become currency in South Sudanese child marriages © Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah
A dramatic rise in child marriages in East Africa is due to conflict and climate change, charities working in the region say, with child brides being traded for cows and goats in order for families to survive.
Of course this is not a new thing; this has been going on in the Sahel for a very long time. The more expensive the bride becomes, the more likely she is to be traded at an early age. Also, the more likely the parents are to force Female Genital Mutilation upon the child to ensure that she is a virgin when she is married. Easy for a parent to do when they see their daughter as a commodity.
The majority of parents in poverty-stricken South Sudan are looking to reduce the number of mouths they have to feed, by marrying their girls off in exchange for livestock, the charity CARE International told Reuters.
“When there is a girl within the family ready to get married, people will come and present the number of cows,” said Dorcas Acen, a gender protection expert at CARE. "Basically it's just bidding – whoever bids with the highest number of cows will take the girl."
Because trust in the value of South Sudanese currency has plummeted due to an ongoing civil war, a girl could be worth up to 300 cows, Acen said.
Meanwhile, severe drought has diminished livestock numbers in Kenya to such a degree that daughters are being exchanged for goats, according to Millicent Ondigo of the charity Amref Health Africa.
I suspect severe droughts have been occurring in Kenya for thousands of years. I'm very reluctant to pin child brides on climate change.
Ondigo aims to convince parents to keep their daughters in school rather than ‘cashing in’ on the offer of goats.
"[We told parents] when she is done with schooling, she will get a job and she will be able to buy you more than four goats," she said.
The activist group Girls Not Brides estimates that more than 650 million women alive today were married as children. South Sudan shares the fifth place in the world rankings for child marriages, with 52 percent of girls married before the age of 18, and nine percent of girls married before the age of 15, according to UNICEF.
In Kenya, around 23 percent of girls are married before the age of 18, with rates varying across regions. The northeastern and coastal regions have the highest rates of child marriage, while central Kenya and the capital Nairobi have the lowest.
Thursday, 28 June 2018
Evangelist Acton Bowen indicted on new
child sex charge
Youth evangelist Acton Bowen has been indicted on another felony charge in Jefferson County.
According to court records made public Thursday, the 37-year-old founder of Acton Bowen Outreach, was indicted June 22 on a felony charge of traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act.
Bowen in May was indicted on charges of second-degree sodomy and enticing a child to enter a vehicle or house for immoral purposes. He was initially arrested in April on those charges brought by Hoover police. The victim in that case was a young male, but police did not release his age except to say he is over 12 and under 16.
The new indictment involves the same Hoover victim, and an alleged incident that happened around the same time as the other reported crimes.
Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector said the department's Special Victim's Unit first launched the investigation three weeks prior to Bowen's April 10 arrest. According to Alabama law, a person commits the crime of second-sodomy if he or she, being 16 years old or older, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person less than 16 and more than 12 years old.
Hoover police also originally charged Bowen with second-degree sexual abuse, but court records do not indicate that he was indicted on that charge.
Minnesota man sentenced for failing to appear as witness at sexual abuse trial
By Barry Amundson
ABERDEEN, S.D. -- A 30-year-old Moorhead, Minn., man has been sentenced for failing to appear as a witness in a sexual abuse trial of a man on the Sisseton-Wahpeton reservation in far northeast South Dakota.
Jack Moore entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to two days in jail, which he already served, on Tuesday, June 26, in federal court in Aberdeen.
Moore had failed to appear in December of last year in the Aberdeen trial of Dashown Raymond Keys, 26, who was found guilty of four counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of abusive sexual contact of a child. Keys was from Milwaukee, Wis., but was staying on the reservation with extended family and repeatedly sexually abused one girl under the age of 12 who was the daughter of the family he was staying with. The other girl would come for sleepovers and Keys was also convicted of sexually abusing her.
The FBI investigated both the Moore and Keys cases.
Elementary teacher charged with institutional child sexual assault in Pennsylvania
By: Myles Snyder
GRANTVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) - A teacher is accused of sexually abusing a student and having inappropriate contact with four others at a Dauphin County elementary school.
James W. Mentzer, 39, of Hummelstown, was charged Thursday with felony counts of institutional sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor regarding incidents at East Hanover Elementary School in Grantville, state police said.
Mentzer is additionally charged with a misdemeanor count of indecent assault and five counts of corruption of minors.
School administrators contacted police in February to report suspected child abuse involving Mentzer. The investigation revealed Mentzer had inappropriate contact with an 8-year-old, a 9-year-old, and three 11-year-olds at the school beginning in August 2017, police said in a news release.
The criminal complaint states that Mentzer "engaged in a course of escalating grooming" with the girls by pulling them out of recess or other classes to work on a "project" in his room. Each of the girls reported they were alone with Mentzer and the door was closed.
The girls said Mentzer recorded videos of them, sometimes as they read aloud or played with puppets. For other videos, the girls said Mentzer swung a necklace in front of their face and had them repeat, "I will obey you, Master" or "I will obey your commands, Master."
He told one of the girls she would have to do whatever he asked, the complaint states.
Another girl said Mentzer asked her to read while holding a giraffe puppet and became angry when she wouldn't speak as the giraffe. She said Mentzer rubbed her arms, legs, and groin as she read.
Police said Mentzer had pulled the girl out of line for recess without her teacher's knowledge.
When school administrators confronted Mentzer about his behavior, he admitted to being along with students and having them call him "Master." He referred to his conduct as to being part of his "master plan," according to the complaint.
He reportedly could not provide the videos, claiming the recordings did not work.
Lower Dauphin superintendent Dr. Robert Schultz said Mentzer was placed on administrative leave when the allegations were brought to the school’s attention.
Mentzer has been a full-time elementary school teacher with the district since 2003.
Police said anyone with information on other possible victims should call the Harrisburg station at 717-671-7500.
A sex-assault case 30 years in the making in Utah's LDS church
Yet another sexual assault investigation is raising questions about the role of the LDS Church in reporting and responding to such matters. This case involves a former Arizona police officer who also worked for more than 20 years as a Provo cop and a Utah County sheriff’s deputy.
(Photo courtesy Utah County Sheriff's Office) Gerald Salcido
Jessica Miller, SL Trib
Two young women told investigators in Mesa, Ariz., that one of the department’s former officers had groped and sexually assaulted them 11 years earlier at sleepovers.
The handwritten report from 1995 doesn’t explain the steps detectives took next, but within months, the case went dormant. An investigator wrote that there was scant evidence and no likelihood that Officer Gerald Salcido would ever be convicted.
Years went by.
Salcido moved to Utah, where he worked as a Provo officer for 12 years and then another decade as a deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
While he was working for Provo, he allegedly confessed to his crimes — not to police, but to his wife and his Mormon bishop. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints excommunicated Salcido in 2006, but it appears church officials never told investigators about the confession.
Only a dozen years later, when the mother of one of the victims complained to police in Arizona, did Salcido end up arrested and charged with molestation. That happened this January.
A recently obtained police report sheds light on the role religious leaders played in this on-again, off-again investigation that has left the victims frustrated, yet hopeful the man they say molested them some 30 years ago may yet face a prison sentence.
There is much more to this story which can be found on the Salt Lake Tribune
Texas Educator Jailed In Alleged Sexual Abuse Of A Student
A former teacher’s aide with the PSJA (Pharr-San Juan-Alamo) school district remains behind bars – charged with child sexual assault and improper relationship between educator and student. 63-year-old Jesus Cantu is accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old female student.
The teen reportedly had run away from home and was staying with Cantu at his home in San Juan. The PSJA school district fired Cantu immediately after learning of the relationship, which was prior to his arrest. Cantu had worked as a teacher’s aide at PSJA Memorial Early College High School.
PA sex offender views child porn the night of his prison release
Liz Evans Scolforo, York Dispatch
A registered sex offender celebrated his first night of freedom from York County Prison by downloading child pornography on a computer owned by a good Samaritan who put him up for the night, according to police allegations.
Keith Lenier Biegger, 24, is now back in county prison on $200,000 bail, charged with possessing child pornography, disseminating child pornography and possessing an instrument of crime.
He also is being held on a probation-violation detainer for allegedly violating his probation on his 2014 criminal case, according to prison records.
He pleaded guilty to charges including sexual abuse of a minor, indecent assault, invasion of privacy and possessing child pornography in that case, court records state, and the conviction makes him a registered sex offender under the state's Megan's law.
Biegger was staying at Julia's Motel on Locust Point Road in Conewago Township when he was arrested on Wednesday, June 27, and arraigned by District Judge David Eshbach, according to court documents.
According to charging documents filed by Northern York County Regional Police Detective Mark Baker, Biegger was released from York County Prison on March 26.
Nowhere to go: He had nowhere to go, so the brother of one of his friends agreed to put him up for the night at his Dover borough home, documents state.
In addition to letting Biegger stay with him and his family for the night, the man also allowed Biegger to use an old computer so he had a way to contact friends, according to charging documents.
The next day, the man drove Biegger to an area homeless shelter and dropped him off, police said, adding the man said it was the last time he spoke with Biegger.
Two months later, on May 28, West York Police alerted Northern Regional Police to child pornography that had been shared on the eMule peer-to-peer file-sharing network, police said.
Images, videos found: Baker investigated and determined that nine images and six videos of child pornography were downloaded onto the Dover man's computer overnight March 26 — the night Biegger was given access to it, charging documents allege.
Baker also was able to use the laptop's user history to determine that Biegger accessed the computer that night, police said.
Court records do not indicate whether Biegger has retained an attorney. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 17, court records state.
In 2014, after his first set of child-porn charges were filed in York County, members of the U.S. Marshals Service's fugitive task force captured Biegger in San Diego, California.
North Carolina man faces multiple child sex abuse charges involving teenage victim
By Dal Kalsi
MARION, NC (FOX Carolina) -
McDowell County detectives said a 27-year-old Marion man was arrested on multiple child sex abuse charges.
William Clinton Craig Jr. of Mourning Dove Drive is charged with two counts each of statutory sex offense and taking indecent liberties with a child and one count of sexual battery.
Detectives said Craig had inappropriate sexual contact multiple times with a female acquaintance.
The crimes occurred between 2015 to 2017, when the girl was 14 and 15 years old.
Police say a PA pastor failed to report child sex abuse,
now he's facing charges
BY LAUREN MUTHLER
A Huntingdon County pastor is facing a third-degree felony charge after police say he was informed about the sexual abuse of a child and did not report it.
David Riehl Fisher, 63, was charged Wednesday with endangering the welfare of children, according to court documents.
According to state police at Huntingdon, the alleged abuse of a 14-year-old girl occurred in 2007, sometime between June 1 and September 1, in Logan Township. Police say Fisher was told about the suspected abuse on several occasions but never reported it to authorities.
Fisher was arraigned Wednesday before Huntingdon County District Judge Lisa Marie Covert. Monetary bail, which Fisher was unable to post, was set at 10 percent of $5,000.
Logan Twnshp, PA
Sex offender wanted on Canada-wide warrant arrested in B.C.The Canadian Press
Vancouver police say an Ontario man wanted for sex offences in the Toronto area has been arrested.
VPD Const. Jason Doucette said Marcel Lawson, who also uses the name Marc, is in custody after being arrested late Wednesday in downtown Vancouver.
Doucette says a member of the public recognized Lawson, who has several distinctive tattoos, including the word "Mathu'' on his forearm.
Vancouver police issued a warning Tuesday advising residents to call 911 if he was spotted.
Lawson, 36, is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for breaching a long-term supervision order related to convictions for sexual assault and sexual interference.
When he disappeared, Ontario Provincial Police said Lawson was known to visit the cities of Saskatoon and Vancouver.
Starved, flogged and abused: Survivor seeks redress for the sake of future generations
One Survivor's Story
By Philippa McDonald
Michael Walsh in front of the infamous fig tree which boys were chained to at the former Kinchela Boys Home site. (Supplied: Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation )
James 'Michael' Widdy Welsh is wearing a St George-Illawarra Dragons cap and a sparkle in his eyes.
We have never met before but he takes my hand in his.
"I'm not used to people being kind to me," he tells me.
As his words sink in, he places his arms around my neck. "C'mon love, give me a hug."
Nine years of his precious childhood were spent without any form of affection at the Kinchela Boys Home in Kempsey in northern New South Wales.
He recounts how startled he was when he was finally reunited with his grandmother. She held him tight and hugged him for what seemed like an eternity.
For years Mr Welsh struggled to understand how his mother could have let him go. As a young man he found her living on the banks of the Namoi River, hiding from the authorities.
As they cried together she told him "the welfare people wouldn't leave [me] alone". "They just kept coming, telling her they could give us a better life than what she could give us, they just coerced her," he explained.
All seven taken from their mother
The notorious Kinchela Boys Home where children faced horrific violence. (Supplied)
"There were seven of us that were taken from my mother," he said.
"My brother was 10, I was eight, my sister was five, brothers four and two, and twin brothers and sisters six months old.
"We journeyed down to Central station and they separated us, and myself and my older brother Barry we were put on the train to go to Kempsey.
"We were dragged though the gates of the place, it still hurts." At the age of eight, he was stripped of his identity. For the next nine years he was known as "36".
But the boys had nicknames for each other — he was "Salt" because of his light skin, his brother was "Pepper".
"It was not a good place," Mr Welsh said. "We were starved, we were flogged and were abused physically and sexually."
The boys who were brought to Kinchela were indoctrinated to forget who they were. (Supplied)
He gave his account to the Royal Commission in a private session in October 2016 along with other 'brothers' from the Kinchela Boys Home.
"We wanted people to know just how evil people can be and were to us," he said.
"You shouldn't break families down, you shouldn't split families, not only just children, you need to protect families."
The meaning of trauma
As I ask about how the cruelty and sexual abuse affected his life, Mr Welsh sighs deeply and the tears roll down his cheeks.
Michael is worried he will not be eligible for redress due to his prior convictions. (ABC News: Ross Byrne)
"You can see what's happening to me now," he said.
He describes a life of fear and distrust — of waking up ready to fight back.
"I would drink so I could sleep and not think about the things that happened to me," he said.
"I became hooked up in the system of courts, police, jails, because I told myself when I was 18 no one was going to tell me what to do again … I will do life my way."
Over three decades he found himself "going in and out of the big jails".
"The word trauma — I didn't know it existed," he said.
Mr Welsh will apply for redress under the National Redress Scheme. "It's a little bit confusing, but it's good that they're doing the redress," he said.
"The biggest problem I have is the trauma I have in my life and the trauma that's been handed down to my children and the generational trauma that goes on."
Michael does not want trauma passed down to his grand-children. (ABC News: Ross Byrne)
However, Mr Welsh is concerned he might not be eligible as he has served time behind bars.
But a redress payment would make a difference, especially for his children and grandchildren. "I would love to be able to have a property where they could build their houses," he said.
"But have a big sign out the front gate, saying 'there's no drugs, no alcohol, no swearing, it you don't like that, go somewhere else'. That's my dream."
Kinchela Boys Home was established by the Aboriginal Protection Board in 1924 and absorbed the Aboriginal school. The home was intended for Aboriginal children who were removed from their families as part of the process of 'assimilating' them into white Australian society. The victims of this process eventually became known as the Stolen Generation. Kinchela Boys Home housed between 400 and 600 boys between 1924 and its closure in 1970. Bringing Them Home, the report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families, documents the brutal punishment and sexual abuse suffered by these boys.
In 1980, Kinchela Boys Home was converted into a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre ('Bennelong’s Haven') for the local Aboriginal community, a number of whom were former Kinchela boys. - Wikipedia
Because the process of assimilation and the horrific abuse suffered by these survivors turned a few generations to alcohol and drugs, and, undoubtedly, turned some into child abusers as well.
NSW AG asks DPP to reconsider decision to not prosecute senior Catholic over CSA cover-up
By Joanne McCarthy
NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman has asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider reviewing a 2013 decision not to prosecute one of the state’s most senior Catholic educators for concealing child sex crimes.
It follows the landmark conviction of Archbishop Philip Wilson in May for failing to report child sex allegations about a Hunter priest to police and child abuse royal commission concerns about DPP decision-making review processes.
The DPP advised police in 2013 that charging the former NSW Catholic Schools Commission member and Christian Brother Anthony Whelan, 77, was “not in the public interest”, despite noting “there would appear to be a prima facie case” over his handling of allegations against teacher Thomas Keady in the 1970s.
Rob Roseworne's complaint in 2010 initiated a Catholic Church investigation. Photo: Simone de Peak
The DPP decision devastated Hunter man Rob Roseworne whose complaint in 2010 initiated a Catholic Church investigation. It found Brother Whelan, as school principal, sacked Keady from St Patricks College, Sutherland in 1979, but took no further action after four boys alleged “sexual misconduct” during a school excursion.
“Brother Whelan did not inform the police of the allegations by the four students nor did he inform their parents of the allegations they had made against Thomas Keady,” a report by professional standards investigator and former NSW police assistant commissioner, Norm Maroney said.
“He advised each student to inform his parents of the assaults.”
Brother Anthony Peter Whelan. Photo: Supplied
In a recorded statement for the church investigation Brother Whelan said he sacked Keady on the advice of the Catholic Education Office.
Keady was later convicted of further child sex crimes in the Hunter area in 1994 and died in 2012.
Mr Roseworne received a settlement from the Christian Brothers after Mr Maroney found he was abused by Keady and reported the abuse to another St Patricks College teacher, Brother John (Chris) Roberts, in 1977 when he was 11. Roberts was jailed in 2016 for child sex offences.
Brother Whelan denied Mr Roseworne’s allegation that he also reported the Keady abuse to him.
NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman said on Thursday that he had “written to the Director of Public Prosecutions asking that he consider the matters raised by Mr Roseworne”, after Liberal MP Catherine Cusack wrote to Mr Speakman to support Mr Roseworne’s review request.
“I would ask you to take an active interest in past decisions of the DPP where it was determined ‘not in the public interest’ to prosecute. In the wake of the Royal Commission, a far more enlightened and anguished public would want these cases revisited, reviewed and wherever possible prosecuted,” Ms Cusack wrote.
Mr Roseworne said he was relieved the matter was now before the DPP. “It’s been eight years of battle to get to this point. That pretty much says it all,” he said.
Attorney General Mark Speakman. Photo: AAP
In its advising to police in 2013 the DPP said the prosecution of Brother Whelan for misprision of felony – concealing a serious crime - was not in the public interest because of the “relatively low level of criminality against Whelan; his lack of antecedents [lack of criminal history]; the absence of any issue of specific deterrence; the staleness of the alleged offences and the likelihood that a conviction would result in, at best, a negligible penalty”.
In its Criminal Justice Report released in 2017 the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said it had “not particularly anticipated finding significant problems in decision-making processes” within Australian DPP offices, but investigations “revealed such problems”.
It recommended “robust and effective” internal audit processes after finding some DPP decisions failed to comply with decision-making policies. It stopped short of recommending judicial reviews of DPP decisions after noting such reviews were not favoured by the High Court or DPPs.
“We remain of the view that the absence of judicial review leaves a gap capable of causing real injustice if a prosecutor makes a decision not to prosecute, or to discontinue a prosecution, without complying with the relevant prosecution guidelines and policies and the affected victim is left with no opportunity to seek judicial review,” the royal commission said.
Newcastle solicitor Peter Kelso, who has represented some Keady victims, said the DPP’s advising on the Brother Whelan case “needs to be reconsidered”.
Although it was only five years ago the royal commission had exposed many areas that needed to be looked at again, Mr Kelso said. “In the light of the Wilson case I think it would be reasonable to have a fresh look at it,” he said.
NSW Greens MP and justice spokesperson David Shoebridge called on the DPP and police to review cases where perpetrators had been convicted to consider whether others should be charged for concealing offences.
“What the Wilson case shows is that you can get convictions. When we say it’s a landmark case it is, but on a law that’s been on the statute books for three decades and not used until very recently,” Mr Shoebridge said.
NSW remains the only Australian state where conceal-related cases against clergy have been prosecuted. In 2009 the late former Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Vicar General Tom Brennan was convicted of making a false statement after he told police he had not received any allegations about a notorious Hunter paedophile priest. A court accepted at least 10 people had reported allegations about the priest to Brennan.
In 2014 a Newcastle magistrate dismissed conceal charges against another Hunter priest. In 2017 a Hunter Marist Brother was charged with knowingly making making false statements to police and perverting the course of justice after telling detectives in 2014 that he “did not remember ever” reporting a complaint about a Marist Brother to a superior. The matter is listed for trial.
In a statement on Wednesday the Christian Brothers Oceania Province said the order and Brother Whelan “make no comment at this time”.
Mr Speakman said the NSW Government legislated new offences last week of failure to report and failure to protect against child abuse as part of a comprehensive package of criminal justice reforms in response to the royal commission.
“The Government remains committed to ensuring justice for survivors,” Mr Speakman said. The DPP said it would not comment on the matter.
Child abuse case brings outrage, but no change in Iran
REUTERS/Gabriela BaczynskaTehran skyline as seen from Iran's Interior Ministry, Tehran, Iran, Oct. 24, 2016.
A man in handcuffs is standing in front of the camera, haltingly giving a first-person account of the pedophilia case that has shaken Iran for a month: “Four or five students came into my office. … I had some obscene images on my cell phone. … They saw them. … It was mostly a joke. … It only went as far as touching …”
In the background, angry male and female voices rise, expressing condemnation and accusations. The man answers and denies some heavier accusations, such as child rape.
The video, less than a minute long, was published in the Persian-language media back on May 28. A few hours before this video spread, Khabar Online reported on an incident that had taken place in a boys’ high school in western Tehran. According to the report, the handcuffed man in the video was an official at the private high school who “sexually harassed a number of students."
This is not the first child abuse story to be picked up by the Iranian news media. But it is a rarity for the story to be leaked to the press by desperate parents who had feared that the case would be hushed up. One of the parents who talked to Shargh said, “We decided to alert the media so we could have some support. Now, however, it has gotten out of hand and [both the parents and the school administration] wish that media had not gotten so involved in this matter.”
The attention has brought about a wider debate on education and related legislation. But after a month, the result is little more than vague promises and Iran appears to be sinking back to the culture of silence on child molestation.
Iranian filmmaker Yaser Arab told Al-Monitor, “Sexual scandals are the government's Achilles' heel. It doesn’t matter how many cases of sexual harassment exist or how many children are being abused. They only become important when they create an issue for the government. This is the painful part. This atmosphere of silence and denial has made it impossible to normalize the subject of sex education for kids, be it at school or with parents.” Arab devoted four years, from 2011 to 2015, to making "A Simple Suggestion," an in-depth documentary series on sexuality in Iran.
The first of 21 episodes was dedicated to children’s sexual education. In it, Arab underlines that in order to fight child abuse, one must be able to talk about it rather than avoid it as a taboo topic. He said that Iran is in a state of denial on child abuse.
According to Arab, no educational institutes showed any interest in his documentary. The team took the documentary to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, but it became clear that it would not show the documentary in full either. So Arab put it on the Iranian video-sharing platform Aparat, where the episodes reached 1.5 million viewers.
The state TV’s documentary channel agreed to air some of it but asked that the 140-minute episode it planned to screen be shortened to 90 minutes. Even after this adjustment, the episode still faced problems when it was aired in January 2017. Arab told Al-Monitor, “The whole thing was very weird. The host of the program, Ali Sadrinia, took me and a cleric, Mohammadreza Zaeri, on as guests. The program’s host constantly offered false statistics to prove that sexual education for children is ineffective and has instead increased the rate of sexual promiscuity and unwanted pregnancies in the West.”
According to Arab, some families who reside in northern Tehran are attending private and semi-secret educational courses so they can respond to sexual questions or detect it if their children face abuse.
“Those parents who have the time and financial means can take advantage of these expensive courses, which offer the type of education that is not yet found in Iranian schools,” he told Al-Monitor. “However, what are we to do about the middle- and working-class kids? Should sexual education be only available to a certain class of society?”
In the wake of the Tehran abuse case, the lack of proper sexual education including abuse for schoolchildren was widely criticized by media, parents and some politicians. Sociologists made statements in the media about the importance of sexual education, and officials in the Ministry of Education pledged to reassess the question of sexual education.
But the issue of sexual education has become part of a larger question, with conservative Iranians objecting to UNESCO’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UNESCO guidelines, which include sexual education in schools, became a sensitive and controversial issue during the 2017 presidential elections. Conservative media outlets and individuals criticize the agenda as a tool that “assists secular and open-minded movements to penetrate the Iranian educational system and shape it according to Western standards.”
The pressure and criticism, including open opposition by the supreme leader, eventually blocked the agenda from being adopted. The recent child molestation case has once again made the 2030 Agenda a hot topic of discussion and even a scapegoat. Conservative politician Hossein-Ali Haji-Deligani took the parliament floor on May 30 to blame the guidelines, saying, “The crime that has taken place in the high school in western Tehran is the result of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which is being sporadically implemented in various locations.”
The case also opened debate on whether Iranian laws protected children sufficiently from abuse. Iranian jurists emphasized the importance of passing new legislation in support of children's rights, and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asked officials to punish the accused according to Sharia, which may include lashing, imprisonment, exile or the death penalty. On June 12, Gholemreza Mansouri, an official from the Public Prosecutor's Office, told Tasnim News that the case has eight plaintiffs and the defendant is accused of “promoting corruption and child abuse,” not rape.
Child molestation has only recently been considered a crime in Iran. The term entered Iran’s legal vocabulary in January 2003 with the passing of a law regarding rights of children and adolescents.
According to Monica Nadi, a lawyer and member of the legal committee of the Association for the Support of Children's Rights in Iran, the 2003 law still falls short of protecting children. A stronger law was formulated in 2011 but has been awaiting approval for almost seven years. According to Nadi, if this legislation is approved, it will be easier to combat child abuse. Among other things, it gives a role to nongovernmental organizations in directly filing complaints of abuse with judicial authorities.
Does this legislation address the issue of sexual education for children? “Not explicitly,” Nadi told Al-Monitor. “But it does talk about educating children, as well as family members and other adults who are in contact with children, about children’s rights. Therefore, a related organization such as the Ministry of Education will be required to approve a set of internal guidelines and regulations regarding children's rights, and sexual education will be a part of that.”
Two more bishops resign in Chile over child sex abuse scandal
POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTED the resignation of two more Chilean bishops following a child sex abuse scandal that has gripped the Latin American nation.
The Vatican announced the resignation of the bishop of Rancagua, 78-year-old Alejandro Goic Karmelic and the bishop of Talca, Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca, 64.
Several senior members of Chile’s Catholic Church are accused by victims of ignoring and covering up child abuse by paedophile priest Fernando Karadima during the 1980s and 1990s.
Goic offered his resignation three years ago due to his age, but the Pope did not accept it. His departure comes amid a sexual abuse scandal in his own diocese, where 14 priests have been suspended.
Those crimes were allegedly committed by a network called “The Family” over the course of at least a decade, before a member of the parish denounced them last week in a television report. A criminal investigation is underway.
Carmen Valenzuela, meanwhile, was a follower of Karadima, who was suspended for life by the Vatican. He was named by Karadima’s victims as a figure who ignored or covered up the abuse.
Several victims welcomed the news of their resignations.
“Slowly but surely… two less wicked and corrupt bishops”, Juan Carlos Cruz, now a communications executive, wrote on Twitter.
The entire Chilean delegation of bishops tendered its resignation to the pope in May after a series of meetings at the Vatican.
Earlier this month, Francis accepted the resignation of three Chilean bishops, including the controversial Juan Barros who Karadima’s victims accuse of covering up wrongdoing.
The pontiff himself became mired in the scandal when, during a trip to Chile in January, he defended Barros. However the pope later apologised to Karadima’s victims and said he had made “grave mistakes”.
Court document lists $15 million in quiet sex-abuse settlements by Ontario diocese
By SANDRO CONTENTA Feature Writer
MARY ORMSBY Feature Writer
A decade-long court battle between the Roman Catholic Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada and its insurance company has disclosed $15 million in largely secret settlements to people who sued priests for sexual abuse.
The payments — listed in a document filed with London’s Superior Court — went to 50 people accusing 12 priests in the diocese of sexual abuse.
A single-page document provides a rare glimpse into how a Canadian diocese dealt with a string of accusers. (DREAMSTIME)
The single-page document provides a rare glimpse into how a Canadian diocese dealt with a string of accusers by charting the millions quietly paid to them.
View the payout amounts in our interactive graphic
Settlements like these are usually kept secret by non-disclosure agreements. This court document lifts the veil on that process with a detailed financial portrait of a troubled diocese handling sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic church for years. When legal fees, mediation costs and the price of special reports are included, the total costs of the settlements for alleged abuses that occurred during an eight-year period jumps to $17.7 million.
The abuses that resulted in the settlements — committed against boys and girls as young as 6 — took place between 1963 and 1971, a period when the diocese’s insurance coverage is being disputed in court. The settlements were struck during the last 18 years.
The list includes notorious predators like Rev. Charles Henry Sylvestre, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to sexually assaulting 47 girls. Eleven of his victims – including a 14-year-old girl who became pregnant by Sylvestre and suffered a botched abortion the priest arranged — received settlements totalling $5.2 million.
Priests who have never been publicly named as alleged abusers also appear on the list, including the late Rev. Ulysse Lefaive, accused of raping a 10-year-old girl in a Sarnia-area rectory in 1966. The alleged victim settled for $62,500 in 2013.
The largest settlement on the list — almost $2.5 million in 2004 — was for the impact of abuse by Rev. Barry Donald Glendinning on a family, including the repeated sexual assault of three brothers beginning when they were 6, 8 and 10. He had the boys in his room up to 300 times.
The bill for the disputed eight-year period isn’t final. The court document notes that seven more sexual abuse cases against priests are pending.
Police Scotland officer admits having
child sexual abuse images
A former police officer has admitted having images of children being sexually abused.
James Paul was caught with the indecent images on a computer and a USB stick at his home in Bishopton, Renfrewshire, in December 2017.
The 37-year-old was suspended from his job as a constable with Police Scotland before resigning.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard he was working as a community police officer at the time of his arrest.
Paul kept the images, which included pictures of children being bound and raped, at the property he shared with his wife and children.
He admitted being in possession of the illegal images while working as a police officer, in a role believed to involve him visiting schools on a regular basis.
Paul appeared in the dock at Paisley Sheriff Court to plead guilty to the single charge against him - being in possession of indecent images of children.
The court heard his police colleagues raided his £250,000 five-bedroom home after receiving intelligence that indecent images of children were being stored at the address.
'Most extreme images'
Procurator fiscal depute Pamela Brady said 33 images were found on a black Lenovo laptop and a further five were found on a USB stick.
The prosecutor said that, of the 33 found on the laptop, five were categorised by experts as being the most extreme form of child sex abuse images there are.
Seven of the images on the laptop were categorised as being the next extreme and 21 images were rated as being at category C - the least extreme.
A further five images - all rated as being category C, were found on a USB stick Paul's wife used for work, which he began using to store the illegal images.
Sheriff Susan Sinclair called for background reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing.
She deferred sentence until August and placed him on the sex offenders register.
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the officer's appearance at court today and we await the full outcome of court proceedings."
N.Z. Man tells of rape at Catholic school
By: Georgina Campbell
This article is based on extracts from the Speaking Secrets podcast, a co-production by NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB. For the full episode with a man who says he was sexually abused by Marist Brothers, as well as a further interview with MOSAIC chief executive Richard Jeffrey, listen to the podcast on Speaking Secrets, and navigate to Episode 5- Former Catholic schoolboy. You can subscribe to Speaking Secrets on iHeartRadio and iTunes.
A man who says he was sexually violated as a child attending a Catholic school has spoken publicly for the first time about the alleged abuse.
The man, who the Herald has chosen not to name for legal reasons, claims he was raped and molested by Marist Brothers when he was a boy in the 1980s.
"Can you imagine a 10, 11-year-old boy walking home alone after school after having been sexually abused? I remember feeling as if I was not in my own body," he said.
"But it wasn't just the physical sexual abuse, it was the betrayal, because the ones - my teachers - who my parents sent me to be educated, to be looked after, to be cared for, the ones who were supposed to protect me, they were the ones who were abusing me."
The boys at his school referred to the abuse as "bumming" so he had heard the term before it happened to him.
"We all knew on some level. It wasn't alleged back then, we weren't going around alleging anything. We were simply talking about what was happening to us."
He remembers hearing about one of his classmates being told by his mother to write "private property keep out" on his underwear.
He said his brother spoke about the "bumming" one time in a casual conversation in front of their mother and she told the boys not to tell fibs.
He said they were told they were spreading scandal by talking about it.
He first spoke out meaningfully about the abuse when he returned to New Zealand a couple of years ago and called a sexual abuse helpline. Now, he felt he had an obligation to speak publicly about it.
"I'm doing so publicly now because I believe that if survivors don't speak out about sexual assault, in my case child sexual abuse, who will?
"The shame and the secrecy that I carried for so many years is now being brought into the spotlight ... it dissipates the harm that was done, it helps me heal again, but it does make me vulnerable and scared."
Police have investigated the allegations and have not prosecuted anyone to date. Two of the four accused are dead.
The Catholic Church's National Office for Professional Standards in New Zealand said it wouldn't be appropriate to comment on individual complaints, but national director Virginia Noonan said abuse was tragic and indefensible.
"The church is committed to taking these complaints seriously and offers a process to make sure each person is welcomed and listened to. This includes a thorough investigation to ensure a fair, considerate, and appropriate outcome."
The man said he did not want people to feel sorry for him or pity him.
"I want people to say isn't he remarkable; despite the fact he was abused he still has enough courage to get on with his life and to not be a victim but to be a survivor of abuse. That takes strength."
Cornwall man found with hundreds of child sex abuse images
By Chris Matthews
A pervert sobbed in the dock as a court heard how he searched the internet using sickening terms as well as being found with hundreds of indecent images of children.
Mark Clift-Matthews, 36, of Treloweth Road in Pool, appeared at Truro Crown Court for sentence on Thursday (June 28) after previously admitting three counts of making indecent images of children and one possessing extreme pornographic movies charge.
Prosecuting barrister Ramsay Quaife told Judge Robert Linford how Clift-Matthews was previously of good character but police attended his address in Pool in April 2017 following disclosure of sexualised conversations that included references to children.
Officers seized his laptop and iPad and found well over 200 indecent images of children and some containing animals.
In total the devices were found to have 16 Category A images and one movie, 118 Category B images and three movies and 109 Category C stills and one movie.
Mr Quaife added that all were in accessible files and that Clift-Matthews had searched the internet for pother material using sickening terms. Clift-Matthews told police he was responsible for the images but initially denied having a sexual interest in children.
He later said he had downloaded the files at a time when he was depressed and now regrets what he had done. Defending Clift-Matthews, Jason Beal said that he is the manager of a company that sells bathrooms and employs five people.
Sentencing Clift-Matthews, Judge Robert Linford said: “You are 36 and have never before been in any kind of trouble. On April 13 police interrogated a computer you had control of and the material they found plumbed the very depths of depravity.
“There were a number of still and moving images of children being sexually abused. You need to understand that these are not just images. Real little boys and little girls are being raped, even sometimes buggered and having implements shoved inside them for the pleasure of perverts.
“This is sickening for any right-minded person and you had a great deal of this material on your computer.”
Judge Linford noted that as it was Clift-Matthews’ first offence, it is likely that rehabilitation may be able to address his offending. He added: “There is a sufficient prospect of rehabilitation and often the first time it is tried it works.
“This better work in your case because if I see you again you will be on the end of a very, very long prison sentence.”
Judge Linford gave Clift-Matthews a 16 month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He must also complete a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement and 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also made the subject of a sexual harm prevention order.