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

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Updated Story! Some Truly Awful Stories; Whitney Houston; Hero; Missionary on Today's USA PnP List

6th story below updated 25 July 2018: 
Justin & Jessica Crandal were sentenced to a total of 75 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a 17 m/o child

Maryland authorities still trying to ID victims of Prince George’s Co. serial sex abuser
By John Domen

WASHINGTON — Even after Christopher Speights is sentenced in a Worcester County Courtroom at the end of the month, it won’t mark the end of the horrific child sex abuse case.

Last week Speights was given a 35-year prison sentence by a federal judge, and a 30-year sentence from a Prince George’s County judge. He pleaded guilty to sexually abusing dozens of students and athletes he interacted with as a substitute teacher and youth basketball coach.

After Speights was sentenced in Prince George’s County, prosecutors laid out just how much work there’s left to do in identifying the victims of his abuse.

When he was arrested, authorities found over 150 files (some still images, some videos) that contained child pornography. Authorities are still trying to identify many of those victims.

“In this case there’s about at least 50 students that have been identified,” says Assistant Attorney General Kelly Burrell. “Those (victims) may not be in Prince George’s County, but I know a large majority are.”

That’s because some of the images found on Speights’ electronic devices were shared with him by other people. However, Speights was also producing his own child pornography with children he had access to as a teacher and coach.

“So some of these children‘s pictures came to him from other unidentified people,” says Burrell. “But we do know the images that he created are of Prince George’s County children.”

Prosecutors stress that the victims will face daunting challenges as a result of their abuse, making it urgent that they get help. “The kids have to learn how to move forward and recognize that they were victims,” says Burrell. “They did nothing wrong, but they need to be able to move forward and put this behind them so they can lead productive lives going forward.”

Burrell said victims “need proper counseling to move forward” and urged parents who believe their child to be a victim of abuse to call 1-800-637-5437.

Pr George's Co., Maryland

California county failed repeatedly to stop sexual abuse of foster children, lawsuit alleges
Morgan Cook

In this 2013 police photograph, Michael Jarome Hayes stands in his living room, next to a pull-out couch that served as his bed in a two-bedroom apartment he shared with his adult brother and two boys placed in his home as foster children. (SDPD)

When a 6-year-old boy identified as A.G. in court records told his social worker in January 2006 that his foster father was hurting him, she dismissed his request for a new home.

When staff members at a family recovery center saw A.G. acting out sexually in 2007 and told the county they suspected his foster father was abusing him, the county did not intervene.

When San Diego County sheriff’s deputies in 2008 took A.G. to the county’s emergency shelter for children after an incident involving a neighbor child, A.G. told social workers that he was being sexually abused. He was returned to his foster father, Michael Jarome Hayes, within 18 hours.

Those lapses are alleged in a 2016 lawsuit by A.G. and his twin brother, M.G. They are suing the county and 14 of its social workers for leaving them at Hayes’ mercy despite more than a dozen reports of suspected abuse from an educator, a lawyer, a psychologist and others.

County social workers allegedly ignored some reports completely. They failed to properly investigate others, deciding again and again to the keep the children in Hayes’ home, according to the lawsuit.

According to the lawsuit, the abuse only stopped in 2013 — more than seven years after the boy’s first complaint — when San Diego police officers responded to Hayes’ own report that A.G. ran away.

Hayes was later arrested and faced 28 felony charges of sexual molestation and other crimes against A.G., M.G., another foster son the county had placed in Hayes’ care and two of Hayes’ young cousins.

Hayes pleaded guilty to eight of the charges, admitting to specific lewd acts including putting his hands and mouth on three of the boys’ feet for sexual arousal and touching A.G.’s genitals.

A.G. and M.G. are now adults, battling the phantoms of their childhood. What went wrong? Why did no one listen? How did Hayes end up as a foster parent in the first place?

Extensive coverage of this story continues on The San Diego Union-Tribune

Interview in the latest Whitney Houston doc. uncovered a long-held secret of CSA

Documentary maker Kevin Macdonald has revealed that his documentary Whitney, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, confirms the late icon was sexually abused as a child.

In the last few weeks of filming, Macdonald conducted two final interviews with people who were close to Houston. One of those interviews was with Gary Garland-Houston, Whitney Houston’s half-brother, who said he knew details of his sister’s abuse because he was sexually abused by the same person – their cousin, Dee Dee Warwick. Dee Dee, who died in 2008, was the sister of Dionne Warwick, and a soul singer in her own right.

Macdonald told The Sydney Morning Herald that while nobody initially spoke about this traumatic aspect of Houston’s childhood, he had suspected she was a victim of sexual abuse.

“Just looking at the footage of her over her life, I realised that there was something strange about the way she wasn’t comfortable in her own skin,” he said. “She was a beautiful, beautiful woman but there was something about her that was almost asexual. I thought she felt like somebody who has had a trauma in childhood, so I started to ask about it.”

When the film premiered in Cannes, the Warwick family were stunned. Cissie Warwick (Whitney’s mother) and her sister Dionne said they had only learned of the accusations two days before the screening, and released a statement saying the claims were “overwhelming and, for us, unfathomable”.

Macdonald’s documentary about the life of Whitney Houston comes only a year after Nick Broomfield’s documentary, Whitney: Can I Be Me? Macdonald’s film, however, appears to have had the support of many of those who were close to Houston, including the singer’s sister-in-law Pat Houston, who helped set up a number of interviews.

One suggestion that came out of Whitney: Can I Be Me? was that Houston had a secret romantic relationship with her female best friend Robyn Crawford.

“Robyn and Whitney were like twins,” security personnel Kevin Ammons says in the film. “They were inseparable. They had a bond and Bobby Brown could never remove Robyn. He wanted to be the man in the relationship.”

The couple had met when the pair were both sixteen, and living in New Jersey. By all reports, they were inseparable from that moment.

Child sex abuse that was never addressed in therapy makes complete sense as to the issues that Whitney suffered through right up to and including her death. Like MacDonald, I also suspected she was sexually abused as a child. This is an example of the devastation that child sex abuse can cause and it's happening to between 20 and 30% of all girls in the world. 

This one hurts us all because it robs us of one of the most beautiful and talented women who ever lived. But we should be feeling the pain for the tens of millions of children and the hundreds of millions of adult survivors who have been sexually abused. Think about that until the enormity of the problem begins to sink in.

Liberal comedian slammed for past pedophilia jokes blames Russia for ‘coordinated attack’

Another day, another Russian plot exposing an American public figure for questionable past behavior. This time a comedian, whose past attempts to joke about pedophilia got roasted on Twitter, is seeing the Russian hand.

Liberal comedian Michael Ian Black came under fire by conservatives in recent days for a series of offensive past tweets referencing pedophilia and child abuse — but Black has a theory about why his old tweets have suddenly come to light again.

Michael Ian Black ✔
 Today, right wing Twitter came after me out of the blue (again) because they took offense to a bunch of jokes I’ve made over the years (again). Why now? I suspect it has something to do with me asking @dloesh all week about Russian money-laundering at the NRA, but can’t prove it.

Black tweeted that “right wing Twitter” came after him “out of the blue” over tweets he posted years ago and reasoned that the timing was a bit suspect because he had recently been talking about “Russian money-laundering at the NRA.”

Michael Ian Black✔
 Some lady just changed her baby boy's diaper right in front if everybody at the gate. Unimpressive penis.

In one of his tweets, which is still online, Black jokes that he is hosting 11-year-old girls at his home and that he is “terrified their parents will find out.” In another, he jokes that he doesn’t like watching the kids show iCarly “because there is nobody on that show I want to molest.”

Of course not! All the girls on iCarly were past puberty!

Michael Ian Black✔
 What is the exact length of time my children can give me back-rubs before it gets creepy?

The offensive tweets were compiled and began appearing online over the weekend. It was unclear who exactly was sifting through the archive of Black's tweets, but they began to circulate more quickly when conservative commentator Mike Cernovich posted them to his Twitter page on Saturday, saying it was part of his “reporting on pedophiles.”

Cernovich also tweeted that he had compiled “a database of over 100 verified Hollywood liberals” who have made child rape jokes.

Despite airing his suspicions that Russia was responsible for highlighting his tweets making jokes about pedophilia, Black did admit the he “can’t prove” it was Russia at all. In a subsequent tweet, however, he wrote: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the week I go hard after the NRA for being a mob front for Russia, I get this coordinated attack.”

The controversy follows the firing of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ director James Gunn by Disney over similarly disturbing tweets about pedophilia and rape which were also highlighted by Cernovich and fellow conservative Jack Posobiec. Gunn deleted thousands of his old tweets and posted a statement saying that he has grown as a person and is “very, very different” than he was a few years ago.

Black, on the other hand, was less apologetic, tweeting that he didn’t care if people came after him for jokes he made in the past. “You want to shit on me for some bad jokes. Have at it. My hands are clean,” he wrote.

Michael Ian Black✔
Replying to @michaelianblack
So be it, xxxxxx. I know what I’ve done in my life. And I know what you’ve done in yours. The NRA is a terrorist organization culpable in tens if not hundreds of thousands of American deaths. You want to shit on me for some bad jokes. Have at it. My hands are clean.

But Twitter wasn’t entirely satisfied with that response, and Black faced some serious backlash for his jokes.

Replying to @Cernovich
Why do people find it funny to make sexual jokes about kids?  It is not edgy or funny, it is gross and disturbing.  It makes me wonder what is not screwed on right in their head to think about jokes like this involving children.  Hollywood is full of some real sickos!

Replying to @michaelianblack @dloesh
So are you saying that people don’t have the right to free speech in regard to their disdain for jokes about child molestation because it infringes upon your right to make jokes about child molestation?

Replying to @michaelianblack @JMaccabbee
Why is normalizing acting upon pedophila (child rape and molestation) with humor and breaking that taboo funny to you? Whom do you seek to empower? And at whose expense?

At children's expense, of course! It's always at the expense of the children!

More than 225 women have filed suit against USC campus gynecologist accused of sexually assaulting patients

By Harriet Ryan

As more lawsuits pile up against USC for its handling of a campus gynecologist accused of sexually abusing patients, the chair of the university’s board of trustees said he wanted to see the litigation resolved “as quickly as possible.”

Rick Caruso, the mall magnate tapped to lead the board in the wake of the scandal, said he hoped a settlement could occur without depositions and trials that would require former patients to detail publicly their experiences with Dr. George Tyndall.

“We are going to be fair, we are going to be dignified and we are going to have a process that does not put them through hardship in coming to a resolution,” said Caruso.

Settling the cases could cost USC and its insurers hundreds of millions of dollars. More than 225 students and alumnae are now suing USC for failing to protect them from Tyndall, including 51 women who filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday morning.

The plaintiffs who sued Monday are clients of a Houston law firm that used Facebook advertisements as well as other methods to reach former patients of Tyndall. They include graduates from across the U.S., as well as from Israel and Britain, and the time frame of their accusations ranges from the late 1980s to two years ago, the entire span of Tyndall’s three-decade career at the student health center.

One suit on behalf of 2002 graduate Amanda Davis asserts that Tyndall inserted “his ungloved, uncleaned fingers” inside her while remarking on her body. The suit contends that during the same appointment, Tyndall told Davis, who had recently given birth, that he was writing a book “on how women were able to get back into shape” and persuaded her to let him take full body nude photographs for what he said were research purposes.

There is no record of Tyndall publishing a book or research study. It is unclear what became of the pictures, a fact that Davis said in an interview left her “disgusted.” “I grew up in a small town, and I was very trusting especially when it comes to authority figures, said Davis, now living in Arizona. “I didn’t have a reason to doubt him.”

Tyndall is also named as a defendant in the suits. The 71-year-old has denied any wrongdoing. In interviews with The Times, he specifically denied ever examining a woman without gloves. He has said through an attorney that when all the facts come out, he will be vindicated.

The physician, the sole full-time gynecologist on campus, was the subject of repeated complaints throughout his career, but was allowed to continue treating women until 2016 when a frustrated nurse reported him to the rape crisis center.

An internal investigation concluded his touching of patient genitals during pelvic exams and accompanying comments about their bodies amounted to sexual harassment. Administrators did not alert his patients and allowed him to resign with a financial settlement last year.

More than 400 people have contacted a hotline for former patients of Tyndall. University leaders have apologized to students and alumni, and President C.L. Max Nikias stepped down in May under pressure from faculty and students.

Caruso and USC’s lead defense attorney, Susan Estrich, also a university law professor, said lawyers for the school are working with its insurers as they respond to the lawsuits. “We absolutely have to defend the university and be cognizant of the limits of the university and the university treasury, but there are many ways to resolve cases like this without putting women through a difficult and painful experience,” Estrich said.

Experts have said the settlement amount could be staggering. In May, Michigan State University agreed in May to a $500-million settlement with 332 women treated by Dr. Larry Nassar, the physician accused of sexually abusing Olympic gymnasts and other patients.

Andy Rubenstein, whose Texas firm D. Miller & Associates is representing the Tyndall patients who sued Monday, said the case against USC is strong because of what he called the “generational arc of institutional silence.”

“This could’ve been prevented if anyone at USC had stepped up sooner,” he said. “We have a client who is still a student at USC … and she wasn’t even born yet when [another client] Dr. Dana Loewy was being abused by Tyndall.”

Loewy, who received her Ph.D. from USC in 1995, alleged in her suit that Tyndall touched her inappropriately and made bizarre and insulting comments during an appointment. He insisted that she was a virgin and that he could feel her intact hymen despite the fact “she had been in several committed intimate relationships with boyfriends,” according to the suit.

When she told the gynecologist that her current romantic partner was a woman, he asked her, “Is it true that all lesbians hate men?”

Loewy, a textbook author in Fullerton, said she saw the university’s response to Tyndall as part of larger culture of covering up problems and said she joined the litigation “precisely because I care about USC.”

“Dr. Tyndall should be held accountable and USC should be held accountable as well,” Loewy said.

Feds seek 90-year prison sentences for NY couple in sexual assault of toddler

Updated, 25 July 2018: Justin Crandall, 30, was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in federal prison. His wife Jessica Crandall, 28, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. 

Anthony Borrelli, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin 

The sexual abuse of a 17-month-old girl by a Sidney couple was depicted on cell phone video recordings. 

The crimes spanned at least two months, during January and February in 2017, while Justin and Jessica Crandall were babysitting their neighbor's toddler. 

The video depicts the child, as a prosecutor tells it, with her eyes "wide open in fear."

Justin Crandall, 30, and his wife Jessica Crandall, 28, will be sentenced Wednesday in Binghamton's federal court for their guilty pleas in the sexual exploitation of the 17-month-old girl at their Delaware County home.

The U.S. Attorney's Office is pursuing a 90-year federal prison sentence for both. Defense attorneys for both plan to argue for 15 years behind bars. A federal judge will decide the couple's fate.

Court documents, based off video evidence and interviews, describe in painstaking and graphic detail how the abuse unfolded. Assistant U.S. Attorney Miroslav Lovric, in those documents, described the child's abuse as being akin to torture. He said the girl endured physical and psychological trauma that has likely scarred her for life.

"The 17-month-old victim in this case was completely helpless to the repeated sexual assaults," Lovric said in documents ahead of the Crandalls' sentencing. "The sexual abuse of any child is horrific and inhuman. But the sexual abuse of a 17-month-old child is beyond any comprehension and speaks loudly as to the inhumanity."

Defense lawyers for the Crandalls counter that Justin Crandall's addiction to methamphetamine and unstable upbringing brought him to this point.

Jessica Crandall, the defense argues, participated in these crimes as a result of her toxic relationship with her husband. It was marked by volatile behavior and drug addiction.

The abuse investigation began Feb. 11, 2017, after a witness reported receiving an image depicting a female toddler engaged in a sex act, which Justin Crandall had sent via cell phone. FBI and state police investigators executed search warrants on the Crandall home in Sidney, where investigators found sexually explicit videos and images on the phone.

Police also spoke to the child's mother, who said she noticed some changes in her daughter's behavior along with unexplained injuries, according to court papers. The Crandalls had been babysitting the child since around Thanksgiving of 2016.

Justin Crandall was also accused of physically abusing the toddler. Court records said he once pushed her, causing a bruise to her chin, that Jessica Crandall tried to conceal with cosmetic makeup.

In October, Justin Crandall pleaded guilty to three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a child. 

Jessica Crandall admitted to felony counts of conspiracy to sexually exploit a child and sexual exploitation of a child.

Defense: Addiction fueled crime

The defense for Justin Crandall, in a pitch for leniency, outlined in court documents a story about meth addiction and a chaotic and abusive home life that preceded it.

Justin and Jessica began abusing prescription pain pills in 2008, according to the defense, and that was around the same time they had a daughter. Then, they turned to heroin.

By 2016, the couple had three children. Twice in 2010 and once in 2013, Child Protective Services intervened due to inadequate guardianship and lack of supervision, according to court records.

Justin Crandall's meth addiction began in September 2016, according to Assistant Federal Public Defender Courtenay McKeon. The couple used meth as part of a ritual to keep from getting tired. McKeon, in court documents, said the meth turned Justin Crandall toward taboo and aggressive behaviors. He began acting "crazy," she said.

That was around the time the couple began babysitting the 17-month-old girl they're charged with abusing.

A 90-year sentence, McKeon argued, is too harsh. "Justin's conduct, while reprehensible, does not merit a sentence that is decades longer than the sentences routinely imposed on murderers," McKeon said in court documents. "Justin fits the profile of a drug abuser for more than he fits the profile of a sex offender, despite his terrible actions during one six-week period."

Jessica Crandall's defense lawyer Kimberly Zimmer, in court documents, said her client would have never committed these crimes, if not for the unstable relationship with her husband.

Also seeking leniency, Zimmer said her client's crimes were "clearly wrong. It has already cost her what matters most to be involved in the lives of her three children, each of whom she loves dearly," Zimmer said of Jessica Crandall in court documents.

"For at least as long as she is incarcerated, she will continue to be separated from them and when that incarceration is complete ... she will have the daunting task of starting her life over."

Two men arrested for child sex abuse in NY State
John Tummino

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Two men have been charged with sexually abusing a young girl over the course of a multi-year period.

This month, detectives with the Erie County Sheriff's Office arrested Nathaniel Hirschman, (left) 28, of North Collins, and Osvaldo Montalvo Santiago, (right) 31 of Kersey, Pennsylvania.

The detectives started their investigation after receiving a referral from the New York State Child Abuse Hotline back in April.

According to the sheriff's office, the abuse occurred at different residences in North Collins, and the two men abused the girl during separate incidents.

The men were charged with felonies and were remanded to the Erie County Holding Center on bail.

PA man sought for sexual abuse of 3 children
By:  Myles Snyder 

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) - Police are looking for a Lancaster man accused of sexually abusing three children.

Luis G. Torres Jr., 23, is charged with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault of a child, and related charges.

Manheim Township police said Torres had sexual contact with the children multiple times between June 2008 and March 2011.

Police have a warrant for his arrest, but Torres remains a wanted person at this time.  

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should call Manheim Township police at 717-569-6401.

Peruvian UI charged with 7 years of sexual abuse of a child
By Becky Metrick rmetrick@pennlive.com

Manor Township Police have charged a Peruvian native with sexually abusing a girl for seven years, according to a new release.

Jorge Alfaro Norabuena, 57, of Peru, was charged with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of a minor and unlawful conduct with a minor, police said.

Alfaro Norabuena, also known as Victor Marquez or Victor Martinez, is accused of abusing the girl, age not given, at a home in Mountville between 2007 and 2014, police said.

Investigators learned Alfaro Norabuena is an undocumented immigrant, and police worked with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the case.

Alfaro Norabuena was taken into custody and is being held at York County Prison due to his immigration status.

Oklahoma man charged with child sexual abuse

OKMULGEE COUNTY, Okla. - The Okmulgee County District Attorney's Office charged a Morris, Okla. man with two counts of child sexual abuse.

Officials said Mark Branson is accused of sexually abusing two 10-year-old girls.

Two adults have also come forward saying Branson sexually abused them when they were both children, officials said. Officials said one of the adult victims was 9 when the alleged abuse happened in 1985.

The other adult victim said Branson sexually abused her in the late 1990's when she was 8 or 9-years-old, officials said.

Branson is currently being held on $500,000 bond at the Okmulgee Criminal Justice Center.

Missionary from Stuarts Draft sentenced for
awful child sex abuse in Haiti
By WHSV newsroom 
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — James Arbaugh, 40, a former Mennonite missionary from Stuarts Draft, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for engaging in illicit sexual contact with a child in Haiti.

Arbaugh pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of traveling in foreign commerce from the U.S. to Haiti to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a child.

He had spent years doing missionary work in Haiti from 2008 to 2017, but, according to court documents, he returned to the U.S. in 2017 after someone witnessed him "engaging in inappropriate sexual contact" with a child in Haiti and confronted him about it.

Victim was son of a pastor and just 5 y/o

In interviews with police, Arbaugh said he engaged in sexual acts with the boy — who was the son of a church pastor in the country – when the boy was about five years old.

The abuse occurred in Jeremie, a city devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

When Arbaugh was back in the U.S., he confessed to his counselor that he had engaged in sexual behavior with children while in Haiti, and his counselor filed a report with Child Protective Services the next day.

City of Jeremie, Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. (MGN)

In November, he was arrested.

He had spent nearly a decade traveling to communities throughout Haiti, including remote villages, evangelizing and showing Christian-themed movies.

He was acting as a missionary with a group called "Walking Together for Christ."

According to "The Mennonite," in 2015, Walking Together for Christ Haiti became an independent nonprofit organization. Members of its board of directors came from four Mennonite congregations in Virginia: Lindale Mennonite Church, Linville, Virginia; Mountain View Mennonite Church (which withdrew from Virginia Mennonite Conference and Mennonite Church USA in February 2017); Waynesboro Mennonite Church and Zion Hill Mennonite Church, Singers Glen, Virginia.

However, behind the scenes, prosecutors said Arbaugh was befriending boys in the communities, grooming them for sexual contact "so that one day his victims would be open to more significant sexual contact," and then engaging in sexual contact with the minors.

Arbaugh told law enforcement officers in various interviews that he had sexual contact with at least 15 minors in Haiti. He confessed, specifically, to touching a minor's genitals under the minor's clothing.

The other contact mentioned in interviews included fondling and oral sex, from which he stated he received sexual gratification.

However, the evidence presented against Arbaugh mainly centered around the one child who a witness caught Arbaugh with, which resulted in just the one charge.

Brian Benczkowski leads the Justice Department's criminal division.

Wolf in sheep's clothing

“James Arbaugh was a wolf in sheep’s clothing: he posed as a selfless missionary when in reality he was exploiting his position to prey on and sexually abuse vulnerable children in one of the most impoverished areas of the world,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “Today’s sentencing is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners to hold sexual predators like Arbaugh accountable for their deplorable crimes.”

“The defendant abused his position of trust to prey on vulnerable victims, and their lives will never be the same,” said U.S. Attorney Cullen. “As this case indicates, our office is committed to working with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to identify and vigorously prosecute those who exploit children.”

Gary Smith, hero, exposed child sex abuse and
cover-up in the Catholic church
Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 

A Milwaukee man who played a key role in exposing the child sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church has died.

Gary Smith had been suffering from cancer and died Monday evening at St. Francis Terrace at the age of 68, said Kathy Shallow, a close friend whose sister was Smith's domestic partner.

As a child, Smith attended St. John's Boarding School for the Deaf in St. Francis, where he and as many as 200 other hearing-impaired children were molested for years by the late Rev. Lawrence Murphy.

Murphy worked at St. John's from 1950 to 1974. Bishops had known about the abuse for decades but did not move to defrock him until he was near death. He died in 1998.

His victims, including Smith, distributed fliers outside Milwaukee's Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in 1974, protesting inaction by the church regarding Murphy.

Peter Isely, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said he believes Smith was possibly the first survivor anywhere to sue the church over the abuse, in the 1970s.

He said the initial effort only got Smith threatened and forced to sign a settlement that required him to apologize to Murphy, in exchange for $5,000.

But Smith never stopped trying to expose the greater scandal and help other survivors, especially other students from St. John's. "He tried to get help," Isely said. "He continued to struggle with other deaf students to petition and force the archdiocese to reveal this dangerous man to others."

Isely called Smith gentle and kind, but "absolutely insistent, indefatigable," about the exposing and holding accountable abusive priests and their protectors. "That guy would take a bullet for another survivor," Isely said.

Smith went on to tell his story in the Journal Sentinel, the New York Times and other outlets, including the HBO documentary film, "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God".

Shallow said she's known Smith since she was about 12, and he rode up on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle to pick up her older sister, Pauline Sherman, who is deaf and also attended St. John's, for a date.

She said Smith, who had retired from the post office in Texas, moved back to Milwaukee about 10 years ago when he heard Sherman had divorced, and the couple was together since. She said Sherman said, "He was my first boyfriend and my last boyfriend."

Smith also lived in Florida for a time, Shallow said, and traveled around the country on his Harley. He was never married and never had children.

She said he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year, and last week was failing, so they decided to have a big pizza party Monday night. She said about 35 people came and each wrote him a note, and he was awake, smiling and laughing for 90 minutes.

After everyone had gone home, she said, Smith died. Funeral arrangements were pending Tuesday.

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