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, 18 May 2019

15 CSA Stories from 9 Countries; 5 from Canada on Today's Global PnP List

Astonishing decision by lower court reviewed as violin teacher acquitted of sexually assaulting 25 teen girls

'Sexual purpose' of violin teacher who touched students'
breasts at heart of appeal

Claude Trachy was acquitted on 51 sexual assault-related charges

Mark Gollom · CBC News 

The Ontario Court of Appeal has reserved its decision on the case of a retired Chatham, Ont., violin teacher who was acquitted last year on 51 sex-related charges involving former female students. (Colin Perkel/The Canadian Press)

When the verdict was rendered, acquitting the former Chatham, Ont., violin teacher of 51 sexual assault-related charges, one of his former students said she was shocked and mortified.

"It felt as though the defendant and his explanation and his motivation were all that mattered, and the impact on the lives of [25] women was disregarded in its entirety," the woman, who can't be identified because of a publication ban on he identity, told reporters on Tuesday.

That's why she, along with other former students of Claude Trachy, 73, were at the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto Tuesday, hoping a three-judge panel will either order a new trial on all charges or convict him on some. At the end of the day, the court reserved its decision without giving any indication of when it expected to rule.

During Trachy's trial in 2018, some of his former female students, now all adults, testified that, as their violin teacher in the 1970s and '80s, he had touched their breasts with his hands; had them remove their blouses and bras and play the violin with their left breasts exposed; and had taken plastic moulds of their left breasts.

Trachy said he had to measure the students in order to fit them for violin shoulder rests. He did not measure his male students or his daughter, who was also a student.

Insists actions not for sexual purpose

He said none of his actions were done for a sexual purpose and denied cupping or rubbing any of the complainants breasts, as some of them alleged.

Justice Thomas Carey accepted Trachy's explanation, and ruled in his favour. Carey said, in essence, that a reasonable observer would not  perceive "a sexual purpose" in Trachy's actions.

I'm not sure what Justice Carey's idea of a 'reasonable observer' is, but it is nothing like mine!

"I'm deeply concerned for young women and young girls ... that we would have judges making decisions, that essentially teachers, whether they they be private teachers or elementary school or high school  teachers, are allowed to remove a young women's clothing and touch her breasts without consent, and saying it's OK because it's for a teaching purpose," the woman at Tuesday's appeal told reporters.

The Crown has appealed Claude Trachy's acquittal, and wants either a new trial on all charges or convictions on some of them. Trachy, 73, retired from teaching violin in 2009. 

The Crown appealed Carey's ruling, arguing he made several errors in law.

Not to mention in judgment!

At the appeals court on Tuesday, Crown attorney John Patton argued that Carey had "brushed over" major evidence, and that he only considered the issue of sexual purpose from Trachy's perspective, and didn't consider the "objective suffering of the complainants, which is required."

Patton told the court that allowing the ruling to stand would set a precedent that "it's OK to touch the naked private parts of your students as long as you and you alone feel it was OK to do so."

But Justice David Doherty challenged Patton's objection over whether a trial judge, as the "trier of fact," can decide that a case comes down to one crucial fact: the purpose of the defendant's actions.

"That's his assessment of this case — that this case, when you look at all of these circumstances, the dealmaker and the dealbreaker is why did he do it," Doherty said.

Yikes! Carey has a soul-mate on the Appeals Court bench. No-one has the right to undress a woman or a girl except an ER doctor. What sense does it make to measure a girl for a shoulder brace without her bra on, when, 99 times out of 100, she's going to wear her bra with the brace. 

I think it's time for a couple of judges to retire.

"Another trier of fact might look at it in a different way, but my question to you is: Is that an error in law for him to say, 'In this case I know there are all these relevant circumstances but this one is the one that for me is the determining factor'?"

'Trier of fact'? Is Trachy's assertion that it wasn't done for a sexual purpose, a fact! I don't think so. Why would they even think to believe this guy? Wouldn't he have wanted the best possible brace for his own daughter, but didn't subject her to undressing and fondling? 

Trachy's lawyer, Matthew Gourley, made a similar point. "Many judges may have not believed the accused's evidence. That's fine." However, he argued, the trial judge in this case did believe him.

He also told the court that the Crown was changing tactic — that in the 2018 trial, it had argued that sexual purpose was a significant factor in deciding the innocence or guilt of Trachy. Now, Gourley said, the Crown was saying sexual purpose made no difference because Trachy was guilty just based on his admitted actions.

'Legally untenable'
"The trial judge was entitled to take sexual purpose as important or not important in his discretion," Gourley said. "The Crown has to demonstrate to you ... that it was legally irrelevant. That position is simply legally untenable."

Justice Mary Lou Benotto, also on the appeals panel, suggested the trial judge was only concerned about the "sexual purpose" of Trachy's actions, and not the "sexual nature."

"He never really addresses what the evidence of the complainants is," she said. "It is very difficult to read this section and not look at the absence of addressing what the complainants said about the conduct."

Trachy retired from teaching violin in 2009.

Controversial schoolbook helped expose
potential child sex abuse in Malta
Times of Malta

One of the more controversial sections of the PSCD workbook. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

A controversial schoolbook that tackles sexual development in young students has already uncovered potential cases of abuse since it was introduced last year, according to the authorities.

The Voyage Continues after Childhood hit national headlines last week when a mother uploaded a video to Facebook raising the alarm about its contentious content.

The parent took issue with the book which she said unnecessarily “sexualised” children by exposing them to gratuitous references to explicit behaviour.

In her video, which has since been widely viewed and shared on social media, the concerned mother takes issue with a section of the book which includes “a conversation between a boy and a girl who look about 11 or 12”.

The video is not in English so is not included here.

“They discuss how the boy feels when they are near each other, how he feels when she is near him and when she is pressing on him, and the same for her. This is what is being taught in Year 6,” she says.

Other sections in the book ask young students to write down how a child their age would feel if they received a photo of another classmate in their underwear, or if an adult were to walk into the bathroom while they were in the shower.

'Potentially serious issues flagged'

Education officer Stephen Camilleri, who co-authored the workbook, told Times of Malta that these were all realities facing children today.

Like it or not, he said, 11-year-old children were potentially being exposed to issues of a sexual nature.

“Children that age do not live in a vacuum. And in fact since its introduction we have had potentially serious issues flagged thanks to these classes,” he said.

Some students, Dr Camilleri said, had told their teachers that they themselves had experienced some of the ‘problem scenarios’ detailed in the workbook.

One of the images in the workbook which asks students to draw a circle around the parts of the body that change through sexual development.

Content based on UN and WHO guidelines

Asked how the course and its content were drafted, Dr Camilleri said it was based on United Nations and World Health Organisation guidelines.

It was also “very similar” to classroom content offered in other EU states to students of the same age.

“These books are not something that we come up with out of the blue. The courses start much earlier than Year 6 and we introduce the subjects gradually, in-line with international best practices,” Dr Camilleri said.

He added that the book, which is used in Personal Social Career Development (PSCD) classes, had been co-authored by another education officer and a local expert in sexual health.

'Diabolical filth'

Meanwhile the irate parent who had taken exception to the book’s content has also appeared on an online political discussion hosted by fringe political group Alleanza Bidla.

On the program, the mother, as well as another parent, describe the book as “diabolical” and “filth”, insisting that they had wanted their children not to sit for the class but had been refused this by their children’s respective schools.

Asked about this, a spokesman for the Education Ministry said the PSCD course was not optional and was based on the principle of inclusive education.

“Our objective is for students from diverse backgrounds all have a sense of inclusion in the classroom,” the spokesman said.

This is a very complex and contentious issue. Certainly some sex education is necessary in order for children to be aware of paedophiles and their heinous tricks. Children in, or approaching their teens, also need to be aware of the possible consequences of sex, ie diseases, pregnancy, psychological changes, possible changes in relationships with each other and with parents and friends.

What children do not need is for diverse expressions of sexuality to be glorified and made to appear normal, or to be invited to experiment. 

Israel's bizarre and absurd extradition hearing
just goes on and on and on

Leifer defence prevents cross-examination in 52nd hearing
Tessa Fox

An Israeli court has told the prosecution in the ongoing case of alleged child sex offender Malka Leifer it has one day to decide whether to accept written testimony from defence witnesses or whether it wishes to cross-examine them.

In a hearing to determine if the former Melbourne Jewish girls' school principal is fit to stand extradition trial, the defence has requested their witnesses not be cross-examined.

Wednesday's court hearing follows from a decision three days ago to deny prosecution witnesses court time.

The witnesses presented were from a private investigation into Leifer's mental health, carried out in 2017, which collected evidence she was living a normal life.

This evidence is contrary to the defence's claim she is mentally unfit to stand extradition trial and face the 74 charges of child sex abuse and rape waiting for her in Australia.

Manny Waks, the Chief Executive Director of Kol V'oz, an NGO preventing child sex abuse in the Jewish community, described Wednesday's court hearing as chaotic, referring to the defence lawyers yelling at the judge and prosecution, and scrambling for any way to extend the court process further.

"Today's hearing, number 52 in total, was symptomatic of what we have witnessed to date ... only this time the judge was clearly frustrated and repeatedly attempted to regain control of the situation, with mixed results," Waks told AAP following the hearing.

The defence continued to argue that the interpretation of the private investigation was "wrong" and they believe the conclusions drawn were taken out of context or based on a particular time when Leifer was feeling 'well.'

"I suspect that [the defence] would want the additional witnesses to say 'we've seen her, she's crazy, she's lying down most of the time," Waks said.

The defence witnesses are Leifer's brother, sister and a neighbour.

If the prosecution agrees to accept a written testimony from the defence witnesses, prosecutors will have 30 days to write a concluding argument.

They should never agree to that, and the judge should get control of this courtroom and dismiss unruly lawyers. There is so much corruption and interference in this case it's become a joke, a sad, sick joke, and a very sorry commentary on Israel's justice system.

Finland man convicted in child sexual abuse case

A 39-year-old man from Mikkeli has been sentenced to four years in prison sentence for the sexual abuse of a minor.

The South Savo District Court building. Image: Inka Hannonen / Yle

The defendant in the case was convicted and sentenced in the South Savo District Court on Tuesday on charges of the aggravated sexual abuse of a minor over an eight-year period.

At the time of the repeated offenses, the child victim was between the ages of 5-13.

According to the court, the abuse involved touching the child's intimate areas and acts classed under law as sexual intercourse.

In addition to the prison sentence, the defendant was ordered to pay the victim damages totaling 14,000 euros.

The court ordered that the transcripts of the trial proceedings remain sealed until 2079.

4 years for 8 years of child sex abuse and what should be called rape! And the child was 5 when it started! The victim will probably still be a minor when the pervert gets out. How fair is that?

Police watchdog's update on investigation into South Yorkshire Police's response to child sex abuse in Rotherham
Yorkshire Post

The police watchdog investigating South Yorkshire Police's response to historic child sexual abuse in Rotherham has said its investigation is nearly complete.

Of the 91 independent investigations that form part of the Independent Office for Police Conduct's (IOPC) Operation Linden, 64 investigations – more than 70 per cent – are now complete.

The next step is for the IOPC to share all of the completed investigation reports with South Yorkshire Police for their comment.

The 27 ongoing investigations include the investigation the IOPC began last July into allegations that senior officers failed in their statutory duty to protect children between 1999 and 2011.

An IOPC spokesman said: "We continue to analyse the evidence we have gathered so far about the actions carried out by the senior command team, after allegations they received reports highlighting child sexual abuse was being carried out in Rotherham.

"At this stage, we haven’t served any current or former officers with notices that their conduct is under investigation, and our enquiries continue."

Director for Major Investigations Steve Noonan said Operation Linden continues to make good progress.

He said: "This operation is unprecedented in terms of size, scope and sensitivity and we still continue to receive referrals of complaints made by survivors. I would like to thank all those involved, especially the survivors of the horrific abuse they suffered, for their patience and understanding while we finalise our investigations.

“To protect the integrity of this operation, and due to its sensitivities, we will not provide ongoing comment about the progress of each individual investigation, or any potential conduct matters. However, the people directly affected by our investigations are kept regularly updated. At the appropriate time, we will produce an over-arching report that pulls together all of the findings, outcomes and learning from Operation Linden.

“Our ultimate aim is to ensure that all those affected can be confident that their complaints have been comprehensively investigated, and for South Yorkshire Police and indeed all forces across the country to learn from our findings.”

Operation Linden is the second largest independent investigation ever conducted by the IOPC, the largest being the Hillsborough investigation.

Currently 13 officers remain under investigation, however this figure will continue to fluctuate as we progress our investigations.

The evidence being compiled and reviewed by the Operation Linden team dates back as far as the early 1990s and so far, the team has reviewed 19,345 documents; logged 1,334 exhibits, and processed 838 statements.

Neo-Nazi pedophile who plotted to kill Labour MP with machete, jailed for life

(L) Jack Renshaw © Greater Manchester Police (R) Labour MP Rosie Cooper © parliament.co.uk

A convicted pedophile and former member of the neo-Nazi terrorist group National Action, who plotted to stab to death a UK Labour politician with a machete, has been sentenced to life in prison.

Jack Renshaw, 23, from Skelmersdale in Lancashire was handed a minimum sentence of 20 years at the Old Bailey in London on Friday for planning the murder (7th story on link) of Labour MP for West Lancashire, Rosie Cooper.

In a victim impact statement, Rosie Cooper MP said: “To be informed that a stranger wished to decapitate you...is something out of a horror movie, not life as I know it.”

Renshaw gave a Hitler salute as he was sent down, with his supporters in the public gallery shouting “we're with you Jack” as he was led to the cells, local media reports.

Sentencing Renshaw, Justice McGowan said: “Your perverted view of history and current politics has caused you to believe it right to demonise groups simply because they are different from you.”

The 19-inch Gladius machete Renshaw bought to kill Rosie Cooper MP with © Greater Manchester Police

Renshaw was foiled by whistleblower Robbie Mullen, from Widnes, Cheshire who was in the same pub when he hatched his chilling plans in July 2017. He told fellow extremists of his plan to take hostages in a pub after the murder of the MP and lure police detective, Victoria Henderson, who investigated him for child sex offenses – and kill her too.

Renshaw was jailed for 16 months in June 2018 after he groomed two underage boys online.

Keyboard predators: Southeast Asia's kids targeted by online pedophiles

Technology is shifting the patterns of abuse in a region with growing access to broadband internet and encrypted technology

Agence France-Presse

BANGKOK, Thailand – Southeast Asia is in the grip of a fresh surge of paedophile activity with predators orchestrating and watching abuse on live-streaming sites and via webcams, and paying for it with near-untraceable cryptocurrency, victims and children's charities warn.

With widespread poverty, lax laws, and creaking judicial systems, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and the Philippines have long been seen as soft spots by foreign and local pedophiles seeking out underage sex in person.

Tougher policing and greater awareness has deterred some offenders, but technology has shifted the patterns of abuse in a region with growing access to broadband internet and encrypted technology.

Pedophiles can now use an array of mobile and online tools – including social networks, video-sharing sites, and the dark web – to direct and watch child rape and sexual abuse with anonymity, experts warn.

"Predators watch the rapes on large platforms that are not likely to close," said François Xavier Souchet, of Thai-based NGO Terre des Hommes.

"It's live, nothing is recorded... everything is encrypted. They pay more and more in Bitcoins, encrypted money makes their transactions as secure as possible," he added.

This week online giants including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are giving evidence to the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA), which is being held in London and will look at how to prevent online sex crimes as part of its remit.

'I want to die'

Demand for child sexual abuse via webcam is an increasing cause of human trafficking, according to a UN report, with suggestions Thailand has become a hub in the trade, as well as the Philippines.

Cassie, a Filipina victim, said she was just 12 when she was forced to commit sexual acts – both with an adult man and alone – in front of a webcam.

She moved to Manila to work as a maid but was exploited by her mother's employer. The torment went on for five years.

She said "I felt trapped, betrayed and alone. I was thinking, 'I want to die, I want to die because of this pain, but I can't'."

Her abuser received a two year jail term in 2017. And, no doubt, is already back at work raping more children for money.

Last month, advocacy and legal aid group International Justice Mission (IJM) warned Philippine children were at risk of being forced into live streamed sex abuse, where paedophiles pay to direct so-called "shows" online.

"Easy access to the web and money transfer services make the country a global hotspot for this problem," said IJM, noting that it is often parents or family members that organise or even commit the abuse.

Terre des Hommes drew attention to the problem using a computer-generated girl nicknamed "Sweetie" that hung out in chatrooms and was approached by about 20,000 people – mostly men – in a matter of weeks.

Last year a report by the Internet Watch Foundation found online child abuse imagery had increased by a third in 2017.

Death penalty

In March, a teacher was arrested and charged in his native France with rape, abuse of minors and possession of child pornography.

The 51-year-old, who worked in schools in Asia, is alleged to have befriended kids in a working-class Bangkok neighborhood before building a rapport on social networks, police sources told AFP.

The same month, prosecutors charged another Frenchman with ordering videos of rape and sexual assaults of Filipino children.

The suspect, a 55-year-old former police officer, was arrested after a seizure of computers and live-streaming equipment in the Philippines.

In late April, former British Army officer Andrew Whiddett, 70, was found guilty by a London court of spending thousands of pounds paying for live-streamed sexual abuse of children from the Philippines.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) estimates 80,000 people in the UK present some kind of sexual threat to children online.

The cyber-abuse phenomenon is reaching "Cambodia and Vietnam", warned Damian Kean, of the Thai-based NGO ECPAT, which specialises in combating the sexual exploitation of children.

In hyperconnected Vietnam, foreign pedophiles are increasingly targeting young victims online, often on social media.

The communist state last year instated harsher penalties to combat the crime -- anyone guilty of molesting a child under 16 faces 12 years in prison, while child rape comes with a maximum sentence of death.

But catching a pedophile requires help from the communities within which they operate - communities which are often marginalised, poor and mistrustful.

Souchet of Terre des Hommes explained: "Particularly ethnic minority communities across the region do not trust local authorities."

It sounds crazy, but I am inclined to believe 3rd world countries should go completely offline - at least for homes and small businesses, or risk losing a generation to the devastating trauma of child sex abuse.

Former B.C. polygamous leader found guilty
in child-bride case

James Oler guilty of taking a 15-year-old girl
across the US border for a sexual purpose
The Canadian Press

James Oler was acquitted in 2017, but the B.C. Court of Appeal ordered a new trial.
(Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

A former leader of a fundamentalist Christian (Mormon) sect that practises polygamy in Bountiful, B.C., has been found guilty of removing an underage girl from Canada to be married in the United States.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin says it's reasonable to believe that James Oler knew the 15-year-old girl would be subject to sexual activity when he arranged her marriage to an older member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Oler was acquitted in 2017 by a judge who was not convinced Oler did anything within Canada's borders to arrange the girl's transfer to the U.S.

But the B.C. Court of Appeal overturned the decision, saying that proof of wrongdoing in Canada was not necessary, and ordered a new trial.

Oler was self-represented and did not call any witnesses or make a case in his defence during the retrial.

Lawyer Joe Doyle, who is serving as a friend of the court to ensure a fair trial, argued that a four-day gap in the whereabouts of the 15-year-old girl is enough to dispute whether she was removed from Canada in 2004.

A special prosecutor argued Oler should have known the girl would be subject to sexual activity following her marriage based on the nature of church doctrine and the disempowered role of women in the faith.

Notorious Canadian paedophile allowed to have an online profile to connect with outsiders

'Absolutely disgusting:' Victim concerned about pedophile's online profile

Stephanie Taylor · The Canadian Press 

Sex offender Peter Whitmore leaves Court of Queen's Bench on July 23, 2007 in Regina, Sask. after
pleading guilty to abducting and sexually assaulting a Saskatchewan boy and a Manitoba teenager.
(Troy Fleece/The Canadian Press)

A Saskatchewan man who was the victim of a notorious pedophile says it's disgusting and a risk to the public that his abuser has a profile on a pen-pal website for inmates.   

Zach Miller, now 24, was 10 years old when he was abducted and sexually assaulted by Peter Whitmore in 2006. 

Whitmore already had a record as a prolific sex offender who posed a high risk to reoffend when he kidnapped Miller and a 14-year-old boy from Manitoba. 

He locked them in an abandoned farm house near Kipling, Sask., for two days and abused them repeatedly before he was arrested following a police standoff.   

Whitmore is serving a life sentence.   

The post on Canadian Inmates Connect says Whitmore is lonely, has cancer and is seeking friendship. "I am a very caring and loving person who cannot begin to describe my loneliness. I hope you will take the time and get to know me and allow me the privilege of getting to know you," the post reads. "I will never be released ... this is by my choice." 

Miller, who had a publication ban lifted on his name in 2015 so he could share his story, thinks Whitmore is being manipulative.   

"Every time he comes up, he's trying to make people forget that he's a bad guy ... I'm frankly getting tired of it," Miller said. "It's absolutely disgusting. Why are we letting someone like this talk to people out there? You don't know who he's going to be talking to. You don't know who's going to talk to him." 

Zach Miller was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by Peter Whitmore in 2006, when he was 10. (CBC)

A spokesperson for Child Find Saskatchewan said the agency is concerned because the post does not include information about Whitmore's pedophilia.   

The profile says the 48-year-old is behind bars for kidnapping and sexual assault. It says he is 14 years into his sentence at the Bath Institution, a medium-security facility in Ontario. 

"On a human level ... who would want to correspond with somebody who has been incarcerated for 20 years for being a pedophile and victimizing numerous children?" asked Child Find's Sue Ramsay. 

Court documents filed as part of Whitmore's past cases outline how prison psychologists have characterized him as a manipulative liar, unwilling to admit that he'd ever harmed anyone.   

Miller said he understands prisoners have a right to communication, but he wants websites to vet users to ensure offenders who have a history of preying on the vulnerable are not welcome. 

The profile lists Whitmore's hobbies as playing video games and collecting photographs of people, castles and homes from the Victorian era. "I have numerous health problems, including leukemia. I use a walker for stable mobility due to problems with my legs and feet due to diabetes," the profile says.

The farmhouse where Peter Whitmore held two boys captive near Kipling was burnt down by the movie crew. Townsfolk gathered to see it destroyed. (Troy Fleece/The Canadian Press)

Although many inmates on the site are listed as single and interested in forming relationships with women, Whitmore's profile says he's looking for "long-lasting friendship" with men and women. 

Melissa Fazzina of Toronto runs Canadian Inmates Connect and said she understands some victims may be upset to read an offender's profile. She charges inmates $35 for an annual membership to the site.

While she requires prisoners to be honest about their convictions, their profiles don't list specifics of their crimes, she said. "If you want all the details, you have to Google them or ask them."   

Fazzina, a woman and a mother, said crimes such as Whitmore's don't sit well with her. "It comes down to it's a human right for anybody who's incarcerated, regardless of what they're in prison for, it's a human right for them to join the website and correspond with people who want to correspond with them." 

Catherine Latimer, executive director of the John Howard Society, says child-sex offenders have a tough time in prison and are often isolated. She believes it's important for them to have relationships with people other than criminals. "You want them to have some pro-social, non-criminal contacts and to reinforce that pro-social way of living," she said.

In a statement, Correctional Service Canada noted that inmates' incoming and outgoing mail is opened and searched to ensure it is free of contraband. 

Whitmore isn't the only infamous criminal to post a profile on the website.   

Justin Bourque, who shot dead three Mounties in Moncton, N.B., in 2014, described himself in a profile as "a blue-collar dude with a passion for music."   

Luka Magnotta, who killed and dismembered a university student in Montreal in 2012, had a profile that said he was looking for his "prince charming."

Revealed: scale of police sexual abuse claims in England and Wales - nearly 1,500 over six years
Chaminda Jayanetti
The Guardian

A police passing out ceremony in London. There were 63 dismissals, retirements or resignations after complaints of sexual misconduct against the Metropolitan Police from 2012-18. Photograph: Rex Features

Nearly 1,500 accusations of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, exploitation of crime victims and child abuse, have been made against police officers in England and Wales over six years, the Observer can reveal.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 1,491 complaints were filed against police officers, special constables and police community support officers (PCSOs) across 33 forces in England and Wales between 2012 and 2017, or 2018 in the case of the Metropolitan Police in London, which took a year to respond to the FOI request by the Observer.

Of these cases, 371 were upheld, resulting in the sacking or resignation of 197 officers, special constables and PCSOs. Ten police forces did not provide data.

Derrick Campbell, regional director of the Independent Office for Police Conduct, told the Observer in a statement: “Police personnel who abuse their position for sexual purpose have no place in policing, and we are aware from our own research that this is one of the top areas of police conduct that concerns the general public.

“We are working hard to ensure police forces refer all allegations of abuse of position for sexual purpose to us, and we will continue to provide guidance and knowledge to help identify this abuse of trust as early as possible.”

The “upheld” cases are those where the investigating force has decided based on the evidence that there is a case to answer. It does not automatically mean that the accusation has been proved in its entirety – but only a handful of such cases end without disciplinary action or the accused resigning from the force.

The largest force, the Met, accounts for 594 complaints, of which 119 were upheld, leading to 63 dismissals, retirements and resignations. Greater Manchester Police received 97 complaints, of which 16 were upheld, triggering seven departures from the force. Devon and Cornwall Police upheld 26 of 77 complaints, with 14 defendants leaving the force as a result.

Many police forces have been forced to take action against officers accused of abusing their power to develop sexual relationships with vulnerable people and victims of crime. The Observer has identified such cases at Greater Manchester, Gwent, West Mercia, Durham, and Devon and Cornwall forces, as well as the Met.

An officer in Durham resigned after being accused of abusing his position when attending incidents to try to develop intimate relationships with vulnerable members of the public, while a Devon and Cornwall officer was dismissed following accusations he attended a victim’s address, stripped off uninvited, and joined the victim in the shower.

A Met officer was dismissed after a rape victim complained that the appointed investigating officer in her case “took advantage of her vulnerability and had sex with her on two occasions and sexual contact on others, while still the officer in the case”. Another Met officer was dismissed following allegations of a sexual relationship with a resident of a women’s refuge.

And paedophiles too

Special constables resigned in both Northumbria and Greater Manchester over allegations of child abuse, while a Greater Manchester officer was dismissed over an “alleged physical relationship with a young person”.

In the Met, 27 officers, special constables and PCSOs had cases upheld against them relating to allegations of downloading indecent images of children, online grooming, and rape of under-16s. All resigned, retired or were dismissed.

The figures also show evidence of a sexist culture among some officers, with numerous complaints by colleagues of sexual harassment and sexual assault. One Met officer resigned after being accused of sexually assaulting two female colleagues at a work-related function. The description of another case affecting the Met states: “It is alleged that the officer stated to a colleague he has had a cast made of his penis and that multiple dildos have been made from the cast. He is alleged to have asked the officer if she would like one herself.” The accused officer quit the force.

Another Met officer was dismissed after putting his tongue in the ear of two females on the civilian police staff. A survey published last year of nearly 1,800 Unison members working as civilian police staff found that 12% had witnessed or been the subject of unwelcome touching, kissing or hugging.

A Unison spokesman said: “Employees who witness or experience this behaviour need reassurance they will be listened to, and believed, and effective action will be taken to end the harassment.”

The Observer’s data covers two kinds of complaints procedure – public complaints and internal conduct matters. Internal conduct matters are those raised by members of the police against their colleagues.

Internal conduct matters relating to forms of sexual misconduct are much likelier to be upheld than public complaints. Of 663 public complaints relating to sexual misconduct, only 62 were upheld. By contrast, 310 of the 829 internal conduct matters were upheld – nearly 40%.

This may be because police complainants understand the process and required evidence better than public complainants, as well as the chance of vexatious or malicious public complaints being filed – although officials insist all complaints are investigated thoroughly.

However, once upheld, public complaints are likelier than internal conduct matters to result in the departure of the accused police officer – be it through dismissal, resignation or retirement. Two-thirds of upheld public complaints resulted in the officer’s departure, compared with half of upheld internal conduct matters.

Rule changes in December 2017 mean that officers can now be found guilty of misconduct even if they resign or retire first, ensuring they can be added to the official Barred List to prevent their re-employment by the police.

A National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) spokesman said: “When police officers or staff abuse their position for a sexual purpose, such behaviour represents a fundamental betrayal of the public and our code of ethics Sexual harassment in the workplace is similarly corrosive.”

In 2017 all police forces signed up to a plan to clamp down on police officers and staff abusing their power for sexual purposes, and this year the NPCC will release a plan focused on sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Met said: “Sexual misconduct and abuse of authority for sexual purpose will not be tolerated in the Metropolitan Police service, and its prevention and reduction are priorities for us. Expectations, advice and guidance have been, and continue to be, publicised within the service and victims are encouraged to come forward.”

'Anybody awkward was put somewhere. Ireland was closed, defensive, xenophobic'

Ten years ago, Seán Ryan’s definitive report
shed light on some of Ireland’s darkest secrets
Patsy McGarry

One of the things that stuck Mr Justice Seán Ryan’s mind during the years when the commission heard evidence was the extraordinary number of people held in institutions over those decades in Ireland. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

Preparing to publish his investigation into Ireland’s religious-run residential institutions 10 years ago this month, Mr Justice Seán Ryan knew that he and his team had lived and breathed the subject. He had done so for six years. Others on the team had done so for much longer

However, none of them knew how the final report of the Commission To Inquire Into Child Abuse document would be received. “Frankly no,” he says this week in his Dublin home, “[it was] certainly eerie for a while”. Then the Sisters of Mercy came out and publicly accepted the report’s findings.

Others followed, even if it “took some time”, he adds. “It was only really then I began to realise what we had been doing and just how much we’d all been tied up in it.”

The document attracted global headlines, described by Mary Raftery in The Irish Times as “ a monument to the shameful nature of Irish society throughout most of the decades of the 20th century, and arguably even today”.

Looking back, the Christian Brothers-educated judge believes cruel residential institutions existed in Ireland for so long as they did because the State was in thrall to the Catholic Church.

The 2,600 page report, published a decade ago next Monday, investigated 215 institutions which saw 170,000 under the age of 16 go through their hands between 1922 and the early 1970s.

The commission, which was established in 2000, found that children had suffered neglect, physical and emotional abuse, while sexual abuse was endemic in all boys’ institutions.

“When the State was founded, 1922, you removed one element, namely the British influence, that was not in thrall to the church and the vacuum was filled by the church,” says Ryan.

“My sense is that the Catholic Church, and it’s easy to blame the Catholic Church for everything, my sense is that [their] attitude was, “this is our responsibility, we own this, butt out. But in a sense the State is us because the civil servants are all sorts of Catholic Christian Brothers’ boys, everything else and so on. And the bishop. The politicians are scared out of their wits. Nobody is going to challenge the church and the church owns the system.”

In a lengthy interview with The Irish Times he says a lesson from all that is, “who owns the system? You could say the same about the health service, education, anything you like – who owns it? The State technically had the legislative capacity to affect things but the relevant people could say, ‘oh, no you don’t’.”

In Britain all such big institutions for children were replaced with smaller homes in the 1920s.

In fairness to the Irish State, Ryan recalls how in the 1930s it “set up the Cussen Commission. It looked into the Artane boys’ home and the 800 young boys held within its walls.

“The Christian Brothers made a big submission to them. ‘How dare they?’ There were ‘alien influences’ and so on, an ‘alien and the native thing ’, a real pulling out of all the stops,” he says.

Nevertheless “the Cussen Commission recommended in 1936 that Artane be divided into four in the belief, naive in my opinion, that 200 was a reasonable number. But whatever about 200, 800 was monstrous; 800 suited the Christian Brothers – there was a huge income from it.”

It was “hugely” profitable, says Ryan, who was educated by the Christian Brothers in the O’Connell Secondary School on North Richmond Street in Dublin’s north inner city.

One of the things that stuck in his mind during the years when the commission heard evidence was the extraordinary number of people held in institutions over those decades in Ireland.

Ireland was 'closed, defensive, nationalistic, xenophobic'. 
There was 'Radio Éireann, that was it . . .'

“[It was] an astonishing percentage of the adult population. If you include in it the number of religious serving in the institutions, the number of nuns enclosed and not enclosed orders, the number of priests and Brothers and religious and the number of people, children, old, young.”

Then, of course, there were “psychiatric institutions. I mean anybody awkward was put somewhere.” Ireland was “closed, defensive, nationalistic, xenophobic”. There was “Radio Éireann, that was it. Look at the situation: extreme poverty, no jobs, no prospects, contraception unlawful, sex for procreation only, desertion among poor people widespread. A fella gets fed up of all this, he had no job and he goes to England. There were no children’s allowances until sometime in the 1940s, so the depths of need and sheer total deprivation; censorship, you couldn’t buy a book”

As to the report’s significance? He says “I think for an official report to endeavour to assess a whole system of dealing with children – that was very unusual, if not the first. And to do it on a national scale, to try to reach clear conclusions based on our evidence. The very fact that we were doing that, the very fact that the government set that up as a commission and that it followed the taoiseach’s public apology, they were the unusual features. That was already suggesting a sea change. I think it reflected it; it may have assisted it.”

Concerning the current controversy over access to documents generated by the commission, he believes there are “issues of considerable legal complexity” involved.

The Government is proposing to transfer to the national archives the more than two million documents from the commission, the Residential Institutions Redress Board and the Residential Institutions Redress Review Committee and that these be sealed for 75 years.

The Retention of Records Bill 2019 will allow for a review of the timeline on releasing the files 25 years after it becomes law.

The material will reveal the names of the survivors
who participated in the commission’s work

Ryan says survivors “gave their evidence [to the commission] on the basis of the 2000 and 2005 legislation. That has, as far as possible, [provided] absolute protection for confidential committee material and as for the investigation committee there is a prohibition in legislation from revealing not only the identity of an alleged abuser described in the private hearings but on giving information that might lead to the identification of that person.

“That’s a problem. The material will reveal the names of the survivors who participated in the commission’s work.”

He adds that “from the congregations’ point of view, they will contend that the materials that are not in the report are allegations that may or may not have been proven. What was proven and the way it was proven is the way it’s set out in the report. And that was the original intention of the legislation.

“So there could be issues, and as a lawyer, leaving aside any view I may have, I have to acknowledge that there are issues of considerable legal complexity in trying to resolve either of those interests.”

Colonia Dignidad: Germany to compensate
Chile commune victims

Colonia Dignidad was built to resemble a Bavarian village but the reality was very different

Germany will pay compensation of up to €10,000 (£8,700; $11,000) to victims of a notorious and abusive commune in southern Chile.

Colonia Dignidad was founded by former Nazi soldier Paul Schäfer in 1961.

The commune, which was located 350km (220 miles) south of Santiago, was run as a secretive cult and dozens of children were sexually abused there.

Hundreds of German and Chilean survivors will now be eligible for compensation.

The decision to pay the victims was made by a government commission in Berlin on Friday. A fund of €3.5m will be set aside to do so.

It comes a week after prosecutors dropped their investigation into a German doctor who worked at the commune. A court in Chile had found Hartmut Hopp guilty of complicity in child sex abuse committed by Schäfer, but he fled to Germany before he could be jailed.

German prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to uphold the ruling.

This must have been on an appeal. In 2017 his Chilean sentence was upheld (7th story on link)  in a court in Krefeld, and he was sentenced to 5 years and a day.

What was Colonia Dignidad?

Colonia Dignidad was a colony set up by Schäfer in the remote Maule area.

He ran it as a secretive cult with members living as virtual slaves and prevented from leaving by armed guards with dogs.

At its peak, 300 Germans and Chileans were living in the 137 sq km (53 sq mile) compound surrounded by wire fencing and overlooked by a watchtower with searchlights.

Children were forced to live separately from their parents and dozens were sexually abused by Schäfer.

What else happened there?

It was not just members of Schäfer's sect who suffered abuse.

Under the military rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet, Colonia Dignidad became a clandestine detention centre. About 300 opponents of the regime were interrogated and tortured in its underground tunnels both by members of the Chilean secret police and Schäfer's associates.

At least 100 people are thought to have been murdered there. One of those believed to have been killed at the site is US academic Boris Weisfeiler, who went hiking in Chile in 1984.

In its report, released on Friday, the German commission said Schäfer "tore families apart, abused countless children and actively collaborated with Pinochet dictatorship henchmen on torture, murder and disappearances.

"The survivors still suffer massively from the severe psychological and physical consequences after years of harm caused by violence, abuse, exploitation and slave labour," the report read.

The compensation would be paid "exclusively out of moral responsibility and without recognition of a legal obligation," it added.

Schäfer fled Chile in 1997 while facing a number of lawsuits over the sexual abuse of children. He was arrested in Argentina in 2005 and convicted of serial paedophilia.

He died in prison aged 88 in 2010.

Colonia Dignidad changed its name to Villa Baviera in 1991 and has become a tourist resort with a German-themed restaurant and hotel. More than 100 people, many of them former members of the commune, live at the site with many saying it is the only home they have ever known.

Colonia Dignidad / Villa Baviera, Chile

What happens to aboriginal victims when
Alberta child services fail?

APTN Investigates, National News | by Chris Stewart | 

Editor’s note: The story below contains some graphic descriptions of sexual abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

The Alberta government is in court fighting a claim for compensation brought forward on behalf of thousands of mostly Indigenous people who claim they were abused either sexually, physically or emotionally while under the protection of Child Services.

People like Steven Morin and Clinton John Marty.

Steven Morin talking to APTN Investigates Journalist Chris Stewart about his abuse while in foster care

Morin says that while it’s not easy, he is telling his story in hopes that he can prevent more instances of abuse in the future.

He was just five years old when his foster mother’s boyfriend began sexually assaulting him. The abuse continued for five years. He says he was assaulted almost every week.

A young Steven Morin in happier times

He started misbehaving and was taken out of the home. But not before he was threatened by his long time assailant.

“The last time I seen him in person, he told me in the shower as he was doing his last . . . his last . . . whatever you want to call it on me. After he was done, he told me. This will be forever engraved into my memory. And I quote, “If you ever tell anyone about the things I have done to you . . . I will find you and I will kill you,” Morin told APTN Investigates.

He says he told a group home about the abuse when he was 12 years old. “They ended up getting some investigators. Nothing was done about it. It was a waste of time.”

Morin left the child welfare system at age 16. He couch surfed on his home territory, Enoch Cree Nation, just West of Edmonton.

One day he saw the face of the man in the newspaper and on the local news. John Edward Beaver was wanted in connection with over a dozen charges of sexual assault.

“I don’t know why I couldn’t look away from his photo. I had to look at his photo. I still don’t know why I had to look at his photo. And I remember waiting the next day. Did they find him yet? I remember on the fifth or sixth day, they ended up finding him. I was like ‘wow!’ The relief . . .” Morin recalled.

John Edward Beaver was charged with more than a dozen counts of sexual assault. But he would never stand trial for those charges. He died in his sleep in 2014.

John Edward Beaver died before facing over a dozen sexual assault charges, including sexually assaulting Steven Morin

Court records show a conviction for child pornography where he was sentenced to six months prison in 1999. With that conviction, he should have not been allowed to be in the same house with a five-year-old.

Morin received a $35,000 dollar injury claim from an Alberta government fund for victims of crime. He says he was too young and foolish when he received the money. One month later, it was all gone.

He spent it on alcohol and hard drugs to help numb the pain.

“In 2015, I really fell off and I went straight downhill. I went through a really bad breakup and I started using more than just cocaine. I was using meth. I was using heroin. Smoking it. I was drinking.”

Clinton John Marty lives with his wife on the Elizabeth Metis Settlement, south of Cold Lake, Alberta.

He and his brother were put into a Catholic home in Edmonton.

“At eight years old there was a sister there. I’m not going to name her name. She might still be alive today. She did select some of the older boys to come into her room. And there they would select a little boy to go in and have oral sex with them. And once we were done, we were brought back to our bed, and told not to say anything,” Marty said.

Clinton Marty says he was sexually abused while in a Catholic Home. He says the child welfare system failed him.

He said he reported the abuse to the social workers there. But, he added, “nine of out ten times, you were labelled as a troubled kid if you talked about it.”

Marty says his own father abused him and his mother informed Alberta Child Protection not to give Marty and his brother to their father. They did anyway.

“Child welfare placed us, not once but twice. And he abused us sexually, physically, and very emotionally. And he was charged for that. And he never faced the charges because he committed suicide so he didn’t have to. So we lived with that as well.”

When Marty was 12 years old, he and his brother were given back to their mother. That is very rare in cases where the government has a permanent guardianship order.

The two brothers began to fight.

“We were both very violent towards each other because of the way things were in the homes. And I had kicked my brother in the side of my head. My Mother screams out, ‘Oh my God, What has happened to my boys?’ And I can remember clear as day looking at her and saying those boys are gone a long time ago. This is what they created,” he said.

A young Clinton John Marty

Like Steven Morin, Clinton John Marty was changed forever. Marty can’t hold down a job. He only completed Grade 5. He has nightmares. He was diagnosed with Severe Childhood Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“There are nights where I sleep two-and-a-half hours a night. When I close my eyes, it’s flashbacks. It’s nightmares. I’m unreliable. Without my wife, who has looked after me for all these years, I probably would have been dead a long time ago,” Marty told APTN Investigates.

Lawyer Robert Lee has two class action lawsuits ongoing against the province of Alberta. He has been working to get compensation for victims of the child welfare system for 20 years.

“They shouldn’t be living in poverty,” Lee said. “They shouldn’t be living in circumstances where they have to choose between paying rent instead of buying food.”

Steven Morin has not yet joined in one of the class actions but he is considering suing the Alberta government. He has talked to Lee several times.

“As a five to nine year old, and so he told the child welfare system, this horrible thing, the most horrible thing that could happen to a child, has happened to me. And he gets no help. He goes to the system that put him there and says, you did this to me. Now help me. I’m broken. Now fix me. And they do nothing,” the lawyer said.

Lee said the provincial government is fighting him every step of the way.

“And what I thought would take six months is going to take two years. And so my clients can’t afford to pay a lawyer. I can’t afford to work for free. And that is the dilemma. If you want to go through our legal system, you better have money. And so if you don’t have money to pay for a lawyer, you are just out of luck. And that is wrong.”

Clinton Marty has not had an easy life. But he and his wife have raised four children. He says he quit drinking when they were young. He wanted to be a better parent than his were.

Good for you, Clinton. Stopping the cycle of abuse in your family. God bless you.

“To know that I’ve been with the same woman since I’ve been 16 years old. And that we made a beautiful family together, in spite of everything. I know I’ve set my children up to never ever have to experience what I’ve been through. To let them know the things I went through. I could have brought that upon them. But I didn’t. And I did it for my family, and to make sure the cycle breaks. You can’t have a repetitive cycle of abuse. Alcoholism, drug addiction. It can’t continue. Someone has to be the one to step up and say enough is enough,” Marty said.

Clinton and his wife Carrie Lynn reminisce over old family photos

As for Steven Morin, he is almost finished writing a book on his life. He says it helps him heal.

He has started a non-profit business called the Indigenous Children’s Mentoring Society. He want to offer a mentorship program to Indigenous children, similar to Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He is starting in his home community of Enoch First Nation. He is looking forward to starting his own family.

Steven Morin speaking at his event December 2018 called Breaking the Chains. The event was in support of victims of abuse

“I will someday, hopefully, make that family for myself. I can be the father and the parent I never got to have. I can teach my future daughter or son that I wasn’t able to teach. Like how to tie your shoe. How to swing on a swing. I’m loving life right now.

“This is healing — the next step on my healing journey. And I hope I can help others heal while I’m at it.”

Excellent! Well done Steven.

Video of B.C. Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire


A video of a Mountie interrogating a young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse in B.C. foster care drives home in a “visceral way” a reality that Canadians should be shocked by and one that they need to see, former Truth and Reconciliation commissioner Murray Sinclair said Friday.

The 2012 video was released publicly by APTN this week as a result of a court proceeding and has prompted political reaction, including from Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, who called its contents “absolutely abhorrent.”

In the video, the officer can be heard asking her questions, including whether she was “at all turned on … even a little bit” during the abuse she is describing.

The young woman replies that she was not, adding she was ”really scared.”

The apparent attitudes and techniques on display in the video were profoundly outdated, offensive and wrong, Goodale added, stressing the RCMP and all police forces must work continuously to conduct themselves appropriately.

In an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, where Manitoba’s first Aboriginal judge is now a senator, Sinclair said Friday that Canadians have been told over many years that this type of treatment continues but he’s not sure they believe it.

Any parent would be very quick to complain to the supervising officers over that interrogation, Sinclair said, noting the young woman was not an accused person and should have been treated more carefully and respectfully.

“I appreciate that there are many out there, perhaps, who say that we could make the point without people seeing the video — but we do make the point without videos like that,” Sinclair said.

“I don’t think people believe us until they see it … That’s what the official RCMP position is, that we don’t mistreat witnesses, particularly sexual-assault victims.”

Canadians want to have faith, confidence and trust in police agencies and officers, Sinclair added.

“When they see that, it should shock them,” he said. ”It should cause them to question the integrity of what it is they are being told by those agencies of policing and it should cause them to be more supportive of those who say that police officers need more oversight.”

Policing is expected to be a key theme in the upcoming report by a federal commission on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. It is scheduled to be released in Gatineau, Que. on June 3.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard that the vast majority of Indigenous women who had been sexually victimized in residential schools felt they were not believed if they spoke to police, Sinclair said.

“They were of the view that not only did the officer not believe them but that he — and it was almost always a male — was disrespectful towards them,” he said.

“As a result, I expect that the same kind of evidence would have come out at the hearings of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls inquiry and so I would not be surprised that they highlight that fact again in their report.”

The video’s release also highlighted the issue of sexual abuse suffered by young people, particularly Indigenous girls, in the foster-care system.

In 2016, B.C.’s then child representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond produced a report documenting that at least 109 girls were the victims of sexualized violence while in government foster care and that 74 of them were Indigenous. The case of the teen in the 2012 recording was among them.

On Thursday, she said the video is far from an isolated case, noting that provincial and federal politicians know well there has been “major difficulty” with this issue for some time.

“The heinous way in which this young person was treated, being alone in an interrogation room, being treated as though she was a criminal, not a victim, and also the poor training, the suggestion that somehow a victim of sexualized violence is enjoying the sexualized violence, this is so fundamentally offensive but is a pattern I’ve seen again and again,” she said.

As horrible as this experience must have been for this poor girl, she can, at least, hope some good will come out of it in terms of educating police, updating their techniques, and providing much, much better facilities for debriefing a victim of sexual abuse.

No comments:

Post a Comment