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Michigan State Scandal Makes It Clear: Reports of Sexual Assault Need To Go To One Place

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 10:51 AM PST

EAST LANSING (MI) Forbes January 29, 2018 By Jerry Barca The victims kept mentioning the same regret. These were victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests. I had spoken to them during my newspaper reporting days when the scandal became national news in 2002. I spoke to more victims years later as part of background research for another project. Damage had been done to them, their innocence stripped away as hammer strikes of abuse pounded into their self worth. Of course any and everybody wished it never happened. The victims had another wish, too. If they couldn't change the fact that they had been abused, they wish they would've gone straight to the police, instead of the Church. They would've reported the abuse to legal authorities, not the institution. That lesson has to be reiterated after what has gone on at Michigan State. Larry Nassar, a team doctor at Michigan State and with USA Gymnastics, was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison after more than 160 women and girls made statements in court that he had abused them during the last 20 years. Days after Nassar's sentencing, ESPN's Outside the Lines reported that Michigan State mishandled sexual assault complaints. The investigative report "found a pattern of widespread denial, inaction and information suppression of such allegations by officials ranging from campus police to the Spartan athletic department." To make it clear, to shout it from the rooftops into a megaphone: Victims that come forward must go to the police. And in Michigan State's case not the campus police. You have to find a law enforcement agency willing to hear the claim for what it is: an allegation of criminal behavior. There is still cultural tone-deafness with regard to these issues. Even at Michigan State, as the Nassar situation played out in court, university staffers undergoing training for the school's relationship violence and sexual misconduct policy dropped comments such as "snitches get stitches" with regard to reporting incidents. Don't think it's just at Michigan State either. Too often institutions, be it churches, schools, community groups, or athletic programs, respond to victims by looking out for its own self-preservation. Victims need an independent investigation. Institutions respond with: how can we make this go away quickly and quietly. Institutions sell this idea to the victim and the victim's family. They present the line of thinking that handling this quietly is in the victim's self interest. They will talk about how the process of reporting the incident publicly will re-traumatize the victim. Then they'll ask questions like "Do you really want to do this?"

Abuse survivor sues council and Catholic church sect

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 08:49 AM PST

SCOTLAND The Herald January 30, 2018 An abuse survivor is suing a Catholic Church sect and a local authority after he was assaulted by a monk at a residential school. Michael Murphy, known as Brother Benedict or Brother Ben, abused children in the 1970s and 1980s when he worked at St Joseph's School in Tranent, East Lothian. He was jailed for seven years in April 2016 at the High Court in Edinburgh after being found guilty of physically and sexually abusing eight boys. The physical abuse he carried out included habitual and sustained physical punishment as well as the administration of electric shocks, the Crown Office said at the conclusion of the case. The anonymous survivor, now in his 50s, is suing East Lothian Council and De La Salle Brothers and is seeking damages estimated at a six-figure sum for the pain caused by the former schoolmaster. He said Brother Benedict "ruined not just my childhood but my adult life". He added: "He abused his position while working alongside the Council and the Church to fulfil his own sick desires. "I hope now to be able to find the means to help me rebuild my life."

Victim abused and beaten by notorious monster monk set to sue Catholic sect and council

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 08:48 AM PST

SCOTLAND Daily Record January 30, 2018 By Sarah Vesty An abuse survivor is seeking a six-figure sum in damages from De Dalle Brothers and the council. An abuse survivor is suing a Catholic sect and a council after being beaten and assaulted by a notorious monk. Brother Benedict – real name Michael Murphy – subjected eight schoolboys to a string of attacks at St Joseph's List D School in Tranent, East Lothian, during the 70s. He electrocuted pupils, locked them in cupboards, beat them with canes and sexually assaulted them. Murphy, part of the De La Salle Brothers, was jailed for seven years in 2016 after being found guilty on 15 charges at the High Court in Edinburgh. One of his victims is now seeking a six-figure sum in damages from East Lothian Council and the De La Salle Brothers.

Catholic, education groups oppose child abuse reporting bill

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 08:46 AM PST

AURORA (CO) 9 News January 29, 2018 By Ryan Haarer Educators, along with a list of other professionals, are required by law to report child abuse allegations to police. But the statute of limitations for failure to report ends 18 months after the fact. Prosecutors may face challenges in convicting three Cherry Creek School District administrators who failed to report an alleged sexual assault of a student in 2013. They never called police after they heard that teacher Brian Vasquez, 34, was allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student. It wasn't until 2017 that Aurora Police arrested Vasquez for a total of five sexual assault claims. These educators, along with a list of other professionals, are required by law to report child abuse allegations to police. But the statute of limitations for failure to report ends 18 months after the fact. "When it's not reported, what happens, it emboldens that adult who is harming a child to continue that behavior," said State Senator Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

The Pandora's Box of Spiritual Abuse is out: Here's what the Church must do

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 08:44 AM PST

LONDON (ENGLAND) Christian Today January 29, 2018 By Rev'd Canon Anna Norman-Walker This is a blog post by the Revd Canon Anna Norman-Walker, rector of St Leonard's, Streatham. It first appeared on ViaMedia.News and is reproduced with permission. In Greek mythology Pandora is created by Zeus and given as a wedding gift to the brother of his enemy Prometheus along with a jar containing the many evils of the world. Pandora opens the jar and on realising what she had done she tries to close it in haste; the anguish of the moment is captured in a painting by FS Church in which the young bride kneels helplessly on the box - as one might an over filled suitcase - in an effort to contain the escaping forces of evil. Over the past few weeks the call has gone out for the church to address the issue of spiritual abuse. This was triggered in part by a recent report carried out by Bournemouth University on behalf of the churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) in which 62 per cent of respondents to the study's research survey believed they had been subject to spiritual abuse. Within a few days of the report's release, news broke of the Oxford priest Revd Timothy Davis' suspension from duties for the spiritual abuse of a teenager he had been mentoring following an investigation under the Clergy Discipline Measure.

Church sexual abuse survivors call for firing of Pastor Andy Savage

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 08:42 AM PST

MEMPHIS (TN) WREG Memphis News Channel 3 January 29, 2018 By Stacy Jacobson MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Protesters held up a smattering of signs in an attempt to push forward what they called "Justice for Jules" outside Highpoint Church Monday. "It's time to stop being so concerned about the abuser and be more concerned about the abused," said Kenny Stubblefield, a survivor of church sexual abuse and local activist. It's been three weeks since Jules Woodson wrote a narrative of her encounter with Pastor Andy Savage 20 years ago at their Texas church. She said the current Highpoint pastor was then her youth pastor. She said he offered her a ride home and forced her to perform oral sex. "I was in shock. I didn't understand what was happening," Woodson said in an interview with CBS News.

Priest banned from ministry to defend George Bell at Church of England's headquarters

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 08:40 AM PST

LONDON (ENGLAND) Christian Today January 30, 2018 By Harry Farley A priest barred from ministry after being accused of abusing colleagues and making malicious allegations against his superiors is to speak at the Church of England's headquarters in London on Thursday. Jules Gomes, formerly a priest at St Mary's on the Harbour on the Isle of Man, is an outspoken defender of George Bell, a former Bishop of Chichester who has been accused of historical sex abuse. He will address a group of Bell's supporters in Church House, Westminster, on February 1. Church House is the building used as the CofE's main London base. The National Church Institutions (NCIs) which govern the Church's daily running, do not own the building nor control its bookings and the CofE appeared to distance itself from the event. A Church of England spokesperson said: 'We are aware of an event due to take place at Church House Conference Centre Limited, in Westminster, on Feb 1 at which we understand Jules Gomes, a former Church of England parish priest prohibited from ministry for 10 years by a Bishop's Disciplinary Tribunal, has been invited to speak. 'The National Church Institutions are tenants at Church House. Church House Conference Centre Limited, who manage bookings from clients and operate the conference spaces, is an independent conference centre located at Church House.'


Posted: 30 Jan 2018 08:29 AM PST

WORCESTER (MA) ChurchMilitant January 29, 2018 By David Nussman Now-laicized former priest abused a teenage male in 1985 WORCESTER, Mass. (ChurchMilitant.com) - Pope Francis has now defrocked a Massachusetts priest who was accused of sexually abusing a teenage male. Peter Inzerillo was a priest in the diocese of Worcester. He has now been laicized at his own request, according to an announcement the diocese made on Thursday. The diocese stated, "As a result of the laicization, he may not function in any capacity as a priest or be referred to as a priest or as 'Father' in writing such as in event announcements or obituaries." Inzerillo sexually abused a 19-year-old male in 1985. He was not criminally charged. But in 1999, he was named in a sex-abuse lawsuit against the diocese of Worcester. The suit ended in the diocese's largest-ever priest sex abuse settlement of about $300,000. Inzerillo was removed from public ministry in 2002 and has remained without public faculties ever since.

French women and #MeToo: It's complicated

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 08:24 AM PST

FRANCE Yahoo Lifestyle January 29, 2018 By Alexandra Mondalek There are almost as many online guides to achieving that mysterious French-dame coolness as there are people in France: There's the French girl's guide to winter beauty, the French girl's guide to eating, the French girl's guide to bangs, the French girl's guide to Halloween, and even the French girl's guide to hating French girl guides, just for starters. But in this moment of reckoning for sexual assaulters, there is no French girl's guide to the movement known as #MeToo (with the exception of this New Yorker spoof). There is a French hashtag equivalent — #BalanceTonPorc or "expose your pig" — but beyond that, it's complicated. That's ultimately because many French women disagree about the validity of the movement itself, and whether its American counterpart is even contextually relevant to French culture. On one side, there are French women like Sandra Muller, a journalist who coined the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc in mid-October 2017, just before American actress Alyssa Milano tweeted #MeToo. Muller — whose sexual harasser is suing her for defamation, despite admitting to what she'd accused him of — has created a GoFundMe for her own legal expenses, and also plans to create a victim relief fund, similar to the Legal Defense Fund the #TimesUp organizers in the U.S. started, she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

Pope sends sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate bishop

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 07:59 AM PST

VATICAN CITY Associated Press January 30, 2018 By Nicole Winfield VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is sending the Vatican's most respected sex crimes expert to Chile to investigate a bishop accused by victims of covering up for the country's most notorious pedophile priest. The Vatican said Tuesday that Maltese Bishop Charles Scicluna would travel to Chile "to listen to those who have expressed the desire to provide elements" about the case of Bishop Juan Barros. The Barros controversy dominated Francis' just-ended trip to Chile and exposed Francis' blind spot as far as clerical sex abuse is concerned. Even one of his closest advisers, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, publicly rebuked him for his treatment of victims and tried to set him straight. Barros was a protege of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a charismatic and politically powerful priest who was sanctioned by the Vatican for sexually abusing minors in 2011. His victims testified to Chilean prosecutors that Barros and other priests in the El Bosque community saw Karadima kissing youngsters and were aware of his perversions, but did nothing.

Pope sends Maltese archbishop to investigate Chilean bishop in abuse cover up case

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 07:57 AM PST

CHILE National Catholic Reporter January 30, 2018 By Dennis Coday Pope Francis is sending Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta to Chile to take testimony about Bishop Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid of Osorno, Chile, who is accused of covering up allegations of abuse by a Chilean priest who was found guilty of abuse. The Vatican announced Scicluna's trip to Chile in a statement this morning. Scicluna was in charge of sexual abuse cases in the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith from 2002 until 2010. Francis appointed him to lead a commission in the doctrinal congregation to hear appeals of priests accused of sexual abuse.

Archbishop Scicluna sent to Chile to investigate bishop accused of child abuse cover up

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 07:55 AM PST

CHILE Times of Malta January 30, 2018 Pope Francis sends Malta's top cleric on special mission Archbishop Charles Scicluna has been dispatched to Chile by Pope Francis to look into allegations against a bishop accused of covering up clergy crimes against minors there, the Vatican said on Tuesday. A statement said Archbishop Scicluna was being dispatched after "new information" had emerged about Bishop Juan Barros of the Chilean city of Osorno. Archbishop Scicluna is the Vatican's top investigator on child abuse, having previously served as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. He doggedly uncovered evidence of sexual abuse against the late founder of the conservative religious order the Legionaries of Christ during the papacy of Benedict XVI, and has a formidable reputation within the Church.

Pope Sends Envoy to Chile to Investigate Bishop Accused of Abuse Cover Up

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 07:52 AM PST

VATICAN CITY Reuters January 30, 2018 By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis is sending the Church's top investigator on sexual abuse to Chile to look into allegations against a bishop accused of covering up clergy crimes against minors there, the Vatican said on Tuesday. A statement said the envoy, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, was being dispatched after "new information" had emerged about Bishop Juan Barros of the Chilean city of Osorno. Controversy over Barros, whom the pope has repeatedly defended, dominated Francis's recent trip to the South American country. It was a remarkable turnaround for the pope, who just last week told reporters aboard the plane returning from Latin America that he was sure Barros was innocent and that the Vatican had received no concrete evidence against him. Barros has been accused of protecting his former mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was found guilty in a Vatican investigation in 2011 of abusing teenage boys over many years. Karadima denies the allegations, and Barros said he was unaware of any wrongdoing. Scicluna doggedly uncovered evidence of sexual abuse against the late founder of the conservative religious order the Legionaries of Christ during the papacy of Benedict XVI and has a formidable reputation within the Church.

Catholic Church group fights Colorado bill to reform system of reporting child abuse

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 07:51 AM PST

DENVER (CO) The Denver Channel January 29, 2018 By Robert Garrison DENVER — Legislation that would reform a mandatory system of reporting child abuse in Colorado is not getting support from the Catholic Church. Senate Bill 18-058 would extend the statute of limitations in cases where a person is required by law to report child abuse but fails to do so. Currently, the statute of limitations for failing to report child abuse or neglect in Colorado is 18 months, which could result in dropped charges in the recent indictment against three Cherry Creek school leaders accused of hiding allegations made by a specific student in 2013. The measure, sponsored by state lawmakers Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora) and Terri Carver (R-Colorado Springs), comes on the heels of the Cherry Creek case and indefinitely extends the period of time mandatory reporters could be prosecuted for not contacting authorities in child abuse cases. A mandatory reporter is someone in a specific occupation that must report suspected child abuse. In Colorado, 40 categories of professions are covered under the law, including all public and private school employees.

An iconic rock on Michigan State's campus is covered with the names of Larry Nassar's victims

Posted: 30 Jan 2018 07:49 AM PST

EAST LANSING (MI) CNN January 29, 2018 By Mercedes Leguizamon and Saeed Ahmed (CNN)The boulder is known simply as "The Rock" and it's a fixture on the campus of Michigan State University. It's a constantly changing billboard. Students leave everything from birthday greetings to political messages, one layer of paint at a time. Since late last week, when doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 175 years for sexually abusing girls and young women for decades, the Rock has sported a powerful new look. Students painted the boulder white, along with the words "THANK YOU" in teal, and a heart. They also hand-painted the names of more than 150 women who accused Nassar of abusing them.