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Adelaide archbishop's fate in limbo

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:48 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA Border Mail Mark Russell Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson had acted in a way "designed to protect the reputation of the Catholic Church" in not reporting a fellow priest's historical sexual abuse of altar boys, a NSW court has heard. The claim was made as magistrate Robert Stone was preparing to rule on a last-ditch bid by Wilson, who's accused of covering up child sex abuse, to have the case against him dropped. Mr Stone told the Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday he hoped to decide on a submission by defence barrister Stephen Odgers SC that Wilson had "no case to answer" by noon on Wednesday. But the ruling could come as late as Thursday. Mr Odgers made the submission after prosecutor Gareth Harrison formally closed the crown case against Wilson on Tuesday.

Adelaide archbishop faces wait on case

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:46 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA 9 News The most senior Catholic official charged with concealing child abuse is awaiting his fate as a NSW magistrate decides whether to proceed with the case against him. Two former altar boys claim they told then assistant priest Philip Wilson in 1976 that priest James Fletcher sexually assaulted them. Fletcher was found guilty of child sexual abuse and died in jail in 2006. The defence barrister for Wilson, now the Archbishop of Adelaide, said the case was circumstantial and there was no evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Wilson had been told about the abuse, believed it was true or remembered being told about it.

Cosby accuser tells jury she was drugged for four days, sexually assaulted

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:43 PM PDT

PENNSYLVANIA Reuters David DeKok NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) - One of 50 women to accuse comedian Bill Cosby of sexual molestation told a jury on Tuesday he gave her spiked wine that kept her stupefied for four days in 1984, and she awoke to find him naked and attempting to force himself on her. Heidi Thomas, an aspiring actress who met Cosby for career coaching, testified in a Pennsylvania courthouse in Cosby's retrial on charges of sexually assaulting another woman 20 years later. Thomas was reading a monologue of a character who was drunk, so Cosby persuaded her to drink white wine. She said she recalled "only snapshots" of the next four days. "The next thing, I remember waking up on a bed. I have clothes on, he did not. I was lying down. He was forcing himself in my mouth," Thomas said.

Cosby Defense Aggressively Attacks Accuser

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:40 PM PDT

PENNSYLVANIA Hollywood Reporter Associated Press Armed with a couple key rulings that could help the defense, the actor's lawyer, Tom Mesereau, told jurors that Andrea Constand is a "con artist" who framed his client because she was after "money, money and lots more money." As Bill Cosby stands trial a second time over allegations he sexually molested a woman in 2004, his new, high-powered Hollywood lawyer took a far more aggressive tone toward the accuser in his opening statement Tuesday. Armed with a couple key rulings that could help the defense, Tom Mesereau told jurors that Andrea Constand is a "con artist" who framed his client because she was after "money, money and lots more money." Mesereau made the point repeatedly as he sought to cast Constand as the villain, and Cosby her victim. Cosby's lawyer for his first trial, by contrast, tried to undermine Constand's credibility by focusing on what he said were her shifting accounts to police.

Bill Cosby Retrial: Another Victim Takes the Stand to Describe Entertainer Forcing Himself on Her

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:38 PM PDT

PENNSYLVANIA Variety Emilie Lounsberry NORRISTOWN, Pa. – After a defense opening that portrayed Bill Cosby as the victim of phony sexual assault accusations, a Colorado music teacher testified Tuesday that Cosby molested her back in 1984 when she was a struggling actress and he had agreed to mentor her. The woman, Heidi Thomas, took the stand in Cosby's retrial here in suburban Philadelphia as prosecutors sought to show that Andrea Constand – the woman whose accusation is at the heart of the criminal case against Cosby – was not the only woman assaulted by the entertainer. Thomas testified that she traveled to Reno to meet Cosby and ended up staying with him at a ranch outside of town. He gave her a script and asked her to play an intoxicated woman, she said, eventually offering her some white wine. She then became woozy, she said, and woke up in bed with a naked Cosby "forcing himself" into her mouth. Thomas, then about 24, said she felt sickened yet also felt that she must have done something to lead Cosby to believe she would engage in sexual activity. "I must have given some signal," said Thomas, who said she later consulted a psychologist. "I did feel like I must have said something that was misunderstood."

Archbishop Philip Wilson trial: Defence seeks to prove a ‘good tendency’ to report child sexual abuse allegations

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:34 PM PDT

AUSTRALIA Illawarra Mercury Sam Rigney Magistrate Robert Stone has rejected a defence application to call two witnesses during the landmark hearing of Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, which the defence said showed he had a tendency to report allegations of child sexual abuse to the authorities. Mr Stone found the evidence, two statements from people who had dealings with Archbishop Wilson during his time at Wollongong and Adelaide, didn't have "significant probative value" because it did nothing to assist Mr Stone in understanding what the Archbishop's personal belief was in relation to reporting matters of child sexual abuse. Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson leaving Newcastle courthouse on Tuesday after his defence made a 'no case to answer application' at the conclusion of the prosecution case. @newcastleheraldpic.twitter.com/nWeanBFJqT At the conclusion of the crown case, Archbishop Wilson's defence barrister, Stephen Odgers, SC, moved to have the case against him dismissed, making a 'no case to answer' application and handing up detailed written submissions. If successful that would mean Archbishop Wilson would not be required to run a defence and the charge would be dismissed. The case will resume at 2pm on Tuesday for argument on the application.

Catholic high school accused of shielding wrestling coaches from sexual abuse allegations

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 05:06 PM PDT

NEW JERSEY CBS News ORADELL, N.J. -- A former wrestler has sued his Catholic high school, claiming the New Jersey school and church officials conspired to cover up sexual and verbal abuse in its nationally recognized wrestling program, CBS New York reports. The suit filed Monday alleges Bergen Catholic High School wrestling coaches shared pornographic images with team members, watched wrestlers strip naked and sent athletes inappropriate text messages. The lawsuit also claims school and Archdiocese of Newark officials worked to shield the coaches. In a statement, Brother Brian Walsh, who is president of the school in Oradell, said the suit was "based on allegations that are unfounded, frivolous and untrue." He said the school would vigorously defend itself. School and archdiocese officials say they reported the abuse allegations to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office when they learned about them.

Saginaw Diocese cancels two events amid sex abuse investigations

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 02:33 PM PDT

MICHIGAN National Catholic Reporter Apr 10, 2018 by James Dearie The Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan, canceled two events last week as it continues to deal with the fallout from sex abuse allegations against former priests, one of whom was arrested for the second time. Local NPR affiliate Michigan Radio reported that Fr. Robert DeLand, the priest whose arrest in late February began the troubles in the diocese, was arrested again April 5 and charged with four new crimes, including two counts of felony sexual misconduct and one count of felony manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance. DeLand had previously been arrested after two people came forward claiming to have been sexually assaulted by the priest. One of them, a 17 year old boy, cooperated with police in a sting operation that ultimately resulted in DeLand's arrest. Three of the new charges are related to claims of the 17 year old, while the other comes from a new person, an 18 year old who claims he was assaulted by DeLand last May. His family claims to have reported the abuse to diocese, which never took subsequent action.

Catholic School Let Wrestling Coaches Sexually Abuse Up to 100 Students, Lawsuit Claims

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 12:06 PM PDT

NEW JERSEY The Daily Beast OLIVIA MESSER 04.10.18 A former wrestler claims that he was sexually and verbally abused by wrestling coaches at a Catholic high school in New Jersey—and that when he reported the misconduct to administrators, he was kicked off the nationally recognized team. Coaches at Bergen Catholic High School shared pornographic images, watched students undress, and sent inappropriate messages to up to 100 athletes, according to a 29-page lawsuit filed by John Doe. The 12-count civil complaint was first reported on Monday by NorthJersey.com. It was filed on March 26 in state Superior Court in Bergen County. The other 99 possible victims, who have not been identified, were mentioned in the complaint in the event other plaintiffs join the suit, Doe's attorney told the news site. He said he expects "additional victims and witnesses to come forward" once the case receives media coverage. The counts include sexual abuse of a minor, retaliation, emotional distress, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent hiring, breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, defamation, and civil conspiracy to endanger children, among other charges. Doe, who has demanded a jury trial, is requesting compensatory and punitive damages.

Vatican Arrests Church Diplomat on Child Porn Charges (But Don’t Celebrate Yet)

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 10:52 AM PDT

UNITED STATES Friendly Atheist BY DAVID G. MCAFEE This could certainly be a case in which the Catholic Church did the right thing regarding child sex abusers, but given their record, I'm skeptical. A Catholic monsignor was arrested by Vatican police on suspicion of possessing child pornography, but that only came after the Vatican first denied a request to waive diplomatic immunity so the offender could be charged in the U.S. Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella was finally arrested after being recalled by the Church in August after the U.S. brought evidence of child porn abuse to the attention of Vatican authorities. The State Department first notified the Holy See in August of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the Holy See's diplomatic corps accredited to Washington, the Vatican said in September.

Priest who taught at 2 Buffalo area high schools was target of sex abuse complaint

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 09:44 AM PDT

NEW YORK Buffalo News By Dan Herbeck A priest who taught students at two Buffalo-area Catholic high schools for more than a decade was suspended from any public ministry in 2014 after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor, The Buffalo News confirmed this week. The Rev. Michael M. Lewandowski, now 71, was suspended after the allegation was made in May 2014, according to the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Pa. The Franciscan priest lived in the Buffalo area and taught at St. Francis High School in Hamburg and at Cardinal O'Hara High School in the Town of Tonawanda at various times from 1976 to 1991, according to directories published by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. While the complaint made against Lewandowski alleges that the misconduct occurred during the period of time when he was at the two Buffalo area high schools, Buffalo Diocese officials declined to say whether the alleged abuse took place in the Buffalo area. "While it does appear that Fr. Lewandowski spent all of the 1980s here in WNY, I can not elaborate on any specifics as it relates to whether (or when) accusations were brought to our attention, and where any alleged activity would have occurred," diocese spokesman George Richert told The Buffalo News in an email.

Franciscan Friar, who taught in WNY, accused of sexual abuse

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 09:41 AM PDT

NEW YORK WGRZ Author: Emily Lampa While the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has recently released names of accused priests, it has still been largely "hands off" when it comes to acknowledging sexual abuse by religious order brothers, sisters and lay people. But now, a 2014 accusation made against a Franciscan friar prompts response from Catholic leaders. The Buffalo News was the first to report Monday on 71-year-old Fr. Michael Lewandowski. In 2014 he was accused of sexually abusing a minor some time in the 1980's. A review of the official Catholic directories found that in the 80's and early 90's Lewandowski was assigned to Saint Francis High School in Hamburg, and Cardinal O'Hara High School in the Town of Tonawanda. The Buffalo Diocese declined an on camera interview with 2 On Your Side, but a spokesperson sent us a statement which reads, in part: "While it does appear that Fr. Lewandowski spent all of the 1980's here in WNY I can not elaborate on any specifics as it relates to whether (or when) accusations were brought to our attention, and where any alleged activity would have occurred." The president of St. Francis High School also sent a statement by e-mail: "I'm unable to comment because the allegation regarding Friar Michael Lewandowski did not involve a student or other person from Saint Francis High School."

Lawsuit alleges sex abuse coverup by Bergen Catholic wrestling program, report says

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 08:35 AM PDT

NEW JERSEY NJ.com By Matthew Stanmyre and Patrick Lanni A 12-count lawsuit filed Monday in state Superior Court in Bergen County alleges coaches from the powerhouse Bergen Catholic High wrestling team engaged in sexual and verbal harassment of at least one wrestler while the school administration conspired to keep the abuse under wraps. News of the lawsuit was first reported by northjersey.com. The lawsuit alleges Bergen Catholic head coach Dave Bell "inappropriately undressed with minors and watched wrestlers, including Plaintiff, change in the locker room, which they were completely nude or partially nude." It also claims assistant coach Dominick "Donnie" Spataro "showed pornographic and nude photographs of himself and others on his mobile phone to Plaintiff and other minor wrestlers, including photographs of his own nude body including his depictions of his penis." The complaint goes on to allege that members of the Bergen Catholic administration, including the school's president, Brother Brian Walsh, principal Timothy McElhinney and athletic director Jack McGovern "knew or should have known about the harassment, abuse, intimidation and bullying of Plaintiff, especially after Plaintiff's parents raised these concerns, which were expressed both verbally and in writing, on numerous occasions."

Bergen Catholic Wrestling Program Accused Of Sex, Verbal Assault In Lawsuit

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 08:31 AM PDT

NEW JERSEY Paramus Daily Voice Cecilia Levine The Bergen Catholic Wrestling program is being accused of sexual and verbal assault in a lawsuit filed in Bergen County Superior Court. The complaint was filed on behalf of one former wrestler and 100 other unnamed victims, according to the suit , posted in an article by NorthJersey.com. The 29-page suit says that head coach Dave Bell made inappropriate comments to the athlete, saying he was "shredded" and in emails and texts told him he loved him "as well as other highly inappropriate and sexual predatory behavior on a minor child," the article says. Bell's lawyer, Sean Pena, allegedly sent a letter to The Record and NorthJersey.com threatening to take legal action if a story about the lawsuit was published, the outlet reports.

Bergen Catholic wrestling program accused of sexual and verbal abuse in lawsuit

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 08:32 AM PDT

NEW JERSEY NorthJersey.com Keldy Ortiz and Abbott Koloff, NorthJersey Bergen Catholic High School officials conspired to cover up sexual and verbal abuse in its nationally recognized wrestling program that included the sharing of pornographic images, coaches watching wrestlers strip naked and inappropriate text messages sent to athletes, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a former wrestler. The 29-page, 12-count lawsuit, which was filed in state Superior Court in Bergen County, also alleges that school and Newark Archdiocese officials worked to shield the wrestling coaches from "criminal detection" in a "conspiracy to endanger children." A former wrestler and his parents allege that the school's president, Brother Brian Walsh, threw him off the team after he complained of abuse during this past wrestling season, according to the suit. The complaint alleges that the school did only a cursory investigation and never contacted authorities. However, Newark Archdiocese spokesman Jim Goodness said Monday that the Oradell-based school notified the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. He couldn't say when the notification was made.