Former tutor claims student abused her

Abigail Simon faces four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against her former student. She is accused on engaging in repeated sexual acts with the 15-year-old boy. However, Simon claims that she is the actual victim:

In testimony punctuated with weeping, Simon said the teen within a matter of weeks in the spring of 2013 used physical intimidation, psychological manipulation and rape to control every aspect of her life – even to the point that she did what he wanted when she was on the other side of the country.

“My thoughts, my life, were consumed with making (the teen) happy,” she said. “It was bizarre.”

It gets more bizarre:

Simon was questioned all day by her attorney, describing events from the beginning of their relationship that started with him slapping her after accusing her of spending too much time with other students she was tutoring.

She wept as she explained how the boy managed to get her to take him to restaurants, drive him to Chicago and South Bend and let him into her apartment all using threats against her and himself.

Two things come to mind. One, this is the case that should have prompted Joanna Schroeder’s ire about double standards against male victims. What man could take the stand and claim that his 15-year-old female victim controlled his life and expect anyone to take such a claim serious? Continue reading

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$13.5M for Jehovah’s Witness sex victim — A San Diego judge has found that the governing body of the Jehovah’s Witness church covered up years of sexual abuse by a local church leader and continued to put children in danger of being molested, a ruling likely to echo across the country as alleged victims from other congregations take similar cases to court.

Ala. woman charged with sodomizing two young boys, sexually abusing young girl — According to an Oct. 29 report from The Call News in Mobile County, 25-year-old Brandie Renee Smith of Chunchula, Alabama, was arrested at her home on Stagecoach Drive by deputies with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and charged with multiple child sex abuse crimes. Those crimes include six counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 and two counts of first-degree sodomy. Smith was arrested and charged on Friday.

Dispelling the myths of male sexual abuse and offering hope — Sexual violence of males is not uncommon. About one in six males experience some form of sexual violence at some point in their lives. Reports of male childhood sexual abuse are under-reported. Sexual assault is a crime of power and control, not a crime of passion or sex. Adult sexual contact with young boys and adolescents is sexual abuse, not sexual initiation. Being sexually abused as a child does not mean you will become a sexual offender. Continue reading

Lena Dunham’s “Rage Spiral”

No one likes to be accused of sexual abuse. People find it particularly troubling to be accused of sexually abusing a child. That is true even if the person committed the act.

However, one cannot complain when it is one’s own words that prompts people to label one a child abuser. Case in point:

In her newly published collection of personal essays, Not That Kind of Girl, Lena Dunham describes experimenting sexually with her younger sister Grace, whom she says she attempted to persuade to kiss her using “anything a sexual predator might do.” In one particularly unsettling passage, Dunham experimented with her six-year younger sister’s vagina. “This was within the spectrum of things I did,” she writes.

The article recounts Dunham describing checking inside her one-year-old sister’s vagina to see where babies come from. According to Dunham, she found something inside there. She told her mother, who apparently did not question why her seven-year-old daughter was looking inside of her little sister’s vagina, and the mother removed several pebbles Dunham claims her sister put inside her vagina. Continue reading

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A new moniker and a criminal pardon allowed predator to fly under police radar — – He ran from his past, but couldn’t escape who he is. Nearly 30 years ago, James Dean Barnett was convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy while Barnett volunteered at a London children’s agency. This week, in court in St. Thomas, he sat waiting to be sentenced on four more sex charges against children — three neighbourhood kids, ages eight to 10, and a boy from his past who’s now an adult. But there was a twist: Barnett was now 49-year-old Tyler Giles.

About 14,000 Men In the Military Were Raped Last Year — Almost None Will Report It — Most survivors of rape in the military are men. Men also develop post-traumatic stress disorder from rape at almost twice the rate they do from combat, according to a sobering in-depth report published in GQ last month. The magazine’s in-depth look jump started a long-overdue conversation about an issue the mainstream has long been slow to respond to. The problem? Historically, very few male survivors report their assault, muffling an already egregious epidemic.

At civil trial, a former altar boy disputes Jon David Couzens’ account of priest’s sexual abuse — A former altar boy took the stand Friday and disputed Jon David Couzens’ allegations of sexual abuse by Monsignor Thomas O’Brien three decades ago. Jeff Barlow told Jackson County jurors that Couzens’ claims that O’Brien sexually abused four altar boys, including Barlow, as a group in the early 1980s at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Independence were false. Continue reading

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Boy ‘abused just one day after arriving at children’s home in Northern Ireland’ — One of the first boys to enter a children’s home in Northern Ireland has said he was abused by a religious brother the day after he arrived. He claimed he was interfered with while having a shower at Rubane House, Co Down, in 1951, under the guise of “horse play”. Once he went missing, he told a public inquiry, was brought home by police, beaten by members of the Catholic order which ran the home and had his hair shaved off in what he claimed was an act of humiliation.

Boy Scouts staff member accused of sexual abuse — A seasonal staff member with the Boy Scouts of America Cascade Pacific Council is accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy, officials confirmed. Elizabeth Monda-Guthrie, 28, was indicted Oct. 6, 2014 on two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and one count of third-degree sexual abuse. She pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Could Britain’s prisons soon be as bad as America’s? — Forget jailbreaks, jail is broken. Completely and utterly broken. Some figures for you. The average cost per prisoner per year is around £35,000. This is, famously, more than Eton and more than Oxbridge. The total criminal re-offending rate is about 25%; for criminals released from jail, it’s nearly 50%; for criminals released from jail after prison sentences of less than a year, it’s almost 60%. The UK prison population is currently about 87,700. Continue reading

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Altar boy trial opens in sex abuse case — The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese was told repeatedly since the 1970s that Monsignor Thomas O’Brien was a danger to children but failed to prevent him from sexually abusing a former altar boy, his lawyer told jurors Monday. Though no amount of money could make up for what happened to Jon David Couzens, attorney Rebecca Randles said, $10 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages would be fitting.

British Man Raped at Oktoberfest 2014 by Two Assailants — A British man has been raped at this month’s world famous Oktoberfest in Munich, German police have said. The 24-year-old, who has not been named, was attacked by two men at the edge of the festival area. According to police reports, he was relieving himself in the bushes on the outskirts of the Theresienwiese – a large open space where Oktoberfest takes place each year – when he was approached by a man who “made it clear he wanted to have sex with him”.

‘I became a monster,’ says Scout leader facing prison for sex abuse — In his own words, disgraced Scout leader Scott Stanley said his scheme to molest vulnerable boys in his trust was “shameful and monstrous.” “Who I am hates who I was and what I’ve done,” Stanley told his sentencing hearing in an Ottawa courtroom Thursday in a brief, quickly read statement. Continue reading

I remember Mama

Dr. Edward Rhymes wrote an article for A Voice for Men Mint Press News recounting his childhood experiences of abuse. From the article:

The newness and the ecstasy of having the child she had waited so long for lasted for a little while—just a little while. What followed was a childhood scarred by psychological, emotional, and physical abuse. When I was as young as seven, my mother had introduced me to phrases such as “I hate you,” “I can’t stand you,” and “You make me sick.” Beginning at a tender age, my body was frequently visited with blows from her fists, the backs of her hands, and even her feet. My mother, who was not a small woman, would sometimes knock me to the ground, press her knee into my chest, and pummel me with punch after punch. There were times when family members would have to pull her off me.

Rhymes also detailed the prevalence of female-perpetrated child abuse. He showed that women commit the majority of child abuse, yet most of the outreach and commentary about abuse revolves around preventing men from abusing others. He mentioned Adrian Peterson, the NFL player currently charged with child abuse, and made an observation:

Let’s also consider this: In the wake of the Adrian Peterson child abuse allegations, it was his mother who stepped forward and said Peterson was doing what she raised him to do. My point here isn’t whether one agrees or disagrees with his parenting methods but that the response would have been quite different had Peterson’s father been the one who had come forward and said, “That’s how I reared my son.” Can we honestly say that wouldn’t have been offered up as proof positive of how abusive men are?

No, we cannot. The media and talking heads would have jumped on that admission as evidence of the cycle of abuse. Yet when a woman admits to essentially abusing her child and raising him to do the same to his children, no one takes notice. Instead, it led to questions about whether it was appropriate to spank children.

Rhymes also mentioned another double standard:

There is a great deal of understanding we extend to women and girls who have been abused who then, in turn, engage in inappropriate and abusive behavior. It’s an understanding, however, that abused men and boys, who do likewise, don’t equally enjoy.

A truer statement could not be written.