Arizona woman accused of trying to burn Calif. boy — Authorities have arrested an Arizona woman on suspicion of attempted murder for allegedly throwing a gasoline-soaked rag and lighted match onto a 3-year-old boy in Needles, Calif. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said Wednesday that 56-year-old Elizabeth Smoka of Mohave Valley is being held on $1 million bail. Authorities say the boy was not harmed in the incident, which occurred Sunday around 9 p.m. following an argument between Smoka and the boy’s mother, who are unrelated. The rag and match landed on a blanket that covered him as he sat in his stroller. The rag and blanket did not ignite.
Cops: Boy flees after couple forces him to kneel 9 hours a day for 10 days — A Florida couple has been charged with child abuse after allegedly forcing a 13-year-old boy to kneel nine hours a day for 10 days in a row as a punishment for being bad at schoolwork, police said. The boy ran down a road to a neighbor’s house on Wednesday afternoon, hobbled by blistered knees, reported the Lakeland Ledger. According to the paper and other local news reports, Albert Cusson, 57, and his wife Nancy, 47, were jailed on child abuse charges Thursday after allegedly forcing the teen to kneel on a hard bathroom floor with his hands behind his back from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day and beating him with a stick if he moved, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Ex-altar boy describes abuse — He remembers receiving extra attention. Feeling special. Feeling favored by the Rev. Michael Kelly, a local priest then at Stockton’s Cathedral of the Annunciation. But he also links darker memories to Kelly. “Both of the times I remember him babysitting (me), he sexually abused me,” a 37-year-old Fairfax man, identified in court documents as John TZ Doe, said in a civil trial Thursday. The former Annunciation altar boy is suing Kelly and the Diocese of Stockton for damages based on repressed memories of sex abuse during the 1980s he said he recovered in 2006. Defense attorneys are challenging the legitimacy of his recovered memories.
Male victims of domestic violence soar — Crimes involving domestic violence continue to rise in Portugal and, according to a report from the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV), during 2011 the association took note of more than 15,000 incidents. Situations involving male victims increased by more than 50 percent, in relation to the year before. “During 2011 APAV registered a total of 15,724 criminal incidents which resulted in 6,737 support mechanisms being launched, relating to the problem of domestic violence”, the association’s report read. Compared with 2010, last year the association received 505 more denunciations of physical mistreatment and an additional 427 reports of psychological abuse.
Teenager wrongly accused of rape because of DNA contamination is released from prison — A teenager who spent months behind bars wrongly accused of rape after a DNA blunder has spoken of his ‘relief, anger and disgust’ after the charge was dropped. Adam Scott, 19, was due to stand trial next month in connection with a sex attack on a woman at Plant Hill Park in Blackley. His DNA – taken in connection with a separate matter – had contaminated a sample from the victim while being processed at a laboratory run by LGC Forensics. Mr Scott, from Truro in Cornwall, is now considering taking legal action – and his lawyers are calling for a public inquiry into the blunder, which could lead to other rape and murder cases being reopened.
Vatican reports on abuse due this spring — REPORTS FROM the seven visitation teams sent to Ireland by the Vatican last year are on course to be published this spring, Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said. The teams, which visited Ireland’s four Catholic archdioceses, seminaries and male and female religious congregations, all completed and sent their reports to Rome by the end of last year. The apostolic visitation was ordered after publication of the Murphy report into clerical sex abuse. A factor which would influence the publication of the team reports was the occurrence of Holy Week and Easter early next month, said Dr Martin. He was speaking at a press conference in Maynooth yesterday as the Irish Bishops’ Conference ended its spring meeting.
Weak laws pave way for child sexual abuse — By bedtime it already was too late for the boy. The lights blinked out and the camp counselor, a predator, lay down at his feet. Curled up in the dark, he was ready to attack. Getting here was all too easy for James Roy Melton Jr. When the convicted child molester volunteered at this Palm City church summer camp, nobody stood in his way. Not the church. It welcomed the tall, rangy 34-year-old as its newest youth chaperone without screening his background. And not the state of Florida. For 30 years, lawmakers have passed measures to protect kids in child-care centers while ignoring harm at the hands of summer camp workers. Florida camps are completely unregulated. Nobody knows how many operate here. Nobody checks up on the people who run them.
Worker accused of sex acts with teenage boy at juvenile center — A Warren County grand jury indicted a Glasgow woman this week, accusing her of committing sex acts with a juvenile while he was lodged in the Warren Regional Juvenile Justice Center, where she is an employee. Donna Ann Jackson, 43, 320 Lick Branch Road, was indicted on one count of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, first-degree sexual abuse and third-degree sodomy, according to Warren Circuit Court records. The allegation involves improper conduct between Jackson and a teenage boy, Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron said.