Bulletin Board v288

Absurdity reigns in campus sexual assault trials — There’s an old legal adage that good facts make good law, and bad facts make bad law. In the case of campus sexual assault, it may be that absurd facts will — eventually — make good law too. About five years ago, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a letter that would change the face of campus sexual misconduct proceedings at colleges across the country.

Boy alleging rape by father says also abused in foster care — A boy who was removed from the family home after allegedly being raped by his father and forced to have sex with his mother was further sexually abused while in foster care, a trial has heard. The now 12-year-old has so far spent five days giving evidence via video-link about alleged abuse by his parents in their Waterford home. He has alleged his father raped him, sexually abused him with a hot poker and forced him to have sex with his mother over the course of several years from when he was about six years old.

Catholic Church issues public apology for sex abuse of priests 20 years ago — Uruguay’s Roman Catholic Church said it is ashamed over the “abhorrent acts” committed by its priests who were accused of sexually abusing three persons who were in their teens 20 years ago even as it made a public apology for their acts. In a letter on its website, the church denounced the acts, lamenting that the crimes went unpunished because the statute of limitation has elapsed, the Associated Press reports. Continue reading

Maryland lawmakers block abuse support bill

It takes great deal of courageous to talk about one’s experience of abuse in public. It takes much more to do it as an effort to get legislation passed to assist other victims of abuse. It takes something unheard of to do it two years in a row, only to see the bill ignored and tossed aside. This is what C.T. Wilson faced in Maryland:

For the second year in a row, he put it all out there: the shame, the fear, the self-loathing, the pain, the dark details of his horrific, repeated rape.

An Army veteran and attorney, Maryland Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles) stood before his colleagues in Annapolis, confessed that he “really, really” didn’t want to be there and told them why he doesn’t sleep much at night. Why he hoped his children would never be boys. Why he knows he is “a monster on the inside.”

And for the second year in a row, lawmakers in the state legislature put all that in a drawer. And closed it.

“It’s usually the case when we tell our stories,” Wilson said. “Nobody wants to hear this. And we want to be heard.”

Wilson wants his fellow delegates to understand what the adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse endure. And what recourse they have years and years later. And for two years, he has sponsored legislation aimed at helping them.

As it stands, a criminal case against an abuser can be pursued anytime, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.

But a civil case — the kind of action that can get a patient’s treatment paid for — has a statute of limitations. Victims have seven years once they reach adulthood to file a civil suit against a molester or a school, a team or a church that enabled that abuser.

And unless a victim comes to terms with the abuse, recognizes it, fights through it and files a civil suit before age 25, no dice. And that’s a big problem. Because many victims of childhood sexual abuse repress the memories in order to survive. Some even kill themselves.

Since Maryland removed the statute of limitations on the criminal cases, I see no reason why this should not apply to civil cases. As Wilson notes, many victims do not report their experiences until years after the abuse happened. In those instances, they will begin addressing whatever issues developed as a result of the abuse. It makes sense to allow them to file a suit for damages as this would be the point where the damages would be most apparent. Continue reading

Christian Couple Prepares to Open First U.S. Home for Sex-Trafficked Boys

While I am not a fan injecting religion into solving human rights issues, I do welcome support for victims of sexual violence when it seems genuine. In this case, it appears completely genuine. A Christian couple decided to open a home for boys used for sex trafficking:

Chris and Anna Smith, who are poised to open the first safe house in the United States for sex trafficked boys, didn’t set out to be trailblazers. They founded their Christian ministry, Restore One, in 2012, hoping to open a facility for girls in Greenville, N.C.

Anna, a sex trafficking survivor, worked as an intern at a similar facility, Hope House, in Asheville, N.C. When Hope House founder Emily Fitchpatrick learned the Smiths wanted to open a home, she asked them to consider taking in boys.

“That wasn’t something we wanted to pioneer,” Anna Smith told me.

Then the Smiths heard Tina Frudt, human trafficking survivor and founder of Courtney’s House, describe the plight of boys who came to her program.

“There are no places that boys can go,” Frudt told The Daily Reflector.

According to one study, as many as 50 percent of sexually exploited minors are males and yet there are few resources for them, including residential treatment facilities.

“That’s when we said yes to boys,” Anna said.

The Anchor House, the name the Smiths chose for the home, faced immediate problems. The first was that they could not find a suitable location for the home. It took them a year to find a location large enough for their needs. They eventually found a spot in Greenville, North Carolina. That led to the second problem: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v287

‘Campus Witches’ beat up a male student over sexual assault allegations — The “Campus Witches,” a feminist group at the Ankara University Faculty of Languages, History and Geography, has suddenly garnered newfound popularity after video footage showing female students from the group physically assaulting a male student and accusing him of sexual abuse went viral. As the video posted on the Campus Witches’ Facebook page on March 29 shows, security officers came to rescue the male student after members of the group began to physically assault him.

Christian Brothers accused of dodging Ballarat child sex abuse compensation claims — A religious order implicated in a notorious child sex abuse ring in Victoria has been accused of refusing to assist victims achieve adequate compensation. A survivor and his lawyer said the Christian Brothers, who ran the St Alipius Boys School in Ballarat, were adopting a smoke and mirrors approach to avoid paying up.

Feds: Hastert paid to hide sexual abuse, then cried extortion — Five teenage boys who say they were molested by former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. That is the dark secret the feds say led Hastert to agree to pay one victim $3.5 million so others wouldn’t come forward, federal prosecutors said Friday in a sentencing memorandum. It’s a secret that cost the once-powerful Republican $1.7 million in payouts — along with his reputation. The memo offers a damning account of the sexual abuses for the first time in a case that’s been shrouded in mystery. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v286

Catholic church’s secret archives key to exposing sex abuse scandal — Huddled in a law office on Hamilton Street, the district attorneys of the five counties in the Allentown Catholic Diocese spent days poring over files that detailed nearly two dozen allegations that priests had sexually abused children over several decades. That unprecedented step came in May 2002 after sex-abuse allegations exploded in the Boston Archdiocese, prompting Allentown Bishop Edward P. Cullen to grant the five prosecutors, including Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin and Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, a rare glimpse into the diocese’s secret archives.

German Man Handed 1-Year Sentence for Sex Abuse of Boys — A German man was convicted yesterday for committing indecent sexual acts against two boys in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district, but was handed the minimum sentence of one year, meaning he will be free in a matter of months. Udo Sabiniewicz, 56, was arrested in June for allegedly sexually abusing six boys after the mothers of two of the children filed complaints with the police. Keo Thea, chief of the municipal police’s anti-human trafficking bureau, said at the time that the boys had accused Mr. Sabiniewicz of repeatedly molesting them.

Legal action launched by victims of ex Scout leader who indecently abused children in Hinckley — Victims of a former scout leader who sexually abused four boys in the 1980s have instructed lawyers to take legal action against the Scout Association. Michael Medhurst, 61, was jailed for more than five years earlier this week after admitting a string of indecent assaults against four children between 1981 and 1987 in Leicestershire. The charges related to four victims, all from the Birmingham area, who were assaulted by Medhurst between September 1981 and September 1987 in Hinckley and Castle Donington. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v284

Boys’ club ‘a sitting duck’ for child sexual abuse — A convicted child sex offender has described an Anglican boys’ society as a “sitting duck” for predators. Former Tasmanian archdeacon Louis Daniels, 68, on Thursday gave evidence to a royal commission investigating the Church of England Boys’ Society across the island state and also in Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide. Daniels, who has been jailed for his abuse of 11 boys and has settled a civil claim with another, was asked about the culture within the church and whether its branches helped facilitate his offending.

Catholic Church in Mexico Protecting a Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing 100 Children — Mexico’s Catholic Church is being accused of protecting a priest who allegedly sexually abused about 100 children. During a press conference, a letter written by the mother of one victim was read aloud, according to EFE (via Fox News Latino). It was directed to Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit Mexico in February. In the letter, the mother asked the pontiff for justice for the victims in order to assure that “this doesn’t happen again,” the news outlet added.

DOC Secretary Ed Wall resigns amid FBI investigation into state youth prison — Wisconsin Department of Corrections Secretary Ed Wall submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Scott Walker on February 5 and will be replaced by former DOC Secretary Jon Litscher (’99-’03) later this month, the Governor’s office announced Friday. The change comes amid an investigation into abuse allegations at Lincoln Hills School, the state’s youth prison located north of Wausau, and comes on the same day 27 News confirmed the FBI is now leading the investigation into the facility.  Continue reading

Bulletin Board v283

Canonbury sex offence man jailed for 13 years after abusing his position of trust — Leslie Paul, 64, of Clephane Road, was sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court for offences of indecent assault and indecency while working as a carer for Lambeth Social Services. Between 1980 and 1988, Paul carried out the offences at Lambeth Children’s Home in South Vale, where the four male victims resided. In October 2012, the first victim came forward to report allegations against Paul.

Case begins in trial of woman suspected of young son’s sexual abuse — The trial of a woman suspected of having sex with her adopted son began Friday with the prosecutor telling jurors the case is about a 12-year-old boy and the events he would describe, and a defense lawyer saying her client is the victim of threats by her boyfriend and that the woman never had sex with the boy. Deputy District Attorney Mary Nguyen during her opening statement in Solano County Superior Court told jurors Friday that defendant Michelle V. Souza had intercourse with her adopted son, now 12, and instructed him not to tell anybody.

Domestic abuse: Men ‘need more help’, victims’ organisation says — The Men’s Advisory Project said it supported 536 clients in 2015 compared to 294 in 2013. But while victims often suffer similar hardship, it said the services available for men in Northern Ireland are less extensive than for women. One man who knows how difficult it can be to get help is Paul. Paul, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, walked away from his 25-year marriage after suffering physical, emotional and psychological abuse. Continue reading