Bulletin Board v290

Analysis: Court reverses 40 years of law on rape sentences — Even the Mississippi Supreme Court gets to change its mind. And it did so in April, ruling that judges can sentence people convicted of rape to life in prison, even if the jury didn’t recommend a life sentence. In that 5-3 ruling, the court overturned 40 years of its own decisions that had previously found only a jury could sentence a rape defendant to life in prison.

Frats Accused of Abusing ‘Male Privilege’ for Raising Awareness of Sexual Assault — In an op-ed for The Daily Northwestern, author Jessica Schwalb chastised the fraternities because their signs might “trigger” some students. The author claimed support for the campaign was “just a cruel reminder” for sexual assault survivors and that the efforts were “purely symbolic” of the problem. The signs, which included statements such as “[Sexual assault] is everyone’s problem,” “We stand against sexual violence,” and “We support survivors,” were intended as a show of solidarity for sexual assault awareness week.

Israel snubs UN concerns about prisoner abuse in Israeli jails — Michal Sarig-Kaduri, the deputy director of the human rights department at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, told United Nations’ Committee Against Torture on Wednesday that punitive measures such as solitary confinements and separation were “extremely restricted and used for short and limited periods of time, for a maximum of 14 days only.” Solitary confinement is the practice of isolating inmates in closed cells, depriving them of any human contact. Continue reading

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Bulletin Board v268

1 in 3 Victims of Family Violence Are Male — Family First NZ says that research in association with the Department of Internal Affairs, Alcohol and Drug Association of New Zealand and the Canterbury Men’s Centre has found that 38% of recent victims of family violence in the Canterbury region have been male and that male victims are not gaining support. The researcher says that media coverage has only focused on female victims and that there is reluctance for men to speak up.

Boy Scouts sue insurer over sex-abuse settlements — The Boy Scouts of America is taking legal action against a unit of a leading property/casualty insurer, claiming the company refused to provide insurance coverage for settlements of child sex-abuse cases from the late 1970s. The organization alleges that National Union Fire Insurance Company – a Pittsburg unit of American International Group – neither defended nor settled the claims that were brought by sex abuse victims from 1975 to 1980 and totaled about $60 million.

Colorado GOP Legislator Implies Gay Boy Scout Leaders Should Be Drowned — Colorado State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt (R-Colorado Springs), in Monday’s edition of his online video series called “Pray in Jesus’ Name,” urged his viewers to pull their children out of the Boy Scouts because “homosexual men mentoring and camping” with boys “will lead to child abuse.” “The children are in danger,” said Klingenschmitt, a first-term Republican. “It’s not about the sexual pleasure of the adults. It should be about protecting innocent children.”

Convicted paedophile caught with thousands of child abuse images — A convicted paedophile, who had been released early from a three-year prison sentence for sexually abusing a 14-year-old-girl, was caught with thousands of child abuse images. Kenneth Cooper, 60, of Magnon Court, Leighton Buzzard, shared 500 of the pictures and movies with other perverts, Luton Crown Court heard on Tuesday. After hearing that Cooper had also been convicted of having indecent images of children in 2004, Judge David Farrell QC said that he regarded him as posing a significant risk of causing sexual harm to children. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v267

Abuse against boy ‘preventable’ says judge during sentencing; young mother jailed for harming son — A young Adelaide mother may only spend about another three months in jail after being sentenced for an attack on her two-year-old son, which left him with bite marks, bruises and scratches all over his body. The judge slammed Families SA for failing the boy, saying the crime could have been prevented if the department had acted on 19 notifications about his welfare.

Another former boy scout files abuse lawsuit – over 100 more could follow — Another lawsuit has been filed against the Boy Scouts of America over alleged abuse by a Scout leader – and his attorneys think at least “a hundred more” lawsuits from Minnesota will follow. Minneapolis-based Noaker Law Firm filed a complaint Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court against the BSA and the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America relating to sexual abuse a former scout suffered at the hands of Scout Leader Leland Opalinski.

Bangladesh hunts attackers of teen beaten to death — Hundreds of people have formed a human chain outside the home of the 13-year-old boy who was beaten to death in Bangladesh to protest the killing, as police hunted for a group of men who lashed the boy to a stake, beat him to death, and put a video of the torture online. Police said an autopsy on Samiul Alam Rajon revealed scores of injuries all over his body, including on the head and chest. He died due to internal bleeding. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v191

Boy Scouts agree to release ‘perversion files’ — The Boy Scouts of America said Thursday it will release to attorneys 10 years of confidential files it uses to keep pedophile suspects from becoming troop leaders or volunteers. The decision comes after the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio denied an appeal from the BSA to keep the files sealed. “Youth protection is of paramount importance to the Boy Scouts of America,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in an email. “We are thankful the court reviewed this matter and will comply with its order.”

Discrimination against men? — Recent Virgin airlines passenger, John McGirr claims Virgin airlines treated him like a sexual predator on a flight to Sydney. He claims a flight attendant asked him to move saying he was not allowed to sit next to children because he was male. According to Mr McGirr the flight attendant walked up the aisle and tried to find a female to swap seats with him. “By that time, people had looked around and it was like I’d done something wrong, (I felt) defenceless.

Ex-Scout leader admits sexual abuse of boys — Henry Calder, 60, who had been in a position of responsibility in the Scout Association for about 40 years, had taken videos between 1982 and 1991 at camps organised by the movement. He had also been an employee in the finance department at East Dunbartonshire Council until his retirement in 2010. Calder, of Kirkintilloch, was arrested in a raid organised under the auspices of Operation Alba, which targeted people who downloaded child pornography on the internet. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v174

Advocacy group backs order to send girls back to Italy — On Monday the Family Court dismissed the mother’s last ditch attempt to keep her four daughters in Australia after she brought them here two years ago from Italy, ostensibly for a short holiday. The Brisbane court ruled the children, aged between nine and 15, be returned to their father in Italy and they were immediately taken into the custody of the Queensland Department of Communities.

Boy Scouts admit response to sex abuse was ‘insufficient’ — As the Boy Scouts of America prepares for the court-ordered release of records detailing accusations of sex abuse by members and leaders, the organization acknowledged in an open letter this week that its response in some of the cases had been “plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong.” The letter comes after the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Boy Scouts to release “ineligible volunteer” files from 1965 to 1985 that chronicle suspected or confirmed instances of child sex abuse.

Boy Scouts kept files on gay men alongside paedophiles — It has been revealed that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) kept tabs on members they suspected of being gay alongside records of scoutmasters and other volunteers who were suspected of being child molesters. The Boy Scouts says the files, known collectively as ‘perversion files’ were compiled to make sure pedophiles were kicked out and stayed out of Scouting. However an analysis of the files by Seattle’s KING 5 television channel shows top officials in the youth organization were keeping files on suspected gay Scouting volunteers as well.

Boy Scouts to review all allegations of sexual abuse — The Boy Scouts of America announced Tuesday that it would conduct a comprehensive review of files on suspected sexual predators to ensure that all allegations of abuse in the last 47 years have been reported to law enforcement. The move would mark the first time in the organization’s century-long history that it thoroughly studied its own confidential files, a blacklist meant to keep predators out of Scouting.

Children most often killed by mothers — New Zealand mothers kill more children than any other group in society and men are victims of domestic violence as often as women, a police investigation has found. The Family Violence Death Review, released today by police, found mothers were responsible for 45 per cent of children killed by domestic violence. The review of 95 family violence deaths involving 101 victims between 2004 and 2011 revealed some “inconvenient truths”, Family First national director Bob McCoskrie said.  Continue reading

The Boy Scouts of America covered up abuse

A recent article in the LA Times revealed that the Boy Scouts of America protected scores of men accused of abusing boys, going back as far as the 1970s. In some cases, the BSA hid the information from the authorities, and even used their connections to keep the allegations from breaking news in local communities just to protect the alleged abusers’ reputations:

Over two decades, the Boy Scouts of America failed to report hundreds of alleged child molesters to police and often hid the allegations from parents and the public.

A Los Angeles Times review of 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 has found that Scouting officials frequently urged admitted offenders to quietly resign — and helped many cover their tracks.

Volunteers and employees suspected of abuse were allowed to leave citing bogus reasons such as business demands, “chronic brain dysfunction” and duties at a Shakespeare festival.

The details are contained in the organization’s confidential “perversion files,” a blacklist of alleged molesters, that the Scouts have used internally since 1919. Scouts’ lawyers around the country have been fighting in court to keep the files from public view.

As The Times reported in August, the blacklist often didn’t work: Men expelled for alleged abuses slipped back into the program, only to be accused of molesting again. Now, a more extensive review has shown that Scouts sometimes abetted molesters by keeping allegations under wraps.

In the majority of cases, the Scouts learned of alleged abuse after it had been reported to authorities. But in more than 500 instances, the Scouts learned about it from boys, parents, staff members or anonymous tips.

In about 400 of those cases — 80% — there is no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police. In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it, The Times found.

It gets much worse. Continue reading