Teen sues police over ‘sexting’ civil rights violation

Two years ago a young man faced serious charges over a sexting case. Trey Sims, then 17-years-old, sent his 15-year-old girlfriend a picture of his erect penis. The girl’s parents discovered the picture and reported it to the police. This led Sims’s arrest and a rather bizarre warrant issued in the case. One of the detectives asked for and received a warrant to force Sims to submit to police taking pictures of his erect penis.

When this made news, the warrant was withdrawn. Sims ended up going to trial and being forced on probation and to serve 100 hours of community service as condition for the charges being dropped. He recently decided to file a federal lawsuit against the prosecutors and police over the warrant the incident:

The teenager, Trey Sims, 19, filed a federal civil rights suit Wednesday against both [David E. Abbott Jr’s] estate and Claiborne Richardson II, the assistant Prince William commonwealth’s attorney who police said directed Abbott to obtain a search warrant for photographs of Sims’ genitalia, for comparison with video sent to Sims’ then-15-year-old girlfriend. In June 2014, Abbott did get a search warrant and photograph Sims with a cell phone, which attorney Victor M. Glasberg alleged was manufacturing child pornography. When Abbott and Richardson obtained a second search warrant, for photos of Sims erect, reports in The Washington Post “prompted a firestorm of public protest,” Glasberg wrote, causing Richardson and Abbott to withdraw the warrant.

Richardson did not return messages seeking comment Wednesday. Though Abbott’s estate is named as a defendant, Glasberg said that if liability insurance held by the Manassas City police did not cover the former detective’s actions, he would not pursue assets held by his heirs.

Readers may notice the mention of Abbott’s estate rather than Abbott himself. This is because Abbott is no longer alive. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v291

Abused men suffering from lack of support services — More services are needed to support male victims of domestic abuse, a charity has warned. Abused Men in Scotland (AMIS) – the country’s only group working to support male victims of domestic abuse – said rising levels of this kind of abuse mean more support is needed. It comes as new figures on partner abuse contained in the Scottish Crime and Justice survey revealed that of the 576,000 adults in Scotland who experienced some kind of abuse since the age of 16, 178,000 these were men.

Celebrated Alaska storyteller charged with sex abuse of 14-year-old — A prominent Alaska storyteller and performer faces felony charges after police say he had sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on Craigslist. Jack J. Dalton, 43, appeared in court Wednesday in Anchorage. He is accused of visiting the teenager’s home for sex in March and later admitting in a text message that he knew the boy was underage. Police say Dalton told investigators he previously had sex with a different juvenile he met online five to six years earlier and has used software to anonymously view child pornography.

Cuomo Mum on Child Sex Abuse Bill as Deadline Nears — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has dodged repeated entreaties from advocates against child sexual abuse to support legislation that would enable many victims of this crime to seek justice from their abusers. In a May 9 statement, Cuomo sidestepped pointed questions from the advocates, and from the press, about his willingness to push the state Senate to pass the Child Victims Act before the current legislative session ends June 16. The bill would eliminate New York’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse, which is one of the shortest in the nation. Continue reading

Woman’s sentenced doubled in child rape case

New Zealand’s criminal court decided that giving a woman who raped her one-year-old son, filmed it, and sent it to another person in exchange for $300 deserved more than eight months of home detention:

Krystal Harvey, who was 22 when she carried out the abuse, was originally sentenced in January in the Manukau District Court to eight months’ home detention, and 100 hours’ community work.

The case sparked outrage on social media, with many people saying Harvey should be behind bars, and others threatening to physically harm her. An online petition demanding she be sent to prison attracted more than 6500 signatures.

Following the threats, Judge Recordon converted her home detention sentence to a two-year jail term for her own protection.

But the Crown said the sentence was manifestly inadequate and wrong in principle, and appealed to the High Court.

Justice Wylie agreed and extended the sentence to three years and nine months.

The court decided to increase the woman’s sentence not because it was inherently the wrong sentence to begin with, but primarily because people sent threats against her. Continue reading

Sex abuse scandal at Long Island school

A recent sex abuse case in Long Island shows that the Catholic Church still has a problem with abusive priests in the United States:

A former president of a prestigious Catholic high school on Long Island has been suspended from practicing as a priest after an investigation found allegations he sexually abused a student were “credible.”

Father James Williams was the president of Chaminade High School in Mineola from 1999 until 2011, CBS New York station WCBS reported.

The Marianist order, also known as the Society of Mary, said Friday it conducted a “comprehensive investigation” into alleged sexual abuse in 2011 involving a Chaminade student who was age 18 or older.

What makes this case ironic is that this abuse apparently occurred within the last seventeen years. This is the period of time when the sex abuse scandal made news. The Catholic Church has stated over this time that they developed methods of identifying and treating abusive priests. It would appear, however, that whatever internal methods they have to detect abusers did not work in this case.

I have another explanation for this: it appears victims such abuse tend to take about ten to fifteen years to come forward. It is 2016, so it is not surprising that we are now seeing accusations about abuse that occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I think over the next five years we will see more cases from this period, proving that the Catholic Church does not have as much control over the rampant abuse in their organization as they claim.

To a certain extent this is already obvious. Some of the recent cases come from Latin America and Africa. These are countries with large Catholic populations that seem to be havens for wayward clergy members.

There was a response to the allegations:

In a letter posted on the school’s website, the order said Williams denied anything happened, but that it forwarded the information to the Nassau District Attorney’s Office.

A spokesman for the district attorney’s office told WCBS it received a letter in February 2015. He described the act as a misdemeanor sexual abuse, but said the statute of limitations for such a crime expired in 2013. The spokesman added that the alleged victim did not want to pursue criminal charges.

That is rather convenient. That is an observation, not an attack. It benefits Williams that the person who accused him neither wants to or can file charges. That may not be the case with other victims. The article does not state that anyone else accused Williams of sexual abuse, although it is possible that more can come forward. The situation and power Williams had certainly offered more opportunities to abuse children, assuming he did it.

However, I think this case shows that the Catholic Church attempted to clean up its public image, but likely has not done the work to make sure abuse does not happen. In fairness, there is little that they can do in many cases. Every offender is not obvious or prolific. Contrary to what people may think, many of those who prey on children have enough control to not do it. Some of them will abuse for a while and then stop. If they do not abuse again, there is a good chance no one will know they abused anyone at all.

That said, the Catholic Church is not doing the best job of weeding these people out. Sending them to Spanish-speaking countries or tucking them away in African countries is not a solution. They are still likely to abuse children. The Church needs to do better to make sure that this does not happen.

This does not mean they should suspect all priests or prevent priests from being alone with children. Most priests and clergy do not abuse and it would be unfair to treat them as if they do. It is also unfair, however, that there does not appear to be much done to help those who are preyed on or stop those who commit such acts.

Hip Hop legend accused of child sexual abuse

Last month several men accused famed hip hop star Afrika Bambaataa of repeated sexual abuse. The men claim that Bambaataa abused them during the 1980s:

During an interview with Shot 97, [Ronlad] Savage alleged that Bambaataa – real name Kevin Donovan – forced him to perform oral sex on him several times when Savage was around 13 or 14 years old. At the time, Bambaataa would have been around 21 years old.

“I was a kid when this happened,” Savage claimed during the interview. “I wanted to be down with the in-crowd, not really understanding that what Bambaataa was doing to me was molesting me. I knew it was wrong. I had these feelings that were like, ‘Yuck.'”

Continuing, Savage said that he did not come forward sooner because he “feared” Bambaataa, head of the influential hip-hip collective Universal Zulu Nation, and felt “shame” about what had allegedly taken place.

Three more men came forward following Savage’s accusation: Continue reading

What happens when you ignore female sex offenders

This what happens when people ignore women who express sexual interest in children:

A woman who was obsessed with Dublin pop sensation, Jedward, has been jailed for two years after she sexually abused two 14-year-old boys.

The woman groomed the two boys over social media before inviting both to her house in Dubdonald, South Ayshire in the UK.

She told the two boys that they could drink alcohol with her and watch films.

The abuser, Kirstin MacRuary, frequently posted on her Facebook page, prior to the abuse about her sexual fantasies involving Jedward.

Pictures of Jedward who are originally from Lucan, were posted on MacGuary’s Facebook page from when they were 12 years old, reports The Mirror UK .

One would think people would report such behavior, but it seems rather common for women to get a pass when they express sexual interest in child stars. Continue reading

Rape in the UK Military

Originally posted on December 4th, 2015

I wrote before about the problem of sexual violence in the United States military. It now appears the United Kingdom has a similar problem:

At least three rapes and 22 sexual assaults have been carried out against men in the UK military forces over the last two years, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed under a Freedom of Information request.

Last February, a 20-year-old man was subject to “assault by penetration” by a group of seven men, The Times reported.

In May, another soldier, 28, was attacked by his seven fellow servicemen, while three other young men in the army – one of them 18 years old – were the victims of penetrative sexual assaults over the last year.

All in all, there have been 25 assaults between October 2012 and October 2014, the report revealed.

The numbers were disclosed by the MoD under Freedom of Information requests. They refer only to information gathered by military police, meaning that the real numbers could be much higher.

A former army officer offers his views: Continue reading