Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Virginity tests worry social workers

Virginity tests worry social workers
Wednesday, 30 September 2009 10:10 KM News
Medical association calls on doctors to stop performing tests to prove virginity of young women

Concerns that an increasing number of young Muslim women are being sent to doctors to prove that they are virgins has social workers and doctors taking steps to help them, reports DR News.

Kristina Abu-Khader Aamand, a social worker and the founder of the website NyMø (New Virginity), said about a third of the 50 or so girls that contacted her each month, asked about virginity examinations.

‘These girls are incredibly afraid of this examination, because many aren’t virgins,’ she said.

The exams are reportedly used by families when seeking a spouse for their daughters.

Aamand said many parents would refuse to allow their son to marry a woman who wasn’t a virgin. Girls that had lost their virginity feared they would be ostracised by their families, she said.

The virginity exam involves a gynaecologist determining if a girl’s hymen is intact. The gynaecologist then reports the results of the examination to the girl’s general practitioner, who issues documentation of the test’s result.

The Danish Medical Association has urged its members not to carry out virginity exams.

Frederiksberg-based general practitioner Dr Sabbir Ahmed said it was wrong for parents to demand their daughters undergo the examination. But he still issued the documentation if could help his patient.

‘If a piece of paper can help a girl, then I’ll issue it. It’s up to me to decide what’s best for my patients.’

‘The girls are under enormous pressure from their families,’ said Ahmed. ‘I can sense that, and that puts pressure on me as a doctor.’

Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican

Sex abuse rife in other religions, says Vatican
• Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent, and Anushka Asthana
•, Monday 28 September 2009 22.41 BST
• Article history
The Vatican has lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was "busy cleaning its own house" and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger.
In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.
The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that "available research" showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.
He also quoted statistics from the Christian Scientist Monitor newspaper to show that most US churches being hit by child sex abuse allegations were Protestant and that sexual abuse within Jewish communities was common.
He added that sexual abuse was far more likely to be committed by family members, babysitters, friends, relatives or neighbours, and male children were quite often guilty of sexual molestation of other children.
The statement said that rather than paedophilia, it would "be more correct" to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.
"Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17."
The statement concluded: "As the Catholic church has been busy cleaning its own house, it would be good if other institutions and authorities, where the major part of abuses are reported, could do the same and inform the media about it."
The Holy See launched its counter–attack after an international representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, Keith Porteous Wood, accused it of covering up child abuse and being in breach of several articles under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Porteous Wood said the Holy See had not contradicted any of his accusations. "The many thousands of victims of abuse deserve the international community to hold the Vatican to account, something it has been unwilling to do, so far. Both states and children's organisations must unite to pressurise the Vatican to open its files, change its procedures worldwide, and report suspected abusers to civil authorities."
Representatives from other religions were dismayed by the Holy See's attempts to distance itself from controversy by pointing the finger at other faiths.
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, head of the New York Board of Rabbis, said: "Comparative tragedy is a dangerous path on which to travel. All of us need to look within our own communities. Child abuse is sinful and shameful and we must expel them immediately from our midst."
A spokesman for the US Episcopal Church said measures for the prevention of sexual misconduct and the safeguarding of children had been in place for years.
Of all the world religions, Roman Catholicism has been hardest hit by sex abuse scandals. In the US, churches have paid more than $2bn (£1.25bn) in compensation to victims. In Ireland, reports into clerical sexual abuse have rocked both the Catholic hierarchy and the state.
The Ryan Report, published last May, revealed that beatings and humiliation by nuns and priests were common at institutions that held up to 30,000 children. A nine-year investigation found that Catholic priests and nuns for decades terrorised thousands of boys and girls, while government inspectors failed to stop the abuse.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Church court rejects Pa. ex-bishop's new trial bid

Church court rejects Pa. ex-bishop's new trial bid

PHILADELPHIA -- An Episcopal Church court has rejected a defrocked Pennsylvania bishop's bid for a new church trial based on a recently discovered cache of letters related to his case.

Charles E. Bennison Jr. was removed from his post last year after a church trial in Philadelphia found he covered up his brother's sexual assaults of a teenage girl in the 1970s. Bennison's lawyers argued that more than 200 letters recently found contradict witness testimony and show the victim tried to hide the relationship, hampering any intervention by the bishop.

The church court ruled that the letters "would not have changed the outcome of the trial."

No date has been set for an appeals hearing by a panel of bishops that could reverse the decision or impose a milder sentence such as suspension or reprimand.

College Reverend found dead faced investigation over child indecency

College Reverend found dead faced investigation over child indecency
Sep 27 2009 Mark Mcgivern

A CAMBRIDGE University churchman who was found dead in his home faced child sex allegations in Scotland.

Police were investigating indecency claims against the Rev Ian Thompson, 50, who is thought to have killed himself.

Thompson, the dean of chapel at King's College, died of asphyxiation at his house in Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, on Thursday.

The Glasgow-born cleric had already been reported to the procurator fiscal by Strathclyde Police over indecency allegations in Kilmarnock.

His widow, Ann, said: "He was a wonderful man who was well-loved by people of all walks of life."

A university spokesman said: "We are neither confirming or denying any of the allegations."

Fourth-year student John Syfret, 23, who knew Thompson through the university rowing club, said: "He said he was over-worked, taking on too much and needed time off.

"He was on leave for most of last year and no one was sure why.

"There were rumours he was ill but no one ever suggested he had done anything dodgy.

"He was meant to come back to work in Easter term but suddenly and unexpectedly requested to remain on leave.

"But there was no suggestion anything like this was going to happen."

Thompson's neighbour David Hogan said: "He was kind and generous and a good neighbour. He was always friendly to my wife and I.

"We didn't see as much of him as we would have liked as he was always so busy down at the university, but he was a good man.

"We are a close community on this street and Ian's death has shocked us all. This is a tragedy."

Strathclyde Police said: "A report was sent to the procurator fiscal on December 3, 2007, in connection with alleged historical indecencies."

But yesterday the Crown Office in Edinburgh refused to say if the Thompson case was active.

A spokesman said: "We can't provide that information outwith office hours."

Thompson took up his prestigious post in 2005 after being Dean of Chapel at Selwyn College and chaplain of Selwyn and Newnham.

He graduated from Aberdeen University and was a commanding officer in the Salvation Army before being ordained in 1994.

The cleric spent five years with the Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney before moving to Cambridge in 1999. One of his posts was at St Mary's Episcopal Church in Aberdeen.

His job in Cambridge involved giving readings at the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, broadcast live from King's College Chapel on Christmas Eve to millions of viewers worldwide. He was treasurer of Cambridge University Combined Boat Clubs and coach of Chesterton Rowing Club.

Cambridge police said: "There were no suspicious circumstances about his death and the matter has been passed to the coroner

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Abuse survivors fled Ireland

Lost souls fled clerical abuse

By Ruth McDonald
BBC Radio 4

Abuse at Catholic institutions was detailed in the Ryan Report
It is estimated that 10,000 survivors of abuse in schools and reformatories run by Catholic religious orders in Ireland now live in Great Britain.

Cathy Spillane has been hearing about these institutions all her life.

Her father Joe spent his childhood in a Catholic Church-run school in Kerry. He was beaten regularly by the priests who worked there, and starved of love and affection throughout his childhood.

"It was so beyond comprehension, really," she said, remembering how her father used to tell them how he was so hungry as a boy he would eat leaves off trees, and pretend they were chocolate.

His stories left a lasting impression on his daughter, who recognised much of what her father had gone through in the pages of the Ryan Report.

Ten years in the making, the Ryan Report was published in May and shocked the world with a detailed catalogue of almost mediaeval horror.


Summary of findings from the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse (105Kb)
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Children - some as young as a few months old - were placed in the care of Catholic priests and nuns in orphanages or so called "industrial schools".

Many were put there simply because their families were too poor to support them.

The report found evidence of "endemic" child sex abuse and "pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment" in the institutions - where children were held until they were 16.

Brothers and sisters were often split up, and by the time they re-entered the outside world, many children had lost contact with any remaining family they had.

Not surprisingly, many left Ireland as soon as they could, and never looked back.

May Henderson was one of those who chose to go. She ended up in London, still in her teens, and, as she admits herself, unsure of what to do in the outside world.

She only learned to use a knife and fork after she left the convent.

"Because in the school, all we ever had was an enamel plate and a spoon," she said.

"When you come out of there you don't know anything".

It's hard to reconcile this bright-eyed, cheerful lady in her 70s with the frightened young girl who left Ireland all those years ago.


"They used to tell me I would end up like my mother 'on the streets'," she said of the nuns who brought her up.

She has copies of correspondence from her father to the nuns; heartbreaking letters, asking for news of May and her sisters. She does not know if they were ever answered.

May, like many of the emigrant survivors, has put Ireland behind her.

She has never been back to the land where she was treated so harshly. She has carved out her own life in London, with a family and close friends.

She applied to the Irish government for compensation for her time spent in the institutions, and was successful. But many don't even make it that far.

Lost Souls of Ireland
Lost Souls Of Ireland will be broadcast on Friday 25 September at 1100 BST on BBC Radio 4 or listen for seven days after that at
BBC iPlayer
Many simply leave their Irish identity behind, and never look back.

They never read Irish newspapers, stay away from other Irish people and cut themselves off from anything that might remind them of their terrible pasts.

They are, in general, very hard to reach out to. But some do come forward - and often when they do, they ring Phyllis Morgan and Marie Aubertin at the London Irish Survivors Outreach Centre.

Phyllis is a whirlwind of energy and compassion. Like the people she helps, Phyllis too was raised in an institution.

She vividly describes one incident, when a nun dragged her from behind a door and began to beat her, as if it happened yesterday.

Since the Ryan Report was published their phones have been ringing off the hook, with more survivors speaking, often for the first time, of their ordeals.

There is still some way to go, it seems, before all the stories of horror are heard.

Catholic Church urges whistleblowers to report sex abuse priests

Catholic Church urges whistleblowers to report sex abuse priestsRuth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Roman Catholic Church is urging whistleblowers to speak out against bishops, clergy, monks and nuns who they suspect might be guilty of sexual or other abuse.

Alleged abusers who do not merit a criminal prosecution are to be subject to independent investigation by a national panel appointed by the Church.

The new policies, published by the Catholic Safeguarding and Advisory Service , mark a turning away from the protectionist policy of secrecy of previous generations.

The Safeguarding Manual of the Catholic Church of England and Wales says: “We encourage employees, office holders, volunteers and others who have serious concerns about any aspect of the Church’s safeguarding work to come forward and voice those concerns.

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“This policy document makes it clear that they can do so without fear of victimisation, subsequent discrimination or disadvantage.”

A pilot scheme allowing an investigator to report to a panel chaired by a judge, senior lawyer or member of the social care professions has been set up to examine cases where there is a possible risk, but police have judged there to be no realistic prospect of a prosecution.

The Church reported 50 allegations of abuse of children last year including sexual, physical and emotional abuse as well as neglect. A “significant number” of the allegations related to incidents said to have taken place in the 1970s, with more than half going back 30 years or more. Of the alleged abusers, 30 are clergy.

The allegations made last year have so far resulted in one police caution or warning, three convictions and one jail sentence, the report said.

But no further action was taken by the statutory authorities in 29 cases, the report said, for a number of reasons including insufficient evidence and the death of the alleged abuser.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales underwent sweeping reforms to its child protection procedures following intense criticism about the way it had handled abuse scandals in the past.

The Nolan report in 2001, ordered by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, former Archbishop of Westminster, made a series of recommendations aimed at stamping out paedophile activity in the Church.

Between 1995 and 1999, 21 of the 5,600 Catholic priests in England and Wales were convicted of offences against children.

The Bishop of Clifton, the Right Rev Declan Lang, vice-chairman of the commission responsible for the safeguarding policy, said that the Church was feeling “more confident, but not complacent” about its handling of child protection issues.

“What we are trying to do is to encourage and create positive relationships between all members of the Church, young and old,” he said.

Rittual murder of albino

Men severed albino boy's legs in ritual killing
Posted Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:28pm AEST

A court in Tanzania has found three men guilty of murdering a 14-year-old albino boy and severing his legs.

They have been sentenced to death by hanging.

The three men attacked and killed the young boy last December - one of a string of more than 50 albino murders that have taken place in Tanzania over the past two years.

This was the first guilty verdict since then and human rights activists hope it will help put an end to albino killings.

The ritualised murders are based in a belief that the ground up bones of albinos bring good luck to those who possess them.

The three men have the right to appeal the death sentence, which the law has said was unexpected.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Trial date could be set for ex-Sunday school teacher

Last updated September 24, 2009 11:18 p.m. PT

Trial date for Melissa Huckaby could be set Friday

STOCKTON, Calif. -- A trial date could be set for a Northern California woman charged with kidnapping, raping and killing an 8-year-old Tracy girl whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase.

Melissa Huckaby is set to appear Friday in San Joaquin County Superior Court in Stockton. The 28-year-old former Sunday school teacher has pleaded not guilty to murdering Sandra Cantu, as well as to charges she drugged two other people.

San Joaquin County prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Huckaby, who was indicted in July following her arrest in April.

Prosecutors are urging for a speedy trial because they say younger witnesses who may testify could have a difficult time recalling specifics in the case.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dad admits killings to reporters, blames crime on 'spirit'

Dad admits killings to reporters, blames crime on 'spirit'

(CNN) -- A Florida man admitted to reporters that he killed his wife and five "innocent" children, adding that he wants to be executed "right away" so he can be buried with them on Saturday.

Mesac Damas spoke with reporters in Haiti, saying a "spirit" drove him to kill his wife and children.

Mesac Damas, 32, said he wanted to take his own life, but did not have the courage to go through with it, "because if you kill yourself, you're not going to heaven."
Damas made the statements to a Naples Daily News reporter as he was being led into a Haitian police vehicle in Port-au-Prince. Damas was returned to the United States late Tuesday following his capture in Haiti.
Damas faces six counts of premeditated first-degree murder in the deaths of his wife, Guerline Damas, 32; and the couple's five children -- Michzach, 9; Marven, 6; Maven, 5; Megan, 3; and Morgan, 11 months, police have said. The six bodies were found Saturday in the family's North Naples, Florida, home after relatives called police saying they had not been heard from.
Asked by the reporter in Haiti why he killed his family, Damas responded, "Only God knows." Questioned further, he blamed the crime on his mother-in-law. "Her mom pretty much made me do it -- the devil, her spirit, whatever she worships," he said. Watch what Damas has to say »
Damas added, "When I did it, [my] eyes [were] closed but right now my eyes are open." He repeatedly asked the reporter, "Do you believe in Jesus Christ," and stated, "The devil exists."
Police said an arrest warrant was issued for Damas on Tuesday "based on information and evidence collected thus far in the investigation and statements made by Damas to a federal agent after his detention in Haiti."
Police have not said how the five were killed, but Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk described the scene as "horrific."
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The Naples Daily News, citing the warrant, reported that the woman and children were stabbed and their throats were slashed.
Damas had used a one-way ticket to fly from Miami to Haiti. Later, he told reporters that he had gone to Haiti to say goodbye to his family. He claimed that he had planned to turn himself in.
Police had asked the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for help in locating Damas. The FBI's legal attaché in the Dominican Republic notified authorities in Collier County, Florida, that a man believed to be Damas was taken into custody Monday by the Haitian National Police.
"Information obtained by [the sheriff's office] shows Damas was found hiding near a hotel in the capital city of Port-au-Prince," a sheriff's statement said Tuesday. Watch In Session's report on Damas' detention in Haiti »
Police earlier said the judge who signed the arrest warrant ordered that Damas be held without bond upon his return to Florida. If convicted of six counts of first-degree murder, Damas could face life in prison or the death penalty.
Mesac and Guerline Damas had a history of domestic violence, police said. Mesac Damas was arrested in January, and in June he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges against his wife. Police said they did not believe he served any jail time, and did not think a restraining order was currently in place regarding the couple.
However, an arrest warrant was issued Monday for Damas on charges of violating probation stemming from the January arrest.
Guerline Damas' family released a statement Tuesday through the sheriff's office, saying she was "the best mother, sister and daughter in the world. She was caring and loving, and we miss her very much."
"This is a family tragedy and we want the community to realize that domestic violence is a serious issue," said the statement from the family. "If you have friends or family who are in an abusive relationship, please try to get them help. And to those women who are being abused, please love yourself enough to get help."
The family said its main concern was getting Damas back into the country "to face what he has done and get justice for our sister and daughter and her children. ... We ask that you keep our family in your prayers."
The Damases had been married about 10 years, Rambosk said. He did not know how long they had lived in Naples.
The six bodies were found about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, a day after police had visited the home to check on the family, Collier County sheriff's Capt. Chris Roberts said.

A family member had asked police to conduct a welfare check on the home Friday, saying they had not heard from a resident there, Roberts said. Responding officers knocked on the door and got no answer, he said, but they saw nothing that aroused their suspicions.
The following morning, the family member became more concerned and filed a missing persons report, Rambosk said. Later, authorities requested a key to the house from property management, as well as authorization to enter.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mass. man sues Catholic bishops over sex abuse

Mass. man sues Catholic bishops over sex abuse
Sep. 21, 2009
By Fred Contrada, Religion News Service

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. -- A Massachusetts man is suing two former bishops of the Springfield, Mass., diocese and another church administrator for allegedly allowing him to be molested by a priest who had admitted to sexually abusing other boys.

Lawyers for the alleged victim say it is perhaps the first U.S. case that involves a defendant who is an accused molester charged with overseeing another accused molester.

Andrew Nicastro, 38, of Williamstown, said the former Rev. Alfred Graves sexually molested him between 1982 and 1984, when Nicastro was 11 to 13 years old. Graves, who has been named as an abuser in other suits filed against the diocese, was suspended from active ministry in the 1990s and officially defrocked by the Vatican in 2006.

The suit names as defendants Bishop Joseph Maguire, who led the Springfield diocese at the time of the allegations, Bishop Thomas Dupre, who was chancellor and third in command, and Richard Sniezyk, who was vicar for priests and had a supervisory role over Graves.

Dupre resigned after he was indicted in 2004 on charges of abusing two boys during the 1970s. The cases were dropped when prosecutors determined they were too old to prosecute. Dupre is currently at a Maryland treatment center for troubled priests.

Mark Dupont, a spokesman for the diocese, said it would be imprudent to comment on the specifics of the case prior to a thorough review.

According to the suit, the parents of a young boy told Maguire in 1976 that their son had been sexually molested by Graves while he was assigned to Our Lady of Hope Church in Springfield. Although Graves admitted to Maguire that he had molested the boy, the bishop merely warned him "to not do it again," the suit states. Graves was subsequently transferred, eventually ending up at St. Patrick's in Williamstown in 1981, where he served as the pastor.

Nicastro's lawyer, John Stobierski, said his investigation has uncovered writings that show Maguire knew about Graves' history of molesting boys.

"For the first time, we have solid proof that the hierarchy of the diocese knew Alfred Graves molested children before he was assigned to a parish where Mr. Nicastro and others were located," he said.

After a barrage of lawsuits earlier this decade, the suit is one of the few civil complaints filed against the diocese in the last four years. The diocese paid out $7.7 million to dozens of claimants in 2004 and another $4.5 million to 59 alleged abuse victims last year. Those costs were offset by an $8.5 million settlement between the diocese and three insurance companies.

"Honor" crimes

Police told to treat hundreds more attacks as 'honour' crimes
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:55 AM on 22nd September 2009
Comments (0) Add to My Stories Failed: Banaz Mahmod was killed by her father and her uncle despite having complained to police
Hundreds of attacks are to be treated as 'honour' crimes in a new drive by police to prosecute more offenders.
Prosecutors hope the drive will also ensure that victims receive more rapid protection that can save them from possible further violence or a forced marriage.
Under the new guidance it will be assumed that an honour crime has been committed in any case in which there is the slightest sign that such an offence has taken place - even if the victim has not reported it.
Elements of the strategy are designed to ensure that potentially vital evidence of honour-based persecution is not overlooked.
It will include information for police and prosecutors on how to identify male victims amid concern that at least 15 per cent of cases involve attacks or forced marriage inflicted on men.
The horrific consequences of honour violence were highlighted by an attack in Leytonstone in July in which a 24-year-old Danish man of Asian origin had acid poured down his throat and was repeatedly stabbed because of his relationship with a Muslim woman.
In January 2006 Banaz Mahmod was killed after falling in love with a man her family did not want her to marry.

The 20-year-old, who had left an arranged marriage and started a relationship with Rhamat Sulemani, 29, was strangled with a bootlace at her home in Surrey in January 2006.

Her father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and uncle Ari Mahmod, 50, of Mitcham, were convicted of the killing.

The pair decided she must pay "the ultimate price" for bringing shame on them.

Ms Mahmod had made a series of complaints to police and agreed to press charges a day before she was killed.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigated how police dealt with her.

Officers will also be instructed to look out for disabled victims in response to evidence that some people with learning difficulties are being pressed into marriages to help their new spouses gain entry to Britain.
The new approach will be unveiled tomorrow at a London conference organised by the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service.
There will also be a new attempt to persuade victims of female genital mutilation to come forward following the failure of legislation passed six years ago to outlaw the practice to result in a single conviction.
Under the new approach, which mimics the detection techniques used to tackle race-hate crime following the Stephen Lawrence murder, reports from friends or relatives about possible honour violence will be taken seriously, even if the victim has failed to raise the alarm.
Other indications such as a girl's sudden disappearance from school will also be seen as significant.
Announcing the new measures, Nazir Afzal, the Crown Prosecution Service's legal director, said: 'It will be about making sure we look for the signs so that we don't miss cases.'
On the issue of male victims, Mr Afzal said one vulnerable group were gay men, who were sometimes forced into marriage because of a desire from their families to hide their sexuality, while other cases arose when relatives wanted to divert a male family member away from criminal associates.
The number of specialist prosecutors tackling the problem will also be increased with the number employed in London, which currently has 10, scheduled to double over the coming months.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Boys in religion-funded school sexual abused

Connecticut Man Charged with Sexually Abusing Boys From School He Founded in Haiti
Thursday, September 17, 2009

Print ShareThisHARTFORD, Conn. — A former Connecticut resident has been indicted with sexually abusing nine boys at a school for poor children he founded in Haiti, allegedly threatening them with expulsion or withholding benefits if they did not comply with his demands.

U.S. Attorney Nora Dannehy announced Thursday that Douglas Perlitz, 39, founder of the Project Pierre Toussaint school in Cap-Haitien, was indicted by a federal grand jury on numerous counts. Perlitz founded the school and raised money for its operation when he lived in Connecticut.

"This defendant is alleged to have used his position of power to manipulate and sexually abuse vulnerable boys for nearly a decade," Dannehy said.

Perlitz was arrested at his home in Eagle, Colo., on Wednesday, a day after the grand jury in Bridgeport, Conn., indicted him. A U.S. magistrate ordered him detained pending a hearing Friday in federal court in Denver.

The indictment lists seven counts of traveling outside of the United States with the intent to engage in sexual conduct with minors and three counts of engaging in sexual conduct in foreign places with minors.

Perlitz's lawyer, federal Public Defender Matthew Golla, did not immediately return a phone message Thursday. There was no public phone listing for Perlitz.

Authorities say Perlitz, who lived in the Connecticut cities of Bridgeport, Stamford and Fairfield, enticed children into sex acts by promising food, shelter and items including cash, cell phones, electronics, shoes and clothing. Prosecutors say Perlitz would sometimes withhold benefits or threaten to expel the boys if they refused to have sexual relations.

The indictment said Perlitz received funding from a religious organization to found Project Pierre Toussaint in 1997. The program initially served mostly street children as young as 6 years old, and later expanded to include a residential program for high school-aged children. Children were offered meals, sports, classroom instruction and access to running water for baths.

The indictment alleges that minors were sleeping in Perlitz's bedroom in a two-story house known as "Bel Air." When others questioned Perlitz about it, he tried to hide the sexual abuse by saying it was common in Haiti for children and adults to sleep together, the indictment alleges.

Volunteers and staff members were scared to come forward with the allegations, the indictment says, because Perlitz controlled the school's operations and "utilized the fear of unemployment and the difficult economic situation in Haiti."

The arrest should be a warning to child sex predators who think they can get away with victimizing children outside the U.S., said John T. Morton, assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Each count in the indictment carries up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The investigation continues and the U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince has set up a hot line for people to call with information pertinent to it. Dannehy said federal immigration agents and State Department officials stationed in Haiti also worked on the case.

A federal law passed in 2003 aims to prosecute Americans who travel overseas — beyond the reach of U.S. law — to have sex with children.

Calif. pastor gets life term for abusing 5 girls

Calif. pastor gets life term for abusing 5 girls

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. -- A 65-year-old California pastor has been sentenced to life in prison for beating and drugging her five adopted daughters and locking them in a Riverside County garage.

Jessica Banks received consecutive life terms Friday after being convicted in July of sexually abusing two of her daughters and forcing all the sisters to go without food for days.

Banks was arrested in 2005 after one emaciated girl was found lying outside a Moreno Valley business.

Prosecutors say the sisters, who were ages 4 to 11 at the time, lived in a hidden room in Banks' garage with no air conditioning or heating.

They attended school at the Word of Life Apostolic Church, where Banks was pastor.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If abuse papers go public

Bishop Lori prepares for 'worst case' should abuse papers go public
Meets with priests, deacons to pre-empt bad publicity
Sep. 17, 2009
By Tom Roberts

Bishop Lori (CNS 2007 photo)
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Officials of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., down to their final opportunity to keep documents relating to 23 sex abuses cases out of public circulation, met with all priests and deacons today in an attempt to pre-empt the bad publicity in a worst case scenario.
The worst case for the diocese would be a U.S. Supreme Court decision denying the diocese’s request to keep clergy sex abuse files sealed. The request was passed on earlier this month to the full court by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The diocese, in that request, was appealing a ruling by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had denied the diocese’s appeal of earlier state court rulings ordering that the documents be released.
The files will remained sealed at least until the full court reviews the request Sept. 29 and decides to either hear the case in its session that begins in October or to vacate the diocese’s request, in effect releasing the documents.
According to one person attending the session, which was closed to the press, Bishop William Lori told the priests “prudence dictates” that the diocese be prepared should the court refuse to hear the case, meaning the documents would be released.
As part of the preparation, Lori is asking priests to prepare an overview of all the diocese has done to protect children to be presented following the post-communion prayer the weekend of Sept. 26. As part of the preparation, said a source who attended the meeting, Lori told those assembled that they would receive a document with questions and answers so that “we can all be singing from the same sheet of music.”
The bishop explained that he has vigorously fought release of the documents primarily because they contain the names of a number of “John Doe” priests who were wrongly accused. Lori and lawyers retained by the diocese who attended today’s meeting said a review of the cases found that they were groundless. He argued that the priests named would have no way of defending themselves if their names were released along with the documents. In answer to a question, he told the gathering that all of the John Doe priests had been notified earlier and that no one would be surprised.
While release of the names of those considered innocent is a fear, at the same time the priests today were told that there is a chance -- based on an earlier ruling by a state court that the names of the innocent be withheld from any public disclosure – that the names would not be released even if the documents were made public.
The 12,600 pages of depositions, exhibits and legal arguments in question relate to a 2001 settlement of 23 cases involving seven priests. The records were sealed when the cases were settled just before they went to trial.
The priests were told today that none of the documents contain any “bombshells” and that most of the material was reported in a 2002 article in The Hartford Courant.
Following the settlement in 2001, the Courant along with The Boston Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post, petitioned to have the documents released. It is presumed the documents would reveal details of how Cardinal Edward Egan, the recently retired archbishop of New York, had handled the sex abuse crisis during his tenure as bishop of Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000.
According to the source who attended today’s meeting, diocesan officials, anticipating a question, said that no money was used from the annual bishop’s appeal to pay legal costs in the attempt to keep the documents sealed. However, it was disclosed that the diocese had received large anonymous gifts specifically for that purpose and also that the diocese had used unspecified “unrestricted funds” for legal costs.
No amount was given for the unrestricted funds used.
Lori will be meeting with other diocesan personnel tomorrow in an attempt to prepare Catholics in the diocese for responding to questions that they might be asked in work or social situations.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

RE teacher facing jail after sex with schoolboy, 15,

Wednesday, Sep 16 2009 This Evening 11°C Tomorrow Morning 17°C 5-Day Forecast

RE teacher facing jail after sex with schoolboy, 15, she met on Facebook
By Jaya Narain
Last updated at 6:24 PM on 16th September 2009

Facing jail: Religious education teacher Madeleine Martin, 39, admitted having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old pupil

A religious education teacher is facing jail after she admitted having sex with a 15-year-old schoolboy.

Madeleine Martin, 39, had sex with the pupil at her school on several occasions after they exchanged emails over the internet.

The pair met up after exchanging a series of emails and embarked on a passionate nine-day affair.

Today Martin was told to expect a prison sentence after she pleaded guilty to having sex with the schoolboy.

Martin, who was married but is now estranged from her husband, stood with her head bowed in the dock at Manchester Crown Court today as she pleaded guilty to ten charges of sexual activity with a child under 16.

The court heard brunette Martin, 39, and the teenager had exchanged messages over the social networking website, Facebook.

She then met the boy, who was a pupil at her school in Tameside, Greater Manchester - which cannot be identified - and performed a sex act on him.

The teacher and the pupil then met on several occasions in February this year where they had sexual intercourse.

The teacher, dressed in a black suit and white blouse, was told by Judge Peter Lakin that she will be jailed when she is sentenced in November.

Judge Lakin told her: 'You have pleaded guilty to very serious matters involving a breach of trust and sexual activity with a child under 16. Custody is inevitable and you must prepare yourself for it.

He told her that she would also be registered as a sex offender under the Sexual Offences Act and would also be investigated by the Independent Safeguarding Authority who would decide whether she should be banned from working with children or vulnerable adults.

Jennifer Birch, prosecuting, said the relationship between Martin and the boy ran from February 9 to the 17th. During that period they had full intercourse three times and she performed a sex act on him seven times.

Miss Birch said the couple decided to end their relationship by 'mutual decision' after just a few days.

The court heard Martin had been looking after her gravely ill sister and this had affected the state of her mind at the time.

Steven Sullivan, defending, said that Martin was 'a person of unblemished personal and professional character' and said he had ordered a report from a clinical psychologist to assess her state of mind at the time of the offences.

He said that Martin had now parted from her husband and was presently living with a relative in the Midlands.

Martin was granted conditional bail and left court in dark glasses and covering her face without making any comment.

In 2005 married primary schoolteacher, Hannah Grice, was jailed for 15 months after admitting having sex with a underage teenage boy.

Grice pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent assault on the youngster, who was aged 14 and 15 at the time of the offences.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Priest abuse lawsuits settled

Last updated September 13, 2009 1:39 p.m. PT

Official: 2 men settle suits alleging priest abuse

PUEBLO, Colo. -- Two men who filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused by a former priest have reached settlements with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pueblo, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Monsignor Mark Plewka of the diocese confirmed the settlements with a man and his nephew, The Pueblo Chieftain said.

The man alleged Andrew Burke abused him from 1970-78. The lawsuits accuse Burke of establishing a similar relationship with the man's nephew.

Burke left the priesthood in 1973. He committed suicide in September 2005 at age 62, after reporters asked questions about the allegations.

The man had sought $1.8 million from the diocese and the release of Burke's personnel file.

Terms of the settlements weren't disclosed, but Burke's file was not released.

Another man who alleges Burke abused him previously won the right to look at Burke's personnel file, which may show how early the diocese was aware of allegations of abuse.

The Colorado Supreme Court recently affirmed a decision by a Pueblo District judge compelling the diocese to release Burke's file to the John Doe accuser.

Plewka and lawyer Adam Horowitz, who represents the accuser, said last week the diocese provided Burke's file to the plaintiff's lawyers.

The diocese immediately followed its compliance with a request to the court seeking to keep Burke's file sealed from public viewing. Horowitz said he intends to challenge the request.

Last year, the diocese and the Marianist religious order agreed to pay about $4 million to 23 men who said they were sexually abused when they attended Roncalli High School in Pueblo.

The school, which closed in 1971, was owned by the diocese.


Information from: The Pueblo Chieftain,

Child bride, 12, dies in Yemen after struggling to give birth for THREE days

Child bride, 12, dies in Yemen after struggling to give birth for THREE days
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:39 AM on 14th September 2009

A 12-year-old Yemeni child bride died after struggling to give birth for three days, a local human rights organisation said.

Fawziya Abdullah Youssef died of severe bleeding on Friday while giving birth to a stillborn in the al-Zahra district hospital of Hodeida province, 140 miles west of the capital Sanaa.

Child marriages are widespread in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country which has a population of 23million, where tribal customs dominate society.

More than a quarter of the country's females marry before age 15, according to a recent report by the Social Affairs Ministry.

The practice of marrying pre-pubescent girls is also common in Afghanistan: Here a 40-year-old bridegroom and his 11-year-old child bride during their wedding in Damarda

The issue of child brides came to prominence in the country two years ago when ten-year-old Nujood Ali (pictured) went by herself to a courtroom and demanded a judge dissolve her marriage to a man in his 30s

Youssef was only 11 when her father married her to a 24-year-old man who works as a farmer in Saudi Arabia, said Ahmed al-Quraishi, chairman of Siyaj human rights organization.

Al-Quraishi, whose group promotes child rights in Yemen, said that he stumbled upon Youssef in the hospital while investigating cases of children who had fled from the fighting in the north.

'This is one of many cases that exist in Yemen,' said al-Quraishi.

'The reason behind it is the lack of education and awareness, forcing many girls into marriage in this very early age.'

Impoverished parents in Yemen sometimes give away their young daughters in return for hefty dowries.

There is also a long-standing tribal custom in which infant daughters and sons are promised to cousins in hopes it will protect them from illicit relationships.

Al-Quraishi said there are no statistics to show how many marriages involving children are performed every year.

The issue of child brides vaulted into the headlines here two years ago when Nujood Ali, aged ten, went by herself to a courtroom and demanded a judge dissolve her marriage to a man in his 30s.

She eventually won a divorce, and legislators began looking at ways to curb the practice.

In February, parliament passed a law setting the minimum marriage age at 17. But some lawmakers are trying to kill the measure, calling it un-Islamic.

Before it could be ratified by Yemen's president, they forced it to be sent back to parliament's constitutional committee for review.

Such marriages also occur in neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia, where several cases of child brides have been reported in the past year, though the phenomenon is
not believed to be nearly as widespread as in Yemen.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Garrido's twisted path led often to God

Garrido's twisted path led often to God

FILE - This Aug. 28, 2009 photo shows Phillip Garrido looking out at the courtroom during his arraignment on 28 felony counts stemming from the abduction of Jaycee Dugard in 1991, in the El Dorado Superior Court in Placerville, Calif. Three decades ago, convicted kidnapper Garrido stunned a Leavenworth Prison psychologist by turning down an offer for a transfer to a mental health facility. Instead, Garrido opted to spend at least three more years doing hard time so he could complete his religious studies. Along his twisted trail of drugs and sexual violence, records and interviews show that Garrido invoked God at every turn before he was arrested Aug. 26, 2009 for allegedly kidnapping, raping and imprisoning Jaycee Dugard for 18 years in his backyard. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Three decades ago, a convicted kidnapper named Phillip Garrido stunned a Leavenworth Prison psychologist by turning down an offer most prisoners would leap to take - help with a transfer to a mental health facility.
Instead, Garrido opted to spend at least three more years doing hard time so he could complete his religious studies.
Along his twisted trail of drugs and sexual violence, records and interviews show that Garrido invoked God at every turn before he was arrested Aug. 26 and accused of kidnapping, raping and imprisoning Jaycee Dugard for 18 years in his backyard.
Again and again, he claimed he had found God. To a woman he had abducted and was about to rape. To the judge who sentenced him to 50 years behind bars for the crime. And later, to business clients and neighbors in Antioch, Calif.
In the end, his increasingly bizarre religious fervor took on a desperate, prophetic quality and led to his capture after he tried to hold a rally on a college campus.
Molesters commonly turn to religion to rationalize their behavior, said Ken Lanning, a former FBI profiler who specializes in kidnapping and child abuse cases.
"A lot of them when they're molesting children put a lot of time and energy into trying to convince themselves that they're not bad people," Lanning said. "In some cases the element of religion will come into it, and they will use varying aspects of their religious belief to justify all of this."
The 58-year-old Garrido's preoccupation with religion started shortly after he began taking large quantities of LSD, cocaine and other drugs in the early 1970s.
Garrido, who worked odd jobs and played bass guitar in a band, told a casino worker in 1976 that his car had broken down and convinced her to give him a ride. He soon had her gagged and handcuffed, then took her to a storage unit decked out like a sex palace, where he sexually assaulted her for five hours.
After she was rescued, she told police that Garrido preached about God to her while she was handcuffed in the back seat.
"He talked a lot about Jesus on our ride, telling me about how he was going to turn himself over to God next year because Jesus was the way, and on and on," she said.
He testified on February 11, 1977, that he truly found God while sitting in a Reno jail waiting for his federal kidnapping trial to start. "I believed in God for the last three years, but it was just the last three months that I have been brought to God," Garrido said.
Later, in a note seeking a reduction in his 50-year sentence, Garrido vowed that he had become devoutly religious.
"He based his new religious interests more appropriately on the considerable guilt and fear he was experiencing since being incarcerated," a court-appointed psychiatrist concluded in a mental health report to the judge.
During his first year in prison in Leavenworth, Kan., Garrido told prison psychologist J.B. Kielbauch he did not want to be "released from incarceration to a program of psychological treatment" because of religion.
"Interestingly, Mr. Garrido asked that he be permitted another three years of incarceration in lieu of that so he could complete his current program of training and religious development," Kielbauch wrote.
Kielbauch's 1978 mental evaluation also said Garrido had become a "very absorbed" Jehovah's Witness practitioner. "When he commits to a cause or purpose," the psychologist wrote, "he tends to approach it with extreme zeal and diligence."
"Prognosis for successful transition to the community is considered very good," Kielbauch wrote. "The likelihood of further extralegal behaviors on Mr. Garrido's part is seen as minimal."
Garrido ended up spending 10 years in federal prison. Three years after his release he and his wife Nancy allegedly kidnapped Dugard, then 11, from a South Lake Tahoe street, raped her and held her captive in a backyard jumble of tents and sheds. During that time, authorities say Garrido fathered two daughters with Dugard.
Garrido and his wife have pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, rape and false imprisonment charges.
In recent years, Garrido had established a small printing business and had become consumed by his religious fixations. In July 2008, he incorporated a religious organization called God's Desire and invited others to come to church at his home.
His clients could make little sense of Garrido's ramblings and said they put up with him because his prices were low.
But Garrido did make clear he believed he had a direct line to the divine. He brought a device to client meetings through which he said others could hear the "unearthly" voices he channelled through his mind.
"He said God spoke to him and told him how to invent the machine," said Cheyvonne Molino, who co-owns a Pittsburg wrecking yard where Garrido advertised he would hold a weeklong religious event in July.
Molino said that in reality Garrido sat under a 10-foot by 10-foot tent, handed out water and sang songs. She said his apparatus was merely a DJ mixing board, an amplifier and a microphone into which Garrido would whisper nonsense.
Garrido's religion had morphed from traditional Christian beliefs to a nearly indecipherable dogma that placed Garrido as a prophet who held the keys to a deep secret.
Days before his arrest, Garrido approached the FBI and University of California, Berkeley with a lengthy document preaching his strongly held religious and self-help beliefs. His bizarre behavior at UC Berkeley attracted the attention of campus police, leading to his arrest.
In his writings, Garrido repeats that he has discovered a way to overcome the thoughts that lead to abhorrent behavior. He writes in one tract that some people who engage in "aggressive sexual behavior" hate their actions and try to stop.
"Unfortunately the next time they become aroused, it stimulates the mind to override all possible regrets, returning them to a helplessness of becoming a repeat offender," he said.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Child molester to become ordained minister

Child molester to become ordained minister
September 7, 12:55 PM Portland Humanist Examiner Micha J. Stone

A convicted child molester is to become an ordained minister. A Louisville, Kentucky church plans to ordain registered sex offender Mark Hourigan, guilty of sodomizing and sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in 1998. The pastor of City of Refuge Church says the man deserves a second chance.
Hourigan served time in prison and upon release agreed not to have contact with children as a condition of probation. Now Hourigan’s probation is over, though his need to register as a sex offender never ends. According to a former church deacon, Hourigan was never open about his past until he was confronted.
Nevertheless, Pastor Randy Meadows claims Hourigan has changed and deserves forgiveness.
“As a society we can’t forget,“ said Pastor Randy Meadows. “ We can’t move on. And I preach in this church to try to allow god to move you on to a better life.“ Meadows said the Lord has touched Hourigan’s heart.
Many are obviously concerned that the new minister could be a threat to the congregation's children. Indeed, it seems a reckless decision on the part of the church and Pastor Meadows. To preach the possibility of moral redemption is one thing, to place the health and welfare of children at risk is quite another.
This incident simply reflects the madness that is possible once one allows the absurdity of religious faith to color their perception. Pastor Meadows is probably a good man, yet he would risk the welfare of innocent children on a silly wager. His is a hubris that is obnoxious and pathetic, a hubris that is only possible under the cover of the ignorance and superstition that some call faith.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Priest charged with abuse for 1978 incident
Priest charged with abuse for 1978 incident
Associated Press
3:09 PM CDT, August 31, 2009

A former member of the Christian Brothers religious order who later became a Catholic priest has been charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in Elm Grove in 1978.

Sixty-four-year-old James R. Blume appeared Monday in Waukesha County Circuit Court. He was released on $15,000 bond, and has a preliminary hearing on Oct. 2.

Blume's attorney tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his client "vehemently denies the allegations."

The victim, now 43, first told his girlfriend about the alleged abuse last year and went on to tell family and police.

At the time, Blume taught religious education classes at St. Luke's parish in Brookfield. The victim says the abuse happened on trips he took with Blume.

Blume became a priest in 1980, but was forced to take a leave of absence in 1989 and has been technically retired ever since.

Former Regent assistant dean, wife guilty of child sex abuse

Former Regent assistant dean, wife guilty of child sex abuse
Filed in General U.S. News on Sep.03, 2009
Anytime an adult betrays the trust of a child with abuse it is a tragedy. It’s an even greater tragedy when the trust is betrayed by people who are portrayed as good Christians who host a shelter called Hope Haven. I can’t imagine how traumatic and emotionally shattering it must be to a child to find themselves in what is supposed to be a Godly place of safety and hope that turns out to be a place of sexual abuse and horror.
The two abusers used Bible verses to justify the sexual abuse. Will the children have to deal with feelings of being betrayed not only by what should have been trustworthy adults but of God as well?
Not only was Stephen McPherson a houseparent at the Hope Haven shelter but he was the assistant dean of the Regent University of Law…a distinctly Christian law school. Too often, religion has been a hiding place for pedophiles and too often the church has been deafening silent on the issue of pedophiles within the ranks of churches. It’s time to have the discussion as to what can be done to prevent pedophiles from flying under the radar within the Christian community. It’s our responsibility to ensure that any child who walks into a church or a Christian ministry is safe from sexual predators.
A former assistant dean at Regent University’s law school and his wife pleaded guilty today in Virginia Beach Circuit Court to child sex abuse charges.
Stephen Lee McPherson, 40, and Melina Ann McPherson, 37, both of Chesapeake, entered plea agreements during separate hearings today to charges of taking indecent liberties.
The charges stemmed from incidents between 1996 and 2000, when the McPhersons served as house parents for three sisters at Hope Haven Children’s Home on North Landing Road. Hope Haven is a Christian-based shelter run by Union Mission Ministries, which was directed by Stephen McPherson’s grandfather, the late Rev. Ted Bashford.
Court records show Stephen McPherson repeatedly molested two of the sisters under his supervision and manipulated them by citing Bible verses that he said justified the abuse. Melina McPherson engaged in sexual acts with the third sister, cited Bible verses to justify her actions and told the victim that “they had a special relationship,” according to court records.

Swinging bat kills baby at prayer service

Swinging bat kills baby at prayer
service in Wheaton, Minn.

Two angry men were involved in a
dispute with the father of the 14-
month-old girl, authorities in
Wheaton said.

By VINCE TUSS, Star Tribune

Last update: September 4, 2009 - 11:04 PM

It started with a dispute over a washer and dryer.

It ended with the death of a 14-month-old girl, hit
in the head with a baseball bat during a prayer

The two men arrested in the Thursday night
attack, as well as the dead girl's family, were
members of Thy Kingdom Come Church in
Wheaton, in western Minnesota, site of the attack,
the church's pastor said.

Pastor Danny Barnes said he had given the washer
and dryer to the girl's father, Claude Hankins, but
one of the men had felt the appliances should go
to him.

That led to an argument earlier Thursday in
downtown Wheaton, the Traverse County
Sheriff's Office said. The city is about 75 miles
south of Moorhead, near the border with North
and South Dakota.

Barnes was out of town at his son's cross country
meet when he got a phone call about the dispute,
which he said took place between Hankins and
one of the men at a thrift store between 4:30 and
5 p.m.

"I thought they had resolved it, with discussion,"
Barnes said.

But it wasn't over.

Armed with the bat and a 2-by-4, David E. Collins
and Darryl G. Kennedy burst into the church,
where a prayer service was going, on just before
7 p.m., the Sheriff's Office said.

They came in, swinging, through separate doors,
Barnes said.

Collins, who had the bat, went after Hankins, who
grabbed a chair to defend himself, according to
the Sheriff's Office.

Within 30 seconds, the girl had been hit, Barnes

"It was the worst 30 seconds in time," he said.

The assailants probably didn't know that the girl
had been hit, the pastor added, as Collins kept
chasing Hankins around the church.

But at some point, Collins and Kennedy left and a
call went out to authorities.

The girl was taken to Wheaton Community
Hospital and later to MeritCare in Fargo, N.D.,
where she died.

The pastor returned to Wheaton later Thursday
and began trying to track down Collins. Through
phone calls to relatives and others, Barnes said he
caught up with him outside a bar in Brookings, S.

"He was sitting on a park bench outside the bar --
extremely intoxicated and distraught," Barnes

The pastor said he told Collins he had to come
back to Wheaton with him. They drove back to
town, and Barnes said they went to the municipal
airport and called authorities, where Collins was
taken into custody around midnight.

The Sheriff's Office wasn't releasing information
about the arrests, saying Collins later
surrendered and was booked into the Traverse
County jail. Kennedy "was talked down," the
Sheriff's Office said, and was arrested and also

Authorities said that the men were being held on
suspicion of second-degree assault and that
charges were pending with the Traverse County
attorney's office.

According to Wheaton police, Collins is 56 and
Kennedy 43.

The Ramsey County medical examiner's office was
conducting an autopsy. The child's name was not
being released pending notification of all relatives.

Barnes said the girl had an older sister, as well as
two stepbrothers who live elsewhere.

Barnes, whose church has 70 registered
members, said it does a lot of work with drug and
alcohol treatment. And he said that alcohol played
a large part in the argument and its escalation.

He said during services Sunday he plans to
address "the role of alcohol and drugs in our
society and the lack of respect."

Barnes also plans to minister to the men and the
girl's family, to get the men to pray for forgiveness
and repentance, and to help the girl's family find a
way to forgive.

"I hope when we get through this terrible tragedy,
something is learned."

Vince Tuss • 612-673-7692

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Students 'hypnotised for sex' at St Stanislaus

Students 'hypnotised for sex' at St Stanislaus
• By Lisa Davies
• From: The Daily Telegraph
• September 02, 2009 12:18AM

Charges ... accused paedophile and former priest Brian Spillane. Source: The Daily Telegraph
STUDENTS at prestigious Catholic boys St Stanislaus College school were hypnotised into having sex with teachers, a court heard yesterday.
One of those teachers, former St Stanislaus College chaplain Brian Spillane, yesterday faced a fight for his freedom as additional charges were laid, bringing the total to 146.
The court heard how a former teacher had handed police "typed and signed admissions" from a St Stanislaus staffer that he had in fact hypnotised boys for the purposes of having sex with them in 1967.
The Crown said evidence would corroborate the claims from some of Spillane's victims that they were hypnotised by him.
Spillane, one of nine former teachers charged, is accused of indecent and sexual assaults at the school between 1971 and 1990 against 27 victims - three of whom were girls in the parish.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
Related Coverage
• School students 'hypnotised for sex', 4 hours ago
• Paedophilia was rampant, court told Daily Telegraph, 14 hours ago
• Teacher will defend sex charges The Australian, 5 May 2009
• More suspects in school sex case - DPP, 19 Dec 2008
• Fourth arrested over sex abuse Daily Telegraph, 15 Dec 2008
End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
Crown Prosecutor Beth Walker yesterday asked the Downing Centre Local Court to refuse bail on the new charges and revoke bail granted on the existing ones.
"In my submission, the brief of evidence presents a picture of rampant paedophilia," she said.
Spillane, 66, has yet to enter any pleas to the charges.
In new evidence, Magistrate Jane Culver was told of an informant, "Witness A", who had told police of seeing Spillane involved in sex acts with "various students" during prayer sessions.
Witness A has also told of seeing Spillane engaging in sexual activity with students in a shower block.
Prosecutor Ms Walker rejected any suggestion the informant had "an axe to grind".
She argued the case was an extremely strong one and said there was significant corroborative evidence.
Magistrate Culver said while recent material and the full brief did in fact paint an alarming picture, Spillane "doesn't appear to have engaged in any recent paedophilia activity" since the last allegation of 1989.
She continued bail and ordered Spillane's wife to provide another $10,000 surety.

Paedophilia rampant at Bathurst schools, court told

Paedophilia rampant at Bathurst schools, court told
• By Lisa Davies, Chief Court Reporter
• From: The Daily Telegraph
• September 01, 2009 2:07PM
Charges ... Brian Spillane Source: The Daily Telegraph
THE evidence against former NSW priests accused of historical sexual assaults painted "a picture of rampant paedophilia" in Bathurst schools, a court heard today as one fights for his liberty.
A former Father at St Stanislaus College, Brian Joseph Spillane has been charged with a fourth round of offences relating to alleged sexual assaults at the prestigious school.
The charges relate to alleged sexual assaults on students at the school more than 20 years ago.
A number of the men charged were members of the Vincentian Order on the staff at the college in the 1970s and 1980s.
Spillane is now accused of a total of 146 charges of indecency and sexual abuse against 27 victims - three of whom were girls.
Crown Prosecutor Beth Walker today asked a Downing Centre Local Court to refuse bail on the new charges and revoke bail granted on the old ones.
"In my submission, the brief of evidence presents a picture of rampant paedophilia," she said, citing a string of corroborating witness statements.
Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar.
Related Coverage
• Priest 'raped hypnotised students', 2 hours ago
• 14yo girls 'sexually assaulted and robbed' Adelaide Now, 3 Aug 2009
• Priest on further 13 sex assault charges, 13 Jul 2009
• Ninth charged over Stannies sex claims The Australian, 23 Jun 2009
• Teacher will defend sex charges The Australian, 5 May 2009
End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar.
So far Strike Force Belle, set up to investigate the claims, has charged nine priests with historical sexual and indecent assaults.
Spillane's barrister Philip Boulten SC is expected to mount a heavy case for his client to remain on bail this afternoon.
The hearing continues before Magistrate Jane Culver.