News Story of the Day
May 17, 2018, Watertown Daily Times
In opposing various measures that would benefit victims of child sexual abuse, leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are once again circling the wagons.
And Republican members of the state Senate have helped them. They have for years blocked legislation that would eliminate “the statutes of limitation for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals, public institutions, and private institutions related to child sexual abuse.
This act also creates a one-year revival period for previously time-barred civil actions which alleged conduct representing the commission of certain sexual offenses committed against a child less than 18 years of age,” according to language in S809, also known as the Child Victims Act.
One of New Jersey's most elite private schools says it will improve programs to protect students on its campus as part of a settlement reached last week with 21 victims of alleged sexual abuse at the school.
The Pingry School also reached a financial settlement with the victims for an undisclosed amount, according to a statement released Friday.
"We are deeply sorry for the abuse the survivors experienced while at our school and the pain they have endured since. Their courage in coming forward is extraordinary," Jeffrey Edwards, chairman of Pingry's board of trustees, said in the statement.
By Chris Mosby, Toledo Patch, May 14, 2018
TOLEDO, OH — A former Toledo-area pastor had sex with two underage girls, including a victim of sexual abuse, according to a plea agreement released by the Department of Justice. Kenneth Butler will now likely spend the next 17 years of his life in prison.
"This defendant has admitted to crimes that include preying on a foster child who was previously the victim of sexual abuse, and he committed these crimes in a house of worship," U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. "Butler may hold himself out to the community as a pastor, but in the eyes of the law he is a criminal who pays money to sexually assault children."
Opinion by Ed Palattella, May 13, 2018, GoErie.com
In his latest effort, state Rep. Mark Rozzi wants the General Assembly to pass a law that would give the victims retroactive access to the civil courts.
The prosecution of the Rev. David Poulson, the Catholic Diocese of Erie priest charged on Tuesday with child sexual abuse, will take place in Jefferson County, where Poulson owns a hunting camp.
The Jefferson County connection was notable to state Rep. Mark Rozzi.
By KENDRA GRAVELLE, May 11, 2018, The Narragansett Times
PROVIDENCE—Rep. Carol Hagan McEntee has joined with other advocates for victims of sexual abuse to fight to abolish the statute of limitations for pressing civil charges against alleged sexual abusers.
Introduced in the House by McEntee (D-Dist. 33, South Kingstown, Narragansett) and in the Senate by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence), the legislation proposed would eliminate the current seven-year civil statute of limitations (SOL) for injuries suffered as a result of sexual abuse.
“Basically, what happens to these people is when they get abused as a child they’re silenced by their perpetrator,” McEntee said Monday. “Then once they get their voice as adults they’re silenced again.”
By Keith Gushard, Meadville Tribune, May 11, 2018
A statement by the Catholic Diocese of Erie's retired bishop insisting there was no cover-up of alleged sexual abuse by a priest against two boys conflicts with findings of fact issued by the statewide grand jury investigating the case.
Donald Trautman, the retired bishop of the diocese, released a statement Wednesday stating there was no cover-up of the alleged sexual abuse by Father David Poulson and that Trautman "was aggressive in the removal of abusive priests."
Findings of fact issued by the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury after it heard testimony and reviewed church records contradict Trautman's public statement.
May 9, 2018, The Buffalo News
Entering into a fight is sometimes the only way to get what you want. Other times, it just leaves you with a black eye. That’s what is happening to the Catholic Church as it fights to keep some victims of sexual abuse from seeking redress.
A story in Monday’s Buffalo News detailed how the New York State Catholic Conference spent $1.8 million over six years on lobbying in Albany, including a push to stop the Child Victims Act, a bill that would make it easier for victims of child molestation to file lawsuits or bring criminal charges against their abusers.
The bill, which passed the Assembly last week but faces long odds for approval in the state Senate, would create a one-year window in which victims could file civil lawsuits for alleged abuse, bypassing the statute of limitations.
By Rochelle Alleyne, May 8, 2018, Spectrum News Jamestown
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Billboards calling out several local senators for allegedly not supporting the Child Victims Act have popped up along the 190 in South Buffalo.
The woman behind them is Kat Sullivan, a New York City based survivor of childhood sexual abuse that has been following this law for more than a decade.
As early as this month, the findings of a grand jury investigation into clergy sex abuse across six Pennsylvania dioceses could be released by the state's Office of Attorney General.
The findings into the abuse of children by priests and church workers in the dioceses of Harrisburg, Scranton, Allentown, Greensburg, Pittsburgh and Eric would mark the latest chapter into the decades-old clergy sex abuse scandal in this country.
May 7, 2018, Buffalo News
The state's Catholic Conference has spent $1.8 million over six years lobbying Albany to, among other things, derail a bill to make it easier for sex abuse victims to sue.
The Democratic-led state Assembly approved the Child Victims Act last week, but its prospects for passage in the Republican-led Senate are less likely.
The act's most controversial provision would open a one-year window in which victims currently blocked by New York's statute of limitations could sue for damages linked to decades-old abuses. But the Catholic Conference says the act would force institutions to defend misconduct "about which they have no knowledge, and in which they had no role."