News Story of the Day
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."
May 6, 2018, The Buffalo News
Diocese of Buffalo officials assigned the Rev. Fabian J. Maryanski to work in parishes for more than a decade after he was accused of having sexual contact with a teenage girl in a church rectory.
The priest started his sexual advances on the girl when she was a 15-year-old parishioner at St. Patrick Church in Barker, according to a 1995 letter sent by her lawyer to diocese officials.
The letter from Rochester attorney Charles A. West Jr. to then-Bishop Edward D. Head alleged that Maryanski's sexual advances escalated from hugging and kissing to sex. The abuse is alleged to have started in the mid-1980s, when Maryanski was pastor of St. Patrick Church.
BY GARTH STAPLEY, May 04, 2018, Modesto Bee
The same firm is conducting separate clergy sex scandal investigations of two former youth pastors at Modesto's First Baptist Church, both of whom went on to long ministry careers elsewhere after church leaders here covered up their alleged abuse.
Virginia-based GRACE, or Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment, has been hired by Scottsdale Bible Church to sort things out in the wake of Les Hughey's recent resignation from Highlands, a church Hughey founded 20 years ago, also in Scottsdale. Hughey, 64, stepped down after The Modesto Bee revealed accusations of him having sex with girls in the Modesto congregation four decades ago.
GRACE also is investigating Brad Tebbutt, who was a youth pastor at First Baptist in Modesto when he sexually abused another girl 30 years ago. Another Modesto pastor said Tebbutt confessed to him, and Tebbutt's current employer, the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, hired GRACE, run by a grandson of the late Billy Graham.
By STEPHEN HUBA, May 4, 2018, TribLive
Two Altoona Franciscan friars will serve five years' probation for their part in covering up the child sexual abuse committed by Brother Stephen Baker in the 1990s, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
The friars, Robert D'Aversa, 70, and Anthony Criscitelli, 63, entered no-contest pleas Friday to endangering the welfare of children, a first-degree misdemeanor, Shapiro said.
They are among the first religious leaders in the United States, and the first members of a Pennsylvania religious order, to be held criminally liable for covering up sexual abuse of children by other clergy.
May 1, 2018, The Buffalo News
It’s not just priests.
It’s also teachers, Scout leaders, Little League coaches and more. Pedophiles know their prey: who the most vulnerable are; where to find them; how to approach them and, critically, how to silence them.
Too often, they move from place to place, finding new targets while the public is left in an ignorance that, in some instances, has been deliberately imposed by institutional leaders. It needs to change.
By Adam Baidawi, April 30, 2018, The New York Times
MELBOURNE, Australia — Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking official, must stand trial on several charges of sexual abuse, an Australian court ruled on Tuesday, promising to prolong a case that has already dragged on for months, and which many see as a moment of reckoning for a church racked by scandal.
Belinda Wallington, a Melbourne magistrate, found there was sufficient evidence for prosecutors to bring the cardinal’s case to trial, ending a two-month pretrial hearing, in which witnesses described abuse they said took place decades ago.
Brooklyn, NY - Hikind: Employee Fired After Preying On Students At Prominent Girls’ School In BP; Administration Turned Blind Eye
By Sandy Eller, April 29, 2018, Vos Iz Neias
Brooklyn, NY - A Brooklyn girls’ school has found itself in a difficult position after numerous reports have surfaced alleging that an employee had been interacting with girls inappropriately for several years and that the school’s administration was reportedly aware of the behavior but did nothing to protect students.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind said that he had been contacted by multiple parents whose daughters attend the Bais Sarah school in Borough Park reporting the alleged behavior.
According to Hikind, parents told the school’s owner and principal, Rabbi Nuchem Klein, about the alleged abuse perpetrated by a non-Jewish employee who goes by the nickname Spikey, but no action was taken.
April 29, 2018, Buffalo News
Members of Most Precious Blood Church in Angola were as stunned as any Catholics – and maybe more so – when the Diocese of Buffalo in March publicly named 42 priests who had been accused of child sex abuse.
The list released by Bishop Richard J. Malone included not just one priest who served in the village parish, but four. Parishioners had no idea.
"The sticker shock was the number, not that it had happened," said longtime member Karen A. Erickson. "The sticker shock of so many in your community was what had people talking."
After six years of litigation and three attempts at mediation, victims of Catholic clergy sex abuse in Eastern Montana have reached a settlement with the church.
The tentative $20 million agreement with the Great Falls-Billings Diocese was announced Friday by the diocese and two law firms representing the victims.
The bankruptcy judge and the victims still must approve the settlement.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.