News Story of the Day
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has been put on notice that he could expect a jail term after he was found guilty on Tuesday of concealing historical child abuse allegations against another priest.
In a landmark decision that could have wide-reaching implications for other high-ranking clergy members, Magistrate Robert Stone found Archbishop Wilson had been told by a 15-year-old boy in 1976 that he had been indecently assaulted by notorious Hunter paedophile priest Father James Fletcher, but chose not to go to the authorities despite believing the allegations were true.
By Nader Issa, Chicago Sun Times, May 21, 2018
A former Catholic priest with Chicago ties is facing criminal charges for the first time, nearly two decades after he resigned from his post amid several allegations of child sex abuse.
The case that eventually landed 56-year-old Kenneth Lewis in the Leighton Criminal Court Building on Saturday in Chicago stems from a decade-old allegation of child molestation in an Evanston hotel room, according to a police source in the northern suburb.
In that incident, “Father Ken,” a former pastor in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy on a trip in late July 2001, in a hotel at 1501 Sherman Ave., the Evanston police source told the Chicago Sun-Times. The hotel at that address is now the Holiday Inn Chicago North.
[Juan Carlos Cruz on the Resignation Of Bishops: "Let Them Pack Their Suitcases"] Juan Carlos Cruz Por Renuncia De Obispos: "Que Preparen Las Maletas Los Que Se Tienen Que Ir"
CHILE--Rio Bueno Noticias (RBN) May 19, 2018
[Juan Carlos Cruz on the Resignation Of Bishops: "Let Them Pack Their Suitcases"] Translation follows
Juan Carlos Cruz, denunciante de los abusos sexuales al interior de la iglesia Católica, conversó con 24 Tarde para entregar sus impresiones respecto a la decisión de los obispos que este viernes pusieron su cargo a disposición del Papa Francisco.
. . .
By Agence France-Presse, Manila Bulletin, May 19, 2018
All of Chile’s bishops offered to resign Friday over child sex cover-up claims dating back decades, the latest in a series of abuse scandals facing the Catholic Church globally.
Here is a rundown of other notable cases:
The third-highest member of the Vatican hierarchy, Australian George Pell was ordered in May to stand trial on “multiple” historical sex charges, which he denies.
His case coincided with an Australian public enquiry that found that seven percent of priests were accused of paedophilic acts between 1950 and 2010.
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.”
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.