News Story of the Day

PA--Priest case stirs debate over statute of limitations

Opinion by Ed Palattella, May 13, 2018,

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.

Local rep sponsors bill to help victims of sexual abuse

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.”

Bishop's account of sexual abuse cover-up conflicts with grand jury's findings

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.

Editorial: Catholic Church's responsibility is to victims, not its coffers

By 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.

Billboards accuse state senators of not supporting Child Victims Act

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.

The clergy sex abuse scandal explained in 3 minutes: video

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.


New York's Catholic bishops ramp up lobbying against Child Victims Act

By 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."

Exclusive: Priest accused in '95 of having sex with teen still offering Masses

By  , 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.


Investigations growing in cases of former Modesto pastors accused of sexual misconduct

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.

2 Altoona Franciscan friars enter pleas in child sex abuse case

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.

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