News Story of the Day

A Prominent Sex-Abuse Survivor Hopes #MeToo Finally Gets Her Rapist Fired

By Gustavo Arellano, December 18, 2017, Jezebel

For the past 16 years, Dr. Thomas Hodgman has taught at Adrian College’s Music Department, where he currently serves as the choir director. He enjoys a tenured position at the school even though, in 2005, the Catholic Diocese of Orange County, California paid a $1.6 million settlement to Joelle Casteix, after she filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Hodgman repeatedly sexually assaulted her and gave her an STD in the late 1980s.

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Cheverus victims seek the justice they never received

BY ERIC RUSSELL, December 17, 2017, 

At Cheverus, they were taught moral responsibility, but victims of alleged abuse by a former teacher say they're still waiting for the school and the Jesuit community to practice what they preach.

When Michael Sweatt looked at his son’s schedule and saw the familiar name of a teacher, he went to the school and demanded his son be removed from that class.

Cheverus officials balked at first, he said, until Sweatt revealed that the teacher, Charles Malia, abused him back in the mid-1970s.

Sweatt said the response from the school’s then-president, John Mullen, was, “Why would you enroll your son here?”

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Child sexual abuse royal commission: recommendations and statistics at a glance

December 14, 2017, The Guardian

The Australian royal commission into the institutional responses to child sexual abuse has handed down its final report. Here are the key points

Key recommendations

The royal commission’s final report (pdf) has made 189 new recommendations, including:

  • The federal government should establish a National Office for Child Safety, sitting within the department of prime minister and cabinet. Its first job should be to develop a national framework to prevent child sexual abuse.
  • The federal government should create a portfolio overseeing policy towards children
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Priest led away in handcuffs after judge hands down 1-year sentence for sexual contact with child

By Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, December 15, 2017

It started when she was in first grade, when she still had her baby teeth.

Robert Marsicek, a priest she trusted, repeatedly molested her at a Catholic school in Wauwatosa.

"My little self thought it was OK and I thought that this was normal," she said.

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Catholic Church Singled Out In Australian Sex Abuse Report

By Scott Neuman, December 15, 2017, NPR

In a far-reaching report on child sex abuse in Australia, a government commission is recommending that the country's Catholic Church lift its celibacy requirement for diocesan clergy and be required to report evidence of abuse revealed in confession.

Those are among the 400 recommendations contained in the 17-volume final report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which is wrapping up a five-year investigation – the longest in Australia's history.

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We All Helped Build The Wall Of Silence Around Victims Of Sexual Assault

By Guila Benchimol, December 12, 2017, Huffington Post

Gretchen Carlson, whose sexual harassment claims led to Roger Ailes's downfall, recently stated that "the culture of concealment and denial is coming to an end" and the Silence Breakers were just named Time Magazine's Person of the Year. But a culture of silence does not simply end when its victims are ready to speak up. For victims to be heard, we must understand what role we play in building the silence around them.

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Whether Hollywood or the Vatican, patriarchy gives men license to abuse

By Jamie Manson, December 12, 2017, National Catholic Reporter

In mid-November, at what many thought was the height of revelations about sexual misconduct by powerful men in the media (we were post-Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K., but pre-Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer), the New Yorker Radio Hour presented a series of interviews on the fallout from the unrelenting flood of sordid tales of sexual misconduct and assault by men.

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Archdiocese pays 3 local men $250K each after priest-abuse claims

KINGSTON – Three Hudson Valley men abused by a Catholic priest decades ago will receive $250,000 each in compensation from the New York Archdiocese, according to their Kingston lawyer.

Joe O’Connor of Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor confirmed the payouts Friday.

The money from the Archdiocese was authorized after a review of the claims the three men filed with the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.

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Pastor, Christian festival founder abused minors for 16 years, authorities say

A church pastor is accused of sexually assaulting four minors over a 16-year period.

Harry L. Thomas, 74, of Medford Township, faces charges of aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.
The alleged assaults came to an end two years ago. Thomas is currently the pastor of Come Alive Church in Medford. He is also a co-founder of the Creation Festival, said to be the nation's largest Christian rock festival, first held in Pennsylvania in 1979.
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Pastor at Come Alive Church accused of juvenile sex crimes

By Jim Walsh, December 7, 2017, NJ Courier-Post

MEDFORD - A 74-year-old pastor active in promoting Christian music festivals is accused of sexually assaulting four minors here over a 16-year period, authorities said Thursday.

Harry L. Thomas, who preached at Come Alive Church in Medford, allegedly assaulted his victims between 1999 and 2015, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.

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