News Story of the Day

3 church sex abuse survivors to meet with Pope

By Rosa Flores, CNN, April 13, 2018

(CNN)After apologizing for "grave errors" in the handling of a Chilean sex abuse scandal, Pope Francis will be welcoming three survivors to the Vatican in two weeks, according to survivor Juan Carlos Cruz.

Cruz says the Vatican reached out to him last Saturday, inviting the three Chileans to be the Pope's guests from April 26 to May 1.
The survivors will spend time with Francis as a group on April 28 and 29, Cruz said, plus hold individual meetings with the Pope. He says he wants to make the meetings not just about them but all the survivors of church sex abuse worldwide.

Pope Francis admits 'serious mistakes' in Chile sex abuse case

By Gerard O’Connell, April 11, 2018, America

In what has the appearance of the beginning of an earthquake in the Chilean church, Pope Francis has sent a strong letter to the Chilean bishops in which he speaks of his “pain and shame” on receiving the report on the abuse scandal in Chile from Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta. He had sent Archbishop Scicluna to listen to the victims of abuse last February.

In the three-page letter, he admits his own “serious mistakes” in dealing with this scandal and asks for forgiveness and goes on to take two dramatic steps: He summons the entire Chilean hierarchy to meet him in the Vatican and invites the three main accusers of Bishop Barros to meet him there too at a different time.

East Brunswick rabbi allegedly tied to child sex trafficking case, Apr 10, 2018

Two individuals who allegedly forced a child into commercial sex acts at multiple hotels throughout Middlesex, Bergen and Essex counties appeared in court on April 10 with one of their alleged customers to face federal sex trafficking charges.

Richard Ortiz, 22, and Gabriella Colon, 18, both of the Bronx, New York, are charged by complaint with two counts of sex trafficking of a child and one count of transporting a minor in interstate commerce for the purpose of prostitution, according to information provided by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

Aryeh Goodman, 35, of East Brunswick, is charged in a separate complaint with one count of sex trafficking of a child.

Alabama evangelist charged with sexual abuse of teen boy

By Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group, April 11, 2018,

An Alabama evangelist, public speaker and author was arrested Tuesday, accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy.

Paul Edward Acton Bowen, 37, of Southside, was booked on charges of sodomy, sexual abuse and enticing a child for immoral purposes, according to Jefferson County Jail records. He was released early Wednesday morning on $90,300 bail. reported that an investigation into Bowen by the Hoover Police Department began about three weeks ago. An arrest warrant was issued on Monday.

Lawsuit alleges sex abuse coverup by Bergen Catholic wrestling program, report says

By Matthew Stanmyre and Patrick Lanni, NJ Advance Media for

A 12-count lawsuit filed Monday in state Superior Court in Bergen County alleges coaches from the powerhouse Bergen Catholic High wrestling team engaged in sexual and verbal harassment of at least one wrestler while the school administration conspired to keep the abuse under wraps.

News of the lawsuit was first reported by

The lawsuit alleges Bergen Catholic head coach Dave Bell "inappropriately undressed with minors and watched wrestlers, including Plaintiff, change in the locker room, which they were completely nude or partially nude." It also claims assistant coach Dominick "Donnie" Spataro "showed pornographic and nude photographs of himself and others on his mobile phone to Plaintiff and other minor wrestlers, including photographs of his own nude body including his depictions of his penis."

Priest who taught at 2 Buffalo area high schools was target of sex abuse complaint


A priest who taught students at two Buffalo-area Catholic high schools for more than a decade was suspended from any public ministry in 2014 after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor, The Buffalo News confirmed this week.

The Rev. Michael M. Lewandowski, now 71, was suspended after the allegation was made in May 2014, according to the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Pa.

The Franciscan priest lived in the Buffalo area and taught at St. Francis High School in Hamburg and at Cardinal O'Hara High School in the Town of Tonawanda at various times from 1976 to 1991, according to directories published by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. While the complaint made against Lewandowski alleges that the misconduct occurred during the period of time when he was at the two Buffalo area high schools, Buffalo Diocese officials declined to say whether the alleged abuse took place in the Buffalo area.

Vatican arrests diplomat involved in Ontario child porn scandal

By Hamilton Spectator, April 7, 2018, The Hamilton Spectator

Windsor police issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Monsignor Carlo Capella last September

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Saturday arrested a diplomat recalled from Washington last year amid investigations in Canada, the United States and the Vatican for possession of child pornography.

A Vatican statement said that Monsignor Carlo Capella was being held in gendarmerie barracks inside the Vatican, and that his arrest follows a Vatican investigation.

Police in Windsor, Ontario, said Capella allegedly uploaded child porn to a social networking site while visiting a place of worship from over the 2016 Christmas holiday. In the statement, Windsor police accused Capella of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

Erie bishop: Disclosures part of ‘search for the truth’

Catholic Diocese of Erie says it hopes to help victims, community with its release 51 names of accused priests, laypeople

Bishop Lawrence Persico likened the event to ending a kind of darkness.

In a stunning break from years of Catholic Diocese of Erie policy, Persico on Friday released the names of priests and laypeople credibly accused of sexually abusing minors or engaging in improper behavior with minors since 1944. (scroll down for the list of names.)

“When everything is shrouded in cloud, everybody becomes suspicious,” Persico said. “Now that we have turned on the light it should be somewhat of a relief.”

‘I Refuse to Let Someone Have my Power’: Stories of Survival After Sexual Assault

After more than a year of working with survivors to share their stories, aims to give a voice to stories of sexual misconduct in the Chicago area

Every 98 seconds someone in America is sexually assaulted.

The statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) gives shocking context to the #MeToo movement that went viral following the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations last year in Hollywood. Since then, a growing number of high-profile men have been accused of sexual harassment and assault, and women and men around the world have shared their stories, giving voice to the collective silence around sexual misconduct. 

Pedophile Priests Preyed In Local Parishes

The pedophile priest scandal in Boston, a story told in the Oscar nominated movie Spotlight, earned the Boston Globe a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for breaking the news.

But pedophile priests were commonplace decades earlier on the East End, a story that has, for the most part, gone untold. As reported last week exclusively in The Independent — this newspaper has followed the story since 2003 —the Diocese Of Rockville Centre often sent priests accused of inappropriate behavior to eastern Long Island, believing they would blend in better in the sparsely-populated communities here.

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