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July 2013 Archives

Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney is Representing Victims and Investigating Child Sexual Abuse at Rogers Elementary School in Stamford, Connecticut

Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney is currently representing victims and investigating child sexual abuse that occurred at Rogers Elementary School in Stamford, Connecticut. The victims, all of whom were young boys at the time, claim that a former male gym teacher sexually abused them at Rogers School while they attended the school in the 1970s.

East Windsor Connecticut Priest Accused of Sexually Assaulting Minor Arrested on Firearms Charges

An East Windsor priest accused earlier this week of sexually assaulting a minor was arrested Friday on federal firearms charges. The Rev. Paul Gotta, 55, is charged with aiding and abetting both the unlawful transport of a firearm in interstate commerce and the purchase of a handgun by a juvenile, a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office stated. Gotta was placed on leave by the Catholic Church on Monday after the state Department of Children and Families received a complaint regarding the sexual abuse of a minor that involved him, said Maria Zone, spokeswoman for the Hartford archdiocese. He also was connected to the investigation of a teenager arrested in June on weapons and explosives charges, and who allegedly made a threat against a Bloomfield school. East Windsor police are investigating the sexual assault allegation against Gotta, who is administrator of St. Philip and St. Catherine churches in East Windsor, Zone said in a written statement.

Sexual abuse is a "gateway experience" that often leads to drug addiction later in life

Lesser known fact about Sigmund Freud - early in his career he was all but laughed out of his field for suggesting that sexual abuse within families was a significant social problem. To remain respected he recanted his findings. Toward the end of his career he went back to his original claims and backed them up, demonstrating that this ugliness was indeed not simply at the fringes of society.

East Windsor Connecticut Priest Accused of Sex Abuse Placed on Leave

An East Windsor priest has been placed on leave by the Catholic Church after being accused of sexually abusing a minor, the Hartford Archdiocese said Monday.

University of Connecticut Music Professor Faces Sexual Misconduct and Molestation Allegations

A University of Connecticut music professor who was placed on paid leave last month is under investigation by police amid allegations of sexual misconduct and decades-old molestation involving children, including several boys who attended a camp for sick children. UConn officials said Monday morning they were cooperating with the investigations. They also announced the creation of a special Board of Trustees committee to review the university's responses to the allegations against Robert Miller, 66, of Mansfield. University employees were notified several times between 2006 and 2011 of allegations that Miller had sexual contact with children, but it wasn't until February of this year that school administrators were told of the claims, according to UConn officials and the state attorney general's office. And it wasn't until June 21 that Miller was placed on paid administrative leave. It was also revealed Monday that the attorney general's office is seeking bids from a law firm to advise and represent UConn's Board of Trustees and that UConn has hired a private investigator. Miller was barred from the Storrs campus after being placed on leave. He hasn't been charged with any crime. He did not return several phone messages left at his home by The Associated Press. Last month, a faculty member told a university official that a student alleged that Miller had sex with UConn students, visited freshmen dorms and provided drugs to students, according to the state attorney general's office. It's not clear when those alleged actions took place. Miller has worked at UConn for three decades and was head of the Music Department from 1999 to 2003. Miller also has been under investigation by Connecticut state police and authorities in Fairfax County, Va., following allegations that he molested five boys, who ranged in age from 10 to 13 years old, more than two decades ago, according to a state police search warrant affidavit for Miller's home that was obtained by the AP. State police say four of the boys claimed they were molested at Miller's home in 1992. The boys at the time were attending the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, a camp that actor Paul Newman opened in 1988 for sick children. The alleged abuse happened when Miller, who was a counselor there from 1989 to 1992, took the children away from the camp on unsanctioned trips, authorities said.

Man Says Stamford Connecticut Teacher Abused him in the 1970s

A man claiming to have been abused while a student at Rogers Elementary School in the 1970s has prompted a new review of police reports at the school going back three decades. "I asked the City Law Department to contact Stamford Police to see if there is any record of any report of abuse," said Stamford schools SuperintendentWinifred Hamilton earlier this week in response to an advertisement in The Advocate and posted on Facebook by a man looking for other people who may have been abused while attending Rogers during the 1970s and 1980s. Hamilton said she saw the ad and consulted with the schools' human resources and legal departments, and then decided to reach out to police. "First we're going to go through our legal counsel," she said. "We need to see the credence of this so we can act on it, then we'd all be involved." Hamilton, who has been with the district for decades, including as a teacher, said she has no information on the allegations. This is not the first time allegations of child abuse at the old Rogers School have been raised. In 2010, a woman gave police the name of three boys who were allegedly abused by a teacher at the school during the same period, said Police Sgt. Sean Scanlan. "We could not find anything to substantiate the allegations," Scanlan said Friday. Police talked to all three men, who denied being abused at the school, which today houses Domus Trail Blazers Academy, Scanlan said. The police also pulled the personnel file of the teacher accused of being involved and found no evidence of abuse in the 300-page file, Scanlan said. The teacher has since retired and moved out of state.Contacted by phone, he said he did not abuse any children and had never been accused of such a thing. He also said he was never contacted by investigators in 2010. ....... While it was a long time ago, Scanlan urged anyone with knowledge of an act of child sex abuse to report the crime. He said in serious cases of child abuse, perpetrators can still be charged and tried even decades later. "The clock doesn't start until the crime is reported," he said of crimes deemed particularly serious. According to the state Office of Legislative Research, there is no statute of limitations on first-degree sexual assault of a minor, employing minors in obscene performances or for aggravated sexual assault. For second-degree sexual assault of minors between the ages of 13 and 16 by a person three years or more older, the crime must be reported within five years of when it happened. For child sexual abuse, exploitation or assault, criminal prosecution can occur up to 30 years after the victim reaches the age of consent. ..... The man who took out the advertisement looking for others who may have been abused while at Rogers Elementary School said in a phone interview that he was 10 years old when he was kept after school and raped by a teacher at the school. He is now 44 years old, and blocked out the worst of the memories for years, but recently began to confront his past, he said. He hopes that by coming forward now he can expose a person who might have done this to others and could still be doing it to this day. It's not uncommon for victims of child abuse to not report the crime until later in life, according to a lawyer who has worked on similar cases. "Children don't come forward," said Cindy Robinson, a lawyer with the law firm Tremont and Sheldon in Bridgeport. "They blame themselves." Robinson's firm represented a victim abused by a doctor at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, and won a $2.75 million judgment that was upheld by the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. It was a stroke of luck that helped Tremont and Sheldon win its client's case: a couple who bought the doctor's former home found a massive stash of child pornography in the wall in the basement of the house, which provided documentation of the abuse. The firm sued the hospital for failing to prevent Dr. George Reardon from abusing its client over a period of several years. The child porn found in the house helped win that case, and proved that Reardon, who died in 1998 without being charged with any crimes, abused hundreds of other victims. The hospital has settled dozens of other cases with Reardon's victims. Robinson is not part of the alleged Rogers Elementary School case, but she said there are similarities to the St. Francis case, such as looking at whether the school district had proper policies in place to guard against abuse. She said many people do come forward seeking to file criminal charges as adults only to find out, due to the nature of the crime committed against them, that the statue of limitations has run out. They are, however, allowed to pursue a civil action until they reach the age of 48, in the state of Connecticut. Robinson said taking out advertisements is fairly new for victims, but is a way advocates and lawyers can find other victims to corroborate abusive behavior. As reported in Stamford Advocate by Rob Varnon

State Supreme Court Upholds $2.75 million Verdict Against St. Francis Hospital for Dr. George Reardon Sexually Abusing Patient

The Connecticut Supreme Court affirms a $2.75 verdict for sex abuse against St. Francis Hospital. The plaintiff, known as Tim Doe 1 represented by Attorney Douglas Mahoney of Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney, accused the hospital of negligent supervision of Reardon and failure in a duty to provide special care to children in its custody. The jury agreed with both his claims. At trial, a jury awarded on July 8, 2011 Tim Doe 1  $2.75 million for the emotional trauma he said he began suffering as a child when Reardon used a phony growth study at the hospital as a pretext to sexually abuse him, his sister and hundreds of other children. Click here to read the decision.

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