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DISGRACED RIDGEFIELD CONNECTICUT PRIEST DIES

A former pastor in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, suspended following allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenaged boy in the early 1980s, has died.

Trial Opens In Glastonbury Connecticut Foster Parent's Sexual Assault Case

This recent article in the Hartford Courant highlights an interesting trial going on.  The defendant is accused of sexually assaulting a child who he adopted through the Department of Children and Family Services.  Rather than try the case before a jury, the defendant has chosen to allow the judge to decide his guilt or innocence. The article is below.   HARTFORD -- A trial began Tuesday for one of two men accused of sexually assaulting boys they adopted through the state Department of Children and Families, with his accuser describing physical and sexual abuse he said he endured from both men over several years. The state had sought to try George Harasz, 51, and Douglas Wirth, 46, together, but their defense attorneys objected and convinced Hartford Superior Court Judge Julia D. Dewey to hold separate trials. Both also waived their right to a jury trial and opted to have Dewey hear the evidence against them and render a verdict. Wirth's trial is first. But before testimony began, Wirth's lawyer, Michael Dwyer of Middletown, tried to get the judge to admit medical reports that he contends are evidence of the accuser's propensity to lie and exaggerate. Dwyer argued that the accuser's competency to tell the truth was at issue. Dewey responded that competence related only to whether the accuser could understand the obligation of his oath to tell the truth. The credibility of his testimony would be a matter for her to determine, after hearing his testimony as well as cross-examination, she said.

Erin's Law Teaches Kids to Fight Being Lifelong Victims

One law can rescue people from the spiral of self-hatred that adds them to the growing pile of prisoners in the country's correctional facilities. And at the close of the Connecticut General Assembly's most recent session in May, our legislators passed that law, perhaps without fully understanding that it is the most comprehensive anti-crime law that Connecticut's citizens have seen in a long time. It's headed to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's desk and he should sign it into law.
They call this law "Erin's Law" after Erin Merryn, its champion. Merryn is a sexual abuse survivor from Illinois who noted that her elementary school's drills -- tornado, bus, stop-drop-and-roll for fires and DARE's eight ways to say no to drugs -- never included any training on how to escape a child molester or explained how to discern the difference between good and bad touches, or how to find a trusted adult to report abuse. Merryn could roll her way out of a burning bus during a tornado, but she had no idea how to stop two separate perpetrators from raping her before she turned 13.

Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney Continues to Represent Survivors of Abuse

The Vatican's announcement that it defrocked more than 800 priests over the last decade should be a reminder that sex abuse by those in positions of authority remains a problem.  But it is not just a problem within the Church, although that institution has garnered the most public attention. The attorneys at Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney continue to be advocates for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. In 2014, Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney  has:

Vatican says 848 priests defrocked for sexual abuse since 2004

GENEVA -- The Vatican released comprehensive statistics for the first time Tuesday on how it has disciplined priests accused of raping and molesting children, saying 848 priests have been defrocked and another 2,572 given lesser sanctions over the past decade. The

Monroe Connecticut Piano Teacher Charged With Sexual Assault

 A 68-year-old piano teacher was charged with sexual assault on Tuesday for allegedly touching students inappropriately during lessons, police said.

West Haven Connecticut School Bus Driver Repeatedly Sexually Assaulted Student On Bus, Police Say

 A school bus driver who is charged with sexually assaulting a student on a school bus told the student not to say anything or "I'll go to jail," police said Tuesday. Alan Demand, 51, of Fowler Street in New Haven, assaulted the student "numerous times" and carried on an illegal sexual relationship until the student reported the assaults to a school resource officer, they said. The student was between the ages of 13 and 15 at the time, Sgt. David Tammaro said. Demand was charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, one count of illegal sexual contact and one count of second-degree unlawful restraint. He was in custody on $50,000 bail Tuesday morning, police said, and was scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Milford for an arraignment later in the day. According to police, Demand assaulted the student between October and December. He also talked to the student several times on a cell phone and at one point texted a picture -- which police described as "sexual" -- along with instructions: "Please don't tell your mom anything else cause I'll go to Jail." Police didn't say whether the student is a boy or a girl. Detectives from the department's Special Victims Unit made the arrest, police said. Demand worked for Winkle Bus Company. Hugh Keefe, who represents the company, said it suspended Demand as soon as it learned of the allegations. He has not been fired; he must be presumed innocent until proven guilty, Keefe said. The bus company has "an excellent safety record and never had a driver charged with anything like this in the past," Keefe said. Demand has no recent arrests or convictions on his record, according to judicial branch records. According to his online resume, he also has driven school buses in Bridgeport and North Haven and has been a shuttle driver in New Haven. He has driven elderly passengers as well as students, the resume says. He has been known to maintain order during trips "in order to ensure safety measures," it says. It also says he has "Exceptional Interpersonal Skills." reported by AP and CT news

Former Greenwich Connecticut Priest Named in Victims' Group Petition

Bishop Frank Caggiano has agreed to meet with representatives of national and local victim support groups who Wednesday called for him to hire an outside firm to investigate two priests who have been accused in the past of sex abuse -- including a prominent former Greenwich pastor who has admitted he hid more than 40 years of abuse complaints. But Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said although she is willing to meet with Caggiano, she would prefer to do so after he agrees to the investigation. "History has shown that meetings don't always bear fruit, but actions speak louder than words," Blaine said.

Former Penn State quarterback and Assistant Coach Mike McQueary was Sexually Abused: Report

Mike McQueary, the former Penn State quarterback and Nittany Lions assistant football coach who was a key prosecution witness in Jerry Sandusky's criminal trial, confided to players that he was a victim of sexual abuse, according to a new ESPN The Magazine report. According to the report, it was during a meeting with PSU football receivers and tight ends on Nov. 7, 2011 -- three days after prosecutors released a damning grand jury presentment outlining Sandusky's sexual abuse of eight boys over a 15-year period -- that the then-Nittany Lions receivers coach, McQueary, told the players that he too had been sexually abused when he was a boy. The report cites two players who were present at the meeting.

Trumbull Connecticut Police Officer Charged with Sexually Assaulting Teenage Girl

More victims might come forward after a veteran Trumbull police officer was charged Tuesday with sexually assaulting a teenage girl he befriended at a statewide academy for high school students interested in becoming police officers. William Ruscoe, 45, a drill instructor at the Cadet Police Academy at the University of Hartford, flirted with a number of teenage girls at the weeklong camp held every year,State Police investigators said. One of the girls turned him in after she became jealous of his attentions to another girl, police said. State police said Ruscoe was charged with sexually assaulting one of the girls in his Trumbull home, binding her with his police handcuffs after pulling out his handgun.

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