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