An employee at the Westerly YMCA and a camp counselor at the YMCA's Camp Harrington in Massachusetts has been arrested and charged with possession and transmission of child pornography. Dana Gingerelli, 20 of Westerly R.I., was arrested on Thursday morning by Rhode Island State Police. Police initiated the investigations after reports that child pornography was being shared on the internet. Upon search of Gingerelli's residence on Canton Street in Westerly a smartphone with child pornography on it was discovered. Futher investigation revealed that the phone belonged to Gingerelli and that the illegal images had also been transferred from the device.
The files released last week by America's largest Catholic archdiocese revealed new and disturbing details about how church officials schemed to protect priests accused of molesting children. But was the scandal in Los Angeles really so much worse than in other places?
This article was a feature story in The New York Times Magazine last week. It speaks of victims of child pornography and possible restitution they may receive. The story features 2 victims and their struggles into adulthood. The detective spread out the photographs on the kitchen table, in front of Nicole, on a December morning in 2006. She was 17, but in the pictures, she saw the face of her 10-year-old self, a half-grown girl wearing make-up. The bodies in the images were broken up by pixelation, but Nicole could see the outline of her father, forcing himself on her. Her mother, sitting next to her, burst into sobs.
We saw this article written about author Barry Lopez and his book about his own childhood sexual abuse. We were really struct by the following quote from his NPR interview to explain why he wrote his book and why abuse victims are compelled to file lawsuits. "I had become impatient with the cast of newspaper articles that suggested that in the legal pursuit of pedophiles what young men and women were most interested in was winning a financial judgment or in punishing, seeking vengeance. And it struck me that that was the last thing, really, you'd be interested in as somebody who had been serially molested. What had been taken from you was a sense of self-worth and dignity, and the only way you can get those things back is in open, unjudged relationships with other people, and then you ... have a chance to develop again a sense of self-worth. ... So what you really want, in the simplest terms, is for somebody to believe what happened, to take you at face value and not to manipulate you in a courtroom, for example, to seek justice." Below please find the summary of Barry Lopez's interview on NPR with excerpts from his book Sliver of Sky.
The Catholic priest busted for allegedly dealing crystal meth was suspended after church officials discovered he was a cross-dresser who was having sex in the rectory at Bridgeport's St. Augustine Cathedral. Monsignor Kevin Wallin was relieved of his duties in May, but the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport had continued to pay him a stipend until his Jan. 3 arrest -- a day he was planning to fly to London on vacation. Now dubbed "Msgr. Meth" by some, Wallin seemed to live a life that easily could have been ripped from the script of "Breaking Bad," the popular AMC series about a high school chemistry teacher turned crystal methamphetamine producer. At one point, Wallin was selling upwards of $9,000 of meth a week, according to his indictment. In his post-priesthood, Wallin, 61, bought an adult specialty and video store in North Haven called Land of Oz that sells sex toys and X-rated DVDs. Investigators believe the shop helped him launder thousands of dollars in weekly profits.
A former Brookfield cheerleading coach escaped prison time Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to exchanging nude photographs with a 15-year-old Monroe girl he had been coaching. Standing before Superior Court Judge Richard Arnold, 31-year-old Manuel Batson apologized for his actions, but avoided looking at the girl and her mother seated a few feet from him in the courtroom. Batson, of Church Street in Ansonia, admitted sending nude photos of himself to the girl, but claimed he thought it was all right because she had told him she was already smoking and drinking. He pleaded guilty to risk of injury to a minor and was sentenced by Arnold to a three-year suspended term, followed by five years probation. The judge also ordered Batson to register as a sex offender and never again be employed where he would have unsupervised contact with children and teenagers.
The sex-assault case against a former Staples High School boys swim coach took a twist last week when a Fairfield social worker was charged with refusing to cooperate with the police investigation. Valerie Wilke, 51, a licensed social worker who lives on Joan Drive in Fairfield, was charged Wednesday with failure to report abuse or neglect, and interfering with a police officer. "Since 1967, social workers have been mandated reporters of abuse under state law," said Senior Assistant State's Attorney Cornelius Kelly, who declined to comment on the case against Wilke.
Two men who were accused of sexually abusing their adopted children have pleaded no contest to lesser felony charges and will avoid jail time in an agreement with prosecutors.
In just over a month, more than 120 sexually exploited children -- one just 19 days old -- were identified in an international operation that found them depicted in child pornography on the Internet, U.S. officials said Thursday. In Operation Sunflower, led by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigation unit from Nov. 1 to Dec. 7, 123 victims of child sexual exploitation were identified, ICE Director John Morton said at a press conference in Washington. Of that group, 44 children had been living with their abusers, and 79 children were exploited by people outside of their home or were victimized as children and are now adults. Seventy female and 53 male victims rescued; 110 of the victims were identified in 19 U.S. states and the rest were identified in six foreign countries.
A former student in Los Angeles was awarded $23 million in damages Tuesday for sexual abuse he endured at the hands of his elementary school teacher. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for less than five hours before finding in favor of the teen. The lawsuit, filed on his behalf in October 2009, concerned abuse by Forrest Stobbe, the boy's fifth-grade teacher at Queen Anne Elementary School in the Mid-Wilshire area.