Two and a half years after he was removed as pastor of a New Fairfield church for allegedly sexually harassing a female church employee, Monsignor Martin Ryan was appointed pastor of a Stratford Roman Catholic church. Ryan's appointment Saturday at Our Lady of Grace Church prompted numerous calls from parishioners who said they were shocked to learn that their new spiritual leader was a priest who not only had been removed from a prior job, but had previously been accused of molesting a teenage girl in Trumbull in the 1970s. In that case, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport agreed to pay a settlement to the complainant, even though Ryan denied the allegations.
The Legionaries of Christ, a religious order plagued in the late 1990s and early 2000s by allegations of sexual abuse against its founder, announced on Thursday that an independent investigation had revealed "significant evidence" of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest who served at the order's Cheshire seminary.
A 30-year-old employee of a Bridgeport, Connecticut Boys and Girls Club is facing charges for allegedly "sexting" a 16-year-old girl. Jermaine Laidlaw is charged with risk of injury to a minor and using a computer to entice a minor into sexual activity, police said. Laidlaw was employed at the Jerome Orcutt Boys and Girls Club in Bridgeport, according to police. The victim's mother went to police after she discovered sexually explicit text messages on her daughter's phone, police said. A forensic analysis of the girl's phone by police revealed 322 text messages between the girl and Laidlaw. Many of the messages sent by Laidlaw were sexually explicit, police said. Laidlaw was arrested Wednesday and was held with bail set at $25,000. Reported by Kelly Glista, Hartford Courant.
New Canaan police have arrested a church youth group leader who is accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy.
A Bethel church has been accused in a lawsuit of turning a blind eye to sexual assaults on young girls by its former youth minister. In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in state Superior Court in Danbury, the family of a girl says leaders of the Walnut Hill Community Church allowed Matthew Anastasia to be in a position where he could get close to girls even though he had been arrested for harming one. "The minor plaintiff and her family looked to the church as a safe place to worship and find spiritual peace and instead a 13-year-old girl was deceived and harmed," said lawyer Cindy Robinson, with the Bridgeport law firm Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney, who is representing the family. Church officials did not immediately return calls and emails for comment. Anastasia's mother, Janice, is the Children's Ministry Team coordinator for Walnut Hill, and his father, James, had served as a church elder. Both are named as defendants.
People who are required by law to report child abuse and fail to do so may face felony charges under one of several new state laws set to take effect on Tuesday. Teachers and other "mandated reporters" who fail to report suspected child abuse now face fines between $500 and $2,500, but the new penalty will be much tougher -- up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. "One of the things that has always bothered me was when you have individuals in an organization who know about child abuse, they sometimes shuffle people around instead of reporting it to authorities," state Rep. Gerald M. Fox III, D-Stamford, co-chairman of the legislative Judiciary Committee said. "With the new law, if you know about it and do not report it, you're liable for a Class D felony for intentional interference." The law, a couple years in the making, is aimed at stopping incidents like the pedophile scandals at Penn State University, or among Catholic priests and bishops. The new law, one of dozens that take effect on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, would cover incidents going forward from that date. As reported in CT Post by Ken Dixon
A special education teacher in the New Haven, Connecticut public schools has been charged with sexually assaulting three underage students, according to police. Robert Schmitt, of Hamden, turned himself in to police on Wednesday, police spokesman David Hartman said in a press release Thursday afternoon. Schmitt, 48, is accused of assaulting three students during the 2011-2012 school year at the MicroSociety Magnet School. Each of the alleged assaults took place when the child was under the age of 13, Hartman said. The police investigation of Schmitt began in April, when a school social worker heard an allegation from a student -- a 12-year-old girl -- and reported it, Hartman said. A second victim, a 14-year-old girl, came forward in May, and two days later detectives spoke with the third victim, a 12-year-old boy.
A Danbury Hospital employee has been charged with sexually assaulting a patient in June, police said Thursday. Michael Wilmot, 47, was arrested after a lengthy investigation and charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault, according to a police news release. Wilmot was in custody on $50,000 bail Thursday morning. The alleged assaults happened on June 12, 2013, police said. Wilmot was a patient care technician at the hospital, they said, and the patient was under his care. In a written statement, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday that Wilmot has been suspended from the hospital. "Since this involves an active legal matter, we cannot comment in detail. We can say that the involved employee has been suspended," said Andrea Rynn. "We want to reassure the public that the well-being and security of our patients is our top priority, and that we are fully committed to providing a safe environment for their care," she said. As reported by Hartford Courant.
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.
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.