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Posts tagged "sexual abuse coverup"

Lawmakers Ponder Expansion Of Abuse Reporting Requirement

Connecticut lawmakers are holding a public hearing to discuss whether state law needs to be changed in the wake of the child abuse scandal at Penn State University. The informational hearing before the Legislature's Judiciary Committee and Select Committee on Children on Tuesday is focusing on expanding the statute that requires teachers, health professionals and others to report suspected child abuse.

Catholic Church's visiting priests come under scrutiny

About five years ago, a visiting priest from Haiti was looking for a parish in the Diocese of Bridgeport to call home for a time. His travels brought him to St. Mary's Parish on Greenwich Avenue, whose pastor offered the priest, Jean Marie DeGraff, room and board while DeGraff was working in the diocese and advocating for his impoverished home country of Haiti. In return, DeGraff performed duties around the parish as needed, including assisting with Mass and speaking with parishioners, a role he filled between 2007 and 2008. DeGraff, who became a priest in the Society of St. Jacques in Haiti in 2004, traveled throughout the diocese, which encompasses Fairfield County, with the permission of Bishop William Lori, speaking at parishes about his home country. Diocese officials know DeGraff, 49, performed a variety of duties at St. Mary and moved around the diocese. But that's where officials' knowledge of his movements ends. The diocese says it has no record of where else in the diocese the priest served. The case of DeGraff, who now stands accused of sexual misconduct charges in Canada and was previously accused of abuse in Connecticut, has victims' advocates calling for greater transparency from the Catholic Church with respect to alleged incidents of abuse.

Paterno says he 'didn't know which way to go' with Sandusky allegations

STATE COLLEGE, PA. -- Joe Paterno sat in a wheelchair at the family kitchen table where he has eaten, prayed and argued for more than a half-century. All around him family members were shouting at each other, yet he was whispering. His voice sounded like wind blowing across a field of winter stalks, rattling the husks. Lung cancer has robbed him of the breath to say all that he wants to about the scandal he still struggles to comprehend, and which ended his career as head football coach at Penn State University. The words come like gusts. "I wanted to build up, not break down," he said. Crowded around the table were his three voluble sons, Scott, Jay, David, daughter Mary Kay, and his wife of 50 years, Sue, all chattering at once. In the middle of the table a Lazy Susan loaded with trays of cornbread and mashed potatoes spun by, swirling fast as the arguments. "If you go hungry, it's your own fault," Paterno likes to say. But Paterno, 85, could not eat. He sipped Pepsi over crushed ice from a cup. Once, it would have been bourbon. His hand showed a tremor, and a wig replaced his once-fine head of black hair. Paterno's hope is that time will be his ally when it comes to judging what he built, versus what broke down. "I'm not 31 years old trying to prove something to anybody," he said. "I know where I am." This is where he is: wracked by radiation and chemotherapy, in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis, and "shocked and saddened" as he struggles to explain a breakdown of devastating proportions. Jerry Sandusky, his former assistant coach at Penn State from 1969 to 1999, is charged with more than 50 counts of sexually abusing young boys over a 15-year period. He maintains his innocence. If Sandusky is guilty, "I'm sick about it," Paterno said.

Child-on-child sex abuse poses complex challenges; States struggle with policy of putting kids on sex-offender registries

35.6% of child sex abuse cases are committed by other minors

Recent high-profile cases of child sex abuse have roused national revulsion against the adults who perpetrated them. Rarely mentioned is the sobering statistic that more than one-third of the sexual abuse of America's children is committed by other minors. For many of the therapists and attorneys who deal with them, these juvenile offenders pose a profoundly complicated challenge for the child-protection and criminal justice systems. It's a diverse group that defies stereotypes, encompassing a minority of youths who represent a threat of long-term danger to others and a majority who are responsive to treatment and unlikely to reoffend.

State Supreme Court to rule on time limits in molestation cases

During oral arguments at the California Supreme Court, several justices appear skeptical about allowing flexible deadlines for lawsuits against those who knew about abuse and didn't stop it.

Reporting from San Francisco -- The California Supreme Court appeared reluctant Thursday to give adult victims of child molestation the right to sue decades later those who knew of the abuse and failed to stop it.

Scandals Test the N.C.A.A.'s Top Rules Enforcer

INDIANAPOLIS -- Nearly two weeks after sexual abuse allegations surfaced last month against a former Penn State assistant football coach -- and after myriad law enforcement officials and the Department of Education announced they were investigating the matter -- the national governing body for college athletics sent a letter to the university requesting information about the charges.
The N.C.A.A., the organization that sent the letter, demanded a response by Dec. 16. On Thursday, a day before that deadline arrived, Penn State appealed for more time, saying the N.C.A.A. might find answers to its questions in the findings of the other investigations. Whenever Penn State ultimately provides its official response, the nature of its answers and the penalties it might face as a result will be the latest test for the person with what may be the most Sisyphean job in all of sports: Julie Roe Lach, head of enforcement for the N.C.A.A.

Child Sex Abuse Makes Us All Mandated Reporters

Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney saw this article written by Susan Campbell of the Hartford Courant and thought it brought up an interesting point.  She has written many articles on sexual abuse and different sexual abuse scandals. The article follows, but we thought it would be helpful to define a mandated reporter.  Under Connecticut law, the following people are mandated reporters of suspected child abuse: doctors, nurses, medical examiners, dentists, dental hygienists, psychologists, coaches, school teachers, school principals, school guidance counselors, school paraprofessionals, social workers, police officers, juvenile or adult probation and /or parole officers, members of the clergy, pharmacists, physical therapists, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists,

Hard Journey Up From Childhood Sex Abuse

How bad does a childhood have to be to disqualify someone from holding a job, maintaining intimate relationships or raising a child?
I ask because the question arose recently in the unfolding disaster of the Glastonbury men who adopted nine sons, and then were charged with sexually abusing two of them. News stories said one of the men -- George Harasz -- had trauma in his background that might have affected his ability to be a good parent.

Philly sportswriter accused of abuse decades ago

With all the media attention given to the Penn State and Syracuse scandals, more victims are finding coverage to come forward even long after the incident.  The victims of came forward to not only expose the perpetrator, but also highlight the shortcomings of time limits associated with the statute of limitations. Currently under  Connecticut law, any person who claims damages as a result of being sexually abused, sexually assaulted, or sexually exploited as a child has until 30 years past the age of majority (typically until age 48) in which to file a claim in court.  Below is the news story. A veteran sportswriter and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News was accused in a newspaper report Tuesday of molesting three girls and a boy in the 1970s, including his niece, who is now a prosecutor.

The Twice-Victimized of Sexual Assault

Nearly every woman I know can recall one or more instances in which she was sexually assaulted, harassed, threatened, inappropriately touched or even raped. Yet few told anyone about it at the time, or reported it to the police. I have clear memories of three such episodes from my childhood, one of which involved a man who owned a store in my neighborhood. Not knowing at age 11 anything about reproduction (in 1952, expectant teachers had to take leave when they "showed"), I was terrified that I could become pregnant from having been forced to touch his penis. I had trouble sleeping, and I avoided the block where the store was. Yet, fearing that the assault was somehow my fault, I said nothing to my parents. Experts on sexual assault and rape report that even today, despite improvements in early sex education and widespread publicity about sexual assaults, the overwhelming majority of both felony and misdemeanor cases never come to public or legal attention.

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