Parents don't want to further traumatize young victims, but handling things "discreetly" merely displaces the problem to another school or community When Bud Spillane was a school superintendent in New Rochelle, N.Y., he had to deal with removing an elementary school teacher suspected of sex abuse. "It was pretty evident he had done something," Spillane recalls. The biggest obstacle to removing him from the classroom? "Parents came out of the woodwork...against me," he says. They loved the teacher, the afterschool time he put in, and the weekend trips he liked to take students on, so they fought to keep him in school.
Federal prosecutors say that a former Granby police captain who was investigating child pornography secretly amassed one of the largest child porn collections in Connecticut.
A New York City teacher's aide already accused of possessing child pornography was jailed Tuesday after prosecutors brought new allegations that he videotaped himself spanking one naked child and fondling another in a public elementary school classroom. FBI agents arrested Taleek Brooks, 40, at his Brooklyn apartment on Monday night after an investigation uncovered the videos on a computer seized last month from the home, authorities said. A criminal complaint mentioned only two alleged victims -- both believed by the federal authorities to be current or former students at the Weeksville School in Brooklyn, where Brooks had worked since 1995.
Lawsuit Against Hartford Archdiocese Involves Its Response To Child Sex Abuse 30 Years Ago A judge on Thursday said the Catholic Church cannot defend itself from a priest sex abuse case by arguing that its response to the abuse -- considered by many to be inappropriate now -- was generally accepted when the abuse occurred 30 years ago.
A second teacher at a Los Angeles elementary school has been arrested in connection with sex abuse allegations, the Associated Press reports, quoting sheriff's department officials. The first teacher was arrested this week and charged with photographing children for sexual thrills. The teacher was removed from Miramonte Elementary School after someone made accusations against him, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy tells KTTV-TV. He declined to provide details but said the district had notified law enforcement investigators, the AP says. "We have some information and we are currently investigating that," but the teacher has not been arrested or charged with any crime, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Carlos Marquez says. Third-grade teacher Mark Berndt, who worked at the school for 30 years, was charged with committing lewd acts on 23 children, ages 6 to 10, between 2005 and 2010. He is in jail on $23 million bail and could face life in prison if convicted.
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.
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.