Category Archives: Elite Pedophile Rings

Students at elite prep school attended by Rupert Murdoch’s son preyed upon by pedophile teachers


James Murdoch, former chairman of News International, attended the Horace Mann School in New York Photo: AP

Pupils at a prestigious New York preparatory school attended by James Murdoch, the former chairman of News International, were preyed upon by paedophile teachers, a former student has claimed.

telegraph.co.uk | Jun 8, 2012

Paedophile scandal at James Murdoch’s former New York school

By Rosa Prince, New York

Amos Kamil, who attended the elite Horace Mann School in the 1970s and 1980s, named three former teachers who he alleged had sexually abused teenage pupils in an article in the New York Times Magazine.

He accused the school of failing to protect youngsters from several other unnamed teachers he said had acted inappropriately, claiming that it fostered a climate of “blurred boundaries” between children and adults.

There is no suggestion that Mr Murdoch, 39, the youngest son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who graduated in 1991, was among those targeted for abuse.

Horace Mann was recently named as the second best prep school in the United States. As well as Mr Murdoch, its alumni include the beat writer Jack Kerouac and disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.

One of the teachers named in the article, Stanley Kops, commit suicide a few years after leaving the school following a complaint from a male student in 1983 that he had made inappropriate advances towards him during a class retreat.

Another alleged victim, Benjamin Balter, is also said to have taken his life, following years of sexual abuse by a music teacher, Johannes Somary, who died of a heart attack last year having taught at the school for four decades.

Complaints by Mr Balter’s mother about the teacher’s behaviour in 1994 are said to have been ignored.

Two other former pupils spoken to by Mr Kamil claimed that Mr Somary had abused them on a number of occasions.

A third teacher, Mark Wright, who taught art, is said to have left the school after pupils complained that he touched them sexually during inappropriate physical examinations. He died in 2004 Mr Kamil said: “The former students who chose to share their stories with me are all men, but if their classmates are to be believed, the situation was far more complex.

“People who haven’t set foot in the school in 30 years still rattle off the names of male teachers who were said to be sleeping with their female students.

“A couple of female faculty members were said to be sleeping with male students. Once I started asking around, these stories continued to bubble.” Mr Kamil said he was confident that the school had changed in recent years.

In a statement, Horace Mann said: “As an educational institution, we are deeply concerned if allegations of abuse of children are raised, regardless of when or where they may have occurred.

“The current administration is not in a position to comment on the events involving former and, in some cases, now-deceased, faculty members that are said to have occurred years before we assumed leadership of the school.”

Catholic priest defrocked for child sex abuse hired by the TSA at Philadelphia airport


Harkins, once a Catholic priest in churches across South Jersey, now works as a TSA supervisor in Philadelphia. philadelphia.cbslocal.com

Thomas Harkins accused of sexually abusing 11-year-old girl in new lawsuit

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | May 26, 2012

By Rheana Murray

A Catholic priest removed from the ministry ten years ago for sexually abusing young girls has found another job — with the TSA.

Thomas Harkins, once a priest at churches throughout South Jersey, now works as a TSA supervisor at the Philadelphia International Airport, CBS Philly reports.

He was forced to leave the church in 2002, when the Diocese of Camden found him guilty of sexually abusing two young girls.

Now, a third alleged victim has come forward, according to the station.

In a new lawsuit, Harkins is accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl as many as 15 times between 1980 and 1981. One of the alleged incidents occurred in Harkins’ bedroom at the rectory of Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, N.J, where Harkins worked at the time.

CBS Philly tracked Harkins down at the airport to ask if the public should be concerned about his past.

Ex-priest accused of child sex abuse gets job with TSA

Priest defrocked for child sex abuse now works for TSA, report says

Thomas Harkin, Former Catholic Priest Accused Of Sex Abuse, Now Works For TSA

“No, they should not be worried,” Harkins said. “I have nothing to say.”

But Karen Polesir, a spokeswoman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) isn’t so tight-lipped.

“They should know who they are hiring,” Polesir told CBS Philly.

“As the public, we are screened to our underwear getting on a plane, and yet they hire a man like that.”

Polesir doesn’t buy into a TSA official’s reassurance that Harkins works mostly with luggage — not people — as a Transportation Security Manager in baggage.

“Sure, that’s his title,” she said. “That doesn’t mean that’s where he stays, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t fill other roles when necessary.”

Because the sexual abuse cases were so old, and the lawsuits were settled with the accusers, criminal charges were never filed against Harkins, which is why nothing registered when the TSA ran a background check, according to the station.

15-year old girl kidnapped for Vatican police sex parties


Emanuela Orlandi, who was 15 at the time of her disappearance, was the daughter of a Vatican employee Photo: Rex

A teenage girl whose disappearance in Rome has remained a mystery for 30 years was kidnapped for sex parties by a gang involving Vatican police and foreign diplomats, the Roman Catholic Church’s leading exorcist has claimed.

Telegraph | May 22, 2012

By Nick Squires, Rome

Father Gabriele Amorth, who was appointed by the late John Paul II as the Vatican’s chief exorcist and claims to have performed thousands of exorcisms, said Emanuela Orlandi was later murdered and her body disposed of.

In the latest twist in one of the Holy See’s most enduring mysteries, he said the 15-year-old schoolgirl was snatched from the streets of central Rome in the summer of 1983 and forced to take part in sex parties.

“This was a crime with a sexual motive. Parties were organised, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the ‘recruiter’ of the girls.

“The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle,” Father Amorth, the honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists, told La Stampa newspaper.

Lux in Arcana: The Vatican Secret Archive Reveals Itself

The debate over who kidnapped Emanuela and what became of her has raged in Italy for three decades.

It has been suggested that she was taken by the leader of a notorious gang of criminals, who wanted to put pressure on Vatican officials to recover money that he had allegedly lent them.

Another theory is that she was abducted to be used as a bargaining chip for the release from prison of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill John Paul II in St Peter’s Square in 1981, reportedly on the orders of the KGB.

But Father Amorth, 85, dismissed the “international dimension”, saying that a Vatican archivist had also come to the conclusion that Emanuela was abducted for sexual exploitation.

A controversial and outspoken priest, Father Amorth has claimed that yoga is Satanic because it leads to a worship of Hinduism and that the Harry Potter books are dangerous because they encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry.

Earlier this month investigators opened the tomb of Enrico “Renatino” De Pedis, the gang leader, in order to check long-standing claims that the remains of the teenager were buried alongside him.

They found his remains inside the tomb in the Sant’ Apollinare basilica in Rome and also, intriguingly, other bones in a crypt nearby.

Investigators said the unidentified bones probably dated from the early 19th century, but they are being analysed by forensic experts to see if any of them might belong to Emanuela.

In 2005, an anonymous caller to a crime programme on Italian TV claimed that the key to the schoolgirl’s kidnap lay in the tomb of the mobster, who was gunned down by rival gangsters in 1990.

Missing girl buried in murdered mobster’s tomb was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties


Emanuela Orlandi, 15, went missing in Rome in 1983. Pietro Orlandi, Emanuela’s brother said it was time for the Vatican to come clean about what it knows of Emanuela’s disappearance

Daily Mail | May 22, 2012

By Nick Pisa

The Catholic Church’s leading exorcist priest has sensationally claimed a missing schoolgirl thought to be buried in a murdered gangster’s tomb was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties.

Father Gabriel Amorth, 85, who has carried out 70,000 exorcisms, spoke out as investigators continued to examine mobster Enrico De Pedis’s tomb in their hunt for Emanuela Orlandi.

Last week police and forensic experts broke into the grave after an anonymous phone call to a TV show said the truth about Emanuela’s 1983 disappearance would be ‘found there’.

And although bones not belonging to the mobster were recovered they have not yet been positively identified as hers.

However Father Amorth, in an interview with La Stampa newspaper, said: ‘This was a crime with a sexual motive.

‘It has already previously been stated by (deceased) monsignor Simeone Duca, an archivist at the Vatican, who was asked to recruit girls for parties with the help of the Vatican gendarmes.

‘I believe Emanuela ended up in this circle. I have never believed in the international theory (overseas kidnappers). I have motives to believe that this was just a case of sexual exploitation.

‘It led to the murder and then the hiding of her body. Also involved are diplomatic staff from a foreign embassy to the Holy See.’

Today there was no immediate response from the Vatican to Father Amorth’s claims.

But Vatican officials insisted they had always co-operated with the investigation into Orlandi’s disappearance – a claim that her brother has often disputed.

Father Amorth is a colourful figure who in the past has also denounced yoga and Harry Potter as the ‘work of the Devil’. He was appointed by the late Pope John Paul II as the Vatican’s chief exorcist.

It is not the first time Father Amorth has raised eyebrows with his forthright views – two years ago he said sex scandals rocking the Catholic Church were evidence ‘the Devil was at work in the Vatican.’

In 2006, Father Amorth, who was ordained a priest in 1954, gave an interview to Vatican Radio in which he said Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Russian dictator Josef Stalin were possessed by the Devil.

According to secret Vatican documents recently released the then wartime Pope Pius XII attempted a ‘long distance exorcism’ of Hitler but it failed to have any effect.

Charismatic mobster De Pedis, leader of a murderous gang known as the Banda della Magliana, was gunned down aged just 38, by members of his outfit after they fell out.

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, 15, in 1983, believe De Pedis is linked to her kidnap and the body of the Vatican employee’s daughter has never been found.

Last month the diocese of Rome, on orders from the Vatican, granted investigators permission to open up the tomb in the Sant’Apollinare basilica close to Piazza Navona in the centre of Rome.

At the time of his funeral there were raised eyebrows when despite his criminal past church chiefs allowed De Pedis to be buried in the crypt of Sant’Apollinare.

At the time it was said the burial was given the go ahead because prison chaplain Father Vergari told bishops that De Pedis had ‘repented while in jail and also done a lot of work for charity,’ including large donations to the Catholic Church.

De Pedis, whose name on the £12,000 tomb is spelt in diamonds, was buried in Sant’Apollinare church after he was gunned down in 1990 in the city’s famous Campo De Fiori.

He and his gang controlled the lucrative drug market in Rome and were also rumoured to have a ‘free hand’ because of their links with police and Italian secret service agents.

The disappearance of Orlandi reads like the roller coaster plot of a Dan Brown Da Vinci Code thriller with a touch of The Godfather thrown in for good measure.

Twelve years ago a skull was found in the confessional box of a Rome church and tests were carried out on it to see if it was Orlandi after a mystery tip off but they proved negative.

In 2008 Sabrina Minardi, De Pedis girlfriend at the time of Orlandi’s disappearance, sensationally claimed that now dead American monsignor Paul Marcinkus, the controversial chief of the Vatican bank, was behind the kidnap.

Monsignor Marcinkus used his status to avoid being questioned by police in the early 1980′s probing the collapse of a Banco Ambrosiano which the Vatican had invested heavily in.

The collapse was linked to the murder of Roberto Calvi dubbed God’s Banker because of the Vatican links and his body was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London in June 1982.

His pockets filled with cash and stones and it was originally recorded as a suicide but police believe he was murdered by the Mafia after a bungled money laundering operation.

At the same time as Minardi made her claim a mystery caller to a missing person’s programme on Italian TV said the riddle of Orlandi’s kidnap would be solved ‘if De Pedis tomb was opened’.

Following Minardi claims the Vatican took the unusual step of speaking publicly and dismissed her claims about American Monsignor Marcinkus, who died in Arizona four years ago.

Silence and self-rule: Brooklyn’s widespread Jewish Orthodox child abuse cover-up


Two years ago, Brooklyn rabbi Baruch Lebovits was sentenced to jail for his repeated abuse of a 16-year-old. Photograph: New York Daily News/Getty Images

Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox rabbis claim they are co-operating with authorities over child sex abuse. But victims say they are being persecuted – and that the DA is doing little to help.

Mordechai’s persecution is part of a widespread cover-up of child sexual abuse among Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jews.

guardian.co.uk | Mar 29, 2012

Zoë Blackler in New York

When Mordechai discovered his mentally disabled child was being molested, he reported the crime to the police. A local man was arrested and charged with repeatedly raping the boy in their synagogue’s ritual bath. When news of the arrest got back to their Brooklyn community, the neighbours launched a hate campaign. But the object of their anger wasn’t the alleged perpetrator, Meir Dascalowitz, it was the abused boy’s father.

For the last two years, Mordechai says he’s been hounded by his community. “The minute this guy got arrested I started a new life, a life of hell, terror, threat, you name it.” There were bogus calls to the fire department resulting in unwelcome late night visits, anonymous death threats, banishment from synagogue, even a plot to derail his move to a new apartment. “I lost my friends. I lost my family. Nobody in Williamsburg can talk to me. Nobody means nobody. We are so angry, so broken.”

Related

Brooklyn DA accused of failing to tackle Orthodox Jews’ cover-up of sex abuse

Mordechai’s persecution is part of a widespread cover-up of child sexual abuse among Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox Jews. With echoes of the Catholic priest scandal, for decades rabbis have hushed up child sex crimes and fomented a culture in which victims are further victimised and abusers protected.

After the first claims of a cover-up surfaced in the mid 2000s, the rabbis’ stance was outright denial – not only that crimes were being concealed, but of the very existence of ultra-Orthodox child molesters. In the years since, victim advocates and whistle-blower blogs have forced open the issue. Today, the religious leadership claims to co-operate with law enforcement. The Brooklyn district attorney, Charles Hynes, long vilified by advocates for his inaction, now cares to be seen to be prosecuting – though how enthusiastically is in dispute. And attitudes within the community have shifted marginally.

But the essence of the problem has changed little. Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox enclaves remain close-knit and insular, suspicious of secular authority and contemptuous of the criminal justice system. Religious leaders command strict authority inside their communities and have the external political power to demand a degree of self-rule. Ideal conditions for a cover-up.

Lawyer and advocate Michael Lesher has campaigned for years to break the rabbis’ stronghold and get abusers into court. There is a misapprehension, he says, that every time a child sex crime reaches the media it disgraces the community. “In reality, it gets reported but only as part of the generally muck and mire of grease-blotter journalism.” But when cases are covered up, that really is a scandal. “That is a crime of a different order.”
‘The blood of all those victims is on their hands’

Unlike Mordechai, few victims inside the community will tell their stories publicly. But in recent years, a number of adult survivors, now living outside the religion and no longer bound by its taboos, have spoken out.

Joel Engelman says he was molested at the age of eight by his teacher, Rabbi Avrohom Reichman. Four years ago he sued his former school after it failed to dismiss Reichman. Engelman, by then in his early 20s, had gone to the school to report his abuser and seek redress. The religious leadership investigated, concluded that Reichman was guilty and did nothing, the suit said. Reichman is still teaching there today. (Engelman’s civil suit was dismissed on statute of limitations grounds.)

Luzer Twersky, 26, was abused for three years from the age of nine by his private tutor. It only ended when David Greenfeld – whose father was a respected member of the community ≠ was discovered abusing another boy in a ritual bath, a mikvah. Greenfeld continued teaching until his arrest in 2009 on fresh molestation charges. In January, the case against him collapsed because the victim’s family would not co-operate, the DA’s spokesperson said.

Both men say that when they were growing up – Engelman in Williamsburg, Twersky in Borough Park – the more rampant child molesters were well known to their group of friends.

During research for this article, I heard numerous stories like Twersky’s and Engelman’s. Though the details varied, the dynamics of the cover-up were always the same. Many were relayed secondhand, the victims themselves refused to speak. There was the boy molested by his teacher, a rabbi. When his mother found out, the teacher was temporarily suspended, only to be appointed principal a few years later. There was the childhood friend, condemned for accusing a respected family man, who later committed suicide. The abusive father, who pleaded with rabbis to hush up the crime, which they did, now works with children. And just a few months ago, a 14-year-old boy sent by his rabbi to apologise to his molester for seducing him.

As consistent as the tales of cover up are those of community intimidation, where victims are branded a moser – an informer – excluded from school, spat on in synagogue, their families threatened and harassed by supporters of the accused.

On the occasions the religious leaders have taken action, they’ve turned to their shadow justice system, the religious courts known as the beit din. But lacking investigative powers, forensic expertise or means of enforcement, the beit din are wholly ineffectual in trying molesters. At other times, they’ve shuffled offenders off for “treatment”, typically to unlicensed therapists.

“My story is one of hundreds they’ve covered up,” said one victim who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. “The blood of all those victims is on their hands.”

Of all the horror stories, the most notorious involves Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, for several decades a teacher at Yeshiva Torah Temimah in Brooklyn and a summer camp counsellor.

In 2006, two adult men publicly accused Kolko of molesting them as children, one in the late 1960s, another in the mid 1980s. In a civil suit, the men claimed that rabbis first learnt Kolko was a serial molester back in the 1980s. At that time, a beit din was convened. But Kolko enjoyed the protection of his school principal, Rabbi Lipa Margulies, whose intimidation of witnesses and concealment of information made victims drop their claims, the complaint said. The religious court proceedings came to nothing.

The men took their stories to the mainstream media and the revelations shook the ultra-Orthodox community. Their civil suit was thrown out on statute of limitations grounds but during the publicity two of Kolko’s current students, boys aged eight and nine, revealed that they too had been abused. Kolko was indicted on felony sexual abuse charges.

Ben Hirsch of victims support group Survivors for Justice was instrumental in getting their cases to court. “The two kids were prepared to take the stand. The families were supportive. Other victims, ranging in age from their 20s to mid 50s, including a lawyer, were prepared to testify that Kolko had molested them as children. There was solid evidence he’d been molesting boys for decades. We’d given the DA well over a dozen names of people willing to co-operate. It was a rock solid case.”

But instead of putting Kolko on trial, the DA gave him a deal. In April 2008, Kolko pled guilty to misdemeanor child endangerment (not a sex crime), was given three years probation, was not required to register as a sex offender, and returned to life as normal in Borough Park.

The DA said the families refused to let their children testify.

Ben Hirsch says that’s untrue. He says the parents were presented with a done deal. When the father of one boy signed a letter agreeing to the plea, he sent it back with another, written in his own words: “My son was ready to go to trial and we feel he would have done an excellent job and I am sorry to hear that [Yehuda] Kolko will not proceed further … I feel justice was not served,” he wrote. And he signed off: “I will end by saying I understand what the district attorney wants from me and I will sign the letter.”

Hirsch and the other advocates were incensed. “We don’t know the back story, but we think the DA was under great pressure from the community and he buckled,” Hirsch says.

Full Story

Trial could lay bare ‘decades of child sex abuse coverup’ in the Catholic archdiocese of Philadelphia

Associated Press | Mar 26, 2012


Charged: Monsignor William Lynn is accused of child endangerment for allegedly covering up priest sex abuse

The trial of a priest accused of covering up sex abuse for the Roman Catholic archdiocese in Philadelphia could expose decades of secrets the church has kept about child molestation by teachers and clergy.

Monsignor William Lynn is the first US church official ever charged with endangering children for allegedly failing to oust accused predators from the priesthood. But he may not be the last.

Philadelphia prosecutors say he helped carry out ‘an archdiocesan-wide policy’ that hid abuse allegations and transferred suspected priests to new parishes — all without alerting police.

Civil lawyers believe the trial will help them refile priest-abuse lawsuits that were thrown out in Pennsylvania because of legal time limits, or persuade the state legislature to open a window for filing child sex-abuse claims.

‘The evidence that has come out about the conspiracy and the cover-up and the level of officialdom involved in it is going to help us,’ said lawyer Jay Abramowitch, whose priest-abuse lawsuit involving 18 accusers was thrown out by the state Supreme Court in 2005.

Also on trial is the Rev James Brennan who, like Lynn, pleaded not guilty. Last week, a third man, defrocked priest Edward Avery, 69, pleaded guilty to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 to five years in prison and ordered to surrender within 10 days.

Lynn remains the focal point of the trial because the 61-year-old was the secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004.

Lynn argues that he prepared a list of 37 accused priests in 1994, and sent it up the chain to Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua – only to have Bevilacqua have it shredded. The cardinal died this year, but his videotaped deposition could be played at trial.

The trial will be followed by concerned Catholics across the country, including some who say their lives were destroyed.

‘It gives me hope that it’s going to raise public awareness, and it’s going to expose the church – what they knew, when they knew it,’ said Art Baselice Jr. of Mantua, New Jersey, a retired Philadelphia homicide detective.

His son, Arthur III, overdosed in 2006, after his civil suit accusing a Philadelphia priest of abuse was thrown out.

Philadelphia prosecutors, too, blasted Bevilacqua, Lynn and other church officials for looking away as scores of accusers streamed into the archdiocese over several decades. Prosecutors detailed their findings in a 2005 grand jury report, but said they could not charge anyone because the statute of limitations had expired.

But last year, they filed a second grand jury report based on recent complaints filed within newly expanded time limits.

Lynn faces two counts each of conspiracy and child endangerment and up to 28 years in prison if convicted.

Four others — two priests, an ex-priest and a Catholic school teacher — were charged with rape. The report involves just two accusers.

One man says he was passed around by two priests, including Avery, and his Catholic school teacher in 1998 and 1999.

‘When Mass was ended, Fr (Edward) Avery took the fifth-grader into the sacristy, turned on the music, and ordered him to perform a `striptease’ for him… When they were both naked, the priest had the boy sit on his lap and kissed his neck and back, while saying to him that God loved him,’ the report alleges, followed by oral sex and penetration.

Avery was at the parish despite a credible 1992 complaint that led him to undergo psychological testing. He was pulled from his parish, put on a so-called health leave and then reassigned in 1993.

Defense lawyers plan to attack accusers’ motives, arguing that they are out for money or hope to explain away their troubled lives. Both accusers have criminal records and a history of drug addiction.

The trial is sure to be painful for priests across the archdiocese as well. Pastors will testify against church leaders, complaining they were never told when accused priests were assigned to their parishes.

The Rev Chris Walsh started the Association of Philadelphia Priests last year, so the 800 priests in the archdiocese can share support and information.

‘The priests want the same thing as the lay people,’ Walsh said Thursday.

‘We want to know what happened. And, if possible, why it happened. The gospel says the truth will set you free. Let’s find out what the truth is.’

Dutch Roman Catholic Church ‘castrated at least 10 boys’


The NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis who was castrated in 1956 Photo: omroepbrabant

At least 10 teenage boys or young men under the age of 21 were surgically castrated “to get rid of homosexuality” while in the care of the Dutch Roman Catholic Church in the 1950s.

telegraph.co.uk | Mar 19, 2012

By Bruno Waterfield

Evidence of the castrations has emerged amid controversy that it was not included in the findings of an official investigation into sexual abuse within the church last year.

The NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis who was castrated in 1956, while a minor, after reporting priests to the police for abusing him in a Catholic boarding home.

Joep Dohmen, the investigative journalist who uncovered the Heithuis case, also found evidence of at least nine other castrations. “These cases are anonymous and can no longer be traced,” he said. “There will be many more. But the question is whether those boys, now old men, will want to tell their story.”

Mr Heithuis died in a car crash in 1958, two years after being castrated at the age of 20, while under the age of majority, which was then 21.

In 1956 he had accused Catholic clergy of sexually abusing him in his Church run care home.

Two clergymen were convicted of abuse but Mr Heithuis, a victim, was nonetheless transferred by police to a Catholic psychiatric hospital before being admitted to the St. Joseph Hospital in Veghel later that year.

There, court papers confirm, he was castrated “at his own request”, despite no submission of his written consent. Sources told Mr Dohmen that the surgical removal of testicles was regarded as a treatment for homosexuality and also as a punishment for those who accused clergy of sexual abuse.

Cornelius Rogge, 79, a well-known Dutch sculptor whose family knew Mr Heithuis in the 1950s, reported the castration to an official inquiry into abuse within the Catholic Church. But his evidence was ignored.

“We once asked Henk to drop his pants when the women were gone. He did that. He was maimed totally. It was a huge shock,” he said.

Last December, an official investigation by Wim Deetman, a former Dutch minister, received 1,800 reports of sexual abuse by clergy or volunteers within Dutch Catholic dioceses in the period since 1945.

The Deetman inquiry received a report of the Heithuis case from Mr Rogge but it was not followed up because “there were few leads for further research”.

Evidence emerged on Monday that government inspectors were aware that minors were being castrated while in Catholic-run psychiatric institutions.

Minutes of meetings held in the 1950s show that inspectors were present when castrations were discussed. The documents also reveal that the Catholic staff did not think parents needed to be involved.

There are also allegations that Vic Marijnen, a former Dutch Prime Minister, who died in 1975, was linked to the case.

In 1956, Mr Marijnen was the chairman of the Gelderland children’s home where Mr Heithuis and other children were abused. He intervened to have prison sentences dropped against several priests convicted of abusing children.

Dutch MPs will today (TUES) call for a parliamentary investigation into the allegations.

“I am shocked that boys were being castrated in the 1950s,” said Khadija Arib, a Labour MP. “I want an independent investigation. We must find out how many cases there were, who knew about it and why the government did not act.”

Evidence emerged on Monday that government inspectors were aware that minors were being castrated while in Catholic-run psychiatric institutions.

Minutes of meetings held in the 1950s show that inspectors were present when castrations were discussed. The documents also reveal that the Catholic staff did not think parents needed to be involved.

Philadelphia priest: Cardinal ordered child abuse lists from secret archives shredded

“I shredded… four copies of these lists from the secret archives…”

Reuters | Feb 24, 2012

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) – The highest ranking cleric charged in a Philadelphia pedophilia scandal asked a judge on Friday to dismiss his case because his boss – the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua – ordered a list he made of predator priests be shredded.

Lawyers for Monsignor William Lynn, 61, filed the motion to dismiss conspiracy and child endangerment charges as jury selection in the case was underway in Common Pleas Court.

Lynn, who served the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese as secretary of the clergy during Bevilacqua’s time as archbishop from 1987 to 1998, would be the first church official to stand trial in a child sex abuse case if opening arguments begin as scheduled on March 26.

As clergy secretary, Lynn on his own initiative reviewed secret church archives and created a list of 35 priests who had been involved in abusive conduct or were classified with a sexual disorder, Lynn’s lawyers said in court documents.

Related

Monsignor: Philly cardinal shredded abuse list

He handed the list over to Bevilacqua in 1994. Bevilacqua soon afterwards, in a handwritten note, ordered the document destroyed, apparently by Lynn’s then supervisor Monsignor James Molloy, the lawyers said. Molloy died in 2006.

The motion to dismiss charges was made based on “the recent unexpected and shocking discovery of a March, 1994 memorandum” composed by Molloy, the defense lawyers said.

“I shredded… four copies of these lists from the secret archives,” Molloy said in the 1994 memorandum, according to the court documents filed on Friday.

Bevilacqua, 88, who was to have been a witness in the trial, died last month after suffering from dementia and cancer.

After Bevilacqua’s death on January 31, a locksmith was called in to open a safe and inside were copies of both the list of predator priests and the memo that it had been destroyed.

“Unbeknownst to anyone else and in violation of the cardinal’s directive, Monsignor Molloy preserved a copy of this list in a different place – a safe to which no one else had a combination,” the court documents said.

“Both documents only became available to the parties last week, a mere week after the passing of Cardinal Bevilacqua,” the court filing said.

The jury that indicted Lynn for covering up the abuse also indicted two priests, a former priest, and a former archdiocese school teacher on charges of sexually abusing children between 1996 and 1999.

Boy Scouts ordered to release the secret sex abuse files


Al Steven Stein molested a boy at a Boy Scouts meeting but troop leaders allegedly tried to stop the boy’s mother reporting it to police. Santa Barbara Sherif’s Department

Organization must turn over last 20 years worth of confidential documents

Associated Press | Feb 20, 2012

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A judge overseeing a lawsuit brought by the family of a California boy molested by his troop leader in 2007 has ordered the Boy Scouts of America to hand over confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse by Scout leaders around the nation.

The Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge said last month that the Irving, Texas-based organization must turn over the last 20 years’ worth of records by Feb. 24, with victims’ names removed, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. The files will not be made public.

Known as “ineligible volunteer files,” the documents have been maintained since the 1920s and are intended to keep suspected molesters and others accused of misconduct out of Scouting. Scouts officials have resisted releasing them and won’t discuss their contents, citing the privacy rights of victims and the fact that many files are based on unproven allegations.

The officials deny that the files have been used to conceal sexual abuse.

“These files exist solely to keep out individuals whose actions are inconsistent with the standards of Scouting, and Scouts are safer because of them,” Deron Smith, public relations director of Boy Scouts of America, told the Times.

The Santa Barbara case is significant because it seeks to unlock files that have never been turned over by the Scouts, including all since 2005. It also alleges wrongdoing that took place relatively recently, even as the Scouts have stepped up protective efforts.

The trial is scheduled for April, nearly five years after the boy, then 13, was molested by volunteer troop leader Al Stein at a Boy Scouts Christmas tree sale in Goleta. Stein pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment in 2009.

He was sentenced to two years in prison but was paroled early and is living in a Salinas motel with other sex offenders, his attorney Steven Balash told the newspaper.

The victim’s name has not been released. His mother claims that David Tate, then the Los Padres Council Scout executive, asked her not to call police after she reported her son’s claim of abuse.

“He said that wasn’t necessary, because the Scouts do their own internal investigation,” said the woman, whose name the Times withheld to protect her son’s identity. “I thought that was really weird… I thought it was really important to call the sheriff right away.”

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, contends the Scouts knew or should have known that Stein had put the boy at risk and cites Tate’s reluctance to call police as evidence of an effort to conceal widespread sexual abuse.

Tate, now a top Scouts official in New York, declined to comment.

The boy’s lawyers contend the files will expose the Scouts’ “culture of hidden sexual abuse” and its failure to warn boys, their parents and others about pedophiles in the ranks of one of the nation’s oldest youth organizations.

“They have created these ticking time bombs who are walking through society, and nobody knows their identities except the Scouts,” said Timothy Hale, one of the lawyers for the Santa Barbara County boy.

Some of the estimated 5,000 files have surfaced in recent years as a result of lawsuits by former Scouts accusing the organization of failing to exclude known pedophiles, detect abuses and report offenders to police, and allowing predators to remain at large.

Report slams Dutch Catholic Church over sex abuse

Associated Press | Dec 21, 2011

By MIKE CORDER

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — As many as 20,000 children endured sexual abuse at Dutch Catholic institutions over the past 65 years, and church officials failed to adequately address it or help the victims, according to a long-awaited investigative report released Friday.

The findings detailed some of the most widespread abuse yet linked to the Roman Catholic Church, which has been under fire for years over abuse allegations in Europe, the United States and elsewhere.

Based on a survey of 34,000 people, the report estimated that 1 in 10 Dutch children suffered some form of sexual abuse — a figure that rose to 1 in 5 among children who spent part of their youth in an institution such as a boarding school or children’s home, whether Catholic or not.

“Sexual abuse of minors,” it said bluntly, “occurs widely in Dutch society.”

The findings prompted the archbishop of Utrecht, Wim Eijk, to apologize to victims on behalf of the Dutch church, saying the report “fills us with shame and sorrow.”

The abuse ranged from “unwanted sexual advances” to rape, and abusers numbered in the hundreds and included priests, brothers and lay people who worked in religious orders and congregations. The number of victims who suffered abuse in church institutions likely lies somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000, according to the probe, which went back as far as 1945.

The commission behind the investigation was set up last year by the Catholic Church under the leadership of a former government minister, Wim Deetman, a Protestant, who said there could be no doubt church leaders knew of the problem. “The idea that people did not know there was a risk … is untenable,” he told a news conference.

Deetman said abuse continued in part because bishops and religious orders sometimes worked autonomously to deal with the abuse and “did not hang out their dirty laundry.” However, he said the commission concluded that “it is wrong to talk of a culture of silence” by the church as a whole.

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International in Ireland and a victim of clergy abuse, criticized the Dutch inquiry because it was established by the church itself.

“It is the Dutch government that should be putting in place a meaningful investigation,” O’Gorman said.

Even so, he said the report “highlights widespread abuse on a scale I think would be shocking to most Dutch people.”

But O’Gorman added that “the scale of the abuse is in and of itself not the significant issue. It is whether it was covered up and, significantly, this report suggests it was.”

Nearly a third of the Netherlands’ 16 million people identify themselves as Catholic, making it the largest religion in the country, according to the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics for 2008.

The Dutch probe followed allegations of repeated incidents of abuse at one cloister that spread to claims from Catholic institutions across the country.

The investigating commission received some 1,800 complaints of abuse at Catholic schools, seminaries and orphanages. It then conducted the broader survey of 34,000 people for a more comprehensive analysis of the scale and nature of sexual abuse of minors in the church and elsewhere.

In one order, the Salesians of Don Bosco, the commission found evidence that “sexually inappropriate behavior” among members “may perhaps have been part of the internal monastic culture.”

Bert Smeets, an abuse victim, said the report did not go far enough in investigating and outlining in precise detail exactly what happened.

“What was happening was sexual abuse, violence, spiritual terror, and that should have been investigated,” Smeets told The Associated Press. “It remains vague. All sorts of things happened, but nobody knows exactly what or by whom. This way they avoid responsibility.”

The commission said about 800 priests, brothers, pastors or lay people working for the church were identified in the complaints. About 105 of them are still alive, although it is not known if they remain in church positions. Their names were not released.

Prosecutors said in a statement that Deetman’s inquiry had referred 11 cases to them — without naming the alleged perpetrators. Prosecutors opened only one investigation, saying the other 10 did not have sufficient details and happened too long ago to prosecute.

The latest findings add to the growing evidence of widespread clergy abuse of children documented in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Belgium and other countries, forcing Pope Benedict XVI to apologize to victims whose trauma was often hidden by church cover-ups.

In September, abuse victims and human rights lawyers, upset that no high-ranking church officials have yet to be prosecuted, filed a complaint in the United States urging the International Criminal Court to investigate the pope and top Vatican officials for possible crimes against humanity. The Vatican called the move a “ludicrous publicity stunt.”

An American advocacy group involved in that case, the Center for Constitutional Rights, called the Dutch findings “yet another example of the widespread and systematic nature of the problem of child sex crimes in the Catholic Church.”

“If similar commissions were held in every country, we would undoubtedly be equally appalled by the rates of abuse,” it said.

Archbishop Eijk said the victims in the Netherlands would be compensated by a commission the Dutch church set up last month and which has a scale starting at $6,500 (euro5,000), rising to a maximum of $130,000 (euro100,000) depending on the nature of the abuse.

O’Gorman criticized the church-established compensation scheme.

“It is simply not appropriate for the church to be the decider” of compensation, he said. “It is important the Dutch government recognizes its responsibility to ensure access to justice … to all victims.”