Thursday, March 31, 2005

 

The other Middle American molestation scandal: sexual abuse of elderly in nursing homes


Buried in this article is a remarkable statistic:

Statewide, there were 175 allegations of sexual abuse in Tennessee nursing homes last year.

The state found 80 of those claims to be true.


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Former YMCA Worker Sentenced For Child Molestation


In conservative San Diego:

A former YMCA employee who molested three 7-year-old girls who attended an after-school program he ran at a Chula Vista school was sentenced today to 45 years to life in state prison.

Daniel Meraz, 26, was convicted last July 28 of eight counts of child molestation.


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9 out of 10 times in Houston, Tasers used against minorities


Houston police officers used Tasers on minorities in almost 90 percent of the incidents in which they shocked people in recent months, prompting a call for tighter controls on the use of the stun guns.

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California's Central Valley is "safe"-- unless you're in church


In Chico, through a church choir:

The owner of a Chico bait and tackle shop pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday to charges he fondled and showed pornography to three teenage boys during hunting and fishing treks.

The attorney for Mark Andrew Corrie, 37, asked that his $500,000 bail be reduced.

In persuading Butte County Superior Court Judge Gerald Hermansen to keep Corrie in custody on the current bail, prosecutors pointed out the Chico defendant was convicted of a similar molestation offense 10 years ago, and alleged he had "carefully groomed" his latest victims by befriending their parents into allowing him to take the teens on the outings...

[L]ocal authorities said they were surprised to learn Corrie apparently was able to obtain a waiver which allowed his name to be deleted from a Megan's Law registered sex offender Web site.

Passmore confirmed that because Corrie's prior sex offense was a misdemeanor, the Chico defendant was able to petition the California Department of Justice to remove him from the public-access printout.

Corrie, who was convicted of fondling an 8-year-old boy about 10 years ago, is still listed on the printout used by law enforcement and is "in compliance,--sex registration laws, according to Butte County Sheriff's Detective Tom Dryden...

Corrie, who was arrested last week at his bait and tackle shop, is accused of fondling three boys during hunting and fishing outings as late as December.

The defendant is also accused of furnishing the boys with whiskey and showing one or more of them pornographic magazines or X-rated videos.

Passmore said that one of the victims, age 15, had met Corrie through his association with a church choir. The teen's parents had allowed him to come up to Butte County from his home in Pleasanton to go duck hunting in December with the Chico bait shop owner, according to the prosecutor.

Corrie allegedly molested a 17-year-old boy in a San Francisco motel room the night before he and his parents were to fly to Mexico with the defendant on a fishing excursion.

The third victim, age 16, was allegedly fondled by the suspect during a camping and hunting trip near Happy Camp in Siskiyou County.

The prosecutor said outside of court Tuesday that the bait shop owner allegedly "took advantage of his position to befriend the boy's parents. ... They completely trusted him."


[Full disclosure: I am friends with Corrie's defense attorney, Denny Latimer-- Tim]

In Fresno:

A former Valley church youth volunteer is headed to trial.

A judge ruled there is enough evidence for Jamie Soria to be tried on charges of child molestation.

Soria worked at Fresno's Northwest Church for 10 years.

The church contacted police after a boy came forward in July saying Soria molested him six years ago.

Prosecutors say a total of three young men have since come forward.

If convicted Soria faces a possible life sentence.


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‘I trusted him,’ girl’s mom says of molestation suspect


In Missouri:

A Columbia school bus driver allegedly molested a co-worker’s 7-year-old daughter Sunday in a convenience store restroom after an Easter egg hunt, and her parents want to alert other families.

Justin Blaine, 22, has been charged with two felonies: first-degree child molestation and possession of child pornography. Yesterday, he also was arrested on a pending charge of first-degree sodomy...

Blaine’s offer to take the girl and her brother to Easter services seemed innocent, Brotherton said. He reportedly said he’d buy them soda and candy if they behaved at church. It would be his first time alone with the children. "They wanted to go, and I trusted him," Brotherton said.

After church, Blaine took the children to the Quik Trip at 3211 Clark Lane to buy soda and candy, and he allegedly made the girl enter a men’s restroom stall with him and cupped her genitals with his hand.


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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

 

Chistians continue to molest American children


Lest anyone think church-related molestation is a rare event, here is a sampling of today’s news:

In North Carolina:

Child Molestation and A Pastor’s Obligation

...The first three months of 2005 have seen a succession of allegations of child molestation involving suspects who had access to children through churches...

Erwin mailman Lloyd Coats was charged with molesting more than 20 young girls, some while driving a bus for Erwin Church of God. Devan Black was charged with molesting boys while he was a commander in the Royal Rangers program at Gospel Tabernacle Church.

Another case resolved in Harnett County Superior Court last month has left the victim’s family concerned at the reluctance of the suspect’s pastor to discuss a confession the suspect made in a room full of people.

Jesse R. “Buddy” Stanley, 62, of 907 Duke St. in Erwin, was arrested in March 2004 and charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a minor after allegedly touching a female family member inappropriately over a three-year period at his home, while she was between the ages of 10 and 13. He pleaded guilty last month and was given a suspended sentence and placed on probation for five years.

The girl’s parents said Mr. Stanley confessed after they confronted him at their home in January 2004 after discovering what had happened when their daughter confided to a friend. The mother said the Rev. Phil Davis, Mr. Stanley’s pastor at Prospect Free Will Baptist Church in Erwin, was there when the family confronted Mr. Stanley. She said Rev. Davis asked Mr. Stanley most of the questions.

“At first he flatly denied it,” she said. “But then he did admit to doing these things.”

Mr. Stanley was subsequently arrested, but the victim’s mother said she was disappointed Rev. Davis didn’t tell law enforcement what he heard that night.

“He has not done what he should,” she said. “He’s got the same responsibility as a social worker or a teacher.

“I just don’t understand how he can get up in the pulpit and preach and he didn’t do right by a child,” she said...


In Texas

EDINBURG — Former Trinity Worship Center minister Robert Dale Franklin will spend six months in jail and a decade on probation after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy who he had agreed to spiritually mentor...

Ramirez’s ruling came after emotional testimony from the victim’s family. The boy did not attend the hearing because of health reasons, his mother told court. Another juvenile is now serving jail time for assaulting the boy after he told him that he had been using drugs with Franklin. The attack, which allegedly occurred at Franklin’s request, left the boy so badly wounded that he needed several operations and doctors removed his spleen...

Ramirez’s ruling came after emotional testimony from the victim’s family. The boy did not attend the hearing because of health reasons, his mother told court. Another juvenile is now serving jail time for assaulting the boy after he told him that he had been using drugs with Franklin. The attack, which allegedly occurred at Franklin’s request, left the boy so badly wounded that he needed several operations and doctors removed his spleen...

The boy said he confessed to Franklin that he had tried marijuana once . Franklin then produced the drug and asked the boy if he wanted some. They later did cocaine together and though the boy admitted being confused about the drugs, he thought, "Well, if Rob does it, it must be OK."

The boy stated that during each of their sexual contacts, he had been intoxicated and would have never engaged in the activity if he had been sober. The boy also admitted that he deeply regretted what had happened and had considered suicide.

The victim’s mother said she fears he may hurt himself. He stays awake a night looking out the window afraid that Franklin will come after him, she said.

"He says Rob is going to come kill him for telling the truth," she said. "He says he’d rather have Rob kill him than hurt his sister or us."

Since the assault, the boy has been to the hospital nine times, takes antidepressants, sleeping pills and antibiotics, she said.


And the curious notion, in Mississippi, that Christians are above the law:

GULFPORT - Saban Brown, a former Coast radio personality, admits he had consensual sex with a minor, served his sentence and registered as a convicted sex offender...

While working in Mobile County, he met a young woman and invited her to his hotel room, where they had sex. He later learned she was 15, three months away from Alabama's consenting age of 16. Brown was in jail 30 days and was sentenced to two years' probation in 1999. He must register as a sex offender wherever he lives...

"I've been stripped of my dignity, my name has been drug through the mud and it seems like it will be that way the rest of my life," Brown said.

"I don't condone sexual predators. I know what I did was bad judgment. But I'm not someone you should have to warn your neighbors about. Someone has got their records on me all wrong."...

"I've been dealing with this demon (sex offender registration) for five years," Brown said. "I'm a Christian now. I believe God wants to use me to bring this issue to the forefront. Nonviolent offenders in my type of situation shouldn't have to be penalized the rest of their lives."


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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

 

Boy Scout director charged with having child porn


We really can't make this stuff up, can we?

DALLAS, Texas - The national director of programs for the Boy Scouts of America has been charged with receiving and distributing child pornography, the U.S. Attorney's office here told NBC News on Tuesday.

Douglas S. Smith Jr. was charged with one felony count of having photos that show "minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct."

Sources in the U.S. Attorney's office told NBC that Smith was expected to plead guilty.


jules, a poster over at Eschaton, points us to the Letter to the Editor from the very same Douglas Smith, assuring the public that the BSA will continue to "defend our values and to inform the public about the three-decade-long legal assault on scouting." No the "assualt on scouting" isn't kiddie porn; it's civil rights for homosexuals.

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San Antonio officer charged with molesting girl


SAN ANTONIO — A 26-year police veteran has been charged with molesting a 9-year-old girl.

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Different sentences for teen killers raise questions in Pensacola


PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Widely differing prison sentences for three young killers in the same community -- 45 years for a black girl versus seven and eight years for two white boys -- is raising questions of fairness.

Christine Rogers, now 15, was sentenced last week to 45 years after being convicted of second-degree murder for a killing she committed when 13. The Pensacola girl cut the throat of Ashley Harvey, 15, after arguing over fireworks in July 2003.

That contrasts with the lighter sentences given to Derek and Alex King. They were 13 and 12 in 2001 when they smashed their strict father's skull with a baseball bat as he slept at their home in nearby Cantonment, and then they ran away with a convicted child molester who had befriended the boys.

``No one is excusing this young lady's actions, but if you are going to rehabilitate the King boys, you certainly want to rehabilitate this young girl as well,'' said civil rights activist Ellison Bennett, former president of the Pensacola chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Council.

Rogers, mildly retarded, will serve her time in an adult prison, although initially with other young offenders, while the King boys were sent to juvenile prisons, said Katy Porter, administrator of the Pensacola chapter of Kids in Court, a national child-advocacy group.


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Monday, March 28, 2005

 

The Schiavo circus


I'll spare you a rehash of the battle over Terri Schiavo, but it's worth noting that those on the stick-the-feeding-tube-back-in side are the very essence of Bobo's World: deeply faithful and overwhelmingly from the "heartland." And, aside from the perverse desire to prop up a corpse, what values do they demonstrate?

Murder: The life of Saint Terri is worth the lives of how many who have a different view?

An N.C. man was charged Friday with offering a $250,000 bounty to anyone who would kill the husband of Terri Schiavo...

Authorities allege that on Tuesday, Meywes wrote an e-mail saying a "bounty with a price tag of $250,000 has been taken out on the head of Michael Schiavo," according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Tampa, Fla.

The e-mail also stated "that an additional $50,000 has been offered for the elimination of the judge who ruled against (Terri) in Florida," investigators say.

Meywes told investigators he sent the e-mail to three media outlets, the document says. He told them he thought the e-mail would generate publicity, it states.

The e-mail states that a multimillionaire is upset over the case and "if (Terri) can't get justice and her husband and the judges want to have her murdered, then he feels that Michael Schiavo should suffer the same consequences!" court records say.


Robbery: A man was arrested after trying to steal a weapon from a gun shop so he could "take some action and rescue Terri Schiavo," authorities said.

Michael W. Mitchell, of Rockford, Ill., entered Randall's Firearms Inc. in Seminole just before 6 p.m. Thursday with a box cutter and tried to steal a gun, said Marianne Pasha, a spokeswoman for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Mitchell, 20, told deputies he wanted to "take some action and rescue Terri Schiavo" after he visited the Pinellas Park hospice where she lives, Pasha said.


Child Abuse: KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The 10-year-old child arrested for bringing water to Terri Schiavo said he is shocked by all the attention he is getting...

[Josh] Heldreth was one of six children thrust in the national spotlight when they crossed a police line outside Terri Schiavo's hospice. The Florida trip was one of many religious journeys he has taken with loved ones, but his father, Scott Heldreth, said this one stood out...

Josh's family belongs to the Truth Temple Church in Kannapolis, but they went to Florida with Operation Save America – a nationwide group that brought nearly 50 children with them to plead for Terri Schiavo’s life...

For a father who was once in jail for sexual battery, Heldreth said teaching his children ethics early is important. He said he cried tears of happiness when his son was arrested.


Unneighborly behaivor: Neighbors of Woodside Hospice, the facility in which Terri Schavio will die, tell the Kansas City Star of their experinces with the Schiavo protesters:

Scotty Jackson, a single father raising two sons, has grown used to being cussed at and ridiculed by people clutching Bibles and waving signs...

Since March 18 when Schiavo's feeding tube was removed under court order, Jackson, 44, a good-natured South Dakotan, has run out of patience with protesters who think nothing of blocking his garage-bay doors with their cars, jeopardizing his livelihood.

When Jackson asked one man to move his car, the visitor screamed an obscenity at the garage owner "then he walked off with a Bible in his hand."

Triple O stands for On Our Own, and there are times when Jackson struggles to pay his bills and is forced to work on a Sunday - upsetting one protester, who heckled him about working on the day of rest...


Calvinism: the sinful (by their definition) are no longer salvageable, and must be cast away from the house of God.

Pinellas County Circuit Judge George Greer has been under the protection of armed guards, and friends say his family also has received protection.

He has received death threats for allowing Michael Schiavo to remove the feeding tube that has kept his 41-year-old brain-damaged wife alive for 15 years, and the judge's Southern Baptist church has asked him to leave the congregation...

Last week, he parted ways with his Southern Baptist church, which had advocated keeping Terri Schiavo alive, after his pastor suggested he leave.



Hypocrisy: We've come to expect this from the politicians, but this batch has particular gall.

Topping the list is Goerge Bush:

The federal law that President Bush signed early Monday in an effort to prolong Terri Schiavo's life appears to contradict a right-to-die law that he signed as Texas governor, prompting cries of hypocrisy from congressional Democrats and some bioethicists.

In 1999, then-Gov. Bush signed the Advance Directives Act, which lets a patient's surrogate make life-ending decisions on his or her behalf. The measure also allows Texas hospitals to disconnect patients from life-sustaining systems if a physician, in consultation with a hospital bioethics committee, concludes that the patient's condition is hopeless.

Bioethicists familiar with the Texas law said Monday that if the Schiavo case had occurred in Texas, her husband would be the legal decision-maker and, because he and her doctors agreed that she had no hope of recovery, her feeding tube would be disconnected.


And, in Congress,

Tom DeLay has denounced Schiavo's husband, as well as judges, for committing what he calls "an act of barbarism" in removing the [feeding] tube.

In 1988, however, there was no such fiery rhetoric as the congressman quietly joined the sad family consensus to let his father die.


Noting Delay's double-dose of hypocrisy, the Times also reports that In 1990, the DeLays filed suit against Midcap Bearing Corp. of San Antonio and Lovejoy Inc. of Illinois, the distributor and maker of a coupling that the family said had failed and caused the tram to hurtle out of control, [killing DeLay's father].

The DeLay family litigation sought unspecified compensation for, among other things, the dead father's "physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and trauma," and the mother's grief, sorrow and loss of companionship.

Their lawsuit also alleged violations of the Texas product liability law...

Rep. DeLay, who since has taken a leading role promoting tort reform, wants to rein in trial lawyers to protect American businesses from what he calls "frivolous, parasitic lawsuits" that raise insurance premiums and "kill jobs."

Last September, he expressed less than warm sentiment for attorneys when he took the floor of the House to condemn trial lawyers who, he said, "get fat off the pain" of plaintiffs and off "the hard work" of defendants.


And then there's Bill Frist:

Senate majority leader Bill Frist, a heart doctor, suggested that he could diagnose Schiavo (by examining years-old videos) better than the several neurologists who have studied her in person and have found she is in a persistent vegetative state.

As US News & World Report explained:

"I close this evening speaking more as a physician than as a U.S. senator," said the Tennessee Republican. It was a marker that Frist, 53, has often laid down, frequently to great effect. What Frist had to say about Schiavo was important not only because he was a chief proponent of congressional intervention in the case but because, as a renowned heart and lung transplant surgeon, he was a seasoned traveler in the opaque world of medical ethics and procedures. As Frist has often said, he is a man who has held the human heart in his hand, a fact that gives him a reassuring quality both rare and valuable in the world of Washington politics.

But, Frist wrote a book in 1989 called Transplant where he advocated changing the definition of "brain dead" to include anencephalic babies. Anencephalic babies are in the same state as Terri Schiavo except that she suffered a physical trauma that put her into a vegetative state while the anencephalic babies are born that way.

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Phila. priest who admits fondling girl is suspended


"It's because I was very close to the family."

Dowling, 75, who retired in July as pastor of St. Patrick parish, told the newspaper that he had repeatedly engaged in "inappropriate" touching of the girl, but denied abusing her sister, as both women now allege...

Both women described years of abuse; both recalled a day their mother found the priest in their bed and sent him fleeing with shoes and socks in hand. One sister remembered feeling so guilty that she tried to confess to a priest; the other attempted suicide at age 13.

When asked if the women's allegations were true, Dowling said: "It was affection leading into other things. It's been 40-some years ago, and it's the only situation like that that ever occurred in my life... . It's because I was very close to the family."


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Michigan Preparing To Let Doctors Refuse To Treat Gays


I'm still looking for more information on this, so please pass it along if you find it. But, any way you shake this, it's legally sanctified murder of gays:

Doctors or other health care providers could not be disciplined or sued if they refuse to treat gay patients under legislation passed Wednesday by the Michigan House.

The bill allows health care workers to refuse service to anyone on moral, ethical or religious grounds...

Opponents of the bills said they're worried they would allow providers to refuse service for any reason. For example, they said an emergency medical technicians could refuse to answer a call from the residence of gay couple because they don't approve of homosexuality.


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Sunday, March 27, 2005

 

Easter Bunny gets pummeled by boy at mall


BAY CITY, Mich.

The Easter Bunny is hopping mad. Bryan Johnson, who portrays the furry character at the Bay City Mall, says he was pummeled in an unprovoked attack on the job. Police say the attacker was a 12-year-old boy who sat on Johnson's lap the day before the March 18 incident.

Johnson, 18, suffered a bloody nose. He kept his cool during the attack, deeming it inappropriate for the Easter Bunny to fight back...


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Friday, March 25, 2005

 

Rev faces girl-rape rap


From the New York Post:

A charismatic Queens preacher went on trial yesterday accused of seducing an underaged church member he allegedly sweet-talked into a bed full of stuffed animals.

"He would say that the priest should sleep with the virgin and that's okay to do this because he loved me," the alleged victim, now 21, told jurors in a hushed courtroom yesterday.

Bishop William Waynes, founder and pastor of the New Beginning Outreach Love Center, is charged with statutory rape, a crime that carries a prison term of up to four years.

Prosecutors say Waynes, 47, who holds a second job as a staffer at Fox Channel 5, began molesting the girl when she was 15 - and bedded her just after her Sweet 16 party in 2000.


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Ex-pastor, televangelist is accused of raping girl


In Lexington, Kentucky:

Just before Christmas, police arrested a 58-year-old former televangelist most recently associated with a Lexington funeral home and charged him with third-degree rape of a 15-year-old girl.

The Rev. Larry Allen Day is the former pastor of churches in Monticello and Lexington and, until his arrest, helped Lexington families with funeral pre-planning as an independent contractor associated with Milward Funeral Directors...

On Dec. 16, 2004, the mother of a 15-year-old girl went to the girl's Fayette County school to report that the girl had been repeatedly subjected to sexual contact by Day, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The alleged victim's mother told authorities that Day was under the belief that the girl, whom court records don't identify, was pregnant, and that he had offered the girl's mother $500 to pay for an abortion, the affidavit said.


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Officer had nude photos of suspect, report says


It began as the fairly routine arrest of a drunken-driving suspect on a Houston street...

During the arrest, [police officers Christopher Green and George Miller] discovered that the woman had stored sexually explicit photos of herself in her cell phone, and Green downloaded the images onto his personal digital assistant, according to the search request...

Two weeks after the arrest, the woman received a phone message from Miller, inviting her to join him at a restaurant.


[Thanks to Linda for the tip]

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

 

America fails to address religious abuse


Yes, church is dangerous for kids, as a random selection of this week's news stories show:

In Pennsylvania:

Hays testified that he believes Stagner is a pedophile.

He said Stagner participated in the assessment, and told him that he met the parents of the children he molested at church, then volunteered to baby-sit them because their parents worked. The girls were 1, 6 and 9 years old when the abuse began.


In Kansas City:

A church musician lured two teenage boys into a van in August and molested them, according to Jackson County grand jury indictment issued last week.

In San Jose:

At least two priests at a San Jose parish saw young boys visiting the room of another priest now accused of molestation, and one caught the priest with boys sitting on his lap, a lawyer told jurors at the start of a civil sexual abuse trial.

In Providence:

Priest sentenced for molestation is defrocked...

Campbell was accused of taking the boy to a restaurant in Uxbridge, Mass. and plying him with alcohol before molesting him, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

A month after his indictment, Campbell was charged a second time. Those charges related to a second victim, a 14-year-old parishioner, the Telegram & Gazette reported.

Both victims' families attended the church, the district attorney's office said.

Campbell [the priest] pleaded guilty to rape, unnnatural and lascivious acts, two counts of assault and battery and two counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor..


So what of it?

Well, consider what happens when other social spaces are hit with criminal scandals. Earlier this week we had yet another school shooting, as 16-year-old Jeff Weise shot up Red Lake High School in Minnesota. Today, the New York Times begins the inevitable analysis: "Signs of Danger Were Missed in a Troubled Teenager's Life."

Looking back at all the pieces, some who knew Jeff Weise say they wonder why someone did not see his eruption coming months, or even years, ago, notes the Times.

"The clues were all there," said Kim DesJarlait, Mr. Weise's stepaunt, who lives in Minneapolis. "Everything was laid out, right there, for the school or the authorities in Red Lake to see it coming. I don't want to blame Red Lake, but did they not put two and two together? This kid was crying out, and those guys chose to ignore it. They need to start focusing on their kids."

Of course at some point such analyses reach a dead end. There have always been and always will be among us the delusional, the criminal, the deranged. From time to time tragedy will strike, until such time that humanity itself ceases to exist.

But that doesn't mean we can't learn from such events, perhaps prevent at least some future tragedies, and lessen the terrible impact of others. After the Columbine High School massacre, for example, schools around the country implemented "lock down" procedures that would be followed in case of trouble. And certain social problems began to be talked about in more open ways: children were taught to look for signs of suicidal behavior among their peers, or to take more serious note when their class mates talked of mass murder, and were instructed how to let responsible adults know about them. Those responsible adults--school teachers, counsellors and administrators-- for their part now discuss to great length how they will respond should such events occur under their watch.

One interesting outcome of the new attention paid to the potential for mass-murdering teenagers is the now-common concern about "bullying." School hallways and buses are plastered with posters warning of the social scourge, and teachers hold discussions around the issue. The message is clear: bullying is a sick social interaction, and indicative of deeper problems that could be expressed in even more perverse ways. Take this very seriously indeed.

But when it comes to sexual abuse by religious authorities-- a tragedy that is much more likely to strike teenagers than school being targeted by deranged shooters at school-- American society by and large does nothing.

Sure, we've made steps. We now tell our kids that no one should touch them in certain places, a warning that previous generations didn't make explicit for fear of "planting ideas" or "destroying innocence." But we rarely, if ever, warn our children about the potential for another kind of sick social interaction: adults using religion as the means for the sexual abuse of children.

Thousands upon thousands of children have been sexually assaulted by religious authorities, and yet we don't urge our children to be on the lookout for this particular form of predator. Why?

One reason is clear: to do so is to ask our children to be skeptical, about everything, and to be especially skeptical about those who claim to have the ultimate answers. Evidently, the religious faith of America rests on so shaky a foundation that to question it in even the slightest fashion will cause it to tumble.

Evidently, Middle America would rather their children be sexually molested than their faith tested.






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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

 

Madison man allegedly used Bible to justify rape


MADISON, Ala. (AP) — A Limestone County man allegedly used the Bible to justify raping a young woman over several years, with the abuse beginning when she was 11, an investigator said.

Sheriff's Department investigator Mike Boyles said Joseph Thomas Kriz, 45, was arrested Tuesday near the Swancott community and held on charges that include first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy.

Boyles said a 19-year-old woman reported the alleged sexual abuse Monday. He said she told investigators that Kriz, a 1996 U.S. Navy retiree, began sexually abusing her when she was 11 years old and continued to have sexual encounters with her into the summer of 2004.

"He had been brainwashing her over the years," Boyles said. "He read her Bible Scriptures to make it sound like what he was doing was OK."


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Former monk, priest say they know who killed Irene Garza (Another priest....)


In, again, Texas

...Tachney recalled and described Feit as a man uneasy around women.

“He was bothered by women with high heels who walked on hard floors. Click, click, click. That click caused him anxiety,” Tachney said.

He learned that Feit had “a propensity for attacking women from behind when he knelt behind them in church.”


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Monday, March 21, 2005

 

Christian school principal on trial for sexual abuse


SANDPOINT [IDAHO] Sigard Allen Jensen 59, is charged with one count of engaging in lewd conduct with a boy from 1999 to 2001. The second charge covers sexual encounters with the boy in 2001 and 2002, according to charging documents.

The alleged victim was between the ages of 13 and 17 when the acts took place, court documents say.

The accusations against Jensen came to light in October 2004, while the teen was undergoing counseling for depression. During subsequent interviews with Sandpoint Police, the teen told investigators the abuse started when he was a student and Jensen was a principal at a Christian school in Cocolalla. The teen alleges the abuse escalated when the teen began attending ALACCA Christian Academy in Sandpoint, where Jensen is the principal.

Jensen is reportedly on leave from ALACCA, which is an acronym for A Lighthouse and Christ Centered Always.


UPDATE (30OCtober2005):

Teacher in Idaho is cleared of molestation charges

SANDPOINT, Idaho - A Bonner County jury has cleared a teacher of charges that he molested a former student.

After a five-day trial, a jury of seven women and five men acquitted Sigard Allen Jensen on Friday following almost three hours of deliberation.

Jensen, 60, of Athol, was accused of engaging in lewd acts with a minor and committing crimes against nature. He has denied he molested the young man.

''Absolutely not,'' Jensen said when asked by defense attorney Gary Amendola if he had ever sexually abused the student. ''Not once, not ever.''

Jensen had been principal of A Lighthouse and Christ Centered Always Christian Academy, a private school.


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Saturday, March 19, 2005

 

Child molesters still serving as priests


Yuba City is California's Central Valley, often praised as the "midwest" of California.

Yuba County District Attorney Pat McGrath said he will seek the extradition of a priest convicted of sexually molesting a minor in 1989, now that the Rev. Jose Luis Urbina has been discovered serving as a priest in Mexico.

Urbina fled the country after his 1989 conviction in a Yuba County court and later served for about a decade at his hometown parish in Navojoa, Mexico, the Dallas Morning News reported in its ongoing series on accused Roman Catholic priests who are now working in other countries...

In 2003, a then-33-year-old Yuba City man sued Urbina and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, alleging that Urbina molested him from 1980 to 1986, when he turned 17. The suit is pending in Sacramento County Superior Court.

In one instance, Urbina allegedly pointed a gun at the boy before molesting him...

The newspaper also reported that another former Sacramento diocesan priest under investigation for child molestation is working in a remote region in southern Mexico. The Rev. Garardo Beltran disappeared in 1991 after Sacramento police began investigating allegations that he molested two young girls.

The two priests have been wanted by local authorities for more than a decade.


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Local radio host arrested for child porn


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Agents with the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force arrested a Christian radio station personality as part of a child pornography investigation.

Bureau agents began investigating Chris Ruleman, 40, a midday host for WFFI, 94FM The Fish, earlier this week after receiving information that he possessed child pornography.


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Friday, March 18, 2005

 

Virginity Pledgers More Likely to Engage in Risky Sexual Behavior


NEW YORK, A study released in the March 18, issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health by Hannah Bruckner of Yale University and Peter Bearman of Columbia University shows that young people who took "virginity pledges," public promises to remain virgins until marriage, are nonetheless at risk of engaging in unsafe sexual practices.

The research found that "pledgers" have the same rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) as their peers who had not pledged. Not only were pledgers less likely to use condoms to prevent STDs, they were less likely to seek medical testing and treatment, increasing possibility of transmission.

Furthermore researchers concluded that some pledgers engaged in alternative sexual behaviors in order to preserve their virginity. In fact, among those who had not had vaginal intercourse, pledgers are more likely to have engaged in both oral and anal sex than their non-pledging peers. The research shows that among virgins, male and female pledgers are six time more likely to have had oral sex than non-pledgers, and male pledgers are four times more likely to have had anal sex than those who had not pledged.


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Garland (Texas) pastor charged with child indecency


A pastor from Garland was arrested Wednesday on charges of indecent contact with a boy from his Dallas church.

Larry Crocker, 56, was charged with two counts of indecency with a child stemming from reported incidents at his Garland home in recent months, according to Garland police.

Mr. Crocker has been head minister of Lakeview Christian Church, a Disciples of Christ congregation of about 60 members, for four years, said Brian Cook, a church trustee.


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SUV, the new heaven


Relatives kept man's body in SUV

ROYSE CITY – By the time he was 50, Larry Bennett had been on life support three times, had several strokes, lost his job because of his health and spent all the money from his six-figure income on medical expenses for him and his family.

The calamities continued even after his Feb. 26 death. Before his family found money for the building inspector's burial, his embalmed body was put in the back of his family's SUV in the driveway of his Royse City home for two days.

For those two days, "the phone rang off the wall with calls such as, 'How ... can you all be so cold-hearted and keep Larry in that vehicle in front of your home?' " said Brenda Pitts Bennett, who had let Mr. Bennett live with her for years even though they were divorced in 1995...

She said they received so many phone calls from neighbors that they took their phone off the hook. People then came over and said they were calling the police about the body.

Royse City police received numerous calls about the body, Sgt. Jim Baker said. But the body wasn't removed because no law was violated.


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Thursday, March 17, 2005

 

Woman killed by man she met at church, police say


In Kentucky:

Julie [White Boyd] became the victim of a bizarre murder, and police think the person who killed her met her at [Severins Baptist Church].

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Child-molesting Virginian evangelist dies at 58


Leyva and two of his associates were arrested at the church on charges of taking young boys across states lines for illegal sexual activity. In 1988, a federal judge in Virginia sentenced Leyva to 20 years in prison after prosecutors said the self-ordained evangelist had molested hundreds of children in nine states over a 25-year period.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

 

The perfect hiding place...


Fugitive Child Molester Dies in Mexico

Pittsburgh (AP) A fugitive child molester who violated a court order by trying to organize trips for youth choirs has died in Mexico.

John Shallenberger, 87, of Connellsville, had been wanted by state authorities since 1998, when he placed an advertisement in an alumni magazine, seeking young people to join him in Mexico where he claimed to be serving as a Christian missionary.


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"Christian" defense doesn't sway jury or judge


Arkansan Wal-mart shooter gets 95 years:

... Henry Jay Bunch will most likely spend the rest of his life behind bars for shooting at three people — one of them a police officer — on Nov. 16, 2004, while fleeing from the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Sixth Street in Fayetteville...

The questioning brought out Bunch’s contention that he was a Christian and had seen how the faith turned around his now-deceased mother’s life....


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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

 

Mother, Boyfriend Charged In Fire That Killed Kids


Texas, again:

Three girls, left home alone, were killed Monday night when smoke and flames trapped them inside their northwest Harris County apartment. Now their mother and her live-in boyfriend face first-degree felony charges...

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Texas manhunt after 3 slain in sunroof shooting


Again in Texas, again in Dallas....

Associated Press reports:

DALLAS - A man in a Jaguar stood up through the sunroof and opened fire with an assault rifle on another moving vehicle early Tuesday, killing three men and critically wounding a fourth, police said.

Authorities were searching for the gunman, who was a passenger in a car described as a white or silver Jaguar with fancy wheels, said Cpl. Max Geron, a Dallas police spokesman. The gunman had at least one accomplice — the driver, Geron said.

The shootings happened about 2 a.m. on a highway frontage road near the Southern Methodist University campus.


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Arlington pastor faces new charges



The Dallas area is home to both news stories today...

New charges have been filed against a popular Arlington pastor arrested last week after he was accused of several sex assaults.

Agape Christian Fellowship's Bishop Terry Hornbuckle posted a $405,000 bond and left jail Monday afternoon flanked by crowd of reporters and photographers, but on the same day a charge of methamphetamine possession was added to the charges on which he was originally indicted...

The original indictments said the 43-year old pastor, married with three children, sexually assaulted three of his members - one of them twice. Two of the alleged victims said Hornbuckle led them to a Euless apartment complex, fixed them drinks laced with date-rape drug GHB and then took advantage of them.


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Serial murder trial in Texas


Vickie Dawn Jackson, 38, is accused of killing 10 elderly patients and injuring an 11th person by injecting them with a lethal drug...

The trial stems from an unusual series of deaths at the 38-bed Nocona General Hospital. Officials discovered an increase in deaths there in late 2000 and early 2001, most of them on Jackson's shift.

Officials then discovered that 10 vials of mivacurium chloride, a drug used to halt breathing temporarily for insertion of a breathing tube, were missing from the hospital.

Ten bodies were exhumed in June 2001. After autopsies, the deaths were ruled homicides.


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Don't go to church; kill the wife instead


This is horribly sad, but is an picture of life in mid-America (Roanoke, Va., in this case): staving off poverty by taking advantage of poor people at a cash-advance store, finding meaning in life through the church, but the sky god doesn't protect against the rifle in the bedroom.

The article doesn't say which church the couple attended, but services are apparently held on Saturdays-- perhaps another Church of God slaying?

After picking up Puckett at her apartment in Vinton on Saturday, the Millses brought her to their house with plans to go to church in Salem later that day. But the couple fought, Puckett said, and Mitch Mills told his wife he'd just stay home if she was mad at him.

According to a search warrant filed Monday in Roanoke Circuit Court, Wendy Mills "had been physically hitting on the suspect with her hands."

Puckett said Mitch Mills ran upstairs, and when his wife went to follow him, Puckett tried to hold her back. After Wendy Mills ran upstairs, Puckett heard a gunshot and saw her niece fall down the stairs....


Earlier in the article:

At First Choice Cash Advance in Vinton, where Wendy Mills was store manager, her co-workers built a memorial to their friend and reminisced as they looked over her desk.

They found items that represented Mills perfectly: crosses, spiritual calendars, Bible quotes.

"She loved the Lord," said her mother, Dorothy Blankenship. "She's absolutely up with the Lord now. She was a good Christian girl."


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Monday, March 14, 2005

 

Good Christians killing good Christians nothing new in Kansas


Lawrence pastor has walked in Wichita church's shoes

Martin K. Miller, 46, formerly the chairman of Veritas Christian School's board of directors, was arrested July 30 on suspicion of murdering his 46-year-old wife, Mary, a Kansas University librarian.

Miller, whose preliminary hearing was Wednesday in Douglas County District Court, is a member of Barbee's congregation, Victory Bible Church, 1942 Mass.

Mary Miller was an active member there, and the couple's children continue to attend the church. The circumstances have placed Barbee and the church in difficult roles.


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In the wake of the Wisconsin shooting spree...


The Living Church holds that people from Northwest Europe are descendants of the Bible's 10 lost tribes of Israel, "possessors of the birthright promises and accompanying blessings" of Abraham's descendants, according to a statement of beliefs from its Web site. It observes the Sabbath on Saturday and counsels members to remain apart from the secular world by not participating in juries, politics or the military.

The church's view of history, which asserts that humankind is moving inexorably toward the "end times," when the world will go through a series of cataclysms before the second coming of Christ, is not uncommon among evangelicals...


The Heartland Values crowd wants the end of the world, and wants it bad, so why not rush it along a bit? The Rapture -- True believers will be transported to heaven where, seated at the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents writhe in the misery of plagues—boils, sores, locusts, and frogs—during the several years of tribulation that follow -- sounds like a blast, so why not build a few hundred thousand new atom bombs? Or stir up the festering mayem of the Middle East? Or destroy Social security?

These are beliefs held by millions of Heartland Americans, and by the president they elected, but nowhere where there will be any serious consideration of this perverse mindset leading to perverse acts.

Rising Hegemon points out that were the Wisconsin shooter a Muslim, the talking heads would now be ajitter with pronouncements of the fundamental sickness of Islam. But, Naturally, as this involves a Christian we will not judge harshly the institution as that simply cannot be done, it would be unfair.

But despite the silence, any objective view of the American Heartland would find more than a little of that fundamental sickness the media is so fond of finding elsewhere. The Heartland is indeed a land of strong values-- the values of intolerance, excessive pride, might makes right and the certainty of the Chosen People. It's no surprise that every now and then these values are expressed in a little shooting spree.

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

 

Police Provide Details in Wisconsin Church Group Shooting


The police in Wisconsin said today that the gunman who fatally shot seven people and wounded four at an Evangelical church meeting on Saturday had entered from the back of the room and opened fire without warning, squeezing off about 22 rounds and stopping to reload once before shooting himself in the head.

See today's New York Times for the full story. But it's worth noting that The Living Church of God Living Church of God seems to have some issues... says the good Reverend Roderick C. Meredith:

Los Angeles should be ashamed that it has a black mayor!

God is going to spank, and He's going to spank HARD!

My name is Rod, not God - yet.

Billions in the lake of Fire. That's Billion with a "B" brethren!


As the Times notes, The church's mission statement includes "preach the end-time prophecies..."

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Arlington pastor named in sex assault indictment


Fort Worth, Texas- A senior pastor at an Arlington church was arrested Friday afternoon, hours after a Tarrant County grand jury indicted him on four counts of sexual assault.

Terry L. Hornbuckle, 43, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting three women, who were parishioners at his church, Agape Christian Fellowship, 2350 E. Mayfield Road.

Hornbuckle was booked into Tarrant County Jail with bail set at $100,000 on each of the four counts. Two of the cases involve the same victim, according to court officials.

According to court records, two of the victims were college age and one was 17 and attending high school.

The three women filed civil lawsuits in December, detailing how Hornbuckle used his position in the church to lure them to an apartment, where they were drugged and sexually assaulted, according to the court documents.

Hornbuckle, through a New York public relations firm, has denied the accusations and says that the women are trying to extort money from him.


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Friday, March 11, 2005

 

Kingsland Man Accused Of Setting Up Meth Lab In K-Mart Bathroom


A poster at Eschaton pointed this out:

KINGSLAND, Ga.-- A man who created suspicion by collecting items from various department of K-Mart and taking them into the restroom just before closing time Wednesday arrested after police said they found him operating a methamphetamine lab in the bathroom.

According to Kingsland police, store security began watching Eddie Young, 34, when he came back into the store after making a purchase. After seeing Young get a Coleman lantern from sporting goods and various over-the-counter drugs from the pharmacy area, they said he took the items into the store's restroom.

Store employees reportedly went into the bathroom to tell Young the store was closing in a few minutes, they became even more suspicious and notified police.

Finding a powder that tested positive for methamphetamine in the bathroom, Young was arrested for possession of items to manufacture methamphetamines and possession of a controlled substance.


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Sunday, March 06, 2005

 

School orders mom to spank son--or else


A 6-year-old boy who often talked too much in class was suspended from 1st grade at Schaumburg Christian School last week after his mother refused to spank him.

See the full story in the Chicago Tribune

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