2012 June

Jun 29, 2012: Kansas City diocese ordered to hand over documents in sexual misconduct case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first Catholic bishop criminally charged in the decades-long clergy sex abuse crisis will have to grant prosecutors access to a range of files regarding his diocese’s response to previous accusations of clergy abuse, a county judge ordered Thursday.According to the decision, Bishop Robert Finn and his Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese will have to turn over notes and other documents from a diocesan investigation into their handling of the case of diocesan priest Fr. Shawn Ratigan, who was arrested last year for possession of child pornography.They will also have to g…

Jun 25, 2012: Disgraced Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky headed to jail as civil actions await him

Jerry Sandusky’s lawyers say they will appeal several issues in the wake of the former Penn State football coach’s conviction on 45 of 48 counts of child sex abuse Friday. But no matter how the appeals process plays out, Sandusky’s legal troubles are far from over, experts say.By the time Sandusky is transferred to a state penitentiary in the next months, a mountain of civil claims against him are sure to be underway, and he could face new criminal charges as well, according to Jeff Anderson and Benjamin Cardozo law school professor Marci Hamilton. Anderson and Hamilton jointly represent Travi…

Jun 22, 2012: Sandusky convicted of 45 counts, plans to appeal

Updated at 11:37 p.m. ET: BELLEFONTE, Pa. — Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse Friday night and faces spending the rest of his life in state prison. His attorney said he would appeal the verdict.Sandusky’s attorney, Joseph Amendola, asked Judge John Cleland to allow Sandusky to be released on house arrest, but Cleland summarily rejected the request, saying: “Bail is revoked. Mr. Sandusky is remanded to the custody of the sheriff.” Sandusky was immediately led out of the courthouse in handcuffs as a large crowd of onlookers cheered. Sentencing was set for late Septe…

Jun 22, 2012: A New Day of Reckoning: Jury Finds Msgr. Lynn Guilty of Child Endangerment

A Philadelphia jury made history today when it found Msgr. William Lynn guilty of endangering the welfare of a child. The jury’s decision is historic and unprecedented. Until now no top Catholic official has been criminally convicted for child endangerment. The result of this difficult and arduous trial presents the first true day of reckoning in the criminal justice system against any top official in the Catholic church hierarchy.For decades the top officials of the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and elsewhere, have operated above the law and with impunity, believing that th…

Jun 21, 2012: Survivor comes forward with strength and courage using his name to speak of sexual abuse by Sandusky

A 30-year-old Ohio man is the first accuser of former Penn State football Coach Jerry Sandusky to speak publicly about the sexual abuse he says he endured.Travis Weaver, in an exclusive interview to be broadcast Thursday, June 21 at 10pm/9c on NBC’s Rock Center, said Sandusky performed oral sex on him in the upstairs bedroom of the Sandusky home, right across the hall from Sandusky’s wife, Dottie.Weaver said Dottie Sandusky never witnessed firsthand any of the abuse but he suspects she had an idea of what was going on.“How could you not know?” asked Weaver in the interview.The trial has grabbe…

Jun 19, 2012: Pennsylvania Lawmakers Try New Approach on Liability for Claims of Past Sex Abuse

Two Philadelphia lawmakers are making an end run around the legislative process to try to get their stalled child-abuse protection bills to a House floor vote.State Reps. Michael McGeehan and Louise Williams Bishop, both Democrats, say the overlapping trials of two Philadelphia Archdiocese priests and former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky are reason enough to consider their bills, which seek to expand the statutes of limitations for civil and criminal liability in claims of past assaults on children.”Sexual abuse of children is at the forefro…

Jun 15, 2012: Indiana Court Rules Sexual Abuse Case Can Go To Trial

(Terre Haute, Indiana) In what is believed to be the first childhood sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis ever argued in Terre Haute Indiana, Hon. Michael Lewis gave the green light to a Terre Haute man to present his case to a Vigo County jury.  In the case John Doe CD v. Archdiocese of Indianapolis et al., the Archdiocese argued to have the case dismissed because too much time had passed since Fr. Harry Monroe had sexually abused a boy in 1981.  The Court disagreed.  According to the Court’s Order, there was evidence that the Archdiocese concealed that it …

Jun 14, 2012: Church Battles Efforts to Ease Sex Abuse Suits

While the first criminal trial of a Roman Catholic church official accused of covering up child sexual abuse has drawn national attention to Philadelphia, the church has been quietly engaged in equally consequential battles over abuse, not in courtrooms but in state legislatures around the country. The fights concern proposals to loosen statutes of limitations, which impose deadlines on when victims can bring civil suits or prosecutors can press charges. These time limits, set state by state, have held down the number of criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits against all kinds of people accu…