2012 August

Aug 31, 2012: Bishop Finn says “boys will be boys;” Priests will abuse kids until the Pope acts, says Jeff Anderson

“Boys will be boys,” uttered Bishop Finn after being told about child pornography on Rev. Shawn Ratigan’s computer. “Sometimes priests do things they shouldn’t.” Bishop Finn’s appalling gaffe, spoken to a computer systems employee of the Diocese, reveals stunning, inside conversations and new details about Bishop Finn’s cover-up of Ratigan’s crimes. If boys will be boys, as Bishop Finn claims they will, then priests will continue to abuse kids until the Pope acts definitively to protect children instead of putting reputation over child welfare.Shawn Ratigan pleaded guilty earlie…

Aug 22, 2012: The State of the Holy See Case: An Update

News outlets around the world reported Monday on the dismissal of the case against the Holy See. Oregon U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman’s dismissal of Plaintiff John V. Doe’s case against the Holy See was, admittedly, disappointing. After a 10-year battle against the sovereign Catholic nation, Judge Mosman ruled from the bench that the Holy See was not acting as an employer in this case of clergy sexual abuse. This ruling, however adverse, nonetheless affords us an opportunity to examine this case from the beginning as we look to appeal the decision.The case was originally filed in 20…

Aug 22, 2012: Father DeCosta accused of sex abuse

The child sex abuse scandal surrounding the Catholic Church has hit close to home, with fingers of accusation pointing at a priest revered in the local community.Father George DeCosta, who for almost three decades was the parish priest at Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church in Keaukaha, has been accused of abuse by two Hawaii men. The two were students at Damien Memorial High School in the 1960s when DeCosta was the chaplain there.The school is operated by Christian Brothers of Ireland, and the allegations have been made in claims filed against The Christian Brothers Institute and The…

Aug 22, 2012: MSU-Mankato coach arrested in child porn case

The head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato, was arrested and jailed Tuesday afternoon on allegations that he had possessed and produced child pornography.Todd Hoffner, 46, of Eagle Lake, was arrested at his home. According to the university, Hoffner has been on leave from his coaching position since Friday and a school investigation is pending.He remained jailed Tuesday night on suspicion of “use of minors in a sexual performance” and possession of child pornography while authorities considered formal charges, according to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office.

Aug 17, 2012: Golden Valley: Breck School wants suit over ex-teacher’s sex abuse tossed

Breck School wants to dismiss a lawsuit by a former student who claims that he was sexually abused by a former teacher there — and that school officials knew about it.Rich Covin, 52, a retired retina surgeon now living in Rhinelander, Wis., says he was abused by former teacher William Jacobs when Covin was a student at the Golden Valley school in the early 1970s.Covin came forward after Jacobs was charged in another case, 35 years after the Breck incident.He has sued and settled with the imprisoned Jacobs, but he also sued Breck in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis. 

Aug 05, 2012: Boy Scouts’ ‘perversion files’ didn’t stop some sex offenders from preying on kids again

The Boy Scouts of America’s “perversion files” are stored in locked cabinets at the organization’s headquarters in Texas, accessible to only a few people.The documents detail allegations of sexual abuse against expelled Scout leaders, ostensibly to prevent them from participating in Scouting again.”It is a fact that Scouts are safer because the barrier created by these files is real,” Boy Scouts Chief Executive Robert Mazzuca said in June.But a review of the files by the Los Angeles Times found that more than 125 men on the blacklist were able to access – and allegedly continue to prey on – Bo…

Aug 02, 2012: Priest pleads guilty to five child pornography charges

As a priest, he absolved others of their sins in the anonymity of the confessional.Thursday afternoon, the Rev. Shawn Ratigan stood in the very public forum of a federal courtroom and confessed to some of his own.Ratigan, 46, pleaded guilty to using five girls to produce or attempt to produce child pornography over several years while serving as pastor to congregations in the Northland and St. Joseph.Each count carries a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison.“When a defendant who wears a religious collar, who has the trust of the community, engages in conduct of this nature, his…