2013 July

Jul 30, 2013: Penn State ex-officials face trial over Sandusky abuse

Three former Penn State University officials, including ousted former president Graham Spanier, were ordered to stand trial Tuesday on criminal charges related to an alleged cover-up that temporarily shielded convicted child predator and former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky from law enforcement scrutiny. Following two days of testimony, a Pennsylvania judge ordered Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley and former university vice president Gary Schultz to face perjury, conspiracy, failure to report suspected child abuse and other related charges in a decision that opens…

Jul 30, 2013: In victory for Milwaukee Archdiocese, judge shields cemetery funds from creditors

In a major victory for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a federal judge ruled that funds set aside for cemetery operations cannot be tapped to pay sex abuse settlements in the archdiocese’s bankruptcy case. U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa ruled that taking even a portion of the funds would violate the archdiocese’s free exercise of religion under the First Amendment. Randa issued the decision Monday in a lawsuit filed by the archdiocese to keep its cemetery trust from being tapped to pay sex abuse settlements in the bankruptcy. The ruling was made public Tuesday. Randa’s decision overturn…

Jul 25, 2013: Sheriff’s Deputy Charged with Sexual Abuse at Lutheran Island Camp

We are saddened and disturbed by the news today that a Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s deputy has been charged with sexually assaulting four boys during a church-affiliated fishing trip. The deputy, Aaron Joseph Heuer, 29, is accused of inappropriately touching four boys between the ages of 8 and 10, and has been charged with eight counts of criminal sexual conduct in Otter Tail County, Minn. At least some of the alleged crimes occurred in June while Heuer was volunteering as a fishing guide at Lutheran Island Camp in Henning, Minn. This news unfortunately is a reminder that all organizations that…

Jul 21, 2013: Priest’s computer had porn

During the investigation of sexual misconduct by Father Leo Koppala, 47, Blue Earth, locked files were discovered on his computer. The defendant had been charged with 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct in relation to an alleged June 7 incident involving an 11-year-old girl. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) was able to unlock the files on his electronic devices on July 8 so that local police could view them for any other instances of misconduct. Among the files on his electronic devices, there was a homemade pornographic video found where it was deemed questionable if the young woman…

Jul 21, 2013: Brooklyn D.A. Releases Names Of Orthodox Jews Convicted In Child Sex-Abuse Cases

NEW YORK(1010 WINS) — In a massive shift in policy Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes has released the names of 46 convicted child sex-abusers, according to a published report. On Sunday, The New York Post, reported that Hynes had turned over the names of 45 men and 1 woman in the Orthodox Jewish Community who were convicted in ‘sex-attack cases’. In the past Hynes had avoided releasing those names amidst concerns that doing so could cause victims to be exposed to intimidation tactics by other members of the community and that it might deter other victims from speaking out, the Post re…

Jul 20, 2013: What the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese documents reveal

When the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese recently released secret documents linked to how the church dealt with sexual abuse of children by priests, the headlines focused on former Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s plans to pay abusers to leave the priesthood and to move $57 million into cemetery funds to protect the money “from any legal claim or liability.”

Jul 19, 2013: Media Advisory: Boy Scouts, Former Troop Leader, Named in Rochester Lawsuit

At a news conference on Monday in Rochester, prominent sexual abuse attorney Jeff Anderson will announce the filing of the first civil lawsuit involving the Boy Scouts of America filed under the new Minnesota law eliminating the civil statute of limitations for children who are sexually abused and allowing a 3-year window for past victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits against their perpetrator and/or an institution that may have allowed the abuse. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of two former Boy Scouts Doe 8 and Doe 9, were members of Troop 210, will name the Boy Scouts of America, Gamehaven Council, Inc., St. Pius X Catholic Church, troop sponsor, and former troop leader and convicted child molester Richard Hokanson, as defendants.

Jul 17, 2013: Suit Accuses Archbishop Carlson of ‘Attempted Tampering’

ST. LOUIS–(MO)–Archbishop Robert Carlson is named in a civil suit, accusing him of attempted tampering with physical evidence in the case of a priest accused of sexual misconduct. The suit alleges Carlson telephoned the mother of a Lincoln county teenaged girl — a girl under the age of seventeen — who had reportedly been molested by Father Joseph Jiang. The suit claims Carlson asked the mother to give to him a check for $20,000 Jiang had reportedly placed on the family’s car. “This suggests the Archbishop was possibly attempting to coverup the crime of trying to buy off the parents,” said…

Jul 15, 2013: Catholic Church lobbies to avert sex abuse lawsuits

At the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in 2002, Catholic leaders stayed silent as California lawmakers passed a landmark bill that gave hundreds of accusers extra time to file civil lawsuits. The consequences were costly. California dioceses paid $1.2 billion in settlements and released thousands of confidential documents that showed their leaders, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles, had made plans to shield admitted molesters from law enforcement. Now, state legislators are considering a bill that would give some alleged victims more time to sue. But this time, the chu…