News & Events

Feb 29, 2012: Another New York Teacher Removed, Chancellor Orders Overdue Case Review

Under national scrutiny after a number of recent arrests of teachers and aides, the chancellor of the New York City public schools, Dennis Walcott, has ordered a review of cases of teacher misconduct. But his direction parallels yet another teacher’s arrest and for many is too little, too late. This week’s arrest saw Reserve Officers Training Corps teacher Darryl Lynch, a teacher at Manhattan’s High School of Graphic Communication Arts, taken from school and charged with sexually touching a 14-year-old female student. Mr. Lynch worked at the school since 1997.

Feb 13, 2012: Child Protection Failures: This Week, New York

Last week I wrote about the Los Angeles Unified School District’s failure to notify parents of reports of sexual abuse by teachers. Their failure to inform parents went to such an extreme that parents didn’t know that a teacher in their students’ school was suspected of abuse until the media reported on the arrests. The story is shocking and unacceptable, but these three incidents demonstrate failure on the part of one school district, so at least we can find solace in the fact that this is isolated, atypical behavior, right?

Feb 10, 2012: Attorneys: Los Angeles School officials mirror Catholic Bishops in handling of sex abuse cases

When Los Angeles school officials choose to protect their own image over the protection of the children they serve, they are mimicking the long time behavior of Catholic Bishops who for years kept quiet about clergy predators in order to prevent “scandal”. Indeed, when will we ever learn? Clearly, when there is even the slightest chance that children could be in harm’s way, parents, and the community, must be informed when, and why, a teacher has been removed from the classroom because of child molestation. 

Jan 09, 2012: Jeff Anderson & Associates Advocate at Minnesota Supreme Court

This morning we argued in front of the Minnesota Supreme Court on behalf of sexual abuse survivor Jim Keenan. Pictured above are the three co-counsels: Mike Finnegan on the left, myself, and Jeff Anderson on the right. The case, John Doe 76c v. Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul and the Diocese of Winona, is on appeal over whether evidence about repressed memories can be used in court. The case was dismissed by the District Court last year when the Judge ruled that experts cannot testify about repressed memories.

Dec 22, 2011: Bishop Tells Congregations to Report Sex Abuse to Catholic Hotline, With no Mention of Calling Police

After Rev. Bartley A. Sorensen, pastor at St. John Fisher Catholic Church in Churchville, Pennsylvania was arrested December 10th and charged with possession of child pornography, a bishop called on the congregation to report any suspected sexual abuse by the priest to a Catholic hotline. Incredibly he made no mention of calling the police.

Dec 20, 2011: Sacramento Priest Deemed a Flight Risk

As feared, Rev. Uriel Ojeda has been deemed a flight risk, and the court today delayed Rev. Ojeda’s bail hearing until January. In our blog on December 1, 2011, I wrote of the hope that this predator not be permitted to flee the country to Mexico, as no less than six other priests facing credible allegations of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Sacramento have done. Here we see the very same risk. The courts should ensure that Rev. Ojeda is not permitted to flee the country and is made to face the allegations of child molestation of which he is accused.

Dec 01, 2011: Sacramento Priest Arrested on Child Molestation Charges

A young priest in California’s Sacramento Diocese was arrested yesterday for lewd and lascivious acts with a minor. Father Uriel Ojeda is only 32 years old. The survivor’s family reported the abuse to the diocese, which did the right thing when it immediately contacted police and child protection.   With this case we again see that the problem of priest sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and elsewhere is not limited to certain types of perpetrators, and is, unfortunately, not something that came and went with the 1970s. Catholic bishops and leaders would prefer us to “blame Woodstock”…

Nov 30, 2011: Suit Against Penn State, Sandusky and Second Mile: The Courageous Survivor

We commend this brave survivor with whom we stand, John Doe A, for being the first to speak up and out in bringing a civil lawsuit against his abuser, Jerry Sandusky, and the institutions that enabled Sandusky, Penn State University and The Second Mile. By bringing this lawsuit, this courageous survivor is bringing hope, healing and power to other Sandusky victims who may be living in silence, shame or fear. This lawsuit represents an effort to expose institutional failures in child protection.

Nov 28, 2011: Syracuse: Another Institution Failing in Child Protection

When it comes to child protection and childhood sexual abuse, Jim Boeheim and Syracuse University’s quick defense of and rebuke of the courageous victims is fundamentally wrong.  Boeheim’s comments immediately dismissing the victims reflect his own and our society’s general lack of understanding and ignorance regarding childhood sexual abuse. Society is quick to rally around an offender without knowing more than just his or her public persona as a trusted person who is also in denial.  

Nov 28, 2011: Syracuse: Another Institution Failing in Child Protection

When it comes to child protection and childhood sexual abuse, Jim Boeheim and Syracuse University’s quick defense of and rebuke of the courageous victims is fundamentally wrong.  Boeheim’s comments immediately dismissing the victims reflect his own and our society’s general lack of understanding and ignorance regarding childhood sexual abuse. Society is quick to rally around an offender without knowing more than just his or her public persona as a trusted person who is also in denial. 

Nov 23, 2011: More Survivors Expose Abuse at Jesuit High Schools in Detroit and Cleveland Areas

The long history of sexual abuse by priests and their concealment and protection by the Chicago-Detroit Providence of Jesuits continues to unfold.  Through the 1950’s and 1970’s, St. Ignatius High School, a Jesuit Preparatory School in Cleveland, Ohio, was a safe haven for priests perpetrating sexual violence against children.  To date, more than 33 survivors have come forward with complaints of sexual abuse or improprieties that occurred while they attended the institution.  The number of accused perpetrators operating under the ecclesiastical cover of St. Ignatius High School …

Nov 22, 2011: Chicago Jesuit Priest Arrested for Sexual Assault

We are no strangers to the institutional failure of Jesuit leaders in Chicago and nationwide. The Jesuits (also known as the Society of Jesus) routinely conceal predator offenders and protect their priests and put them before the safety of children.Yesterday we learned of charges against another Jesuit priest after he was arrested in Chicago by the FBI. Father Richard James Kurtz is charged with sexually assaulting a boy 10 years ago in Colorado.

Nov 16, 2011: Concealment Continues at The Citadel

This week saw yet another venerable collegiate institution, The Citadel, go public with the fact that it failed to report allegations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement.  On Tuesday, November 15, 2011, the president of the military college announced that it did not inform the police about sexual abuse allegations it received from a former Citadel Summer Camp attendee in 2007.  The report alleged that, in 2002, Camp Counselor Louis Neal “Skip” ReVille engaged a group of young boys in group masturbation and the viewing of pornography…

Nov 15, 2011: Reluctant Accountability in Kansas City

Amidst an increased nationwide focus on accountability for child sexual abuse, the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph stands as a prime example of an institution’s failure to put its house in order.   Today, in lieu of another indictment on misdemeanor charges for the willful disregard of Father Shawn Ratigan’s production of child pornography and exploitation of children, Bishop Robert Finn entered into a compliance agreement with the Clay County Prosecutor.  This agreement provides the Clay County prosecutor unique oversight of the Diocese and its handling of child abuse…

Nov 14, 2011: Institutional accountability for institutional predators

In the wake of the scandal at Penn State University, the public dialogue has suggested that Americans are both shocked by the incidents of sexual abuse and appalled by the extensive cover-up perpetrated by top officials at the University. There is now increased awareness that predators will utilize the very institutions designed to help protect and save vulnerable children to gain access to and abuse children.This week that violation of trust has shifted to Minnesota.