Wednesday, June 26, 2013

When The Uncircumsized Act Like The Circumsized! (OUCH)

The Catholic Church is still impeding police pursuit and conviction of clergy sex offenders, according to a former head of Victoria Police's sexual crimes squad.

Former Detective Inspector Glenn Davies, who now works with victims of clergy sex abuse, says his experience of working with the church is that it is "protectionist, elitist and dismissive of suggestions for change".

Mr Davies, who resigned from Victoria Police last year after he admitted briefing journalists about then-current investigations, made a submission to the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled clergy sexual abuse. This was posted on the inquiry website late on Tuesday.

Ten submissions were posted on the website, including a defence of Towards Healing by one of its investigators, former police superintendent Paul Murnane, plus a second "right of reply" by Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart.

Similar to the Victoria Police evidence, Mr Davies says both the Melbourne Response and the Towards Healing process that covers the rest of Australia "are operating in a manner that is detrimental to the administration of justice and impeding the detecting, apprehending, prosecuting or convicting" of abusers.

He attacks the role and practices of the Melbourne church's investigator, independent commissioner Peter O'Callaghan QC, saying that – far from operating like a royal commission, as Mr O'Callaghan suggests – he is really just "a reputational risk manager" who makes recommendations about compensation.

Mr Davies says Mr O'Callaghan was aware of serious sexual offending by clergy but "refused to report offenders for investigation ... or make recommendations that would have protected children and vulnerable adults from further victimisation".

He says many cases of suspected sexual abuse were reported to church authorities but not acted on, clergy were not removed, investigations were not carried out, and appropriate protections were not planned or embedded into parishes.

He agrees that Mr O'Callaghan tells victims they can go to the police at any time, but says such "options talk" is heavily weighted in favour of the Melbourne Archdiocese quickly providing relief, counselling and compensation in place of a police investigation.

He lists 10 problems, suggesting the church processes "actively and systematically dissuaded victims of sexual crime from reporting their victimisation to the police", hindered police investigations, quickly provided suspects with details of the allegations which allowed the possible destruction of evidence, failed to protect the community, but provided protection and sanctuary to offenders.

Archbishop Hart's right of reply, written on June 5, follows an earlier one written last October defending the church and Mr O'Callaghan from scathing criticisms in the Victoria Police submission. Tabling 39 pieces of correspondence between church and police from 1996 to last year, he says the police have provided no evidence for their allegations.

Far from an alleged lack of engagement with police, the church co-operated extensively, did not dissuade victims from reporting, did not hinder police investigations, did not alert suspects about allegations, and did not move offenders to evade investigation after 1996, he says. He repeats Mr O'Callaghan's assertion that to suggest the independent commissioner has a conflict of interest is highly defamatory and wrong. (Somebody Is Lying Here!!!)

Archbishop Hart says the church takes precisely the same attitude about reporting to police as victim support groups, that both accept it is up to the victim, if now an adult. But the church would be happy to report all suspected offenders to police, if victims who wanted their identity kept secret could be protected. (Got a real bad case of the giggles)

Former Detective Superintendent Murnane was police liaison officer with the church for some years before he retired in 2007, and has since acted as a complaints assessor for the Towards Healing process . His submission says that though he does not conduct criminal investigations he does have the required skills, that he has helped several victims to report abuse to police, and that it is wrong to call him a church employee, as it suggests an allegiance to the church.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rabbi's shocking comments on sexual abuse - "Young Boys May Have Consented To The Abuse!"

Rabbi Boruch Lesches, a former senior leader at Sydney's Yeshiva centre, talking about sexual abuse in the Jewish community.

A senior Australian rabbi who failed to stop an alleged paedophile from sexually abusing boys at a Sydney Jewish school said some of the man's victims may have consented to sexual relations and warned that involving police now would ''open a can of worms''.

Former senior Sydney rabbi Boruch Dov Lesches, who is now one of New York's leading ultra-Orthodox figures, made his remarks in a recent conversation with a person familiar with a series of alleged child rapes and molestation carried out by one man associated with Sydney's Yeshiva community in the 1980s. Rabbi Lesches' comments are likely to increase scrutiny of Australia's senior rabbinical leaders' handling of child sex abuse cases, amid allegations of cover-ups, victim intimidation and the hiding of perpetrators overseas.

In a legally recorded telephone conversation heard by Fairfax Media and provided to NSW detectives investigating the Sydney Yeshiva cases, Rabbi Lesches admitted to counselling the alleged abuser upon learning that he had sexually abused a boy a decade his junior. Rabbi Lesches said he told the man that both he and the boy would be forced to leave the Yeshiva community if he could not control his urges.

''If not, both of them would have to leave,'' he said.

 Rabbi Lesches, who never informed police of the abuse, said he did not know that the man had ignored his warning and gone on to sexually interfere with at least three other boys during the late '80s. He said other Yeshiva leaders were responsible for supervising the man.

In the conversation, Rabbi Lesches suggested one of the man's victims, who was aged about 11 at the time of the abuse, may have been a consensual partner. ''Everyone was telling different stories and trying to put the blame on someone else,'' he said.

''We are speaking about very young boys … everybody says about the other one that 'he agreed to this'.''

When challenged on his position that young boys could give consent, Rabbi Lesches replied, ''You would be surprised,'' and added that some non-Jewish boys, who he termed ''goyim'', began acting or thinking sexually ''from the age of five''. He also said teenagers from poor backgrounds had ''nothing else to do in life, only thinking 24 hours about sex'' with each other, members of their own families and even ''dogs''.

Rabbi Lesches also said reporting the alleged abusers to police so many years after incidents occurred would ''destroy them and their children'' and cause pain for victims.

''Do not talk this way … when it is such a long time ago, everybody suffers,'' he said. ''If you start to do something about it will not be productive.''

A traditional rule known as Mesirah, which prohibits a Jew from reporting another's wrongdoing to non-Jewish authorities, remains a big influence in some ultra-Orthodox communities.

Rabbi Lesches, who did not respond to questions from Fairfax Media, is the third senior rabbinical leader to be identified as having known something about the abuse of boys at the Sydney Yeshiva in the '80s.

In February, Fairfax Media reported how the alleged perpetrator, who was sent overseas, had recently admitted guilt to some of his victims and told of how the centre's spiritual leader, Rabbi Pinchus Feldman, once warned him to stop what he was doing.

In response to that story, Rabbi Feldman released a statement saying he had no recollection of anyone confessing to him their involvement in child sexual abuse 25 years ago.

In early March, another senior rabbinical leader, Rabbi Moshe Gutnick, admitted he did not contact police after a young boy contacted him more than 20 years ago to report sexual abuse at Bondi's Yeshiva.

Rabbi Gutnick, who heads the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, said he received an anonymous phone call and alerted senior members of the Yeshiva to the boy's claims. He said that with the benefit of hindsight ''I would have probably called the police''.

Rabbi Gutnick is understood to have told Bondi detectives recently all that he could recall about the phone call. In a statement published in the Australian Jewish News earlier this year, he said he ''felt deeply saddened that I had not recognised what I only now know was a legitimate cry for help''.

''I appeal to the entire community - to victims and their parents to community members and leaders. If you have information please come forward to the police. Don't be afraid.''

Fairfax Media can also reveal the family of the man being investigated by NSW police over the sexual incidents at the Bondi Yeshiva are big financial supporters of the New York Monsey ultra-Orthodox community led by Rabbi Lesches. There are also allegations the alleged abuser has also lent a large sum of money to at least one senior ultra-Orthodox figure in Australia.

The alleged abuser was also appointed to the board of an Australian company involved in providing educational materials for Jewish students. He has in recent years been sheltered by a leading Los Angeles Jewish welfare group, with 2011 emails between the man and one of the organisation's senior members showing he was in danger of having his past in Sydney exposed.

''I have no idea how anyone found out - but calls are coming daily from many sources. So far, we've been protecting you,'' wrote an executive director from the LA organisation in an email to the man.

NSW police were alerted to alleged sexual abuse at the Sydney Yeshiva by their Victorian counterparts who were investigating two men over sexual assaults at the Melbourne Yeshiva school in St Kilda. Former St Kilda teacher David Kramer this year pleaded guilty to sex offences on students of the school and is awaiting sentencing. He was in a US jail over child sex offences committed in St Louis when he was extradited last year.

Another former worker at the Yeshiva St Kilda school, security guard David Cyprus, will stand trial next month over alleged sexual abuse offences against a dozen Yeshiva boys.

The school's former principal, Rabbi Abraham Glick, is now under police investigation over his handling of complaints about abuse over several decades, including the decision to send Kramer overseas. Rabbi Glick's nephew is the Victoria Police chaplain, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant.

Outspoken Melbourne Jewish sexual abuse campaigner and founder of victim support group Tzedek, Manny Waks, said Rabbi Lesches' comments ''unfortunately seem to be consistent with the approach of many senior Orthodox Jewish figures in the community who for decades have been more concerned with silencing victims and protecting perpetrators as well as their institutions, rather than with protecting innocent children''.

Mr Waks said his organisation would provide the royal commission into religious groups' handling of child sex abuse cases with full details of what has been happening for decades in Australian Jewish communities.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/rabbi-young-boys-may-have-consented-to-sex-20130622-2opkf.html#ixzz2X4mhNsTM

Timothy Dolan: Go To Hell!

The Church’s Errant Shepherds

...But over the last few decades we’ve watched an organization that claims a special moral authority in the world pursue many of the same legal and public-relations strategies — shuttling around money, looking for loopholes, tarring accusers, massaging the truth — that are employed by organizations devoted to nothing more than the bottom line....

BOSTON, Philadelphia, Los Angeles. The archdioceses change but the overarching story line doesn’t, and last week Milwaukee had a turn in the spotlight, with the release of roughly 6,000 pages of records detailing decades of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests there, a sweeping, searing encyclopedia of crime and insufficient punishment.

But the words I keep marveling at aren’t from that wretched trove. They’re from an open letter that Jerome Listecki, the archbishop of Milwaukee, wrote to Catholics just before the documents came out.

“Prepare to be shocked,” he said.

What a quaint warning, and what a clueless one.

Quaint because at this grim point in 2013, a quarter-century since child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church first captured serious public attention, few if any Catholics are still surprised by a priest’s predations.

Clueless because Listecki was referring to the rapes and molestations themselves, not to what has ultimately eroded many Catholics’ faith and what continues to be even more galling than the evil that a man — any man, including one in a cassock or collar — can do. I mean the evil that an entire institution can do, though it supposedly dedicates itself to good.

I mean the way that a religious organization can behave almost precisely as a corporation does, with fudged words, twisted logic and a transcendent instinct for self-protection that frequently trump the principled handling of a specific grievance or a particular victim.

The Milwaukee documents underscore this, especially in the person of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, now the archbishop of New York, previously the archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009 and thus one of the characters in the story that the documents tell. Last week’s headlines rightly focused on his part, because he typifies the slippery ways of too many Catholic leaders.

The documents show that in 2007, as the Milwaukee archdiocese grappled with sex-abuse lawsuits and seemingly pondered bankruptcy, Dolan sought and got permission from the Vatican to transfer $57 million into a trust for Catholic cemetery maintenance, where it might be better protected, as he wrote, “from any legal claim and liability.”

Several church officials have said that the money had been previously flagged for cemetery care, and that Dolan was merely formalizing that.

But even if that’s so, his letter contradicts his strenuous insistence before its emergence that he never sought to shield church funds. He did precisely that, no matter the nuances of the motivation.

He’s expert at drafting and dwelling in gray areas. Back in Milwaukee he selectively released the names of sexually abusive priests in the archdiocese, declining to identify those affiliated with, and answerable to, particular religious orders — Jesuits, say, or Franciscans. He said that he was bound by canon law to take that exact approach.

But bishops elsewhere took a different one, identifying priests from orders, and in a 2010 article on Dolan in The Times, Serge F. Kovaleski wrote that a half-dozen experts on canon law said that it did not specifically address the situation that Dolan claimed it did.

Dolan has quibbled disingenuously over whether the $20,000 given to each abusive priest in Milwaukee who agreed to be defrocked can be characterized as a payoff, and he has blasted the main national group representing victims of priests as having “no credibility whatsoever.” Some of the group’s members have surely engaged in crude, provocative tactics, but let’s have a reality check: the group exists because of widespread crimes and a persistent cover-up in the church, because child after child was raped and priest after priest evaded accountability. I’m not sure there’s any ceiling on the patience that Dolan and other church leaders should be expected to muster, especially because they hold themselves up as models and messengers of love, charity and integrity.

That’s the thing. That’s what church leaders and church defenders who routinely question the amount of attention lavished on the church’s child sexual abuse crisis still don’t fully get.

Yes, as they point out, there are molesters in all walks of life. Yes, we can’t say with certainty that the priesthood harbors a disproportionate number of them.

But over the last few decades we’ve watched an organization that claims a special moral authority in the world pursue many of the same legal and public-relations strategies — shuttling around money, looking for loopholes, tarring accusers, massaging the truth — that are employed by organizations devoted to nothing more than the bottom line.

In San Diego, diocesan leaders who filed for bankruptcy were rebuked by a judge for misrepresenting the local church’s financial situation to parishioners being asked to help pay for sex-abuse settlements.

In St. Louis church leaders claimed not to be liable for an abusive priest because while he had gotten to know a victim on church property, the abuse itself happened elsewhere.

In Kansas City, Mo., Rebecca Randles, a lawyer who has represented abuse victims, says that the church floods the courtroom with attorneys who in turn drown her in paperwork. In one case, she recently told me, “the motion-to-dismiss pile is higher than my head — I’m 5-foot-4.”

Also in Kansas City, Bishop Robert Finn still inhabits his post as the head of the diocese despite his conviction last September for failing to report a priest suspected of child sexual abuse to the police. This is how the church is in fact unlike a corporation. It coddles its own at the expense of its image.

As for Dolan, he is by many accounts and appearances one of the good guys, or at least one of the better ones. He has often demonstrated a necessary vigor in ridding the priesthood of abusers. He has given many victims a voice.

But look at the language in this 2005 letter he wrote to the Vatican, which was among the documents released last week. Arguing for the speedier dismissal of an abusive priest, he noted, in cool legalese, “The liability for the archdiocese is great as is the potential for scandal if it appears that no definitive action has been taken.”

His attention to appearances, his focus on liability: he could be steering an oil company through a spill, a pharmaceutical giant through a drug recall.

As for “the potential for scandal,” that’s as poignantly optimistic a line as Listecki’s assumption that the newly released Milwaukee documents would shock Catholics. By 2005 the scandal that Dolan mentions wasn’t looming but already full blown, and by last week the only shocker left was that some Catholic leaders don’t grasp its greatest component: their evasions and machinations.


Friday, June 21, 2013

"When The Congregation Rallies Around The Priest..."

Religious Child Abuse: I'm proud of my friends Jan Heimlich and Liz Heyward!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Now is the Time to Come Forward!

By: Manny Waks

The Commonwealth Royal Commission Inquiry into child sexual abuse within organisations has now commenced. Tzedek, an Australian-based advocacy group for Jewish victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, is uniquely positioned to provide evidence to the Royal Commission about the nature and extent of past and present child sexual abuse within Jewish organisations.

Tzedek has already gathered significant evidence of sexual abuse against children and young people in organisational settings. Now, as the Royal Commission prepares to hear evidence of the extent of abuse across Australia, an opportunity exists to help piece together our community’s proper understanding of this issue that has historically, and tragically, been enveloped in silence.

How many Jewish children and young people have suffered alone in the agony of sexual abuse? In which organisations has this occurred, and with whose knowledge? Who are the perpetrators, who are the handmaidens, and who are the conspirators? What has happened to the discarded allegations and suspicions that have fallen into labyrinths of obfuscating bureaucracies and worse? Who has shown the courage to raise their hands to investigate allegations, and who has conspired to ensure that a torment burrows ever deeper within our community? What can we do to aid the healing of victims and change the consciousness of some segments of our community? What can now be done to put an end to this scourge?

These are questions that our community must now answer.

Tzedek has already been in contact with around 100 Jewish victims/survivors from around Australia. We will maintain an ongoing communications with these individuals, and in some cases with their families. Now is the time for others who have experienced past abuse (or their family members) to come forward and share their stories. Clearly this is a confronting message for some members of our community. How do victims/survivors end years – sometimes decades – of silence? In Tzedek’s experience, victims experience enormous relief when they share their stories within a supportive and confidential environment. This not only brings healing, but also opens the possibility to report perpetrators to the appropriate authorities. Apart from the opportunities to bring closure to fractured lives, it also helps ensure that those perpetrators cannot re-offend. Now, with the establishment of the Royal Commission, there is a unique opportunity to document past wrongs and ensure that the precedent of silence is replaced with a commitment to prevention and transparency. Victims can share their stories with Tzedek, which will be relayed to the Royal Commission, or Tzedek can support victims to contact the Royal Commission directly.

We are aware of the pain and discomfort to those who value the reputation of our community. Nevertheless, the answer to this unease is not to further obscure an issue whose time has come, but rather to stand together in pride that we are secure and compassionate enough to endure challenges to belief systems that condemn some of our fellow Jews to a lifetime of hiding. The protection of Jewish children and young people against the risk of child sexual abuse is paramount and the past practice of silence and denial has made the problem worse, not better. Enough! No more silence.

The Royal Commission will investigate how all Australian community-based organisations protect the children and young people in their care. This includes Jewish organisations, whether they be schools, synagogues, youth groups, sporting clubs or the like. It is already clear from the short history of Tzedek that our community has its share of sexual predators. The Royal Commission is a unique opportunity for the Jewish community to establish the full extent of this scourge and to prevent its reoccurrence. You can help build a stronger and better Jewish community by coming forward to share your story. Tzedek can assist victims/survivors and their families within a safe and supportive environment. We can also provide victims/survivors and their families with comprehensive information about the role of the Royal Commission and the range of ways to share information that ensures your privacy, if that is your wish.

Please visit the Tzedek website at www.tzedek.org.au or contact us at info AT tzedek.org.au

Manny Waks is the Founder and CEO of Tzedek.


Former Hebrew Academy Teacher Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography!

Theodore Nusbaum, a former Hebrew Academy teacher, was arrested for possession of child pornography Tuesday.

 Theodore Nusbaum, 64, of North Bay Village, was charged with five counts of possession of a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit content, according to a U.S. District Court indictment.

Nusbaum taught science for six years at the Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy's high school in Miami Beach, Dr. Roni Raab, the head of the school, said in an email statement.

Nusbaum was placed on a personal leave of absence in October when the school was alerted of the investigation, and he moved out of the state shortly after, Raab said.

"We do not know any of the details of the investigation at this time although we have been assured by law enforcement that there is no evidence that Dr. Nusbaum had any inappropriate contact with our students or that any images were found on his school-issued computer," Raab said in an e-mail statement. "We are fully cooperating with law enforcement."

He added: "This is a difficult time for all of us at the Hebrew Academy. We have taken great care in responding to this situation in dealing with our students, faculty, and families. We are fully committed to a secure and safe environment for every member of our school community."

Attorney Joel Hirschhorn, who represents Nusbaum, said Nusbaum has been in therapy while staying with family in Illinois.

Nusbaum was released on $250,000 bond. He faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted, according to ICE officials.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


The previous e-mail address for The Unorthodox Jew - UOJ has been hacked! Spam with that address has been sent out to thousands! The new e-mail address: THEUOJ@GMAIL.COM. Disregard any e-mail that you have received from the previous email address; MOST IMPORTANTLY: DO NOT OPEN ANY LINK!

Any Rabbi You Know Capable Of Giving A Similar Speech On Clergy Sex-Abuse?

 “I’m responsible for this,” he said. “I’m the chief of the Australian army. The culture of the army is in my hands during my tenure, and I’m doing as much as I humanly can to improve it.”

He’s not making excuses and he’s not making exceptions in response to allegations he describes as “derogatory, demeaning, and repugnant to me.”

 Here are just a few excerpts to highlight the vast difference between his remarks and the defensive denials and equivocal evasions we have heard for decades from the so-called “leaders” of so many churches - (synagogues):

"If this is true, then the actions of these members are in direct contravention to every value the Australian army stands for.

… I have stated categorically many times that the army has to be an inclusive organization in which every soldier, man and woman, is able to reach their full potential and is encouraged to do so. Those who think that it is okay to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this army. …

If that does not suit you, then get out. You may find another employer where your attitude and behavior is acceptable, but I doubt it. The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others.

Every one of us is responsible for the culture and reputation of our army and the environment in which we work. If you become aware of any individual degrading another, then show moral courage and take a stand against it. No one has ever explained to me how the exploitation or degradation of others enhances capability or honors the traditions of the Australian army. I will be ruthless in ridding the army of people who cannot live up to its values, and I need every one of you to support me in achieving this.

… If you’re not up to it, find something else to do with your life. There is no place for you amongst this band of brothers and sisters."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This Entire Post Is Plagiarized!

The UOJ Archives - June 3, 2007

Slightly edited in - some wording for current relevance without changing the meaning of the essay; the intent of the writer remains intact as if he had written this today.....

"What, then, is the cause of this evil?
Doubtless that to ordinary people,the Jewish religion
has consisted, in regarding the clergy as a
position worthy of respect, its offices as sources of income,
and its rabbis as deserving the highest honor.

For as soon as this abuse of all forms began
in the synagogues, yeshivas and kashruth organizations,
the worst men acquired a great desire
to administer the sacred offices;
the love of propagating divine religion
degenerated into sordid greed and ambition,
and the house of worship itself into a theater,
where one hears not learned ecclesiastics,
but orators, each possessed by a longing,
not to teach the people, but to carry them away
with admiration for himself,
to censure publicly those who disagree,
and to teach only those new and unfamiliar doctrines
which the people most admire.

From this, of course, there had to come great quarrels,
envy, and hate, whose violence no passage of time could lessen.

It is no wonder, then, that nothing worthy has remained of the Jewish religion that used to be, beyond its external ceremony, by which the people seem more to flatter God than to worship Him, no wonder that the Jewish faith is nothing now but credulity and prejudices.

And what prejudices!

They turn men from rational beings into beasts,
since they completely prevent everyone from using
his free judgment and from distinguishing
the true from the false,
and seem deliberately designed to put out the light
of the intellect entirely.

Piety—good heavens!—

And the Jewish religion now consists in absurd mysteries, and those who scorn reason completely, and reject the intellect as corrupt by nature, they are the ones who are most undeservedly thought to have the divine light - Of course if they only had even the least spark of divine light, they would not rave so proudly, but would learn to worship God more wisely, and would surpass others in love, not, as now, in hate.

Instead of persecuting with such a hostile spirit those who disagree with them, they would pity them — if, indeed, they feared for the salvation of the others, and not for their own position".

Written by B.S. - Edited by P.M.

The above is the  intellectual version of "UOJ is The Roto Rooter Guy"; Read after breakfast!

CLICK: http://theunorthodoxjew.blogspot.com/2007/01/uoj-is-roto-rooter-guy.html

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Justice for son came at steep price for family

Father ostracized for going to police

LAKEWOOD NEW JERSEY — The choice before a deeply religious father was one he never wanted to make.

His son had been molested by a fellow Orthodox Jew, and the local rabbis to whom he reported the abuse did nothing to remove the offender from his positions as camp counselor and schoolteacher.

The father had to choose: He could follow Orthodox tradition and allow the local rabbis to continue to handle the matter, or he could go to the police.

The father went to the police. Now the molester, Yosef Kolko, is headed to state prison.

But some in the community saw the father as the offender for involving the secular authorities in an Orthodox matter. He was ostracized from his community in Lakewood, where he was a respected rabbi, Ocean County prosecutors said. He resigned from his job at Lakewood’s prestigious rabbinical college and moved his family to the Midwest.

Now, debate swirls around the wisdom of the religious taboo that protects suspected abusers from authorities and defies state law.

The ancient taboo, known as “mesirah,” forbids Jews from turning over fellow Jews to secular authorities, but some say the concept is no longer relevant in today’s society.

“The bottom line is there’s no justification for not participating in the process for reporting these crimes,” said Rabbi Daniel Eidensohn, a psychologist in Jerusalem who has written three reference books on child and domestic abuse in the Jewish community.

As New Jersey law stands now, anyone with knowledge of suspected child abuse is mandated to report it to authorities, whether it be to police or child-protective services. But failure to report the suspicions is only a disorderly persons offense, which is why some state legislators want to come down harder on those who hide molesters.

(Page 2 of 6)

State Sen. Christopher “Kip” Bateman, a Republican who represents portions of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties, sponsored a bill that would make it a fourth-degree indictable offense for anyone with knowledge of a child being sexually abused to fail to report the abuse. As a fourth-degree offense, failing to report sexual abuse of a child would result in up to 18 months imprisonment or a fine up to $10,000, or both.

To move the bill forward in the Democrat-controlled Legislature, Bateman relinquished sponsorship to state Sen. Donald Norcross, D-Camden. The measure was approved June 6 by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee and is heading to the full Senate for a vote.

The impetus for the bill was not the Lakewood case, but that of convicted molester Jerry Sandusky at Pennsylvania State University, as well as cover-ups by the Catholic Church of sexual abuse by priests, Bateman said.

“If you look at Penn State, if a number of individuals had done what they were supposed to do, it would not have gone on,” Bateman said of the molestation at Penn State by Sandusky. “Sometimes the cover-up is as bad as the crime.

“With the Catholic Church, unfortunately, they have a terrible track record of moving these priests (accused of sexual abuse) from one parish to another,” Bateman said. “I’m hoping this (bill) will help.”

'I felt that children were in danger'Ben Hirsch, co-founder of Survivors for Justice, a New York-based advocacy group for survivors of sexual abuse in Orthodox communities, said he knows of similar situations in Lakewood’s Orthodox community, where the organization also does advocacy work. In one case, a man suspected of sexually abusing a boy was sent to a prestigious yeshiva in Israel, Hirsch said.

(Page 3 of 6)

What came to light during the recent Kolko trial, through the testimony of the victim’s father, was that a number of rabbis in the community knew of the allegations of molestation against Kolko and did nothing to remove him from his positions as a counselor at Yachad, a summer camp run by Yeshiva Bais Hatorah School in Lakewood, and as a teacher at Yeshiva Orchos Chaim, also in Lakewood. That is what prompted the father to go to the Prosecutor’s Office five months after he first brought the abuse to the attention of the rabbis.

Testifying at Kolko’s trial, the father explained how difficult the decision was for him.

“Going to law enforcement is not, at this time, common within the Orthodox Jewish community,” he said. “Even when it’s necessary, it’s considered unusual. ... People might believe that the alleged molester is innocent, and they would give the person going to law enforcement a very hard time.”

But the father also explained why he would rather face the repercussions: “I felt that children were in danger.”

The Asbury Park Press is withholding the father’s name to protect the identity of the victim.

Kolko, 39, of Geffen Court, Lakewood, pleaded guilty May 13 to sexually assaulting the boy, who met his abuser while attending Yachad at age 11. Kolko could face 40 years in prison, although Superior Court Judge Francis R. Hodgson said he is not inclined to give him more than 15 years.

The guilty plea came in the midst of Kolko’s trial, after two more young people came forward to authorities and claimed they, too, were victimized by Kolko.

Laura Pierro, a supervising assistant Ocean County prosecutor who handled the Kolko case, said by the time she learned of all the people who had knowledge of the boy’s molestation and failed to report it, she was hamstrung to prosecute them because the one-year statute of limitations to bring a disorderly persons charge already had lapsed.

The pending Senate bill, in addition to enhancing penalties for failing to report suspected child abuse, would extend the statute of limitations to prosecute the crime from one year to five years, Bateman said.

(Page 4 of 6)

Reports to police are rareThomas F. Kelaher, the mayor of Toms River who served as Ocean County prosecutor from 2002 to 2007, said he thinks the bill is a good idea.

“If there’s only a one-year statute of limitations, you can pretty much do a good job of covering something up for a year,” Kelaher said.

In the Kolko case, a Beis Din, which is a rabbinical tribunal, sent Kolko to therapy, but the tribunal disbanded and Kolko quit his counseling sessions.

“The idea that a Beis Din has the right to bypass the police is very problematic,” Eidensohn said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem. “They have no authority to force anyone to testify or to even show up. ….If a person doesn’t agree with the Beis Din, they can ignore it.”

Lakewood police chief Robert Lawson acknowledged how rare it is for members of the township’s Orthodox Jewish communities to report crimes to the police.

“It is not the norm,” he said. “It does happen on occasion and usually it is when someone is frustrated, as is what happened in the Kolko case.”

Kelaher said he recalls few prosecutions emanating from Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish community during his tenure as prosecutor.

“I don’t remember having any domestic violence or sexual abuse cases,” Kelaher said. “It would be strange for me to think that domestic violence doesn’t occur in communities like Lakewood’s Orthodox community.”

But there was a case involving the abduction and rape of an Orthodox woman in Lakewood that occurred in 2006, while Kelaher was prosecutor.

“Some of the people in that community said, ‘The only reason you people are involved is because we need your help in finding her,’ ” Kelaher recalled of the case.

The woman’s assailant was not Jewish.

Obsolete rule today?A main obstacle to Orthodox Jews reporting crimes to police is the concept of mesirah, which has been the subject of sharp debate in recent years.

(Page 5 of 6)

The taboo, traced to ancient times, existed because Jews were persecuted by abusive governments throughout the centuries. Turning over a fellow Jew to non-Jewish authorities placed the entire community under scrutiny and at risk, Eidensohn explained.

“The well-being of the community was in such a delicate state that anybody who caused the king to be angry at the Jewish community was a threat to the community of Jews,” he said.

Some say it is obsolete today.

“That premise no longer exists once you enter modern society and you have a justice system that doesn’t discriminate against Jews, which is what we have in America,” said Hirsch of Survivors for Justice.

Eidensohn said the concept of mesirah never applied to violent criminals and sexual predators in the first place because society needs to be protected from them.

“The Jewish Halacha (law) is very clear,” Eidensohn said. “If someone is a threat to you, you are allowed to go to the police. If someone is a threat to other people, you are allowed to go to the police. … Five years ago, the most senior rabbis wrote a letter about the horrible consequences of sexual abuse and gave permission to go to the police.”

Eidensohn said Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, who is deputy to the head of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox rabbinical court, has written that child abuse should be reported to the police — something Eidensohn said he has publicized in his own books.

Michael Salamon, a psychologist on staff at North Shore Long Island Jewish Medical Center and author of Abuse in the Jewish Community, said Sternbuch is considered brilliant by many, but is not followed by everyone.

“Jewish law is based on the rabbinic tradition of debate,” Salamon explained. “The debate is not whether you can report (sexual abuse), but whether you should go to your local rabbi first for permission to report it. My position is, you need to report it, period. It’s not a rabbi’s job.”

Eidensohn said some rabbis view sexual abuse as a sin, but not something that is damaging to the victim, and they try to conceal the allegations because they are concerned about the perception of the community, he said.

(Page 6 of 6)

“There are rabbis who think they can control a molester,” Eidensohn said. “That attitude is dying.”

But not for everyone in Lakewood, he asserted.

“They still hold by the original views,” Eidensohn said of the Orthodox leadership in Lakewood. “They are not only ignorant of the psychological consequences (of sexual abuse), they are unaware of the Jewish law published in the last five to 10 years that allows going to the police. They’re basically out of touch.”

Eidensohn followed the Kolko case closely and wrote about it on his blog, Daas Torah.

The Press made attempts to reach representatives of the Vaad, a council of Lakewood’s Orthodox Jewish leaders, and Beth Medrash Govaha, its rabbinical college, to obtain comment for this article, but was unsuccessful.

Hirsch said he believes the only way the problem will be addressed is if authorities prosecute those who cover it up.

“Law enforcement in Lakewood should be doing everything possible to encourage reporting (of sexual abuse) and making arrests for obstruction of justice,” Hirsch said.

Sruli Belsky's Ears And Other Human Issues: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200763931894269&set=a.4294100844359.161590.1641699793&type=1&relevant_count=1


Friday, June 14, 2013

Rabbi’s Alleged Sex Assault Victim Speaks Out: I Saw Him as Father Figure

Victims of child sexual abuse: you must put an end to this. Stand up for what is right.  Speak Out!

WEST ROGERS PARK — A West Rogers Park rabbi charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2006 wasn’t arrested until earlier this month, despite the fact a state agency substantiated abuse allegations involving the boy and seven other victims in 2007.

Police say they couldn’t get cooperation from witnesses at the time, and it wasn’t until recently that the boy, now 22, came forward to detectives to seek the prosecution of his alleged attacker.

Now the accuser says he is frustrated and embittered by the slow road to justice in the case. He said he spoke to authorities at the time, although he acknowledged his family did not call police immediately.

He’s also upset with members of the Orthodox Jewish community, who he said pushed him not to pursue formal charges. He and his father said community leaders allowed Rabbi Aryeh “Larry” Dudovitz, 45, to remain at a West Rogers Park synagogue and continue working with Jewish families.

“Everyone told me to back off: ‘You’re not going to get anything done. It’s just going to stress you out. It’s going to complicate things. It could turn against you,’ ” the man said in an interview with DNAinfo.com Chicago. “I just want to know the truth — who doesn’t want to know the truth?”

In 2006, the accuser, then 15 years old, and his family worshipped with Dudovitz at a small storefront synagogue, the Moshiach Center, in West Rogers Park. The center adheres to Chabad messianism, a controversial belief that late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994, was the messiah, or savior, of the Jewish people.

The accuser looked up to Dudovitz, who he said mentored him before his Bar Mitzvah, and the two spent lots of time together.

“I didn’t have a really close relationship with my father, and you know, [Dudovitz] was always there,” he said.

One night in October 2006, Dudovitz came back with the family to their West Rogers Park home after celebrating the Jewish holiday Sukkot at a mutual friend’s home.

The accuser said he and Dudovitz went to the teen’s basement room, where they drank beer. At some point, he said he felt sick and planned to go to bed, and he told Dudovitz to sleep on a couch.

But after falling asleep, the accuser said he was awakened by Dudovitz. Court documents allege Dudovitz gave “the victim oral copulation while the victim was sleeping.”

‘I felt like I was at fault’

Afterward, the accuser said he felt he was to blame for the incident, thinking, how could his rabbi do something wrong? Initially, he didn’t tell anyone about what had happened.

“I felt like I was at fault and did something inappropriate in front of my rabbi,” he said. “I looked up to him like a father figure. He took advantage of that. I guess that was the hardest thing.”

Dudovitz remained close with the teen’s family, and for months after the incident, the accuser said the rabbi continued to make advances toward him. Dudovitz allegedly did so again three months later just before the teen left Chicago to attend a Jewish high school in Muenster, N.Y.

“He was standing in front of the bed where it happened,” said the accuser, recounting the last interaction he allegedly had with the rabbi. “He was really antsy. As soon as I got down [to the basement bedroom] he just started grabbing me, and, you know, he was telling me how much he loved me, and how much he was going to miss me when I was at school.”

The accuser said he pushed Dudovitz away and ran upstairs to his mother. Dudovitz followed, but left the house.

“She cornered me and made me tell her everything,” he said of his mother.

Dudovitz, who is out of jail after posting 10 percent of a $100,000 bail, could not be reached for comment. Messages left at Dudovitz’s home in the 6400 block of North Albany went unreturned. Dudovitz’s lawyer, Richard Kling, declined to comment.

Dudovitz’s next court appearance is set for Friday.

The accuser said his father wanted to call the police at the time, but his mother decided to call a rabbi at the boy’s school first. His mother didn’t return calls requesting a comment.

“Then everything went to s—,” he said. “We should have called the cops [immediately] — should’ve listened to my dad and called the cops.”

DCFS investigates

But authorities did learn of accusations against Dudovitz. The Department of Children and Family Services received a call on its hotline in December 2006 and concluded an investigation on Oct. 5, 2007, that substantiated one serious allegation and seven lesser allegations of abuse involving other children, said spokesman David Clarkin.

Clarkin said he could not release the identities of Dudovitz’s alleged victims or provide additional details on the specific allegations. DCFS, however, does pass on its findings to law enforcement.

Police then launched an investigation in 2007, but the accuser’s parents “refused to cooperate” with detectives, Chicago Police Department spokesman Adam Collins said last week. Collins said it wasn’t until the accuser came forward as an adult that a case could be made to charge Dudovitz late last month.

The police investigation only involved a single victim, Collins said.

The accuser and his father denied the family wouldn’t cooperate in the police investigation six years ago. The accuser said he recalls talking to a detective as a teen, and his father said his wife “spent months trying to get the detective to respond to her calls.”

Members of the Orthodox Jewish community also were aware of the allegations, the accuser and his father said.

The accuser said he met one-on-one with Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, the “chief rabbi” of Chicago’s Beth Din, a local Jewish rabbinical court, and outlined the allegations against Dudovitz. He said he also met with other high-ranking rabbis on the council.

Schwartz didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

Rabbi Moshe Kushner, executive director of the Chicago Rabbinical Council, which administers Chicago’s Beth Din, initially denied Dudovitz came before the Beth Din, which is supposed to deal with issues of Jewish law and conversions, its website says. The website makes no mention of investigating serious allegations of abuse.

“He had nothing to do with us,” Kushner said of Dudovitz.

However, Kushner said Dudovitz’s case might have been heard by an independent Beth Din that hears more serious cases, especially those regarding sexual abuse.

But he said Schwartz would be the only rabbi at the council who could answer questions about the Beth Din.

It’s unclear if the rabbis ever communicated with authorities or took any action regarding the case. The rabbis, like counselors and school teachers, would be considered mandated reporters of child abuse under state law, said Lyn Schollett, an attorney with the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

The accuser said he wasn’t aware of any action being taken.

“They do their own thing. It’s a problem, especially when it comes to these types of cases in the community. They still feel like Jews are living in the citadels,” said the accuser, referring to fortifications in ancient Jerusalem.

“Maybe they felt like they didn’t have responsibility to handle the Dudovitz case. It hurts my tongue to say that. That’s why I want to get to the bottom of it.”

The accuser and his father have been told Dudovitz was still a rabbi at the Moshiach Center, an Orthodox synagogue in a storefront at 6738 N. California Ave., at the time of his arrest, but his status there remains unclear. Messages left at the synagogue were unreturned.

Vicki Polin, who runs a nonprofit called The Awareness Centerthat advocates for victims of sexual abuse in the Jewish community, said she had been in touch with the accuser since he first reached out to her when he was 16, when he found her website. She said the family was conflicted and under a lot of pressure to keep the incident quiet.

“What rabbis usually tell parents in cases like this is, it’s better for the kids to go to school and not open any wounds,” she said.

Chicago Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik, who advocates against the insular practice of not reporting sex crimes within Orthodox communities, said a woman who didn’t identify herself called him about seven years ago and told him about Dudovitz.

Soloveichik said the woman contacted him anonymously for advice about whether or not to report the abuse — and said that her son had been acting aggressively after an alleged attack.

‘If you don’t cooperate, you better watch out’

“In this community,” he said, “there is to some degree an implicit reign of terror that if you don’t cooperate [with religious leaders], you better watch out.”

Soloveichik said the rabbis of the Beth Din, when it comes to sex crimes, “do not handle it properly.

“The best way to handle it is when a parent feels sure, or even relatively sure, that the child was molested, the parents should call up the authorities,” said Solveichik.

But often the pressure from the community, he said, forces the abused to stay silent.

The accuser said when he was 18, he started using drugs to deal with emotional pain. Shortly after, he went into rehab, and then a halfway home.

“I was violated, but I was violated by someone that I put all my trust into,” he said.

“It was hurtin’ me. Emotionally, I was a wreck. I mean, I was so young — and I had thoughts of doing, you know, suicide. I won’t forget to this day what I wanted to do.”

In May 2012, the accuser said he returned from Israel where he served a year in the Israeli Defense Forces. He is now back living at home in West Rogers Park, and worked at a restaurant until he was involved in an accident while riding his bicycle.

It was during his time in Israel, he said, that he found the “courage” to reconnect with Polin, the advocate, and push the police department to restart its investigation.

“I came back, and I just wanted to correct things,” said the accuser, who no longer considers himself religious. “We got it done.”

Added his father: “It was a bad situation, and hopefully he’ll be brought to justice and it will be over.”

DNAinfo.com Chicago Reporter/Producer Erin Meyer contributed to this report.


“some embarrassing news,” - The Global Cancer - Part Three!

Former Lafayette priest kills himself after victims show up at his door in Virginia

RICHMOND, VA. — When it was found three days after Christmas, the small pickup truck was idling in a secluded spot at a shuttered rock-and-sand plant off a lonesome stretch of state Route 5 in Charles City County. A hose ran from the Mazda’s exhaust pipe through the passenger-side window, where it had been taped in place, according to a report by the Charles City Sheriff’s Office. A wallet and a journal with a 10-page suicide note were clearly visible on the dashboard.

The 62-year-old man lying dead inside was David Primeaux, a Virginia Commonwealth University associate professor respected by his colleagues in the university’s computer science department, where he had taught since 1996, and liked by his students, who offered glowing endorsements of his courses in online reviews.

Primeaux was also well-known for his advocacy of historic preservation in Petersburg, where he and his wife bought and renovated a historic home on West Washington Street nearly 13 years ago and where he served as a chairman and trustee of the Historic Petersburg Foundation.

His wife, Nancy, had called Petersburg police Dec. 27, a day earlier, telling them her husband had left the house, threatening to kill himself after receiving “some embarrassing news,” a Petersburg police report says.

A VCU spokeswoman later called Primeaux’s death a “shock” that was unaccompanied by any reports to the university administration that would have been cause for concern.

Indeed, what few people here could have known was that the story that ended in Charles City began 1,100 miles away in Lafayette, where Primeaux grew up and was ordained in 1975 as a Catholic priest.

Primeaux’s tenure there overlapped with a flood of sexual-abuse litigation against the Diocese of Lafayette that was launched before, during and after the 1985 conviction of the Rev. Gilbert Gauthe, who was at the center of the first of the high-profile sexual-abuse scandals that would engulf the Catholic church in ensuing decades.

(Page 2 of 8)

Gauthe wasn’t alone. In 2004, the diocese acknowledged that 15 priests from 1950 to 2002 were the subject of substantiated sexual-abuse complaints involving 123 victims. Primeaux was one of them, the diocese says.

By 1985, the year he left the priesthood, Primeaux had admitted sexually abusing at least 15 adolescent boys as a deacon, parish priest and seminary teacher, according to psychological reports that were part of a lawsuit filed against the diocese in 1991 on behalf of a boy who was 12 when he said Primeaux began molesting him. And on the day before Primeaux committed suicide, a pair of old ghosts came knocking on his door.

Jarrell recalls former priest : The Diocese of Lafayette, where Primeaux spent the majority of his 10 years as a priest, did not respond to requests seeking interviews with current Lafayette Bishop Michael Jarrell and Monsignor H.A. Larroque, who was vicar general when Primeaux was a priest in the diocese.

However, Jarrell, who also worked directly with Primeaux when both were assigned to the same church parish from 1981 to 1982, remembered him in a written statement to the Richmond Times-Dispatch as an “intelligent, affable priest: easy to get along with.”

“I did not see much of him in the parish because I was very busy and he was away most of the time,” Jarrell wrote. “I consider David Primeaux’s suicide to be a sad and tragic event. He was obviously a troubled man who harmed innocent victims. I pray that God may grant him eternal rest, and I pray that God may grant healing and peace to those he harmed.”

Jarrell did not respond to questions about why Primeaux’s name or the names of other priests who were the subject of substantiated sexual-abuse complaints were not made public. Jarrell also did not answer a request to list the status of those priests with the church.

“As was the practice at the time, the diocese provided counseling/assistance to the victims and families,” Jarrell wrote. “Because of the publicity given to the Gilbert Gauthe cases in 1985 and the outreach to the families, it was widely known that the church was there to help.”

(Page 3 of 8)

Anthony J. Fontana Jr., the lawyer who in 1991 sued Primeaux, the Diocese of Lafayette, the Archdiocese of New Orleans and other church officials on behalf of a boy who was the son of Primeaux’s secretary, also grew up with Primeaux in Abbeville.

“We were close friends,” said Fontana, 63. “He lived down the street from me. … We became altar boys together.”

When Primeaux was ordained in 1975, Fontana and his wife attended his first Mass, and when Primeaux later started working in the diocese, they would run into each other from time to time.

“He was a very educated guy, very smart,” Fontana said.

By the time Fontana had filed suit against Primeaux and the church, southwest Louisiana had been embroiled for years in the massive church sexual-abuse scandal that would lead to Gauthe’s criminal conviction and eventually cost the Diocese of Lafayette what it says was $26 million in legal claims as other priests were implicated.

Fontana also represented Gauthe victims in civil lawsuits.

Gauthe's pleaIn 1985, Gauthe pleaded guilty to 33 counts related to the molestation of 11 children at church parishes in the area. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison, though he wound up serving about half of that sentence.

Ray Mouton, a former Lafayette lawyer who defended Gauthe and has since become a widely interviewed and fierce critic of how the church continues to handle clergy sexual abuse, said those numbers represent a fraction of Gauthe’s actual victims.

“Gauthe had abused boys at every church where he was assigned,” Mouton said, adding that church officials had known Gauthe was a predator since before he was ordained. “When I later learned of this, I believed the bishop belonged in jail with Gauthe, and today I believe every bishop who has once covered up the crime of a priest should be imprisoned.”

Local church officials repeatedly failed to take any meaningful action to prevent Gauthe and other priests from abusing children, said Thomas Doyle, a Catholic priest who was a canon lawyer in the office of the Vatican nuncio, or ambassador, in Washington at the time and met with high-ranking church officials about how to handle the case.

(Page 4 of 8)

“They didn’t do anything about it until it all boiled over in 1983. They transferred him from one place to another, and he just kept abusing kids,” Doyle said. “My job was to just keep the file. … I was coordinating things from Washington for the papal delegate because he was reporting to the Vatican.”

Doyle called the revelations surrounding the Gauthe case “the beginning of the disclosure of widespread sexual abuse by Catholic priests and cover-up by the bishops.”

Through their involvement in the Gauthe case, Doyle, Mouton and the Rev. Michael Peterson, a psychiatrist who founded the St. Luke Institute to treat troubled clergy that is now located in Silver Spring, Md., learned that the diocese had received, and failed to act on, complaints of sexual abuse by numerous other priests, including Primeaux.

“As time went by, I realized there was a hell of a lot more to this than what we saw,” Doyle said. “The way the Lafayette Diocese handled things in the 1980s was they hid them.”

As the Gauthe case unfolded in the early 1980s, the cases against him mounted, said Jason Berry, a New Orleans journalist who covered the Gauthe case and its fallout and compiled it in his book “Lead Us Not Into Temptation.”

In 1985, Doyle, Mouton and Peterson authored “The Problem of Sexual Molestation by Roman Catholic Clergy: Meeting the Problem in a Comprehensive and Responsible Manner,” which came to be known as “The Manual.”

The unsolicited report was intended to help the church confront what the three men foresaw as a “very serious problem developing,” and its recommendations were embraced by Canadian bishops but largely ignored and rejected by their American counterparts for years, said Doyle, who is still a member of the Dominican order but no longer operates in any traditional ministry.

His outspoken advocacy for victims around the world and criticism of the church’s hierarchy has landed him on the “fringes,” where he remains, he said.

“Which is just fine with me,” Doyle said.

Referred for counseling : Church officials had referred Primeaux for psychological counseling as early as 1980, according to documents Fontana obtained as part of his lawsuit. Officials eventually directed Primeaux to attend an inpatient program at the St. Luke Institute in May 1985.

(Page 5 of 8)

Edward Halie Shwery, the Metairie psychologist who examined Primeaux in late 1984 and early 1985, wrote that the examination was intended to form the basis for treatment recommendations and assessing “the impact upon his character structure from reported sexual abuse of children over a several-year period.”

Reached at his office in Louisiana last month, Shwery would not discuss the case nor acknowledge that he treated Primeaux.

However, his reports offer extensive detail on Primeaux’s admitted history of sexual abuse, including that of two eighth-grade boys when Primeaux was a deacon and associate pastor at a church in Lafayette; five students when he taught at St. Joseph Seminary near Covington; and later continuing at church parishes in the Lafayette area, where he acknowledged a sexual relationship with the 14-year-old son of his secretary; and seven altar boys ages 13 to 16.

“I found him to be very open in his disclosure of molestation of children,” Shwery wrote in a report. “Generally when we conduct such an examination of an alleged or confessed perpetrator of sexual victimization of children, it is unlikely that we obtain full disclosure of all instances of molestation.”

The reports and other documents indicate church officials knew about his propensities, because Primeaux said he was removed from the seminary, where he started teaching in 1978, after a little more than a year when several students reported him to the rector. He later told other priests in Lafayette that his transfer was the result of “problems of sexual molestation” and he was referred for counseling, a report says.

“David primarily was concerned with the embarrassment and difficulty explaining his removal prior to the end of the semester,” Shwery’s report says, calling Primeaux’s reaction a classic “character defense” for sex offenders. “There was abundant narcissistic concern with little or no empathy for the adolescent victims.”

Primeaux told Shwery his last sexual contact with a child was in the fall of 1983.

(Page 6 of 8)

Primeaux was to report to Peterson, the psychiatrist and founder of St. Luke, at the institute on May 20, 1985, according to another letter from Shwery to then-Lafayette Diocese Bishop Gerald Frey.

Richard Sipe, a former priest and mental health therapist who served on the board of St. Luke from 1986 to 1988, said the institute was founded ostensibly to serve as a treatment center for alcoholic priests. However, by 1985, Peterson had instituted a program specifically for priest sexual offenders and sexual problems.

“The bishops who essentially fund it and send priests there use it as a place to hide these guys until the heat blows over,” said David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests, a victim advocacy group and virulent critic of the church’s handling of sexual abuse by clergy.

A typical stay, Sipe said, was nine months to a year, and during his tenure on the board, the institute’s roughly 70 beds for sexual-abuse patients were always full, with a waiting list.

Sipe said the fact that the institute, which is still in operation today, depended on bishops for referrals and funding could skew the treatment.

Doyle said he was walking through St. Luke in 1985 during a visit with Peterson, who died in 1987, when Peterson pointed out a man seated at a piano.

“That’s David Primeaux,” Doyle said he was told.

Primeaux never returned to ministry or a diocese job.

According to the Diocese of Lafayette, he resigned from the priesthood on June 1, 1985, just a couple of weeks after he was supposed to present himself at St. Luke. It’s unclear if he completed the treatment program.

By 1993, Primeaux was an assistant professor at what was then the Troy State University campus in Montgomery, Ala., and three years later he was working at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. The Times-Dispatch was not able to determine where he lived or worked from 1985 to 1993.

Confrontation : A Louisiana couple, who spoke to The Times-Dispatch on condition of anonymity, said they had sought to confront Primeaux for five years after the suicide of a friend who struggled with depression and substance abuse for years after being molested by Primeaux.

(Page 7 of 8)

After a flight to Richmond, the husband — now a successful southwest Louisiana businessman who said he also was molested by Primeaux when he was a Catholic school student — along with a relative of the friend who committed suicide knocked on the door of the Primeaux home.

It was Dec. 27, the day before Primeaux died.

“My husband and his friends carried this for a long time,” said the wife. “I’m sorry this happened. I’m not sorry they did something to heal themselves.”

Primeaux wasn’t home, but his wife was, the husband said.

He said the two men told her about Primeaux’s past as a priest, including the victims whose lives he had wrecked. They had brought a letter but weren’t able to get it into her hands, he said.

“She asked us to get off the porch,” he said.

Even so, they felt like they had accomplished what they came for and were stunned when they later found out that Primeaux had taken his own life.

“They were really just going to say, ‘Shame on you, look what happened,’” the Louisiana wife said. “No one thought this was how it was going to end. No one wished this on anybody.”

Nancy Primeaux refused to speak with a reporter who knocked on her door last month.

A family friend, Robert White, 70, who knew Primeaux as a neighbor and through the Historic Petersburg Foundation, said he was unaware of Primeaux’s past as a priest and didn’t care to dwell on it.

“I choose to remember him as I knew him,” White said in April. “I choose to remember him as an incredibly intelligent, gifted individual who did everything he could to better Petersburg.”

Data reveals littleClohessy, executive director of the SNAP group, estimates that there are thousands of priests like Primeaux who “quietly left the priesthood and went on to usually find positions where they had access to vulnerable kids or adults, or were helped by church officials to quietly leave the priesthood and get other jobs.”

According to data compiled by Bishopaccountability.org from reports commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 6,275 priests have been proven, admitted or “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors from 1950 to 2012, Clohessy said.

(Page 8 of 8)

“The real number is much, much higher,” he said.

Only a fraction have ever faced criminal charges — a result of prosecutorial reluctance, “archaic” statute-of-limitations laws and church leaders’ historic role in shielding problem priests, he said.

He and Doyle said until bishops are disciplined by the Vatican for covering up such cases, little will change.

In 2002, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, a set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and guidelines for “reconciliation, healing, accountability and prevention of future acts of abuse,” according to the conference.

“Since the’70s and ’80s, the church and U.S. society have come a long way in understanding this sin and crime of child sexual abuse and in dealing with it,” Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the conference, wrote in an email. “Child sexual abuse by clerics is virtually nonexistent now given widespread programs of education and prevention.”

She did not respond to a question concerning instituting policies that would require disclosure of the names of credibly accused clergy.

Police in Petersburg said they were unaware of any criminal complaints against Primeaux. A VCU spokeswoman said the university had likewise not received any reports of any improper behavior.

However, part of what motivated one of his victims to seek him out in Virginia was regret over failing to report Primeaux decades ago and the worry that his silence might have allowed others to be victimized.

“He should have been shut down a long time ago but he wasn’t,” said the victim, now nearly 50. “I don’t think about it often, but the fact that my best friend from that time, and still today, he’s troubled about it. My other best friend is dead. … He was so troubled, not about what happened to him, but why didn’t we do the right thing back then? I told him, ‘It’s not on us as a 12- or-13-year-old to do the adults’ job.’”

That same apprehension can haunt victims for years, said Clohessy, who was sexually abused by a priest from age 11 to 16.

“Victims do heal and move forward,” he said, “but it’s very hard when the guy who molested you is still out there and you lay your head down at night and think, ‘What if he’s out there right now doing it to someone else?’”


Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Global Cancer - Part Two!

A Failure on Military Sexual Assaults

The spate of alarming incidents in recent months underscoring the depth of the military’s sexual assault problem did not dissuade Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, from killing the most promising corrective on the table.

Even as he did that, he spoke of the need to address the crisis. “We have a problem with the underreporting of sexual assaults,” he said. “We have a problem with the inadequate investigation of sexual assaults. We have a problem with the lack of support for victims of sexual assaults. We have a problem with retaliation, ostracism and peer pressure against such victims. And we have a problem with a culture that has taken inadequate steps to correct this situation.”

Mr. Levin, a Democrat of Michigan, then proceeded to put forward his amendment to the 2014 defense authorization bill — which passed by a 17-to-9 vote — to strike a bipartisan measure championed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat of New York. Ms. Gillibrand’s proposal would have given independent military prosecutors, rather than commanders, the power to decide which sexual assault crimes to try, fixing a basic structural flaw in the military justice system that deters people from reporting assaults.

Mr. Levin tried to soften the blow by adding provisions to make retaliation a crime and requiring review by the civilian service chief in the rare cases when a commander declines to follow a recommendation to prosecute made by military lawyers under his supervision. Mr. Levin’s claim that removing prosecution decisions from military commanders — who have no legal training and significant conflicts of interest — would “likely weaken” the response to sexual assault does not square with the evidence.

According to the Defense Department, an estimated 26,000 men and women in the military were subject to some level of unwanted sexual contact in 2012, an increase of about 40 percent over two years. The data suggest that many of the allegations involved rape, aggravated sexual assault or nonconsensual sodomy. Only 3,374 incidents were reported, and a mere 302 of the 2,558 incidents pursued by victims were actually prosecuted.

Cracking down on retaliation, though necessary, does not address the low prosecution rate or the sense among many victims that their claims, especially against someone higher in rank, will not be believed.

It is distressing that two decades of scandals could not persuade Mr. Levin to budge from his decision to support the military brass. Ms. Gillibrand says she will try again to get her measure included when the full Senate takes up the defense spending bill. She has done a diligent job of building a bipartisan coalition pressing for more sweeping change, and further debate about the sexual assault problem and its solutions can help strengthen the result when the Senate negotiates a final bill with the House.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Global Cancer!

Child sex abuse: Victim advocates needed

Every child making allegations of sexual exploitation should see an independent advisor before interview, MPs have said.

By - Jack Sommers - Police Oracle

Officers should ensure every child who is allegedly a victim of sexual exploitation has an Independent Sexual Violence Advocate assisting them throughout the investigation and prosecution of cases, a report by MPs has said.

The Home Affairs Select Committee made its recommendations after hearing evidence from senior officers, victim charities and representatives of the criminal justice system on the prolonged failure to bring two high-profile child sexual exploitation rings in Rochdale and Rotherham to justice sooner.

The report, which was previewed on PoliceOracle.com yesterday, was published ahead of new guidelines on child sex exploitation that are due to be announced today, June 11, by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the College of Policing.

The Home Affairs Committee report also advocates changes to the criminal justice system – including the setting up of special courts for sexual offences – as well as moves to make the experience of giving evidence less traumatic for victims.

The MPs said all child sex exploitation victims should have the support of an Independent Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) from before they undergo an Achieving Best Evidence (ABE) interview. The ISVA should be trained in court processes and continue supporting the victim throughout the trial and beyond, they added.

The MPs heard evidence that ISVAs were important for securing effective victim court testimony. The advocates are specialists commissioned by Baroness Scotland through the Home Office Violent Crime Unit in 2005.

When she appeared before the MPs giving evidence, Det Ch Supt Mary Doyle of Greater Manchester Police described the role as “absolutely key” in supporting victims and witnesses through the criminal justice system.

The MPs’ report said: “Support through the prosecution process is vital as it can mitigate circumstances which may lead to evidence being withdrawn by the victim at short notice.”

Charity Victim Support gave evidence about the value of ISVAs to MPs, highlighting: “To have the same supporting individual present from ABE interview till the end of the process will allow a young person to develop trust and confidence to share more details of abusers as time goes on.

Young people will often share their worst experiences at a very late stage so it is important that this relationship is constant and is maintained.”

The report also said the Police Service had a duty to challenge Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decisions not to prosecute if it disagreed.

DCS Doyle said it would have been “appropriate” for South Yorkshire Police officers to challenge the CPS decision not to prosecute the Rotherham case in 2009 because they found the witnesses unreliable.

“It is necessary for the police and the CPS to work together but that relationship must not preclude professional challenge,” the MPs said in their report.

“The ability to constructively challenge a decision taken by either party will strengthen the response of the criminal justice system to cases such as these and ought to be actively encouraged by senior management in the CPS and across all police forces.”

Elsewhere in the report, the MPs said that there needed to be a further package of reforms to allow victims to be able give clear and effective evidence.

While they accepted that a defendant must have the right to to test evidence, committee members felt current balance was currently skewed too strongly in favour of protecting the rights of a suspect – and that distressed victims giving evidence in court was not in the interests of justice.

They suggested that the Lord Chief Justice could consider recommending to the Judicial College that further training be developed for legal professionals involved in dealing with sex abuse cases, recommending that the Ministry of Justice provide relevant funding for any work.

The report added: “We also recommend that the Ministry of Justice introduce specialist courts, similar to the domestic violence courts currently in existence, for child sexual abuse or sexual offences as a whole.

“We do not mean that new buildings or new bureaucracies should be created, merely that in each region, one court room should be designated as the preferred court for the most serious child sexual exploitation cases.

“This court room should be selected on the basis that it has the most up to date technology and appropriate access and waiting facilities…We will write to the Ministry of Justice requesting periodic updates on this piece of work and will revisit the issue in 18 months time,” the document added.


Sunday, June 09, 2013

"There is NOT ONE DAY That Goes By That I Don't Think About It!"...

Childhood Sexual Abuse is a crime that strikes the young and the innocent. It’s all too common and can go unreported for a very long time, if ever at all. The law isn’t always there to protect victims. One local survivor shares her story and what’s being done to try and change PA’s Statute of Limitations.

Food Addiction In Women Tied To Sexual, Physical Abuse During Childhood!

What makes people fat? All sorts of things have been blamed, from too much eating and too little exercise to slow metabolisms and fast food—even air conditioning. But a shocking new study suggests that some cases of obesity grow out of sexual or physical abuse during childhood.

The study, conducted by scientists at Harvard Medical School, showed that women with a personal history of abuse are much more likely than other women to develop a food addiction.

For the study, a team led by Dr. Susan M. Mason, a postdoctoral fellow at the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology, studied the link between childhood abuse and adult food addiction in 57,321 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II.

(Food addiction involves behaviors such as repeated episodes of eating despite the absence of hunger and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when cutting back on certain foods, Dr. Mason told The Huffington Post in an email.)

Dr. Mason's team found that food addiction was almost twice as common among women who indicated that they had experienced sexual or physical abuse before age 18 than among women with no history of childhood abuse, according to a written statement released in conjunction with the research. Women who had experienced both sexual and physical abuse were even more likely to have food addiction.

Overall, the prevalence of food addiction ran from 6 percent in women with no history of childhood abuse all the way to 16 percent among women who had experienced both sexual and physical abuse.

That's shocking stuff—especially since national surveys indicate that more than a third of American women endured such abuse before reaching age 18, according to the statement. More than two out of three U.S. adults are overweight or obese.

Does the same phenomenon affect men? The study didn't say, of course, as it included only women. But studies have turned up links between childhood abuse and obesity in men, Dr. Mason told The Huffington Post. One 2009 study of more than 15,000 adolescents found that men with a history of childhood sexual abuse were 66 percent more likely to be obese than other men, Time.com reported in 2010.

Dr. Mason's observational study doesn't show that childhood abuse actually causes food addiction or obesity in women. But it's not much of a stretch to believe that there is a causal link.

"We do think that a causal link between childhood abuse and food addiction is plausible," Dr. Mason said in the email, adding that animal and clinical research suggests that people in "stressful environments may overeat so-called 'comfort foods'—these are high-fat and high-sugar foods that can blunt feelings of distress by stimulating reward systems in the brain."

If the study is confirmed by additional research, Dr. Mason said, the next step would be "to identify effective strategies for preventing and treating addiction-like eating behaviors in women with abuse histories."

One potential obstacle to identifying and implementing such strategies is the persistent stigma associated with abuse. As Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator of the California-based Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and an expert on the connection between childhood trauma and adult health problems, told Syracuse.com in 2010, "the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and obesity later in life is major, but, since childhood sexual abuse is a topic protected by shame and social taboo, it is concealed by time and by secrecy."

Dr. Mason's study was published in the journal Obesity.


Friday, June 07, 2013

The Tendlers Go To China - Part Deuce!

American teacher held in Shanghai over allegations of child sex abuse

Suspect said to have been a friend of former instructor at same school who was extradited to the US on similar charges, school admits

The Shanghai kindergarten teacher was seized by police last month after seven families filed formal accusations against him, alleging sexual abuse and rape of students of both sexes, several parents said.

A former instructor at the school, also an American, was extradited to the US on similar charges.

Education authorities have stepped up supervision of foreign teachers since April following two child sex scandals, in Beijing and Nanjing . Local schools on the mainland have also been mired in a series of child molestation cases exposed recently.

"As parents we are devastated," said the mother of one pupil, who requested anonymity to protect her child's privacy.

Shanghai police yesterday confirmed that they detained the teacher, a 32-year-old surnamed McMahon, on May 13 and said he was suspected of molesting "several" children, Xinhua reported. In one case, the suspect had allegedly molested a student "several times", Xinhua said.

Management at the Lycee Francais de Shanghai said: "Families have lodged complaints with the Chinese police against a teacher at the French school of Shanghai over assaults on their children. The investigation is being carried out by the Chinese police and is ongoing."

The mother said her child started behaving oddly soon after they moved to China.

"My daughter was having nervous breakdowns, she was scratching herself on her face and thighs," she said. "As we had just arrived in China I figured it was exhaustion from moving countries; I didn't worry about it."

Only later did she link the unusual behaviour to abuse.

The fee-paying school declined to provide precise details of the accusations against the teacher, nor over what period they allegedly took place. A notice addressed to families referred to "sexual assaults".

Another mother said she suspected her daughter had been abused over a period of months, and that cases of abuse of other children went back as far as five years.

"We are living a nightmare," she said.

The second teacher, a friend of the first, was "extradited by Chinese authorities to the US in December 2012 following an investigation into sexual touching and violence against minors", the school said in an e-mail.

From 2005 until last year he worked alternately at the French and German schools, which share a campus. He left the French school in 2011 and its management said his alleged actions took place during individual classes at a private home when he was no longer on staff.



Thursday, June 06, 2013

Responding to Abuse: Should We Ask Gedolim?

The welfare of the child requires that every allegation be investigated.

By: Rabbi Yosef Blau

As the scandals and the chillul Hashem increase, Rabbi William Handler, in a recent op-ed article on JewishPress.com, attempts to justify not reporting abuse to secular authorities.

He asserts that one should go to a gadol who has “siyata deshmaya.” The fact that there is no evidence that this has reduced abuse in the past is far less significant than its assertion of frumkeit. Not one of the major poskim who analyze the level of certainty needed before calling the police has ever made the claim that he is better equipped to deal with abuse. Victims can only be further traumatized when told to go to the very rabbis who failed to acknowledge their pain and hurt in the first place.

The Talmud in Yoma (83a) discusses the role of doctors in determining whether a person is permitted to eat on Yom Hakippurim. It’s clear the Talmud recognizes expertise and trusts the knowledge of a person in his field. Even non-Jewish experts are trusted to determine taste in a mixture of kosher and non-kosher ingredients.

Most troubling is the argument that there is a group of so-called experts working for the state agency protecting children who are looking to take Jewish children from their parents and have the parents prosecuted. In this scenario, if they don’t find the Jewish parents guilty of abuse they will lose their jobs.

Rabbi Handler apparently is not aware that there are not enough social workers available to deal with the many abuse victims in the general community; this renders moot his claim that social workers are looking for victims because they want to keep their jobs. The reality is exactly the opposite – the child protection agencies in fact need more social workers.

It will be unpleasant for parents when unusual injuries of infants treated in emergency rooms are investigated, but children’s lives will be saved. The police are not quick to arrest, and it takes many such incidents before a child is taken away from his parents.

Even when charges are made by one parent against the other in a divorce dispute – a circumstance ripe for false accusation – the welfare of the child requires that every allegation be investigated.

We do not live in a country where the social agencies or police are prejudiced against Jews. Yes, mistakes are made, as in every judicial system, but the solution cannot be anarchy. We read about faulty prosecutions, but no one has suggested the correct response is to let all offenders go free. Sexual abusers, who often are chronic offenders, have to be separated from potential victims. The proper approach would be for the Orthodox community, especially the day schools, to work with the state agencies.

It is no longer the time for this sterile debate. We do little to prevent abuse and less to help those who have been victimized. The cries of the survivors can no longer be ignored.

Where is the support for those who struggle to overcome the double trauma of having been abused and not believed when they came forward? The recent case in Lakewood where the rabbinic leadership defended an abuser (who was convicted after other victims came forward and he admitted guilt) and hounded the victim’s family has produced not one apology from the rabbis involved.

We have seen case after case, conviction after conviction, but there has been no change. What is needed is a discussion about how to get the Orthodox community to acknowledge the extent of the crisis. We must stop trying to protect our image and start protecting our children.

About the Author: Rabbi Yosef Blau is mashgiach ruchani at Yeshiva University and an advocate for survivors of abuse.

Child sexual abuse advocacy group launches in Sydney

Tzedek has announced its inaugural NSW event, an information session on ‘Child Sexual Abuse in the Jewish Community’ The event will be chaired by Amelia Frid, an experienced psychologist and Tzedek Board member, and feature two speakers: Dr Cathy Kezelman, president of Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse and Manny Waks, founder and CEO of Tzedek.

Tzedek (Hebrew for Justice) is Australia’s only dedicated advocacy group for Jewish victims/survivors of child sexual abuse.

Ms Frid says: “Having worked with clients who have victimisation issues across a range of settings, I understand how endemic the issue of abuse is, and how far reaching its effects. Tzedek, a not for profit organization, aims to advocate for victim survivors of child sexual abuse and educate the broader Jewish community on matters concerning child safety, the importance of maintaining accountability, and broaching the matter with sensitivity and integrity.”

The event, on Wednesday 12 June, 7.30-9pm at 3 Saber Street Woolhara (JewishCare), is free but places are limited and bookings are essential. Light food and beverages will be provided. Please

RSVP to: nsw@tzedek.org.au or Amelia Frid – 0411 746 322.


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Brain Changes from Child Abuse Tied to Adult Mental Illness, Sexual Problems

Different types of childhood abuse can increase the risk of mental illness as well as sexual dysfunction, experts say, but the biological mechanism by which this occurs has been unknown.

New research may provide an answer with the discovery that sexually abused and emotionally mistreated children exhibit specific and differential changes in the architecture of their brain.

In the study, an international team of researchers discovered that brain changes reflect the nature of the mistreatment.

Researchers have known that victims of childhood abuse often suffer from psychiatric disorders later in life, including sexual dysfunction following sexual abuse.

The underlying mechanisms facilitating this association have been poorly understood.

Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D. and a group of scientists hypothesized that brain or cortical changes during segments of mistreatment played a role.

Investigators used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the brains of 51 adult women who were exposed to various forms of childhood abuse.

The results showed a correlation between specific forms of maltreatment and thinning of the cortex in precisely the regions of the brain that are involved in the perception or processing of the type of abuse.

Specifically, the somatosensory cortex in the area in which the female genitals are represented was significantly thinner in women who were victims of sexual abuse in their childhood.

Similarly, victims of emotional mistreatment were found to have a reduction of the thickness of the cerebral cortex in specific areas associated with self-awareness, self-evaluation and emotional regulation.

“This is one of the first studies documenting long-term alterations in specific brain areas as a consequence of child abuse and neglect,” said Nemeroff.

“The finding that specific types of early life trauma have discrete, long lasting effects on the brain that underlie symptoms in adults is an important step in developing novel therapies to intervene to reduce the often lifelong psychiatric/psychological burden of such trauma.”

The scientists speculate that a regional thinning of the cortex may serve as a protective mechanism, immediately shielding the child from the experience of the abuse by gating or blocking the sensory experience.

However, that thinning of the cortical sections may lay the groundwork for the development of behavioral problems in adulthood.

Experts say this study expands knowledge on neural plasticity and shows that cortical representation fields can be smaller when certain sensory experiences are damaged or developed inappropriate.

Source: University of Miami