Seven years of sex abuse: How Mormon officials let it happen

When we know better we must do better. Religions and churches do not get a pass when they protect perpetrators and themselves at the expense of children. The magnitude of the damage to these children is hard to fathom.

It is a terrible truth that churches go to great lengths to hide abuse and shame victims to protect their own interests. Such seems the case reported by the AP where a help line was called rather than the police.

“The help line is certainly there to help — to help the church keep its secrets and to cover up abuse,” said Craig Vernon, an Idaho attorney who has filed several sex abuse lawsuits against the church.

Vernon, a former member, routinely demands that the church require bishops to report sex abuse to police or state authorities rather than the help line.

Read the full article "Seven years of sex abuse: How Mormon officials let it happen".

Dozens of Northern California Priests Facing Child Sex Abuse Claims

NBC Bay Area’s investigation mined a trove of new court filings, revealing startling child sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests and institutions across Northern California. They show what the public previously knew about the scandal is potentially the tip of the iceberg.

This story, published June 22, 2022, is yet another example of how trusted institutions and their employees abuse that trust. We are actively investigating similar cases across California, including at St. Vincent's School for Boys.

Read the full report from NBC Bay Area "Dozens of Northern CA Priests Facing Child Sex Abuse Claims for the First Time."



Pastor confessed to ‘adultery.’ The woman cried out: ‘I was just 16'

As a community we must open our hearts, minds and arms to the survivors of sexual abuse. Survivors of these horrible experiences need to know they are not to blame.  They are not responsible for the grooming, the lying and the assaults perpetrated on them by adults who know better.  The Indiana Pastor and his church organization that allowed a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old parishioner to happen and then continue as a 9-year sexual relationship must be held accountable. States with consent laws that allow minors to consent to sexual relationships with adults must revisit and change these dangerous laws and protect minors from preying adults.

Read the news story "Pastor confessed to ‘adultery.’ The woman cried out: ‘I was just 16.'"

Southern Baptist leaders covered up sex abuse, kept secret database, report says

When organizations hold themselves out as being there for others and then choose to protect the organization at the expense of the individual you know they are not to be trusted.  Transparency, responsibility and accountability must be fundamental requirements for all organizations, particularly religious organizations that have hidden abuse for all too long.  The Southern Baptists now join the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America as organizations that were not what they purported to be.  Without transparency, responsibility and accountability these organizations will continue to harm and shame individuals who are unable to defended themselves.

Read the news story "Southern Baptist leaders covered up sex abuse, kept secret database, report says."

U. of Michigan reaches $490M settlement over sexual abuse by a former sports doctor

The University of Michigan has agreed to a $490 million settlement with more than 1,000 people who say they were sexually assaulted by a former sports doctor during his nearly four-decade career at the school, the university and those involved in the settlement announced Wednesday.

"We hope this settlement will begin the healing process for survivors," said Jordan Acker, chair of the University of Michigan Board of Regents. "At the same time, the work that began two years ago, when the first brave survivors came forward, will continue."

Read more about this story here.

San Francisco Archdiocese Quietly Puts Priest On Leave After Abuse Allegation

In late October a parish priest from the Archdiocese of San Francisco was quietly put on leave by Catholic officials after they received an allegation of abuse. While we are grateful that Fr. David Ghiorso was immediately put on leave, as best we can tell, the information about this accusation was not shared with the wider community. We are now calling on Church leaders from San Francisco to be more transparent and forthcoming with parents and parishioners.

Read the full story "San Francisco Archdiocese Quietly Puts Priest On Leave After Allegation of Abuse, SNAP Calls for More Transparency".

Boy Scouts Filing Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Face Deadline Agreed to in Bankruptcy Deal

Attorneys for the Boy Scouts of America and scouting abuse victims agreed during federal bankruptcy proceedings on a Nov. 16 deadline by which victims must come forward with a claim or be barred from bringing one later. The Boy Scouts said in a statement that the organization is committed to compensating victims as it goes through bankruptcy proceedings. More than 12,000 boys have been molested by 7,800 abusers since the 1920s, according to Boy Scout files revealed in court papers. Read the full story:

Court finds Mormon church blocked southern Alberta police investigation into sex abuse of young girls in 1980s

More than 30 years ago, the Mormon church participated in the cover-up of the sexual assualt of several young girls in southern Alberta, instructing the abuser not to go to plice, according to an Alberta judge who has rendered a decision in the case. These findings are laid out in the decision of Lethbridge justice Johnna Kubik, who convicted the now 51-year-old man on two counts of sexual assault. Read the CBC story.

Pope removes shroud of secrecy from clergy sex abuse cases

Pope Francis abolished the use of the Vatican's highest level of secrecy in clergy sexual abuse cases Tuesday, responding to mounting criticism that the rule of “pontifical secrecy" has been used to protect pedophiles, silence victims and prevent police from investigating crimes. Victims and their advocates cheered the move as long overdue, but cautioned that the proof of its effectiveness would come when the Catholic hierarchy is forced to respond to national inquiries, grand jury subpoenas and criminal prosecutors who are increasingly demanding all internal documentation about abusers. Read the full story.

Sex Abuse Expert Discusses the Challenges of Coming Forward

This special report explains why survivors do not report sexual abuse or wait to report until much later in life. Many people are suffering in silence from horrific abuse suffered early in life. It is important to understand, listen and not ask "why did it take so long."

Watch "No is the easiest lie to tell" from CBS.