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April 11, 2019

“I am not alone”: House member’s wife seeks more time for sexual abuse victims to sue offenders

Becky Leach says she wants to use her story of childhood sexual abuse to help others who haven’t yet come forward — and supports a bill she says would give victims more time to do so. According to the Texas Tribune, as Becky Leach took her seat Monday afternoon, preparing to testify for the first time before a committee at the Texas Capitol, her husband watched as he sat behind his name plate with the word “Chair” engraved underneath. “I am a victim — and I am not alone,” Becky Leach announced to the room as she began her remarks. […]
April 10, 2019

Volunteer doctor at Palm Beach County high schools accused of molesting runaway teen 

WPTV reports a dermatology doctor who volunteers at Palm Beach County high schools is accused of molesting a 15-year-old boy, according to the West Palm Beach Police Department. During a Child Protection Team forensic interview, the teen said he ran away from his group home with a juvenile friend and went to the home of his Guardian ad Litem, 63-year-old Mark Robert Gardner of West Palm Beach. According to an arrest report, the teen said he and Gardner are “cool” and he would normally call Gardner when he ran away and would stay at his residence. The victim said Gardner […]
April 10, 2019

Diocese of Trenton removes Holmdel priest after ‘credible’ sexual abuse allegation

According to the Asbury Park Press, a recent and “credible” allegation of sexual abuse of a child from decades ago has been made against the Rev.  Gregory D. Vaughan, who has served as pastor of the Church of St. Catharine in Holmdel since 2013, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton announced Saturday night. “The alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when Monsignor Vaughan was a parochial vicar in St. Ann Parish, Keansburg,” the prepared statement from the Trenton diocese read. “In the interest of protecting the victim’s privacy, the diocese will not disclose further details […]
April 10, 2019

Why this woman is going public for the first time about how a Nashville priest abused her 60 years ago

According to the Nashville Tennessean, Kathleen Lisle cannot forget the summer day a priest at Christ the King Catholic Church called her childhood home, asking her to help fold bulletins for Mass. She hesitated to go. Lisle was 12. She did not want to be alone with the Rev. James Arthur Rudisill, but, in the 1950s, explaining that to her mother seemed impossible. A frequent guest at the Nashville home where she grew up with 10 brothers and five sisters, Rudisill sometimes sat next to Lisle, rubbing her leg while playing chess. At her mother’s urging, Lisle walked the few […]
April 9, 2019

Phillipsburg priest pleads guilty after victim calls sex abuse hotline

According to The Morning Call, a New Jersey priest has pleaded guilty to a child sexual assault dating back almost three decades. The charge against the Rev. Thomas Ganley was the first sexual assault case brought by the state’s clergy abuse task force, which was established last September. Ganley was charged in January, just two days after the victim had called the state’s clergy abuse hotline. Ganley entered his plea Monday. The state attorney general’s office has recommended that he get a four-year prison term when he’s sentenced July 2. The 63-year-old Ganley most recently was a parochial vicar at […]
April 9, 2019

Two bills that would reform Pa.’s child sex crime laws advance to House

According to Penn Live, two measures that would broadly reform child sex crime laws in Pennsylvania and revive expired statute of limitations for adults sexually molested as children on Monday moved one step closer to becoming law. The House Judiciary Committee advanced to the House HB 962 and 963 for debate. The chamber could take up for second consideration as early as Tuesday. A full vote could come as early as Wednesday. “What we have done before has not worked. We can get it out of the House but we are not getting it through the Senate,” said Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, moments after the […]
April 8, 2019

Diocese of Des Moines, following Sioux City’s lead, names 9 priests accused of abusing minors

According to the Des Moines Register, The Diocese of Des Moines on Thursday publicly named nine priests it said are credibly accused of sexually abusing minors while serving the diocese. The Allegation Review Committee, made up of of local clergy, a judge, a lawyer, a police chief and a retired teacher, substantiated allegations of abuse occurring between 1940 and 1997.  “It’s more than a sin; it’s a compulsion,” Bishop Richard Pates said at a Thursday morning press conference in downtown Des Moines. “It’s a crime.” Two of the nine names — Paul Connelly and Dennis Mangan — had not been previously tied to abuse of minors […]
April 8, 2019

Proposed California bill would force priests to report people who confess to child abuse

According to KGTV, California lawmakers want to force faith leaders to report people who confess to child abuse. State Senate Bill 360 is aimed towards ending the silence that has followed abuse. It would require priests who hear about sexual abuses of children through confession to report it to law enforcement. “The victims are told to be quiet, abusers are let go,” said sexual abuse survivor Kameron Torres, “and the cycle repeats and repeats.” Clergy say this bill would force them to break their promise to God. Currently, clergy are exempt from reporting crimes they hear about during confession, but California […]
April 5, 2019

Pa. house to consider Rozzi-backed child sex abuse bills

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Two bills that could make it easier for victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits, an issue that roiled the General Assembly last year, are expected to get votes next week in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. House Judiciary Chairman Rob Kauffman, a Franklin County Republican, said Thursday he supports the pair of proposals scheduled for committee votes Monday. “It’s not perfect and everybody’s not going to like it,” said Kauffman, “but getting something done is really the key here, getting something accomplished.” One bill would eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for child sexual abuse […]
April 5, 2019

Bill expanding time for child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits fails to advance

According to the Arizona Daily Star, victims of child rape and sexual abuse in the state of Arizona won’t get more time to sue their assailants, at least not this year. Rep. Regina Cobb, R-Kingman, refused to allow a vote on the measure Thursday in the Senate Appropriations Committee that she chairs. Cobb said she has no problem with expanding the law that now requires victims to file suit within two years of turning 18. SB 1011 would have expanded that to 12 years, meaning when someone turns 30. But Cobb said she could not support a provision in the […]
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