2/28/14: Today’s Round-up of Child Sex Abuse in the News


A karate instructor accused of repeatedly molesting two of his teenage students at his Tierrasanta martial arts studio was ordered Thursday to stand trial on more than a dozen felony counts.  Juan Melesio Flores, 38, faces more than 12 years in state prison if convicted of 15 felony counts of oral copulation and committing a lewd act on a child.  Read more here:


Lancaster, CA – Former Lancaster Soccer Coach Convicted Of Molesting 15 Children
A former soccer coach has been convicted of molesting 15 children.  Los Angeles County prosecutors say 52-year-old Renoir Valenti was found guilty Thursday of 20 counts, including continuous child abuse. He faces a possible sentence of 154 years to life in prison.  Read more here:

Berkeley, CA – ASUC Senate passes bill calling for reform on university sexual assault policy
Condemning past university policy concerning sexual assault, the ASUC Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday night calling on UC officials to include comprehensive reforms as the university finalizes a new sexual harassment and violence policy.  The bill, SB 11, focuses on enforcing stricter penalties — such as suspension or expulsion — for perpetrators of sexual violence, making the investigative process more transparent for survivors and broadening the policy to protect persons of all genders. Read more here:

Bell, CA – Former Franklin High Teacher Charged With Sexually Molesting Students
A high school drama teacher was charged Tuesday with sex-related crimes involving two teenage boys, dating back as far as 1999. Peter Christopher Gomez, who taught at Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park, pleaded not guilty Tuesday at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse to 26 felony counts.  Read more here:

Hollywood, CA – Hollywood man accused of molesting sleeping girl
A man has been jailed in lieu of $500,000 bond for allegedly molesting a teenage girl while she slept, Hollywood police said.  Hipolito Escoto Almonte, 50, of Hollywood, was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim 12 to 16 years of age.  Read more here


Tacoma, WA – Accused Curtis High teacher resigns
Curtis High School biology teacher Mike Edison Allen, who is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old Curtis student, has resigned from his position at the University Place school. Read more here:

Martinsville, IN – Ex-Indiana pastor, wife face several charges, including sexual misconduct with a minor
A former central Indiana pastor and his wife face sexual misconduct and several other charges stemming from their alleged involvement with a minor.  Forty-three-year-old Jonathan Harness of Morgantown appeared Thursday for an initial hearing in Morgan Superior Court on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, sexual battery, criminal deviate conduct, neglect and intimidation. Read more here:

Frisco, TX – Former cheer coach in Frisco pleads guilty to sexual abuse of girls
A former cheerleading coach in Frisco was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to three counts of continuous sex abuse of a child and one count of indecency with a child.

Kyle Austin Ware, 31, was scheduled to go to trial Monday on charges involving four teenage girls, three of whom were under the age of 14 when the sexual abuse started.  Read more here:

Washington, DC – Sexual Assault Website Highlights New Policies
Through the collaboration of the Sexual Assault Working Group, Title IX administrators, the Office of the President and others, the university launched a website with information on sexual misconduct Feb. 21 after a six-month review of how Georgetown perceives and treats sexual misconduct on campus. “I think this website is a huge improvement on the previous presentation. It clarifies who is the confidential resource and where to go to if you want to file a formal report with the university.” Read more here:

St. Paul, MN – The long, sad record;  St. Paul archbishop will give testimony next month
Last fall, as details emerged about how the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese mishandled cases of clergy sexually abusing of minors, Archbishop John Nienstedt acknowledged mistakes: “Our policies and procedures may not have been uniformly followed.”  Read more here and here:

Grand Junction, CO – Army recruiter accused of sexual assault of Colorado high school student
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office says a U.S. Army sergeant is facing criminal charges after he was accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl who attended a high school where he worked as a recruiter.  Sgt. Randy Loushin, 31, was issued a summons on Tuesday on suspicion of misdemeanor sexual assault in connection with allegations he had sex on multiple occasions with a Central High School student.  Read more here:


Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada – Shedding light on the issue of consent
A female hockey coach who pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting a 15-year-old player will be sentenced on April 2.  Heidi Ferber was a 39-year-old assistant coach four years ago when she began a sexual relationship with the teen player on her Kamloops, B.C., midget hockey team.  The relationship ended the next year and the teen went to police.  Read more here:

Sussex, England – Ex-Crawley Tigers Cycle Speedway Club coach jailed for sex offences against boys
A former Crawley Tigers Cycle Speedway Club coach who carried out sex attacks on vulnerable young boys has been jailed for nine years.  Mike James Green, from Hove, chose his victims from cycle speedway clubs that he set up, including one in Havant which is now closed.  Read more here:

Vatican City, The Vatican – Clergy Abuse Overwhelmed a Pope: It Ought to Be Exposed
The problem of abuse and cronyism is not exclusive to Catholicism. Evangelical Boz Tchividjian asserts unequivocally that sex abuse among evangelical clergy is ‘worse’ than that within the Catholic church. Tchividijian – a former child-abuse victim; child-abuse prosecutor; founder and executive director of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment); law professor; author and — it’s worth noting — Billy Graham’s grandson; speaks and writes extensively on issues related to sex abuse within the evangelical faith community. “Christian mission field is a ‘magnet’ for sexual abusers,” he says.  Read more here: