3/6/14: Today’s Round-up of Child Sex Abuse in the News
Berkeley, CA – UC Berkeley students file complaint on campus sex assaults
Thirty-one current and former UC Berkeley students filed a federal complaint Wednesday alleging the university has mishandled sexual assault cases on campus, creating a hostile environment for female students. In a petition to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights seeking a formal investigation, the students charged that UC Berkeley procedures discourage victims from reporting sexual assaults, favor assailants in the adjudication process and revictimize survivors. Read more here.
Appleton, WI – Former Appleton teacher’s aide now charged with sexual assault in Outagamie County
The former Appleton teacher’s aide charged in December with sexually assaulting a student in Calumet County is now facing charges in Outagamie County. Laura M. Bates, 44, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault of a student by a school staff member. Read more here.
Ann Arbor, MI – U-M Central Student Government Seeking Review of Accused Sexual Assault Documents
Changes in how universities handle reports of sexual misconduct by students continue to leave questions on campus. Even as a federal investigation is ongoing, the University of Michigan Central Student Government wants to review documents around sexual assault investigations, including of a former football player. Read more here.
Storrs, CT – Universities across nation under investigation for sexual assault response
The University of Connecticut failed to adequately respond to student’s sexual abuse allegations about a professor, said a group of former and current students.
Robert Miller, a music professor at the university, was accused of inviting young male students to his Vermont vacation home where he served them alcohol and some reported he sat naked with them in a hot tub. Read more here.
Cincinnati, OH – Women’s Center, UC officials implement revisions for sexual assault response on campus
Student advocates who provided support to sexual assault survivors through a 24-hour crisis hotline were told to hang up the phone permanently this semester after the peer advocacy support program was shut down due to confidentiality and compliance issues relating to federal legislation.
The dissolution of the Women’s Center 24-hour sexual assault reporting hotline is just one change officials have pushed to forefront in the attempt to remodel the university’s response to violent crimes on campus. Read more here:
Sangam Nagar, India – Maulana charged with sexual abuse of minor students
A maulana associated with a mosque in Sangam Nagar, Wadala, was arrested on Saturday for sexually abusing minors to whom he taught Arabic at the mosque’s madrassa. Read more here.
Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada – Calgary athlete hopes to inspire others by sharing sex abuse story
A young woman who fought to tell her story about being sexually abused by her hockey coach says she hopes to be a role model for others. Kamloops hockey coach Heidi Ferber has pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation and sexual interference after starting an affair with 15-year-old hockey player Chanelle Petrie in 2010. Chanelle Petrie was just 15-years-old when her Kamloops coach, Heidi Ferber, began a sexual relationship with her. Ferber pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation charges. Read more here.
Sloan Hill Mews, Ireland – Ex-scout’s abuse jail term extended
Senior judges ordered Colin Finnegan to serve an extra two years in prison for his “campaign of violence and corruption”. Finnegan, 44, formerly of Sloan Hill Mews, Lurgan, Co Armagh, was convicted last year of a total of 58 sex offences. The charges, stretching back to the early ’80s, covered a 14-year period, beginning when he was himself a youth. He used his position within the Bessbrook unit of the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland to befriend and then molest his young victims. Read more here.