4/9/14: Weekend Round-up of Child Sex Abuse in the News


Los Angeles, CA – The LAPD Waited How Long to Suspend 2 Cops Repeatedly Accused of Sexual Assault?!
The Los Angeles Police Department attempted to bury a case of sexual assault involving two of its officers, even telling the victim not to seek legal counsel after she came forward, according to a recent lawsuit filed in a California federal court. The suit alleges that the officers were reported for sexual assault by at least three other women between 2009 and 2012, but they remained on the job until 2013.  Read more here:

Santa Rosa, CA – Cub Scout troop leader accused of molesting teen over 4-year span
There is shock and sadness in the North Bay, as word spread that a Boy Scout leader was accused of child molestation.  Santa Rosa Police arrested 40-year-old Franklin Lee on suspicion of multiple sex crimes against one boy, over a period of almost four years. Since 2010, Lee has been involved in scouting in Sebastopol, as a Den Leader for Pack 128 with boys up to third grade, and as Assistant Scout Master for Troop 27, boys into their teens.  Read more here:

Bridgeport, CA – Merced police seeking alleged child molester
To commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, Wild Iris Family Counseling and Crisis Center has planned several events in the community to honor victims and survivors of sexual assault. “Sexual assault Awareness Month has been an annual tradition for many years and is a nationwide campaign,” said Susi Bains, Director of Programs for Wild Iris. “By holding events and conducting an awareness campaign for an entire month, we hope to convey the importance of this issue.” Read more here:

Chico, CA – Hundreds march for sexual assault awareness
Silently holding candles and signs with anti-rape slogans, hundreds filed past shops, bars and restaurants downtown in an effort to bring sexual assault awareness to Chico.  The best way to stop sexual assault is to educate others about the issues and end victim blaming, said the event keynote speaker, Olivia VanDamme. Read more here:


Grand Rapids, MI – Man sentenced for child porn, sex assault
A licensed counselor and foster parent is heading to a federal prison for child pornography and sexual assault.  Jeffery Marchione was sentenced Thursday morning in a federal court in Kent County to 30 years in prison.  Late last year, Marchione pleaded guilty in federal court to three child pornography charges and a criminal sexual conduct charge. As part of a plea deal, he agreed to plead guilty to a charge of third-degree CSC in Kent County.  Read more here:

Miami, FL – Jury Hears Opening Statements in Charter School Sex Assault Trial
The jury heard opening statements on Thursday in the trial of a boy’s alleged sexual abuse at a Miami charter school.  In the trial of John Doe vs. Charter Schools USA, the plaintiff’s attorney argued that the Downtown Miami Charter School failed to protect the alleged victim.  Read more here:

Lubbock, TX – How can you talk to your children about sexual abuse?
April is child abuse awareness month, but addressing sexual safety with children can be difficult.  That’s why a locally licensed professional counselor has created coloring books to provide an easy way for adults to teach children about this difficult topic through fun and familiar activity.   Read more here:

Montgomery, AL – Selma teacher pleads guilty to sexual misconduct
A former Selma High School teacher has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of having sex with a teen student; a case that helped put a spotlight on the troubled Selma city school system.  LaTanglia Williams also pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge of having sexual contact with another student.  Read more here:

Tacoma, WA – New sexual assault charges filed against 24-year-old former teacher
A new set of charges was recently filed against a 24-year-old former Tacoma high school teacher already accused with third-degree rape of a child.  Meredith Powell, a former math teacher at Lincoln High School, faces the new charge of second-degree sexual misconduct with a minor after a former student came forward to claim the teacher assaulted him while the two were in her classroom.  Read more here:

Espanola, NM – Lawsuit claims teacher touched girls
This is the first of a two-part series chronicling the allegations against Gary Gregor and the lawsuit filed against him.  The parents of a former Fairview Elementary School student filed a lawsuit in district court on Feb. 27, alleging their daughter, and many girls before her, had been inappropriately touched or fondled by a former Española Elementary school teacher.  The lawsuit, filed six years after the abuse allegedly took place, centers around former teacher Gary Gregor, 57.  Read more here

Washington, DC – Sex abuse cost US Catholic Church nearly $3 billion: Report
Sexual abuse and misconduct have cost the US Catholic Church almost $3 billion over a nearly 10 year period, according to a report released by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.  From 2004 to 2013, the Catholic Church spent $2,744,876,843 related to abuse allegations, which includes settlements, therapy for victims, support for offenders, attorneys’ fees, and other costs.  The report, titled “Report on the Implementation of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People,” said in 2013 alone sexual misconduct by clergy cost the American dioceses $108,954,109.  The Church also spent an additional $41,721,675 on child protection initiatives in 2013, according to a review by Catholic Online.  Read more here:

College Station, PA – Judge Orders Sandusky Co-Counsel Rominger to Explain Delay in Compliance with 2012 Court Order
The judge who presided over the child sexual abuse trial for former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky has ordered a defense attorney to explain why he hasn’t complied with a 2012 court order.  That order requires Rominger to submit an inventory of all Sandusky case evidence the court says must be kept private. Read more here:

Plymouth, PA – Student also victim of sexual abuse, lawsuit says
A high school student intends to file a lawsuit against the Wyoming Valley West School District alleging negligent conduct or omissions from the district and a former teacher charged with having sex with students, according to a letter from an attorney. On Dec. 19, Ms. Harrington-Cooper was charged with having sexual intercourse twice and oral sex three times with an 18-year-old student during a week in mid-December. On Jan. 9, she was charged with having oral sex in a car, parked by a house in Kingston, with a 17-year-old student in November. Read more here:

Arlington, TX – Student arrested in connection with sexual assault
UTA Police arrested a student Friday in connection with a reported sexual assault, according to Capt. Mike McCord.  A student reported that she was sexually assaulted in the Central Library, according to a UTA Police press release.  Read more here:

Greencastle, IN – DePauw University turns T.E.A.L. to spread awareness on sexual assault
Code T.E.A.L will kick off Teal Ribbon Week with the Alcohol and Rape Culture forum.  The forum will be hosted by President Casey and Director of the Women’s Center, Sarah Ryan, and discuss the effect of our drinking culture and its affiliation with rape culture.  Read more here:

Philadelphia, PA – Students rally against domestic and sexual violence
Over a hundred students marched beside one another last night, holding signs and shouting to everyone who could hear: “Break the silence, end the violence!”  The march was part of Penn’s annual event Take Back the Night, a peaceful protest to speak out against domestic and sexual violence. The event — run by Penn’s student group Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention, with the help of the Penn Women’s Center and Penn’s all-male sexual assault peer education group One in Four, as well as other organizations — began on College Green with a rally. This was followed by an hour-long march around campus, and then a survivor vigil and speakout at Wynn Commons.  Read more here:

Baltimore, MD – Baltimore teacher arrested in sex assault of minor
A Baltimore teacher has been arrested in connection with a sexual assault of a minor.  Archbishop Curley High School teacher has been arrested in connection with a sexual assault of a minor.  Police said Lynette Trotta, 33, a science teacher at Archbishop Curley High School, engaged in sexual activity with a student. The Archdiocese of Baltimore reacted to the arrest.  “No child should ever be harmed by an adult, especially if that adult represents a church or church institution,” said Sean Caine, with the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  Read more here:

Brandon, FL – Pastor accused of molesting three females in congregation
The pastor of the evangelical Spanish-speaking church, Casa de Amor “House of Love” was arrested this morning, accused of molesting three females in the congregation.  Detectives said it was going on for at least a couple of years.  Francisco Rios, 44, is charged with three felony counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. The victims are 12, 17, and 43 years of age.  According to the 17-year-old victim, Rios touched her inappropriately on approximately 15 different occasions beginning 2011, deputies said.  Detectives said Rios told the victim he was doing this because he loved her as a pastor and she was not to tell anyone because he could get in trouble.  Read more here:

Arcadia, LA – National victims advocacy group calls for speedy investigation of New Bethany sex abuse claims
A national victims’ advocate organization concerned with sexual abuse by members of the clergy is calling on Louisiana law enforcement to act quickly with respect to its investigation into abuse allegations at a former girls home in the state.  Barbara Dorris, outreach director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, issued a statement in response to Nola.com | The Times-Picayune’s stories this week chronicling a woman’s journey to report sex abuse she said happened to her while she was a resident at New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia.  Read more here:

Milwaukee, WI – Victims object to Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy plan
Attorneys representing sexual abuse victims filed an objection Friday to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s bankruptcy reorganization plan.  The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, saying it would not have the money to pay if lawsuits filed by victims of clergy sexual abuse went against it. Hundreds of victims then filed claims in bankruptcy court, accusing the archdiocese of covering up abuse and moving priests to new churches without warning parishioners.  Read more here:

Washington, DC – Audit finds increase in child protection, decrease in reported cases
An audit of the dioceses across the United States shows an increase of more than $15 million spent on child protection efforts, and a decrease in the number of reported cases of sexual abuse. “Much work has been done to keep children in the care of the Church safe, but we must not think the work is finished,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, in a March 1 statement on the report.  “Though our promise to protect and heal made in 2002 remains strong, we must not become complacent with what has been accomplished. It is my hope and prayer that as we continue to fulfill our promise, the Church will help to model ways of addressing and bringing to light the darkness and evil of abuse wherever it exists.”  Read more here:

Dallas, TX – USCCB’s sex abuse report contains bad news and good news
The sexual abuse crisis was the worst crisis to have hit the U.S. Catholic church in the 20th century. It destroyed the lives of thousands of children, cost the church billions of dollars, and undermined the authority of bishops in the church. While many would like to move on from the crisis, others fear that if we are not vigilant, more abuse will happen.  Read more here:

Harrisburg, PA – Youth organizations voice support for expansion of mandatory child abuse reporting in Pennsylvania
Making youth mentors, counselors and coaches – even those who are strictly volunteer – mandated reporters of suspected child abuse appears to be drawing little opposition or concern within Pennsylvania’s youth services community.  Some, like the Boy Scouts of America, already consider their volunteer scoutmasters and other troop leaders to be mandatory reporters, and provide them with training to that effect.  Read more here:

Jay, OK – Former ‘Adoptive Family of the Year’ mom charged with child abuse
A Delaware County woman was charged Friday with multiple counts of child abuse, including failure to seek medical attention for her teen daughters who were bitten by a monkey several times.

Deidre Anne Matthews, 46, of Jay, is charged in Delaware County District Court with three counts of child abuse by injury, child endangerment and child neglect.  Read more here:

Seneca, SC – SC principal charged with failing to report child abuse or neglect
Blue Ridge Elementary Principal, Idasa Cobb has been arrested on charges of failure to report child abuse or neglect, according to the Oconee County Detention Center.  The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office incident report says Cobb was notified by phone that a child was being sexually assaulted on March 28. Cobb was meeting with two assistant principals at the time. She told them what had been reported and she would take care of it.  Read more here:

Dayton, OH – Former student sues district for not reporting sexual abuse
The former Centerville High School student who was sexually abused by a teacher when she was 16 years old has sued the district, the former principal and a guidance counselor.  Mike Weaver, 44, was sentenced in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court last April to five years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery against a student. Weaver also was a golf coach at the school. The attacks happened between 2004 and 2005, but the criminal complaint wasn’t brought until late 2012.  Read more here:

Rio Grande City, TX – $600,000 bond set for Rio Grande City employee charged with sexual abuse
A Rio Grande City employee remains behind bars on a $600,000 bond after he was accused of sexual assault of a minor.  Police arrested Jason Solis, a city employee, Friday on four counts of sexual assault.  Investigators are looking into whether or not city employees failed to report the alleged sexual abuse.  According to the Texas Penal Code, failing to report sexual abuse is against the law.  Read more here:

Napoleonville, LA – $600,000 bond set for Rio Grande City employee charged with sexual abuse
A Napoleonville man is in jail after a woman alleged he molested her years ago when she was a young student of his at an Assumption Parish school, authorities said Saturday.  Glenn C. Simoneaux, 64, was booked into the Assumption Parish jail Friday evening on one count each of molestation of a juvenile and sexual battery, the parish Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. His bond had not been set.  Read more here:

Winona, MN – Winona store to benefit victims of sex trafficking
A Minnesota couple is opening a new store in Winona this weekend where they plan to sell jewelry and other items handmade by women rescued from the sex trafficking industry.  Set Me Free will also sell scarves, purses and skirts. The money will help the women, who are overseas, get counseling and education.   Read more here:

Amherst, MA – Rape On Campus: Painful Stories Cast Blame On Colleges
Angie Epifano was a freshman at Amherst College when she says she was raped by another student.  Weekend Edition reached her this week after a Harvard student anonymously detailed her own alleged sexual assault on campus in a piece for the Harvard Crimson. Like that Harvard student, Epifano wrote about her experience, including Amherst’s response, in a 2012 op-ed published in the student newspaper.  Three years ago, Epifano tells NPR’s Rachel Martin, she was invited to watch a movie by someone she describes in her story as an acquaintance. Neither was drinking, she says, but she fell asleep during the movie.  “I wake up to basically cold air, and he was on top of me,” Epifano says. “And it spiraled from there.”  Read more here:

Cambridge, MA – On sexual assault policy, Harvard falls short
‘I obeyed.”  Those words, written by the anonymous Harvard student whose story of alleged sexual assault went viral this week, could explain — if not justify — the university’s decision to do what the student said it did: nearly nothing to help her recover from what she describes as a devastating incident that still haunts her a year later.  Read more here:

Springfield, MO – MSU issues alert about second reported sexual assault
For the second time in two days, an alert was issued Saturday evening about a reported sexual assault of a Missouri State student in one of the school’s residence halls.  The MSU Safety and Transportation Department issued the latest alert after a female student reported she was sexually assaulted by two males in her residence hall room early Saturday morning.  Read more here:

Wilkesboro, NC – No action after child abuse charges is inexcusable
In the middle of February, Bill Sebastian, the director of the Wilkes County Department of Social Services, stood before county commissioners to talk about how his agency protects abused and neglected children. “The Wilkes County Child Protection Team is required to submit an annual report … making recommendations, if any, and to advocate for system improvements and needed resources where gaps and deficiencies may exist in the area of Child Protection Services,” Sebastian read.  He never mentioned, though, an inexcusable screw-up discovered just two weeks before that led to two sexual abuse victims – children – contracting sexually transmitted diseases after being placed by social workers in the home of a woman who had a prior conviction for child abuse. Read more here:


Vatican City, The Vatican – Vatican announces inquiry into Cardinal Keith O’Brien sexual misconduct claims
The Vatican has appointed a bishop with a reputation for investigating sexual abuse to conduct an inquiry into the scandal surrounding the resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, it has been announced.  Cardinal O’Brien resigned in disgrace in February last year after three priests and a former priest made allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior against him. Read more here:

Kampala, Uganda – Address these athletes’ sexual abuse claims
For nearly a month now, a scandal has been brewing in Uganda’s athletics community, and it is now evolving into another national embarrassment.  First, female athletes complained that one of their coaches was sexually harassing them. The coach, who has remained unnamed, reportedly threatened to act against the women if they did not accede to his sexual demands.  Some sources have incredibly claimed that the said coach clothed his demands in supposedly noble intentions – claiming that coitus was conducive to athletic excellence.  Although these claims are scandalous in an era when women’s rights and protection of the ‘girl-child’ are major elements of public discourse and policy, what is becoming even more scandalous is the reaction of athletics authorities and the government as a whole.  Read more here: