Archive for child abuse

Priests To Be Equipped With "Off Duty" Lights On Collars

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Sexual abuse is no laughing matter. It's serious and it's tragic. Yet... of course there's a yet-- the legal defense of an accused offender can be somewhat laughable simply because the crime itself is inexcusable.

As an attorney, you're often charged with defending the indefensible, because the laws of this land provide that all defendants deserve the right to capable defensive representatives. (the Sixth Amendment & the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona case).  And counsel is only limited by their imaginations, at least if the lawyers for the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey are to be taken seriously.

They attempted to get a sex abuse case dropped against the church because, as they claim, they should not be held liable for sexual abuse allegedly committed by a priest because he wasn’t officially “on duty” when he molested a teenage boy.

Personally, I wasn't aware that being a man of the cloth, working for God, was a part time job. Evidently, these holy men are officially on the job only when their "on duty" light is illuminated. From The Raw Story:

Lawyers claim the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, should not be held liable for sexual abuse allegedly committed by a priest because he wasn’t officially “on duty” when he molested a teenage boy.

Chris Naples claimed Rev. Terence McAlinden, who once headed the diocese’s youth group, sexually abused him during church-sponsored trips to Delaware in the 1980s.

Just as an aside, that means the the good Reverend escorted a minor across state lines for the purposes of having sex with him. Ever hear of the Mann Act a felony to engage in interstate or foreign commerce transport of "any woman or girl for the purpose of prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose?" I guess Chris Naples being an underage boy and not a girl meant that law didn't apply here. Or maybe it's because no money changed hands here, huh?

But diocese lawyers told the Delaware Supreme Court that [Rev. Terence] McAlinden was not officially on duty when the abuse took place.

“You can determine a priest is not on duty when he is molesting a child, for example,” the attorney argued. “A priest abusing a child is absolutely contrary to the pursuit of his master’s business, to the work of a diocese.”

And guess what? This defense seems to have worked.

Delaware courts ruled Naples did not have jurisdiction to sue the diocese in that state because he couldn’t prove the trips were church sanctioned, but he did win a $3 million judgment in that state against McAlinden.

Ask yourself this: If these trips weren't church sanctioned, what was Rev. McAlinden doing  as a chaperon on them?

The argument here indicates that if a priest does something wrong, even if it's on a church sponsored trip, the church is not responsible.

Delaware has now coined the phrase, "A priest ain't on the clock if he's playing with an little boy's c***."

During that time, because he's doing something wrong, he's not a priest or part of the diocese. He's just an average Joe. Ergo, the church isn't responsible. So says the Delaware Supreme Court.

This seems a bit specious to me.

priests collar

Is it time for Pope Francis to mandate new collars for Catholic priests? The new one's must come equipped with more than just a white block in the front. They need to  have "good bookend" lights on them, one green and one red, indicating when they're on duty and when their off. Though I thought that when you took your vows to become a priest, you were tied to God on a full-time basis, but I guess I was mistaken.

Once the warning lights are installed, we'll all know who we can rely upon in time of spiritual need.

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Friday Links

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Image: PoliticusUSA

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The repost.us service is no longer available so we have removed that code from The Political Carnival.

Here is the original post on Liberaland

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Committing Rape Qualifies You For Disability In Catholic Church

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Catholic Church rapeReverend Gil Gustafson

One thing you can't fault with the Catholic Church, they take care of their own -- even their own pedophiles. Don't believe me? Look at these clips from an article in The Raw Story:

According to an article in the Star Tribune, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis continued to pay the salary and health insurance premiums — as well as provide living expenses — for a pedophile priest who was convicted on child sex abuse charges over 30 years ago.

Join me in a head scratch over this one. Maybe with a little more factual information, I'll grasp this situation better.

Brian HerrityBrian Herrity

In 1983, the Reverend Gil Gustafson admitted to a Ramsey County District Court that he molested Brian Herrity for five years, beginning when the boy was 10 years old. He was fined $40 and sentenced to six months in jail and 10 years on probation. The vicar general in charge of clergy abuse cases, Rev. Kevin McDonough, believes that Gustafson abused between four and fifteen victims, including Herrity.

Wow. A self-confessed child sex offender who molested a child for five years, starting when the boy was 10 years old, is given a $40 dollar fine and half a year in jail. "Houston, we have a problem -- and it's in Minneapolis."

With such a light sentence, the message seems to be loud and clear -- to the courts in Minnesota and the Roman Catholic church -- pedophilia isn't a serious crime. Think I'm being smart-alecky? Remember I said the Rev was given a six month sentence?

After four-and-a-half months in jail, he was released into the care of the Church, and the archbishop at the time, John Roach, lobbied to have Gustafson reinstated.

“I want him back in a parish,” [arch-bishop] Roach wrote in 1990. “He has received and complied with far more treatment than anyone else, and it seems to me he has done it well.”

The Arch Bishop wants this criminal back? Why? Was he procuring boys for the prelate? Imagine, four months treatment and this predator was cured. That must be some great program they have there for sex offenders.

Well, that's the past and we must think of the present. We're taught to forgive and sometimes its hard, but okay. Maybe Reverend Gustafson's made his penance. Then again, maybe not. It seems no church wanted the disgraced clergyman, so get this:

According to the Star Tribune, in addition to the salary, insurance and living expenses given to him by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Gustafson also receives disability.

Salary, insurance, living expenses AND disability? This is astounding. It almost pays -- no, it does pay -- to become a priest and molest a child. You'll be taken care of for life.

The father of the boy rape victim put it perfectly:

Brian Herrity asked the paper, “since when is a crime a disability? If that’s the case, everyone in prison should be disabled.”

And that, fellow readers, is the state of the Catholic Church in Minnesota today. Proud?

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Friday Links

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Friday Links from The Political Carnival

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Texas Man Pulls Gun on News Reporter

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This is a cross post from FreakOutNation thanks to our wonderful friend Anomaly.

Texas man pulls gun on news reporter

A Texas man from the Houston area who has been charged with child sex abuse has additionally been charged for allegedly pulling a gun on a television journalist reporting on the allegations. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Monday said 73-year-old Larry Ricketts of Huffman is charged with aggravated assault after KTRK captured the gun incident on camera.

The new charge comes just two days after Ricketts posted a bond following his arrest on sex abuse charges involving a 5-year-old girl.

man pulls gun on news reporter

Image: Harris County Sheriff's Office

KTRX reporter Demond Fernandez and videographer Gerzain Garcia went to Ricketts’ house on February 13 seeking his on-camera comment about the sexual assault allegation.

Fernandez knocked on the door and spoke with Ricketts, which is when he grabbed a handgun and pointed it at the news team, which was all caught on videotape.

Ricketts is now being held without bail on the newer charge.

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