Sunday, May 06, 2007

Oh Canada.......

Lawyer Harvin Pitch who represents all six men in this new round of sex abuse claims surfacing in the decade-old scandal

John Paul Roby, a former Gardens usher who is alleged to have sexually abused several Toronto men.
The Rev David Smith was jailed for five-and-a-half years for sexually abusing boys.

Church 'acts to protect children'
The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Rev Peter Price has detailed the steps the church is taking to protect children from sex offenders.

The statement come after the Rev David Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon, was jailed on Thursday for sexually abusing six boys over a 30-year period.

Bishop Price said the church had apologised to his victims and families.

"Now priests and ministers are subject to criminal records checks and have to make child protection declarations."

Bishop Peter Price added: "We are very sorry that these offences were committed by a man in a position of trust.

TV appearance

"Every parish has a child protection officer and all our policies and practices are overseen by a child protection group which includes senior police officers," he said.

The Churches Child Protection Advisory Service had asked whether the Diocese of Bath and Wells were aware of concerns over Smith when he was appointed to St John's Church in 1993, and why he was permitted to continue to work after a complaint was made in 2001 to the former bishop, the late Jim Thompson.

"When Smith came to us from Gloucester Diocese there was nothing on his file to indicate there were any concerns about him. No complaint about sex abuse had been made to police during his time there," said Bishop Peter Price.

We did everything we could at the time
The Rt Rev Peter Price

The complaint was made in 2001 after Smith appeared on television following the 9/11 tragedy in which he lost a cousin.

The man concerned made an allegation about abuse which happened in a boarding school in 1976-77 when Smith was teaching before he went for training for the ministry.

"That man met Bishop Jim but made no formal complaint to the police and did not press charges. Bishop Jim informed the police of the allegation. "

But Smith vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

However, he accepted a protocol in which he agreed not to be alone with children, not to have children in his house and to be regularly reviewed by the then Bishop of Taunton, the late Andrew Radford.

"We did everything we could at the time and without a formal complaint to police there were no grounds to remove him from his post.

"When another complaint was made in 2005 we again immediately informed the police, the boy involved did make a formal complaint so we were able to suspend Smith from his position while there was an investigation which led to the court case and his subsequent conviction," said Bishop Price.

A Church of England spokesman said: "Today, when a new bishop comes into post, they review past and current cases on file with their child protection advisers. If they identify a risk to children they will take action.

"As with any such tragic case, we will be reviewing the details, and seeing what further lessons can be drawn from it to help inform the continuing development of diocesan and national policies on child protection."




The Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Rev Peter Price has detailed the steps the church is taking to protect children from sex offenders.

The statement come after the Rev David Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon, was jailed on Thursday for sexually abusing six boys over a 30-year period.

World: Europe
Anglican bishop sorry, priest jailed for sex abuse
Attacks perpetuated by Anglican priest happened between 1976 and 2005 and involved six boys under the age of 16
Sunday, May 06, 2007
By Ekklesia

The Anglican Bishop of Bath and Wells, the Rt Rev Peter Price, has made an unequivocal apology for the failure of the church to follow its own guidelines on sexual abuse following the conviction of a Somerset priest for repeated offences against children.

The Rev David Smith Clevedon was jailed for five-and-a-half years yesterday after a unanimous verdict at Bristol Crown Court that he sexually abused six boys over a 30-year period.

Mr Smith, aged 52, vicar of St John the Evangelist, North Somerset, had denied all 12 charges. The two week trial heard that two complainants expressed their concerns to the church, first in 1983 and again in 2001. But the matter was "dealt with" as an internal concern, and Smith continued to abuse boys because he was not reported to the police.

The Church of England’s clear policy is to report potential sex abuse to the authorities. It is backed up by advisers, information and training. The call for a proper investigation is bound to be renewed following a similar verdict involving negligence against ex-choirmaster Peter Halliday, aged 61, earlier this week.

The attacks perpetuated by Smith happened between 1976 and 2005 and involved six boys under the age of 16. Sentencing him the judge said: "You were a father figure and a mentor to these boys. One felt largely humiliated by the experience, you added to their distress."

In a statement made in writing and on TV by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Price, the church declared: "The Reverend David Smith has been found guilty of a number of very serious charges. We are shocked and horrified that he has fallen so far short of the very high standards expected of priests in the Church of England."

He continued: "We apologise sincerely to David Smith's victims, their families, the parish and all involved in this case. We're very sorry that these offences were committed by a man in a position of trust. We have taken all necessary steps to do all in our power to ensure there is no repetition of this situation."

Church of England insiders do not believe the church faces charges of the kind of systemic abuse by priest that has wracked the Roman Catholic Church, but it is acknowledging that there is no room for complacency.

Available statistical evidence suggests a similar level of offending within the church as in other sectors of society.

An expert said: “The good news about this is that it undermines charges that religious institutions are uniquely or disproportionately culpable in this area. But that does not mean that there isn’t a clear religious dimension in church cases. And the bad news is that it suggests that churches are failing in their vocation to be distinctive moral communities. There is much to be done.”
Source: Ekklesia

Maple Leafs owners to face new round of sex-abuse claims - News - Maple Leafs owners to face new round of sex-abuse claims
Man seeks $4M for alleged molesting by usher in '70s; lawyer says 5 more on way
May 05, 2007
Dale Brazao
Staff Reporter

A Toronto man has filed a $4 million dollar lawsuit against the Toronto Maple Leafs' parent company alleging he was the victim of repeated sexual abuse at the hands of former Gardens usher John Paul Roby.

And five more alleged victims will soon file statements of claim against Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment, said lawyer Harvin Pitch who represents all six men in this new round of sex-abuse claims arising from the decade-old scandal.

In the latest claim, filed yesterday with the Ontario Superior Court, the victim alleges his abuse started when he was 9 years old and continued for five years. The sex attacks took place at Maple Leaf Gardens as well as Roby's home, the lawsuit states.

Roby was convicted in 1999 of multiple counts of criminal assault involving the sexual abuse of young boys at the Gardens. He was declared a dangerous offender in 2000, and died of a heart attack in prison the following year.

The victim, now 43, who grew up in Cabbagetown in the shadow of the iconic Gardens, claims he was lured into the arena by handyman Gordon Stuckless, equipment manager George Hanna and Roby.

Stuckless pleaded guilty in 1997 to 24 counts of sexual and indecent assault and was sentenced to 2 years less a day. His sentence was later increased to five years. He was paroled in February 2001 after serving two-thirds of the sentence.

Hanna died in 1984.

As a result of Roby's attacks, the victim has suffered loss of self-esteem, sexual trauma, and a lifelong struggle with depression, according to the documents, which contain allegations not yet proven in court.

The fear of embarrassment kept him a prisoner to his shame, the lawsuit states. "At the time of his abuse (the victim) feared punishment from his parents and estrangement from his friends and siblings."

The other five men who are about to file their lawsuits will name Stuckless, Roby and Hanna as their abusers in their statements of claim, Pitch said.

"For 35 years they've lived with this deep, dark secret," Pitch said. "It's amazing how this cancer survived – that there are all these people out there who are living damaged, flawed lives guarding this deep dark secret."

In March two other men launched lawsuits against MLSE. Michael Valenci, of Mississauga, is seeking $2.3 million in damages, alleging that Stuckless abused him repeatedly in 1972 when he was 11 years old.

In another case, Carey Durant, 40, of Marmora, Ont., is suing MLSE for $1.45 million alleging Stuckless abused him over six months in 1978.

The new round of lawsuits against the Gardens comes 10 years after Martin Kruze blew the lid off the hockey shrine with allegations that a pedophile ring was working inside and he was one of the victims.

Kruze testified at Stuckless's trial that he was among the dozens of young hockey fans lured into the Gardens with free tickets, hockey sticks and player autographs, only to be sexually abused.

Despondent over the original sentence handed to Stuckless, a tormented Kruze committed suicide by jumping from the Bloor Viaduct a few days later.

Updated: Sat. May. 5 2007 6:58 PM ET

A Toronto man has filed a $4 million lawsuit against the Toronto Maple Leafs' parent company alleging he was repeatedly sexually abused by former Gardens usher John Paul Roby.

Five more alleged victims will also file statements of claim against Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment soon, says lawyer Harvin Pitch. Pitch represents all six men in this new round of sex abuse claims surfacing in the decade-old scandal.

In the latest claim, filed Friday, the man alleges the abuse began when he was nine years old and continued until he was 14.

The sexual assaults took place at Maple Leaf Gardens and at Roby's home, the lawsuit states.

The victim, now 43, grew up in Cabbagetown near the Gardens, the Toronto Star reports. The man claims he was lured into the arena by handyman Gordon Stuckless, equipment manager George Hanna and Roby.

Roby was convicted in 1999 of multiple counts of assault involving the sexual abuse of young boys at the Gardens. He was declared a dangerous offender in 2000 and died of a heart attack in prison the following year.

Stuckless pleaded guilty in 1997 to 24 counts of sexual and indecent assault. He was sentenced to five years in prison, and was paroled in February 2001 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

Hanna died in 1984.

As a result of Roby's attacks, the victim has suffered loss of self-esteem, sexual trauma and a lifelong struggle with depression, according to the court documents.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The lawsuit states the victim didn't come forward earlier because he feared embarrassment and punishment from his parents and estrangement from his friends and siblings.

The other five men who will soon be filing their lawsuits will name Stuckless, Roby and Hanna as their abusers, Pitch told the Star.

"Unbelievable horrors that they've kept inside them for over 35 years," Pitch told CTV's Chris Eby.

"Money is not the issue, it's closure that's the issue."

Two other men launched lawsuits against MLSE in March alleging sexual abuse at the hands of Stuckless during the 1970s when they were children.

The new round of lawsuits against the Gardens comes 10 years after victim Martin Kruze blew the whistle on the pedophile ring at the arena.

Kruze testified at Stuckless' trial that he was among the dozens of young hockey fans lured into the Gardens with free tickets and hockey memorabilia, only to be sexually abused.

Dejected over the original jail sentence of two years in jail handed to Stuckless, Kruze committed suicide a few days later.

With a report from CTV's Chris Eby

A parish priest was jailed for five and a half years yesterday after being found guilty of sexually abusing a string of boys over nearly 30 years.

David Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon, Somerset, took advantage of his trusted position to groom and molest six youngsters.

He indecently assaulted some of his young victims during sleepovers at the vicarage. He took them away on holidays to the seaside.

The two-week trial at Bristol Crown Court heard that concerns had been raised with the Church of England on two occasions about the vicar, first in 1983 and again in 2001. Despite reassurance given to two complainants that the matter had been "dealt with", Smith continued to abuse boys in his parish.

Smith, the vicar of St John the Evangelist in Clevedon, had denied all 12 charges against him, claiming they were a "figment of someone's imagination".

A jury found him guilty of 10 charges of indecent assault, one sexual assault on a child under 13, and one of sexual activity with a child under 16.

The attacks happened between 1996 and 2005. All involved boys under 16. Two counts of indecency were withdrawn during the trial on legal technicalities.

Sentencing Smith, Judge Michael Longman said he had clearly taken advantage of his position to sexually abuse young and sometimes troubled young boys, all of whom looked up to him as a priest and a friend.

"The trust placed in you by them and their families could not have been greater."

The judge said that one of the schoolboys came forward in 2001 and reported his concerns to the Bishop of Bath and Wells.

"He contacted your Bishop who spoke to you and you denied any inappropriate behaviour but agreed that you would not be alone with children. I don't know if there was a time limit imposed but regardless of that you continued your abusive contact."

Smith, who was dressed smartly in a dark suit, shirt and tie, closed his eyes as the judge sentenced him.

Smith's reign of abuse began when he was appointed assistant housemaster at the Douai Abbey monastic boarding school in Berkshire, in 1975.

During his one academic year at the school in the mid 1970s he abused three boys.

Nearly 25 years later, one them saw Smith speaking about the death of his cousin in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Shocked to see his former teacher was now a vicar, he wrote to the Church to express his concerns.

victim was however reassured by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, Jim Thompson, the problem had "effectively been dealt with".

Smith left the school and went on to to form a close relationship with another young boy, after being appointed as a curate in Gloucestershire, in 1981.

Smith was later entrusted to look after him when his parents went on holiday for a week, but used the opportunity to assault the boy indecently, it was claimed.

The charge was dropped during the trial.

The jury, however, heard that the boy's parents became so concerned about Smith's relationship with their son that they contacted the police.

His mother said she was left with the impression the Church was going "to deal with the problem".

But Smith went on to abuse three more boys after becoming the vicar at St John's in Clevedon in 1993.

Smith was suspended from duty pending the outcome of the case.
Last Updated: 04 May 2007
* Published Date: 04 May 2007
* Location: The Press Association Newsdesk

A parish priest has been found guilty of sexually abusing a string of boys over nearly 30 years.
The Rev David Smith, 52, took advantage of his trusted position to groom and molest six vulnerable youngsters.

He indecently assaulted some of his young victims during sleep-overs at the vicarage in Clevedon, Somerset, and during holidays abroad.

The two-week trial at Bristol Crown Court heard that concerns about the vicar were raised with the Church of England on two occasions, first in 1983 and again in 2001.

The two complainants were assured that the matter had been "dealt with", but Smith continued to abuse boys in his parish.

Smith, vicar of St John the Evangelist in Clevedon, had denied all 12 charges against him, claiming they were a "figment of someone's imagination".

But a jury of eight women and four men took just two hours to find him unanimously guilty of 10 charges of indecent assault, one sexual assault of a child under 13 and one of sexual activities with a child under 16.

The attacks happened between 1976 and 2005 and involved six boys under the age of 16.

Smith closed his eyes as the jury foreman read out the guilty verdicts on all the charges.

Saturday May 5, 2007
Sex abuse shadows Church
Catholic leaders make gains, but toll mounts, report shows

By William Moyer
Press & Sun-Bulletin

During the past two years, no "credible allegations" of sexual abuse have been filed against priests or deacons in the Syracuse Diocese of the Catholic Church.

In the Rochester Diocese, though, two allegations were lodged in 2006 -- one against a deceased priest dating back to 1954. Four allegations had been reported in 2005.

The local data was compiled for an annual report by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

The national conference of bishops commissioned the CARA survey several years ago to track allegations and costs related to priestly sexual abuse following widely reported incidents of misbehavior by priests that were initially uncovered in the Boston area.


The national statistics for 2006 showed 635 new and "credible allegations" of sexual abuse were lodged against 394 priests or deacons from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, according to data filed by 193 of the 195 dioceses in the United States. Two dioceses refused to participate in the voluntary survey.

That compares to 695 new allegations in 2005 and 898 in 2004. About 60 percent of the priests or deacons named in 2006 had already been accused in previous cases. About 55 percent of the allegations were reported by the victim, according to CARA; 80 percent of the victims are males.

A caution when reading the statistics: Because an accusation was filed in 2006 does not necessarily mean the alleged sexual abuse occurred last year: It means the allegation was reported to church authorities in 2006.

In fact, the CARA report said a majority of the allegations reported in 2006 were related to alleged incidents from decades ago; about 70 percent reportedly occurred between 1960 and 1984. About 70 percent of the accused offenders were deceased, had already been removed from ministry or left the priesthood.

Catholic churches in Broome and Chenango counties are included in the Syracuse area. Tioga County churches are part of the Rochester Diocese.

Though the Syracuse area has been devoid of any credible allegations in 2006 and 2005, sexual abuse by priests has still taken a toll on the priesthood and drained thousands of dollars from the diocese's treasury, according to Danielle Cummings, assistant chancellor and director of communications.


Since sexual abuse by Catholic clergy began making widespread headlines in the early 2000s, Cummings said the diocese has removed 21 priests from ministry; many due to incidents dating back 15 to 30 years.

Nine lawsuits are outstanding, Cummings added. One clergyman from the Syracuse area was removed or retired in 2005 based on sexual abuse allegations, according to CARA.

In 2006, the Syracuse Diocese spent almost $52,000 for therapy for victims and almost $42,000 for attorneys' fees. The diocese also spent almost $147,000 for victims' assistance, background checks, as well as prevention and protection programs.

About 16,000 people have been trained in the diocese's Safe Environment Program for priests, employees and volunteers who work with youths under 18.

The costs for 2006 in Rochester are not available because the diocese did not undergo an on-site audit, according to spokesman Doug Mandelaro.

Both dioceses have victim-assistance coordinators who handle complaints of suspected abuse involving a minor and clergy, a church employee or volunteer.


One of the allegations in 2006 in the Rochester area involved John Steger, a former pastor at St. Jude the Apostle in Gates, west of Rochester. Police filed misdemeanor charges against the longtime priest after a 12-year-old girl said she was inappropriately touched in the church rectory last spring. Steger's case is pending in the courts, Mandelaro said.

In 2005, the Rochester allegations included misdemeanor charges against Dennis R. Sewar, a former pastor at the Church of the Annunciation in northeast Rochester who was accused of fondling a 14-year-old boy.

Sewar pleaded guilty to a non-sexual charge and avoided registration as a sex offender. Also that year, federal charges were filed against Michael Volino, former pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Greece, a Rochester suburb. Volino admitted to possessing child pornography and must register as a sex offender.


Some sexual abuse cases involving former priests who once served parishes in the Southern Tier before the national CARA survey include:

* David P. Simon, a former pastor at an Apalachin church, resigned in May 2003 at the request of Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester. Simon admitted to sexually abusing a teenager in the mid-1970s before he was assigned to St. Margaret-Mary from 1983 to 1999.

* Albert H. Cason, a former co-pastor at St. Patrick Church, was removed from ministry in 1985 by the Diocese for sexual misconduct with children at the Owego parish.

* Eugene Emo, an associate pastor at St. Margaret-Mary and St. Patrick in the 1960s and 1970s, pleaded guilty in 1997 to molesting a 30-year-old disabled man not connected to the Tioga County churches.

* John S. Lugowski, a former associate pastor at St. Joseph Church, pleaded guilty in 1987 and resigned from the priesthood in 1989 after serving eight months in jail for felony sodomy and sexual abuse of a 10-year-old Binghamton boy, which occurred after Lugowski left the Endicott church in 1983.


The national aggregate costs related to sexual abuse allegations fell in 2006 from 2005, but the dollar amount is still staggering, according to the CARA report.

Almost $398.6 million was paid out by dioceses as settlements, therapy, support and attorneys' fees in 2006, including $220.1 million for settlements to victims.

That compares to a $466.9 million total in 2005. Across the country, dioceses spent $25.6 million in 2006 for prevention and protection programs.

"The sad truth is that this entire process is essentially a PR sham based on self-reported 'statistics' given by bishops themselves, the very same men who got us into this mess," The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said in a statement on their Web site.


And the continuing evidence of new sexual abuse allegations against priests is taking a toll on Catholic parishioners' confidence in their leadership.

According to a March survey by LeMoyne College in Syracuse on Contemporary Catholic Trends -- done in cooperation with Zogby International based in Utica, 31 percent of 1,522 respondents across the country said they are aware of an accused priest in their diocese, and these Catholics report less support for bishops -- 61 percent -- than the 74 percent approval rating among those who are unaware of an accusation.

Matthew Loveland, principal investigator, said "the emotional toll is great for all Catholics, but more difficult for those who can put a face on it."

Gannett News Service contributed to this report.

Two more arrests made in high school sex abuse case


Associated Press

Two teenagers were arrested at Molalla High School in an ongoing investigation into alleged sexual misconduct involving a teammate on the boy's basketball team, state police said.

The 17- and 18-year-old were taken into custody on Wednesday at the school. Another 17-year-old was arrested in connection to the case late last month.

The alleged sex abuse occurred during a December 2006 road trip when the team traveled to the Seaside and Sisters areas.

John William Berokoff, 18, was arrested on sex abuse, coercion and harassment charges. He was being held at the Clatsop County Jail.

The 17-year-olds were not identified.

Times Argus
published May 3, 2007
U.S. man arrested in Hong Kong in notorious child sex-abuse case

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A man accused of raping his own daughter and videotaping the attack has been arrested in Hong Kong, ending a global manhunt that began after the girl's decision to tell her story on national TV helped connect the case to some of the Internet's most notorious molestation videos.

Police apprehended Kenneth John Freeman at the Hong Kong airport Tuesday night after he arrived there from mainland China. Officials said he injured four Chinese police officers while resisting arrest, but they did not release details or say whether Freeman also was hurt.

Freeman was living in Seattle when he fled the United States last year, months after his daughter told her mother he had assaulted her four years earlier. He was on the most-wanted lists of the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The girl appeared on the TV show "America's Most Wanted" to talk about the case. Tips to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after the show aired helped the center identify the girl as the victim in a series of child pornography videos, according to the Marshals Service. Video of the abuse is among the most widely downloaded child pornography videos in recent years, officials said.

Video files depicting the abuse also were discovered on a computer Freeman had given to his daughter.

Chris Peale, the girl's stepfather, said at a news conference in Kennewick that she deserves the most credit.

"We're rejoicing today. An awful man, an evil man has been captured," Peale said, glancing at his now-17-year-old stepdaughter, who smiled during the event but did not speak.

"Without her strength and conviction, this would never have happened," Peale said. "She stood up in front of America and said what had happened to her, and that's an admirable thing."

Authorities in Turkey, Greece and China helped U.S. officials track Freeman, 44, who officials say is an avid bodybuilder and computer expert who volunteered in the 1980s as a reserve sheriff's deputy in southeast Washington's Benton County.

"This is an embarrassment to law enforcement because of what he is accused of," Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor said. "We're just all happy to see him in custody."

Investigators tracked Freeman to Suzhou, China, where he is believed to have been working at the local office of a U.S.-based company.

The U.S. does not have an extradition agreement with the Chinese government to return fugitives to their native nations. However, such a treaty does exist between the U.S. and Hong Kong. In the past several weeks, investigators discovered Freeman was planning to travel to Hong Kong, where he was arrested on his arrival at the airport, officials said.

"Our offices all over the world have been searching for him, have dedicated significant resources to finding him, and it's paid off," said Aaron Wilson, assistant special agent in charge at ICE's Seattle office. "Hopefully, we'll bring him back to the United States soon."

Freeman has been charged in Benton County Superior Court with three counts of rape of a child and jumping bail. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

Freeman also faces federal charges of producing and distributing child pornography.

On the Net:

U.S. Marshals Service:
Immigration and Customs Enforcement:

America's Most Wanted:

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

Kenneth John Freeman allegedly posted video of the attack on his daughter on the Internet.
Teacher accused of sex abuse fired



The Howard County Board of Education last week severed the contract of a Glenelg High School teacher accused of sexually abusing students.

Meanwhile, the board also is in the process of reviewing Superintendent Sydney Cousin's recommendation that the employment of two other Howard County teachers charged with sexual offenses against minors also be terminated, according to a school spokeswoman.

The Glenelg teacher, Joseph Samuel Ellis, 26, of Elkridge, is accused of sexual misconduct with two female students. A trial in his case is slated for Aug. 20.

Following Ellis' arrest Jan. 5, Cousin placed Ellis on administrative leave and recommended that the school board terminate Ellis' contract based on the information uncovered in a police investigation, schools spokeswoman Patti Caplan said.

Ellis did not appeal Cousin's recommendation and the school board approved Ellis' dismissal April 26, schools attorney Mark Blom said.

Contacted by telephone this week, Ellis declined to comment on the matter and referred questions to his attorney, Gerald Richman, could not be reached for comment.

Charges against Ellis, stem from complaints by two students, according to police.

One student, a 17-year-old girl, told police that Ellis exposed himself to her and tried to force her to touch him when they were alone in a classroom in December, according to police. The 17-year-old girl also reported that Ellis sent her nude photos of himself engaged in a sex act over the Internet and text messages of a sexual nature on her cellular phone, charging documents state.

A 16-year-old student told police that Ellis sent her sexual messages and fondled her in a Columbia park in the summer of 2006, according to charging documents.

Ellis faces charges of sex abuse of a minor, fourth-degree sex offense, indecent exposure, displaying obscene material to a minor and telephone misuse.

Cousin also has recommended that the board sever the teaching contracts of two other educators facing charges of sexual misconduct, River Hill High School science teacher Alan Beier and Marriotts Ridge High School special education teacher Kirsten Kinley, Blom said, adding that both Beier and Kinley have exercised their right to appeal Cousin's recommendation to the school board.

A board-appointed hearing examiner will make a recommendation to the board regarding Beier's and Kinley's employment in the near future, Caplan said.

Beier, 52, was arrested Jan. 12 and is accused of sexually abusing three students, according to charging documents. His trial is scheduled for July 23.

Kinley, 27, was arrested Feb. 15 and is charged with engaging in sex acts with a 15-year-old boy, charging documents state. Her trial is scheduled for July 26.

Beier and Kinley did not respond to messages seeking comment.

-- Jennifer Surface


exposemolesters said...

Rabbi Also Molested Girls

Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor

MAY 04, 2007

Part of a continuing series on sexual molestation in the Jewish community. Warning: This article contains graphic sexual descriptions that may be offensive to some readers.

It wasn't only boys. Since the Baltimore Jewish Times' April 13 account that the deceased Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro—former principal of the Talmudical Academy and spiritual leader of the old Agudas Achim Synagogue—molested young boys hundreds of times, at least three women have come forward to share their molestation stories.

Pedophiles, according to Lisa Ferentz, a Pikesville-based clinical social worker and creator of a certificate program in Advanced Trauma Treatment, are not necessarily attracted to one gender over the other.

"What matters the most to many pedophiles," she said, "is the age of the victim. They are attracted to, and interested in controlling and maintaining power, over a child—it can either be a boy or a girl. This is important for parents to understand as they work to protect their children from potential predators.

"If they have information about a pedophile molesting boys, they shouldn't assume that their daughters are any safer in the company of that person," said Ms. Ferentz. "All kids need to be educated about inappropriate touch, and they should be empowered to fight back whenever possible, and to immediately tell a safe adult."

The following are accounts of three women now ranging in age from 58-69. When molested by Rabbi Shapiro, their age range was 7-12. (One of the women contacted the newspaper anonymously.)

Annette Stadd-Wilson

She was 7 and in second grade when she was molested after a Sunday school class by her teacher, Rabbi Ephraim F. Shapiro. He would go on to molest her countless number of times.

Annette Stadd-Wilson is now 58 and living in Phoenix, Ariz. She is a yoga instructor.

"This was a married man with children," she said with anger in her voice. "This was a man of God. He got away with this his entire life, and nobody came forward to make him stop."

Rabbi Shapiro would call her into his office, she recounted. He would then unzip his pants and ask her to caress him, she said. "This happened many times, and he would press me against his private parts," she said.

For Mrs. Wilson, there was even a deeper double meaning. The two shared the same birthday.

"As a girl, I always thought that something was wrong with me, for this to happen to me. When you are a young child and this happens, you think it is OK because you are the child and he is the adult—and a rabbi as well."

Rabbi Shapiro also officiated at her late father's funeral. She remembered the rabbi giving her some advice about the grieving process. Ms. Stadd chose to ignore him.

"I chose to leave the Jewish religion and found Eastern religion and yoga," she said. "I thank God that I did. It gave me an understanding of life and religion that made sense. I have thought that what happened to me does affect my lack of trust and feeling good about myself. Human beings all have a right to grow up feeling happy and healthy about themselves, and molestation destroys this."

Mrs. Wilson said she rarely speaks about her experiences.

"It's so devastating," she said, "you can't even talk about it. We have to ask ourselves, ‘How do we stop this?' I would like for Jewish people to stand up and come forward and face this. ... And I'm not sure I left Judaism because of this or not, but it probably had something to do with it. There's just way too much hypocrisy here."

E.J. Dopkin

Ellen Jane Dopkin was the only girl in her Agudas Achim Synagogue class.

She was post-bat mitzvah age, but her Hebrew school classroom achievements gave her the rare opportunity as a girl to be part of a special class studying the works of the Jewish sage Rashi.

She was the only girl in a class of about 15 young teens. One day, her teacher, the late Rabbi Shapiro, asked her to stay after class. They were alone. He placed his hands all over her body. He forced a kiss on her lips.

It happened over and over, she said.

Known to friends as "E.J.," Mrs. Dopkin sits in her beautiful Pikesville home with her husband, Michael. The events described above happened decades ago. Yet, they remain fresh for Mrs. Dopkin.

She was told about the April 13 Jewish Times story on Rabbi Shapiro and boys. She wanted to make sure that the community understood that girls were involved, too.

"Sometimes it happened in his office in the downstairs part of the school," she said. "Sometimes he had me come to his house. I never told anybody. I was a young girl. I didn't know what to do.

"It impacted me," she said. "It kept a block in front of me and my life. I felt that I wasn't able to accomplish as much as I could have because of what he did to me."

Mrs. Dopkin said she thinks of herself as a survivor. She said she's working to do what she can to get past her memories.

"Having an experience such as this makes you feel as if you don't want to trust people of authority, and then you don't want to trust anyone else, and then you don't even want to trust yourself," she said. "Then, the healing process is to say to yourself, ‘I can try to get past this.'"

What would Mrs. Dopkin ask Rabbi Shapiro today if she could?

"How could you use religion as an entering point to your terrible behavior?"

An Anonymous Caller

The Jewish Times received a call on Wednesday, April 25, from another woman who claimed she was molested by the late Ephraim Shapiro.

She was 111/2 and taking private bat mitzvah lessons with the rabbi at Agudas Achim.

"He would cop a feel," said the 68-year-old woman, who asked for anonymity. "He'd try to get underneath my sweaters. I was a little skinny minnie. I didn't know from this stuff. We didn't talk about these things."

"I never thought about it all of these years, I never told anybody," she said. "That's the trouble with the Jewish people. We sweep everything under the rug.

"It's a shame this wasn't told while he was living."

The impact stayed with her for years. "I didn't want to have any more with Jewish learning," she said. "I was sick of the whole damn thing. I knew he should not touch me, but he did.

"I remember his grubby hands. But Agudas Achim was a second home to my grandfather. I hated it, but I had to go."

For tips on future stories for this series, contact Phil Jacobs at . The next story in this series will be on the efforts by local groups and rabbis to offer resources for healing for sexual abuse survivors.

exposemolesters said...

News (MAY 3, 2007)
Visiting settler rabbi calls for Olmert's resignation


A SENIOR Israeli rabbi who is currently visiting Australia has called for the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert over his handling of the Second Lebanon War.

Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, spoke to the AJN on Tuesday, the same day the Winograd Commission released its damning preliminary findings into the government’s handling of the 33-day war last July and August.

He claimed Olmert no longer has the confidence of the Israeli people, who are “disgusted” with politicians lacking in “moral fibre”.

Authored by retired Judge Eliyahu Winograd, the audit highlighted the failings of the PM, Defence Minister Amir Peretz and former IDF chief-of-staff Lieutenant-General Dan Halutz.

Prior to its release on Tuesday, Rabbi Riskin said that if the report yielded negative findings, he hopes Olmert would “take the cue and resign”.

The scathing report comes as Israeli police investigators were scheduled to arrive in Australia to question businessman Frank Lowy over the controversial 2005 sale of Bank Leumi, over which Olmert is fending off corruption allegations.

Rabbi Riskin also lashed out at disgraced President Moshe Katsav, saying today’s politicians are not built of the same mettle as their predecessors.

“Israeli leaders have always felt that if something was incorrect that they had to seek forgiveness by resigning from office,” he said. “That doesn’t seem to be the ethos today, and it’s tragic.

“There is something fundamentally wrong with the moral fibre of the leadership of the country at the present time.”

In Australia as a guest of Sydney’s Kesser Torah College, Rabbi Riskin addressed several functions in Sydney and Melbourne during his five-day tour, including a youth business forum at the offices of Ashe Morgan and Winthrop. He also embarked on a fundraising drive for his network of graduate schools, Ohr Torah, of which he is dean.

New York-born Rabbi Riskin, 66, last visited Australia in 2006. In 2005, he delivered the Rabbi Chaim Gutnick Memorial Oration.

exposemolesters said...

The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition

Lag Ba'omer
Reuven Hammer, THE JERUSALEM POST May. 3, 2007

The holiday of Lag Ba'omer, which will be celebrated this week, is surely one of Israel's most popular folk festivals. For the general population, it is a wonderful opportunity to light bonfires, roast potatoes and sit and sing. For hassidim and others, it is a time of celebration at Meron, commemorating the death of Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai, whom they consider to have been the author of the Zohar.

Rabbinic tradition marks it as the day when a plague that decimated the pupils of Rabbi Akiva ceased, thereby interrupting the mourning period of sefira. Historically much of this is suspect, and the real origins of the day and of the practice of mourning during sefira remain obscure. Although we should always be careful to differentiate fiction from fact, none of that will or should interfere with the popular celebrations that are held on Lag Ba'omer. Origins are one thing; significance is quite another.

Since Lag Ba'omer has become so intimately connected with the life of Shimon bar Yohai a few words about him are in order. A pupil of Rabbi Akiva, he lived in the second century and helped guide the people through the terrible time following the failure of the Bar Kochba revolt. Bar Yohai himself was known as a fierce opponent of the Romans and of anything Roman. He despised Roman civilization and rightly considered it a cruel nation that oppressed the Jews. He did little or nothing to conceal his feelings. In this he followed the ways of his master, Rabbi Akiva. It did, however, cause him no little trouble and eventually he was sentenced to death.

He was an extremist in many things, including his attitude toward Torah study as opposed to working for a living. He pondered the verses: "This book of the Torah shall not depart out of your mouth" (Joshua 1:8) and "You shall gather in your corn" (Deuteronomy 11:14) and wondered how it was possible to gather corn if you were studying Torah all the time. His answer was that if they studied all the time, "others would do their work for them."

Rabbi Ishmael expressed the opposite opinion. He taught that the injunction of study day and night is not to be taken literally, but rather "you are to combine study with a worldly occupation" (Berachot 35b). This idea is illustrated in the following story. In order to save himself from the Romans, Bar Yohai and his son hid in a cave for 12 years where they were miraculously kept alive. A carob tree and a well of water supplied all their needs. They did not have to work, but were able to simply sit and study all the time.

The legend relates that when they were informed by Elijah that the danger from the Romans had passed, they emerged from the cave and saw ordinary people occupying themselves with plowing and sowing. They condemned them for "forsaking life eternal for this life." Their glance caused people to be consumed by flame, whereupon a heavenly voice ordered them back into the cave saying, "You are destroying my world!"

After a year they were allowed to re-emerge. They then saw ordinary working people meticulously preparing for Shabbat and realized "how precious the mitzvot are to Israel." They had learned the lesson that those who work and cannot devote all their time to study can still be observant. They were reconciled to the world (Shabbat 33b).

This extraordinary story is obviously meant to chastise Bar Yohai for his extremist views. If ordinary labor is despised and only isolation from the world, day-and-night study, is prized, certainly God's world would be destroyed. Civilization could no longer exist. What Bar Yohai learned was that people who work and live normal lives can also honor and love the Torah and commandments and that the combination of Torah and a worldly life is the only way in which the world can be sustained.

As the later sage Abaye remarked, "Many have followed Ishmael's advice and it has gone well with them. Others have followed Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai and it has not gone well with them" (Berachot 35b).

The practical implications of this for Jewish life are so obvious as to require no elaborate explication. The implications for Israel and Zionism are even more important. A modern state cannot exist depending on "others" to do the work. All too often those others are Jews, and there is something inherently wrong in some Jews saying that they are not required to do whatever is needed for a country to exist but that others should do it for them.

This "Shabbos goy" or rather "Shabbos Jew" mentality is not acceptable. Jewish life through the ages was sustained by the combination of study and work. To divide society into two groups - those who study and do not work and those who work but do not study - is to distort Judaism. Ishmael's advice is wise: Combine study with a worldly occupation.

The writer is the head of the Rabbinical Court (Beit Din) of the Rabbinical Assembly of Israel and a former President of the International Rabbinical Assembly.

This article can also be read at
Post -

exposemolesters said...


================================== Long Island News,

Jury won't visit church for sex abuse trial


May 8, 2007

A Nassau Supreme Court judge, presiding over a civil case brought by sexual assault victims of former youth minister Matthew Maiello, on Tuesday denied a request by the jury to visit the church where the assaults took place.

Evidence in the case is "closed", Judge R. Bruce Cozzens told the six-member jury of four men and two women, after they sent him a note at around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The plaintiffs, now in their early 20s, are suing the Rev. Thomas Haggerty, the Diocese of Rockville Centre and Maiello for $150 million. Maiello, formerly of Lynbrook, served more than two years in prison after admitting he coerced the plaintiffs and two other teenagers into having sex with him.

Haggerty, pastor of St. Raphael's Church in East Meadow, this week found himself on trial, the unwitting face of the scandal over underaged sex that has plagued the diocese.

Haggerty on Monday sat in the front row of the Mineola courtroom and endured a blistering verbal assault from an attorney representing two people who were raped as teenagers by a youth minister at the church.

At one point, the attorney, Michael Dowd, showed Haggerty a photograph of the youth minister's victims when they were children.

"Here are the kids that were put in your care, Father, and you didn't protect them," Dowd said. "You let the beast loose. You let the beast ravage the children of your parish."

Haggerty showed no emotion in court and left without commenting.

Newsday is not identifying the plaintiffs because they are the victims of sex crimes.

But Haggerty could not have known that Maiello was abusing teenagers, said Brian Davey, the attorney for the priest, the church and the diocese. Davey told the jury Maiello, now 33, was "100 percent responsible" for the abuse.

"You can't blame Father Tom for not knowing what nobody else knew," Davey said.

Maiello, who now lives in Stamford, Conn., did not present a defense.

During the trial, witnesses testified that Maiello had sexual relationships with teenagers at a Syosset church before being hired by St. Raphael's.

"This is an electronic neon puzzle because it's like there's a neon sign over Maiello saying, 'Danger to Children,'" Dowd said.

The female plaintiff testified that she had sex with Maiello several times a week on church property beginning in 1999, when she was 15. A year later, she said, Maiello forced her to have sex with the male plaintiff, who was 15, while Maiello videotaped them. Davey used the plaintiffs' recent accomplishments to cast doubt on their suffering.

He said the male plaintiff was an emergency medical technician and "not the sad sack he made himself out to be."

The female plaintiff is a teacher's aide at a school in Nassau County.

"Her functioning in the major domains of life are superior," Davey said.

Dowd mocked Davey's claim that the plaintiffs are doing "pretty darn good." Both testified they suffer from depression and are unable to maintain romantic relationships.

"The notion that [the female plaintiff] is just fine after the terrible things that were done to her is outrageous," he said.

Staff writer Joseph Mallia contributed to this report.

Anonymous said...

Copy and Paste. A MUST READ.

exposemolesters said...

Former Pa. substitute teacher accused of taping sexual abuse
The Associated Press

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A former substitute teacher accused of sexually molesting a teenager for nine years is also being charged with taping the encounters and saving them on his computer.

In March, the 14-year-old girl testified that Bruce Allen Haskins had been molesting her since she was five. She told the court that the molestation had gone on until the previous month.

Haskins is in jail unable to post a 200,000 dollar bond. He is awaiting trial on dozens of charges, including rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and statutory sexual assault.

Yesterday, police added two charges of sexual abuse of children, accusing Haskins of taping the acts and having child pornography on his computer.

Information from: The Tribune-Democrat,

Rockford diocese to pay $2.2 M to settle priest sex abuse suits

ROCKFORD, Ill. - Two women who sued over claims they were abused by a priest as teenagers will receive a total of $2.2 million in out-of-court settlements, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford announced Thursday.

Father Mark A. Campobello reportedly sexually assaulted one woman in early 1999 at her parish church in Geneva and molested the other in late 1999 and early 2000 at a rectory in Crystal Lake and at Aurora Central Catholic High School, where he was a teacher and assistant principal.

One woman will receive $1.15 million, while the other will receive $1.05 million, diocesan spokeswoman Penny Wiegert said. Wiegert said diocesan funds accounted for $250,000 of each settlement, and the remainder came from insurance.

Barbara Blaine, president and founder of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said she was glad the women received the settlements, but said the diocese had been less than candid in its earlier handling of the cases.

"I think the settlement shows that the diocese knows it engaged in earlier wrongdoing," Blaine said. "When the conduct of Father Campobello first became known, the diocese engaged in a horrific cover-up and resorted to legal hardball tactics."

SNAP contends that one of the victims told diocesan authorities about her abuse at least several months before Campobello was arrested on criminal charges in December 2002 while serving at a church in Belvidere.

In 2003, a Kane County judge held the diocese in contempt for refusing to give up personnel data on Campobello in the criminal case, Blaine said. The following year, Campobello entered a guilty plea to charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Wiegert said Campobello was removed from the ministry at the time of his arrest and in June 2005 was expelled from the priesthood by the Vatican at the request of the diocese.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)

May 10, 2007
Aboriginal man describes years of sexual abuse

KENORA, Ont. -- The first of five First Nation men completed his testimony yesterday detailing years of alleged sexual abuse as a boy by a former Anglican minister in a remote northern Ontario community in the 1970s.

Ralph Rowe, 67, faces 12 charges - six counts of sexual assault and six counts of indecent assault - involving five different complainants.

The witness testified that he grew up in Weagamow Lake in where Rowe used to fly in every week to act as the Anglican minister and organized games and camping trips through the Boy Scouts.

The man, now in his 40s, spoke of first becoming involved in Cub Scouts, and first being exposed to Rowe, as an 11-year-old in the 1970s.

He and many boys would sleep over at the Anglican mission house in the community when Rowe came to town, the man testified.

He said there were various bunk beds throughout the house as well as Rowe's bed where he slept with Rowe many times and endured years of sexual abuse from the age of 11 until he was 15.

The man said Rowe would pull down his underwear and perform anal sex on him. He said this would happen four to five times a year during the four years of abuse.

Defence counsel Robert Sinding questioned the man's lack of memory of the incident and why it took him 10 years to remember the incidents and come forward with allegations of abuse against Rowe.

"It's painful to relive the memory of the incidents that have occurred," the witness replied.

However, he said his first public admission of the sexual abuse by Rowe came about 10 years after the fact, to a psychiatrist at a Thunder Bay, Ont., hospital following a suicide attempt.

Rowe, who now lives in Surrey, B.C., pleaded guilty on Monday to 20 charges - 10 counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of indecent assault - during the same time period involving 20 other victims from the northern First Nation communities of Muskrat Dam, Wunnumin Lake and Big Trout Lake.

Rowe, who was the Anglican minister and Boy Scout master in these communities, was originally facing 56 charges. However, the Crown withdrew 24 of the charges that involved the same 20 victims, leaving the 12 charges he now faces.

Justice Erwin Stach ruled Tuesday, following a full day of victim-impact statements from 15 of the 20 victims, that he would not sentence Rowe for his 20 guilty pleas until the conclusion of the trial.

In 1994, Rowe was convicted of 27 counts of indecent assault and one count of common assault involving the sexual abuse of 16 boys between 1976 and 1982 in the same communities. Because of a plea agreement made at the time, Rowe will not be sentenced to additional jail time for Monday's 20 new convictions, only concurrent time on his previous jail sentence.

Gymnastic Coach Accused Of Sexual Abuse

Last Update: May 10, 2007 9:00 PM

Posted By: Mandi Johnston

The News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters have uncovered accusations that a now-former gymnastics coach molested his young students, plus allegations that the man who ran the gym did nothing to stop it when parents complained of strange behavior.

A lawsuit filed this week lays out the allegations that Joel Mertes, a former coach at Alamo Gymnastics on Huebner Road, sexually assaulted at least two of his students. Police also confirm there is a criminal investigation.

Parents, who asked us not to use their names, told us their 14 year old daughter fell victim to the former coach.

Trouble Shooter Brian Collister asked the girl's father, "What has this done to your family?"

He replied, "Initially, it's shock. It's like a bomb going off and there's just debris everywhere, but the debris is not physical it's emotional."

The family filed the lawsuit claiming Mertes repeatedly sexually assaulted their daughter over the last three years.

Through tears, her mother said, "It's horrifying to have trusted someone with your daughter twenty five hours a week in the gym and various celebrations and events outside the gym, to come to realize he was sexually assaulting and molesting her that whole time. It's horrifying."

They said they had no indication this was happening until the day they found out about it.

The family's attorney said another victim, who is now thirteen years old, has made the same claims and joined the lawsuit.

That lawsuit also claims the director of the gym was warned by parents that something was wrong, but did nothing.

Phil Meyer is the family's attorney. He explained what parents were noticing, "For lack of a legal word, a creepy type of an interaction with some of these young girls that really set off some of the parents, really set off their alarm bells," but he said nothing was done.

The gym director declined to comment on the advice of his attorney. We tried to reach Joel Mertes at the gymnastics center, but were told he no longer works there. We did reach Mertes on the phone, but he also declined to comment.

Again, a source with the San Antonio Police Department confirmed there is an ongoing investigation that involves Joel Mertes.

It is important to note that no one named in this civil lawsuit has been charged with a crime.

Police say they are looking at the possibility of more victims. Any other victims are being encouraged to contact SAPD's sex crimes unit.
The sexual offender


The first message of the workshop was: It is very difficult to determine what a sex offender looks like. The second message was: The fact that a particular person may be the last person to whom a child should be left reflects how good sex offenders are in manipulation.

I was at a two-week Microsoft-supported Crimes Against Children seminar that was held in Bangkok recently. The lectures were superb, and were given by Tim Gerrish and Joe Sullivan, who are connected with the British police.

The first message of the workshop was: It is very difficult to determine what a sex offender looks like. The second message was: The fact that a particular person may be the last person to whom a child should be left reflects how good sex offenders are in manipulation.

Joe Sullivan, a forensic psychologist, has interviewed so many sex offenders that, he says, he is no longer invited to socials as his conversation is too frightening. He showed a video of one sex offender who told him how he commits the crime. Chilling. The offender said he preferred children from the ages of six months to five years old. He didn’t mind if they were boys or girls. He would pick them up from parks or schools, or he would offend against his partner’s children. He told Joe Sullivan that he went "too far" this time, that’s why he was caught. Had he been more careful,he said, he would have gotten away with it.

So, asked Joe, how did you get the children to come to you? How come they didn’t complain? The child sexual offender said that he would get the child used to penetration. He said that once a child accepts penetration, she will not complain, unless it’s painful. When a child tries to fight, he would threaten her. He would pick on their vulnerabilities:

"I will hurt mommy."

Over 30% of children around the world are, or have been, sexually abused. The process that leads to sexual abuse is actually more damaging than the actual act of abuse. The child always wants her daddy back. It is a psychological effect similar to the Stockholm Syndrome, and is not genuine love or affection. It is called "trauma bonding." So don’t panic if you hear an abused child crying for her abuser … don’t even think of withdrawing any case that may have been filed.

How to get a sexual predator to talk? Well, Joe and Tim told us that you must know what the story is before you can get an offender to discuss the details of the crime. Don’t think about whether the offender is a sadist, or whether he/she is a "situational" (i.e. abuses because the child lives in the same house) or `preferential’ (i.e., he goes out to look for the preferred victim). We have to focus on the offending behaviour, not the offender. In other words – what did that man or woman do?

The terrifying part of the workshop is that you get to realize that very very few children report abuse. This is because the children don’t think they will be believed, or perhaps they have been scared into silence, or, worse, they hear the adults around them rationalizing some abusive behaviour on TV or during a conversation. You cannot rationalize abuse and say, "on well, he was drunk," nor can you say, "On well, she was depressed." There is only one reason why a person sexually offends against a child: It is because he or she wants to.

And remember: "Nice people" get close to children not monsters. So– be suspicious. Don’t think, "oh, he is a priest, and so he can be trusted." Or, "my child will be dafer with a woman than with a man." You cannot imagine how many priest and teachers, male and female, sexually offend. Don’t put sexual offenders into boxes. Don’t think you will be able to recognize one when you see one.

Just ask the question: What access does this person have to children? And pray that no access is had to yours.
Teacher Sex Abuse Case Headed For Grand Jury
Posted on Wednesday, 9 of May , 2007 at 7:30 pm

CLIFTON PARK—As the result of failed negotiations for a plea bargain in the sexual abuse case of the first grade teacher at a Shenendehowa elementary school, the Saratoga County district attorney’s office has said the case will be heard by a grand jury, meaning that the alleged victims who are six and seven years old, would likely have to testify.

Christopher Culver, 32, of Clifton Park, formerly of Chestertown, who had been a popular teacher at Okte Elementary School, faces six felony counts of first degree sexual abuse for allegedly inappropriately touching young males in his classroom during the school day. He has been on paid leave since his arrest in February.

Last month, Culver changed attorneys. He is now being represented by Albany attorney Terry Kindlon.

Culver initially was accused of improperly touching a male first grader in the classroom on Feb. 5. Culver is married and the father of a young child.

Culver has been employed by the district for eight years. After his arrest on Feb. 11, other alleged victims among the 6 and 7 year old male students in his 21-student class levied additional allegations against Culver. He is free on $50,000 bail after pleading not guilty to all charges.

The testimony of the young victims could be videotaped although there remains the possibility that the six and seven year olds may have to testify in person before any grand jury convened.

Five notices of claims have been filed against the school in relation to Culver’s arrest. 5-09-07

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It is unfortunate that it has come to this. It is a big darn shame it has come to this. It is very hurtful that it has come to this. But yet, IT HAS COME TO THIS. It has come at the price of a GREAT CHILUL HASHEM. It has come to Hashem having to allow his holy name to be DESECRATED so that his CHILDREN remain SAFE. Shame on all those responsible for enabling and permitting Hashem's name to be desecrated! When you save children you save the future. You save the future you save generations. You save generations you save lives. You save lives you have saved the world!!!!!!!