Black Collar Crime (September 2020)
Compiled by Bill Dunn
Arrested / Charged
Jerry Jones, 71, Olympia Fields, IL: 3 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Jones is pastor of Apostolic Assembly Church of Lord Jesus Christ and former assistant commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department. The alleged victims are now 21, 30 and 34. The older women are his nieces.
The 21-year-old told police she was 11 to 17 when molested. The nieces allege they were 5 to 15 years old. According to prosecutors, the 21-year-old said “he could not wait to have sex with her when she turned 18. Defendant often grabbed his genital area in front of [the youngest victim] and made remarks about how big his penis is, how rough he is in bed, and how [she] would not be able to handle it.”
She alleged that after she told church members about the abuse in 2016, the church came up with a “restoration plan” to punish both her and Jones and to handle the matter internally. Source: Sun-Times, 7-26-20
Glen A. Uselmann, 61, Columbus, WI: 2nd-degree sexual assault of a child and sexual assault of a child under 13. Uselmann is accused of assaults between 1988-92, starting when the alleged victim was 12. Rebecca Martin Byrd recently went public with her allegations as did several other women.
Byrd wrote, referring to Uselmann: “In the eyes of Calvary Gospel Church, my predator was a great young man, a burgeoning minister. … I was 12 the first time he sexually assaulted me. He never even noticed or acknowledged that I never responded when he’d kiss me. I clearly wasn’t enjoying what he was doing and I resisted when he’d make me touch him. He would take my hand and force it onto his pants. This went on for years until we had full intercourse when I was 14. He was 31. I took my first pregnancy test at his job after hours when I was 15. I went on birth control shortly after.”
They married when she was 18 and had 2 children before divorcing in 2006. Byrd was among 4 women alleging they were manipulated and assaulted as children by several men while attending the Pentecostal church. Nine others — including parents, siblings of survivors, members who witnessed sexual misconduct and a pastor in leadership at the time — corroborated the abuse.
There is no statute of limitations for prosecution for sexual contact with a minor if the child was under 13. For a sexual assault against a minor under 16, a crime can be prosecuted until the victim reaches the age of 45. Byrd is 44. Source: Capital Times/spiritualabuse.org, 7-21-20
Varghese Alengadan, 67, Alameda, CA: Misdemeanor sexual battery, allegedly involving an adult female on July 24, 2019. Alengadan was removed as pastor at Christ the King Catholic Parish in Pleasant Hill after police opened an investigation.
Oakland Diocese Chancellor Stephen Wilcox said in a letter to parishioners that allegations were “of a sexual nature with current and former female employees.”
Judge Colin Bowen issued an arrest warrant after Alengadan failed to appear for his arraignment and set bail at just 1¢ due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only those accused of violent felonies are being held. Source: Mercury News, 7-17-20
Lenin Vargas, 48, Starkville, MS: 10 counts of wire fraud. During the investigation and before the indictment, Vargas, a Mexican national serving as pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church, fled to Mexico.
It’s alleged he told parishioners he had been diagnosed with cancer and was collecting money to build an orphanage and chapel in Mexico. Donations totaled $18,258 through checks to him or through a GoFundMe account opened in 2015. Vargas did not have cancer but was diagnosed with HIV in 2014.
According to documents, the Diocese of Jackson was aware of the fraud and helped spread the false story about a cancer diagnosis while funding his treatment for HIV in Canada. The indictment said the fraud took place between 2015-18. It may have involved as much as $200,000. Source: WLBT, 7-15-20
Richard J. Doyle, 84, Mandurah, Australia: 6 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 14. It’s alleged Doyle molested a girl starting when she was 6 and he was serving as a Catholic priest in Western Australia in 1979-82. Source: Mandurah Mail, 7-13-20
Mark Grenon, 62, Jonathan Grenon, 34, Joseph Grenon, 32, and Jordan Grenon, 26, Bradenton, FL: Conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to violate the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and criminal contempt.
Mark Grenon and his sons are charged with marketing Miracle Mineral Solution through Grenon’s Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, claiming it cures COVID-19, cancer, autism, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and AIDS. A federal judge’s April order to stop selling the substance was ignored. Source: Spectrum News, 7-9-20
Olaf Latzel, 53, Bremen, Germany: Sedition for inciting hatred. Latzel, pastor of Sankt Martini, an evangelical church, is accused of making October 2019 comments on YouTube that homosexuality “destroys civilization and culture.” Prosecutors described his words as “an attack on human dignity.”
“Everywhere these criminals run around [on] Christopher Street Day,” Latzel said [the Stonewall Inn was at 53 Christopher St. in Lower Manhattan, NY]. Source: Der Spiegel, 7-3-20
Robert McWilliams, 40, Cleveland: Transportation of child pornography, receiving and distributing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, possession of child pornography, 2 counts of sex trafficking of a minor and 3 counts of sexual exploitation of children.
McWilliams, pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church, is accused of posing online as a female on a gay dating site from 2017-19 to persuade boys to send him sexually explicit images of themselves and threatening to tell their parents if they didn’t keep sending them, a threat he carried out several times by sending sexual images to boys’ mothers. Source: AP, 7-2-20
Sharon Bradley, 62, Lakeland, FL: Grand theft, fraud, criminal use of personal ID, fraudulent use of credit cards, forgery, uttering false instrument and money laundering. Bradley, finance secretary at Calvary Baptist Church in Winter Haven since 2008, is charged with stealing over $600,000 from the 350-member congregation before resigning this year during an audit. Source: WFLA, 7-2-20
Steven P. Tibbetts, 61, Godfrey, IL: Knowingly distributing child pornography. Tibbetts, lead pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church, began being investigated in August 2019 when the photo-sharing website Tumblr sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Twitter also sent a tip to the center in February.
After a warranted search at his home in June, Tibbetts allegedly admitted trading child porn since the 1990s and to having a sexual interest in underage males. Source: News-Democrat, 7-1-20
Andrew Cote, 36, Las Vegas, NV: 2 counts of murder. Cote, pastor of Iglesia Bautista de Fe y Amor, an independent Baptist church, is charged with killing his 71-year-old neighbor and her friend with a shotgun in a dispute that started over nude hot-tubbing activities. Cote’s daughter was present when he shot Mildred Olivo and Timothy Hanson, in his 50s, over a brick divider between their backyards, KLAS reported. Cote told police he “noticed Hanson was still moving and shot him in the head a second time.”
Olivo had reportedly sprayed Cote and his daughter with water from a hose earlier in the day. Cote said he had called police then but nothing happened. Family members said Olivo had asked Hanson to come over to protect her.
Neighbors said the dispute started years earlier when Cote complained about Olivo using her hot tub nude. He eventually built a wall for more privacy, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Source: Yahoo News, 6-26-20
Nathan D. Qualley, 46, Mounds View, MN: Criminal sexual conduct with a child under age 13. He’s accused of assaulting a 10-year-old girl at Chisago Lakes Baptist School, where he taught in 2001. The girl had been sent to him for speech therapy.
Complainant Melissa Stewart, now 29, went public with her allegations after she heard Qualley was appointed as a deacon and church council member in 2019 at GracePoint Church in New Brighton. She said she didn’t recognize what happened to her as sexual abuse until she was in her 20s. Now she’s a Duke University law student.
The complaint alleges Qualley once unzipped his pants and had her touch his genitals and touched her another time under her dress. Source: Star Tribune, 6-25-20
Robert Shiflet, 50, Denton, TX: Coercing a minor to cross a state line to engage in sexual activity and 3 counts of transporting a minor across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity. Shiflet is charged with incidents in 1997, 2001 and 2002 involving 3 minors when he worked as a youth pastor in Denton and Little Rock, AR.
Shiflet’s alleged offenses overlap with his time working at Denton Bible Church, where he worked in youth ministry programs from 1995 to 2001. Source: Record-Chronicle, 6-24-20
Pleaded / Convicted
David B. DeHaven, 50, Fincastle, VA: A judge found DeHaven guilty of 3 misdemeanor counts of unlawful video of a person in a state of undress and 4 counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. DeHaven, an adjunct professor at Liberty University, a Christian school in Lynchburg, used a camera to record 6 people using the bathroom in his home.
His son’s girlfriend testified she found the camera near the toilet during a party in March 2019. She removed the memory card and gave it to her parents, who gave it to police. The videos showed 3 people under age 18 and 3 older than 18.
DeHaven testified he initially started recording to see if his ex-wife was taking anything from the home and later to determine if a maid was cleaning the room properly, including removing cobwebs.
The delinquency charges involved DeHaven’s alleged knowledge that minors were drinking alcohol in his home. Source: Richmond Times, 7-16-20
Timothy J. Hallow, 62, Kaysville, UT: Pleaded guilty to possessing material containing child pornography involving a minor under age 12. Hallow, a Mormon bishop in the Kaysville Stake, admitted to possessing depictions on his phone of prepubescent children being sexually assaulted by adults, sending them to a woman in the Philippines and using images for sexual gratification. Source: KUTV, 7-14-20
Yisroel Goldstein, 58, Poway, CA: Pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax fraud. Goldstein, rabbi at Chabad of Poway until resigning last November — citing exhaustion — admitted his role in several long-running schemes involving tax, real estate, insurance and grant frauds dating as far back as the 1980s. Five co-defendants also pleaded guilty.
An investigation uncovered $18 million in “complex financial schemes” with the rabbi “at the center of illegal activity,” an FBI statement said. One called the “90-10” fraud had donors make large contributions to Chabad of Poway but then secretly getting most of the money back.
Typically, Goldstein would keep 10 percent, according to the charging document, and pocketed about $620,000. Donors then claimed large charitable deductions on their taxes, resulting in losses to the IRS of at least $1.5 million.
Chabad of Poway was attacked by an anti-Semitic gunman in April 2019, killing a woman and injuring several others including Goldstein, who lost his right index finger. Source: Union-Tribune, 7-14-20
Jeanine A. Poe, 51, and William Poe, 57, Carthage, MO: Pleaded guilty respectively to wire fraud and misprision of a felony. William Poe is pastor at Wildwood Baptist Church in Joplin.
Jeanine Poe managed 2 Doc Stop convenience stores in Joplin and used at least 7 credit cards issued to the business to conduct personal transactions from 2015-19, the government alleged. William Poe admitted he was aware of his wife’s embezzlement and concealed the thefts by convincing the owner that she was not stealing from him. Source: justice.gov, 7-1-20
Keith L. Robinson, 35, Memphis, TN: Probation for 11 months and 29 days, after which charges will be dropped. Robinson, pastor at Greater Mount Moriah Church, pleaded guilty to assaulting 68-year-old congregation member Linda Holland by throwing her into a wall in February at the church. He is Holland’s cousin’s son.
The incident in which Holland suffered a chipped collarbone and bruises was captured on video. Robinson’s attorney told the court the video didn’t show the woman’s behavior and hostility toward his client’s family in the years before the assault.
A police affidavit says Robinson’s wife, Melody, was also involved. The video shows Holland being kicked. According to the affidavit, Holland thinks Robinson was angry because she filed a complaint against his funeral home for not putting a headstone on her brother’s grave. Source: WMC, 7-22-20
Christopher Rossman, 47, Baldwin, City, KS: 37 months in prison and a $5,000 fine after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography on a church computer while he was pastor in 2016 at Annunciation Catholic Parish.
Monitoring software detected Rossman had visited adult and child porn websites. His sister tried to destroy the tablet device by driving over it but a forensics exam found files on it depicting prepubescent females engaged in sexual activities. Source: KSNW, 7-15-20
Manuel Cociña, 72, a Spanish Catholic priest and member of the conservative Opus Dei order, was sentenced by a Vatican court to 5 years of suspended ministry after being found guilty of sexual abuse of a man starting when he was 18.
The abuse survivor was also an Opus Dei member. Cociña worked in high schools, seminaries and as rector of the Basilica of San Miguel in Madrid. “What enrages me is that this man has been abusing young men for 30 years throughout Spain, and [Opus Dei] moved him from one place to the other,” the abuse survivor said. Source: Crux, 7-13-20
Francis Trauger, 74, Brooklyn, NY: 18 to 36 months in prison and 7 years’ probation after pleading guilty to 2 counts of indecent assault of a minor. Two men, now in their 30s, alleged Trauger molested them as altar boys at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Tullytown, PA, his final assignment as a priest before being defrocked in 2005.
One of the men called Trauger “a sick and vile deviant” in a written statement: “For 30 years, this man has systemically cornered boys who no one will believe and rapes them.” Source: Philly Inquirer, 7-8-20
Anthony Oelrich, 54, St. Cloud, MN: 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to criminal sexual conduct. Oelrich, Catholic pastor at Christ Church Newman Center, was accused of having sex with a woman who went to him for spiritual guidance. She had disclosed to him that she had been sexually abused previously.
Because of the potential for exploitation, state law bars clergy from engaging in sexual relationships with anyone they are counseling. Consent is not a defense. Source: St. Cloud Times, 7-8-20
Logan Wesley III, 56, Texarkana, AR: 5 life sentences served consecutively plus 220 years in prison and a $30,000 fine after a jury found him guilty of sexual assaults on 3 women when they were children. The victims, now 38, 34 and 32, testified Wesley used his position as pastor of Trinity Temple Church of God in Christ to convince them God approved of them having sex.
One is a close relative who came to live with him when she was 13 and testified she was molested until about age 20. Wesley was described as “the night crawler” by another relative, now 43, who alleged he started touching her sexually when she was 4 and he was a teen.
Two women testified Wesley once told the congregation that a victim’s black eye happened when she attacked him, with parishioners responding “Amen” before Wesley said “No kid is going to run my house.” Source: Texarkana Gazette, 7-2-20
Michael Smith, 55, Boulder, CO: 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to 1st-degree assault and attempted sexual assault of a child. The victim and her family were heavily involved in the Shambhala Buddhist community and rented out rooms to other members, including Smith.
The girl first told a family friend about the abuse in 1998 and then told her parents, according to a police report. She alleged Smith molested her numerous times after meeting her when she was 9 or 10, performing oral sex on her, forcing her to touch his genitals and kissing her breasts. The report said a community leader convinced the family not to pursue charges if Smith entered a treatment program and paid for the girl’s therapy.
Judge Bruce Langer pointed out that Smith told investigators there was “no stopping [the victim]” and that she never used their “safe word.”
“I just don’t know what to say about that,” Langer said. “It’s hard to imagine anyone saying that about sexual contact with a child.” Source: Daily Camera, 6-25-20
John E. Harris, 42, Prattville, AL: 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to assault. He was originally indicted in 2017 for sexual abuse, facilitation of travel of a child for a sex act and enticing a child for immoral purposes. Harris was student minister at Glynwood Baptist Church for 8 years, resigning a month before his arrest. The teen boy was a member of the youth group.
The plea agreement was offered because it “would have been difficult” proving the elements of the sex charges, said Mandy Johnson, assistant district attorney. Source: Montgomery Advertiser, 6-23-20
Civil Lawsuits Filed
Convicted priest Gerold Langsch, 76, and the Secular Institute of Schoenstatt Fathers, which operates St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Austin, TX, where Langsch worked, are being sued by 2 women who allege sexual abuse while they were parishioners.
Langsch pleaded no contest in 2019 to misdemeanor assault by contact of a woman who sued earlier after he received 300 days’ probation and a $1,000 fine for assaulting her. The Schoenstatt Fathers order is based in Waukesha, WI.
Langsch had been called to give last rites to a diabetic woman in renal failure, who recovered and is a plaintiff. The arrest affidavit alleged he anointed her chest with holy water, massaged her breasts with lotion and pinched her nipple while asking, “Does that feel good?”
She told police he also unsuccessfully tried to slip his hand inside her diaper. Source: American-Statesman, 7-24-20
Lloyd’s of London accuses the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis in a suit of failing to disclose allegations of sexual abuse by priest David Marcotte when applying for renewal of liability insurance coverage last year.
Marcotte, 33, was charged in 2019 with child solicitation, vicarious sexual gratification with a victim or victims under 16 but older than 13 and dissemination of matter harmful to minors. His phone records showed he had an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old boy he met when he was an administrator and coach at St. Malachy Catholic School in Brownsburg. The boy’s father filed suit against the school and archdiocese in February.
The policy renewal application had a question asking if the archdiocese was aware of any “facts, circumstances, or allegations that may result in claims being made against you.” The archdiocese replied no. Source: Insurance Coverage Law Center, 7-24-20
Defrocked Catholic cardinal Theodore McCarrick is accused in a suit of taking his pick of boys to molest and assigning others to clergy in 1982 at a beach home in Sea Girt, NJ. Jeff Anderson, the plaintiff’s attorney, referred to gatherings at the house as a “sex ring.” The Newark Archdiocese and the Metuchen Diocese are co-defendants.
McCarrick faces 2 other suits alleging he abused boys. Along with McCarrick, 4 of the 5 adults named in the suit have been previously accused of abuse.
“McCarrick assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” the suit alleges. “Minor boys were assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics.” Source: USA Today, 7-23-20
Three priests and a lay teacher who taught at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, NY, in the 1970s and ‘80s are accused of sexually abusing students in new lawsuits. The accused priests are William O’Malley, 88, known for his role in the movie “The Exorcist,” Harry Untereiner and James Curry. The lay teacher is John Tobin, now deceased, as is Curry. Source: Democrat & Chronicle, 7-22-20
Abraham Reichman, a former principal at United Talmudical Academy in Brooklyn, NY, Satmar Orthodox leader David Niederman and the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg are being sued for “fraudulent inducement” by Joel Engelman over Niederman’s alleged 1993 sexual abuse when Engelman was 8.
Engelman asserts he was “tricked and pressured” into delaying his 2008 suit until it was too late and the statute of limitations had expired. But due to the recent Child Victims Act, Engelman, 35, can sue again. Satmar was founded in 1905 in Hungary by Joel Teitelbaum. After World War II it was reestablished in New York and is one of the world’s largest Hasidic movements. Source: The Forward, 7-22-20
The Catholic Diocese of Shreveport, LA, has been sued by “Paul Doe,” alleging he was molested in the early 1970s by 2 men, the first being a man named “Henry” (no last name provided), a student at Northeast Louisiana University who lived with Fr. Sam Polizzi in the rectory on the NLU campus. Doe alleges Henry sodomized him in the rectory.
The other man accused is William G. Allison, pastor at Our Lady of Fatima in Monroe, who died in 1986. Allison was named as credibly accused of abuse by the Diocese of Gallup, NM, and the Diocese of Monterey, CA, as far back as 1964. Source: Shreveport Times, 7-19-20
Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN, a megachurch with over 30,000 members, provided the opportunity for plaintiff “Janet Doe” to be molested by volunteer coordinator James A. Hook starting when she was 15, says a suit filed by Doe’s parents.
Hook, 44, pleaded guilty to sexual battery by an authority figure after police found him and the girl in a car in May 2019. Hook admitted to sexual contact but denied having intercourse. The suit asserts the girl’s mother had an extramarital affair with Hook in 2011. They also had a child together — Doe’s sibling — according to Bellevue’s response to the complaint.
According to the complaint, when the girl’s parents separated in 2018, Hook began communicating with her and her mother, encouraged Doe to volunteer in the Sunday school program and sent her explicit photos of her mother taken during the affair 7 years earlier. Source: Commercial Appeal, 7-10-20
Civil Lawsuits Settled
The Catholic Diocese of Nashville, TN, settled a suit for $65,000 filed by an anonymous plaintiff alleging Kevin McGoldrick got her drunk on bourbon and sexually assaulted her in 2017 in the campus rectory of Aquinas College in Nashville, where she was a student and he was a priest. The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia operate the school.
According to the plaintiff’s statement published by the UK Catholic Herald, “Susanna” (not her real name) and McGoldrick were watching a movie after having had several drinks when he told her he had “a thing for feet.” Touching feet became touching legs. Then he was on top of her.
“[He was] touching me in very inappropriate ways and kissing my neck,” Susanna told the Herald, saying the touching was above and beneath her clothing. She alleged she passed in and out of consciousness: “Every time I woke up I hoped I was in a nightmare and the chaplain of my college wasn’t on top of me. I was wrong each time.”
Susanna first complained to the Diocese of Nashville, which never opened a formal investigation. Concerned that McGoldrick might be grooming other young women, she took her allegation to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, his “home” diocese, in July 2019. The archdiocese found the allegation credible in January 2020 and suspended his priestly faculties. McGoldrick has asked the Vatican to laicize him. Source: Catholic Herald, 7-18-20
Young Life, a nationwide Christian youth ministry, and Christ Memorial Church in Holland, MI, settled for undisclosed terms a suit filed by 5 men who alleged they were molested by Jonathan King Meyer, a church youth group leader and Young Life volunteer. Meyer, now 40, was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in 2012 and served a prison term.
Plaintiffs alleged abuse on multiple occasions such as a “lock-in” on church property and during a youth group field trip that included stopping at a Hooters restaurant in Grand Rapids. Source: Holland Sentinel, 7-15-20
Timothy Evans, 57, Ft. Collins, CO — sentenced to 14 years to life in prison in 2007 for sexually assaulting a teen boy in 1999 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, where Evans was pastor — has been granted parole. He was also accused of assaulting a boy in Arvada, where he served in 1996, but was not criminally charged.
At the parole hearing, Evans asked to be released to Grand Junction, where he could live with his stepmother and be near his father, who is in a memory care facility. Source: Coloradoan, 7-15-20
James C. Clark, 68, Lubbock, TX, former pastor at Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church, had his appeal denied to get out of prison due to the coronavirus pandemic. He was sentenced in 2008 to 19 years for fraud and money laundering and importing an alien for immoral purposes.
Clark had arranged in 2005 to have a Kenyan woman enroll at South Plains College in Levelland, then threatened to have her deported if she did not have sex with him. In a handwritten letter to the judge, he detailed his medical conditions: diabetes, toe and foot amputations, hypertension, chronic kidney problems, prior strokes, prostate problems and myocardial infarction. Source: KLBK, 7-16-20
James W. Treadwell, 62, was bound over for trial on criminal sexual conduct charges in Grand Rapids, MI. Treadwell, a member of a Christian brotherhood known as the Servants of the Word, called himself an “urban monk” and made it a point of his ministry to interact with families and children. He was the artist in residence for The Potter’s House, a school offering “Christ-centered education.”
The father of an 8-year-old girl testified at the hearing how in 2016 he saw Treadwell touching his daughter’s thighs, buttocks and private area while she sat on his lap: “I don’t know what happened beyond that. I was so flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe I had seen it.”
After meeting the family in 2015, Treadwell started going to the same church — Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church — and often sat in the same pew. He faces similar charges in Wyoming when the alleged victim was in 4th or 5th grade. Source: WOOD, 7-9-20
Multiple former students at Christian Youth Theater in El Cajon, CA, have come forward with stories of sexual assault, abuse and misconduct. CYT President Janie Russell Cox wouldn’t confirm the number of alleged victims but said a close family member publicly posted on social media his own account of abuse from many years ago.
CYT is a nationwide after-school theater arts education program for children ages 4–18. San Diego attorney Jessica Pride said she’s representing a former student who claims she was abused starting in 2006. “The first time she was 13 and it continued until she was 15 years old.” Dozens of former students are contacting the firm, Pride said. Source: KGTV, 7-23-20
Presentation High School, a Catholic girls school in San Jose, CA, released results of an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against staff members. “The stark truth is that our school did not live up to its commitment to protect you,” said a letter from Presentation’s president and the board of directors chair. “We added further harm when we responded defensively when reports of past abuse began to surface in 2017.”
The letter says investigators have “good faith belief” that staff members engaged in inappropriate behavior with students from the 1980s to 2013. In 2017, Kathryn Leehane, a 1991 graduate, disclosed alleged abuse by her now-deceased Spanish teacher John Fernandez, which led to others coming forward.
The report found credible sexual misconduct by Fernandez and 5 others and said former principals Mary Miller and Marian Stuckey received misconduct complaints but took ineffective or no action. The school has shared the report with the San Jose Police Department, the San Jose Diocese and the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Source: Mercury News, 7-10-20
The number of allegations of Catholic clergy sex abuse of minors in over 200 U.S. dioceses more than quadrupled in 2019 compared to the average in the previous 5 years, in part due to new compensation programs and laws extending statutes of limitations. The report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops counted 4,434 allegations, about half of which were deemed credible by the church.
Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the church’s National Review Board, called for a more in-depth and truly independent audit. The latest audit was done by StoneBridge Business Partners, using information given to it by the dioceses, which also determined the questions and which allegations were credible. Source: Washington Post, 6-27-20
Sixteen Marianist Catholic clergy with Cincinnati-area ties have been accused of sexually abusing minors. Oscar Vasquez, provincial of the Marianists in the U.S., disclosed the names of the accused priests and brothers. One is alive and the rest are dead.
“To those who have survived sexual abuse at the hands of a member of the Society of Mary, we profoundly regret and apologize for the serious harm you have suffered,” Vasquez said. Source: WLWT, 6-24-20
Removed / Resigned
Will Dismukes, Prattville, AL, resigned as pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church amid controversy for his invocation at the 199th birthday celebration for Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest in Selma. Dismukes, 30, who is also a Republican state legislator, then posted a photo of himself standing in front of a portrait of Forrest, who was a Confederate general
Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, said, “We are saddened and grieved to learn of the recent Facebook post by state Rep. Will Dismukes. … In the wake of tremendous controversy we reaffirm our opposition to any kind of racism.”
Dismukes blamed the negative response on “anti-Southern sentiment” and “cancel culture.” Source: Alabama Baptist, 7-30-20
The appointment of Jerry Hoss to lead United Methodist congregations in Anderson and Atlanta was rescinded by Indiana United Methodist Church Bishop Julius Trimble, who called it “a mistake we cannot afford to make.” The appointment of Hoss, a lay pastor convicted in 2015 of misconduct with students while he was a public school principal, brought an outcry from church members.
The investigation found that Hoss asked a 16-year-old student for nude photos and sent her 2 photos of himself, naked from the waist down in one. Detectives also said that in 2010, Hoss texted a 17-year-old student, asking her to come to his home to drink alcohol with him. Source: Herald Bulletin, 7-20-20
James Kirby was put on leave as pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Parish in Carlisle, IA, by the Diocese of Des Moines due to an allegation of inappropriate conduct. Kirby was ordained in 1996 and was campus minister at Dowling Catholic High School from 1998-2009, where he also coached cross country.
Simpson College, a Methodist-affiliated school, cut ties with Kirby as a track coach after the school became aware of the allegation tied to a series of tweets from Kirby to the mother of a 19-year-old woman named Ashley, who first met him as a Dowling student and track athlete.
The messages allegedly from Kirby read in part: “it think the little Ashley is adorable. I KNOW I AM older, but i am still a good person. i am not a creepy old man. I trust you to tell me the truth. I just wanted to share this. I am taking a risk here and i am counting on your discretion. Trying not to be creepy by i think the little ashley is very pretty. Likely too young but i just thought id put it out there. I am a gentleman and rely on your discretion.” Source: Des Moines Register, 7-10-20
Wheaton College chaplain Timothy Blackmon was fired for “inappropriate comments and actions of a racial and sexual nature” toward staff members. Wheaton is an Evangelical Protestant school in Wheaton, IL. Blackmon, 50, grew up in the Netherlands with an African-American father and a Dutch mother.
A school statement alleged Blackmon used an ethnic slur against an Asian-American employee, made graphic sexual comments to a married female employee, circulated a lewd meme and arranged to have an illustrated manual of sexual positions placed on a female staff member’s desk. Source: Chicago Tribune/Daily Herald, 7-8-20
Henry C. Foxhoven, 46, a Catholic priest who admitted impregnating a 17-year-old altar girl in Glouster, OH, has been defrocked by the Vatican. Foxhoven is serving 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to 3 counts of sexual battery.
A warranted search of his home found several used condoms and a pregnancy test with a positive indication, according to the Athens County sheriff. Source: News-Register, 6-29-20
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