4-20-19 Turpin trial: Couple jailed for life for 'inhuman' child abuse
A couple from the US state of California have been sentenced to life in prison for starving and torturing all but one of their 13 children. David and Louise Turpin were arrested in January 2018 when their 17-year-old daughter escaped their home in the city of Perris and raised the alarm. The children had been abused for at least nine years and some were found chained up in filthy conditions. But several of the children told the court they had forgiven their parents. The couple are expected to serve the rest of their lives behind bars, unless they are granted parole in 25 years. The Turpins wept as they heard victim-impact statements from four of their children at Friday's hearing. One child recounted being haunted by the ordeal. I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up," said his statement. "Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that had happened such as my siblings being chained up or getting beaten. "That is the past and this is now. "I love my parents and have forgiven them for a lot of the things they did to us." Another child, in a statement read by her brother, also forgave her parents for the abuse. "I love both of my parents so much," she said. "Although it may not have been the best way of raising us, I am glad that they did because it made me the person I am today."But not all the children were so conciliatory. One daughter, who was visibly shaking, said: "My parents took my whole life from me, but now I'm taking my life back. "I'm a fighter, I'm strong and I'm shooting through life like a rocket." She added: "I saw my dad change my mom. They almost changed me, but I realised what was happening."
4-18-19 Secret graves
After clearing trees downed by Hurricane Michael, workers discovered 27 possible clandestine graves about 165 yards from the infamous Dozier School for Boys, a government report revealed last week. Researchers had already excavated 55 graves from a burial site on the 1,400-acre rural campus, far more than any official tally of deaths at the school. Florida shuttered its oldest reform school in 2011 following reports of horrific abuse by school staff during Dozier’s 111-year history, during which delinquent and orphaned boys sent to the “White House” were chained or tied up, sexually abused in a “rape room,” and beaten mercilessly or killed if they tried to escape. Graves previously exhumed were found to be misidentified or filled with comingled bodies. Jerry Cooper, 74, says guards lashed him 135 times as punishment one night in 1961. “Mark my words,” he said, “there are more bodies out there.”
4-15-19 George Pell case: Australian media defend 'contempt' allegations
Dozens of journalists and major news outlets in Australia have begun defending accusations that they breached a reporting ban on the sexual abuse trial of Cardinal George Pell. Pell, the ex-Vatican treasurer, was convicted in December of abusing two boys in 1996. The media was barred from reporting the verdict until February. Prosecutors say 23 journalists and 13 publishers committed contempt of court. The case could have a "chilling effect" on "open justice", defence lawyers say. If found guilty, the defendants face up to five years in jail and fines of about A$96,000 (£52,000; $69,000). They include journalists from many of Australia's largest news organisations, including the editors of newspapers The Age and the Herald Sun, as well as prominent TV and radio presenters. Defence barrister Matthew Collins told a court on Monday that the case was unprecedented in Australian legal history. A judge banned the media from reporting on Pell's trial, in order to prevent any influence on a planned second trial. In December, the cardinal was convicted by a jury of sexually abusing two choir boys in Melbourne in 1996. The verdict prompted many Australian media outlets to publish articles that referred to the case in some way - although none named Pell. Several non-Australian publications did identify him. The reporting ban, known as a suppression order, was lifted earlier this year after prosecutors dropped the planned second trial. Pell has launched an appeal against his conviction.
4-13-19 Dozier School for Boys: Dozens more suspected graves found
Excavators have found up to another 27 suspected graves near the grounds of a notorious reform school in Florida. Workers hired to clear up a fuel storage site detected new "anomalies" buried near the state-run Dozier School for Boys, officials said. The school became infamous for the alleged abuse and murder of children over its 111-year history. It was one of the largest institutions for young offenders in the US, eventually closing in 2011. If confirmed, the latest finds would bring the total number of known burials on the campus to 82 - although researchers believe more than 100 children could have died at Dozier School. Contractor New South Associates was preparing to clean up pollution in Marianna, Florida, using ground-penetrating radar in March when workers found what could be more burial sites near the school. Their report, obtained by Florida newspaper the Tampa Bay Times, said the possible graves did not follow any pattern. "This randomness might be expected in a clandestine or informal cemetery," the report says. New South recommended treating the area as a graveyard until a more thorough investigation could be conducted. Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis has asked state authorities to "develop a path forward" to understand the findings. A group of former students known as the White House Boys first brought claims of abuse at the institution to the public eye in the 2000s. "We've been trying to tell the state of Florida that there's more bodies out there for a long time," Bryant Middleton told the Tampa Bay Times. Another former Dozier School student, Terry Burns, told Action News that if they scanned the entire campus, "I guarantee they will find another 200 to 300 dead boys buried on them grounds".
4-11-19 Ex-Pope Benedict XVI blames 1960s revolution for sex abuse
Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a letter which blames clerical sex abuse on the "all-out sexual freedom" of the 1960s. He said that cultural and historical change had led to a "dissolution" of morality in Catholicism. The sexual revolution in the 1960s had led to homosexuality and paedophilia in Catholic establishments, he claimed. Some allegations of child sex abuse by priests that have emerged date back to decades before the 1960s. The only solution to the problem, the former Pope said, was "obedience and love for our Lord Jesus Christ". At a summit in February, the current pontiff called for "concrete measures" to tackle the crisis, not just "simple and obvious condemnations". As he had "served in a position of responsibility as shepherd of the church" when more cases emerged, Pope Benedict XVI said he wanted to "contribute to a new beginning". Published in the German Catholic magazine Klerusblatt, the 5,500-word letter is divided into three parts. 1. Paedophilia 'allowed and appropriate'. 2. Sexual revolution led to 'homosexual cliques'. 3. Society without God 'loses its measure'. (Webmaster's comment: How any so-called Christian person could think that Paedophilia was allowed and appropriate is unbelievable! This is just criminals looking for excuses!)
4-10-19 Claire's employee alleges pressure to pierce children without consent
Piercing boutique Claire's says it is reviewing its consent policy after an employee said she was told to pierce children's ears without their consent. Canadian Raylene Marks says her manager told her she should have pierced a seven-year-old's ears even though the girl, who was with her mother, clearly did not want her ears pierced. The girl eventually left without getting pierced. However Ms Marks says she quit over her manager's response. "The girl pleaded and sobbed for 30 minutes not to be pierced. Despite Mom saying, 'Honey, we can go home whenever you want' she was not letting her daughter go home," Ms Marks said in an open letter to the company posted on Facebook. "I'm inclined to respect a child's right to say, 'NO', to any adult forcing any kind of non-medical contact on them, so I told the other piercer I wouldn't be part of the ear piercing for this girl." The girl left the store in Edmonton, Alberta without having her ears pierced. When Ms Marks' manager asked her about the incident the following day, she told her manager that if the mother had insisted on staying, she would have refused to perform the procedure. "You would have had no choice but to do it," she says her manager told her. Claire's, which has boutiques across North America and in the UK, said in an email response that it was investigating the matter and "reviewing the policy to ensure that the intent is clear". (Webmaster's comment: Children clearly have the right to say no to a non-medical procedure!)
4-9-19 Trump: Court defeat on asylum policy 'unfair to US'
US President Donald Trump has lashed out at a federal judge for blocking his policy of sending migrants awaiting US asylum hearings back to Mexico. "A 9th Circuit judge just ruled that Mexico is too dangerous for migrants," he tweeted. "So unfair to the US." His policy would have returned migrant families to Mexico to await court bids for the right to stay in the US. It comes as numbers of migrants stopped at the US-Mexico border have surged to the highest level in over a decade. US immigration officials have estimated border apprehensions in March topped 100,000. The San Francisco ninth district judge's order against the migrant policy is not due to go into effect until 12 April, giving US officials a chance to appeal the ruling. Monday's court ruling comes as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which implements Mr Trump's immigration directives, is in turmoil following a major shake-up by the administration. The agency's Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen quit on Sunday after being summoned to the White House by the president. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley called on Mr Trump on Monday to halt the leadership purge at the agency. The senior senator told the Washington Post he is "very, very concerned" about reports of possible further DHS dismissals. "The president has to have some stability and particularly with the number one issue that he's made for his campaign," Mr Grassley said. "He's pulling the rug out from the very people that are trying to help him accomplish his goal." There are rumours that DHS management undersecretary Claire Grady, now the senior-most Senate-confirmed official in the agency, as well as director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Lee Francis Cissna, and DHS general counsel, John Mitnick, could be next to go. Speaking to Fox News on Monday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said: "It's time to do things a little differently. This would give migrant parents awaiting immigration hearings a choice: agree for their child to be held separately, or be detained together, possibly indefinitely, until their court date. (Webmaster's comment: Separating the children will give ICE more opportunity to sell them into sex slavey. See: 'Thousands of US child migrants sexually abused')
2 4-2-19 Child brides: Heather was only 15 when she said 'I do'. She was also pregnant
In some American states, all it takes is parental permission for a child to marry an older man. Heather was a beautiful bride. She said her vows outside under a wooden veranda, dressed in a lilac gown, wearing a tiara, with her hair curled gently around her face. Her dad made a speech wishing the happy couple luck. But Heather was only 15 when she said "I do". She was also pregnant. The groom, Aaron, was 24 when they married in August 2015. Heather's mum had been against the marriage from the start, but her dad and paternal grandparents, who Heather lived with, believed the unborn child's parents should be married, and so researched states in which it was legal for a 15-year-old to marry with only one parent's consent. They also thought that, by marrying, Aaron could avoid a charge of statutory rape and possible prison sentence. A new BBC Three documentary investigates what happens when the law allows young people under the age of consent to marry, as well as the parents who allow this to happen. Sex in most states in the US is illegal under the age of 16-18. But, as of January 2019, 17 American states have no legal minimum age for marriage providing certain conditions – like pregnancy, and consent from a judge or family – are met. This means that, with parental permission, girls as young as 12 can be legally wed to men much older than they are – but only if they’re pregnant. Keri, from South Carolina, was a teenager when she married a man almost a decade older. She met Paul, 24, at a party on her 15th birthday back in 2013. They slept together just once – and Keri became pregnant. "It was [Paul’s] idea to get married. So that he didn’t go to jail for statutory rape," she says. Keri's dad's consent was needed for them to marry, and he gave it when Paul asked. In photos taken of the couple a week before the wedding, the braces on Keri’s teeth are clearly visible. She says she had them on her wedding day. She admits that her home life with her dad was deeply unhappy, and she took a gamble on a life with Paul in a new home being better. "I just couldn’t handle it no more," she says. Looking back, she thinks the law that allowed her to marry Paul is "stupid". "I don’t think it’s right. You should stay a child for as long as you can." She adds that she wishes she'd finished school – "You can’t even get a job at McDonald’s without getting a high-school diploma" – and that her marriage to Paul was "horrible", with him treating her "like a maid". Keri is now 21, and lives with her new husband, Mason, and has three kids – one is from that first marriage, which lasted about two years. (Webmaster's comment: This reads like a bad soap opera! These children and their parents were far to ignorant to ever get married and have children.)
4-2-19 Consider your child’s future before you share that ‘hilarious’ image
Gwyneth Paltrow has incited debate by posting a photo of her daughter on social media. We need to consider how such images may one day be viewed, says Linda Geddes. “MOM we have discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent.” These words, posted on Instagram by 14-year-old Apple Martin in response to an image of her shared by her mum, Gwyneth Paltrow, have reignited the debate over whether it is ever OK to put pictures of your children online. Apple’s words could become a common refrain as the current generation of children grows up. Many of them will have had digital footprints before they could even walk. About 98 per cent of mothers and 89 per cent of fathers report having uploaded photos of their child to Facebook, according to a 2012 US study. Concerns mainly revolve around two issues. First, safety. According to Australia’s eSafety commission, about half of images shared on paedophilia sites were taken from social media sites. The advice is simple. Don’t post photos of your child in a state of undress, and avoid images in which their school uniform or location is identifiable, which could leave them vulnerable to grooming, says UK children’s charity, the NSPCC. Avoid posting personal information to minimise risk of identity theft, and ensure that your privacy settings are strict. You might also consider using a pet name for your child online, making it harder to link information to them. A second issue, as Apple astutely notes, is that of consent. What would your child want to see about themselves online in the future? Videos of them mid-temper tantrum may be amusing now – but could be used by bullies. Given that employers often use social networking sites to research candidates, it is also worth considering how they might view such information. (Webmaster's comment: Any child image, especially those exposing a little skin, will be food for all sorts of sexual predators and male brutes and there are 50 million of them in the United States! Keep your child images off the internet and keep them safe!)