Clerical child abuse and American football


This 25 January 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

NFL’s Saints fight to shield emails in Catholic abuse crisis

The New Orleans Saints are going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of emails that allegedly show team executives doing public relations damage control for the area’s Roman Catholic archdiocese to help it contain the fallout from a burgeoning sexual abuse crisis.

Attorneys for about two dozen men suing the church say in court filings that the 276 documents they obtained through discovery show that the NFL team, whose owner is devoutly Catholic, aided the Archdiocese of New Orleans in its “pattern and practice of concealing its crimes.”

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Friday, January 24, 2020

American Football: Saints allegedly involved in Catholic abuse scandal

NFL franchise the New Orleans Saints are going to court to keep the public from seeing hundreds of emails that allegedly show team executives doing public relations damage control for the area’s Roman Catholic archdiocese to help it contain the fallout from a burgeoning sexual abuse crisis.

Lawyers for about two dozen men suing the church say in court filings that the 276 documents they obtained through discovery show that the NFL team, whose owner is devoutly Catholic, aided the Archdiocese of New Orleans in its “pattern and practice of concealing its crimes.”

“Obviously, the Saints should not be in the business of assisting the archdiocese, and the Saints’ public relations team is not in the business of managing the public relations of criminals engaged in paedophilia,” the lawyers wrote in a court filing. “The Saints realise that if the documents at issue are made public, this professional sports organisation also will be smearing itself.”

Saints lawyers, in court papers, disputed any suggestion that the team helped the church cover up crimes, calling such claims “outrageous.” They further said that the emails, exchanged in 2018 and 2019, were intended to be private and should not be “fodder for the public.” The archdiocese is also fighting the release of the emails.

The NFL, which was advised of the matter by plaintiffs’ lawyers because the Saints’ emails used the team’s nfl.com domain, has not commented on the case. NFL policy says everyone who is a part of the league must refrain from “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in” the NFL.

A court-appointed special master is expected to hear arguments in the coming weeks on whether the communications should remain confidential.

The Associated Press filed a motion with the court supporting the release of the documents as a matter of public interest.

Ties between local church leaders and the Saints include a close friendship between New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond and Gayle Benson, who inherited the Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans basketball team when her husband, Tom Benson, died in 2018. The archbishop was at Gayle Benson’s side as she walked in the funeral procession.

Gayle Benson has given millions of dollars to Catholic institutions in the New Orleans area, and the archbishop is a regular guest of hers at games and charitable events for the church.

Lawyers for the men suing the church say “multiple” Saints personnel, including senior vice-president of communications Greg Bensel, used their team email to advise church officials on “messaging” and how to soften the impact of the archdiocese’s release of a list of clergy members “credibly accused” of sexual abuse.

“The information at issue bears a relationship to these crimes because it is a continuation of the archdiocese’s pattern and practice of concealing its crimes so that the public does not discover its criminal behaviour,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers wrote. “And the Saints joined in.”

A Saints spokeswoman said yesterday that team officials had no comment.

Lawyers for the Saints acknowledged in a court filing that the team assisted the archdiocese in its publishing of the credibly accused clergy list, but said that was an act of disclosure — “the opposite of concealment.”

The fight over the emails is part of a flurry of claims filed against the archdiocese over its employment of George F Brignac, a long-time schoolteacher and deacon who was removed from the ministry in 1988 after a seven-year-old boy accused him of fondling him at a Christmas party. That accusation followed claims that Briganc abused several other boys, including one case that led to his acquittal in 1978 on three counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile.

Church officials permitted Brignac, 85, to act as a lay minister until local news accounts of his service in 2018 prompted his removal and an apology from the archdiocese. Last year Associated Press reported that Brignac, despite his supposed defrocking, also maintained access to schoolchildren and held leadership roles as recently as 2018 in the Knights of Columbus.

Following a new wave of publicity — in which Brignac told a reporter he had touched boys but never for “immoral purposes” — Brignac was indicted last month on a rape charge that could land him behind bars for the rest of his life. The prosecution came more than a year after a former altar boy told police that Brignac repeatedly raped him beginning in the late 1970s. Police said the abuse began when the boy was seven and continued until he was 11.

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ child abuse report, published?


This 13 March 2015 ABC TV video from the USA says about itself:

Candace Conti: Former Jehovah’s Witness Takes on Church over Sex Abuse Allegations

Candace Conti says the church failed to protect her from a predatory pedophile, which Jehovah’s Witnesses has denied.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Jehovah’s Abuse Report May Be Published, “Change Is Really Needed”

The leadership of the Jehovah’s Witnesses sees sexual abuse in their own circle as a limited number of incidents, which can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The organization demands that an “incorrect and unlawful” investigation report on child abuse, prepared by Utrecht University on behalf of the Ministry of Justice and Security, is not published.

The judge will rule on that request later at 4 p.m. If publication is permitted, then the report will probably be public shortly thereafter.

Reports of abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses are to date preferably handled indoors, with elders – a kind of religious overseers – acting as policemen and judges in one. Victim and former Jehovah’s Witness Frank Huiting hopes the report will lead to a new policy. “A policy that finally puts the victim at the center. But unfortunately: the omens do not indicate that.”

Groninger Huiting was 15 when he told his mother what had happened to him between the ages of six and twelve. He slept badly, his grades at school were getting worse, he couldn’t help it anymore. Now he finally wanted to talk about that much older boy, the son of an elder, who, after studying the Bible, always took him to a locked room to ‘play school’.

Reporting was not an option according to the elders in his congregation. “The consequences would be huge, I was told. There would all be reports in the media about sexual abuse among the Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Instead, the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Emmen issued advice that he afterwards called “very harmful.” “There was a lot of focus on the perpetrator of the abuse. And not on me as a victim. A very nasty time.”

Frank had to talk to the man who had caused him so much damage. That dialogue mainly resulted in powerlessness; the perpetrator dismissed the issue as a relatively innocent experimentation by two sides. And the elders said there was no “proof” as long as there was no confession and no second witness. Frank was asked to forgive and forget.

It did not work. The abuse continued to haunt him in the following years. He met his wife, went to Delfzijl with her for a new start, but became depressed and sick. “I was so touched by my sense of justice. I simply couldn’t live with it. I realized: the healing that I need, it doesn’t work this way.”

“Isn’t that understandable?”

So he decided to fight within his community. When, in the end, that turned out to be ineffective, he felt that he could do nothing but get out. “Especially because I noticed that Jehovah’s Witnesses really had no idea how to deal with sexual abuse. The perpetrator did activities in which he was alone with small children. That is impossible to understand? All sorts of people were aware and yet things like this continue to happen. ”

He shared his experiences, anonymously at first, with Trouw daily. When that newspaper published its first stories, a stream of reactions came from others who turned out to have had similar experiences. Frank Huiting, who had since broken with the community, started the Reclaimed Voices Foundation with other ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is committed to “the right of every child to grow up safely”. Reclaimed Voices now has around 300 cases of sexual abuse.

“Extremely critical report”

The House of Representatives called for an extensive investigation into the broader problem of abuse within the community, which may now be published one and a half years later. It is an extremely critical report, according to the fierce reaction by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who saw the document earlier.

According to Huiting, that response does not bode well for the chance that the Witnesses will adjust their policies. Admittedly, according to a new directive, there is now scope for making a declaration, but in practice members of the community do not feel secure enough for it. “It is said: “If you go to the police, the consequences are for yourself.””

“Would you still feel safe to tell your story to the outside world? Remember: that outside world is by definition a danger anyway, it belongs to the devil. You are told that you must obey God over people. And ‘the people’, that is also the government.”

Yet Huiting continues to hope for change. That professional help is called in with a report. That prevention is done. That you can be open without being excluded from your complete social network.

“I personally celebrate the day that I made my story public as my personal liberation day. Because I no longer participate in this closedness, in the taboo. Freedom has become the most important value in my life.”

UPDATE: Judge has decided the report can be published.

Pedophile billionaire Epstein’s death, suicide or murder?


This 3 December 2019 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Sharyn Alfonsi joins “CBS This Morning” to talk about Sunday’s upcoming 60 Minutes report on the death of Jeffrey Epstein.

This 6 December 2019 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Pathologist hired by Epstein’s family says autopsy may point to murder

After a five-month investigation, 60 Minutes obtained photos of Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy and the cell where the convicted sex offender was found dead. Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by Mark Epstein to investigate his brother’s death, joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss new details in the case and why the autopsy may point to a homicide, not a suicide.

On Sunday the CBS television news program “60 Minutes” revealed important new details about the conditions before and after the death of millionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City on August 10. The details both substantiate and add to already existing evidence that Epstein did not commit suicide in his cell as determined by the New York Medical Examiner’s Office, but was, in fact, murdered: here.

US governor pardons child rapist for money


This 28 December 2019 video from the USA is called [Republican] Kentucky Governor Pardons Violent Criminals For Campaign Cash.

Former Kentucky Governor Bevin pardoned a child rapist. One of his reasons: The 9-year-old victim’s hymen was intact. By Ray Sanchez and Evan Simko-Bednarski, CNN.

By Veronica Stracqualursi and Natasha Chen, CNN, December 19, 2019:

Bevin pardoned and commuted the sentence of Patrick Baker, who convicted of reckless homicide in 2017.

The Courier-Journal reported that Baker’s family had held a fundraiser and donated to Bevin’s gubernatorial campaigns. Baker served two years of a 19-year sentence, while his co-defendants are still in prison, the newspaper reported.

From that The Courier-Journal article:

The Friday order was one of 428 pardons and commutations Bevin issued since his narrow loss in November to Democrat Andy Beshear, who was sworn into office Tuesday.

The beneficiaries include one offender convicted of raping a child, another who hired a hitman to kill his business partner and a third who killed his parents.

Child abuse in Roman Catholic religious order


This 2016 video about the Legion of Christ child abuse affair is called Scandal at the Vatican.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

VATICAN: The Legion of Christ religious order identified 33 of its priests and 71 of its seminarians as guilty of sexual abuse in a study published at the weekend.

The order enjoyed huge power under pope John Paul II, despite the Vatican holding documentary evidence that its founder Marcial Maciel was a paedophile.

John Paul II’s secretary of state Cardinal Angelo Sodano long blocked any investigation into the Legion.

Pope Francis accepted his resignation as dean of the College of Cardinals on Saturday.

‘Prince Andrew should testify on Epstein abuse’


This 3 December 2019 musical video from Britain is a parody of the song Purple Rain by Prince.

It is about British Prince Andrew, making, in a BBC interview, the medically dodgy claim of being unable to sweat because of the Falklands war; after the survivor of United States paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Ms Virginia Giuffre, had claimed that Prince Andrew, while sweating profusely, had sexually abused her when she was one of Epstein’s underage sex slaves.

The music video says about itself:

Prince Andrew – Perspirable Rain

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Andrew returns with sweat-soaked new single “Perspirable Rain”.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Five women who say they have been abused by Jeffrey Epstein want Prince Andrew to come to the United States to testify about his friendship with the US American. The women ‘s lawyer, David Boies, is going to sue him for that, he told BBC Panorama.

This 2 December 2019 TV video says about itself:

Panorama: The Prince and the Epstein Scandal

BBC documentary on the British royal scandal.

The NOS article continues:

According to Boies, Andrew may have important information about the abuse by Epstein and about trafficking in women. The lawyer said that attempts to talk to the prince have failed so far.

Before it comes to a testimony, a judge must still give his approval when Andrew would be on US American soil, the BBC reports. If that would happen, then Andrew might still object.

Photo handed to FBI

Panorama also spoke to Virginia Giuffre, who says that at the age of 17 as a sex slave to Epstein, she was forced to have sex with his friends. She says that Prince Andrew also abused her. In a recent interview, the prince still denied that. He couldn’t remember ever meeting her.

Giuffre is certain about it: “He knows what happened. I know what happened. Only one of us is telling the truth and I know that’s me.”

She also commented on remarks that a picture of her and the prince of that time is supposedly fake. Andrew also made that suggestion. But Giuffre tells the BBC that it is real and that she gave the original photo to the FBI in 2011. “There is a date on the back of it from when it was printed.” According to her, the photo was printed on March 13, 2001.

This 2 December 2019 TV video says about itself:

Epstein victim claims she was trafficked for Prince Andrew

In an interview with BBC Panorama, Virginia Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew.

Giuffre implored the people in the UK to stand up beside her. She insisted “This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked“.

From the BBC Panorama programme ‘The Prince and the Epstein Scandal’.

5 KEY MOMENTS FROM PRINCE ANDREW ACCUSER’S INTERVIEW Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Giuffre told the BBC she felt “ashamed” after allegedly having sex with the Duke of York when she was a teenager, and said “powerful people were my chains.” [HuffPost]

PRINCE ANDREW ATTENDS QUEEN’S CHRISTMAS LUNCH Prince Andrew, scandalized for his relationship with the late sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein, is still attending private functions put on by the royal family, even after he announced he was stepping back from his royal duties. Andrew was spotted on Wednesday arriving at Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth II’s annual Christmas lunch. [HuffPost]

ANOTHER ROYAL JUST APOLOGIZED FOR TIES TO EPSTEIN “I would never have had anything to do with Epstein if I had been aware of the seriousness of his criminal acts,” Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway said in a statement given to the Norwegian business daily Dagens Næringsliv. “I should have examined Epstein’s past more closely, and I regret that I did not.” [HuffPost]

Prince Andrew and the tradition of ‘Down with the Crown’. Britain’s ancient monarchy has inspired a noble tradition — hating it. KEITH FLETT charts the history of throwing things at the throne.

Anyone who watched Prince Andrew’s now disastrous TV interview could hardly believe how stupid the Duke of York was in trying to defend his relationship with well-known paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. King-in-waiting Charles, we are told, has spoken severely to his younger brother, telling Andrew how stupid he had been having a public relationship with a long-term paedophile. Can this be the same older brother Charles who spent so much time being entertained by Britain’s best-known home-grown paedophile, Jimmy Savile: here?

British Prince Andrew and pedophile Epstein, update


This 18 November 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

A woman known as “Jane Doe 15” is suing the estate of Jeffrey Epstein, saying he sexually abused her at age 15, and called on Britain’s Prince Andrew to speak under oath.

By Chris Marsden in Britain:

Epstein scandal engulfs Britain’s Royal family after BBC interview with Prince Andrew

20 November 2019

An attempt at damage limitation by the palace and the BBC has backfired in spectacular fashion. Prince Andrew’s Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis sought to refute allegations that his relations with deceased billionaire sex offender and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included having paid sex with an underage girl. But his answers were met with widespread derision and demands that the Duke of York go to the United States to testify under oath.

Epstein was at the centre of an elite social circle and procured women and underage girls for sexual abuse by himself and others. The prince maintained his relations with Epstein long after he was convicted for his crimes.

In 2008, Epstein served 13 months for procuring an underage girl for prostitution and of soliciting a prostitute. A three-year investigation had identified 36 girls, some as young as 14 years old, he had sexually abused. Epstein was arrested again on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019. Ruled as a suicide, Epstein’s lawyers and many others have alleged that he was assassinated to protect his friends in high places—including the Duke of York.

Andrew’s friendship with Epstein was close and even involved arranging for him to pay off the debts of his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York.

In January, Virginia Roberts, now with the married name Giuffre, alleged in a court case that Andrew, “a former prime minister” and lawyer Alan Dershowitz had sex with her while she was a teenager. Epstein had paid her £10,000 to have sex with the Duke on three occasions, including during a trip to London in 2001, when she was 17, in New York and on a private Caribbean island.

Flight logs confirmed that Andrew and Roberts/Giuffre were in all the places she alleges sex happened. There is a photo of him with his arm around her waist taken at the London flat of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged “madam” and a friend of Prince Andrew. A second girl, Joanna Sjoberg, alleges that Andrew touched her breast while seated with Roberts in Epstein’s mansion.

In August 2019, the New Republic magazine published an email exchange between Epstein associate John Brockman and journalist Evgeny Morozov from September 2013, in which Brockman mentions seeing a British man named “Andy” receiving a foot massage from two young Russian women at Epstein’s New York mansion in 2010. He later “realized that the recipient” of the foot massage “was His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.”

Pilot David Rodgers claims the prince was a passenger on flights with the financier and Roberts/Giuffre, including to the US Virgin Islands on April 11, 2001.

Last month the right-wing website Project Veritas published a leaked video, revealing that ABC News had suppressed reports of Epstein’s sex-trafficking for three years, with Breaking News anchor and Good Morning America co-host Amy Robach stating off-camera, “Then the Palace found out we had [Roberts/Giuffre] whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways. We were so worried that we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate [Middleton] and Will [Prince William], that also quashed the story.”

This was the background to the November 16 Maitlis interview, recorded in Buckingham Palace November 14.

To give a flavour of the painful episode, Andrew said he first met Epstein in 1999 through his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the deceased and disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxwell. He had maintained relations only because he wanted to learn more about the “international business world” in his capacity as a special representative for international trade and investment. Epstein had attended Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday at Windsor Castle in July 2006, but only as Maxwell’s “plus one”. Beatrice is Andrew’s daughter.

Andrew had broken contact with Epstein after his initial conviction, until December 2010, when he visited the financier just four months after he had completed his prison sentence. The duke claimed he had only done so to (again) break off relations. He had considered speaking to Epstein by telephone but decided to meet him face-to-face “to show leadership”.

Asked why he had then stayed at Epstein’s mansion and attended a dinner party, Andrew said, “It was a convenient place to stay… with the benefit of all the hindsight that one can have it was definitely the wrong thing to do but at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do.

“I admit fully my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable,” he added.

Asking about the alleged sexual encounter with Roberts/Giuffre, Maitlis said, “She says she met you in 2001, she says she dined with you, danced with you at Tramp Nightclub in London. She went on to have sex with you in a house in Belgravia belonging to Ghislaine Maxwell, your friend. Your response?”

Andrew replied: “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

Roberts/Giuffre’s accusations were “very specific,” Maitlis said, including that the prince had been “profusely sweating”. He replied that “I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat.” He had only started to be able to sweat again “in the recent past.”

“Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken,” he said. He had never been upstairs at Maxwell’s Belgravia flat and “when I go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie.” He was shown with his hand on her waist, but “I am not one to, as it were, hug.”

Most importantly, the day that his encounter with Roberts/Giuffre was meant to have taken place, March 10, 2001, he was “at home with the children.” He had taken Princess Beatrice to a party at a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking at about 4 or 5 p.m., “And then because the Duchess was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there.”

“Going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do,” he said. “I remember it weirdly distinctly.”

He never suspected Epstein’s criminal behaviour or saw anything unusual about the large number of guests at what have been alleged to be orgies. “I live in an institution at Buckingham Palace which has members of staff walking around all the time and I don’t wish to appear grand but there were a lot of people who were walking around Jeffrey Epstein’s house. As far as I was aware, they were staff.”

Andrew still did not regret being friends with Epstein. Knowing Epstein had “some seriously beneficial outcomes… The people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn, either by him or because of him, were actually very useful.”

Maitlis closed the interview by asking, “Would you be willing to testify or give a statement under oath if you were asked?” He replied, “If push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty-bound to do so.”

This may yet prove to be the most damaging statement made by the prince. Lawyers representing 10 of Epstein’s victims have demanded that he now speak to the FBI.

Gloria Allred, representing five of Epstein’s victims, told the Guardian, “The right and honourable action for Prince Andrew to take now is for him to volunteer to be interviewed by the FBI and prosecutors for the southern district of New York.”

Lisa Bloom, who represents another five victims, said that some of the prince’s answers were “simply not credible”.

Anna Rothwell, from criminal law firm Corker Binning, said, “Prince Andrew is not entitled to any form of immunity by virtue of his position as a member of the royal family. His friendship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is under investigation by the FBI and he is vulnerable to extradition.”

Two New York prison guards were arrested on Tuesday and charged with multiple crimes in connection with the death of multimillionaire investor Jeffery Epstein last August. Epstein was being held on federal sex trafficking charges at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City at the time of his death and was facing up to 45 years in prison if convicted. The two guards, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were charged with making false records and conspiring to defraud the United States. The pair had reportedly failed to conduct mandatory bed checks on Epstein every half-hour and are alleged to have spent several hours of their shift asleep. They are also said to have falsified prison logs to indicate they had conducted the required patrols: here.

U.S. DOCUMENT CACHE COULD SINK PRINCE ANDREW Prince Andrew is named in a cache of secret legal documents detailing explosive new allegations against Jeffrey Epstein that could be unsealed by a U.S. judge before the end of the year. [The Daily Beast]

PRINCE ANDREW TO STEP BACK FROM PUBLIC LIFE In his first statement since Saturday’s BBC Newsnight interview, the Duke of York said it “has become clear” he could no longer carry on with his royal duties as the scandal over his relationship with the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein had “become a major disruption to my family’s work”. [HuffPost]