Articoli con tag sex assault

REGNO UNITO. Scandalo sessuale nella congregazione dei Testimoni di Geova: abusato un minore. Gli anziani coprirono il pedofilo

16/7/2013

Jehovah’s Witnesses hushed up child sex scandal

CHURCH officials hushed up a child sex scandal in their ranks and refused to co-operate with police.

Gordon Leighton

Gordon Leighton

Jehovah Witness ministerial servant Gordon Leighton admitted sexually abusing a child when he was confronted by his church elders, a court heard.

But during the official police investigation, the 53-year-old – who made headlines in the 1990s when wife Yvonne, 28, died after refusing a blood transfusion after childbirth on religious grounds – denied any illegal wrongdoing.

And when detectives asked elders Simon Preyser, Harry Logan and David Scott to make statements about the confession, all three refused and said what they had heard was confidential.

For three years, the elders refused to co-operate with the criminal investigation and kept up that stance when the case was brought before Newcastle Crown Court after the victim made a complaint to police.

Each was issued with a witness summons which they fought to overturn before being ordered to testify by Judge Penny Moreland citing public interest.

Their barrister Richard Daniels said the men had a “duty to God” not to breach confidence.

He added: “Privileged communication between members of the congregation and ministers is an absolute right and duty and there is no power in law to breach such a confidence.”

Judge Moreland said: “It is apparent that the three elders who were present when this conversation took place are in possession of relevant evidence as to a point which is of real significance in this case.

“They claim the right of confidentiality, they claim that what they heard said by the defendant during the course of that meeting ought to be subject to privilege, as ministers of religion.”

Judge Moreland refused to withdraw the summonses and said: “Public interest is clearly in favour of this evidence being given.

“What was said by the defendant on that occasion is of great significance in the trial.”

Despite the judge’s ruling, the men still refused to make statements to police until just hours before they were called before the jury.

Leighton, who has since been expelled from the church at Lambton Kingdom Hall in Washington, denied two charges of indecency with a child and seven of indecent assault.

He was yesterday found guilty of two charges of indecency with a child and six of indecent assault. He was found not guilty of one indecent assault charge, on the direction of the judge.

He was remanded in custody until he is sentenced next month but warned he is facing a lengthy spell behind bars.

Prosecutor Katherine Dunn told the court the victim, who is now an adult, broke her silence in 2009.

The court heard how at a special church meeting, Leighton “admitted sexual abuse” and made excuses for his behaviour.

Miss Dunn said: “The elders conducted their own investigation. A meeting was arranged and the defendant was confronted with the allegations.

“After initially denying the allegations, he broke down and admitted sexually abusing the complainant.”

The court heard Leighton, of Wigeon Close, Ayton, refused to answer any questions when interviewed by detectives and claimed his confession at the meeting was limited to masturbation and reading pornographic material.

Throughout the six-day trial, Leighton denied all allegations and that he had confessed to the elders, telling jurors: “It never happened. It’s all untrue.”

Leighton had also denied unrelated assault charges, which he was found guilty of.

Fonte: Sunderland Echo

http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/crime/jehovah-s-witnesses-hushed-up-child-sex-scandal-1-5858460

Church set up probe to see if ‘sin’ had been committed over sex assault allegations

DAVID Scott is an elder at the Lambton Kingdom Hall in Washington.

He found out about the sex abuse allegation in December 2009.

Mr Scott said he made a telephone call to the London HQ and was instructed, with other elders, to carry out an investigation into the claims.

A meeting was then set up at the Kingdom Hall in April 2010 to see if a “sin” had been committed.

He said Leighton initially denied the allegations.

But he said Leighton confessed after Bible verses were quoted at the gathering, which said “God sees everything”.

Mr Scott said: “He thought for a while and said possibly, he may have had a drink and he may have done those things.

“Following that, he said ‘I would like to apologise’ and said ‘I can’t apologise enough’.

“I remember him saying ‘what are you going to do now?’.”

Mr Scott said after the “confession” Leighton was “reproved”, which means he was disciplined and all privileges removed from him.

He was not, at that stage, “disfellowed”, or banished from the church. Being “disfellowed” means nobody is allowed to speak to the disfellowed member and while they may still attend meetings, they are not allowed to participate.

Mr Scott said contacting the police was not discussed as an option.

It was only later, when allegations of violence were made against Leighton, that he was disfellowed and expelled from the congregation.

Mr Scott said: “It is not what you expect a Christian, someone who lives by Christian standards, to do, acting violently towards someone.

“The Bible says violence should be avoided.”

Henry Logan is also an elder at the congregation. He was also at the meeting and had participated in the internal “investigation”. He too said Leighton had initially denied the allegations.

But he added: “He then said that he had been drunk at the time and he may have done those things while he was drunk.”

Mr Logan said he was present when Leighton was told he would be reproved after the admissions.

He said: “He put his hands over his face and said ‘oh, I thought I was going to be disfellowshipped’ and he had tears in his eyes.”

Simon Preyser is an elder from the Roker congregation in Sunderland.

He chaired the meeting and described the allegations as “horrific”.

Mr Preyser told the court about Leighton’s initial denials but added: “He said ‘it might well be, while under the influence of alcohol, I did things I shouldn’t have done. Some of the things she’s said, I’ve done’.

“He just simply said ‘I’m sorry’.”

Fonte: Sunderland Echo

http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/crime/church-set-up-probe-to-see-if-sin-had-been-committed-over-sex-assault-allegations-1-5858467

Jehovah’s Witness Church Elders Covered Up Sex Abuse By Paedophile

By Kevin Donald

Jehovah’s Witness church elders covered up a child sex scandal in their congregation and refused to co-operate with the police.

Ministerial servant Gordon Leighton admitted sexually abusing a child when he was confronted with allegations before elders at his church.

But during the official police investigation the 53-year-old, who hit the headlines in the 1990s when his wife Yvonne, 28, died after refusing a blood transfusion after childbirth on religious grounds, denied any illegal wrongdoing.

When detectives asked elders Simon Preyser, Harry Logan and David Scott to make statements about the confession, all three refused and said what they had heard was confidential.

The elders knew about Leighton’s admissions for three years but refused to co-operate with the criminal investigation

The trio kept that stance when the case was brought before Newcastle Crown Court. Each was then issued with a witness summons.

They then launched a court battle against the summonses but were ordered to testify by Judge Penny Moreland after months of legal wrangling.

Their barrister Richard Daniels said the men had a “duty to God” not to breach confidence.

He added: “Privileged communication between members of the congregation and ministers is an absolute right and duty and there is no power in law to breach such a confidence.”

Judge Moreland made an order that the men must reveal what they heard and said: “It is apparent that the three elders who were present when this conversation took place are in possession of relevant evidence as to a point which is of real significance in this case.

“They claim the right of confidentiality, they claim that what they heard said by the defendant during the course of that meeting ought to be subject to privilege, as ministers of religion. “

Judge Moreland refused to withdraw the summonses and said: “Public interest is clearly in favour of this evidence being given.

“What was said by the defendant on that occasion is of great significance in the trial.”

Despite the judge’s ruling, the men refused to make statements to police until just hours before they were called as witnesses before the jury.

Leighton, who has since been expelled from the church at Lambton Kingdom Hall in Washington, Wearside, denied two charges of indecency with a child and seven of indecent assault.

He was yesterday found guilty of two charges of indecency with a child and six of indecent assault.

He was found not guilty of one indecent assault charge, on the direction of the judge.

Judge Moreland remanded him in custody until August 23, when he will be sentenced.

The judge told him: “You know, I am sure, that the inevitable sentence is one of immediate and lengthy custody.

“You will be remanded in custody in the meantime.”

Prosecutor Katherine Dunn told the court it was in 2009 the victim, who is now an adult, broke her silence about what Leighton had done to her.

The court heard at a special meeting, aimed at “keeping the congregation clean”, Leighton “admitted sexual abuse” and made excuses for his vile behaviour.

Miss Dunn said: “The elders conducted their own investigation.

“A meeting was arranged and the defendant was confronted with the allegations.

“After initially denying the allegations he broke down and admitted sexually abusing the complainant.”

The court heard Leighton, of Wigeon Close, Ayton, refused to answer any questions when interviewed by detectives and claimed his confession at the meeting was limited to masturbation and reading pornographic material.

Throughout the six day trial Leighton denied all allegations against him and denied he had confessed to the elders.

He told jurors: “It never happened. It’s all untrue.”

Leighton had also denied unrelated assault charges, which he was found guilty of.

Gordon Leighton married his first wife Yvonne in 1991 and she gave birth to a baby boy in January 1993.

The 53-year-old told jurors the pregnancy and delivery seemed fine but problems developed in the following days.

Mrs Leighton needed surgical intervention and developed further complications and blood loss.

During her hospital stay the 28-year-old signed a form stating she was not to receive a blood transfusion and died as a result.

Members of the Jehovas Witness church were present at the hospital to ensure medical staff complied with her wishes.

When asked his view on what happened, Leighton said: “I respected her decision and stood by it.”

Mrs Leighton died when her son was just two weeks old.

Leighton told jurors his life became a news story because of what happened.

He said: “At the coroner’s report at Sunderland Magistrates I was chased down the street by the press with cameras and things didn’t settle down, the press found out where I lived and were sort of following me around, jumping out of bushes, knocking on the door with a cheque book for a story.”
Leighton said his neighbourhood became “very, very hostile” when word spread about what had happened to his wife and he was branded a “murderer”.

He said: “They were doing things like scratching my car, letting the tyres down, putting notes through the door saying ‘murderer’.

“It was very, very emotional to have a young child and have all this on top.

“I had a lot of assistance, a lot of people from the Jehova’s Witness community were there for me, to help me.

“I was inexperienced with a two-week old baby, the ladies really helped.”

Leighton denied the sex abuse charges in court and denied he had confessed to them during the meeting with the elders.

He said: “It never happened. It’s all untrue.”

Fonte: Tyne and Wear

Vedi anche video, qui

http://tyneandwear.sky.com/news/article/73858/jehovahs-witness-church-elders-covered-up-sex-abuse-by-paedophile

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Il cardinale Keith O’Brien accusato di aggressione sessuale mentre ricopriva la carica di cardinale

Cardinal Keith O’Brien accused of sex assault while in office as Cardinal

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the disgraced former head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, has been accused of sexually assaulting a priest when he was already a Cardinal

keith-oBrien_2490723b

By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor, Vatican City

He is alleged to have attempted to grope the man in Rome on the night of a drinks party to celebrate becoming a “prince of the Church” in October 2003, attended by a raft of bishops and dignitaries.

It is the first allegation to relate directly to his time as a Cardinal and the first suggestion that his sexual misconduct extended to the centre of the Catholic Church.

It follows an admission by the Cardinal that he was guilty of sexual misconduct, with his personal standards falling below those expected of him “as a priest, archbishop and cardinal”.

His accuser, a priest now based in London, is said to have complained to the Vatican last year, prompting his departure as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland, months before separate allegations relating to the 1980s came to light.

Cardinal O’Brien, who turns 75 on Sunday, announced last November that he would be stepping down as leader of the Scottish Catholic Bishops Conference and signalled that he was making plans for retirement.

At the time, his decision was put down to a severe gout condition which left him in hospital.

But it was reported earlier this month that he had secretly been summoned to Rome after the priest who alleges he was abused there complained directly to the Vatican.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the head of the Vatican’s bishops department, is said to have overseen the case.

It led to accusations that the authorities in Rome were trying to orchestrate a “cover-up”, sending the Cardinal quietly into retirement without scandal.

But when four other priests came forward last month the case was referred directly to Pope Benedict.

In one of the last acts of his pontificate, he effectively sacked Cardinal O’Brien by ordering that his resignation, already submitted, would be accepted with immediate effect.

Pope Francis, elected last Wednesday, will now have to decide whether or not to strip him of his position as a Cardinal, one of only a handful of such cases in the last 200 years.

Doing so would enable the Pope to send out a strong signal that he plans to clamp down on misconduct at the very top of the Church.

The latest details came to light in a report in the Scottish newspaper, The Herald , which said that the alleged assault took place at the Scots College in Rome, where he was staying for the consistory at which he was made a Cardinal by Pope John Paul II.

No-one from the college was available for comment yesterday.

The Scottish Bishops Conference said that all cases involving Cardinal O’Brien had been passed straight to the Vatican.

“A number of complaints have been passed directly to the Vatican, the detail and nature of them is not known to the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland,” a spokesman said.

Cardinal O’Brien has left Scotland and was unavailable for comment.

During his time as leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland he became known as one of the most vehement opponents of gay marriage, which he said would lead to “further degeneration of society into immorality.”

Last year he was voted “bigot of the year” by Stonewall, the gay rights group.

But following his admission, Peter Tatchell said he “pitied” Cardinal O’Brien who he said was obviously suffering from “self-loathing and deeply repressed homosexual desires”.

Fonte: The Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9934881/Cardinal-Keith-OBrien-accused-of-sex-assault-while-in-office-as-Cardinal.html

LEGGI L’ARTICOLO PUBBLICATO SU “THE HERALD”, QUI

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/obrien-groped-priest-the-day-he-became-a-cardinal.20518401

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