Cardinal George Pell: “I’m innocent of these charges, they are false.”

Australian authorities allege Vatican's Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy committed sexual abuse many years ago

After Australian police announced that they have charged him on multiple counts of sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell has maintained his innocence, saying he will take leave from his responsibilities in the Vatican to clear his name. In comments to journalists during a June 29 news briefing at the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Pell said that with the permission of Pope … [Read more...]

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California home to large human trafficking industry

Slavery is found throughout the state, but major hubs are focused in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco

Human trafficking is the world's fastest growing criminal enterprise.  An estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry, it constitutes one of the gravest offenses against human dignity - preying upon the most vulnerable women, children, and men who are frequently tricked or coerced into preforming uncompensated work or degrading and dangerous activities.  As Pope Francis has … [Read more...]

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Teacher at Catholic school for girls accused of molesting student

Teacher at Ramona Convent Secondary School in Alhambra was arrested May 17 after a graphic text message was found on a student's phone, police said

A female teacher was arrested on suspicion of having a sexual relationship with a student at an all-girls Catholic school in Alhambra, according to authorities. Alhambra police said 42-year-old Diana Wendel, a teacher at Ramona Convent Secondary School for the past three years, was arrested Wednesday afternoon after a graphic text was found on a student's phone by her … [Read more...]

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Stockton diocese bankruptcy plan takes effect

Provides $15 million to survivors of sexual abuse

On February 14, the Diocese of Stockton Plan for Reorganization took effect. All settlement payments have been deposited in the trust set up for the benefit of survivors of sexual abuse. The Trust will now begin the process of administering and paying the abuse claims pursuant to the provisions of the Plan. As previously announced, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern … [Read more...]

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SNAP founder resigns

Announcement comes less than two weeks after SNAP’s executive director quit

The founder of a prominent advocacy group for children sexually abused by Catholic priests has resigned, the second major departure in the wake of a lawsuit filed last month by a former employee alleging that the organization colluded with lawyers to refer clients and profit from settlements. In an email to supporters Barbara Blaine said her decision to leave SNAP, which … [Read more...]

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Sad tale of a child sex slave

Duñia Zelaya and ex-labor slave Bishan Kumar share their stories during the L.A. Freedom Walk

“I knew my life wasn’t normal,” Duñia Zelaya said of her childhood. She vividly remembers the night her mother and stepfather dressed her in strange clothes and did her makeup before driving her to a bar to work as a sex slave. She can’t remember her age, but she was probably 7. Her mother gave her a drink to “give her courage.” Her two sisters, who were older though still … [Read more...]

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National director of SNAP resigns

Announcement that David Clohessy has stepped down comes a week after he and other SNAP leaders were named in a lawsuit alleging kickbacks for referrals to attorneys in sex-abuse cases

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced Tuesday that its longtime national director, accused by a former SNAP employee of referring potential clients to attorneys in return for financial kickbacks to the group, resigned at the end of last year. The announcement that David Clohessy, of St. Louis, left the Chicago-based organization comes a week after he and … [Read more...]

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