Entries in Sexual Abuse (4)


German Catholic Priest Admits to Sexually Abusing Three Boys

Hemera/Thi​nkstock(BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany) -- A German Catholic priest admitted to 280 counts of sexual abuse on three boys in court on Thursday.

The BBC News reports that the priest, who was only identified as Andreas L, abused a nine-year-old boy for two years after he had befriended the boy's widowed mother in 2004. The abuse is said to have occurred for two years when the boy would accompany the priest on weekend trips. The boy's mother became suspicious of the relationship and approached the diocese of Hildesheim which forbade the priest to contact the boy. When he attempted to contact the victim, now aged 17, the teen revealed the abuse resulting in the arrest of the priest last summer.

Andreas L. began abusing two brothers aged nine and 13 shortly after he ceased contact with the first victim.

He appeared in Braunschweig court on Thursday and when questioned, the priest said he was under the impression that the children consented. If convicted, he faces a minimum prison sentence of six years.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


German Catholic Church to Investigate Sex Abuse

Franco Origlia/Getty Images(BERLIN) -- Catholic Church leaders in Germany are planning to initiate a comprehensive investigation into the reported sexual abuse of children by clergy, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Church leaders will work with a group of independent criminology researchers to conduct a "systemic, empirical" investigation that will help them understand how the cases of abuse happened and better handle any reports going forward, WSJ reports.  The probe will begin with an audit of the personnel files of priests and other staff from the past decade, according to Church officials.

The timing of the investigation should be noted.  Pope Benedict XVI is expected to visit his native Germany in September and will likely feel pressured to confront the Church's handling of sexual abuse.

In Ireland, Prime Minister Enda Kenny has criticized the Vatican for resisting the methods of civil law in handling reported abuse, according to British newspaper The Guardian.  Kenny received a detailed report Wednesday that abuse had taken place as recently as 2009, The New York Times reports.

Kenny hopes to see stricter laws that will make it more difficult -- even for the leaders within the Roman Catholic Church -- to sidestep legal obligation in reporting cases of child abuse.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Former Israeli President Sentenced to Seven Years in Jail

JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images(TEL AVIV) -- Moshe Katsav, Israel's president from 2000 to 2007, has been sentenced to seven years in prison on charges of rape and other sexual offenses brought against him last December.

He is the highest-ranking Israeli official ever jailed.

Judges said they handed down a severe punishment because Katsav sexually abused women over many years and while holding public office. Rape, they said, damages and destroys a person's soul.

The sentence is being praised in Israel as a victory for the country's legal system.

Lawyers for the former president plan to appeal the sentence.

Katsav reports to jail May 8.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


1,000 Kenyan Teachers Fired for Sexually Abusing Young Girls

Photo Courtesy - TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images(NAIROBI, Kenya) -- More than 1,000 Kenyan teachers have been fired for sexually abusing girls over the last two years, according to a new report from the country’s government.

Last year, 600 teachers were dismissed over allegations of sexual abuse, and 500 more have been let go this year. The allegations range from inappropriate kissing and touching to impregnating girls as young as 12.

The extent of sexual abuse in Kenya came to light after the government set up a hotline for the victims.

"Initially, we were not able to know what was happening in the country because of the poor communication, but now communication is everywhere. There's mobile [phones] across the country," Ahmed Hussein, the director of children's services at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development, told the BBC.

Hussein said that some of the teachers had already been arrested and prosecuted. Many, however, were simply fired and sent home.

Technically, it is against Kenyan law for an adult to have sex with a minor under the age of 18, but the law is hard to enforce, particularly in rural areas. The victim's family has to press charges and become heavily involved in the investigation, so most accused sexual abusers escape prosecution.

In the case of teachers, the accused and school officials often pay off the girl's family, who is often poor, to keep the family from prosecuting.

The fact that the Kenyan government is acknowledging the problem is considered progress. Kenya is one of only 14 countries to have a hotline encouraging victims to report abuse. While more countries in Africa are acknowledging it, sexual abuse isn't widely talked about, let alone reported.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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