March 6, 2020
He did this for 20+ years before there was an outcry?
A “feared” pastor who raped children in a bogus religious ceremony over a 20-year period has been jailed.
Self-styled prophet Michael Oluronbi was found guilty in January of offences against six women and a man. Five of those attended his church.
He carried out his attacks by convincing his victims to take part in a “spiritual bathing” ritual, which he told them would “cleanse” them of evil spirits.
Judge Sarah Buckingham, sentencing him to 34 years behind bars, said his case was “one of the worst cases of sexual abuse of multiple children to come before the courts” and described him as an “arrogant, selfish and vain man”.
She said the “spiritual baths” were actually designed to “fulfil (his) insatiable sexual appetite”.
“The children feared you and this enabled you to continue your grip,” she said, sentencing Oluronbi on Friday.
“Your offending has had an extreme and severe impact on all of your complainants.
He“You abused your position of trust – they trusted you like God.”
In statements read to the court by the prosecution, one of the victims said Oluronbi’s actions made her “question if my life was worth living”.
Oluronbi, who had blamed the devil for his actions, was convicted of 15 counts of rape, seven counts of indecent assault and two counts of sexual assault, at Birmingham Crown Court.
Oluronbi’s wife Juliana was also convicted of three counts of aiding and abetting rape and helping arrange some of the abortions of his victims, with some becoming pregnant multiple times. She was jailed for 11 years.
As a pharmacist, he would take them to clinics to end the pregnancies.
During the trial, the jury was told how Oluronbi was linked to a Christian church in Birmingham, where he formed a splinter group for about 40 adults and children, separate to the church and in another location.
In that group, he had the victims take part in “spiritual bathing”.
During the trial, Phil Bradley QC, prosecuting, told the jury: “The main tactic he employed was to claim that God had instructed him to administer ‘holy baths’ to some of his congregation in order to ‘cleanse’ them and protect them from evil influences.
February 14, 2020
A former monk at a Catholic boarding school who sexually abused boys as young as nine has been jailed for more than 20 years.
Peter Turner, 80, was removed from Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire in 1987 after he told the headteacher about having sexual contact with a pupil.
He showed the boy, who was just 10 when the abuse began, pornography, made him perform sex acts on him and himself, touched him sexually and committed buggery.
The abuse took place in a number of areas of Ampleforth, including a hermitage and during car journeys.
Tom Storey, prosecuting, said Turner told the boy it was their secret and gave him sweets and alcohol and taught him how to drive a car in the school grounds.
He said: “He described being completely dominated by the defendant and completely at his mercy, unable of saying anything and did not know who to seek help from.”
Turner — who was previously known as Father Gregory Carroll — was sent away from the school to work as a parish priest in Workington, Cumbria, where he went on to abuse two more boys.
The victims were aged between nine and 12 and were subjected to indecent assaults and gross indecency on a nearby beach and in Turner’s car.
Turner, from Redcar, North Yorkshire, was sentenced to 20 years 10 months at York Crown Court on Wednesday after admitting to 11 counts of indecent assault, two counts of buggery and one count of gross indecency with a child.
The Catholic Church broke its promise to publish a list of “credibly accused” abuser priests, so Propublica did it for them
January 28, 2020
In 2019 the Pennsylvania Attorney General published a 900-page grand jury report on sexual predators in the Catholic Church and the coverups the church and its official had undertaken; at the time, the church promised to end the coverup and engage in truth and reconciliation with the parishoners who’d been preyed upon by clergy.
Today, 178 Archdioceses have published lists of the priests they consider “credibly accused,” according to criteria that vary widely from diocese to diocese — the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says it has no authorities to dictate standards for these lists.
41 dioceses have not published lists. These dioceses serve more than 9,000,000 Catholics, and include the dioceses of Rockville Centre, NY (1.5m parishoners); Fresno, CA (1.2m parishoners); Miami, FL (790,000 parishoners), and San Francisco, CA (445,000 parishoners).
The quality of the cooperating dioceses’ lists is highly variable: some exclude members of religious orders (like the Jesuits), who constitute 30% of the priests in America. Other lists don’t include the names of priests whose survivors have received settlements from the church, but who are not themselves considered “credibly accused” apparently. Names appear and disappear from the list all the time.
Propublica has produced a searchable database of known accused priests, searchable by name/cit/diocese (they explain their methodology here), and they’ve made the data available for download.
The database is accompanied by an excellent, deeply reported story by Lexi Churchill, Ellis Simani and Topher Sanders.
It’s impossible to know how many accused clergy members dioceses have opted not to put on their lists.
Bishop Accountability applies different standards for inclusion on its list than church leaders, tracking public accusations against nuns and other clergy members often left off the official rolls.
As a result, there are sometimes substantial gaps between the group’s tallies and those of dioceses.
The Archdiocese of Boston currently lists 171 names. Bishop Accountability lists 279, including dozens of religious order priests omitted from the official list as well as several priests who died before victims came forward.
“For every person who’s left off a list, bishops ought to be aware that they are retraumatizing survivors and doubling the insult and doubling the pain,” Terence McKiernan, the founder of Bishop Accountability, said.
Catholic Leaders Promised Transparency About Child Abuse. They Haven’t Delivered. [Lexi Churchill, Ellis Simani and Topher Sanders/Propublica]
January 27, 2020
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said Tuesday that it has substantiated allegations of child sexual abuse against another priest.
The archdiocese said in a news release that allegations of abuse of a minor were substantiated against Father Marvin Leven by the archdiocese following an investigation by the Oklahoma City law firm McAfee & Taft. It said the allegations date to 1993, when Leven, now 94 and retired, was assigned to Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Enid.
The allegation was made by a then-15-year-old boy, who said the abuse resumed later when he was an adult at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edmond, the archdiocese said.
The archdiocese said it also substantiated a separate allegation against Leven of inappropriate behavior with a minor at the Enid church.
Archbishop Paul Coakley also revoked Leven’s authority to serve as a priest. Leven didn’t immediately reply to a message left with the archdiocese seeking comment.
Under Oklahoma law, the statute of limitations has expired for any possible charges against Leven.
Leven served as pastor at Holy Family Catholic Church in Lawton from 1994 until his retirement in 1998, according to their website. He also served at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Altus.
Leven is the second priest the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City has identified since December as having child sexual abuse allegations against them substantiated from 1960 to 2018, bringing to 13 the total since an initial report in October identified 11 clerics with substantiated allegations.
Separately, the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma also released a list in October, naming 11 other clerics in that diocese who were found to have credible child sexual abuse allegations against them dating to 1973.
January 21, 2020
WILKES COUNTY, N.C. — An eastern Wilkes County pastor was arrested on over 100 counts of felony sex offenses Thursday, according to the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office.
Rodney Dean Luffman, 58, is identified online as the pastor of a church on N.C. 268 in Elkin called Open Arms Outreach Ministries.
He was charged in connection with two male victims and one female victim.
The victim’s ages ranged from 4 to 16 when the offenses happened, deputies say.
Most of the offenses reportedly happened between 2000 and 2015.
On Monday, he was in the Wilkes County Jail under a $1 million bond.
The investigation is ongoing.
January 20, 2020
MICHIGAN — Two former priests who served in the Upper Peninsula have been charged with sex crimes, the state Attorney General’s office announced Friday.
Both men had ties to the Catholic Diocese of Marquette.
The charges come as state Attorney General Dana Nessel continues investigations into clergy abuse.
Nessel said that she authorized charges against Gary Allen Jacobs, 74, of Albuquerque, New Mexico for multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct. The charges involved allege assaults between 1981 and 1984 in Ontonagon County and in early 1984 in Dickinson County.
State attorneys did not reveal information about the victims, other than to note that several charges involved a child between 13 and 16 and one charge involved a child less than 13.
Jacobs was arrested Friday in New Mexico and is awaiting extradition on eight felony charges.
The other former priest is Roy Joseph, 52, lives in India, state officials said.
The Attorney General’s office has authorized one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a 2006 incident in Marquette County. Joseph served as a priest there at the time.
Michigan priest accused of tying up teenage boy, taping mouth and eyes
Sixth Michigan priest charged with criminal sexual conduct
Court records reveal years of alleged sex abuse by priests across Michigan
January 16, 2020
January 15, 2018
A Roman Catholic priest in Northern New Jersey was arrested and charged this week with multiple counts of child sex abuse dating to the early 1990s, the state attorney general’s office said. It was the first criminal case brought by New Jersey’s Clergy Abuse Task Force, which was formed last year to investigate abuse allegations in the Catholic Church.
Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Phillipsburg, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree, the office of Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement. The office did not reveal the sex of the victim, who it said was between the ages of 14 and 17 at the time.
Father Ganley was assigned to Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg at the time of his arrest, but the attorney general’s office said the abuse occurred between 1990 and 1994 at Saint Cecilia Church in the Iselin section of Woodbridge. Both churches are part of the Diocese of Metuchen.
“Our Clergy Abuse Task Force is diligently pursuing its mission to expose the truth about past wrongs and seek justice for survivors, because no person is above the law and no institution is immune from accountability,” Mr. Grewal said in a statement. “This case illustrates that we are prepared to move swiftly to investigate allegations, and where there are viable criminal charges, to pursue those charges.”
The Rev. James F. Checchio, the bishop of Metuchen, said in a statement that it had never received an accusation of sexual abuse or misconduct related to Father Ganley, who he said also served as a chaplain at St. Luke’s Warren Campus Hospital in Phillipsburg.
Kira Bub, a spokeswoman for St. Luke’s University Health Network, said in a statement that Father Ganley had never been employed as a chaplain at the hospital. Instead, she said he was “one of several religious leaders who when requested by patients was permitted to visit in their room to minister requested services.”
January 10, 2020
NOBLESVILLE, Indianapolis – A suspended Catholic priest in Indiana is facing charges alleging he sexually abused a child in 2016.
Father David Marcotte of Indianapolis is charged in suburban Hamilton County with child solicitation, vicarious sexual gratification and dissemination of matter harmful to minors.
The Indianapolis Archdiocese suspended the 32-year-old Marcotte from public ministry in February after its victim assistance coordinator learned of the abuse allegations. It said that at the time of the alleged abuse, Marcotte was assigned to St. Malachy Parish in Brownsburg and St. Martin of Tours Parish in Martinsville.
A message seeking comment was left for Marcotte’s attorney.
January 10, 2020
Two Roman Catholic priests were each sentenced to more than 40 years in prison in Argentina for sexually abusing deaf children, a court in the western city of Mendoza ruled Monday.
Argentine priest Horacio Corbacho was sentenced to 45 years in jail, while a 42-year sentence was imposed on Italian Nicola Corradi for the abuse of some 20 children at the Provolo Institute for deaf and hearing-impaired children between 2004 and 2016.
The court said the sentences took into account the aggravating circumstances that the priests were responsible for the children’s wellbeing, as well as the fact that the victims were minors.
The institution’s gardener, Armando Gomez, was also jailed for 18 years for sexual abuse.
Outside the court a group of young people waited for the ruling with banners supporting the victims.
Corbacho, 59, and 83-year-old Corradi had been held in preventive detention since their arrest three years ago on charges of child sex abuse at the school.
Apart from the gardener, several other staff at the school were taken into custody after the allegations of abuse first came to light in 2016, and the institute, 1,000 kilometres west of Buenos Aires, was shut down.
They included a 42-year-old Japanese nun, Kosaka Kumiko, who was arrested later after surrendering to authorities. She was charged with complicity with the two priests.
The trial began on August 5 and heard evidence from 13 victims from the institute during in camera hearings.
Teenager, 19, kills ‘paedophile priest who abused him’ by ramming a crucifix down his throat and suffocating him
January 5, 2020
- Alexandre V. attacked 91-year-old Catholic priest at his home in Agnetz, Oise
- Roger Matassoli is accused of abusing the victim and his father
- Alleged to have abused at least four boys from 1960-2000
- Attacker has been charged with torture, murder and resisting arrest
A 19-year-old man has been arrested for killing a suspected paedophile priest by ramming a crucifix down his throat and suffocating him.
Alexandre V., who is alleged to have been abused by the priest, attacked the 91-year-old Catholic Roger Matassoli at the holy figure’s home in Agnetz, Oise, northern France.
Matassoli had been accused of sexually abusing at least four boys, including Alexandre and Alexandre’s father, between 1960 and 2000.
The priest had to be shifted from the diocese of Clermont in 1967 to the diocese of Saint-Andre-Farivillers, and was then moved to Agnetz, following allegations of paedophilia, reports Franceinfo. And yet he remained on the church’s payroll until 2018.
The attacker, whose full name has not been published, was arrested and charged with torture, murder and resisting arrest.
The priest’s body was found in his home with signs of torture on November 4.
Alexandre, who worked as a housekeeper in Matassoli’s home, was caught by authorities attempting to escape in the holy man’s car and arrested on the same day.
However, he was transferred to hospital due to alleged psychiatric problems and was not formally charged until December 26.null
The suspect had tried to kill himself after being abused by the priest, according to the suspect’s father Stephane, who has also claimed that his father killed himself when he learnt how his son had been abused by the priest.
Speaking about the priest’s impact on his family to French media, Stephane said the priest had ‘shattered a whole family’.
Police are investigating the case on the grounds that the killing was an act of revenge, reports French media. Alexandre has also told investigators he has no recollection of the events.
The priest is also alleged to have abused a man when he was aged between six and 15 years old in Saint-Andre-Farivillers, Franceinfo reports.
The victim’s sister Colette, who has made the claims, told the broadcaster that everyone in the village knew the rumours but no one took any action.
She also said that when a picture of Matassoli stripped naked was found in a landfill it was brushed aside, after the priest claimed it was taken when he was 18 years old and in the army.
‘(But) he did not look like an 18 year old boy in this photo,’ she said, before adding that young boys were invited to the priest’s home in the village every Thursday.
The priest had been officially removed from church duties in 2009 following the first allegations of abuse, but was kept on the payroll for another ten years, Beauvais bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonnin has revealed.
He was only removed after the bishop took into account the testimony of at least two alleged victims, and has claimed he was still paid due to ‘ecclesiastical errors’.
Former pastor, 50, is sentenced to 65 years in prison for filming himself repeatedly raping two underage girls inside the Missouri pizza shop he ran
January 5, 2020
- Loren Copp, 50, was convicted last year of eight federal counts of child sexual exploitation and enticement involving four victims
- Copp, a pastor and karate instructor, ran Dojo Pizza out of a defunct church on Morganford Road in St Louis
- Prosecutors said Copp groomed and sexually abused two sisters for a decade, beginning when they were 9 and 11 years old
- He also allegedly made the girls work at the pizzeria for little pay and threatened to kick them out if they refused
A former pastor and owner a karate-themed St. Louis pizzeria has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for repeatedly raping two young girls in his care and producing child pornography.
Loren Copp, 50, was convicted last year of eight federal counts of child sexual exploitation and enticement involving four victims.
He was sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay $294,000 in restitution on Friday in US District Court.
He previously rejected a plea deal carrying a prison sentence of 15 years.
Federal prosecutors say Copp, a one-time pastor and karate instructor who ran Dojo Pizza out of a defunct church on Morganford Road in St Louis, groomed and sexually abused two sisters who had been in his custody since 2009, when they were ages nine and 11, reported Riverfront Times.
The children ended up living at Copp’s pizza shop, which also served as a community center and a karate school, because their parents were imprisoned, homeless or battling drug addiction, authorities said.
According to testimony presented at trial, Copp began grooming the victims for abuse by touching their buttocks while playing ‘the butt game,’ which then led to him touching their privates and breasts.
‘Eventually, Copp began raping both girls, and he would record the sex acts with a cell phone or video recorder,’ according to a statement from the US Justice Department. ‘While at the Dojo Pizza property, Copp would rape each girl multiple times a week, and while there he took pornographic pictures of one victim’s genitals and breasts.’
Some of the sexual abuse took place while Copp’s then-wife was away.