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  • Judge rules documents be public in priest abuse case

    By Joseph A. Slobodzian

    A Philadelphia judge has ruled that documents and other evidence from pretrial proceedings in a lawsuit involving sexual abuse of minors by a Catholic priest will remain public before trial.


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  • At least 40 former students allege sexual abuse at prestigious R.I. prep school

    By Washington Post

    40 former students allege sexual abuse at a prestigious prep school between 1974 and 2004. “The magnitude and scope of this is already approaching the largest private school sexual abuse case that we’ve seen, which was at Horace Mann, where 62 victims came forward,” Eric MacLeish, a lawyer who is representing some of the victims, along with fellow attorney Carmen Durso, told the Times.


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  • Reporting a school sexual assault can increase a victim’s risk of punishment

    By Emma Brown/Washington Post

    The Education Department has seen a spike during the past year in the number of civil rights complaints filed against K-12 schools for allegedly mishandling reports of sexual violence. But K-12 students who report sexual assault at school are often penalized for doing so, activists and federal officials say, pointing to cases in which victims of alleged sexual assault have been disciplined. 


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  • FSU settles for $950,000 in Jameis Winston rape case

    By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN

    Florida State University has reached a $950,000 settlement with a former student who sued the school after alleging she was raped by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston, school President James Thrasher said in a Monday statement.


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  • Chattanooga Can Build on Unity

    By Times Free Press

    Following the last tear shed, last note sung and last word spoken at Saturday's memorial service for the five servicemen slain locally in an attack by a lone gunman on July 16, what next?


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  • Life Care Center of Rhea County sued again after alleged sexual assault of female resident

    By Times Free Press

    For the second time in five years, Life Care Center of Rhea County faces angry family members and legal action after a female resident at the Dayton facility reportedly suffered sexual assault at the hands of a male visitor. According to a complaint filed in Rhea County Circuit Court last week, an 82-year-old resident with dementia was sexually assaulted in her room one morning last October when Harold Suttles, an elder, frequent male visitor to the facility, entered her room without permission and asked her to touch him sexually.


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  • University of Oregon settles lawsuit over sex assault allegations

    By Associated Press

    The University of Oregon has agreed to pay $800,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a student who claimed she was sexually assaulted last year by three basketball players. The 18-year-old woman, who is identified in the suit as Jane Doe, on Tuesday dismissed all claims against the university. Last week, she also dismissed all claims against head basketball coach Dana Altman. According to the settlement agreement with the university, the school will also waive her tuition, housing and student fees for four years. The suit — which alleged the school was negligent, violated her civil rights and privacy — was filed in January in federal court in Eugene.


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  • Why Two Chicago Mothers are Suing Suburbs Over their Slain Sons

    By Tom Rowley / Washington Post

    In an unusual lawsuit filed July 7, Bosley and Nance-Holt claim their civil rights have been violated by three suburban governments that they say do not adequately regulate gun shops near the Chicago border. The suit argues that weapons sold at these stores are responsible for too much of the violence that disproportionately afflicts this poor, black corner of Chicago.


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  • Families Of Newtown Massacre Victims Reach $1.5 Million Settlement

    By Brakkton Booker / NPR

    The relatives of 16 victims of the 2012 elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., reached a proposed $1.5 million settlement Monday against the estate of the shooter's mother. According to the Hartford Courant, each family will receive $93,750 apiece from a homeowners insurance policy that Nancy Lanza had on a Newtown home she shared with her son Adam. The lawsuits were filed by the families of 14 victims who died in the school shooting and two who survived.


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  • Milwaukee Archdiocese Settles Abuse Cases for $21 Million

    By Scott Bauer / AP

    (MADISON, Wis.) — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee said Tuesday that it will pay $21 million to more than 300 victims of clergy abuse in a settlement that would end a four-year bankruptcy proceeding. The proposed deal, which will be part of a reorganization plan submitted to a bankruptcy court later this month, was to be reviewed by a judge overseeing the case at a Nov. 9 hearing. Archbishop Jerome Listeki called the settlement a “new Pentecost.”


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  • Tortured teen gets millions from county for failure to protect

    By Suzanne Phan / KXTV

    Kyle runs through a health club in Tracy, California, pleading for help. Haunting video of the tortured teen shows him wearing only boxer shorts and a shackle on his ankle -- his back is covered with bruises and dirt. That was in 2008 when Kyle escaped from seven years of torture. Kyle's four captors were sentenced to 30 years in prison for a slew of offenses, including child abuse, false imprisonment and torture using a bat, knife and belt, according to court documents. For the first time, Kyle and his family talked Thursday about the torture and the $4 million settlement from Sacramento County Child Protective Services.


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  • Lawyers for rape accusers of Kobe Bryant, Jameis Winston altered U.S. campus culture

    By Will Hobson / Washington Post

    John Clune and Baine Kerr are widely recognized as the best attorneys in the country for victims of sex crimes at colleges, with an expertise in high-profile cases involving athletes. They currently represent women suing Florida State, the University of Oregon, and the University of Tulsa — all asserting the schools are financially liable for sex crimes committed by athletes — and are also suing Winston, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and former Florida State star, on behalf of his accuser..


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  • Pine Bush School District Settles Anti-Semitism Suit for $4.48 Million

    By BENJAMIN WEISER / New York Times

    An upstate New York school district has agreed to pay $4.48 million and enact broad reforms in curriculum and training to settle a lawsuit by five current and former Jewish students who claimed that they had been victims of pervasive anti-Semitism in the schools, a court filing on Monday showed.


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  • Catholic Archbishop and Aide Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal

    By MARK S. GETZFRED and MITCH SMITH / New York Times

    The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis and a deputy bishop resigned on Monday after prosecutors recently charged the archdiocese with having failed to protect youths from abuse by pedophile priests.


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  • Clergy Sex Abuse Victims In Montana's Diocese of Helena To Receive $20 Million In Payments

    By Matthew Brown / Huffington Post

    Hundreds of victims of clergy sex abuse that spanned decades in Montana stand to receive payments totaling about $20 million, after a federal judge on Wednesday confirmed the bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.


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  • LAUSD cannot blame 14-year-old for own sexual assault, appellate court rules

    The Los Angeles Unified School District cannot blame a 14-year-old girl for her own sexual assault or introduce evidence of her prior sexual history in a case involving her teacher, an appellate court ruled Wednesday.

    The state Court of Appeal voted 3 to 0 to reverse a lower court's rulings to allow attorneys to include such information in the case of a former student at Edison Middle School who was coaxed into sex on and off campus by her teacher, Elkis Hermida, over seven months in 2010 and 2011.

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New Legislation Would Hold Child Sex Abusers and the Institutions that Facilitated Abuse Accountable

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2013

Contact: Darin Broton

              Elizabeth Kitt

 St. Paul, Minn. – A group of law enforcement officers and child sexual abuse victim advocate organizations today announced their support for legislation that would give victims new opportunities to seek justice against their abusers and the institutions that facilitated the abuse. The legislation, the Minnesota Child Victims Act, will be introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate later this week. 

The Minnesota Child Victims Act would make it easier for Minnesotans who were sexually abused as children to bring civil lawsuits against their abuser or the institution that facilitated the abuse. The legislation would remove the current statute of limitation that requires victims to file lawsuit within six years of becoming an adult. If the bill is passed into law, victims could file a lawsuit at any time no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

 “Current state law treats child sexual abuse the same as fraud and product liability,” said Representative Steve Simon (DFL- St. Louis Park), author of the legislation in the Minnesota House. “Sexually abusing a child is a horrific crime and those who abuse children and the institutions that permit it need to be held accountable.” 

The legislation comes after a 2013 Adverse Child Experiences study by the Minnesota Department of Health showed 10 percent of Minnesotans were sexually abused as children. A recent survey by the National Center for the Victims of Crime indicated that one out of two Minnesotans know someone who was sexually abused as a child.

 “The Minnesota Child Victims Act removes barriers that prevent victims from coming forward and seeking justice,” said Senator Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park), author of the legislation in the Minnesota Senate. “It sometimes takes decades for victims to confront the abuse, but current state law requires them to come forward before 24 years of age. Our legislation rightfully recognizes the healing process while holding abusers and institutions accountable.”

 The legislation is supported by numerous child abuse victim advocate organizations, including the National Center for Victims of Crime, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Minnesota Alliance on Crime, Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center, National Child Protection Training Center, Stop Abuse Campaign and 1in6.

 “The sexual abuse of children is a public health epidemic,” said Jeff Dion, deputy executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime. “Victims of child sexual abuse have an increased risk as adults of alcohol and substance abuse, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress and suicide.”

In addition to advocate organizations, the Minnesota Child Victims Act is supported by local law enforcement officials, including Kanabec County Attorney Amy Brosnahan, Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom, Carver County Attorney Mark Metz and Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelson. Kathleen Blatz, former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, also supports the legislation.

 “Child Sexual Abuse is a crime shrouded in shame and secrecy,” said Blatz. “Nearly every state recognizes the unique nature of sex abuse and has special laws for holding accountable perpetrators and other responsible parties. Eliminating the civil statute of limitations will allow all victims to be heard and to seek justice.”

 Forty-one states recognize the unique nature of child sexual abuse cases and have separate statute of limitations for abuse lawsuits. California, Delaware and Hawaii are the only states that have allowed abuse cases with expired statute of limitations to move forward, but only gave victims a short window to file lawsuits. The Minnesota Child Victims Act would make Minnesota the only state to give victims the right to pursue civil lawsuits for expired cases without a time restriction.


About the National Center for Victims of Crime

The National Center for Victims of Crime, established in 1985, is the nation's leading resource and advocacy organization for crime victims and those who serve them. For more than 25 years, the National Center has led this nation's struggle to provide crime victims with the rights, protections, and services they need to rebuild their lives. Visit www.victimsofcrime.org for more information.