The Roman Catholic Church has responded to a highly critical U.N. report demanding that it stop protecting child abusing clergy, by claiming it is doing more than any other international organization to combat the highly-publicized problem.
"Sexual abuse of a minor is a sin and a crime and no organization can become complacent about addressing it. The Catholic Church has certainly done more than any other international organization to face the problem and it will continue to lead in doing so," said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of Media Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, in a post following the publication of a report by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The report, a follow-up to a U.N. panel which in January directly questioned Holy See representatives at a conference in Geneva about the Vatican's record on child sex abuse handling, demands that the Catholic Church "immediately remove all known and suspected child sexual abusers from assignment and refer the matter to the relevant law enforcement authorities for investigation and prosecution purposes." more >>
After banning media from courtroom proceedings Wednesday, Texas State District Judge Jean Boyd reportedly sentenced "affluenza" afflicted teen Ethan Couch, 16, to rehab in an undisclosed facility for causing the deaths of four people, including a pastor, in a drunken crash last summer.
Scott Gordon, a reporter for NBC 5, revealed the ruling and situation at the courthouse in a series of tweets on Twitter.
"Ethan Couch attorney says judge ordered Couch to rehabilitation facility. No minimum time. He won't discuss specifics," noted Gordon after the sentencing. more >>
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Thomas Monson was ordered to appear in a British court next month to answer to a surprising summons which alleges that his church's teachings about mankind is fraudulent.
The formal summons, described as "one of the most unusual documents ever issued by a British Court" in The Telegraph, was signed by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe and threatens to issue a warrant for his arrest if he doesn't appear in court for a March 14 hearing.
Seven teachings of the church headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, are cited in the controversial document as possibly fraudulent, including the claim that "Native Americans are descended from an Israelite family which left Jerusalem in 600 BC." more >>
An FBI sting resulted in the rescue of 16 children and the arrest of more than 45 alleged pimps and their associates who admitted to have participated in a sex trade ring at the Super Bowl in New Jersey over the weekend.
"High-profile special events, which draw large crowds, have become lucrative opportunities for child prostitution criminal enterprises," said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Investigative Division, in a statement released Tuesday. "The FBI and our partners remain committed to stopping this cycle of victimization and putting those who try to profit from this type of criminal activity behind bars."
The children reportedly ranged in ages from 13 to 17 years old, and some had been reported missing from their families. A number of women were also rescued in the operation, with officials noting that 70 women and children were provided with food, clothing, and referrals to health care facilities, shelters, and other programs. more >>
Police in Robbins, Ill., are now searching for answers after a father left them no apparent clue of his motive for murdering his wife, 17-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter, who he chased and shot in the back before dying of a heart attack on Sunday.
"I cannot imagine what could bring someone to such a dark place where they believe they need to take the lives of his whole family," said the shaken Robbins Police Chief Mitchell Davis in a news conference Monday morning, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The father, Michael Worsham, 43, began his shooting spree at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, according to police. They said "for reasons unexplained" Worsham shot his son, Steven, 17, in the kitchen of the family home then went upstairs to his wife of 12 years, Michelle Ollie, dragged her out of bed and shot her too. more >>
Michigan and Indiana officials are on the hunt for escaped murderer Michael David Elliott, who managed to flee from the Ionia Correctional Facility and leave the premises. Not long after, he took a hostage, who later escaped, and police believe he could be in Indiana.
Elliot, 40, was serving five life sentences for being convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery. He was also convicted of setting a house on fire and using/possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. However, he managed to escape from the correctional facility on Sunday evening.
"It appears that he created a hole at the bottom of the two perimeter fences of the correctional facility and then crawled through those holes," Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan told the Associated Press. more >>