A man convicted of raping two women using the websites Christian Mingle and Match.com was sentenced to 37 years to life in prison on Friday in California, and before sentencing recited Scripture.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good," Banks said before being sentenced by Judge Daniel Goldstein.
Banks was convicted of using the websites to lure two women into meeting him, and when they did, he raped them. Not only that, but he hounded them after the assault, warning them not to tell anyone what had happened. Banks maintained his innocence until the very end of the trial and even blamed the victims for the rapes. more >>
An official with the Church of Pakistan has confirmed that a Christian couple was beaten and burned alive over a false accusation made by their employer who claimed they ripped pages out of a Quran and threw them into a brick kiln furnace.
Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, said Thursday that Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shamah — who were beaten in the streets Tuesday by a Muslim mob of 1,500 to 1,600 that tore off their clothes beat them before throwning them into a furnace — were killed because their employer said they owed him money, and he started the rumor to exact revenge.
"The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since a majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash, but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Quran," Sharoon said, according to the Episcopal News Service. more >>
A Wimauma, Florida, pastor recently confessed to a crime he committed "30 to 40 years ago" that involved him having sexual intercourse with an 11-year-old girl.
Patrick H. Shiver, 72, admitted to having sex with the underage girl three decades ago during a controlled telephone call with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Peter Steer was carjacked while heading to a shooting in Noosa Heads for Australia's 7News Thursday, according to reports. The video journalist was stopped by the suspected shooter Jule Brook, who confessed on camera before having a change of heart and turning the gun on Steer.
Peter Steer's carjacking involved the suspect flagging him down while riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle. The bearded man was distraught as he revealed what happened.
"A chap on a Harley sort of pulled me over, I thought there might have been something wrong with my car. He got off his bike and approached me and said, 'I've got a story for you,'" Steer recalled. "I said, 'Well mate, you better hurry because I'm going to a shooting,' and he said, 'Mate, I'm the shooter.'" more >>
A labor leader who sought refuge in a Portland church was arrested on Thursday and a community, including several members of the clergy and the mayor, have spoken out and asked for him not to be deported.
Francisco Aguirre, originally from El Salvador, took refuge in the Augustana Lutheran Church for the first time since September in order to attend a court hearing on a drunk driving charge. He was immediately taken into federal custody and charged with illegally entering the United States before entering a guilty plea in the drunk driving case. Aguirre now faces deportation back to El Salvador.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has released close to 15,000 pages of files covering clergy sex abuse cases, including information on how it handled allegations against 36 priests. The Church admitted that it cannot change the past, but expressed hopes on rebuilding trust through transparency.
"As we said in January, we are committed to transparency with the people we serve," Cardinal Francis George said in a statement, according to CBS Chicago. "We cannot change the past but we hope we can rebuild trust through honest and open dialogue. Child abuse is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese of Chicago is concerned first and foremost with bringing healing to abuse victims."
The newly released files add to another batch that was released in January on 30 other priests. Most of the abuse in the report occurred before 1988 and none after 1996, church officials said. more >>