Church says sex abuse claims fall
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 11, 2007
The nation's Roman Catholic bishops and religious orders received 714 clergy sex abuse claims in 2006, the second consecutive year that the number of allegations has dropped, according to a new report on the church's child protection reforms. The vast majority of claims date back decades. Costs related to abuse cases also decreased - by about 15 percent over the last year - mainly due to a decline in what dioceses paid to settle molestation cases. Dioceses and religious orders paid nearly $399-million in 2006 for settlements with victims, attorney fees and support for accusers and offenders. For 2005, that figure was $467-million - considered the highest for a single year. The findings, set for release today, are part of an annual review that the bishops first commissioned in 2002 as they implemented reforms to better safeguard children at the height of the clergy sex abuse crisis.
Judge rejects motion by Padilla
A federal judge refused to dismiss terrorism charges against Jose Padilla over claims that the alleged al-Qaida operative was tortured in U.S. military custody, removing one of the last major obstacles to the start of his trial next week. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke stressed in a 12-page order filed late Monday that she was not passing judgment on the torture allegations. Rather, she said the effort to dismiss the case for "outrageous government conduct" was faulty on legal grounds. Padilla's lawyers claim that Padilla was routinely subjected to harsh treatment and torture during the 3 1/2 years that he was held as an "enemy combatant" at a Navy brig.
Two are indicted in Texas inquiry
The former principal and assistant superintendent of a state juvenile prison were indicted Tuesday on charges that they sexually abused teenage inmates in their care. The charges are the most serious to emerge from the youth prison scandal that erupted after news accounts revealed a 2005 report by the Texas Rangers alleging rampant sexual abuse at the remote facility languished without any action. Ray E. Brookins, former assistant superintendent at the Texas Youth Commission's West Texas State School, was indicted on two counts of improper relationship with a student and two counts of improper sexual activity with a person in custody. Former principal John Paul Hernandez was indicted on one count of sexual assault, nine counts of improper sexual activity with a person in custody and nine counts of improper relationship between a student and educator.
[Last modified April 11, 2007, 02:37:51]
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