March 29, 2005
Ex-Boy Scouts Official Faces Porn Charges
March 29, 2005 [Associated Press]
By LISA FALKENBERG
DALLAS - A longtime Boy Scouts of America official who directed a national task force to protect children from sexual abuse has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, was accused of receiving images over the Internet in February of children engaging in oral sex, intercourse and other sexually explicit conduct. The charges were filed by federal prosecutors March 21.
"We're shocked and dismayed to learn of this," said Gregg Shields, national spokesman for the Boy Scouts, based in the Dallas suburb of Irving. "Smith was employed by the Boy Scouts for 39 years and we had no indication of prior criminal activity."
Smith was a national program director and staff adviser of the Boy Scout's renowned Youth Protection Task Force. Shields said Smith took over the task force a couple of years ago when another employee retired. Smith managed the distribution of literature, video tapes, a Web site and other resources that teach children and adults at schools, churches and Boy Scout troops how to detect and prevent child abuse.
Law enforcement officials indicated the pictures did not show boys who were with the Boy Scouts organization, Shields said.
Smith's job did not involve working directly with children, Shields said. Smith was put on leave immediately after the Boy Scouts officials learned of charges, then chose to retire, he said.
Smith, reached Tuesday at his home in Colleyville, near Fort Worth, referred all questions to his attorney, Jack Strickland, who said: "He's not taking this well. I've got to tell you, this is a good man and I would hate to see the entirety of his life and the good things he's done defined by one incident."
He was expected to appear in federal court Wednesday.
"This is the first time ever we recall anything like this being charged against a Boy Scouts employee," Shields said. "We're proud of our dedicated and hardworking people, but never heard of anything like this."
Smith's indictment was the result of a joint investigation between German and U.S. authorities to look into child porn distributed over the Internet.
Dean Boyd, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department, declined to talk specifically about Smith's case, but said it is the kind that authorities take special care to investigate.
Seattle Area Priest resigns from Church to seek Healing from Abuse He Suffered as a Child
March 26, 2005
A priest in Bothell, Washington has resigned, because of abuse that he suffered as a child in the Yakima diocese. The Rev. Lawrence Minder had earlier taken a leave of absence, but has now resigned. He has been in inpatient treatment at a trauma center in Arizona.
Minder has said that he intends to write about the abuse that he suffered as a teen in the Yakima diocese 30 years ago.
To read more visit this article at the Seattle Times
Summary of this news article has been written with permission from the Seattle Times
Jacko 'abuse' airing
March 29, 2005 [AFP]
From correspondents in Santa Maria, California
THE judge in Michael Jackson's child sex trial today dealt a major blow to the defence by allowing prosecutors to tell jurors of previous cases of alleged abuse by the star.
Judge Rodney Melville granted a hotly fought prosecution motion to tell jurors of prior accusations against Jackson that never made it to court.
"The decision I have reached is: I will now admit the testimony with regard to the sexual offences and the alleged pattern of grooming," he said.
Prosecutors had asked to be allowed to tell of seven prior allegations of child sex abuse against Jackson in order to show jurors an alleged pattern of child molestation.
But only one of the five alleged victims of prior abuse by the 46-year-old superstar will testify at the trial, with the other allegations to be recounted by other witnesses, the court in California was told.
Two of the five cases that jurors will be told about were resolved in out-of-court settlements, but the judge barred prosecutors from telling jurors the amounts of the payments.
Jackson's camp had bitterly fought the effort to present potentially damaging testimony, saying such unproved allegations could poison jurors against the embattled superstar.
Legal analysts say the admission of such explosive testimony could deal a serious blow to the defence by lending credence to the accusations in the present case.
National Effort to Educate America in Wearing The Blue Awareness Ribbon of National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April marks the 22nd anniversary of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time dedicated to child abuse education, awareness and prevention activities. Observing National Child Abuse Prevention month, Love Our Children USA, (a national organization headquartered in New York whose mission is to break the cycle that victimizes children) kicks off their GET BLUE campaign – a national effort to educate and raise awareness for the Blue Ribbon and Child Abuse Prevention.
New York (PRWEB) March 29, 2005 -- As the "Blue Ribbon" is the symbol for child abuse prevention, Love Our Children USA urges every person across the country to GET BLUE. By wearing a Blue Ribbon pin or Love Our Children USA’s Break The Cycle Blue Ribbon Awareness Bracelet during April and throughout the year, we can educate families, children, neighbors, organizations and communities on how to prevent child abuse and neglect -- encourage community and individual involvement in recognizing and preventing child abuse and neglect – assist families in achieving healthy parenting practices through education and resources and empower individuals to report child victimization and intervene in situations where violence and neglect harm children.
Reports of child abuse nationwide have increased by 30-percent in the last 10-years. If the country thinks child abuse isn't a problem, they should think again. More than 3 million children are victims of child abuse each year and almost 1.8 million children are reported missing each year, many of whom are abducted from their homes and front yards. Those are only the ones that are reported. Child abuse has reached epidemic proportions.
We can no longer overlook America’s children who are at risk and peril every day … and at even greater risk in times of stress. “It is of critical importance that we educate the American public and raise a greater awareness to break the cycle that victimizes children – before it starts,” says Ross Ellis, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Love Our Children, USA.
Celebrities and the entertainment industry, as well as corporations have joined Love Our Children USA’s efforts to GET BLUE and break the cycle. Many already wear Blue Ribbon pins and Love Our Children USA’s Break The Cycle Blue Ribbon Awareness Bracelet which can be purchased through Love Our Children USA.
A child's voice is small, ignored and unheard. We must raise the volume so that everyone hears their message. Ellis said “Imagine if everyone in the country wore a Blue Ribbon -- if every community, business, school, faith organization, hospital and home displayed a Blue Ribbon -- we could make such an impact in raising awareness to break the cycle that breaks children's hearts ... their lives ... and their spirit.”
National Child Abuse Prevention Month is not only a timely opportunity to remind ourselves of our collective responsibility to protect America’s children and strengthen America’s families, but it is time to accelerate education and awareness of this very public epidemic. The country, our communities, concerned citizens, and even youth must work together to break the cycle.
Love Our Children USA is the leading national grassroots organization that honors, respects and protects children. As a voice for children, they celebrate them and the loving relationship we should have with them. Their mission is to break the cycle that victimizes children. They
work to enable child success by eliminating behaviors that keep children from reaching their potential. They promote positive changes in parenting and family attitudes, along with behaviors and prevention strategies through public education campaigns. Love Our Children USA works to empower and support children, teens, parents and families through information, resources, advocacy and online youth mentoring.
Visit the Love Our Children USA websites at
www.loveourchildrenusa.org and www.until-the-cycle-breaks.org
Contact Ross Ellis, 888.347.KIDS