Linkin Park’s Bennington: Music saved me from child abuse…
Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington has opened up about the abuse he suffered as a child - insisting it is the reason he turned to a career in music. Read More
He claims to have suffered years of sexual abuse throughout his childhood at the hands of an older male friend. Bennington insists the traumatic experiences forced him to express his feelings through writing poems and song lyrics.
The 31-year-old believes forming his first band, Grey Daze, helped save his life. It was an awful time. I hated everyone in my family. I felt abandoned by my mum, my dad was not very emotionally stable then, and there was no one I could turn to. The relationship I had with that band was the first time I felt a connection with anybody. From then on, I started getting some confidence back. I also found it a good way to escape the abuse of my past."
Archdiocese of Chicago promoted men involved in infamous McCormack abuse case…
Two years ago this month, the Reverend Daniel McCormack was arrested for molesting boys. He's in prison now. And the top leaders in the Archdiocese of Chicago who might have stopped him have risen in their church positions. Read More
At the height of the sexual abuse scandals in 2002, U.S. Catholic bishops adopted a policy calling for the removal of any priest credibly accused of child molestation. Beforehand, Cardinal Francis George had argued repeatedly on national television that the "zero tolerance" policy was too stringent. McCormack was first picked up by police in August 2005, but not charged. The cardinal's review board recommended that the priest be removed from ministry, the archdiocese said. But the cardinal refused. McCormack went on to abuse other children. He pleaded guilty last July and was sent to prison. Four months later, the cardinal was elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
When McCormack was first arrested in 2005, Bishop George Rassas was the archdiocese's vicar general. Despite the arrest, he allowed McCormack to receive a priestly promotion. The priest was kept in the West Side parish he served and went on to abuse more children. McCormack was arrested again in 2006. A few weeks later, Rassas was made an auxiliary bishop.
As the archdiocese's chancellor, Jimmy Lago oversees the offices that handle sexual abuse. After McCormack's 2006 arrest, Lago told another media outlet that he regretted "that he was on vacation" when the priest was first arrested in 2005. And "not in the loop when a school principal came forward in 1999 with the first allegation against the priest." Not aware of McCormack? Really? Lago called for a so-called "independent" investigation into how McCormack slipped through the archdiocese's system. In releasing the report, the tough talking chancellor was hailed as a hero with unquestioning acceptance by the Chicago Tribune. The cardinal bestowed Lago with even greater responsibility in handling abuse. The question not raised: Should Lago have been fired?
The Reverend John Canary was vice rector of Mundelein Seminary when McCormack was studying for the priesthood. Mundelein officials learned in 1992 about sexual accusations against McCormack involving two adult males and a minor. The incidents began in 1988 when McCormack was at a seminary school known as Niles College, where Canary previously worked, according to archdiocesan reports. Canary said the allegations were noted in seminary records, which then "disappeared." Canary later became seminary rector. In 2006, he was appointed vicar general, a position that became open when Rassas was elevated to auxiliary bishop.
While rector of Mundelein Seminary in the 1990s, Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas says he knew about three reports of "sexual improprieties" against then-seminarian Daniel McCormack. Still, Kicanas supported McCormack's ordination, he recently told the Sun-Times. "It would have been grossly unfair not to have ordained him," Kicanas said. "There was a sense that his activity was part of the developmental process and that he had learned from the experience. I was more concerned about his drinking. We sent him to counseling for that." McCormack was ordained in 1994. The following year, Kicanas became a Chicago auxiliary bishop and in 2001, a bishop of Tucson. Two months ago, he was elected vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In other news…
Author Walter Gilliam, director of the Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, told ABCNEWS.com that he didn't set out to study preschool expulsions. But when he was analyzing publicly funded pre-kindergarten policies at 3,898 schools in 40 states, he found expulsion rates three times higher than for older grades. Read More Gilliam reported 6.7 expulsions per 1,000 preschoolers in the United States, compared with 2.09 per 1,000 for students in kindergarten through grade 12. In data collected from 2002-2004, rates ranged from zero per 1,000 students in Kentucky to more than 21 in New Mexico. Private school expulsion rates were higher than for public school, and boys were four times more likely to be kicked out than girls.
A Massachusetts special education school destroyed videotape showing two of its students being wrongly given electric shock treatments despite being ordered to preserve the tape, according to an investigator's report. Read More One student was shocked 77 times and the other 29 times after a prank caller posing as a supervisor ordered the treatments at a Judge Rotenberg Educational Center group home in August. The boys are 16 and 19 years old and one was treated for first-degree burns.
Shortly after her rescue, Shasta Groene told investigators in gruesome detail how Joseph Duncan, the man who kidnapped her and her brother Dylan after slaughtering other family members, had shot Dylan in the head at a remote campsite. Read More According to court documents, the little girl described Duncan and the two children sitting around a campfire when Duncan pulled out a handgun that discharged accidentally, with the bullet hitting 9-year-old Dylan in the chest. Shasta said Duncan then walked close to the boy and fired another round into his head. Those details and others were revealed this week in a U.S. District Court hearing on defense motions to suppress evidence that prosecutors want to use when the penalty phase of Duncan's federal case begins later this spring. (See Volume 3, Issue 42Volume 3, Issue 43 and Volume 5, Issue 79)
A Pearl Harbor-based sailor was arrested on suspicion of molesting a 13-year-old girl on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Hawaii to Arizona. Read More A flight attendant said she thought something didn't look right and stepped in, which is what started the investigation in this case. Hawaiian said the girl was traveling with one of her parents, and they were originally seated together on the plane, but they moved to other seats because the flight was not full. The complaint said the girl told Cole she was 13 years old and in the eighth grade, that they watched a movie on his laptop computer and then watched an in-flight movie together. With blankets on both their laps, the girl said she was resting with her eyes closed when she felt Cole sexually grope her both inside and outside her underwear, as he fondled himself.
A group of registered sex offenders and convicted felons who were told by the Department of Corrections to live under a bridge in Fort Lauderdale has been chased away by neighbors, police and the Department of Transportation. Read More Police officers posted "No Trespassing" signs underneath the Oakland Park Boulevard Bridge over the intracoastal and told the former felons that if they didn't leave they'd be arrested. The group packed up their things and headed west. They set up a camp on the edge of the Everglades, far away from schools, parks and civilization. The Department of Corrections had the men reporting to the bridge every night because they couldn’t find a place for them to live that wasn't too close to school or park. State law prohibits sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of anyplace children congregate. The problem is that nearly every city in South Florida has its own laws that push the sex offenders and ex-convicts back even farther, Local 10's Roger reported. In most cases, the local ordinance is 2,500 feet.
The deaths of seven young people from the same town in South Wales could be linked to a suicide craze sweeping a social networking internet site, British police believe. Read More Natasha Randall, 17, is believed to have become the latest victim after she was found hanged in her bedroom in her family's Bridgend home last Thursday. Police fear her death could be linked to six other copycat suicides in the same town, all of which appear to have been prompted by messages on networking websites. Detectives believed many of the victims had their own web pages on the social networking site Bebo and could have been driven to kill themselves as a way of gaining prestige among their friends. After their deaths, friends set up "memorial" websites for each of them so people could leave messages, photographs and video tributes.
An ex-prosecutor and former PTA president who is also the wife of a suburban New York police chief has been charged with having sex, smoking marijuana and drinking with high-school-age children. Read More Beth Modica, 44, a former assistant district attorney in Rockland County and Queens, pleaded not guilty to counts including statutory rape, sex abuse and endangering children. Her husband is police chief of Spring Valley. He is "not implicated whatsoever," Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe said. The 35-count indictment says that, beginning in July, Modica had intercourse with a 16-year-old, as well as oral sex with that boy and a 15-year-old. Modica, a former PTA president at Sloatsburg Elementary School, also is accused of drinking with many other children at her home and smoking marijuana with them in her car.
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