Tag Archives: child molestation

Anti-gay pastor who denounced Orlando victims charged with molestation

A anti-gay Christian pastor who said victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting got “what they deserve” faces charges of molesting a young male member of his congregation.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested Ken Adkins, 56, on one count of aggravated child molestation and one count of child molestation on Aug. 26. He’s currently being held at the Glynn County Jail.

A special agent told The Florida Times Union that the investigation is focused on molestations that allegedly occurred at Adkins’ church, in a vehicle and at a victim’s home.

On June 16, Adkins tweeted, “Been through so much with these Jacksonville Homosexuals that I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve!!” The tweet has since been removed and Adkins’ Twitter account is now private.

Adkins has a history of anti-gay activism. He opposed expansion of Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to include LGBT people. Adkins posted crude cartoons on Twitter of people who backed the expansion, including one depicting pro-expansion officials in a bathroom stall.

The anti-gay pastor is also an outspoken supporter of the North Caroline “bathroom bill,” which forces transgender people to use public facilities designated for their birth sex rather than their sexual identity.

Adkins also has a history of public controversies. Last month a Georgia Court rejected Adkin’s latest bankruptcy filing and accused him of perjury in relation to the case.

Still, Adkins holds influence in Jacksonville and south Georgia politics. Florida Politics reported that the city’s chief financial officer tapped the pastor as part of his campaign team when he ran for mayor in 2006. A judicial candidate paid Adkins for consulting his campaign; Adkins and others in his faith community hurled charges of racism at the candidate’s opponent.

The June 12 attack on Pulse nightclub, which served a primarily LGBT clientele, was the largest mass shooting in the nation’s history. Gunman Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured another 53 before he was shot and killed by local police.

Michael Jackson’s hometown to name school for him

Plans are in the works to name a school after Michael Jackson in the late pop star’s Midwestern hometown.

The Gary Community School Board approved Tuesday a memorandum of understanding with Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson. The agreement that Jackson signed last month says the district “seeks to honor Michael Jackson and to inspire children to excel in the arts and education.”

Michael Jackson spent the first 11 years of his life in Indiana. His family moved to California after the Jackson 5 struck it big in 1969 with the release of their first album. Jackson, who died in 2009, last returned to Gary in 2003 and received an honorary diploma from Roosevelt High School near his childhood home.

District superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said she’s working with the Jackson family on which school to rename.

“A close relationship with the Jackson family to improve the quality of programs for the Gary Community School Corp. can mean tremendous gains for the school district and the city as a whole,” she told the Post-Tribune.

Jackson was acquitted of child molestation charges in June 2005. School corporation spokeswoman Charmella Greer said those accusations were never considered during discussions about renaming the school.

“He is one of the most beloved artists in the world,” Greer told The Associated Press.

Pruitt said renaming the school came up in a conversation with Katherine Jackson, who donated $10,000 during the Gary Promise scholarship event hosted by former NBA star Magic Johnson in April.

“She’s always wanted something left here,” Pruitt said.

The district has long struggled with high poverty levels, and the school board voted in June to close six of its 17 schools because of a $27 million deficit blamed in part on declining enrollment and the state’s property tax caps.

Anti-gay marriage advocate arraigned, accused of child molestation

A donor to the anti-gay Proposition 8 campaign and youth leader in his evangelical church has been arraigned on charges that he molested boys over many years.

Caleb Douglas Hesse, 52, of Yucca Valley, Calif., was arraigned earlier this month on four felony counts of lewd acts upon a child. Additional charges were to come, according to a release from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office.

Hesse, if convicted, faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in prison.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A news release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said Hesse was a first-grade teacher at the Friendly Hills Elementary School in the Morongo Unified School District from 1987 until recently.

He also is a youth volunteer with the Evangelical Free Church in Yucca Valley, according to the sheriff. Through his work at the church, Hesse allegedly was involved in “countless overnight outings that took place throughout California.”

Hesse’s alleged victims were on those outings, according to investigators.

“The crimes are believed to have occurred between the early 1980s and as recently as one week ago,” the sheriff’s news release dated Aug. 18 said. “Some of the victims may now be 30 (to) 40 years old.”

A database of donors to Proposition 8, the 2010 ballot campaign to amend California’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage, shows Hesse as a contributor of $100.

Authorities were asking people with information, including other possible victims, to contact the sheriff’s department at 909-387-3615.

Ex-stripper convicted of trafficking teen boys

A former gay stripper has been convicted of trafficking male teenagers as prostitutes in Atlanta.

A jury in Douglas County, Ga., has convicted Steven Douglas Lemery, 38, of human trafficking, aggravated child molestation, enticing a child for indecent purposes and pandering by compulsion.

Lemery will be sentenced later. He faces up to life in prison.

Lemery worked as a stripper in Atlanta, where he contacted male teenagers via Facebook and MySpace, tricked them into going to his home and then forced them into prostitution.

Earlier this year, a Georgia judge sentenced a drag queen performer to at least 14 years in prison in connection to the human trafficking operation and for sexual exploitation of a child.

Judge David Emerson sentenced Christopher Thomas Lynch, who is known on stage as Pasha Nicole, to 30 years with 14 of the term to be served in prison.

Lynch pleaded guilty on March 7 to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of pimping a victim under the age of 18 and one count of pandering by compulsion.

Lemery and Lynch were roommates.

Lemery was arrested first and, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lynch initially took credit for helping investigators solve the case, but a victim who saw Lynch on a news broadcast identified the alleged hero as an actual participant in the crimes.

Authorities said most of the victims were runaways from Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina.

The investigation into involved the Human Trafficking Unit of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney’s office.

Syracuse University fires basketball coach accused of molesting boys

Bernie Fine was fired Sunday by Syracuse University after a third man accused the assistant basketball coach of molesting him nine years ago.

Fine, 65, was in his 36th season and had the longest active streak of consecutive seasons at one school among assistant coaches in Division I.

Zach Tomaselli, 23, of Lewiston, Maine, told The Associated Press that he’d informed police that Fine molested him in 2002 in a Pittsburgh hotel room. He said Fine touched him “multiple” times in that one incident.

He was the third accuser to come forward in the investigation of child molestation allegations against Fine.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said he supported the university’s decision to fire his longtime assistant and expressed regret for his initial statements that might have been insensitive to victims of abuse.

“The allegations that have come forth today are disturbing and deeply troubling,” Boeheim said in a statement released by the school. “I am personally very shocked because I have never witnessed any of the activities that have been alleged.”

Two former Syracuse ball boys were the first to accuse Fine. He has called the allegations “patently false.”

Tomaselli, who faces sexual assault charges in Maine involving a 14-year-old boy, told AP that he signed an affidavit accusing Fine following a meeting with Syracuse police last week in Albany.

Tomaselli told the Post-Standard that his father allowed him to go to a party and spend the night at Fine’s house after a Syracuse-Pitt game on Feb. 1, 2003. Tomaselli told AP that while he was there, Fine asked him to get into bed with him. He said Fine’s wife Laurie was there when it happened.

“I told them (police) that Laurie was standing right there when Bernie asked me to sleep in a bed. Laurie knew all about it,” he said.

Tomaselli’s father, however, says his son is lying.

Perhaps the most damaging allegation against Fine is from Bobby Davis. Now 39, Davis told ESPN that Fine molested him beginning in 1984 when he was a ball boy and that the sexual contact continued until he was around 27.

Davis’ stepbrother, Mike Lang, 45, who also was a ball boy, told ESPN that Fine began molesting him while he was in fifth or sixth grade.

On Sunday, ESPN played an audiotape, obtained and recorded by Davis, of an October 2002 telephone conversation between him and Laurie Fine.

Davis told ESPN he made the recording, which also has been given to Syracuse police, without her knowledge because he knew he needed proof for the police to believe his accusations. ESPN said it hired a voice recognition expert to verify the voice on the tape and the network said it was determined to be that of Laurie Fine.

Davis also acknowledged in an interview with ESPN that he and Laurie Fine had a sexual relationship when he was 18, and that he eventually told Bernie Fine about it.

“I thought he was going to kill me, but I had to tell him,” Davis said. “It didn’t faze him one bit.”

During the call to the woman, Davis repeatedly asks her what she knew about the alleged molestation.

“Do you think I’m the only one that he’s ever done that to?” Davis asked.

“No … I think there might have been others but it was geared to … there was something about you,” the woman on the tape said.

On the tape, she also says she knew “everything that went on.”

“Bernie has issues, maybe that he’s not aware of, but he has issues. … And you trusted somebody you shouldn’t have trusted …”

During the call, Davis tells her he asked her husband in the late 1990s for $5,000 to help pay off his student loans.

“When he gave you the money, what does he want for that?” she asked.

He tells her that Fine wanted to engage in sexual activity in several ways.

“… And I’d try to go away, and he’d put his arm on top of my chest. He goes, ‘If you want this money, you’ll stay right here,’” Davis said.

‘Right. Right,” she said. “He just has a nasty attitude, because he didn’t get his money, nor did he get what he wanted.”

When the accusations from Davis first became public Nov. 17, Boeheim adamantly defended his lifelong friend. In an interview that day with the Post-Standard, Boeheim attacked Davis’ reasons for going public with his accusations.

“The Penn State thing came out, and the kid behind this is trying to get money,” Boeheim said. “He’s tried before. And now he’s trying again. … That’s what this is about – money.”

Fine was an integral part of the staff that guided Syracuse to the national championship in 2003. During his tenure the Orange also made two other appearances in the NCAA title game, losing in 1987 to Indiana and in 1996 to Kentucky.

He also guided the U.S. Maccabiah team to a silver medal at the 1993 World Maccabiah Games in Israel and has served as director of a successful basketball camp in the Northeast.

On Friday, federal authorities carried out a search at his Fine’s suburban Syracuse home but declined to comment on what they were looking for.

New York State Police spokesman Jack Keller said troopers were called to assist the U.S. attorney’s office at the search. At least six police vehicles were parked on the street during the search, which lasted around nine hours. Officers carted away three file cabinets and a computer for further examination.

Syracuse University basketball coach investigated for molesting boys

Syracuse University has placed longtime assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine on administrative leave “in light of the new allegations and the Syracuse City Police investigation,” The Associated Press reports.

According to ESPN, police are investigating Fine on allegations of child molestation.

The investigation comes nearly two weeks after Penn State was rocked by accusations that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused eight boys over a period of 15 years.

Sgt. Tom Connellan tols the Syracuse Post-Standard that police received information on the case Thursday and “are in the early stages of an investigation.”

ESPN first reported the allegations, saying Fine is accused of molesting a former Syracuse ball boy, who is now 39. The alleged victim told ESPN the abuse occurred at Fine’s home, at Syracuse basketball facilities and on team road trips, including the 1987 Final Four.

Fine is in his 35th season as an assistant to Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim.

Kevin Quinn, Syracuse’s senior vice president for public affairs, said the university will cooperate fully with the investigation.

Collection basket supports pedophiles

Catholics of the Milwaukee archdiocese will be amazed to find out that according to Archbishop Jerome Listecki, parishioners and donors have been paying for living and other expenses for at least nine priests who have been removed from ministry for sexually assaulting their children. 

The information was part of an e-mail sent to priests and parish directors on the heels of the 19th child sex abuse civil fraud lawsuit filed involving the concealment and transfer of known sex offender clerics by archdiocesan officials.  

Apparently, this use of church charitable funds to subsidize child molesters has been going on for years.   

For years these nine offenders, who would have been immediately fired in any other job once their employer had determined they had raped and assaulted children, have been living with financial peace of mind with Catholic money. Why? All of these nine men have been judged guilty of child sex crimes by the archdiocese, many of them years ago. 

The time it takes to remove a man permanently from the priesthood, what the church calls “laicization” (meaning to “return” to the “normal state” of being just a lay person) can take up to 10 years, a notoriously long, inefficient and secretive process.

Catholics have a right to know exactly, to the penny, how many millions of dollars have been spent of their charitable contributions to house, send to expensive and exorbitant “retreat/treatment” facilities like St. Luke’s in Maryland and elsewhere, and all other related costs to concealing, moving and reassigning sex offenders over the years or settling them quietly in communities, undetected. 

Where are these nine child molesters living right now? What is their criminal abuse history? Why haven’t their files been released so Catholics can know exactly why they have been paying hundreds of thousands to make their lives comfortable and secure for so many years? 

And today’s announcement, to cut off nine offender priests of approximately $10,000 a year each, might be a prudent legal move to distance the archdiocese potential for ongoing liability, but this amount really dwarfs in comparison to the believed millions of dollars spent over the years to pay for the legal fees of attorneys to fight victims and represent offenders and those who covered up for them. What are those legal costs?  That money as well can only come from one source: charitable contributions from Catholics.

John Pilmaier, SNAP WI co-director