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“What Is It With Some Cops And Girls?”: When Police Officers Are The Sexual Predators

D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department has asked members of the public to call its Youth Investigations Division if they have information on Darrell Best, the 45-year-old police officer accused this week of sexually abusing two teenage girls. Best, who lives in Upper Marlboro, was held without bond after a court hearing Thursday. The MPD, I kindly suggest, may wish to direct the plea for information to officers within its own ranks. Apparently, Best’s worst side may have been displayed well before December, when he allegedly assaulted a then-17-year-old at police headquarters and a 16-year-old who attended his church. Yes, you read correctly, his church.

Best, who has been on administrative leave since his arrest Monday, is also a pastor who preaches at God-A Second Chance Ministry in Southeast.

Officer Best was once Sgt. Best. He held that rank until 2009, according to both a retired and a currently senior MPD official. They say he was demoted following a department Disciplinary Review Board decision sustaining a sexual harassment complaint filed by a 5th District officer. Additionally, in 2007, prosecutors said during Thursday’s hearing, a 20-year-old female cadet reported that Best inappropriately touched and kissed her at the police academy, where Best was assigned at the time.

What is it with some cops and girls?

Last July, another veteran D.C. officer, 46-year-old Wendel Palmer, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for repeatedly sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl from 2004 to 2006. She sang in the youth choir at the Southeast church where Palmer served as the choir director.

Then there’s Linwood Barnhill Jr. , the 24-year D.C. cop who pleaded guilty last year to forcing underage girls to work as prostitutes out of his Southeast apartment. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

And let’s not forget Marc Washington, the 7th District officer found dead in the Washington Channel from an apparent suicide after he was arrested in a child sex case in 2013. Washington stood accused of taking partially nude pictures of a 15-year-old girl, allegedly while wearing his police uniform and saying he was following police “procedure.”

There isn’t much worse than police officers who use their badges to take advantage of some of the most vulnerable citizens whom they are recruited, trained and sworn to protect.

But the damage they cause extends beyond their immediate victims.

Consider the impact in the community, and particularly on children, when police officers don’t follow the law. Officers who are unfit to wear the badge not only affect the reputation and morale of their fellow department members but also undermine public confidence in the entire force.

That’s a confidence, I might add, that was shaken all the more by the disturbing story last week in The Post about an 11-year-old girl whose reports of being raped in her Northwest neighborhood were met with only “sporadic” police attention and ended with her being charged with filing a false report — despite medical evidence that she was, in fact, ­assaulted.

This part of the story jumped off the page and grabbed me by the throat: “But after Danielle reported the rapes, the police interviewed her in a manner that violated guidelines for handling child sexual assault cases, records and interviews show. They delayed analyzing evidence — and then analyzed only some of it. An officer misled her to get her to contradict her account, and then had her charged with lying, according to police reports. And many officers treated her with extreme skepticism; in one internal e-mail, a lieutenant called her ‘promiscuous’ and the ‘sex’ consensual.

“Yet Danielle was just 11 years old, well under the age of consent, which is 16 in the District.”

Now it pays to keep stories such as these in context. The D.C. police department has about 4,000 members. These bad-news stories shouldn’t trigger charges of widespread corruption. But neither should they simply get dismissed as isolated incidents and no cause for alarm. Sexual violence against adolescent and teenage girls by perpetrators who turn out to be cops is outrageous and intolerable.

Exploitation of an underage girl in, of all places, the police headquarters?

Any officer who would do that deserves a special place in hell. If Best is guilty, that’s where the chief and the city should send him.

 

By: Colbert I. King, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, March 20, 2015

March 28, 2015 Posted by | Law Enforcement, Police Abuse, Sexual Asault | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Motivation Via Laicization”: Milwaukee Archdiocese, Under Cardinal Dolan, Paid Sex Abusers To Leave Priesthood

Laurie Goodstein reports in the New York Times:

[A] document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.

Timothy Dolan, now a Cardinal and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, but at the time the Archbishop of Milwaukee, authorized the payments. He did not respond to several requests for comment, according to the Times.

Here are some things Dolan has commented on lately:

He suggested New York’s marriage equality bill was akin laws in totalitarian societies;

He compared gay marriage to “polygamy, adultery, forced marriages;”

After the Obama administration declined to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court, he accused it of “hostility” toward “traditional marriage,” and a “new, more aggressive position” on gay marriage that would “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions;

He found President Obama’s support for marriage equality “deeply saddening;”

He said the White House is “strangling” the church with the contraception coverage requirement;

He wrote that the contraception coverage is “un-American;”

He worried that by inviting HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to speak, Georgetown University showed it was moving to a more “secular model, where they would take their cues from what’s happening in contemporary events instead of the timeless wisdom of the church.”

Pertinent to the payments made to abusive Milwaukee priests—one, Goodstein reported, had sexually assaulted 10 minors—in March the National Catholic Reporter noted how Dolan was echoing the words of Bill Donohue, the vitriolic head of the Catholic League, calling the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), David Clohessy, a “con artist:”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, posted a link on his blog this afternoon to a statement from Bill Donohue, the head of the Catholic League, which suggests the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests may be a “con artist.”

The post comes as the victims’ advocacy group and its director, David Clohessy, have found support in recent days on the editorial pages of several national papers in light of attempts by attorneys representing priests accused of abuse to obtain 23 years of the group’s documents.

Dolan’s post came on his “The Gospel in the Digital Age” blog at the New York Archdiocese website. It quotes in full three paragraphs of a statement by Donohue before providing people a link to read the rest.

Donohue’s statement, titled “SNAP Unravels,” is a long rehash of some of the facts surrounding the attempts by priests’ lawyers, which resulted last January in Clohessy’s deposition in a case involving a priest accused of abuse in Kansas City, Mo.

After making numerous references to the transcript of that deposition, which was released March 2, Donohue asks: “So is David Clohessy a sincere man driven by the pursuit of justice? Or is he a con artist driven by revenge? It may very well be that the former description aptly explains how he started, while the latter describes what he has become.”

This week, according to Goodstein, SNAP sent a letter to the Milwaukee archdiocese, asking, “In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?”

Kathryn Joyce published an extensive interview with Clohessy at RD in March about efforts by the accused Kansas City priest and the Archdiocese of St. Louis to subpoena confidential records from SNAP. There, she wrote:

While the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has denied that there is a national strategy for the Church to fight sex abuse cases more aggressively, even the Church’s staunchest defenders see the pattern. As William Donohue, the pugilistic president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, told the New York Times this week, bishops are going after SNAP because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”

Clohessy told Joyce that the recent escalation against SNAP showed that the dioceses were attempting “to discredit, derail, bankrupt, and silence SNAP. And to scare anyone—police, prosecutors, victims, concerned Catholics—from contacting us and reporting crimes and exposing corruption.”

 

BY: Sarah Posner, Religion Dispatches, May 31, 2012

June 1, 2012 Posted by | Catholic Church | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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