John J. Geoghan, a former Catholic Priest, was convicted last week of indecent assault on a minor. According to the suit, while he was a priest in the Boston Archdiocese, Geoghan molested a 10-year old boy in 1991 at a local swimming pool. Geoghan is scheduled to be sentenced February 21 after undergoing a 30-day psychiatric evaluation. Geoghan is also scheduled to begin a second criminal trial on separate charges of child sexual assault on February 20 before beginning a third criminal trial. Since the 1980s, Geoghan may have assaulted more than 130 children. These children have now come forward, but the statutes of limitation may have passed for some of their charges.
Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston apologized earlier this month for knowingly allowing Geoghan to continue his duties as a parish priest while he was suspected of molestation and pedophilia. The LA Times reports that 118 people have now launched civil suits against Law and the Archdiocese of Boston for negligence. The archdiocese has already paid more than $10 million in settlements to Geoghan’s alleged victims. Massachusetts legislators are now considering laws that would require clergy to report allegations of abuse to civil authorities. Currently, under a Vatican directive, priests suspected of pedophilia and child rape need only appear before secret ecclesiastical courts.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .