Convicted of sexually molesting a 10 year-old boy in 1991, defrocked Boston priest John Geogan was sentenced yesterday to 9-10 years in Massachusetts state prison. At his sentencing, Judge Sandra Hamlin stated, “This man hid behind his collar,” and called Geoghan’s action “reprehensible” and “depraved.” Geoghan, who denied the charges against him, had previously been diagnosed a pedophile four times according to the Boston Globe. Geoghan was sentenced last month for indecent assault on a minor and still faces 84 civil suits and 2 criminal trials of sexual abuse against a minor. In total, Geoghan has been accused of molesting more than 130 children over the course of the last 30 years.
Since the publicity spurned by the Geoghan trial, the Boston Archdiocese has released the names of more than 90 priests suspected of allegedly sexually abusing children to district attorneys in at least five counties. Dioceses in several other states, including New Hampshire and Maine, have also released the names of priests who are accused of pedophilia.
Despite the large numbers of accusations, the Roman Catholic Church in the U.S. has no uniform policy to address sexual abuse by clergy. Last month, the Vatican determined that priests suspected of pedophilia should be tried in secret ecclesiastical courts presided over by their peers, other priests, rather than civilian courts. The Vatican, however, was silent on whether a bishop should inform secular authorities, such as the police, if a priest is found guilty in the ecclesiastical court.
Media Resources: New York Times, 2/22/02; Boston Globe, 2/22/02; Feminist Daily News Wire
10/13/2015 EEOC Launches Hollywood Gender Discrimination Probe - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has contacted several women directors in Hollywood in an effort to determine whether legal intervention is necessary to disrupt the industry's discriminatory hiring practices.
In a letter sent to some 50 women filmmakers, the EEOC - which is responsible for protecting individuals from employment discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion and national origin through enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - requested interviews with them to "learn more about the gender-related issues" women behind the camera face in both the film and television industries.
In May, following the release of a study by the San Diego State University Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film revealing only 7 percent of 2014's 250 top-grossing movies were helmed by women, the ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project urged state and federal rights agencies to investigate Hollywood's failure to hire equal numbers of women. . . .
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. . . .