West suburban pastor charged with molesting boy

West suburban pastor charged with molesting boy

John Hays / photo from Chicago Police


The former pastor of a west suburban church sexually abused a boy who was his neighbor and a parishioner, Cook County prosecutors said Friday.

John Hays, 57, allegedly abused the victim from the time he was 8 until he was 13, Assistant State’s Attorney Beth Novy told a judge.

Hays, of the 5800 block of West Race, is listed in police records as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of River Forest, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

“Beginning when the victim was about 8 years old, the victim would go to the defendant’s house to play video games with the defendant’s sons. While the boys were playing the games, [Hays] would enter the room and place the victim on his lap” and fondle him, Novy said.

Hays played what he called “a tickle game and touch the victim all over the victim’s body,” Novy said.

Hays allegedly also squeezed the boy’s upper thigh when driving the boy to school.

When the victim was 19, he attended a training program to become a camp counselor, Novy said.

“During the training the victim learned about how to respond if he were to learn of the sexual abuse of a child,” she said. “That triggered the victim’s memory and he immediately outcried to his parents, who in turn confronted [Hays] in the company of other community members.”

Hays admitted “to touching the victim’s penis and upper thigh just as the victim had recounted,” Novy said.

Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered Hays held on a $250,000 bond.

Hays’ attorney, Robert Heap, told the judge his client is no longer working at the church.

Heap declined further comment following Friday’s hearing.



Abuse revelations drain Salvos donations

Abuse revelations drain Salvos donations

The Salvation Army is facing a slump in donations to its flagship fundraising drive after an inquiry’s revelations of terrible sexual abuse of children in its care.

Donations to the Red Shield Appeal Doorknock in May are down an estimated 20 per cent this year.

Spokesman Major Bruce Harmer said the evidence heard at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was a key factor.

The church expects to fall 20 per cent or $2 million short of its $10 million target for the doorknock held on May 24 and 25.

It also expects to miss the $80 million target of the broader Red Shield Appeal, which includes corporate and other donations.

“We are going to be between 10 and 15 per cent down overall on our target,” Major Harmer said.

“Certainly the royal commission and the allegations of abuse that have been shared there have been a major contributing factor.”

He said the drop in donations could also be attributed to the tough federal budget handed down two weeks before the doorknock and to good weather, which meant many people were not home.

Major Harmer said volunteers had encountered some people who said they would not donate because of the revealed abuse.

“There were people who made those comments, but there weren’t a significant number of those,” he said.

Volunteers were briefed on answers and given explanatory brochures to offer to people who asked about the abuse, he said.

The Salvation Army has apologised profoundly for abuse suffered by children at homes it ran in Queensland and NSW in the 1960s and 1970s.

Major Harmer said he was hoping donations would recover in coming years to enable the church to continue its charitable and social works.

Members of the public “have been absolutely bewildered by the allegations of abuse but also want to support the good work the Salvation Army does,” he said.

The final 2014 result will be known in mid-July.


Senior Australian Catholic bishop quits over sex scandal

Senior Australian Catholic bishop quits over sex scandal

Bishop Max Davis is accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old student at Saint Benedict’s College in Western Australia, where he was a teacher back in 1969.

Davis is the first Australian Catholic bishop to be charged with child abuse as sex scandals continue to shake the Catholic Church.

“At that time – 45 years ago – the bishop was not ordained,” the church said in a statement. “The bishop emphatically denies the allegation and the charge will be defended.”

Davis served as chaplain on various ships and bases in Australia and overseas as bishop of the Australian Defense Force.

Western Australia police say the 68-year-old man faces three counts of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 14.

Last year, the top-ranking cardinal in Australia admitted to the cover-up of a ‘horrendous widespread mess’ regarding child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. George Pell, an advisor to Pope Francis on Vatican reforms, has said that the fear of scandal had prompted the Catholic Church to cover up allegations of sexual abuse.

The clergyman, who is one of eight cardinals selected by Pope Francis to advise him on reforming the Catholic Church, also said the church had been aware of the emerging issue of sex abuse from the late 1980s, but had failed to realize the scale of the issue.

The Australian government has set up a Royal Commission to probe how churches, government bodies and other organizations have dealt with cases of child sex abuse in the country.


Royal commission into child sex abuse releases interim report, calls for extension and more funds

Royal commission into child sex abuse releases interim report, calls for extension and more funds

The royal commission investigating institutional responses to child sex abuse has handed down its interim report, but says it has not yet compiled enough information to make any recommendations.

It is calling for another two years to complete its work, as well $104 million in extra funding.

The royal commission says it has identified several main themes from the many personal stories it has heard.

The themes include repeated abuse and multiple perpetrators, barriers to reporting the abuse and adults that have systematically failed to protect children.

However, it says it is not clear how prevalent abuse has been, or continues to be, in institutions.

The royal commission says its initial research shows 90 per cent of perpetrators were male.

It has found that it took 22 years on average for victims to report abuse, with men taking longer than women.

It says female victims were, on average, aged nine years old and took, on average, 22 years to report abuse.

Male victims were, on average, 10 years old when they were abused.

The creation of the royal commission was announced by former prime minister Julia Gillard in November 2012.

Ms Gillard said there had been too many revelations of “adults who have averted their eyes” from the evil of child sexual abuse.

“Australians know… that too many children have suffered child abuse, but have also seen other adults let them down – they’ve not only had their trust betrayed by the abuser but other adults who could have acted to assist them have failed to do so,” she said at the time.


Child abuse commission wants two more years to allow victims to testify

Child abuse commission wants two more years to allow victims to testify

The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has requested an extra two years and $104m to finish its job.

The royal commission, set up by former prime minister Julia Gillard,released its interim report on Monday afternoon. It has interviewed more than 1,700 people in private sessions, identified abuses in more than 1,000 institutions and held 14 public hearings into case study incidents, which include the handling of abuse claims within the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army, NSW state-run children’s homes and Marist Brothers schools.

The commission recently announced it would hold a public hearing into Swimming Australia.

The interim report, the most comprehensive document on the royal commission released so far, covering all findings to date, comes in two parts, including 150 de-identified victims’ stories of abuse.

The report confirmed statements by chief commissioner Justice Peter McClellan in a speech at Griffith University earlier this month, including that the slated 2015 end date to the commission – which was always open to change – did not allow enough time to adequately hear all cases.

By the end of 2015 the commission will have conducted up to 4,000 private sessions and 40 public hearings, the report predicted. It needed at least another two years for the extra 3000 private sessions and 30 public hearings it said were necessary, and the resulting referrals to police.

“If the Royal Commission is not extended we will not be able to hold a private session for any person who contacts us after September this year,” it said.

“This will deny many survivors the opportunity to share their experiences with us, in particular those from vulnerable or hard-to-reach groups.”

The attorney-general, George Brandis, said in a statement the government was considering the request.

“The interim report makes clear the enormous scale of the task being undertaken by the commission,” Brandis said.

“It is important that those affected by child sexual abuse and the Australian community as a whole can learn from the commission’s work so far.”

The report revealed data about incidents of child abuse it had heard about from victims, including that 90% of perpetrators were male, and most likely to be a member of clergy or a religious order, followed by teachers and residential care workers.

The royal commission has heard from more than 3,300 victims of abuse. Of that number, 1,730 people met commissioners to tell their story in private sessions. With 40 requests for private sessions coming into the commission every week, there was still a queue of 1,000 waiting their turn.

On average female victims were nine years old and male victims 10 years old when the abuse started, and non-penetrative contact was the most common type of abuse, followed by penetrative abuse.

The 7% of victims who came forward to the royal commission and identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is significantly higher than the estimated 3% proportion they make up in the general population.

The report said children in immigration detention and juvenile justice facilities could be vulnerable to abuse.

“One issue that has emerged is the risk of harm that children face when placed in detention with adults. The Australian Federal Police has noted a loophole in sex offender registration that allows offenders to live with children.”

Based on the data collected, the report estimated that one in three girls and one in seven boys had experienced some form of child sexual abuse, not necessarily in an institutional setting.

Most survivors who came to the commission had previously disclosed their abuse, but it took them an average of 22 years to do so. Men held on to their secret for longer than women, on average.

Participation in school-based prevention programs, being sensitively questioned by a trusted adult or feeling concern for younger siblings or other children were often factors in a child reporting their abuse.

The current public hearing into the Marist Brothers earlier this monthheard from Damian De Marco, who reported his abuse by a former teacher, Kostka Chute, after he saw Chute had formed a relationship with a younger student.

“All children in an institution, who have an association with an institution or in out-of-home care may be at risk of sexual abuse. We are learning which children are most vulnerable, and what factors increase that vulnerability,” the report said.

“Despite legal obligations to report, it is believed that child sexual abuse is significantly under-reported in Australia.

“Many institutions take their responsibility to appropriately respond to reports of child sexual abuse seriously. Yet many others have failed to respond to reports, or if they have responded, have done so ineffectively.”

Numerous public hearings have detailed incompetence, negligence and, in some cases, alleged cover-ups within institutions when employees were informed of an allegation that a colleague or colleagues were abusing children in their care.

“It is apparent that perpetrators are more likely to offend when an institution lacks the appropriate culture and is not managed with the protection of children as a high priority,” the report found.

“They will manipulate people, processes and situations to create opportunities for abuse. Everyone in a responsible role in an institution must be able to recognise when perpetrators are manipulating or ‘grooming children’. This requires education and training, and the development of an appropriate institutional culture.”

The report said children were still at risk, and pre-employment checks were inconsistent across the country.

Currently, states use a variation of two screening checks. Tasmania and South Australia conduct a police check. The Northern Territory, NSW, Victoria and WA also conduct a Working With Children Check (WWCC), but each state has different standards for levels of access to children.

“The Royal Commission is carefully considering whether a national screening agency would offer any advantages,” the report said.

The report also outlined future research projects, including re-examining mandatory reporting requirements and monetary compensation schemes.

Almost nine in ten abuse survivors who sought compensation from the institution where they were abused were dissatisfied with the outcome, the report revealed.

“The Royal Commission is carefully considering whether a national screening agency would offer any advantages,” it said.

Francis Sullivan, the chief executive of the Truth Justice and Healing Council – which is handling the Catholic church’s response during the royal commission – welcomed the call for an extension of time.

“This is a major social issue for our nation and we need the investment of both time and money to give the security to the community that institutions have been brought to account and victims have been given adequate time to tell their stories and to access support,” he said in a statement.

“To not finish the job properly and completely would be an insult to all the victims of abuse and one of the greatest lost opportunities of our generation.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the community to fully understand the devastation of child sexual abuse, its historic pervasion into so many different institutions and steps needed to ensure past tragedies are never revisited.”


Abuse denied as Salvos protect their own

Abuse denied as Salvos protect their own

A man who as a child had cigarette butts put out between his toes while in the care of the Salvation Army was given just $10,000 compensation.

The 10th public inquiry by the Royal Commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse looked at how the organisation dealt with abuse complaints.

It heard a matrix was used to measure what was offered to abuse victims.

EF was seven when placed in the Indooroopilly Boys Home in Queensland in 1966. He was violently punished and raped by the home’s manager, Major Victor Bennett.

This second hearing into the Salvation Army was shown a report outlining EF’s complaint, including that Mr Bennett put out cigarette butts between his toes.

The report had “allegations not proven” written on it.

At this hearing it was also revealed that Salvation Army officer Colin Haggar, who admitted abusing an eight-year-old girl in 1989, was running a crisis shelter for women and children in 2013.

Army whistleblower Captain Michelle White reported this to authorities when Commissioner James Condon delayed doing so.

Mr Condon, who has known Mr Haggar for a long time, said he went to the police with him in 1990 to report the incident. NSW police have no record of the visit and say it is improbable police would have turned them away, as Mr Condon remembered.

Salvation Army executive Kerry Haggar, the wife of Colin Haggar, was a witness at the inquiry.

In the days before the start of this hearing Ms White received an email on Facebook from Ms Haggar, with whom she was friends.

“The chain of events you set in place have caused devastation and incredible pain to many innocent people,” the email said. “In attempting to protect families you have caused irreparable damage to mine.”

Other witnesses included the mother of the girl abused by Colin Haggar.

She said her daughter self-harmed after the abuse and Mr Haggar, who confessed to the family, told them it was nothing serious – he had just digitally penetrated her.

Another witness was former head of personnel Major Peter Farthing, who said not all child abusers were pedophiles, explaining it could be because there was something broken in a person’s life.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/aap/article-2674539/Abuse-denied-Salvos-protect-own.html#ixzz367iu8nju 
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Harrowing tales at abuse royal commission

Harrowing tales at abuse royal commission

“The ones who suicided are the lucky ones; we are the walking dead who remain.”

The 66-year-old man who had been placed in the children’s home run by the Anglican Church in Lismore when he was two, sat slightly hunched in the witness box at the royal commission hearing.

His evidence, like that of many abuse survivors who told their stories during 14 public hearings into child sex abuse in institutions, was listened to in numbed silence.

In a broken voice and sometimes in tears he told how his six-year-old brother used to protect him, but then his brother was sent to another home.

Forty years later in 2006 the man giving evidence read an article by Tommy Campion, another former resident of the North Coast Children’s Home.

He said he cried for days.

In the 1980s he had been diagnosed with depression and attempted suicide several times. He now had leukaemia. In broken voice he told of beatings that left him scarred; of being left at a table for ten hours because he could not eat the food. If he threw up he would be made to eat the vomit.

A priest who seemed kind made him lie naked while he performed a pseudo-religious ritual that involved molesting him sexually.

In tears he told how he ended up doing that same thing to younger children because he thought it was a religious practice.

“I am sorry,” he said.

His life has been no life just like many among the thousands of people who are coming forward to tell their stories – often for the first time.

The royal commission hearings have brought to the surface deeply buried traumas that wives have kept from husbands and husbands from wives for decades.

Children of abuse survivors are learning for the first time why their mum or dad could never hug them. A landscape of broken lives, failed relationships, drug use, anger, suicides, bravery and extraordinary honesty while people struggle still for happiness is being painted by these witnesses.

Preparing for and giving evidence is a renewed trauma and the commission always has counsellors on hand to help them through.

Institutions, the Christian and Marist brothers, the Salvation Army, Catholic and Anglican dioceses, the YMCA, Scouts Australia, state run child-protection agencies and police forces across the country are trying to explain how it happened on their watch.

When a Salvation Army witness started to say how different standards of child discipline in the 1960s and `70s might explain why boys were beaten until they bled in homes in NSW and Queensland, commission chair Justice Peter McClellan interrupted to remind her she was talking about criminal assaults.

Brand protection, systemic failures, wilful ignorances, whether it be in the YMCA, the Scouts or the Catholic Church are being uncovered daily at these hearings.

The Catholic and Anglican churches moved abusers when complaints were made.

They kept no records that can now be produced.

In the case of the Marist Brothers, a man who was jailed for 12 years in 2006 was put on a plane to a clinic for sex-offending priests in Canada three days after the order knew police were investigating him for offences dating back years.

One boy he had abused in the 1970s at a North Queensland primary school had committed suicide in 1989 and his father confronted the brother.

Under the terms of reference this commission is looking not just at incidents of abuse but “related matters”.

It is under this heading that ledger books are opened and institutions, their law firms, and whatever body is in place to deal with abuse victims who ask for help are being examined.

One such body, the Catholic Church’s `Towards Healing’ process has come under particular scrutiny and will again. `Towards Healing’ was set up in 1996 to give spiritual and psychological help to people who had been abused by priests and religious. It also handled financial redress for the harm done.

Witnesses from the Archbishop of Brisbane Mark Coleridge to church professional standards officers said once insurers and lawyers became involved the pastoral went out the window.

Some abuse survivors who have been through it said it re-traumatised them because they found themselves alone in a process controlled by the very institution that abused them.

The church is still channelling people into the process aided by a now famous court case run by Cardinal George Pell, when abuse victim John Ellis sued.

The lengthy legal battle ended in the decision that the church was not a legal entity that could be sued in these cases.

The leaders of institutions from Cardinal Pell, to Anglican Primate Phillip Aspinall to former Scouts Australia boss Allan Currie have all apologised.

Some like Salvation Army leader James Condon and NSW Department of Families and Community executive Kate Alexander, have even cried, but none have said sorry with the raw truthfulness of the broken man who told of his childhood in a church-run orphanage.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 or Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/aap/article-2674516/Harrowing-tales-abuse-royal-commission.html#ixzz367hZbnRt 
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Investigators pursue a hunch on John Balyo

Investigators pursue a hunch on John Balyo

BATTLE CREEK (WKZO) — Authorities are looking for more potential victims of former Christian radio host John Balyo, who is accused of sexually assaulting at least one young boy.

Homeland Security agent Kenneth Duke says Balyo had contact with children through his photography business and his sponsorship of children through an aid agency.

They also found news articles in a storage facility about missing children along with a bondage kit and it made them think he may have done it more than once.

According to investigators, several parents have contacted police to say they think the 35-year-old may have abused their children.

So far, its still just a suspicion.


Former Radio Host Acussed Of Molesting Child Expected In Court

Former Radio Host Acussed Of Molesting Child Expected In Court

CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. (June 29, 2014)– A former West Michigan radio host accused of molesting a child is expected in court Monday.

John Balyo faces charged of criminal sexual conduct after police say he had oral sex with an 11-year-old inside a Battle Creek hotel room.

According to a spokesperson with Homeland Security, investigators found duct tape, handcuffs, rope, zip-ties and children’s socks in a so-called “bondage kit” that was found inside a storage unit rented by Balyo.

Balyo was afterward fired from his job with WCSG radio.

Investigators said his arrest is part of a bigger sex trafficking investigation.

Earlier this month, police in Battle Creek arrested Ronald Moser, who they said led Balyo to his young victim.

Moser is also being held in jail on sex crime charged.

Read more: http://fox17online.com/2014/06/29/former-radio-host-acussed-of-molesting-child-expected-in-court/#ixzz367cofzq9



Former WCSG host John Balyo is expected to be in court today to face charges of criminal sexual conduct. Police say the former Christian radio host had oral sex with an 11-year-old at a hotel. Balyo was quickly fired from his job at WCSG. Investigators say Balyo’s arrest was part of a bigger sex trafficking investigation.