Posts Tagged Maria Panaritis

Stolen Childhoods / The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Rev. James Brzyski turned their community into a stalking ground. Brzyski (BRISH-kee) had sexually assaulted possibly more than 100 boys during stints at St. Cecilia’s and a prior parish, St. John the Evangelist in Lower Makefield, a grand jury later asserted, but like so many abusers had eluded prosecution.” Philadelphia Inquirer

Decades later, the damage from one Philadelphia predator priest still torments a generation of victims.

“Like (Jim) Cunningham (who committed suicide), each (Cunnigham’s friends) had been a student in the same Northeast Philadelphia parish school, St. Cecilia’s, in the 1980s when the Rev. James Brzyski turned their community into a stalking ground. Brzyski (BRISH-kee) had sexually assaulted possibly more than 100 boys during stints at St. Cecilia’s and a prior parish, St. John the Evangelist in Lower Makefield, a grand jury later asserted, but like so many abusers had eluded prosecution.

“As far as any of Cunningham’s boyhood friends had known, the scrawny bookworm with a million-dollar smile had been among the lucky altar boys to avoid the predator’s reach. He had earned a master’s degree, built a career, even won a seat on his local board of supervisors.

“But in truth, his world had spiraled over a simmering torment: long-ago abuse at the hands of Brzyski. His anguish peaked one February night in Doylestown, surrounded by the same Bucks County SWAT team he had helped with suicide standoffs. His mom had called the police to save her distraught son. Inside, Cunningham had posted a note on Facebook: ‘This is the face of being raped as a child.'”

By Maria Panaritis, The Philadelphia Inquirer — Read more …

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Pennsylvania legislators abandon bill to extend rights of child sex-abuse victims / Philly.com

“‘It’s disappointing,’ said John Salveson, a victim founder of the Foundation to End Child Abuse, an advocacy group. ‘I just don’t know what it’s going to take to get these legislators to do the right thing.'”

A controversial proposal to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sex-abuse victims appeared to collapse Tuesday (Oct. 24), after supporters said the House was unlikely to move an amended version of the bill or reintroduce the original measure. With little chance of its passing, they said, they will try to revive it when the Assembly reconvenes next year.

“With little chance of its passing, they said, they will try to revive it when the Assembly reconvenes next year.

By Maria Panaritis and Karen Langley, Philly.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pennsylvania Senate committee votes to alter child sex-abuse bill / Philly.com

A Senate committee on Tuesday (Jun. 28) voted to remove the most controversial provision of a bill that would let child sex-abuse victims sue their attackers.

“By a near unanimous vote, the Judiciary Committee passed an amendment that bars the law from being applied retroactively, a move that would have enabled lawsuits by victims who were abused as far back as the 1970s.”

By Maria Panaritis, Philly.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Kane: Three clergy leaders enabled predator friar / Philly.com

State prosecutors on Tuesday (Mar. 15) accused three former leaders of an Altoona-area (Pennsylvania) Franciscan order of enabling a friar to sexually abuse scores of children during years of work at a Catholic high school and in the community.

“The felony conspiracy and child endangerment charges against Giles A. Schinelli, 73, Robert J. D’Aversa, 69, and Anthony M. Criscitelli, 61, mark the second prong of a longstanding investigation by the Attorney General’s office into clergy sex abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown area.

“The three men served in succession as Minister Provincial of the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regulars, Province of the Immaculate Conception based in Hollidaysburg, and were the supervisors for Brother Stephen Baker, who abused possitbly more than 100 children in Ohio and central Pennsylvania before committing suicide three years ago.

“Prosecutors said Baker was enabled by leaders who ‘engaged in efforts to protect the image and reputation of the Franciscan Friars rather than act in the best interests of the children served by their organization to whom they owed a duty of care,’ according to a presentment made public Tuesday (Mar. 15).”

By Maria Panaritis, Philly.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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