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NEWS
July 4, 2013
I like Elmo as much as anyone else, but Kevin Clash was not "cleared of sexual abuse claims" as some in the media have stated ("3 sex-abuse suits against Clash, Elmo's voice, tossed," July 2). He was not exonerated or proven not guilty. The plaintiffs did not recant. The cases were dismissed in New York because the statute of limitations for civil damages in cases of sexual abuse of a minor must be brought within five years of the sexual offense. In New York, if someone doesn't heal enough within five years to be ready to identify their experience as abuse, understand its impact, realize they are not at fault, dissolve the shame they carry, feel their anger, find an attorney, and be prepared to confront their perpetrator and his or her attorney in public, they are denied their day in court.
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NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2013
A former U.S. Embassy employee from the Philippines convicted of sexual abuse that took place in Baltimore was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday. Rosauro Pacubas, 58, traveled with his wife and a victim to Baltimore in March 2012, where the abuse took place in a hotel, federal prosecutors said. The victim, whose age and gender were not released, was traveling with Pacubas so that she could be evaluated for an undisclosed medical condition at a Baltimore hospital, federal prosecutors said.
NEWS
July 15, 2014
Anne Arundel County police say a 50-year-old Glen Burnie man has been charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult based on allegations he inappropriately touched a 21-year-old man. Police say on Monday they were called to Opportunity Builders, at 8855 Veterans Highway in Millersville, for a report of vulnerable adult abuse. A 21-year-old diagnosed with autism said he was sexually abused by a staff member sometime between May 15 and June 15. The man told detectives the staff member touched him sexually while he was using a bathroom at the center.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
A Baltimore man who once volunteered for a fire company in Anne Arundel County was arrested Wednesday on multiple sex abuse charges, county police said. Preston Lamont Scott II, 31, is accused of abusing two children he knew. Police did not release the children's ages, gender or relationship to Scott to protect their identity. The investigation began in August. Charges against Scott include second-degree child abuse, sex abuse of a minor, and a child pornography charge. Scott organized monthly dances for teenagers as fundraisers for the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Company, police said.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | June 24, 2013
A former firefighter for the Lansdowne Volunteer Fire Department received a 15-year sentence Monday for sexually abusing a teenage boy prosecutors said he mentored in a training program at the station. Anthony M. Cottle, 24, who worked with youth the station, is also awaiting sentencing in federal court on related charges. His attorney, John Grason Turnbull III, declined to comment Monday. Prosecutors said Cottle engaged in sexual acts with the boy numerous times, sometimes videotaping their encounters, and had moved in with the boy and his mother after she believed Cottle would be a positive male role model.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | November 25, 2012
The Catholic-school teacher had a pre-teen student pinned to the ground in his Baltimore classroom, the girl's blouse open and her chest exposed when the doorknob suddenly turned and the school principal - a nun - burst in. The screaming girl thought she was about to be rescued, according to court records that describe the scene at the Catholic Community Middle School in Locust Point. But Sister Eileen Weisman, who had a key to the room, merely chastised the teacher, John Joseph Merzbacher, for locking the door.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2012
Two men told Anne Arundel County police that they were sexually abused as children by a man from their Edgewater community, John Charles Villers-Farrow, police said. Villers-Farrow, 66, surrendered to police Wednesday night. An Anne Arundel County judge reduced his bail, which was initially $800,000, to $250,000 Thursday morning. He is facing 14 counts that include sexual abuse of a minor, perverted practice and child abuse that cover the years between 2000 and 2008 when the two men were between the ages of eight and their early teens, according to the statement of charges.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | April 12, 2011
A retired Episcopal priest, whose last assignment was as the vicar at a church in northern Harford County, pleaded guilty last week to sexually abusing two young girls in Cecil County. The Rev. Donald W. Belcher, 82, entered an Alford plea on two counts of sexual abuse of minors in Cecil County Circuit Court. An Alford plea allows a defendant to maintain his innocence while acknowledging that the state has enough evidence to convict him. Belcher was released on $100,000 bond and is awaiting a June 28 sentencing, in which he could receive 25 years on each count, to be served consecutively, said Kevin Urick, assistant state's attorney for Cecil County.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | October 23, 2012
Linda Malat Tiburzi wanted a front-row seat inside a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals courtroom Tuesday, so judges could get a good look at her during a hearing involving a convicted child rapist who had taught at a Baltimore Catholic school. Though it's traumatic for Tiburzi to relive her alleged abuse at the hands of John J. Merzbacher, she said she and the 14 other men and women who took a bus from Pasadena wanted to show their commitment to keeping him behind bars. "I want the judges to see my face," said Tiburzi, 51, who said she was sexually abused by Merzbacher while she was a Catholic Community middle-schooler from 1973 to 1976.
NEWS
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2012
Baltimore prosecutors are scheduled to meet Thursday with a woman to discuss further allegations of sexual abuse against John Merzbacher, a former teacher at the Catholic Community middle school in South Baltimore. It appears to be the first time that such allegations have been raised with prosecutors since the 1990s, when Merzbacher was charged with dozens of counts of child sexual abuse from his teaching days 20 years earlier. He was convicted in 1995 in his first of what were to be 14 trials and is now involved in an appeals court proceeding that some fear could lead to his early release from prison.
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