Ellis County Observer publisher Joey Dauben finally gets a court-appointed attorney

Joey Dauben

Joey Dauben, the publisher of the now-defunct Ellis County Observer, finally got to see a court-appointed lawyer this week to help him fight the three felony counts of child sexual abuse that have kept him in the Navarro County Jail without legal advice for almost two months now.

Edward Jendrzey, whose office is in Waxahachie in Ellis County, received the court-ordered appointment Thursday, Feb. 16. Jendrzey accepted the case after Steve Keathley, a Corsicana attorney whose wife is the president of the Navarro County Bar Association, declined an appointment by District Court Judge James Lagomarsino to represent the journalist.

In a telephone interview today, Jendrzey said, “Yes, he knows I’m representing him,” when asked whether he had met with his new client, who reached out for help from the media this week in a handwritten letter from jail. When a defendant declares himself to be indigent and asks for a court-appointed attorney, that is supposed to occur within 72 hours. In the letter, Dauben also again claimed he is innocent of the charges.

Jendrzey said his first step in Dauben’s representation will be to conduct an independent investigation of the case to learn the circumstances and to attempt to get Dauben’s $200,000 bond set by Lagomarsino lowered. “I’ll be meeting with the prosecutor about that,” Jendrzey said. Dauben’s family and friends have been unable to raise the 10 percent (or $20,000) payment bond agencies typically charge to get a defendant released from jail.

—  admin

Putting our children at risk

David Webb
The Rare Reporter

Child sexual abuse a concern for everyone, especially LGBT parents

Most people would probably agree there is no resource that a society cherishes more than its children. So it is hard to fathom how sexual predators manage with such apparent ease to carry out horrendous, undetected assaults on children practically under the noses of their families and others who are charged with their protection.

As horrific as the crime of child sexual abuse is, there are no firm estimates of its prevalence because it often goes undetected and is seriously underreported, according to agencies that study child abuse.

Less than 100,000 crimes of sexual abuse are reported each year because children fear telling anyone, and adults who become aware of the activity are often reluctant to contact law enforcement agencies, even though there is usually a legal requirement to do so.

With so many LGBT households now raising children, it is obviously vital that all parents be aware of the tactics used by sexual predators to seduce children without arousing the suspicion of their families, and aware of the symptoms victims of child sexual abuse exhibit.

The critical need for sustained intervention into child sexual abuse recently gained national attention following a grand jury’s indictment of retired Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on 40 counts of child sex abuse involving eight victims over a 15-year period. The victims reportedly came into contact with the now 67-year-old, married Sandusky in connection with the Second Mile, a children’s charity the former football coach founded.

Although Sandusky denied, this week in an NBC interview, engaging in any type of sexual activity with the pre-pubescent boys, he acknowledged showering and “horsing around” with them after exercise. He also admitted hugging young boys and putting his hand on their legs when they sat next to him.

His admissions shocked viewers and confirmed in many minds what was already suspected — Sandusky is most likely a pedophile that has taken advantage of young boys with the unwitting complicity of their families.

It is a devastating scandal that will likely rival the one that rocked the Catholic Church a decade ago when it became known that untold numbers of Catholic Church priests sexually abused young boys and violated the trust of their families.

If the charges against Sandusky are true, the accounts by the victims portray a classic pattern of enticement and betrayal practiced by the former football coach in his pursuit of the young boys. Likewise, the lack of action by those who knew about Sandusky’s alleged criminal activity parallel what often happens when the abuser commands power and respect in a community.

Much of the difficulty in combating child sexual abuse can be attributed to its relative youth in terms of public awareness about the crime. The first studies on the molestation of children began in the 1920s, and the first estimate of the prevalence of the crime was reported in 1948.

In 1974 the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect was founded, and the Child Abuse and Treatment Act was created. Since then, awareness about the problem has grown dramatically, and much more is known about deterring the crime and assisting victims of it.

Children’s advocates have identified “red flags” to help parents and others protect children from sexual predators. They warn parents to be wary of someone who wants to spend more time with their children than they do, who attempts to be alone with a child, who frequently seeks physical closeness to a child such as hugging or touching, who is overly interested in the sexuality of a child, who seems to prefer the company of children to people their own age, who lacks boundaries, who regularly offers to babysit,who often gives presents or  money to children, who frequently walks in on children in bathrooms or locker rooms, who frequents parks where children gather, who makes inappropriate comments about a child’s appearance or who likes to photograph children.

Signs of possible sexual abuse in children include a fear of people, places or activities, reluctance to undress, disturbed sleep, mood swings, excessive crying, fear of being touched, loss of appetite, a drastic change in school performance, bizarre themes in drawing, sexually acting out on other children, advanced sexual knowledge, use of new words for private body parts and a reversion to old behavior such as bedwetting or thumb sucking.

Aside from the moral responsibility to protect children and other weaker members of society that all people share, it is essential to intervene in child sexual abuse because of the long-lasting psychological damage it usually causes. The problems can include feelings of worthlessness, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and distorted views of sexuality.

Also, victims of child sexual abuse tend to become sexual predators as adults, making it a crime that begets more crime.

The Sandusky scandal will undoubtedly lead to devastating repercussions for Penn State, for the Second Mile charity with which the former football coach is no longer affiliated and for law enforcement and university officials who became aware of concerns about the former football coach’s activities and failed to act on them.

But the real tragedy — if the allegations are true — will be the lasting impact upon the victims.

David Webb is a veteran journalist who has covered LGBT issues for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. E-mail him at davidwaynewebb@yahoo.com.        

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 18, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Lawsuit Charges Rampant Sexual Abuse in Military

DADT PENTAGON X390 (PHOTOS.COM) | ADVOCATE.COMA lawsuit filed Tuesday charges the Pentagon with perpetuating a culture of sexual abuse and failing to do enough to address complaints.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  David Taffet

How Is Chile’s Government Cracking Down On Domestic Abuse? By Calling Violent Husbands ‘Faggots’

A federal Chilean public awareness campaign to fight domestic violence has a wonderful way of convincing macho men not to beat their wives: call them faggots. How creative!

CONTINUED »


Permalink | 20 comments | Add to del.icio.us


Tagged: , , , , ,

Queerty

—  admin

Parents are exposing their children to emotional abuse at a local Christian church

It all felt so joyous and loving at first that I almost forgot I was rubbing shoulders with parents who were endangering their own children’s lives.

At 9 am on September 5th at Canyon Hills Community Church, a young man poised drum sticks over a full kit.  Guitarists plugged their instruments into amps as the vocal team lined up behind the song leader.  House lights were dialed down and a 300-strong audience took to their feet.  The house began to rock.  

Giant screens flanking the stage cued up the lyrics and added to the rock concert vibe fostered by deep blue stage lighting.  The auditorium reverberated with fully voiced, energetic praise song.  It really got the blood flowing.

Oh happy day, happy day!

You washed my sin away

Oh happy day, happy day!

I’ll never be the same

Forever I am changed.

Through the applause the band segued into a power ballad, bringing the audience down to a more reverential mindframe.  Many palms were lifted heavenward.  The music and lyrics were emotional.

This is how we know,

This is how we know what love is

Just one look at Your cross

And this is where we see,

This is where we see how love works

For You surrendered Your all …

King Jesus we love You,

For we have been loved,

We have been loved.

This was the introduction to the day’s sermon “Should Christians be tolerant of homosexuality?”  Pamphlets in the lobby and a page on the church’s website state the answer to that question: “no”.  This means that the 20 minutes of joyous song about love that opened the service was a cruel set-up.

I could only guess at the confusion and heartache about to be experienced by the many kids in the auditorium as the pastor used his position of moral authority and the approval of nodding or silent parents to sew into their hearts the seeds of self-loathing and suicide.  I was about to witness raw, deliberate emotional brutality wrapped in the guise of love.  

After a prayer asking God to help teachers lead children to God, one of the pastors angled the congregation for volunteer Sunday school teachers, saying

We as a church, Canyon Hills Community Church, we value children.  If you’ve been in this building, you know that we have an investment in the lives of our children.

“We value our children”?  What a sick joke.
Canyon Hills Community Church is a tenant of the Canyon Park Business Center, a high-tech office park located in the north Seattle suburb of Bothell, WA.  I took notice of the church when the email to the right was circulated company-wide by my wife’s employer, which is also located in Canyon Park.  CHCC’s website made clear that the enterprise angling for new members by offering free lunch is dangerously homophobic.  The hazards of blindly forwarding solicitation emails company-wide was explained to the HR department of my wife’s company, and to their credit they’ve since tightened their policies.

The story would have ended there, but at the time the church’s main web page (left) happened to be advertising a series of upcoming sermons including the one titled “Should Christians be tolerant of homosexuality?”.

I decided I had to witness this service for myself.  Although I’ve heard and read plenty of anti-gay rhetoric from public religious figures, I’ve never attended a service where gays were attacked from the pulpit.  I figured I owe it to the kids here in my own neighborhood to understand as best I can what they are facing.

Pastor Jeff Geise stepped to the pulpit after the opening music and announcements were over.  For over 45 minutes he

* quoted Bible verses

* belied his stated compassion for gays by choosing to use terms like “natural reflexive recoil”, “homosexual” and “gross”

* chastised his gay brother-in-law for leaving a heterosexual marriage rather than recognize that his own sermons compel gay people to pursue false heterosexual lives.

* quoted fake statistics, saying “the consequences often include physical damage, disease and death” and “over a third of professing homosexuals say they would get out of the gay lifestyle”, and

* evilly promised “salvation” through “ex-gay therapy” scams like Exodus International and, even more shockingly, “Pastor Ben’s own thesis that he wrote for his schooling.”.

It was horrible to witness, but well worth the discomfort to experience first-hand the soul-crushing ton of bricks being dropped on children.  I am now even more motivated than before to do what I can to let such kids know they are beautiful, perfect and whole and do not need “saving” a la Pastor Jeff’s cruel and impossible plan.

Sitting a few seats from me was a teenage girl who clearly had been dragged to church by her mother.  The bathroom slippers, sullen slouching and refusal to participate in even the “greet your neighbor” exercise were dead giveaways.  Her brave, defiant presence more than anything else prompted me to question not what the pastor was saying, but to question why children were present in that service at all.

LOVE YOUR CHILDREN TO DEATH

You can watch a video of the sermon here if you’re curious.  I’m not providing a transcript because I don’t think the particular Bible versus cited or arguments made by Pastor Jeff are surprising or even the most important thing.

What is important is that parents are choosing to subject their children to this emotional abuse.  By exposing a gay or maybe-gay child to a church like this, parents make a clear choice to prioritize dogma over their child’s life.  Because make no mistake, for some children the choice between being true to themselves and living up to the impossible heterosexual expectations placed on them by their parents, pastor and church is untenable and so they kill themselves.  Does anyone need reminding what a rocky emotional time adolescence and young adulthood is anyways, without adding to it?

Parents, don’t subject your children to this emotional abuse.  It can kill.

IF YOU ARE IN CRISIS

You are not alone!

* If you live in Washington state, here is a list of places by city and county where you can find help dealing with emotional crisis, get emergency food and shelter, etc.

* The Trevor Project‘s Trevor Lifeline is a national 24-hour free and confidential toll-free suicide prevention hotline specifically aimed at gay or questioning youth, geared toward helping those in crisis or anyone wanting information on how to help someone in crisis. All calls are handled by trained counselors who are familiar with gay and questioning youth. Phone: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7386).

* A huge list of other toll-free local, national and international hotlines can be found here at the Safe Schools Coalition website.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright

Las Vegas Pastor Arrested for ELEVEN Sexual Abuse Charges

This same pastor was charged in a similar case in 2005, and many of his flock stubbornly stood by him:

A pastor of a Las Vegas church was arrested Friday on 11 sexual abuse charges, five years after a similar case against him was dropped.

North Las Vegas police arrested Billy Eckstine McCurdy, 57, following an eight-month investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted teen boys at his home….

The new charges involve two teen boys who said McCurdy forced them into sexual relationships with him. They told police he used his position in the church and Bible scriptures to force them into sex acts, authorities said.

I’m wondering if they have learned their lesson about blind faith now that their pastor was able to molest more of their children?

Of course, it goes without saying the whole using biblical scriptures and position within the church to molest the teenage boys sounds eerily similar to another case we’ve been following.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

GEORGIA: Accuser Of Bishop Eddie “Down Low” Long Speaks Out About Abuse

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Advice to Catholic Church on treatment of gays: Glass houses

pope

Is it me or does the Catholic Church have no business doing any criticizing of the LGBT community? Here are some headlines I found today:

The BBC reports today that during the past decade, “the Holy Office received details of 3,000 Catholic priests reported by their Bishops to Rome for sexual misconduct or, even worse, crimes.”

The Vatican minimizes the importance by saying that only 10 percent of these cases, or 300 priests, involve pediophelia.

Brazil:

Sex scandal embroils Catholic Church in Brazil

Three priests being investigated.

Ireland:

Irish Cardinal Apologizes for Sex Abuse Scandal

This scandal involves abuse of as many as 15,000 children, according to an AP report.

Germany:

Pope meets with German bishop amid sex scandal

From various German Catholic schools and an all-boys choir once led by the pope’s brother, 170 former students from  have come forward.

Austria:

Vienna Boys Choir admits possible sexual abuses

Abuse of boys ages 10 to 14 goes back decades and involves priests, although the chior is not offically affiliated with the church.

That’s just from today’s news.

Yet, when Mexico City began allowing same-sex couples to marry last week, where did the biggest criticism come from? The Catholic Church.

When Washington, D.C. insisted that agencies funded by the government treat all couples married in that city equally, where did the loudest protests come from? The Catholic Church.

As Vera Carp said, “Glass houses.”

For more news about religion and how if affects the LGBT community, see tomorrow’s Spirituality section of the Dallas Voice.

—  David Taffet