sexual abuse

Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood megaproducer accused of sexual harassment and assault dating back decades, has been slapped with a civil rights lawsuit by New York's attorney general. Eric Schneiderman announced the suit Sunday, saying his office has sued not only Weinstein, but also his brother, Robert, and The Weinstein Company.

When Pope Francis visited Chile earlier this month, he lashed out at victims of sexual abuse and accused them of "calumny" regarding a bishop who is suspected of covering up abuse they endured by a pedophile priest.

The pope said there was "not a shred of evidence" against Chilean Bishop Juan Barros. "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros," he said, "I'll speak."

Now the pope is sending a top envoy on a mission to Chile to look into survivors' claims.

The #MeToo movement, having exposed alleged sexual misconduct from Hollywood to Capitol Hill and in board rooms and news rooms, has now reached into evangelical Christian circles, raising questions unique to that faith culture.

Pope Francis has accused victims of sexual abuse in Chile of slander, saying their attacks on a bishop who's accused of covering up the abuse amount to "calumny." The remarks triggered anger and demonstrations in Chile, where several churches have been firebombed in the past week.

Nora Baladerian and Karyn Harvey are both psychologists with an unusual specialty — they are among a small number of therapists who treat people with intellectual disabilities who have been the victims of sexual violence.

They're friends, brought together by decades of shared experience. Baladerian, from Los Angeles, is a co-founder of the Disability and Abuse Project, which tracks violence against people with intellectual disabilities.

Editor's note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of sexual assault.

There's a trial scheduled in March at the marble courthouse in Newark, N.J., of a man charged with kidnapping and raping a young woman with an intellectual disability.

That trial is likely to be a quiet one, with little attention, nothing like the feverish national press coverage 25 years ago of the trial — in that same courthouse — in another case of sexual assault of another young woman with an intellectual disability.

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

Pope Francis, arriving in Chile to begin a three-day visit, opened his trip by asking for forgiveness over a local priest-abuse scandal that has left the country reeling — and prompted a less-than-warm reception for the Argentine-born pontiff.

Alexia Fodere / Miami Herald

In an old warehouse-turned-office in northwestern Miami, a powerful but painful conversation by a group of women began.

Sitting on metal folding chairs around an improvised altar covered with a yellow sheet and a lit candle at its center, 16 women shared their intimate stories of sexual harassment and abuse.

Editor's note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of sexual assault.

The victim couldn't tell anyone what happened that night. She was a woman with an intellectual disability who doesn't speak words. So the alleged rape was discovered, according to the police report, only by accident — when a staff worker said she walked into the woman's room and saw her boss with his pants down.

Editor's note: This report includes graphic and disturbing descriptions of sexual assault.

In the sex education class for adults with intellectual disabilities, the material is not watered down. The dozen women and men in a large room full of windows and light in Casco, Maine, take on complex issues, such as how to break up or how you know you're in an abusive relationship. And the most difficult of those issues is sexual assault.

Police in the Australian state of Victoria have announced charges of sexual abuse against one of the Vatican's most powerful cardinals.

"Cardinal Pell is facing multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences and there are multiple complainants relating to those charges," Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters on Thursday.

One of the sons of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky faces child sexual abuse charges in Centre County, Pa.

NPR's Jeff Brady reported that the charges against 41-year-old Jeffrey Sandusky come more than four years after his father was convicted of child sexual abuse.

"Jeffrey Sandusky was charged with 14 counts that include child sexual abuse and child pornography. His adoptive father, former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, was convicted in 2012 of abusing 10 boys," Jeff reported.

Miami Herald

Four male students are accused of raping a mentally disabled girl in a janitor's closet at North Miami Senior High earlier this year. The cases are making it through the legal system, but it turns out there may have been another rape at the school months earlier. 

The students accused — Kenoldo Alexis, Derek Bynum, Steven Joseph and David Lombard — are between 15 and 18 years old. Court records say the four slipped into the closet with the girl and gang-raped her. 

The Miami Herald's Christina Veiga covered the story. Hear an interview with her below.

A measure allowing sexual abuse victims to use secret recordings of their attackers as evidence in court is moving forward in the Florida House. The proposed committee bill gained initial approval in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee Tuesday.

At least one lawmaker has followed through on an abuse survivor’s vow to make sure legislation was filed to allow young victims to use private recordings in sex abuse cases. It follows a recent Florida Supreme Court ruling that will now allow a man convicted of abusing his stepdaughter to get a new trial, after she taped an incriminating conversation without his consent.

The Case

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