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32 Child Abuse News Articles
from 4th Quarter of 2016
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Webmaster's comment: Female Genital Mutilation
FGM is likely to come back legally in the United States in the new political environment. The new leaders all have an inclination to treat women as objects for their sexual pleasure only. Women's rights and women's pleasure are of secondary concerns. So why not use Female Genital Mutilation to "treat" Female Hysteria, Female Masturbation, Female Erotomania, Female Hypersexuality, Lesbianism, and Female Moral Insanity again as we did in America between 1860 and the 1960's. Note that it would "solve" the problems of all sorts of "female sexual aberrations" such as lesbianism, erotomania, hypersexuality, and moral insanity. Two doctors just recently advocated the reintroduction of FGM. On 2-22-16 doctors claimed legalizing some genital mutilation may help girls! Expect many more calls for FGM "treatment" to come back in the next 4 years.
12-30-16 The Kenyan girls celebrating non-FGM rite
The Kenyan girls celebrating non-FGM rite
Millions of women around the world are living with the effects of female genital mutilation (FGM), despite years of campaigns against the harmful practice. But among the Kalenjin in Kenya, FGM is slowly fading away, and an alternative rite of passage to being cut has been introduced.
12-23-16 Indiana mum 'bit and beat sons for opening Christmas gifts'
Indiana mum 'bit and beat sons for opening Christmas gifts'
An Indiana mother has been charged with beating her two young sons and biting one of them after they opened their Christmas gifts early. Sascha Collins, 36, is charged with two counts of battery for last Sunday's alleged assault in Greenfield, 25 miles (40km) east of Indianapolis. Her seven- and nine-year-old sons told police they had opened presents found hidden in their mother's closet. She beat them with a belt buckle and threw them against the wall, they said. The boys' teenage sister alerted authorities after finding them injured and upset.
12-21-16 Kenyan girls hide in schools to escape FGM
Kenyan girls hide in schools to escape FGM
Hundreds of Kenyan girls are preparing to spend Christmas in schools, rather than with their families, fearing that their parents will force them to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). Schools that should have closed more than a month ago for the holidays are staying open for the girls, while others are staying in churches in north-western Pokot County. Alice Jebet, 14, says there are financial, as well as cultural reasons, why so many parents support the practice: "My parents force us to undergo FGM because they want dowry. When girls are circumcised, their parents have already arranged for them to be married off. "When they finish the initiation, their parents introduce them to their husband, whose family gives them cows as dowry," she tells the BBC. Despite the introduction of stiff penalties for offenders after FGM was made illegal in 2011, the practice continues in many parts of Kenya. Girls are most at risk during the December holidays, traditionally a time for initiation rites for both boys and girls.
12-21-16 Why China's parents tackle bullies on their own
Why China's parents tackle bullies on their own
A shocking video of a young boy being assaulted by his schoolmates is the latest in a slew of bullying incidents to spark outrage in China. While bullying is not unique to China, some parents feel the system leaves them with no choice but to take matters into their own hands. Parents shame bullies on social media. Taking to social media is seen as the default mode for ensuring justice by crowdsourcing internet outrage, so putting pressure on authorities to act. This is exactly what one Beijing mother did last week when she took to messaging app WeChat with a powerful account about what happened to her 10-year-old son. She said her son was bullied over the course of a year, culminating in an incident where classmates threw faeces and rubbish at him. Eventually he was taken out of school and diagnosed with acute stress disorder. She added that the Zhongguancun Second Primary School, one of Beijing's best-known, had brushed her concerns off. "We are clearly the victims here, we only ask that the school handles this and apologises, why have we been treated this way?" she wrote.
12-20-16 Child abuse: Documenting Australia's shame
Child abuse: Documenting Australia's shame
In Australia, a boy of 10 is raped by an Anglican clergyman, who cuts his victim with a small knife and smears blood over his back in a twisted ritual to symbolise the suffering of Christ. This happened in the 1960s in Cessnock, a former mining town in the New South Wales Hunter Valley, but only now has this and other decades-old stories of sexual violence and degradation been heard, catalogued and, crucially for many victims, believed. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is an unprecedented investigation into an epidemic of depravity across Australia. The far-reaching inquiry began in 2013 and has heard from thousands of survivors of paedophiles who worked, or volunteered, in sporting clubs, schools, churches, charities, childcare centres and the military. It has the power to look at any private, public or non-government body that is, or was, involved with children. The Commission's task is to make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to protect the young. To date, it has held more than 6,000 private sessions, along with several high-profile public hearings. Paul Gray told investigators that between the ages of 10 and 14, he was sexually assaulted by Father Peter Rushton in Cessnock every one or two weeks. Sometimes, his attacker had an accomplice. "I was chased by two men to the edge of the cliff and I hid in the bushes. "After a while they dragged me from the bushes and I was raped by the two men, and while I was being raped I could hear another boy screaming," said Mr Gray, fighting back tears as he recounted memories that have burned inside him for half a century.
12-17-16 Hundreds of US gymnasts allege sexual abuse
Hundreds of US gymnasts allege sexual abuse
Hundreds of US gymnasts have come forward to say they were sexually abused by adults in the sport. A nine-month investigation by the Indianapolis Star finds 368 gymnasts allege abuse over 20 years, by at least 100 coaches, gym owners and others. The allegations come amid claims that the US body that governs gymnastics did not do enough to prevent the assaults. But USA Gymnastics says it is "proud of the work it has done to address and guard against child sexual abuse". The sport received huge attention earlier in the year due to the success of its women's team at the Rio Olympics. The newspaper writes that gym owners and athletes were reluctant to come forward with their allegations for fear that they would attract negative attention and lose potentially lucrative sponsorships. Those that did complain to USA Gymnastics felt that their claims were ignored, as the governing body failed to alert police to the alleged crimes. Those that did complain to USA Gymnastics felt that their claims were ignored, as the governing body failed to alert police to the alleged crimes. (Webmaster's comment: Another male coverup. But this time it's protect the men, don't even bother to blame the women children.)
12-12-16 Christmas tree camera catches nanny 'abuse'
Christmas tree camera catches nanny 'abuse'
A nanny in France has been caught by a tiny camera under a Christmas tree allegedly abusing a child in her care. A Toulouse father found footage of his two-year-old daughter being shaken, having her hair pulled and a spoon forced into her mouth at home. A doctor's examination revealed facial bruising, La Depeche reports (French). The 49-year-old nanny has been taken into custody and police say they are investigating to see if there are other victims. Her lawyer is quoted as saying that life had got "on top of her" and that "difficulties had built up". The nanny, held on suspicion of violence against a minor under the age of 15, was from an agency that specialises in domestic help.
12-1-16 Spyware tracks child sex abuse site users
Spyware tracks child sex abuse site users
Hidden code that tracked visitors to a child sex abuse image website has been discovered by its members. The script in the site targeted visitors using the anonymising web browser Tor and sent information about their computers to a server in France. The code may have been written by a law enforcement agency and there are fears it could have been used on other sites to track law-abiding people. An update to the Tor browser has disabled the tracker. Tor is designed to let people access pages from the so-called dark web and browse free from surveillance. But the hidden code in the illicit website exploited a security flaw in Tor to send user information back to a mysterious server in France.
11-22-16 Ukraine teacher 'tried to sell girl aged 13 for $10,000'
Ukraine teacher 'tried to sell girl aged 13 for $10,000'
Police in eastern Ukraine have arrested a teacher accused of trying to sell a 13-year-old girl for $10,000 (£8,035). The girl was living at a boarding school in the Kharkiv region for orphans and children from broken homes. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov reported the case on Facebook, with photos of the 52-year-old teacher and girl. He said police had been monitoring them for four months. Mr Avakov said the buyer hinted that the girl's organs would be removed. The buyer inquired about the girl's health and paid the teacher 1,000 hryvnia (£31; $39) for photos of the girl and her medical records, Mr Avakov said. Ukrainian media have named the suspect as Galina Kovalenko. She teaches the Ukrainian and Russian languages, and literature, and has more than 20 years' teaching experience, they report. There has been no statement yet from the teacher. (Webmaster's comment: The movie "Dirty Pretty Things" exposes this world wide practice in detail.)
11-22-16 Turkey withdraws child rape bill after street protests
Turkey withdraws child rape bill after street protests
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has withdrawn a bill that pardons men convicted of sex with underage girls if they have married them. The bill, part of a package of amendments to the legal system, was sent back for further work just hours before a final vote in parliament. It had sparked protests across Turkish society and was condemned abroad. Critics said it would legitimise statutory rape and encourage the practice of taking child brides. UN agencies had called on the government not to approve the bill, arguing that it would damage the country's ability to combat sexual abuse and child marriage. But the government says the main aim is to exonerate men imprisoned for marrying an underage girl apparently with her or her family's consent.
11-20-16 This Maasai warrior is rallying men to fight female genital mutilation
This Maasai warrior is rallying men to fight female genital mutilation
Dressed in colorful red, blue, and white cloth, with necklaces of white beads adorning his chest, 28-year-old Ole Lelein Kanunga sings and dances with his fellow Maasai warriors. He is carrying a long dark-brown stick, symbolizing that he is their leader. The dance, the attire, the symbolism — it's all very traditional. But Ole Lelein is also a revolutionary. He wants to end the practice of female genital mutilation, or FGM, among the Maasai in southern Kenya. A few years ago, he attended a workshop about health issues that changed his life. "While at the workshop we heard news that a girl who had gone through FGM was bleeding uncontrollably and was almost dying. This made me think — what if that was my daughter. This is when I decided I will not let my daughters go through FGM. I also decided that I would start a campaign to help my community to stop this act," he says. Ole Lelein has been striving to end FGM in his conservative Maasai community ever since. As part of his campaign, he gives talks under trees where he invites young Maasai men to discuss the dangers of FGM. Little by little, the movement has grown.
11-20-16 My quarrel with a proud FGM cutter
My quarrel with a proud FGM cutter
More than 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) or cutting. The practice has now been outlawed in some African countries, but not in Sierra Leone, where some cutters are still proud of their profession. "I have initiated hundreds of girls," Memunatu Turay proclaims proudly. "But I can't tell you exactly how I undertake this ancient tradition, unless you join our secret society." A big grin spreads across Memunatu's face, as she no doubt sees the pure horror unfold on mine. "Come with me," she says. "I can cut you and only then can I tell you what you want to know. Her friend grabbed hold of my wrists, crossed them tight against my chest, and pulled me down to the floor outside her hut. I sat between her strong legs as she tightened them around my hips making it impossible for me to move. She was an older lady and I couldn't figure out where all that strength had come from.Then, the former cutter opened my legs and showed me - using an oval shape she made with her thumb and index finger - how she'd scoop out the inside of the girl's vaginal lips with a blade, and cut out the clitoris, discarding it all on the ground. I felt sick to my stomach. After that strange and terrifying experience, hearing girls' stories of how they were cut became even more distressing. Three words repeatedly came up when they described their experiences: fear, agony and betrayal.
11-17-16 On trial: The man with HIV who says he had sex with 104 women and girls
On trial: The man with HIV who says he had sex with 104 women and girls
A verdict is expected this week in the case of a man arrested in Malawi after he told a BBC reporter he had had sex with pubescent girls as part of a "cleansing" ritual. But some Malawians are asking why only one man is on trial for a practice involving whole communities. Eric Aniva was arrested in July on presidential orders after he admitted having unprotected sex with girls as young as 12 - and keeping quiet about his HIV-positive status. Aniva says he was hired by the girls' relatives to take part in a sexual initiation ceremony which they believe "shakes off" the girl's childhood "dust" so that she can enter adulthood.
11-17-16 Australia's child poverty 'national shame'
Australia's child poverty 'national shame'
It is one of the wealthiest countries on Earth - enriched by the bounty of a once-in-a lifetime mining boom - but Australia remains bedevilled by a rising number of its children living in poverty. Trapped by disadvantage are more than 730,000 youngsters, according to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). It laments a "national shame", and its research suggests about 13% of the population - or three million people - are living below the breadline. Indigenous children suffer more than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. Single-parent families also endure great hardship.
11-9-16 Evidence of ‘shaken baby’ questioned by controversial study
Evidence of ‘shaken baby’ questioned by controversial study
A review has determined that a trio of head injuries that have played a crucial role in securing convictions in court aren’t always evidence of child abuse. PEOPLE who have been convicted of shaking infants to death may have new support for appealing their convictions. An extensive review has concluded that there is no solid scientific evidence that a specific pattern of head injuries is incontrovertible evidence on its own of child abuse. Formerly known as shaken baby syndrome, abusive head trauma is a combination of symptoms believed to result from violently shaking an infant – an action that usually has long-term health consequences and can be fatal. Three symptoms in particular – swelling of the brain, bleeding on the brain’s surface and bleeding behind the retinas – have together been used as crucial evidence in court. In many countries, including the UK and US, this triad of symptoms, sometimes in the absence of other physical signs of harm, has played a key role in convictions for abuse. But there is growing debate over whether these symptoms can have other causes, and the latest study could throw some existing convictions into doubt. The study’s findings imply that “we’ve been breaking up families and imprisoning caretakers – with at least three in the US still on death row – based on flawed forensic science”, says Heather Kirkwood, a lawyer in Seattle.
11-3-16 Alleged Weiner victim hits out at FBI over Clinton emails
Alleged Weiner victim hits out at FBI over Clinton emails
A 15-year-old girl who was allegedly sent indecent messages by former US congressman Anthony Weiner has criticised the director of the FBI. The teenager said James Comey's decision to publicise part of the FBI's investigation into Mr Weiner had led to her being hounded by news reporters. "Every media outlet from local to national has contacted me and my family to get my 'story'", she wrote."Why couldn't your letter have waited until after the election, so I would not have to be the centre of attention the last week of the election cycle?" She accused the FBI director of taking a "vague approach" in announcing that emails had been discovered on Mr Weiner's laptop that related to Mrs Clinton. She said the lack of detail in his announcement led reporters to chase her for clues about what might have been found. In the letter, addressed directly to Mr Comey and published by Buzzfeed, the alleged victim wrote: "I am the 15-year-old (now 16) who was the victim of Anthony Weiner. "I now add you to the list of people who have victimized me. I told my story originally to protect other young girls that might be a victim of online predators." She went on to say: "I thought your job as FBI Director was to protect me. I thought if I co-operated with your investigation, my identity as a minor would be kept secret. That is no longer the case. My family and I are barraged by reporters' phone calls and emails.
11-2-16 Iranians shocked as Koran reciter faces child sex abuse claims
Iranians shocked as Koran reciter faces child sex abuse claims
Child sex abuse allegations involving one of Iran's best-known Koran reciters are causing shock and anger in the country, days after several accusers took the unprecedented step of going public with the claims. The alleged victims and their families told BBC Persian that they had decided to speak out after failing to get justice through official channels. Saeed Tousi, 46, who has ties to both the religious and political elite, faces accusations that he assaulted 10 boys, all Koran students from religious families. Mr Tousi has strongly denied the claims, which surfaced last week when some of the alleged victims took the unusual step of telling their stories to the foreign media. One of the accusers described to the BBC an assault which he said took place in a public bath house when he was 12 years old. "I was so shocked I couldn't understand what was going on," he said. "I was so afraid to say anything because of the shame it would bring upon my name, but then I found out that there were so many other cases among his students. So I broke my silence."
10-31-16 Is a child bride really married every seven seconds?
Is a child bride really married every seven seconds?
One girl under the age of 15 is married every seven seconds, according to Save The Children. Can this shocking statistic really be true? The charity's report on child marriage was covered by news outlets around the world - by the BBC, CNN, Pakistan's Express Tribune, The Australian, and many others. If it is correct, that would mean that about 4.5 million girls marry each year. Every child marriage is bad. So is this high figure accurate?
10-25-16 Natasha Annie Tonthola: My fight against Malawi's 'hyenas'
Natasha Annie Tonthola: My fight against Malawi's 'hyenas'
In July the BBC wrote about a Malawian man paid to have sex with young girls from his village, as part of a sexual initiation ritual. Later a Malawian woman, Natasha Annie Tonthola, contacted the BBC to explain how her experience of the ritual helped inspire her to campaign for the protection of women and girls. This is her story. I'm the oldest of five children and I grew up in a village in the central district of Malawi, near the capital, Lilongwe, and I was 13 years old when the initiation ceremony happened. My father was from a village near Mulanje, in the south of the country, and I was sent there for the ceremony after my first period. You don't have a choice - it happens to every girl in the village.
10-23-16 Vietnam's stolen girls
Vietnam's stolen girls
On the back wall of the classroom at Sapa O'Chau, a bootstrap operation in Sapa town, far northern Vietnam, where hill tribe children study to be tour guides, colored-pencil drawings depict young girls with tears streaming down their faces. Some are shackled with metal cuffs; others are trapped in cages or giant jars. The most common scene shows a girl in a forest, trailing a male figure grabbing her by the wrist. "They may pretend to be your friend so they can take you away," a tiny scrawl reads. "You must be very careful." The students drew the pictures in May 2012, shortly before participating in a made-for-TV documentary by MTV Exit, an initiative that campaigns to end human trafficking. At one point during the program, the members of Canadian pop-punk band Simple Plan sit in a circle with the kids and ask if any of them knows someone who has been trafficked. One girl, Ly, raises her hand. About a year ago, she says, her cousin boarded the motorbike of a handsome boy whom she trusted. No one has seen her since.
10-21-16 Canadians want more done to curb abuse on social media
Canadians want more done to curb abuse on social media
Canadians who have been harassed online are also much more likely to take a live-and-let-live attitude towards abusive behaviour on social media. A new poll indicates significant splits in gender and age when it comes to where Canadians draw the line at offensive behaviour. Heavy social media users tend to be less shocked by online abuse. So do younger users and younger men. Tech companies are under growing pressure to tackle online bullying.
10-21-16 Some schoolgirls released
Some schoolgirls released
Boko Haram has released 21 of the 276 girls it kidnapped from a Christian boarding school in 2014. The government is negotiating with the jihadist group about the release of another 83 girls, but more than 100 others are unwilling to leave. Forced to marry Islamist militants and have their babies, some of the girls have been radicalized, while others are ashamed to come home. Some Chibok girls who escaped shortly after their capture had to leave their home villages because they were shunned, and the newly released might move away as well. “We would prefer that they are taken away from the community and this country because the stigmatization is going to affect them for the rest of their lives,” said Pogu Bitrus of the Chibok Development Association.
10-19-16 Indonesia castration law 'will wipe out paedophilia'
Indonesia castration law 'will wipe out paedophilia'
Indonesia could "wipe out" paedophilia with its new policy of chemical castration, President Joko Widodo has told the BBC. He said Indonesia respected human rights but there would be "no compromise" when it came to punishing such sexual crimes. Indonesia passed controversial laws earlier this month authorising chemical castration for paedophiles. The laws were subject to fierce debate in parliament. Chemical castration is the use of drugs to reduce sex drive and libido, without sterilisation or removing organs.
10-12-16 'Cut with a blade': Colombia indigenous groups discuss FGM
'Cut with a blade': Colombia indigenous groups discuss FGM
Irene Guasiruma says her grandmother told her women who had not been "cut" would make bad wives. Irene Guasiruma is a member of the Embera indigenous group, the second largest in Colombia. A midwife and a storyteller, she lives in the Wasiruma indigenous community in Valle del Cauca province, in the west of the country. Sitting on her porch overlooking the green hilly countryside where a few dozen Embera families grow bananas and coffee, she sings a song about love and betrayal. While it is a common theme in music, the Emberas' views on sex and fidelity have had deep consequences for Irene and other Embera women.
10-12-16 Why are 10,000 migrant children missing in Europe?
Why are 10,000 migrant children missing in Europe?
Europol, the EU's police intelligence unit, estimates that around 10,000 unaccompanied children have gone missing in Europe over the past two years. The BBC World Service Inquiry programme asks why so many have disappeared. "There are different reasons [children] arrive unaccompanied," according to Delphine Moralis, secretary general of Missing Children Europe. "Some of them have been sent by their parents hoping that their child would have a better chance at life, some of these children have been separated from their parents by smugglers as a way of controlling them, and some would have lost their parents in the chaos." But the profile of these unaccompanied children is changing. More girls are arriving in Europe on their own, and the age of the children going missing is getting lower. Last year, for the first time, children as young as four went missing. So what's happened to all these missing children? To put it simply, no-one really knows. That's because when a child from Syria, Afghanistan or Eritrea goes missing in Greece or Italy, nothing much happens. Few border agencies file a missing person's report. There are concerns now that smugglers are turning the children they bring into Europe into the hands of traffickers to make more money. Those children might then be pushed into prostitution or slavery.
10-11-16 Girl under 15 married every seven seconds, says Save the Children
Girl under 15 married every seven seconds, says Save the Children
One girl under the age of 15 is married every seven seconds, according to a new report by Save the Children. The study says girls as young as 10 are forced to marry much older men in countries including Afghanistan, Yemen, India and Somalia. Save the Children says early marriage can trigger a cycle of disadvantage across every part of a girl's life. Conflict, poverty and humanitarian crises are seen as major factors that leave girls exposed to child marriage. "Child marriage starts a cycle of disadvantage that denies girls the most basic rights to learn, develop and be children," said Save the Children International CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt. "Girls who marry too early often can't attend school, and are more likely to face domestic violence, abuse and rape. They fall pregnant and are exposed to STIs (sexually transmitted infections) including HIV." (Webmaster's comment: In America with parental consent girl children only 15 years-old can be married and made to have sex in Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri and Mississippi. In New Hampshire it is 13, in Massachusetts it is 12, in California there is no minimum age limit. For most of the rest of the United States with parental consent the age limit is 16. Without out parental consent for most of America it is 18. But if your parents want to marry you off at 16, or even less, they can probably find a place do it.)
10-11-16 Child brides: The Syrian girls pushed into early marriage
Child brides: The Syrian girls pushed into early marriage
Child marriage is on the rise among Syrian refugees. Without the means to provide for their families, parents are arranging matches for children as young as 12. Dressed in a bright pink hijab, 16-year-old Rime (not her real name) sits quietly in a classroom as other young girls arrive. They are here for a lesson for refugee women and girls to help them better understand the dangers of child marriage. The classes are run by Save the Children charity and all those gathered here married at young ages. For Rime it was last year, when she was 15. "I never wanted to get married young," she says, standing in the kitchen behind the small meeting room. "I was studying in Syria. But then the troubles started, and my parents decided I should marry. It was one of our cousins, someone I knew and liked." Young refugee girls are at particular risk, because their families often do not have the right to work in the countries to which they have moved, pushing their economic situations into desperation. According to a 2015 study by Lebanese university St Joseph, 23% of female Syrian refugees were child brides. More than a million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon, and more than half of them are children.
10-11-16 Iran hanging: Fears for child bride Zeinab Sekaanvand
Iran hanging: Fears for child bride Zeinab Sekaanvand
Human rights activists say a 22-year-old woman whose execution was delayed while she was pregnant could be hanged within days in Iran. Zeinab Sekaanvand was convicted of killing her husband, whom she says beat her for months. Her execution was postponed after she remarried in prison and conceived a child. Last month she gave birth to a stillborn baby, putting her at risk of death by hanging as soon as 13 October. Doctors said the young woman's baby died in her womb two days before she gave birth as a result of the shock she suffered after her friend and cellmate was executed. Amnesty International says Ms Sekaanvand comes from a poor, conservative Iranian-Kurdish family, and ran away from home aged 15 to marry her first husband, Hossein Sarmadi. She said she saw marrying him as her only chance for a better life. But not long after their wedding, she said, he started beating her regularly and verbally abusing her. (Webmaster's comment: Even in America women who are beaten regulariy by their husbands have little recourse in the male dominated justice system. If they defend themselves they are consider the guilty party. The police often tell them to go home and "work it out." The beating just never stops and only gets worse with time. Male brutes rule!)
10-10-16 Singapore landmark ruling in transgender child abuse case
Singapore landmark ruling in transgender child abuse case
The highest court in Singapore has jailed a transgender man who is biologically female for the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl. In April, a court ruled the defendant was a woman and issued an acquittal, saying only men could be convicted of penetrative sex with a minor. But in a landmark judgment, the court of appeal overturned that ruling, saying the law was gender-neutral. The defendant has now been sentenced to 10 years in jail. Singaporean media have reported the case as the first time a woman has been convicted of the sexual abuse of a female child.
10-10-16 India parents investigated after Jain girl dies from 68-day fast
India parents investigated after Jain girl dies from 68-day fast
Indian police are investigating the parents of a 13-year-old girl who died last week after undertaking a religious fast for 68 days. Police in southern Hyderabad city told BBC Hindi they want to know if Aradhana Samdariya was forced to fast. Her parents have insisted she voluntarily fasted as prescribed in Jainism, one of the world's most ancient religions.The case has sparked a debate about the practice of religious fasting in India. Reports said Aradhana lived for 68 days on boiled water. Two days after she called off her fast last week, she was dead. A police spokesperson said a case had been registered against the parents after a child rights organisation filed a complaint.
10-4-16 Child sex 'predator' from Cambridgeshire admits US offence
Child sex 'predator' from Cambridgeshire admits US offence
Paul Charles Wilkins was arrested after paying an undercover officer to arrange for him to have sex with a boy aged 9 in Palm Springs, California. A convicted British sex offender caught trying to pay US undercover officers for sex with a boy has admitted taking pornographic images into the country. Paul Charles Wilkins, 70, of Littleport, Cambridgeshire, travelled to California in January to "engage in illicit sexual conduct" with boys aged 10 and 12, US officials said. He initially denied four charges but later admitted transporting the images. Under a plea agreement he is expected to be sentenced to 13 years in January. He was jailed for 56 months in the UK in 2011 for possessing indecent images of children.
10-4-16 Hot-car death dad 'chose worst imaginable death' for baby
Hot-car death dad 'chose worst imaginable death' for baby
A Georgia man charged with murder over his toddler son's death in a hot car "chose the worst imaginable death for his child", prosecutors have said. Justin Ross Harris, 35, is accused of leaving his son, Cooper, to die in the car park near his Atlanta office. Mr Harris will argue the death was an accident, since he had forgotten to drop the boy off at day care. He is also accused of sending lewd text messages to underage girls, including during the time that his son was dying. Previous hearings heard that outside temperatures on the day of Cooper's death in June 2014 reached almost 90F (32C). In his opening statement on Monday, the first day of the trial, prosecutor Chuck Boring said Mr Harris' internet search history would prove he had plotted to murder the boy. "The evidence will show that he had no doubt that he would get away with this," Mr Boring said, adding that Mr Ross' defence was based on "deception".