A former pastor in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, suspended following allegations that he sexually assaulted a teenaged boy in the early 1980s, has died.
Robert P. Morrissey, 69, former pastor of St. Mary Parish in Ridgefield, died last week in Jupiter, FLA, where he had been living. He was buried Tuesday in a family plot in Flushing, N.Y.
“During this difficult time, the diocese seeks both to proceed with compassion for those who have been hurt and with prayerful desire for God’s mercy on those removed from ministry,” said Diocese Spokesman Brian Wallace. “Acknowledging that this can also be a painful moment for victims of sexual abuse and their families who carry the burden of their experience, we pray that they may find healing and move forward with their lives. The diocese asks for prayers for all involved.” Continue reading
The principal and an assistant principal of Stamford High School were charged Thursday with failing to report an alleged sexual relationship between an English teacher and a male student — possibly allowing the affair to continue for another six months.
The school district has suspended Principal Donna Valentine and Assistant Principal Roth Nordin until “all the facts are known.”
Police Chief Jon Fontneau said his department’s investigation into the school’s handling of the incident is ongoing and open.
According to police, Valentine and Nordin’s handling of an alleged affair between English teacher Dannielle Watkins and a student in the school violated the state’s child-abuse reporting laws. Connecticut law requires school staff and officials to report allegations of abuse, neglect and endangerment to either law enforcement or the state Department of Children and Families within 12 hours of learning of the allegations. State law also requires that parents be notified of such allegations and investigations. Continue reading
Two men are suing a former long-term substitute gym teacher at John Wallace Middle School alleging that he repeatedly sexually assaulted and abused them at the school 24 years ago.
The lawsuit also names the school system as a defendant, charging that officials failed to act on warning signs that gym teacher James Brown was abusing students.
In 2002, Brown was convicted of molesting boys when he was a gym teacher at St. Mary’s School in Newington and sentenced to two years in prison.
Superintendent William C. Collins said Wednesday that the lawsuit was a surprise and has been turned over to the school system’s lawyers.
“Nothing will be swept under the rug,” Collins said. “Everything will be made public. We’re going to cooperate fully.”
The alleged assaults took place in the locker room showers during the 1989-90 school year when the men were 12 and 13, said their attorney, Cindy Robinson of Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney of Bridgeport. Robinson said she believes there are more victims. Continue reading
This recent article in the Hartford Courant highlights an interesting trial going on. The defendant is accused of sexually assaulting a child who he adopted through the Department of Children and Family Services. Rather than try the case before a jury, the defendant has chosen to allow the judge to decide his guilt or innocence. The article is below.
HARTFORD — A trial began Tuesday for one of two men accused of sexually assaulting boys they adopted through the state Department of Children and Families, with his accuser describing physical and sexual abuse he said he endured from both men over several years.
The state had sought to try George Harasz, 51, and Douglas Wirth, 46, together, but their defense attorneys objected and convinced Hartford Superior Court Judge Julia D. Dewey to hold separate trials. Both also waived their right to a jury trial and opted to have Dewey hear the evidence against them and render a verdict.
Wirth’s trial is first. But before testimony began, Wirth’s lawyer, Michael Dwyer of Middletown, tried to get the judge to admit medical reports that he contends are evidence of the accuser’s propensity to lie and exaggerate. Dwyer argued that the accuser’s competency to tell the truth was at issue.
Dewey responded that competence related only to whether the accuser could understand the obligation of his oath to tell the truth. The credibility of his testimony would be a matter for her to determine, after hearing his testimony as well as cross-examination, she said. Continue reading
The Wilton School superintendent still facing tough questions after a paraprofessional accused of inappropriately touching a child was allowed to work after the for more than a year after the allegations.
Eric Von Kohorn did not resign for Wilton public schools until June 16th of 2014 after he was arrested for possessing and sharing child pornography. Even though a family came forward with allegations that Von Kohorn touched their child back in January of 2013.
A New York dance instructor who has worked with nationally known artists was arrested Tuesday after police said he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old student.
Police said Johnny Sadowski also texted the girl photos of his private parts.
Sadowski, 26, of Euclid Avenue, Fairfield, was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and using a computer to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. Continue reading
A Rocky Hill father, former pilot and Boy Scout leader was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with two boys.
“You are, in fact, guilty of a heinous crime,” Judge Arthur Hadden told Mark Alexander, 36. “You have to pay the price of that.”
He sentenced Alexander to eight years in prison, followed by eight years of special parole, as Alexander’s wife, Francesca, wept.
Alexander had previously pleaded no contest to charges of first-degree illegal possession of child pornography and risk of injury to a minor. Continue reading