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Brown was convicted of a reduced misdemeanor charge in and was given a suspended sentence, although he was fired from his position as a public school teacher.

Example: Father Lawrence Nawrocki, parish priest of the prospering 5,member St. Isidore's Catholic Church in Macomb Township, Michigan, was accused of molesting Catholic boys through his church position. The priest's materially successful lifestyle allowed him to entice victims by inviting parish boys to his cabin in northern Michigan, with promises they could ride fancy motorcycles. The priest had received favorable publicity in the Detroit Free Press in for holding a "blessing" of recreational vehicles in the church parking lot. Nawrocki was accused of molesting two 12 year olds and one 11 year old in the fall of The sexual abuse occurred in the church rectory and in the church before mass.

One of the 12 year old victims had been promised a trip to Florida over Thanksgiving if he received good grades. The parish was reportedly "in a state of shock. Example: Gary R. Martin, who had served as a minister and was a volunteer chaplain for the Indian River County Sheriffs office as well as the Vero Beach Police Department, was charged with molesting 13 boys.

He had trusted positions in the community, including an appointment to the school district's sex education committee. His modus operandi was to tell victims he was researching children's growth for a doctoral thesis at Trinity Theological Seminary in Indiana.

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He pleaded no contest to sexually mishandling three of the 13 boys. In October he was sentenced to seven years in a state prison with an additional 13 years probation, and ordered to receive treatment for his pedophilia. He was charged with assaulting the boys at his home after showing them a book with a cover resembling a bible but which contained pictures of nude people.

David Lee Taylor, of Grace Epworth United Methodist Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to two counts of sodomy involving a 10 year old boy he was assigned to help through the Big Brother program. Taylor was the victim's "Big Brother. John S. Lower received three years unsupervised probation for molesting a girl, under age nine, during bible studies at her "home school.

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Paul Margand, a Catholic priest in Lincoln, Nebraska, pleaded no contest to charges of molesting two altar boys, including a 12 year old boy taking private religious instruction. Margand had ordered him to pray lying on his back, then mounted him while continuing to ask the boy questions about Moses. Teaching children never to question adult authority makes them vulnerable to abuse by any adults--teachers, police officers, babysitters, coaches and parents. Smith tells you to do" can be a recipe for exploitation. Ministers, rabbis and priests--"men of God"--are not merely authority figures, they are "divine authorities.


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Children approached by ministers whom they have been taught to revere and address as "the reverend," men whom they know to be greatly esteemed by their parents, feel helpless to ward off a threatening or abusive contact initiated by such a person. Children, seeing that clergy have special status and naively believing ministers or priests can do no wrong, are at special risk around a clergy pedophile.

Child abuse prevention activist Kraizer notes, "We need to look at the ways in which we teach our children to be blindly obedient to adults and authority figures. Most children do not know they can say no to a police officer, a teacher, a principal, a counselor, a minister, a babysitter, or a parent when an inappropriate request is made. The fact that parents tend to be very flattered if a priest or minister pays special attention to their child, or buys them gifts or takes them on outings, also works in favor of an abusive clergyperson.

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Most child molesters exploit a carefully cultivated relationship with their child victims, then rely on bribes and threats to silence them, such as: "I'll kill your parents," or "I'll tell the police what you did and you'll to go jail," or even play on a child's misguided loyalty to the molester.

Molesting ministers and priests enlist not just these but often more terrifying threats of "the wrath of God," "fear of the church," and "eternal damnation. Example: "I thought it must be all right because a priest wouldn't do anything wrong," said a grown man recalling his abuse at the hands of Rev. Allen F.

Bruening, a priest in Cleveland. Example: A priest in Rockledge, Florida used "fear of the church" and threatened the "wrath of God" to silence his victims. William Authenreith, of St. Mary's Catholic Church, was given immunity but admitted to years of molesting four altar boys in his bedroom above the church office, in the sacristy, library, and church cars, as well as engaging in sexual catechisms and behavior at the Catholic School. Many parents assume their children could not be safer than when in the care of a clergyman or church institution. Churches and religious groups often successfully bid for public tax dollars to set up their own religious agencies providing foster care, detention centers, halfway houses, or "homes for unwed mothers.

Sexual abuse of children commonly occurs on church property: the sacristy, church offices, church-owned cars and residential dwellings, as well as in church homes or even the homes of trusting families of abused children. Molesting priests, for instance, have often invited a young boy for weekend trips, "sleepovers" at the rectory and similar outings which might otherwise be forbidden or would normally cause parental suspicion.

Parents who are protective of daughters may not worry if the man alone with them is a minister. Parents may even heartily approve of an adult man spending a great deal of time alone with their son--if the grown-up is a "man of God" or a "good Christian. Gene Abel suggests that one difference between a nonabuser and a child molester is that the molester will manufacture many excuses to be alone with a child or group of children.

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Abel also advises that if an adult is interested in spending more time with your children than you are, he may be a molester. If he seems too good to be true, he may be. Certainly "sleepovers" should be carefully scrutinized! Example: Priest Richard Galdon pleaded guilty to molesting more than a dozen parochial schoolboys when serving as chaplain to three religious Boy Scout troops, where he participated in outings.

Galdon sodomized one altar boy about three times per month over a period of a year after playing a strip card game. Yet another victim had been regularly molested over a two year period while watching television with the priest. He admitted to engaging in oral and anal sex with boys for 17 years.

He has, except for this offense, lived a law-abiding life," argued attorney Peter Manahan. Prosecutor Edward Bilinkas said Galdon's vocation should be weighed as an aggravating factor in deciding his punishment. He violated that trust and because of this he should be held more accountable.

Much of the abuse occurred during church outings, or during privately arranged meetings. Dawkins denied guilt, instead, according to reports, "praying and reading from the Book of Mormon. Gordon Taylor of Keizer, Oregon was indicted for sodomy, sexual abuse and furnishing obscene material to minors. His reported victims were teenagers at a home for "wayward kids" which he directed.

Charges were dismissed but prosecutors said they would reopen the case pending the location of a teenaged boy considered a key witness. Red lights were flashing all over the place--yet who would suspect a monsignor? Example: Retired priest and part-time chaplain Father Edmund John Boyle pleaded guilty and was sentenced for a felony charge of lewdness involving a terminally ill, mentally retarded and mute 12 year old boy at the Riverside Hospital for Skilled Care in Reno, where Boyle worked as chaplain.

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Example: Priest Carmelo "Mel" Baltazar continually used his clerical access to dominate and exploit boys under his care. He was kicked out of the U. Navy as a chaplain and was transferred from three dioceses for abusive behavior, before finally being prosecuted for luring two teenage boys to his church house in the Diocese of Boise, Idaho. He was charged with molesting them by plying them with liquor, drugs and pornography.

At a church position at Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa, California, he molested a boy on a dialysis machine. Despite this, the Catholic church in Boise hired him as chaplain at St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. They took no action after an Episcopalian minister reported to Bishop Sylvester Treinen that Baltazar had fondled a boy in double-leg traction, Bishop Treinen compared Baltazar's behavior to that of a car that, "no matter how well you take care of [it]" occasionally has a flat.

Baltazar was sentenced to seven years for sexual acts with a teenaged boy whom he met in the psychiatric ward. Judge Alan Schwartz said at the sentencing: "I think the Catholic Church has its atonement to make as well. They helped create you. Example: Catholic priest Rev. Donald Stavinoha pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a nine year old boy in a church van owned by Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Houston.

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Police officer Gerardo Gamez caught the priest in the act of abusing the boy, and reported ordering to him "keep your hands where I can see them. Pull the little boy's pants up and step out of the van. The victim's mother, informed of the incident, began crying and told police that for the past two years the priest had taken the boy on trips, supposedly to see movies, go to church or to play video games. Jurors sentenced Stavinoha to almost 10 years in prison.

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I find it very offensive when a person uses that position to commit a crime," said jury forewoman Jacqualine Brown. They trusted this man, and he wasn't trustworthy," said juror Mildred Ridgeway. Prosecutor Jim Buchanan said, "Dressed up in sheep's clothing, he is a wolf that preys on our children. Example: Ron J. Steckbauer, an Ocean Beach, California video arcade owner who ran a bible study group for boys and chaperoned them on weekend trips to Arizona, was arrested on molestation charges.

Police believe there may have been more than a hundred individual molestations committed against 15 boys between the ages of 10 and 14 years. Steckbauer was also charged with failure to register with local police as a convicted sex offender. The bible study was reported to be his modus operandi and cover for finding victims. Bill Peckham, of Springfield, Illinois, known nationally for his work with the poor and homeless through Contact Ministries, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and a reduced misdemeanor charge of sexually abusing a 14 year old boy.