sexual abuse

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Advocates for victims of sexual abuse are imploring lawmakers to repeal Rhode Island’s seven-year statute of limitations for pressing civil charges when the alleged victim is a minor.

A bill introduced by Sen. Donna Nesselbush would repeal the statute of limitations for any type of sexual abuse of a minor. Rhode Island currently has no statute of limitations in cases of first-degree sexual assault.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island lawmakers are re-considering the rules for reporting sexual abuse suspected of school staff. A 2016 law requires educators to report allegations of abuse to child welfare officials.

Providence elementary school principal Violet LeMar is appealing the guilty verdict handed down Monday for failing to report allegations of sexual assault at her school. LeMar is the first educator to be found guilty under a new state reporting law.

The new law was adopted in 2016, and requires educators to notify DCYF within 24 hours of abuse allegations at schools. LeMar, principal at Harry Kizirian elementary school in Providence, was accused of initiating an internal investigation when allegations of abuse of students by a gym teacher came to light.

Chris Potter

Cranston High School West Psychologist George Blessing was found not guilty Wednesday in a bench trial on the misdemeanor charge of failing to report allegations of “sexual abuse of a child in an educational program” to child welfare authorities. Blessing is the first person to face charges under Rhode Island’s newly amended child abuse reporting law.  

Jean-Pol GRANDMONT / CC BY 3.0 Via Wikimedia

 

Reaction to the death of Cardinal Bernard Law, the man who came to be the face of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, has been emotional, particularly for survivors of clergy abuse.

Chris Potter / CC BY 2.0 VIA FLICKR

George Blessing, a staff psychologist at Cranston High School West, is accused of failing to report allegations to child welfare authorities of, “sexual abuse of a child in an educational program.” Blessing is the first person to face charges under Rhode Island’s newly amended child abuse reporting law. A hearing on a motion to dismiss the trial, as well as the potential start of the trial itself had to be postponed, after the prosecutor from the Attorney General's office fell ill. The trial has been rescheduled for early January.

Violet LeMar, principal at Harry Kizirian Elementary School has been charged with a misdemeanor for failing to report allegations of sexual abuse of students by a gym teacher. LeMar pleaded not guilty in District Court. The school district has placed her on administrative leave.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A resolution calling for an independent investigation into the handling of sexual abuse allegations at Henry Kizirian Elementary School moved forward in the Providence City Council Monday.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

The Providence Public School district is reviewing safety protocols, after school administrators failed to report allegations of sexual abuse by a teacher to the state Department of Children Youth and Families.

RIPR FILE PHOTO

The private Gordon School in East Providence has opened an investigation into allegations of sexual assault dating to the 1970s. 

According to a brief statement issued by the current head of school, the allegations involve several former students and a former faculty member. The school says no current administrators, faculty or staff were employed at the school at that time.

The school says law enforcement has been contacted, though it is unclear whether any criminal investigation has begun.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Howard "Howdy" White, a former associate chaplain at St. George’s School in Middletown, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Boston to charges of assault and battery. He's accused of assaulting a then 16-year-old St. George’s student during two trips to Boston more than 40 years ago. 

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

The Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania has removed Rev. Howard White from the priesthood, citing allegations of sexual abuse documented in a report about St. George's School in Middletown. 

Elisabeth Harrison

In Middletown, St. George’s boarding school has announced a settlement with up to 30 former students, who allege they were sexually abused. 

Elisabeth Harrison

Governor Gina Raimondo has signed a bill requiring schools to contact child welfare authorities when they suspect sexual abuse of their employees. The bill also requires the state's child welfare office to investigate allegations of abuse in schools.


Elisabeth Harrison

In the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal at St. George's School, Rhode Island lawmakers are considering legislation that would close a loophole in the state’s mandatory child abuse reporting law.

The loophole, first reported by Rhode Island Public Radio, seems to allow schools and other institutions to avoid reporting abuse allegations against their employees. 

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