A few things . . .Posted: April 6, 2021
**To Ashleigh; I can’t open your email so I have not read the contents.
**Here is a link to another podcast about the OCCK case; the writer posted the link as a comment a few days ago. “Hoping to keep bringing attention to this case and other unsolved cases. Victims deserve justice no matter how long it takes.” https://www.spreaker.com/episode/44197735
The podcaster speaks to the lack of morality and humanity in this case and I believe that extends to the Oakland County prosecutor’s office and the Michigan State Police in this case. Podcasts, articles, documentaries, news coverage–doesn’t move LE an inch. They have taken this position–say nothing, hide the ball, since January of 1977. It is so obvious it is literally offensive.
**This is the latest in the press about defrocked priest Gary Berthiaume’s arrest for second degree criminal sexual conduct for assaulting a young boy at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Farmington in 1977.
While the article is dated December 2, 2020, it notes an update as of March 31, 2021. The delay in trying him looks like it may be due to the possibility of other charges being filed against him and of COVID related procedural delays.
Berthiaume posted the $50,000 bond so he could remain free while awaiting trial and, according to the article, he is living in a hotel in Brighton. The judge denied his request to leave Michigan while he awaits trial. Whatever secret settlement(s) the Catholic Church entered into to “compensate” Bethiaume’s victims over the years, it wasn’t enough and I’m sure there are many other victims who never came forward.
A nonpartisan fiscal note to pending Colorado Senate Bill 21-88, which would provide a new avenue for survivors of child sexual abuse to sue abusers and institutions decades later, would require the state to budget up to to $13.7 million in liability payments and legal fees for an estimated 55 child sexual misconduct lawsuits per year. https://coloradonewsline.com/2021/04/02/child-sexual-abuse-lawsuits-could-cost-state-up-to-13-7m-fiscal-analysis-finds/. “That’s just an estimate, since there’s no way of knowing how much sexual misconduct — both reported and unreported — has occurred in the history of publicly managed youth programs in Colorado, how many lawsuits would be filed, or how many of those lawsuits would result in a judgment against the state. But the estimate certainly paints a bleak picture, said Raana Simmons, director of public affairs for the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.”
An anonymous victim of childhood sexual abuse by a Boy Scout leader testified before the senate committee: “Let me remind the committee that most sexual assault survivors are not going to come forward before the current statute of limitations,” the survivor testified. “They may come forward decades later, and we as a state must provide an avenue for this. … We are complex emotional beings that need time to process our trauma.”
A state is taking responsibility, so the damn Catholic church and the Boy Scouts can shut up and step up. Do the right thing. Maybe if you could keep your priests and scout leaders from raping kids and out them if they do, you could quit having to pay your whores to parse the Constitution for you and further terrorize victims during your secret settlement negotiations.
And here is another sad reminder that sexual abuse of minors by coaches and doctors and the complicit enabliing of institutions such as USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, go hand-in-hand. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/larry-nassar-john-geddert-gymnastics-abuse_n_6064db07c5b6adf599cc8d6c?52. Sarah Klein, one of Dr. Larry Nassar’s first-known victims observed that “[t]he amount of effort from these organizations to continue to hide the truth is mind-blowing.” Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, commenting on the need for an independent investigation of USA Gymnastics said, “We need to know who knew what, when, and how we can stop this from ever happening again.”
So it’s apparently fine to expend money and energy to hide the truth, write a check if caught, and then utterly fail to address systemic corruption. I contend that is exactly where we are in the OCCK case (minus any check, of course). And we also need to know who knew what, when, and how we can stop the failures that allowed child killer(s) free to roam Oakland County long enough for at least four kids to be murdered and for a child sex and porn ring to operate with impunity in that county in the 1970s and beyond. We need to know why NO ONE was prosecuted in Oakland County for child sex crimes and murder during the OCCK era. There was just “Fr.” Gary Berthiaume and he spent only 6 months in Oakland County jail for raping two boys in 1977. That’s it. And then he got moved from diocese to diocese, catholic school to catholic school, where he was quickly back to his old tricks. And now, the AG has to come back in and clean up for some of his other sex crimes against children in Farmington some 45 years later. So you can not only thank the Catholic Church, but also Oakland County for the way they did business. https://catherinebroad.blog/2020/08/16/the-solution-backfired/.
Compare https://www.abc12.com/2021/04/05/flint-man-faces-seven-charges-after-child-pornography-investigation/. Up to seven years for possession, distribution and use of a computer in a child pornography case. Berthiaume got six months in the Oakland County jail in 1977 for raping kids in the very church he served his god in–now he awaits trial while living in a hotel. This time it’s going to be prison, big boy.
“Victims deserve justice no matter how long it takes,” indeed.