WBEZ | sexual assault http://www.wbez.org/tags/sexual-assault Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: College students want bigger conversation about sexual assault on campus http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-12-09/morning-shift-college-students-want-bigger-conversation-about <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/BobMical.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at how college kids talk about sexual assault with their administration and how the topic of rape is handled on some campuses. And, we hear about Chicago police tactics through the years. Plus, the sounds of Chicago indie band Fort Frances.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-114/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-114.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-114" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: College students want bigger conversation about sexual assault on campus" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 07:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2014-12-09/morning-shift-college-students-want-bigger-conversation-about Why does sexual assault happen in public spaces in Egypt? http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-16/why-does-sexual-assault-happen-public-spaces-egypt-110350 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP449379976098.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last week Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi visited the hospital room of a woman who was assaulted in Cairo&#39;s Tahrir square during an election celebration. We&#39;ll talk to an Egyptian sociologist about why such public sexual assaults are on the rise in Egypt.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-19/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-19.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-19" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Why does sexual assault happen in public spaces in Egypt?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-06-16/why-does-sexual-assault-happen-public-spaces-egypt-110350 Neglected rape kits require Cook County victims to recount assaults http://www.wbez.org/news/neglected-rape-kits-require-cook-county-victims-recount-assaults-108479 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/robbins.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Cook County sheriff&rsquo;s office wants victims of as many as 201 unsolved rapes in south suburban Robbins to come forward and tell their stories, again.</p><p>That&rsquo;s because Robbins police didn&rsquo;t properly investigate them the first time.</p><p>Earlier this year the Cook County sheriff&rsquo;s office discovered 201 rape kits - dating back to 1978 - in a disorganized evidence locker in the Robbins police station.</p><p>One-hundred-and-fifty of the rape kits had been analyzed by state police, but Robbins police never conducted any further investigation. The other 51 hadn&rsquo;t even been sent to the state crime lab for testing.</p><p>&ldquo;Nationally the issue of untested rape kits is a big one &hellip;. But what we&rsquo;re talking about here is something more challenging. This department had sent in the kits but then never worked the results,&rdquo; sheriff spokeswoman Cara Smith said.</p><p>Robbins Mayor Tyrone Ward and police Chief Melvin Davis took over in May, about two months after the rape kits were found. At a press conference yesterday they stressed that the neglected rape kits were failures of past administrations, and did not reflect on their leadership.</p><p>Davis said he has replaced a quarter of the village&rsquo;s police department.</p><p>After he was hired, Davis said he conducted interviews with all of the officers, and determined that six of the 24 patrol officers weren&rsquo;t suited for the job. He also brought in new leadership.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve established a new command staff and we are making sure that all safeguards are in place to make sure this never happens again,&rdquo; Davis said.</p><p>Ward also promised that the underlying issues that led to the rape kits being neglected had been addressed. But he stopped short of promising more resources for the beleaguered police department.</p><p>&ldquo;You shouldn&rsquo;t work based on your salary, you should work based on your heart,&rdquo; Ward said.</p><p>Right now, the town of about 5,400 residents has two full-time officers - in addition to the command staff - and 24 part timers.</p><p>Davis said they are planning to transition three more officers into full-time roles.</p><p>The uninvestigated rape kits were discovered in March after a probe by the Cook County sheriff&rsquo;s office.</p><p>The sheriff&rsquo;s office took over the investigations and now is asking for help solving the sexual assaults the kits are tied to.</p><p>Smith said the condition of the kits was so bad that at least seven are water-damaged and unusable. And she said there are police reports for &ldquo;very few&rdquo; of the rape kits.</p><p>That&rsquo;s why she pleaded with victims to come forward to help investigators piece together what little information they have.</p><p>&ldquo;We may in some cases need to put together the case from the very beginning,&rdquo; Smith said.</p><p>Smith said the sheriff&rsquo;s office is pleased with the steps the new Robbins administration has taken. As for the old administration, she said in the six months since the rape kits were discovered she has never heard an explanation for how the kits went ignored.</p><p>&ldquo;In some of these cases we may be left saying [to the victim], we don&rsquo;t have an explanation for why it happened, but today we believe you and we&rsquo;ve done everything we could to try and bring justice to you,&rdquo; Smith said.</p><p>The sheriff&rsquo;&rsquo;s office and the office of the Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney&rsquo;s are both trying to figure out a way to bring charges in the old sexual assault cases. The statute of limitations has run out on most of them.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s nuances in the law depending on the age of the victim, the age of the crime, if DNA was uploaded, &ldquo; Smith said. &ldquo;So we have to kind of put those pieces together for each one of these, but we are certainly going to have cases where we can&rsquo;t bring charges, and that&rsquo;s a crime in and of itself.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ reporter. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">@pksmid</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/neglected-rape-kits-require-cook-county-victims-recount-assaults-108479 'Push' author Sapphire revisits childhood abuse in second novel http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/push-author-sapphire-revisits-childhood-abuse-second-novel-106243 <p><p><strong><em>[Trigger Warning] </em></strong></p><p>Sapphire does not shy away from difficult subjects.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/sapphire%20penguin%20press.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Sapphire (Courtesy of Penguin)" />The author, who chose her pen name as a salute to strong black women, is known for penning devastatingly realized stories of childhood sexual abuse and trauma. Her 1996 novel <em>Push&nbsp;</em>tells the story of Claireece &ldquo;Precious&rdquo; Jones, an illiterate, obese, 16-year-old girl pregnant with a second child by her own father. The novel was adapted in 2009, and the resulting film, <em>Precious</em>, garnered many accolades, including two Academy Awards. But the film also stirred controversy with its graphic depictions of incest and domestic abuse. &nbsp;</p><p>Sapphire was herself the victim of childhood sexual assault. In 2010 <a href="http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/how-author-created-film-character-precious-through-her-own-sexual-abuse-6735992.html">she told the <em>London Evening Standard</em></a> that her father, a Korean War vet, had molested her at age eight. Her mother abandoned their family five years later.</p><p>&ldquo;It was traumatic &mdash; but to be left with our crazy dad, doubly so,&quot; she told the paper.</p><p>She created the character precious from an amalgam of her own experiences and those of students she later mentored in Harlem.</p><p>Sapphire followed <em>Push</em> with a sequel, <em>The Kid</em>, in 2011. As the novel opens, we learn that Precious has died of AIDS, leaving her nine-year-old son Abdul alone in the world.</p><p>Abdul is sent to live in a Catholic orphanage, and what befalls him there is brutal and heartbreaking -- and all too familiar to anyone who follows the ever-unfolding story of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church. (A new wrinkle in that story unfolded just this week, as files released by the Diocese of Joliet <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/joliet_romeoville/chi-open-files-part-of-settlement-for-priest-sex-abuse-victim-20130320,0,440885.story">revealed decades of abuse</a> hidden by high-level clergy.)</p><p>Abdul is sexually assaulted by a priest during his time in the orphanage. And as sometimes happens to those who have been abused, he goes on in turn to become an abuser, raping younger, weaker boys living in the orphanage.</p><p>&ldquo;While numerous heterosexual black male writers and critics have bemoaned the . . . one-dimensional portrait of black man as victimizer, few have been interested in or have had the courage to explore the obvious other end of the stick: the black male as victim of sexual abuse,&rdquo; Sapphire said at a talk in Chicago last week, reading from a Q &amp; A section published alongside her novel. &ldquo;<em>The Kid</em>, among other things, begins an accurate portrayal of what happens to many young males who have been abused and their sometimes hideous response.&rdquo;</p><p>The results for Abdul are devastating, as they were for his mother. And while <em>Push</em> addressed the failure of the nuclear family to protect its children, <em>The Kid</em> takes up the failure of institutions charged with their care.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re really looking at the abandoning of the social contract in a way we didn&rsquo;t see in <em>Push</em>,&rdquo; Sapphire said. &ldquo;That was something I really wanted to show: What happens when everything except the soul of the individuals fails?&rdquo;</p><p>Sapphire read two passages from <em>The Kid</em> during her appearance at Chicago Public Library. We&rsquo;ve included an excerpt of her talk here in audio form, but please be warned. . . . &nbsp;</p><p><strong><em>TRIGGER WARNING</em>: <em>The book excerpt Sapphire reads here includes a graphic rape scene</em></strong><em>, </em>in addition to a later scene which shows some redemption and healing for her main character. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a></em>&nbsp;<em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s">Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s</a></em>&nbsp;<em>vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Sapphire spoke at an event presented by Chicago Public Library in March. Click</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/sapphire-discusses-kid-106224">here</a>&nbsp;to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Sat, 23 Mar 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/push-author-sapphire-revisits-childhood-abuse-second-novel-106243 We need to talk about Steubenville http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-03/we-need-talk-about-steubenville-106203 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Steubenville_Rape_Protest_ap_img.jpg" style="width: 427px; height: 280px;" title="(Michael D. McElwain/AP)" /></div><div><p dir="ltr"><em><strong>TRIGGER WARNING:</strong> This blog post and the article linked in it will contain graphic details of the Steubenville rape case and may be triggering to victims of sexual assault.</em></p><p dir="ltr">Six years ago, I was raped.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;ve never been able to call it that or say the word out loud, not even once. I&rsquo;ve used other words to describe it, like &ldquo;molestation&rdquo; and &ldquo;sexual assault,&rdquo; words that don&rsquo;t invalidate the experience but make it easier for me to talk about.</p><p dir="ltr">I came out about it over a year ago in an article for In Our Words and never using the word rape. When I talked about the experience with a friend who hadn&rsquo;t read the piece, I referred to it simply as &ldquo;assault.&rdquo; She misunderstood and thought I&rsquo;d been the victim of street abuse, a mugging or other forcible attack. I didn&rsquo;t know how to tell her that her assumption was incorrect. I didn&rsquo;t know how to just say it.</p><p dir="ltr">Even after coming out as a survivor of sexual assault, I&rsquo;ve struggled with how to deal with my abuse. I never confronted my assailant, despite the pain he caused me and the fact that if I type his name into Facebook, he comes up neatly in a friend search. I could be friends with this person. I could request him and we could have a nice chat about the weather, tea or Hillary Clinton, who everyone loves now.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Isn&rsquo;t it great that she came out as a supporter of marriage equality? Isn&rsquo;t it great that spring is finally here? I can&#39;t wait for the weather to turn. Oh, isn&rsquo;t it not great that you raped me?&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">I doubt he realizes what happened or thought about me afterward, because we live in a culture that only tells us that &ldquo;No means No.&rdquo; We aren&rsquo;t told that &ldquo;I have a boyfriend&rdquo; means no or &ldquo;I&rsquo;m drunk&rdquo; means no or &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not sure about this&rdquo; means no or &ldquo;Stop&rdquo; means no or the sound of the other person crying means no. As he put his hands down my pants, asserting his power over the situation, I began to cry but instinctually covered by mouth, because I didn&rsquo;t want his friends to hear me.</p><p dir="ltr">A part of me couldn&rsquo;t out him as a rapist, and I felt sympathy when I looked at his body next to mine on the floor the following morning. I felt a strange compulsion to care for the person who had hurt me most in the world. When I talk to other survivors, I find out I&#39;m not the only person who has felt this way. I&#39;m not alone. I&#39;m never alone.</p><p dir="ltr">I felt sorry for him, even at my darkest moments. When I thought about committing suicide, multiple times, I felt sorry for him. When I had to seek help and emotional support from my mother, who should never have had to think about her child that way, I felt sorry for him. I felt sorry for him when I had to tell my boyfriend that I was raped, and he accused me of cheating on him. I felt sorry for him because even though my heart was breaking, it could break openly. I shared my experiences with close friends and family who were supportive of my struggle. I rediscovered the power of community.</p><p dir="ltr">I felt sorry for him because he had to go back into the closet, one that he still lives in. He&rsquo;s forced to hide who he is and committed unspeakable acts on someone who wanted to comfort him. That night, I thought that he might need a friend or someone to listen. I saw part of myself in him and recognized my own struggle to come out. In sharing my story publicly, having my experience affirmed, I felt sorry that he&rsquo;d never gotten the experience of putting this complicated part of his past out there.</p><p dir="ltr">Because he couldn&rsquo;t recognize his actions as vile and destructive he slept soundly after raping me, his legs sprawled out like a chalk outline at a crime scene. I felt sorry because he kissed me afterward for the first time, as if it were a stamp of approval for our &ldquo;lovemaking,&rdquo; like he was delicately kissing me goodnight.</p><p dir="ltr">I felt sorry not because he will live with this for the rest of his life, but because he&rsquo;ll never think about me again and doesn&rsquo;t know he should.</p><p dir="ltr">I think about him every day, when I want to and when I don&rsquo;t. Some days I feel ugly and disgusting. Some days it&#39;s because of what he made me feel. Some days it&#39;s not. Every once in a while I still think about killing myself, not violently or actively but passively, as if it were one of many options in a refrigerator, hidden in the block of cheese next to the almond milk. Other days I just go on Facebook. Most days I just am.</p><p dir="ltr">In the past few days, I&rsquo;ve thought about my abuser a lot. The man is still out there, tagging photos of his girlfriend on the Internet, eating at the Cheesecake Factory, unwrapping Christmas presents with his family and doing all the mundane things rapists do when they go back to their regularly scheduled lives.</p><p dir="ltr">After the Steubenville verdict came down, there&rsquo;s been a great deal of outrage for the sympathy that CNN showed the perpetrators of this heinous act, sympathy that didn&rsquo;t seem to be shared for the victim. We were outraged that CNN expressed sorrow toward the rapists&rsquo; loss of potential. I was outraged, so outraged I could barely see.</p><p dir="ltr">However, I shared in their paradoxical sorrow on Monday. I felt sorry. I feel sorry -- very, very, very sorry.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m sorry for the Steubenville football players who raped the Jane Doe not because their actions deserve my sympathy or their status as local sports heroes, good students, sons or brothers warrants my regard. I feel sorry for them because they photographed their victim and mocked her brutal rape as if it were a clever inside joke between friends. I feel sorry for them because they are so casually sociopathic that they couldn&rsquo;t recognize dragging someone&rsquo;s naked, unconscious corpse outside through the grass and dirt as anything but a funny prank. I feel sorry for them because it took a jury of their peers and the onslaught of the feminist media to recognize what they did as reprehensible, not just what boys do. I feel sorry that any person has such capacity to harm anyone else and then broadcast it for social media consumption as if she were a boxing match on Pay-Per-View. I feel sorry that we<a href="http://www.jennytrout.blogspot.com/2013/03/i-didnt-know-exactly-what-rape-was.html?zx=78f9d02c5ac7b460"> still don&#39;t know</a> what abuse is.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m sorry that they live in a community that doesn&rsquo;t teach them to value female bodies and to think so little of human life that they could say that she looked &ldquo;deader than O.J.&rsquo;s wife,&rdquo; as if domestic violence and murder were coyly de rigueur.</p><p dir="ltr">They are the most at fault in the situation and deserve to be punished for every single thing they did to that girl, but what about the bystanders who watched it happen and didn&rsquo;t think they were witnessing a rape or the football coach who encouraged them to laugh off the situation? What about the Steubenville community who continues to hold them up as heroes? How do we punish that?</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m sorry that they are raised to be men in a culture that upholds violence against women as a form of masculine camaraderie and that anyone should have to teach them not to rape -- that not torturing and victimizing their friend is a conversation that ever needs to happen. In this case, that conversation never happened at all, in a society that puts the burden on women not to get rape and then blames them for enticing men. We teach women that certain types of behavior provoke rape and that being modest and demure in dress helps women keep their virtue. I wasn&rsquo;t wearing a short skirt. Did my blue jeans prevent my rape? Nothing can prevent rape, except not raping someone. Not being an entitled d*ck prevents rape, not your choice of clothing.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m sorry that many have rushed to defend them for being rapists and that many will continue to uphold their male privilege, as if their behavior were biological and natural, and those two boys, despite their public apologies and courtroom tears, will secretly believe she was asking for it. After the victim, whose name will not be printed here out of respect for her suffering, reported her rape, she has been harassed by a community that we are told exist to ensure her safety. If she were kidnapped, her face would be splashed all over the news, but she is in the public eye, again against her will, and people have so little compassion that they think she wanted this. No one asks to be bullied or criticized and forced out of their community by those who love them.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m sorry that I&rsquo;ve heard continual apologies written about the football players who perpetrated this violence but almost nothing about the strike on her permanent public record. The Jane Doe attended a neighboring school, where she was an honors student and at the top of her class, but not a single account of the case I&rsquo;ve read fawned over her academic achievements of lamented her &ldquo;bright future.&rdquo; A story on Yahoo! discussed how the Steubenville football team was the &ldquo;<a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/news/highschool--steubenville-high-school-football-players-found-guilty-of-raping-16-year-old-girl-164129528.html">pride of the community</a>,&rdquo; but what about this girl? Why can&rsquo;t we have pride in her academia or her courage in coming forward with her story, in the face of insurmountable odds and a system that favors abusers? That&rsquo;s the kind of strength I want to champion. This girl is a hero.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m sorry that these men will continue to see their victim as weak and helpless and will never be witness to the quiet courage that comes from living every day as a victim of abuse. They&rsquo;ll never meet my mother, who was beaten in the face with a box fan by her ex-husband, a man she had to go into hiding to escape. They&rsquo;ll never meet my high school best friend who was raped by her boyfriend, who didn&rsquo;t know he could rape her. They&rsquo;ll never meet the friend who put his hand in my underwear at a bar when he was drunk and I was not, the man who didn&rsquo;t realize that he was sexually assaulting me -- because he wasn&rsquo;t aware that was not my definition of fun. They&rsquo;ll never meet the friends who made excuses for him or the boyfriend who asked me if I liked it. They&rsquo;ll never understand that rape isn&rsquo;t always the man on the street. Rape can be someone you trust with your life.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m sorry that the Steubenville rapists will be locked away by our criminal justice system, punished in a system that profits off of their recidivism and their repeated mistakes rather than helping them to grow, change or stop raping people. We live in a culture that confronts our problems by locking them away, looking at the criminal justice system as the ultimate form of closure. What about the women who continue to be abused every day, whose assaults are erased by a system that shames them into silence, or the men who are told they cannot be raped? When will we finally recognize rape as a culture we are all complicit in?</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m sorry that it took the severity of these crimes, our &quot;<a href="http://www.newstatesman.com/laurie-penny/2013/03/steubenville-rape-cultures-abu-ghraib-moment">Abu Ghraib moment</a>,&quot; to make our nation finally recognize the ubiquity of rape culture and reflect on the negative consequences of male privilege or question &quot;<a href="http://prospect.org/article/toxic-masculinity">toxic masculinity</a>.&quot; Although Steubenville has been called sexual assault&rsquo;s Abu Ghraib, I worry that we focus our need for blame only on the rapists and not on the system who feels their crimes are worth three years total, a fraction of the sentence Aaron Swartz would have served for non-violent cyber crime. We need to open our eyes to the ways that we are all bystanders in this event. We cannot stop rape from happening again, but we can make ourselves aware of the realities that people face and create a more just and equal society.</p><p dir="ltr">However, I&rsquo;m most sorry for the Steubenville Jane Doe, more sorry than I will ever be for the men who couldn&rsquo;t even call her abuse &ldquo;rape.&rdquo; I feel sorry that she needs to be seen as someone&rsquo;s<a href="http://bellejarblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/i-am-not-your-wife-sister-or-daughter/"> wife or daughter</a> to understand that we should not rape her and that her self-worth isn&rsquo;t tied to her intrinsic human rights. I feel sorry that even in defending her, we look at her as property, only worth her weight in male regard, and that her daughters will grow up with the same internalized shame. I feel sorry that when the news cycle dispenses of the Steubenville case, my children won&rsquo;t know what the word Steubenville means. I feel sorry that we aren&rsquo;t teaching our children better, but I know they deserve better. This Jane Doe deserved better. My mother deserved better. I deserved better. Everyone deserves better.</p><p dir="ltr">I&rsquo;m not sorry for talking about my rape or that it took so long for me to say that word, and I&rsquo;m not sorry that we have to talk about Steubenville until everyone is &ldquo;<a href="http://rantagainsttherandom.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/so-youre-tired-of-hearing-about-rape-culture/">sick</a>&rdquo; of hearing the term &ldquo;rape culture,&rdquo; until we understand that no one is asking for it, until we learn that &quot;<a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/173370/only-yes-means-yes-what-steubenvilles-rape-trial-reminds-us-about-sexual-consent">only Yes Means Yes</a>,&quot; until we start teaching people<a href="http://m.xojane.com/entertainment/girls-adam-natalia-rape-scene"> not to rape</a> and until every person is safe. &nbsp;I&rsquo;m bloody motherf*cking sorry that Ashley Judd has to remind us every day that being raped matters, that rape is a fact and that we will need to have to discuss it again and again and again, whether people get tired of it or not. I&#39;m sorry that we couldn&rsquo;t respect someone&rsquo;s basic humanity enough to never have this conversation to begin with.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Nico Lang writes about LGBTQ life in Chicago. Follow Nico on Twitter @<a href="http://www.twitter.com/nico_lang">Nico_Lang</a> or<a href="http://www.facebook.com/nicorlang"> Facebook</a>.</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 08:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-03/we-need-talk-about-steubenville-106203 More families join hazing lawsuit against suburban school district http://www.wbez.org/news/more-families-join-hazing-lawsuit-against-suburban-school-district-104097 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/mother.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Three plaintiffs have joined a civil lawsuit involving alleged hazing at Maine West High School in suburban Des Plaines.<br /><br />The four students are accusing coaches and school officials of allowing some students from the baseball and soccer teams to subject other players to physical and sexual abuse. The three students who joined the suit yesterday are members of the baseball and soccer teams.</p><p>The lawsuit was filed last week against Maine Township High School District 207 on behalf of a 14-year-old student who said last September older members of the team ripped off his clothes, grabbed his genitals and sodomized him with objects.&nbsp;</p><p>Attorney Tony Romanucci said he believes such incidents have been going on for some time at Maine Township.</p><p>&ldquo;I can tell you &hellip;we may be able to bring this back now to 2006,&rdquo; Romanucci said. &ldquo;So many people have come forward based upon what we have so far. I am having a hard time keeping up with all the phone calls.&rdquo;</p><p>He also said that he received information about so-called hazing in the swimming and water polo programs.&nbsp;</p><p>One of the alleged victims&#39; mothers appeared at a press conference on Wednesday wearing sunglasses and a baseball hat.&nbsp; She refused to give her identity and said that she gave a letter to the school complaining about abuse of her son in 2008. &nbsp;A copy of the letter was presented at the press conference. According to her, the Maine West High School principal, Audrey Haugan, did not investigate the incident at the time.<br /><br />She said this year she also talked to school district Superintendent Kenneth Wallace after she learned about the allegations from last September.<br /><br />&ldquo;He told me that in order to be sexual assault there needed to be sexual gratification and I was wrong,&rdquo; the mother said. &ldquo;I told him that my son was pinned down, pants ripped off exposed, boxers completely ripped off, in my opinion that&rsquo;s a sexual assault.&rdquo;<br /><br />In a statement, Maine Township School District said it first heard of the 2008 incident this month. That&rsquo;s shortly after allegations involving hazing this year caused uproar.</p><p>The district said it was not aware of the correspondence between the mother and the school four years ago.</p><p>&ldquo;That incident, involving members of West&rsquo;s freshman baseball team, came to the attention of Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Wallace on November 16, 2012, at which time it was reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services,&rdquo; according to the statement from Maine Township High School District 207.<br /><br />The district said it already made a report with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and that it&rsquo;s working with the Des Plaines police, who are investigating<br /><br />Six students were charged as juveniles with misdemeanor battery and hazing after the September attack, and 10 students were disciplined.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/more-families-join-hazing-lawsuit-against-suburban-school-district-104097 Defrocked Chicago priest gets path to freedom http://www.wbez.org/story/defrocked-chicago-priest-gets-path-freedom-96418 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-15/Sand Ridge.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A court-approved agreement that classifies a defiant former Chicago priest as “sexually violent” could lead to his release from a Wisconsin treatment facility as early as November.</p><p>Norbert Maday, convicted in 1994 of sexually assaulting Chicago-area children, avoided a Wisconsin jury trial that would have begun Tuesday. Under the deal, prosecutors in Winnebago County won’t contest a supervised release of Maday, 73, if a state evaluation determines the defrocked priest is ready for that freedom. The agreement, approved by Circuit Court Judge Daniel J. Bissett, requires the evaluation to take place in nine months. If Maday remains in custody from there, re-evaluations will occur annually.</p><p>Kevin Greene, the case’s special prosecutor, said his team also wanted to avoid a jury trial.</p><p>“If you lose, he walks away with less supervision,” said Greene, an assistant district attorney in Brown County. The agreement “allows the closest supervision in the community that we can get” if the evaluation backs Maday’s release, he said.</p><p>In 1992, Winnebago County prosecutors charged Maday with molesting two boys, ages 13 and 14, from a Chicago Ridge parish at a 1986 religious retreat in Oshkosh. The court convicted him on three counts of sexual assault and one count of intimidating a witness and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.</p><p>In 2007, as Maday completed the prison term, Wisconsin sought his confinement under a statute that puts “sexually violent persons” under control of the state Department of Health Services. As that case dragged on, Maday remained in the department’s Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston, a town in central Wisconsin. Tuesday’s agreement will keep Maday there as the department provides him treatment.</p><p>Maday’s attorney, Ralph Sczygelski of Manitowoc, told WBEZ the former priest “has denied he is a sexually violent person” and “continues to vehemently deny that anything bad happened” during the Oshkosh retreat. Maday did admit that there was “potentially sufficient evidence for a jury to find him to be a sexually violent person,” Sczygelski said.</p><p>Maday’s possible release could become embarrassing to Cardinal Francis George, head of the Chicago archdiocese, which employed Maday for almost three decades and paid him a stipend in prison. In 2000, George wrote letters of support to Maday as other top archdiocese officials pushed for early release. At another point, the church won Wisconsin permission for the body of Maday’s deceased mother to be brought to his prison. A letter from George thanked then-Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson for that “exceptional act of charity.”</p><p>In a court deposition, George said his view of Maday changed in the early 2000s after the archdiocese received more accusations about the priest. In 2007, George wrote to the Wisconsin Parole Commission, saying the archdiocese no longer was “capable of receiving him back into our system.” The archdiocese says the church laicized Maday that year.</p><p>A leading victim advocate said Tuesday’s agreement could lead to more sexual abuse.</p><p>“Given the fact that Father Maday has been given special treatment in the past, we fear that that will cause him to be potentially released sooner than he should be and we fear that that will put children at risk,” said Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a Chicago-based group known as SNAP.</p><p>But Sczygelski said a supervised release would land Maday in an apartment far from children, schools and parks. “The electronic monitoring these days — the science, the technology, basically — enhances safety tremendously,” Sczygelski said. “The neighborhood is told about it. They’re given pictures and everything. And if they see him stepping out of line, believe me, they’re calling 911.”</p><p>The archdiocese, asked whether it will help monitor Maday if Wisconsin releases him, noted that his church status has changed. “As a laicized priest, the archdiocese has no relationship with Mr. Maday,” spokeswoman Susan Burritt said in a written statement.</p><p>The archdiocese declined to say how many Maday victims have come forward or how many have received church compensation. “The archdiocese does not discuss individual claims or settlements,” the statement said.</p><p>Blaine said Maday has been accused of abusing “three to four dozen children.”</p><p>The archdiocese said Maday was associate pastor at six area parishes: St. John of God in Chicago from 1964 to 1966, St. Leo in Chicago from 1966 to 1969, St. Louis de Montfort in Oak Lawn from 1969 to 1977, St. Bede the Venerable in Chicago from 1977 to 1983, Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge from 1983 to 1989, and St. Jude the Apostle in South Holland from 1989 to 1992.</p><p>“The archdiocese extends its prayers for God’s healing and peace to all those affected by child sexual abuse,” Burritt’s statement said.</p></p> Wed, 15 Feb 2012 11:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/defrocked-chicago-priest-gets-path-freedom-96418 County starts freeing inmates wanted by ICE http://www.wbez.org/story/county-starts-freeing-inmates-wanted-ice-91808 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-09/Cook county jail Ted S. Warren-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A new Cook County ordinance that touches the hot-button issue of immigration is allowing inmates out of the county’s jail and making waves in other parts of the country.</p><p>The ordinance, approved Wednesday by the County Board, halts compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests that certain inmates stay in jail up to two business days beyond what their criminal cases require. The requests, known as detainers, give ICE time to pick up the inmates for possible deportation.</p><p>Sheriff Tom Dart’s office says by Friday afternoon the jail had freed 11 jail inmates named in ICE detainers.</p><p>ICE took custody of 721 Cook County inmates on detainers this year and 1,665 last year, according to Dart’s office. “I guess that’s it,” spokesman Steve Patterson says.</p><p>The ordinance requires the jail to free such inmates unless the federal government agrees in advance to pay for the extended confinement. ICE says the feds don’t reimburse any local jurisdiction in the country for those costs.</p><p>“It’s like a godsend,” says Carlos Torres, 29, of North Lawndale.</p><div class="inset"><p><span style="color: rgb(165, 42, 42);"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">‘You have many localities and state legislatures trying to do immigration policy. We’re not best equipped to do this.</span></em></span></span><span style="color: rgb(165, 42, 42);"><span style="font-size: 24px;"><em><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">’</span></em></span></span></p></div><p>Torres says Chicago police last month arrested his father after finding narcotics in a car in which he was a passenger. Torres says his father, a Mexico native, has an expired green card and that his U.S. record includes a burglary conviction. “So that would make him more likely to get deported,” Torres says.</p><p>ICE found out Torres’s father was in the jail and put a detainer on him. But the ordinance gives the inmate a better chance of walking free after a court appearance Tuesday. “I’m relieved,” Torres says.</p><p>Jesús García, D-Chicago, and other commissioners who backed the measure say detainers violate inmates’ due-process rights and erode community trust in local cops.</p><p>“You have many localities and state legislatures trying to do immigration policy,” García says. “We’re not best equipped to do this.”</p><p>García says local governments are stuck with the job until Congress overhauls the nation’s immigration laws.</p><p>Those localities have some cover from a federal court ruling in Indiana this summer. The ruling says compliance with ICE detainers is voluntary.</p><p>Still, a few Cook County commissioners have qualms about ignoring them. “Under this ordinance, gang bangers and people involved in drug dealing, sex trafficking and criminal sexual assault will be released back into our communities,” Timothy Schneider, R-Bartlett, said during Wednesday’s County Board meeting. “This is clearly our Willie Horton moment.”</p><p>A Massachusetts prison released Horton, a convicted felon, as part of a weekend furlough program in 1986. He did not return and committed violent crimes that came back to haunt Gov. Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential campaign.</p><p>ICE sounds a similar alarm. “ICE has not sought to compel compliance through legal proceedings [but] jurisdictions that ignore detainers bear the risk of possible public safety risks,” the agency said in a statement about the Cook County vote.</p><p>Asked whether ICE will take the county to court to compel compliance, the agency did not answer.</p><p>The ordinance, meanwhile, is reverberating beyond the county. “For a long time we felt like we were in this alone,” says Juniper Downs, lead deputy counsel for Santa Clara County, California. “Cook County’s bold policy may affect the direction of the policy we develop.”</p><p>At least three other counties — Taos and San Miguel, both in New Mexico, and San Francisco in California — have limited the sorts of inmates they’re holding on ICE detainers. None has gone as far as Cook County, which is ignoring the detainers altogether.</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 23:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/county-starts-freeing-inmates-wanted-ice-91808 The state of women http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-06/state-women-87464 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-06/115282128.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Earlier today, former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted rape and sexual assault. The attorney for the hotel worker who’s accused him says she just wants justice.</p><p>The arrest of Strauss-Kahn in May thrust a spotlight on the culture of the institution he ran, the IMF.&nbsp; According to news reports, many women at the IMF say they feel vulnerable to sexual harassment.</p><p>Kavita Ramdas is the former president and CEO of the <a href="http://www.globalfundforwomen.org/" target="_blank">Global Fund for Women</a>.&nbsp; She’s currently an advisor to the organization and a visiting <a href="http://fsi.stanford.edu/people/kavitanramdas/" target="_blank">scholar</a> at Stanford Univeristy. Kavita recently wrote an article, "<a href="http://www.fpif.org/articles/the_imf_violating_women_since_1945" target="_blank">The IMF: Violating Women since 1945</a>", in <a href="http://www.fpif.org/" target="_blank"><em>Foreign Policy in Focus</em></a> about the impact of the IMF's monetary policies on women.</p><p>She joins us to discuss current transgressions on women’s rights happening around the world, from barriers to women’s health care in Indiana to virginity checks on Egyptian women protesters.</p></p> Mon, 06 Jun 2011 15:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-06/state-women-87464 One cop accused of sexual assault still in jail, another out on bond http://www.wbez.org/story/one-cop-accused-sexual-assault-still-jail-another-out-bond-86494 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-13/rape charge cops.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Cook County judge on Thursday set bonds of $500,000 each for two Chicago police officers charged with sexually assaulting a woman in March.</p><p>Paul Clavijo and Juan Vasquez, both 38, allegedly assaulted a 22-year-old woman after picking her up near the intersection of Addison and Sheffield around 2 a.m. March 30. Prosecutors say the officers drove her to a store to buy alcohol, and while Vasquez was in the store, Clavijo had sex with her in their marked police vehicle. They then allegedly drove her to her home in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood, out of their police district, played strip poker with her and had sex with her again.</p><p>Prosecutors said the victim ran out of the apartment and pounded on neighbors' doors and called 911. She was taken to the hospital where her blood alcohol level was found to be .380.</p><p>Prosecutors also say part of a police uniform and a cell phone belonging to Vasquez were taken from her apartment.</p><p>One of the woman’s lawyers, Jon Loevy, said these items were left behind by fleeing police because, “It wasn’t a game. It wasn’t a consensual encounter. It was a sexual attack.”</p><p>At a news conference Thursday, Loevy told reporters, “These are on duty police officers; they were armed with guns. And she was a young woman who was not in a situation where she had choice.”</p><p>At a separate news conference Thursday after the bond hearing, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said the victim's blood alcohol level was so high, she was unable to give consent.</p><p>But attorneys for both defendants dispute that. Jed Stone, who is representing Paul Clavijo, said the sex was consensual, not criminal.</p><p>"Paul Clavijo is not a rapist and shouldn't be thought of as a rapist," Stone told reporters after Thursday's bond hearing.</p><p>Both officers are facing a combination of charges that include criminal sexual assault and official misconduct.</p><p>"This was not a criminal incident," said Dan Herbert, the attorney for Vasquez. "Were there some bad decisions made? Absolutely."</p><p>To that point, the woman’s attorney Jon Loevy countered, “That’s an outrageous way to try to spin this.” &nbsp;</p><p>The victim and her legal team have not yet filed a lawsuit. They say they’re hopeful that the criminal justice system will work and that justice will be swift.</p><p>Clavijo is also charged in a second case of criminal sexual misconduct, stemming from a March 10 incident where he allegedly gave a 26-year-old woman a ride home from a bus stop near Wrigley Field, then sexually assaulted her on her bed, according to the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.</p><p>Chicago Police Superintendent Terry Hillard said Thursday the officers remain stripped of their police powers.</p><p>A statement from the police department said the alleged actions of those officers infuriates the thousands of other officers on the force and it won't tolerate anyone who disgraces the badge by violating the law.</p></p> Fri, 13 May 2011 12:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/one-cop-accused-sexual-assault-still-jail-another-out-bond-86494