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Backslider: Catholic youth leader raped victim after promising not to do it again

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A Catholic youth leader who promised a teenager he had raped that he would never rape again if she didn’t report him to police was reported to police by his victim after he sexually assaulted her best friend.

In a complaint filed by Marain Foley against Brandon Eckerson, she claims that Eckerson forcibly raped her two days before Christmas in 2012. However, he convinced her “not to say anything further to anyone about his sexual exploitation of her; in exchange he promised to never again sexually assault anyone. It was understood that if plaintiff discovered he violated this sworn promise she would go to the police.”

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According to complaint, the extent of Eckerson’s inappropriate behavior extended beyond sexual assault. As leader of a Catholic youth group, Foley alleges, Eckerson talked to her about “her life, seeking intimate details, including dating and sexual relationship,” and that youth group meetings were fraught with “permissive sexual dialogue, contact, spanking, slapping, gropings and ridicule.”

She also claims that Eckerson brought the group of minors to bars and restaurants in which they were illegally served alcohol, and that he frequently purchased alcohol for the group and consumed it with them during meetings.

She is also suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix; its Bishop, Thomas Olmsted; and the Reverend Patrick Robertson, who was the nominal supervisor of the youth group Eckerson ran, because she claims that after she told her doctor about the rape, “in compliance with state law [he] sent notice to Blessed Sacrament Parish, which circulated an email on the subject.” The complaint alleges that the church “knew that Brandon Eckerson was a danger,” “shared that concern with other members of Blessed Sacrament Parish and the Phoenix Diocese,” but never went to the police.

When in June of this year Foley was told that Eckerson had raped another member of the youth group, she considered his “promise” to her broken and went to police.

“Then, and only then,” the complaint reads, “did the Diocese terminate him.”

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[“A Catholic Priest Is Desperately” on Shutterstock]


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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