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The Children Need a Hero
The most common comment when Jehovah’s Witnesses are asked about the child abuse scandal in their religion is that, “We have fixed the problem.” News articles like this show that in fact to be a lie. The key issue remains that abuse has and continues to be covered up while victims are silenced by the religion. In Canada where this story occurs it is national law that all abuse is required to be reported. To cover themselves legally the Canadian home office of JW’s wrote a letter to all bodies of elders stating that fact. You can read it at this link, http://www.silentlambs.org/education/WeaknessorWickedness.cfm Yet in the documentary that was filmed in Canada, home office insiders revealed that abuse was routinely covered up when elders reported it to the home office. Read the transcript of the program here, http://www.silentlambs.org/education/fifthestate_trans.cfm
Over and over again Canadian victims have revealed that elders have not called authorities when abuse was reported in direct violation of national Canadian laws on reporting. Why is the Canadian Government in fear of a religion that regularly practices obstruction of justice and puts children in the arms of pedophiles? Are justice officials so afraid of religion that they will allow the rape of children? What kind of coward is a government that cannot even protect a child? If we see the government in such a negative light then how would you view a religion that promotes the protection of child molesters?
This month Jehovah’s Witnesses are distributing a tract “The End of False Religion is Near!” This tract states that any religion that protects child molesters is evidence of “False Religion.” Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only religion in the world that has been labeled internationally as a “Pedophile Paradise” by victims, media, and experts on this subject. So when they condemn other people of faith for a sin they practice and tell their members they have solved their child abuse issues, how better could anyone define the word hypocrite.
Here in the United States religious pedophiles are granted “carte blanc” entitlement to molest children due to “ecclesial privilege” granted by the First Amendment of the US constitution. To understand this read this article on the “First Amendment Misinterpreted,” http://www.silentlambs.org/newsletter/NewsLetterItem.cfm?SendoutID=177 Attorneys for Jehovah’s Witnesses regularly thumb their noses at the US courts and laugh at victims of abuse using the first amendment as a basis to do so. It is a sad day when justice has to be begged from a source outside a country that claims the moral high ground when dealing with humankind.
We ask that members of Canadian law enforcement and the men and women that oversee Canadian law please find the courage to prosecute the leaders of this hypocritical religious group that openly promotes the protection of pedophiles and without conscience allows the rape of children. When this occurs then and only then will the end of false religion be near.
Diary leads to sex assault charge
Incidents are alleged to have occurred during Jehovah's Witness visits
KITCHENER (Nov 9, 2006)
When a Kitchener man inadvertently discovered a diary in his basement that had been written by his teenage daughter, he was shocked to see it contained the name of a former elder at the family's church.
The name Claude Martin was in bold, the man told a judge yesterday at Martin's trial for sexually assaulting that girl and another girl who attended Martin's Jehovah's Witnesses congregation.
Martin, 76, pleaded not guilty to sexual interference of the two girls. He allegedly touched the man's daughter with his hand some time between January, 2001 and December, 2002. He allegedly touched the other girl with his penis between January, 1988 and December, 1989.
What the girl's father read in the diary eventually led him and his wife to call police, he testified.
Although the contents of the diary weren't disclosed in court, the man's daughter testified Martin touched her buttocks with his hand and put his finger on her vagina during a Saturday morning door-to-door visit by the pair to a Kitchener home.
They were standing on a landing inside the front door, she said. The homeowner had gone downstairs briefly and his son had disappeared.
She thinks she was 10 at the time. She and Martin often made the door-to-door visits to attempt to gain adherents to the Jehovah's Witnesses. Her parents, who were usually nearby in a car with other church members making similar visits, were fine with it.
Kitchener's Ontario Court heard the girl's father found the diary by a fluke in the winter of 2005.
He heard the family dog chewing something downstairs in the basement and went to check.
The dog had a notebook. The man picked it up and scanned it.
"In bold printed letters was the name Claude Martin in the middle of the page,'' he testified.
He waited for his wife to come home, thinking she should be the one to talk to their daughter about what he read. After their talk, the man said based on what his wife told him, "There was validity to this.''
They didn't know what to do, he said. Several church elders heard about the allegation and visited their home.
"The impression we were left with was pick up the carpet and sweep it under, and carry on with your life,'' he said. "We wanted to know there was going to be something done in the organization.''
The family had attended Martin's congregation for more than a decade before leaving because of stress long before they found the diary.
The father said outside court that the church expected members to be busy at something every night of the week. He and his wife found it too much pressure, along with raising a family and other obligations.
"As far as the organization, I can't say anything negative,'' the father said outside court. "This is strictly a personal dealing. The only thing I have to say negative is how they tried to sweep it under the carpet.''
When they realized how much pressure had been lifted by quitting, they never returned to the church, he said.
The girl, who is now 16, told Crown prosecutor Mark Poland she never told her parents about the alleged sexual assault because, "It was embarrassing and private.''
She wrote details in her diary several years later because she was angry about a number of things, she said.
"A whole bunch of stuff was bothering me and I had to write it down.''
She rejected defense lawyer James Marentette's suggestion that she might have felt Martin's briefcase on her buttocks, and not his hand, while they were standing inside the home.
She said Martin had changed his briefcase from one hand to another so his hand was free to molest her.
After she and her parents reported the alleged incident to police in 2005, the girl said her parents were told about the second alleged complainant. That girl was allegedly standing up against a counter when Martin came up behind her and rubbed his pelvic area against her, she said. She, herself, never talked to that girl about those allegations, she said.
When the trial continues, the Crown will argue that the judge should admit a statement he said Martin made to police. Based on the statement, Poland will argue Martin engaged in prior discreditable conduct with yet a third female.
The trial continues on Dec. 5.
Ex-elder can't control sex urges
KITCHENER (Dec 14, 2006)
A former elder with the local Jehovah's Witnesses, who is charged with molesting two girls, admitted to police more than three years ago that he has sexual urges he can't control.
The admission came in August 2003, when police were questioning Claude Martin about an alleged incident involving a 12-year-old girl who delivered a newspaper to his home.
Martin told police that as he saw the girl approaching his home, he fondled his genitals. He was standing in his front porch and he said it's possible the girl saw him through a window.
When she got to his front door, he made conversation, asking what she was doing on the holidays, where she lived and how old she was.
When told she was 12, he commented: "Oh, you're growing up. You're getting to be a sexy-looking girl.''
The girl then said she had to go. It's unclear who called police.
During the police interview, the Kitchener man acknowledged a long-standing problem with uncontrollable sexual urges.
He said he's had the problem since he was six and experienced a "childhood trauma'' involving molestation by a nine-year-old relative.
Justice Michael Epstein will rule tomorrow on whether Martin's statement to police can be admitted as evidence at his trial.
In the statement, Martin admitted to being sexually attracted to both girls and women. He said he engaged in fantasy sex and sometimes masturbated at those times.
"I've been fighting that since I was six years old,'' he told Const. Jeff Slater. "It's never gone away.
"I'm not a bad man. I'm sick. I got something that I can't handle.''
He dismissed the episode with the delivery girl as "not that big of a big deal," according to the police statement. "Like I'm not threatening anybody. I didn't threaten this girl."
He did agree that he shouldn't have told her she was getting to be a "sexy-looking girl.''
Martin's lawyer, Jim Marentette, is trying to have the police statement excluded from Martin's trial. The 76-year-old man is charged with sexual interference of two girls who attended his church.
He allegedly touched the buttocks of a 10-year-old girl and put his finger on her vagina during a door-to-door visit by the pair to a Kitchener home to promote their religion sometime between January 2001 and December 2002.
The second girl was about 11 when she says Martin put both hands on her hips and rubbed himself against her while she was standing in his kitchen, baking him a pie, sometime between January 1988 and December 1989.
Crown prosecutor Mark Poland said he wants the 2003 statement included because "it's evidence of an impulse control failure that leads to sexual risk-taking."
Martin's lawyer argued that his client's admission to uncontrollable urges to masturbate is not "outwardly directed." There's no indication he wants to sexually touch women or girls, Marentette said.
"There's no evidence he's ever done anything close to what's alleged,'' he said.
He also noted Martin told police he could become attracted to "any sexually attractive girl or woman,'' not just girls.
"He sometimes gives in and masturbates when he fantasizes about an attractive woman,'' the lawyer said. "So what?''
Such an urge is "extraordinarily common in the population at large," Marentette said.
"He's confessing the most common condition in the world."
The Crown wants to show that if he has a propensity to do this, "he could do something else,'' Marentette said. "He masturbates and fantasizes, so of course, he'd touch a girl.''
But Poland said the statement has to be put into context. Martin made it after being arrested following a complaint about the incident with the newspaper carrier.
"He was expressing a sexual attraction to a 12-year-old,'' Poland said. "He masturbates in a situation where she could see him.''
Martin was not charged after he promised police to step down as an elder in the church and get counselling. His congregation was told he had health problems.
Martin told the police officer he'd struggled for decades trying to overcome his problem so that he could measure up to biblical and church standards.
"I'm respected in my congregation," the police statement quotes him as saying. "I'm an elderand an elder should be irreprehensible. Nobody should be able to say anything bad about him and that's bothering me because I have this problem, and I'm not irreprehensible.''
Church elder denies assaults on girls
Church elder denies assaults on girls
Any contact was inadvertent, accused testifies
A former elder in a local Jehovah's Witnesses congregation denied yesterday that he sexually touched two young girls who were members of his church.
Claude Martin, 77, took the stand at his trial for sexual assault and sexual interference of the two girls
He is charged with touching the buttocks and vagina of a 10-year-old during a door-to-door visit with the child to promote their religion, between January 2001 and December 2002.
The second allegation relates to an 11-year-old girl who said Martin came up behind her and rubbed himself against her while she was standing in his kitchen baking a pie, between January 1988 and December 1989.
Asked by his lawyer, James Marentette, if he ever intentionally touched the 10-year-old girl sexually, Martin said no.He may have inadvertently made physical contact, he said, while transferring his briefcase from one hand to the other to remove literature to give to the homeowner.
He and the girl were standing on a tiny landing inside the homeowner's side door, court heard. There was barely room to move and he said at one point, "I must have had to move her out of the road. It was crowded. That's all I can remember."
The homeowner's son had answered the door and called for his father in the basement. The father came upstairs.
"Did you intend to touch her buttock area?" Marentette asked.
"I don't think so," Martin replied. "No, I had nothing like that in my mind."
When Crown prosecutor Mark Poland suggested the jostling in such a small area could have resulted in the assault as described by the girl, Martin replied, "With a man standing right there and a son standing right there, and winter clothes on -- no. You've got to be using your imagination."
As for the alleged incident in the kitchen, Martin said there was no room on his small counter for anyone to bake a pie. He and his daughter, Cheryl, who often cooked and baked pies, always used the table, he said.
Justice Michael Epstein decided not to accept a statement Martin made to police in 2003 as evidence of prior discreditable conduct. In the statement, Martin admitted to police he had uncontrollable sexual urges involving attraction to girls and women and that he sometimes masturbated.
He made the statement after he was arrested on suspicion of exposing himself to a 12-year-old girl who had approached his home to deliver a newspaper. He was not charged in that allegation.
"I find the statement to be extremely confusing,'' the judge said. "I can't resolve exactly what the problem is the accused refers to.
"There's nothing to suggest to me that what he's referring to is anything other than a proclivity to masturbate while sexually fantasizing.''
The statement's relevance to anything in the trial was unclear, Epstein said.
In his final arguments, Marentette urged the judge to find his client not guilty. He said it would be unsafe to convict Martin on the evidence of the two young girls.
He suggested the 11-year-old in the kitchen didn't see who came up behind her. Instead, she testified she "just knew'' who it was. Her story "has this air of unreality,'' he said.
He also suggested the 10-year-old wasn't sure what she felt during the door-to-door visit. "She concluded it was his hand,'' Marentette said.
But the Crown disagreed. Poland said the 10-year-old had "absolutely no doubt'' what happened to her. And the girl in the kitchen didn't say she didn't see Martin, Poland said. She said she didn't hear him come in.
"She felt his erection. She ran off and didn't look back.''
Epstein will give his judgment Tuesday.
Former elder guilty of sex assault
A former Jehovah's Witness elder has been convicted of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl who attended his congregation.
Justice Michael Epstein said Claude Martin's evidence at his trial was "completely unreasonable.''
He was skeptical of Martin's precise recall of an incident in 2000 or 2001 when he went door-to-door with the girl to pass out Jehovah's Witness literature.
The girl testified Martin put his hand on her buttock and extended his finger and put pressure on her vagina over her clothes during a brief moment while they stood alone on a landing of the home.
Martin, 77, had made many such visits with that girl and other children in the church over the years, and would have no reason to recall details of that visit unless something happened to make that day stand out, the judge said.
"Claude Martin professed an incredible memory of this event,'' Epstein said.
He suggested Martin may have been "inventing'' his evidence. Martin testified that he might have inadvertently touched the girl while shifting his briefcase from one hand to another as they were standing in the small space.
Recalling that and other details "defies and stretches credulity and common sense to the breaking point,'' Epstein said.
He described Martin's testimony as "sarcastic, aggressive, testy and argumentative. There was an overall air of smugness about him, I found.''
In contrast, the victim was an "excellent'' witness, he said.
"It's clear the incident she described was most upsetting to her.''
He also agreed with the Crown's argument that the girl had no hostility towards Martin, a pillar of the church she had once admired. The incident would never have come to light if the girl's father hadn't found a diary entry she made about the incident years later, Epstein said.
The girl, who is now 16, wants to submit a victim-impact statement for the sentencing on Jan. 5.
The judge found Martin not guilty of sexually assaulting a second girl in 1988 or 1989 when she was about 11.
That girl testified Martin came up behind her while she was in his kitchen baking him a pie, put his hands on her hips and pressed his erect penis into her back.
Her father was in the living room at the time.
But Epstein accepted the testimony of Martin and his daughter, along with photographs, showing the kitchen counter space was too small and too crowded for pie baking. People normally used the table, the trial heard.
Epstein also agreed with defence lawyer James Marentette that the girl hadn't turned around to see if it really was Martin behind her.
The mother of the other victim approached her in 2005 and she decided to come forward to support her.
No jail time for church elder
Probation for man who fondled girl while on Jehovah's Witness visits
A respected Jehovah's Witness elder was put on probation for two years yesterday for molesting a young girl while they were going door to door to spread their faith.
"It's like a priest fondling a child during a religious service," said Crown prosecutor Mark Poland.
Claude Martin, 77, was convicted of sexual assault for touching the 10-year-old girl's buttocks and vagina over her clothes while they were standing on the landing of a Kitchener home in 2000 or 2001.
He was acquitted after a five-day trial in Ontario Court of a second count involving a girl who was about the same age during an alleged incident in the late 1980s.
Although it was not admitted as evidence, the court also heard about a 2003 statement in which Martin told police he had a problem with sexual fantasies involving young girls.
He gave the statement while police were investigating an allegation that Martin exposed himself to a 12-year-old girl delivering newspapers. He was not charged in that incident.
Defence lawyer James Marentette argued Martin paid a heavy price for the brief fondling incident after being stripped of his leadership responsibilities with the Bridgeport congregation of the church.
"He is a sad and somewhat broken man as a result of the loss of those important elements of his life," said Marentette.
Poland, however, stressed the breach of trust involved in the crime because the girl and her family looked up to Martin.
Outside court, he also criticized leaders of the congregation for being "completely uncooperative" with police during their investigation.
Members of the girl's family have said they felt elders tried to sweep the matter under the carpet after they turned to them first before going to the police.
"Frankly, I think they need to be embarrassed into helping us find what the truth is in these cases," said Poland.
Ross Eddy, the presiding elder of the congregation, referred questions about its handling of the case yesterday to lawyer David Gnam.
Gnam called Poland's criticisms "unprofessional" and said the fact Martin has lost his leadership role -- although not his membership -- is evidence the congregation has taken action.
"It's certainly not the position of the congregation to harbour people who sexually take advantage of children -- absolutely not," he said.
Gnam said elders were in a difficult position during the investigation because they considered information about the incident confidential as a result of their pastoral role in the congregation.
Martin addressed the court during his sentencing, but did not apologize to the girl or her family.
Instead, he apologized to Justice Michael Epstein for his demeanour during the trial and expressed regret that the victim and her family have left the church.
Epstein agreed the timing of the assault during door-to-door preaching was an "extremely aggravating circumstance." He also noted its devastating impact on the girl.
"He represented the church in her eyes," said Epstein. "He was an elder, a well-respected man."
But he also took into account Martin's age, the loss of his position in the church and his humiliation because of publicity on the case.
The probation term includes an order to get counselling. In addition, Epstein placed Martin on a sex offender registry, prohibited him from working with children and banned him from parks, pools and other places kids are known to gather.
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