Tag - Sex

Essex resort boasts the biggest gardens in Britain

Essex resort boasts the biggest gardens in Britain

Sorry, Kent, but the real garden of England is Canvey Island! Essex resort boasts the biggest gardens in Britain (so they’d better watch out for Jeremy Corbyn’s land tax)

  • Canvey Island in Essex has the largest average garden size in England and Wales
  • Houses in the Castle Point district of Essex typically have 1,100 sq ft of greenery
  • There could be a downside if Labour come to power and bring in a ‘garden tax’
  • Kent, traditionally known as the garden of England, is absent from the top ten 

By Valerie Elliot For The Mail On Sunday

Published: 00:01 BST, 16 June 2019 | Updated: 01:43 BST, 16 June 2019

It is not a part of the country famed for its wide open spaces. 

But if you’re looking for a home with a big garden, you should look beyond leafy Surrey, the rolling Yorkshire hills or the wilds of Northumbria – and instead plump for Canvey Island beside the Thames Estuary.

The Essex peninsular is the place with the largest average garden size in England and Wales, according to figures exclusively collated for The Mail on Sunday by Ordnance Survey.

Their data shows that houses in the Castle Point district, which includes Canvey Island, typically have 1,100 sq ft of greenery – more than three times as much as those in Westminster, whose Central London homes come bottom of the league.

Jill Shrubb in her large, well-tended garden. The aptly named 73-year-old said: ‘There are lots of big gardens round here. I’m out in mine every day but don’t ask me how big it is because I don’t know’

But there could be a downside if Labour come to power and bring in their threatened ‘garden tax’.

Though Canvey Island’s houses are often relatively small, with lots of bungalows and chalets, the gardens are enviably spacious.

Pensioner Jill Shrubb has maintained a magnificent garden there. The aptly named 73-year-old said: ‘There are lots of big gardens round here. I’m out in mine every day but don’t ask me how big it is because I don’t know.

‘I have lovely willow trees, lots of shrubs, rambling roses and my favourite, begonias. I also have a big lawn with rolling lines, a lovely gazebo, a front pond and fish pond with newts.’

Rebecca Harris, Tory MP for Castle Point, added: ‘This is not an affluent stockbroker belt, but people come to live here because of the good quality of life, the strong sense of community and you don’t need an enormous pay packet.’

And Barry Wootten, chairman of Hadleigh Gardening Association in the district, said: ‘People might be surprised by the size of gardens round here, but I’m not. Mine is just a cottage garden, 145ft long, but there are exceptionally big gardens here. The area is good for gardening but it is dry usually and you have to do a lot of watering.’

Next on the list is the neighbouring Essex district of Rushford, followed by South Staffordshire and the North Wales areas of Denbighshire and Flintshire.

Kent, traditionally known as the garden of England because of its plentiful orchards and hop gardens, is absent from the top ten, as are the leafy stockbroker belt counties. 

The Essex peninsular is the place with the largest average garden size in England and Wales, according to figures exclusively collated for The Mail on Sunday by Ordnance Survey

Unsurprisingly, the smallest average gardens are in Central London, where property prices are among the highest in the world. Nine of the ten areas at the bottom of the list are London boroughs.

Guy Barter, of the Royal Horticultural Society, said: ‘I would have expected the spacious properties in the leafy lanes of Buckinghamshire, Surrey and the Thames Valley to have the largest average size gardens. I think the result must be connected to land values.’

The information was gleaned from the OS Master Map, which is compiled using both aerial photography and surveyors on the ground.

A report commissioned by Labour this month suggested a new property tax which could consider garden size when calculating bills.


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Sexueller Missbrauch: Mein Zwilling ist ein Kinderschänder

Sexueller Missbrauch: Mein Zwilling ist ein Kinderschänder

Ex-Nonne bringt Priester hinter Gitter

Sexueller Missbrauch: Mein Zwilling ist ein Kinderschänder

Margaret und Michael waren sich nah, wie es nur Zwillinge sein können. Sie machten alles zusammen, brauchten sonst niemanden. Beide entschieden sich, in den Kirchendienst zu gehen. Sie als Nonne, er als Priester.

Wie Margaret schließlich erfuhr, dass ihr Zwillingsbruder kleine Kinder missbrauchte, welche Anstrengungen sie unternahm, Michael hinter Gitter zu bringen und was ihre größte Hoffnung ist, das lesen Sie mit BILDplus.


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Alaska Supreme Court rules state sex offender registry law unconstitutional

Alaska Supreme Court rules state sex offender registry law unconstitutional

The Alaska Supreme Court ruled that a state law requiring the registry of all sex offenders is unconstitutional because it violates offenders’ rights to due process. The ruling was issued Friday.

In a 3-2 decision, the court said an offender must be given the chance to prove he or she is rehabilitated and no longer remains a threat to the public.

“Our decision requiring an individualized risk-assessment hearing is based on the judicial power,” the court wrote in its opinion.  If an offender “can show at a hearing that he does not pose a risk requiring registration, then there is no compelling reason requiring him to register, and the fact that ASORA does not provide for such a hearing means that the statute is unnecessarily broad.”


A screenshot of the sex offender registry in Anchorage. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled Friday that the registry law violates offenders rights the due process.

A screenshot of the sex offender registry in Anchorage. The Alaska Supreme Court ruled Friday that the registry law violates offenders rights the due process.
(Alaska Department of Public Safety)

The court, however, upheld a lower court ruling mandating the registration of sex offenders upon moving to Alaska if they were required to register in another state as well.

The Alaska Sex Offender Registry Act requires sex offenders to register with law enforcement 30 days before being released from jail or prison or within a day of a conviction where the sentence doesn’t include jail time.

The ruling stems from a 2016 case involving an unnamed man convicted in 2000 of sexual battery in Virginia. He was sentenced to five years in prison — the time was suspended — and five years’ probation and was required to register as a sex offender.


Upon moving to Alaska, he registered as a sex offender annually for several years and then stopped. He sued the state, claiming the sex offender registry law violated his rights to due process.


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Neymar diz à polícia que usou preservativo com Najila, deu tapas a pedido dela, e que modelo posou para fotos das nádegas

Neymar diz à polícia que usou preservativo com Najila, deu tapas a pedido dela, e que modelo posou para fotos das nádegas

O jogador Neymar deixou a 6ª Delegacia de Defesa da Mulher na Zona Sul de São Paulo, na noite desta quinta-feira (13), depois de depor por três horas sobre o caso em que é acusado de estuprar e agredir a modelo Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza e afirmou que “a verdade aparece cedo ou tarde” (veja vídeo acima).

“A verdade aparece cedo ou tarde. O único desejo que eu tenho agora é que esse caso acabe mais rápido possível”, disse. Neymar depôs para a delegada Juliana Bussacos das 15h40 às 18h36.

A delegada mostrou para Neymar as conclusões do laudo de exame de corpo de delito indireto feito pelo IML a partir do relatório médico particular que Najila entregou à polícia. O laudo não atestou se houve ou não estupro mas indicou as lesões no corpo de Najila são compatíveis com a data da viagem dela a Paris.

O Jornal Nacional apurou que durante o depoimento Neymar negou ter feito sexo sem o consentimento de Najila. Confirmou que deu tapas na mulher a pedido dela. E que Najila ainda posou para a fotografia que o jogador fez das nádegas dela e postou nas redes sociais para mostrar que não houve agressão.

Neymar confirmou que tinha bebido no dia do 1º encontro, mas apenas 1 dose, pois tinha acabado de sair de um treino. Disse que Najila dizia que o amava e queria casar com ele. Neste momento, comentou com as delegadas: “Como ela pode me amar se nem me conhecia direito?”.

Disse que fez sexo com Najila com preservativo e que depois jogou a camisinha no vaso sanitário. Chegou a dizer que é atleta e não poderia se expor.

Neymar disse que, no segundo encontro, pretendia levar Najila a uma balada. Mas ela começou a agredi-lo e ele então foi embora. Alegou que em momento nenhum ela disse ter sido estuprada, que ela dizia que tinha ficado sozinha e que ela não era mulher de ficar sozinha.

No final, quando o depoimento terminou, Neymar se emocionou a falar sobre o que está passando. Disse que é o pior acontecimento de sua vida, que nenhuma lesão se compara a isso. Falou que tem uma irmã, mãe e um filho de 7 anos, que não pode ir à escola porque os amigos dizem que ele é filho de um estuprador.

Neymar diz que verdade aparecerá cedo ou tarde após depor em SP

Neymar diz que verdade aparecerá cedo ou tarde após depor em SP

Ao sair, o jogador avisou aos jornalistas que seria breve e agradeceu aos torcedores que o apoiaram. “Vou ser breve hein. Só agradecer ao apoio e carinho de todo mundo que está me mandando as mensagens. Todas as mensagens que recebi até hoje. Estou muito tranquilo”, afirmou.

Na sequência, ele deixou a delegacia em uma van, escoltado pela polícia. Dezenas de fãs que passaram a tarde do lado de fora da delegacia gritaram quando a van com Neymar deixou o local (veja no vídeo abaixo).

Fãs gritam na saída de Neymar após prestar depoimento

Fãs gritam na saída de Neymar após prestar depoimento

A promotora Flávia Cristina Merlini, do Enfrentamento à Violência Doméstica designada pelo Ministério Público de São Paulo para acompanhar o caso, afirmou que ele respondeu a todas as perguntas de maneira satisfatória e negou o crime de estupro.

“Ele respondeu a todas as perguntas de maneira satisfatória. A partir de agora a dr. Juliana [delegada responsável pelo caso] tomará as outras diligências até a conclusão do inquérito. Como ele é sigiloso, não podem divulgar quais são essas diligências”, afirmou.

A promotora Flávia também disse que, por enquanto, a investigação não vê necessidade de acareação do Neymar com Najila.

Neymar fala após prestar depoimento na delegacia da mulher em São Paulo — Foto: GloboNews/Reprodução

Neymar chegou de muletas com seus advogados em uma van escoltada por duas viaturas da polícia. A delegacia, situada em Santo Amaro, na Zona Sul da cidade, teve esquema de segurança reforçado para receber o jogador. Grades foram instaladas nas redondezas, e as janelas do edifício foram cobertas com papel pardo.

Nos últimos dias, advogados do jogador foram à delegacia verificar as condições do prédio e como proceder com a segurança do jogador, que tem usado muletas depois que sofreu uma grave contusão no jogo da Seleção Brasileira contra Honduras na semana passada.

Neymar deixa delegacia da mulher após prestar depoimento — Foto: GloboNews/Reprodução

Esta é a segunda vez que o jogador comparece a uma delegacia desde que o caso com a modelo Najila veio à tona.

No dia 6, no Rio de Janeiro, o jogador prestou depoimento por cerca de uma 1 hora e 40 minutos em uma delegacia da Cidade da Polícia, na Zona Norte do Rio. Neymar foi chamado para prestar esclarecimentos no inquérito sobre a divulgação de imagens íntimas da modelo, que ele afirmou ter sido feita por assessores.

As promotoras de Enfrentamento à Violência Doméstica designadas pelo Ministério Público de São Paulo para acompanhar o caso envolvendo o jogador Neymar e a modelo Najila Trindade Mendes de Souza, Estefânia Ferrazzini Paulin e Flavia Cristina Merlini, falaram pela primeira vez à imprensa sobre o assunto na quarta-feira. Elas disseram que a palavra da vítima deve ser levada em conta em casos de denúncias de violência contra a mulher.

Promotora dá coletiva após depoimento de Neymar — Foto: Glauco Araújo/G1


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Mutmaßlicher Christchurch-Attentäter plädiert auf “nicht schuldig”

Mutmaßlicher Christchurch-Attentäter plädiert auf “nicht schuldig”

Er stürmte mit Sturmgewehren in zwei Moscheen in Neuseeland und tötete dabei 51 Menschen, filmte die Bluttat noch mit einer Helmkamera. Jetzt plädiert der 28-jährige Rechtsextremist mit einem Lächeln auf “nicht schuldig”. Ein Schock für die Angehörigen und Überlebenden.

Mehr als drei Monate nach dem rassistisch motivierten Anschlag auf zwei Moscheen in Neuseeland mit insgesamt 51 Toten hat der mutmaßliche Täter am Freitag in allen 92 Punkten der Anklage auf “nicht schuldig” plädiert. Der Rechtsextremist aus Australien war per Video aus einem Hochsicherheitsgefängnis in Auckland zugeschaltet worden. Nach Medienberichten spielte auf seinem Gesicht ein Lächeln, als sein Verteidiger für ihn auf “nicht schuldig plädierte”, während ein Raunen der Opfer oder ihrer Familien durch den Gerichtssaal ging.

Das Gericht sitzt in Christchurch, wo bei dem Angriff auf die beiden Moscheen Mitte März insgesamt 51 Menschen getötet worden waren. Dem 28 Jahre alten Brenton T. droht deshalb lebenslange Haft. Der eigentliche Prozess soll nach den Worten von Richter Cameron Mander am 4. Mai kommenden Jahres beginnen.

Die Staatsanwaltschaft wirft dem mutmaßlichen Täter 51-fachen Mord, 40-fachen Mordversuch sowie Terrorismus vor.

T. sitzt seit den Anschlägen in Neuseelands einzigem Hochsicherheitsgefängnis in Auckland etwa 1000 Kilometer von Christchurch entfernt in Untersuchungshaft. Am Freitag geht es vor Gericht unter anderem um ein Gutachten zu seiner Schuldfähigkeit. In Neuseeland ist dies in solchen Fällen ein gängiges Verfahren.

Tat war live auf Facebook

Der Täter hatte große Teile der Tat mit einer Helmkamera über Facebook live ins Internet übertragen. Zuvor hatte er ein Pamphlet mit rechtsradikalen und rassistischen Parolen ins Internet gestellt und auch per Mail verschickt. Die Ermittler gehen davon aus, dass die Anschläge einen terroristischen Hintergrund hatten.

Neuseeland hatte nach dem Anschlag rasch gehandelt und Sturmgewehre und halbautomatische Waffen verboten.

Facebook hat als Folge der Live-Übertragung der Bluttat von Christchurch neue strenge Regeln eingeführt. Zudem haben Internet-Riesen wie Amazon, Facebook oder Google und 17 Staaten bei einem “Christchurch-Gipfel” in Paris im Mai ein internationales Bündnis gegen Terrorvideos im Netz geschmiedet. Unter anderem stellten Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Google und Amazon mehr konkrete Schritte sowie Investitionen zum Kampf gegen Terror-Inhalte im Netz in Aussicht.

Im Video: Dieb will Schwarzeneggers Fahrrad stehlen – Bodyguard stoppt ihn mit Taser


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Chris Daughtry’s wife Deanna reveals she’s bisexual through his new song, her ‘coming out’ anthem

Chris Daughtry’s wife Deanna reveals she’s bisexual through his new song, her ‘coming out’ anthem

When Chris Daughtry‘s wife, Deanna, handed him lyrics to a new song she’d written, he was eager to read them.

The platinum-selling singer, 39, revealed she was cavalier about her words which made him even more curious about the potential song. “She basically said, ‘If this inspires you, feel free to use it,’” he told People magazine.

“She kind of downplayed it and walked away, which made me want to read it even more,” he added.


Daughtry described his wife’s lyrics as “very real and very honest” and he started brainstorming the music in his head right away. Together, they created their new song, “As You Are” and it serves as a “coming out” anthem for Deanna, 46, who revealed publicly she’s bisexual.

The entertainer and a few close friends knew of his wife’s sexuality and he said when they met in 2000, he didn’t care. “I didn’t feel threatened. I wanted her to be happy with who she was and not hide that or be ashamed,” the “American Idol” star said.

But Deanna struggled to accept herself — “I was hiding and shutting down a part of myself.”


“It was causing me to shut down so many good, beautiful things about myself. As I built these walls up to protect myself, I was creating a prison, and I couldn’t fully experience life and people couldn’t fully experience me — and it’s all based on fear,” she confessed.

As for why she did it through music, Deanna explained, “I really wanted to be vulnerable and say, ‘This is who I am.’ I love me. I hope you will love me, but if you don’t, that’s OK because I still have myself, and I do have people that love me as I am, and that’s all I want.”


Meanwhile, Daughtry is humbled he can be part of his wife’s coming out story. “I’m super proud that she feels strong enough to be so open and honest about it,” he said. “We’re both after the same goal, and that’s being our true selves to each other.”


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Mothers: Air Force failed when child sex assaults reported

Mothers: Air Force failed when child sex assaults reported

To the mothers, the 13-year-old boy appeared largely unsupervised as he roamed among the clusters of townhomes on the U.S. Air Force base in Japan.

It would have been unremarkable — the neighborhood was full of kids — except that young girls were starting to report the boy had led them from play and molested them.

“We were like, ‘How is this OK?’” the mother of one 5-year-old girl told The Associated Press, which granted her anonymity to protect her daughter’s privacy. She locked her kids inside.

The first girl to report had to wait six days for officials on the largest Air Force installation in the Pacific to provide counseling. The mothers did not sense much urgency from Air Force criminal investigators either. They told the families they’d waited 13 days to meet the boy’s father.

By then, mothers had identified five girls, ages 2 to 7, who said the boy had taken them to some trees or a playground or his house. Another five kids would allege abuse soon after.

“We come here, and it takes the worst cases that you can imagine to find out that you don’t have the services to support your children,” the 5-year-old’s mother said. “There’s a feeling of complete distrust.”

This was not supposed to happen again. Last summer, Congress ordered the Defense Department to overhaul how it handles allegations of sexual assault among the tens of thousands of military kids who live or attend school on U.S. bases worldwide.

Yet the case at Kadena Air Base began unfolding in February — six months after President Donald Trump signed those landmark reforms.

For decades, justice has been elusive on American bases when the children of service members sexually assaulted each other. Help for victims and accountability for offenders was rare in the nearly 700 reports over a decade that an AP investigation documented.

The new law required reforms across the Pentagon. The school system it runs for service members’ kids had to create new student protections. The Family Advocacy Program, whose social service counselors would turn victims away , must review reports. The Office of the Secretary of Defense will track cases and create a policy for how to handle them.

The reforms are now rolling out, and the rollout has been uneven.

The Air Force has not drafted new guidelines. Instead, it is “reserving decision on adding or amending policy until publication of a Department of Defense policy,” according to spokesman Maj. Nicholas Mercurio.

Like other armed services, Air Force representatives are helping form that policy. A Pentagon spokeswoman could not say when it will be published.

Mercurio called the Japan case “an extremely difficult situation.” He said the Air Force has scrambled to deliver “helping resources to the families involved while remaining focused on protecting the rights and privacies of all parties and preserving the integrity of the ongoing investigation.”

Kadena Air Base spokeswoman Lt. Col. Christy Stravolo noted that the 13-year-old boy has returned to the U.S. with his family. That happened within several weeks of the first allegations. Attempts to reach his parents were unsuccessful.


The Army didn’t wait to follow the Pentagon’s lead. It wrote its own policy.

That March 21 directive mandates both a criminal investigation and victim assistance through Family Advocacy, which now must inform counterparts on other bases when an offender’s family transfers.

Because military law doesn’t apply to family members, justice must come under civilian law. So cases on Army bases will be referred to state or local district attorneys who, unlike federal prosecutors, have juvenile justice systems.

“There’s a recognition that states are best able to adjudicate,” said Charles Lozano, an Army attorney who helped draft the policy.

The policy does not explore the nuances of overseas bases, where host-nation civilian authorities may treat juvenile sex crime allegations very differently. Instead of handing over suspects to Japanese officials, for example, the military often flies them back.

Rep. Jackie Speier, who chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, said she was encouraged that Army’s policy was “more comprehensive” than the law required.

“We’re going to continue to track this,” Speier said. “I’m not certain that this is enough. I’m very watchful in terms of observing what happens when these incidents occur. And they will occur.”

The Navy and Marines fall between the Army and Air Force.

The Marine Corps is updating its guidelines to include “language and protocols that address problematic sexual behavior in children and youth,” according to Maj. Craig Thomas. Publication is expected by year’s end.

Naval leaders have directed base commanders to work with social services, according to spokesman Lt. Samuel Boyle. The Navy also has issued interim guidance, which it would not share.

The most detailed changes came to the Pentagon-run school system that educates more than 70,000 students on bases in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

These students have not received protections public school students get under Title IX, a federal law that’s been used to investigate sexual assault in schools and to help victims. Congress said students at Pentagon-run schools must get protections “at least comparable to” Title IX. The school system published new policies in February.

School officials are supposed to be trained by Oct. 1, and a new incident logging system is scheduled to launch in the fall, the Department of Defense Education Activity said in a written statement. For now, the school system introduced a “Sexual Harassment Awareness and Prevention” website .

Four Title IX experts who reviewed the policies for AP said that while broadly they create comparable protections, their substantial shortcomings include a complex investigation process that relies on already-stretched school principals.

“It seems unlikely that a principal would have both the training and the time to conduct these investigations in a thorough and timely manner,” said Megan Farrell, Title IX coordinator for the Palo Alto Unified School District in California.

A mid-April post on a Facebook page for teachers at Pentagon-run schools asked whether anyone was aware of the new policies.

Two said they had received training. One more mentioned a question-and-answer session at her school. Another eight had no training, with nearly all unaware of the new policy.


About 4,000 students attend seven schools on Kadena. Like schools on many U.S. bases, Kadena’s have struggled with sex assault allegations — in 2014, several high school students reported attacks.

The full scope of the latest case remains under investigation. The AP interviewed two mothers of girls who were among the first to report and a third person who helped organize families. According to one mother, investigators stopped giving updates after relating that 10 kids had alleged abuse.

That same mother was troubled by guidance she heard from base officials: Don’t ask your daughter about what happened and don’t engage deeply if she raises it.

Investigators warned that conversations could taint a potential case, though criminal prosecutions on overseas bases are rare . Counselors “said to just say, ‘How does that make you feel?’” the mother said.

Several experts said the best approach is a forensic interview by an expert followed by the therapeutic embrace of fully engaged parents. Talking can soften feelings of stigma and shame.

“Family support is critical to the healing,” said Michelle Miller, coordinator for mental health initiatives at the National Children’s Alliance, which accredits children’s advocacy centers that specialize in forensic interviews.

The chief of Air Force’s Family Advocacy Program said that while parents shouldn’t press their children, they can encourage — and even initiate — discussion.

“Attempts to avoid, shut down, or stop uncomfortable conversations could be viewed by the child as a sign that he/she has done something wrong,” Col. Patrick Pohle explained in email.

Three weeks into the Kadena case, some families still felt unsupported. An investigator had earlier suggested jolting the process with a call halfway around the world from the island of Okinawa — to Capitol Hill. In early March, the mother of the 5-year-old girl reached a sympathetic staffer at the Senate Armed Service Committee.

The next day, the commander of Kadena called and asked how he could help.

Air Force officials said they have mobilized investigators and other specialists from around the globe. The 5-year-old’s mother acknowledged those efforts and that some of the families may have had a different experience. In late March, counselors distributed a one-page summary encouraging parents to talk openly with their children.

“The difference from the beginning to now is that there is more communication,” the mother said, “but I don’t have confidence that if it happened tomorrow, the process would be successful. The policies haven’t been changed.”


Klug reported from Seoul, South Korea; Pritchard reported from Los Angeles. Reese Dunklin in Dallas contributed.


Contact Pritchard at https://twitter.com/lalanewsman .


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Court allows Joshua Boyle’s lawyers to introduce wife’s sexual history as evidence | CBC News

Court allows Joshua Boyle’s lawyers to introduce wife’s sexual history as evidence | CBC News

Joshua Boyle’s defence lawyers will be allowed to introduce as evidence the sexual history of his wife, who accuses the former terrorist captive of assaulting her.

In a ruling Tuesday, Ontario Superior Court Justice Ronald Laliberté upheld the trial judge’s ruling, clearing a major legal obstacle that has placed the high-profile trial on hiatus.

Boyle faces 19 charges, including assault with a weapon, sexual assault and forcible confinement against his wife Caitlan Coleman.

Section 276 of the Criminal Code — the ‘rape shield’ law — typically prevents the defence from using a victim’s sexual past to prove a pattern of promiscuity or to suggest consent.

Ontario court Judge Peter Doody ruled, however, that Boyle’s defence could introduce evidence that he and Coleman engaged in “prior acts of consensual anal intercourse, consensual vaginal intercourse from the rear, sexual acts involving ropes and consensual biting as acts of sexual play.”

Boyle and Coleman were held captive in Afghanistan for five years by Taliban-linked groups. After the couple and their children (born in captivity) were released in 2017 and settled in Ottawa, police arrested and charged Boyle with physical and sexual assault against his wife.

In his 21-page ruling, Laliberté determined a mid-trial application was not the appropriate way to challenge the trial judge’s ruling on the admissibility of a victim’s sexual history.

Laliberté wrote that Coleman’s lawyer had an opportunity to raise concerns about the judge’s ruling during a special hearing that was held by the trial judge earlier this year.

Laliberté also ruled the trial judge did not err in allowing Coleman’s sexual history to be introduced because Coleman brought it up herself.

Citing the trial judge’s ruling, Laliberté referred to several instances while Coleman was on the stand where she seemed unsure about the alleged assaults.

The trial is expected to resume in July.

The CBC’s David Thurton can be reached on FacebookTwitter or at david.thurton@cbc.ca.


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Southern Baptists meet; endorse steps against sex abuse

Southern Baptists meet; endorse steps against sex abuse

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (AP) — Confronting an unprecedented sex-abuse crisis, delegates at the Southern Baptist Convention’s national meeting voted Tuesday to make it easier to expel churches that mishandle abuse cases.

The Rev. J.D. Greear, president of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, said the SBC faced a “defining moment” that would shape the church for generations to come.

“This is not a distraction from the mission,” Greear said of the fight against sex abuse. “Protecting God’s children is the mission of the church.”

The SBC’s meeting comes as U.S. Catholic bishops convene in Baltimore to address a widening sex-abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. The Southern Baptist Convention says it had 14.8 million members in 2018, down about 192,000 from the previous year. The Catholic Church is the largest denomination in the U.S., with 76.3 million members as of last year — down from 81.2 million in 2005.

Sex abuse already was a high-profile issue at the SBC’s 2018 national meeting in Dallas, after which Greear formed an advisory group to draft recommendations on how to confront the problem. Greear was unanimously re-elected to a second term on Tuesday.

Pressure on the SBC has intensified in recent months due in part to articles by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News asserting that hundreds of Southern Baptist clergy and staff have been accused of sexual misconduct over the past 20 years, including dozens who returned to church duties, while leaving more than 700 victims with little in the way of justice or apologies.

The Southern Baptist Convention has opened a national meeting that will be dominated by discussion of a large-scale sex-abuse crisis. (June 11)

Stung by the allegations, SBC leaders forwarded to the delegates meeting in Birmingham a proposed amendment to the SBC constitution making clear that an individual church could be expelled for mishandling or covering up sex-abuse cases. It was endorsed by the delegates, as was a similar proposal designating racism as grounds for expulsion.

Delegates also voted to assign the SBC’s credentials committee to review claims against churches with regard to sexual abuse and racial discrimination.

Even before this week’s meeting, some action had been taken on recommendations from Greear’s study committee.

For example, a nine-member team developed a training curriculum to be used by churches and seminaries to improve responses to abuse. The team includes a psychologist, a former prosecutor, a detective, and attorney and abuse survivor Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go public with charges against sports doctor Larry Nassar ahead of the prosecution that led to a lengthy prison sentence.

The study group also is considering new requirements for background checks of church leaders, and it is assessing options for a database listing credibly accused abusers, though Baptist leaders say that process has been difficult because of legal issues.

Outside the convention hall, about two dozen demonstrators handed out flyers to Southern Baptists and held up signs with messages including: “End church abuse cover-ups” and “Be like Jesus: Take abuse seriously & love victims.”

Some participants at a rally said they are abuse survivors and have been attending denominational meetings for years. First-time attendee Jules Woodson spoke through tears as she described being abused sexually by a Southern Baptist minister.

“He remains in the pulpit. I’ve reached out to him personally and he refuses to respond. And so I’m asking the SBC to hold him accountable,” said Woodson, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Ahead of the meeting, there was a surge of debate related to the Southern Baptist Convention’s doctrine of “complementarianism” that calls for male leadership in the home and the church.

Particularly contentious is a widely observed prohibition on women preaching in Southern Baptist churches. Those recently challenging that policy include Beth Moore, a prominent author and evangelist who runs a Houston-based ministry for women.

“What I want to say to my own family of Southern Baptists: Our family is sick. We need help,” Moore said at a panel discussion Monday night. “We have this built-in disesteem for women and it’s got to change.”

A female delegate to the SBC meeting, Alex Hebert, said she was pleased with the denomination’s overall effort to address sexual misconduct.

“I think there’s a huge push toward repentance and looking into what we can do to prevent that from happening and to prevent people who have been participating in that” from being part of church leadership, said Hebert, holding her 1-year-old son in her arms.

Hebert, 26, said she is very comfortable in her own Southern Baptist congregation, Calvary Baptist Church in Kemp, Texas, where her husband is head pastor.

Nathan Morton, a pastor from South Carolina, said he knows sexual misconduct is a problem based on personal experience, but he trusts the SBC’s current leadership to address the problem.

“I had staff members that were abused by ministers when they were younger. Ministers got shuttled from one place to the other. Now there’s some positive, proactive issues and resolutions coming up that’s made us a greater and stronger denomination,” said Morton, 56.


Crary reported from New York.


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