Latest from The Spokesman-Review
They called him Victim 1. But many in his community knew exactly who Aaron Fisher was and what he was saying long before he let the world know that he was the first of Jerry Sandusky’s victims to come forward. As Fisher waited years for an arrest, he felt acutely that it was him, and not the popular Penn State assistant coach, who had earned the community’s deepest disapproval. “Because of who he was and what he created and what he did in his lifetime, pretty much Sandusky was a god on earth for people,” said Fisher. To this day, despite Sandusky’s convictions on 45 counts of child molestation and despite the appalling inaction and cover-up at Penn State, there are some who look for the villain and see Fisher/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)
Four former Idaho Boy Scouts, including a Spokane man, filed a federal lawsuit in Boise today charging that they were sexually abused by scout leaders during camping trips and other scouting events in the 1970s and 1980s. The lawsuit, which asks for at least $75,000 in damages for each of the four men, charges that the Boy Scouts of America and the LDS Church, which sponsored three of the four scouts’ troops, failed to prevent the abuse and allowed pedophiles to continue in scouting roles. Secret files kept by the Boy Scouts, but made public as part of an earlier lawsuit in Oregon, documented cases of abuse, and directed, in some cases, that the offenders be excluded from scouting/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.
A child molestation suspect who has been missing since escaping a manhunt in North Idaho in December was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles.
Nathaniel Robert Howell, 32, was booked into jail in Los Angeles County about 3:52 p.m. Thursday, according to online records.
Howell had been wanted on a felony warrant in Kootenai County charging him with four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and five counts of sexual exploitation.
Coeur d'Alene police notified the public about his fugitive status after he ran from police through the woods in the 1500 block of South Sagle Road last December.
Howell had seen police while visiting relatives nearby. He's now awaiting extradition to North Idaho from California.
Post Falls man will spend at least five years in prison for sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl. Terence William Turner, 39, (pictured) was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison with eligibility for parole after five years for lewd conduct with a minor. He will receive credit for time served in the Kootenai County Jail, where he has been since his arrest in March. Turner's previous criminal history includes only misdemeanor traffic offenses. Judge Lansing Haynes cited Turner's “use of violence” during the abuse when he sentenced Turner, according to the Kootenai County Prosecutor's Office/Meghann Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.
A Spokane Valley man caught with child pornography last fall has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Cory R. Greer pleaded not guilty Monday to transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography, and a forfeiture calling for him to give up a laptop computer seizure from his home last fall.
Spokane County sheriff's investigators searched Greer's apartment at 19221 E. Buckeye Ave. on Oct. 12.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children notified them of child pornography was being sent through email coming from a local Internet Protocol address; Deputy Damon Simmons traced the address to Greer, who was 28 at the time of the search.
Greer "was cooperative and not considered a threat to the community" and was not arrested.
He was allowed to remain out of custody after his arraignment but is on home detention.
A Spokane man is wanted in Kootenai County on a charge of lewd conduct with a minor under 16.
Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of Louis Arturo Hernandez-Vera, 32.
His criminal case in Idaho is sealed pending his arrest.
Hernandez-Vera, 5-foot-4 and 220 pounds, last gave an address in the 500 block of South Freya in Spokane. He has no criminal record in Spokane County.
Anyone with tips on Hernandez-Vera’s location is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.
SEATTLE (AP) — A 33-year-old Centralia woman is accused of photographing herself having sex with a 16-year-old New Jersey boy she met through an online game.
The seattlepi.com reports child pornography charges were filed in federal court in Tacoma recently against Jessica Pearce. She’s accused of beginning a relationship with the boy in 2008 after they met playing “World of Warcraft.”
Prosecutors say she flew to meet the boy in New Jersey three times, once bringing her 6-year-old child with her. They flew back to Washington together on her final visit. Pearce was arrested Tuesday and is due in court Friday.
After making national news last summer, a babysitter sex scandal in North Idaho was plea-bargained out Thursday after the alleged victim gave the accused a perfect alibi: He said the sex acts occurred on dates when the babysitter was living out of state.
Summer Kelli Ashle Hughes, 29, also known as Summer Nelson, will be on supervised probation for two years after entering an Alford plea to four lesser counts of misdemeanor injury to a child.
Kootenai County prosecutors were prepared to take her to trial on felony lewd-conduct charges before her teenaged accuser, who was 14 at the time of the crimes, testified at a preliminary hearing in May.
Read the rest of my story here.
Now the whole, awful pattern seems to be playing out again in Ireland and Germany and beyond. The Pope’s handling of the mess, and his handlers handling of the mess, prompted a well-known parish priest in Idaho, who is also a canon lawyer, to go public with a call for Pope Benedict to resign. Father Tom Faucher in Boise suggested in an Op-Ed in the Idaho Statesman that some of the problem is generational. Benedict is 82. But, there is nothing generational about failing to aggressively, sensitively and completely address this cancer on the Church. We’re talking about the safety and well being of children, after all. Even a bunch of old men must know the importance of doing that/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Post. More here. And: A stronger, younger pope is needed in time of crisis/Rev. W. Thomas Faucher, Statesman
Sisyphus: There’s an op-ed in today’s Statesman by Bishop Driscoll condemning Father Faucher’s request for Pope Benedict XVI to resign and defending the pope.
A former Post Falls church youth leader was arrested last week on suspicion he had sexual and inappropriate contact with multiple minor girls from the congregation.
Jordan Vernon, 20, (right) is accused of allegedly having sex with at least two girls ages 14 and 17, and having inappropriate contact with at least two others ages 12 and 14 while serving as a youth leader in training at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls from 2007 to 2009, said Post Falls Police Detective Sgt. Dave Beck.
Vernon was arrested Dec. 28 for sexual battery of a minor child under the age of 16, lewd conduct with a minor child under the age of 16, and statutory rape for having sexual intercourse with child under 18, among other charges, police said.
Luke Denman, 28, (left) a relative of Vernon, was also arrested for intimidating a witness.
Denman allegedly went to the church after learning authorities planned to arrest Vernon, and threatened a church member, Beck said.