Articles Posted in Childhood Sexual Abuse

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A Chicago man was charged yesterday with kidnapping a Hyde Park kindergartner following an incident at 5335 S. Kenwood Ave on the city’s South Side. According to reports, 67 year-old William Bledsoe of the 7600 block of South Honore St. allegedly detained a young boy for several hours last Tuesday. The boy was allegedly detained between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. during the school day according to a Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman. The boy is reportedly a student at Murray Language Academy. He was taken to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital following the incident.

Police are now investigating whether Bledsoe, an employee of the Jewels Bus Company in the Roseland neighborhood, sexually assaulted the young boy while he was being held against his will. Bledsoe has yet to be charged with sexual assault. The bus was towed and taken as evidence in an ongoing investigation by the Chicago Police Special Investigations Unit. For more information on the incident follow this link.

If the young boy was sexually abused, he may have civil claims against both the bus driver and also the institutions responsible for his employment. The Klest Law Firm has over twenty nine years of experience advocating on behalf of childhood sexual abuse victims in the State of Illinois. If you have any questions regarding sexual abuse victims’ rights or would otherwise like to speak to an attorney, please click here.

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A 26 year old Libertyville, IL, therapist from Kids Hope United in Lake Villa, IL, has been charged with criminal sexual assault following allegations of inappropriate contact with a 14 year old patient. Cori Rivelli, of the 1800 block of Milwaukee Ave., is being detained in a Lake County Jail facing a $200,000 bond. Reports indicate that Rivelli allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a patient at Kids Hope on more than one occasion over the summer. These encounters allegedly occurred at Rivelli’s Libertyville apartment while she was transporting the boy from the Kids Hope residential facility to see his parents in Peoria, IL.

The allegations reportedly surfaced after a staff worker overheard the boy mentioning details of the sexual relationship to another resident. There are also reports that Rivelli had revealed details about the inappropriate behavior to a co-worker. Rivelli has been placed on administrative leave from the facility.

The sexual abuse victim may have claims against both his abuser and the facility where he was staying. Chicago attorney Joesph G. Klest has over twenty nine years of experience handling sexual abuse claims. As a victim’s rights advocate, attorney Joseph G. Klest understands the often sensitive and emotional nature of sexual abuse cases. Additionally, attorney Klest helped co-author the current statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases and has argued the issue in front of the Illinois Supreme Court. If you have any questions, or would like to contact attorney Klest, please click here.

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A far north side elementary school principal has been charged with criminal sexual abuse as a result of his inappropriate contact with an 11 year-old student. According to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Daniel R. Pirozzi, of the 39000 block of North Green Bay Rd. Apt. #2, in Beach Park, IL, has been charged with one count of criminal sexual abuse – a Class 2 felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. He is the principal at Biblical Baptist Church Academy in Beach Park, IL. The sexual abuse allegations came to light last weekend when members of the girl’s family contacted the Sheriff’s Office. The elementary school girl told investigators that Pirozzi would conduct secret meetings with her in his office and in the church. During these meetings, Pirozzi would allegedly hug and kiss the victim and, on at least one occasion, fondle her breasts.

Pirozzo has been the principal of the academy for the last three years where he oversees children ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade. He has reportedly admitted in a statement to the police that his involvement with the victim had gone too far. Pirozzo remains in Lake County jail facing an Appril13th court date. Police are urging parents of children at the academy to speak with their children regarding any contact with Pirozzo. Parents are asked to call the Criminal Investigations Division at (847) 377-4250 if they believe their child may have been a victim.
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An Elgin, IL, pastor has been found guilty on two counts of battery for beating a teenage girl with a piece of crown molding during weekly ‘counseling’ sessions. Rev. Daryl Bujak, formerly of the First Missionary Baptist Church in Elgin, was sentenced to twelve months of supervision, ordered to perform 80 hours of community service, and handed a $350 fine for his conduct. According to reports, Bujak was approached by the parents of the girl in March 2005 when the girl began making allegations of sexual abuse against her stepfather. Neither Bujak nor the girl’s mother believed those allegations to be true. Thereafter the pastor began a series of weekly meetings with the girl in which he would spank her 15 to 25 times depending on how she had behaved the previous week (as reported to the pastor by the girl’s mother). Bujak was found not guilty of violating a state law that requires clergy members to report allegations of sexual abuse. According to reports, Bujak told the girl that he was a former police officer who had dealt with sexual abuse cases before and that he did not have to report the alleged abuse because ‘nothing had really gone on.’ Bujak claims that the parents of the girl had given him permission to incorporate corporal punishment as part of the counseling.

The counseling sessions ceased around October of 2005 when stepfather Matthew Resh of Ingleside, IL , was charged with sexually abusing the girl. Resh is awaiting trial in McHenry County where he faces five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. According to church treasurer Robert Steele, Bujak resigned in August of 2008 for reasons reportedly unrelated to the battery.
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Former priest and Loyola University Chicago professor John Powell has been accused of sexual abuse in connection with a religious retreat held in the late sixties. The November lawsuit represents the third sexual abuse allegation levied against Powell since 2003. The suit also names the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) as a defendant claiming that the organization was aware of several sexual abuse allegations against Powell and did nothing. In addition to his work as a professor and priest, Powell is also a best-selling religious author having penned publications such as “Fully Human” and “Fully Alive”.

The recent civil lawsuit, filed by a Jane Doe plaintiff, alleges abuse by Powell during a 1967 religious retreat held in West Palm Beach Florida. The plaintiff claims that Powell held ‘private counseling sessions’ over the course of the retreat during which he forced the plaintiff to kiss him and forced the plaintiff to undress. The lawsuit alleged negligence and fraud against the Jesuits claiming that the abuse suffered by the Jane Doe victim could have been prevented had the Jesuits acted on prior allegations against Powell.

The allegations follow a 2006 lawsuit alleging that Powell sexually abused four other girls during similar counseling sessions. The 2006 lawsuit, which is still pending, claims that both Loyola administrators and Jesuit leaders actively ignored reports regarding Powell’s inappropriate conduct. Reacting to the recent lawsuits, Barbara Blaine of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) cited the Jesuits as the worst in the country in terms of concealing abuse. Powell has never been criminally charged in relation to the civil sexual abuse allegations and is currently in poor health requiring 24-hour care.
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