Black Collar Crime Round-Up: February 29, 2012

Erik Bjork • Wayland Y. Brown • Daniel Curran • Earl Randolph “Randy” Fraser
Franklin “Wayne” Knight • Donald Charles McDonnell
Zachary Schuler, Samuel Scillitani and Jacob Talley

United StatesArrested again: Erik Bjork, 17, charged with burlgarizing Morton Church of Christ, Morton, Illinois, where his father is pastor. Bjork pleaded guilty in January to an earlier theft from the church, for which he was sentenced to two years’ probation; on February 17th, Bjork was arrested a second time for breaking into the church; he faces felony charges of burglary and theft. Currently being held on a $100,000 bond, he is due back in court March 22, 2012. Story: Pekin Times (1), January 27, 2012; Pekin Times (2), February 24, 2012

Wayland Y. BrownSued: Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, “and two of its bishops … in South Carolina over alleged sexual abuse of a minor by former priest” and convicted sex offender Wayland Y. Brown, 67, according to the Savannah Morning News. The suit alleges “that Brown abused a Savannah youth whom he met through youth programs at Savannah’s St. James Catholic Church and school in the mid-1970s,” and that “the church ‘knew or should have known’ Brown was assaulting the victim and the church used ‘a policy of concealment, secrecy and obfuscation of child abuse by church employees and priests.” The "Assignment Record" kept by Bishop-Accountability.org shows Brown’s movements among numerous Catholic parishes, from 1969 through his reported removal from active duty in 1988, up to his defrocking by the Vatican. Story: Savannah Morning News, February 25, 2012

Daniel CurranSentenced for fourth time: Daniel Curran, 61, former Roman Catholic priest, Newcastle, County Down, Northern Ireland, to four years in prison after pleading guilty to to five counts of sexual abuse committed against two boys — his fourth such conviction. Per the Irish Times, Judge David Smyth noted Curran “had abused ‘at least 13 victims’ over nearly 17 years, and alluded to Curran being “sent to England by the Catholic Church for treatment.” Channel 4 News adds that Curran (who “can’t be sure how many boys he abused” as he “was drunk at the time”) has “already served a seven year prison term for offences against nine children.” Story: Irish Times, March 1, 2012; Channel 4 News, March 1, 2012

Earl Randolph 'Randy' FraserBack in court: Earl Randolph “Randy” Fraser, 54, bishop/senior pastor, Pilgrim Baptist Church, New Providence, Bahamas, appealing his conviction of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old congregant who had been referred to him for counseling. Fraser’s lawyer, Jairam Manga, “has abandoned an appeal of the sentence,” reports the Nassau Guardian, instead spending “four hours” attacking the victim, “arguing that Fraser’s accuser was not a credible witness because of ‘inconsistencies’ in her testimony in Fraser’s retrial,” and stating: “She is no innocent babe. She is very cunning and full of guile.” Story: Conservative Babylon, February 9, 2012; Nassau Guardian, February 29, 2012

Terah Rawlings, Raymond 'Allen' Knight, Franklin 'Wayne' Knight, Jan OcvirkGuilty plea: Franklin “Wayne” Knight, 63, former senior pastor, Hilltop Baptist Church and superintendent, Hilltop Baptist School (which is housed inside the church), Colorado Springs, Colorado, to “being an accessory to a crime and failure to report suspected child abuse,” for which he will most likely serve community service and probation, reports The Denver Channel. “El Paso County deputies arrested Knight last November after allegations he covered up a relationship between his niece, Terah Rawlings, 32, and a former student who was 15 years old at the time.” Rawlings — a Hilltop Baptist teacher who is said to have had sex with the boy repeatedly (in her car, in her home, in her father’s home, and in a school-owned van during a field trip) for close to a year until the boy ended the affair — has yet to answer to eight felony counts of child sexual abuse by a person in a position of authority. Also facing cover-up charges: Rawlings’s father, Raymond “Allen” Knight, 57, Hilltop Baptist associate pastor and the school’s athletic director; and Hilltop Baptist School principal Jan Ocvirk, 51. Incidentally (or not), two teachers who reported the abuse to church and school administrators were fired after one finally contacted police. Story: The Denver Channel, November 17, 2011; Daily Mail, November 21, 2011; The Denver Channel, February 28, 2012

Donald Charles McDonnellDead: Donald Charles McDonnell, 88, Roman Catholic priest, on February 20, 2012. While fans emphasize his work with civil-rights hero Cesar Chavez, they gloss over his “work” with Randall Terry’s radical anti-choice, anti-gay group Operation Rescue, a.k.a. Operation Save America, and the Catholic anti-choice “Project Rachel.” Obituary: Catholic-sf.org, February 29, 2012

Zachary Schuler; Samuel Scillitani; Jacob TalleyCharged: Zachary Schuler, 26, teacher & coach, Christian Brothers’ Archbishop Rummel High School (which claims to “[educate] young men in the Lasallian heritage of faith, community, and service”), Metairie, Louisiana, with buying marijuana from students Samuel Scillitani, 18, and Jacob Talley, 17. Story: Times-Picayune, February 24, 2012

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