Paolo Gabriele • Steven Geyer • Gustaro Resendiz Talabera
Charged: Joshua Almeida, 32, children’s ministry volunteer, Faith Family Church, Victoria, Texas, with possession of child pornography with intent to distribute. Story: Victoria Advocate, September 28, 2012
Arrested: James Bertrand, 50, senior pastor, Power Church International, Inc., Lake Charles, Louisiana, on suspicion of drunk driving and cocaine possession. KPLC notes: “You may remember him from the attention he received for his ‘Just For Jesus’ student rallies at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The religious event was surrounded by controversy after gun shots rang out and violence ensued outside the rally in 2007.” In 2009, the ACLU and Americans United brought attention to Bertrand’s attempt to force public schools not only to excuse students from classes but to provide taxpayer-funded school buses to transport children to this “Christian outreach crusade for students in grades 4-12.” AU director Barry Lynn issued a press statement: “A public school has no business transporting students to an evangelistic event. Ouachita school officials should stick to offering education in secular subjects and stop meddling in the religious lives of students.” Bertrand filed — and lost — a lawsuit against the school board for “discriminating against the Christian kids.” As KNOE put it in 2010: “He has a vision to push religion into schools, and he’ll take people to court who try to stop him.” Story: Ouachita Citizen, January 14, 2009; Americans United, March, 2009; Monroe Underground, April 14, 2010; KNOE, April 21, 2010; KPLC, September 25, 2012
Wanted: Hugh Cranford, 32, former vicar and youth minister, Faith Lutheran Church, Topeka, Kansas, charged with two felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. His vicarage (a one-year ministerial internship prior to full ordination as a minister) was suspended by Concordia Seminary of St. Louis in June, 2011, “after allegations of misconduct,” according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. Yet Cranford was installed as vicar at Faith Lutheran on July 24, 2011, which raises the question of whether or not Faith Lutheran performed a background check. As of October 1st, Cranford has not yet surrendered himself to police; a clue on one of his two now-deleted Facebook pages indicates he may be living in his hometown of Kingswood, Texas. Story: WIBW, September 30, 2012; Topeka Capital-Journal, October 1, 2012
Accused: William Farrington, Jesuit brother, of sexually molesting a student at Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, California, during the late 1960s. The San Jose Mercury News reports: “After leaving Bellarmine, Brother William Farrington went to Jesuit High in Carmichael, near Sacramento, where he was accused on two occasions of misconduct in the 1980s, according to the Society of Jesus main office in California.” The paper adds: “Today, Farrington resides at the Los Gatos center with members of other Catholic orders who allegedly committed sex crimes. Also living there is Rev. Jerold Lindner, accused of sexually assaulting Will Lynch when he was 7 years old. Decades later, Lynch attacked Lindner in May 2010 but was acquitted in July after a sensational trial in Santa Clara County Superior Court. In 2002, the idyllic retreat was publicly exposed when two developmentally disabled men who lived there for more than three decades had been sexually abused by two priests they considered their friends. The Jesuits paid the men $7.5 million to settle their lawsuit.” On September 25th, a letter from the president of Loyala Marymount University, where Farrington was once on staff, was sent to 20,000 LMU alumni “who graduated in the years 1987-2006” regarding “efforts … being undertaken to assure you of our unwavering commitment to a safe and healthy environment for all, as well as to gather additional information.” Story: San Jose Mercury News, September 12, 2012
Vatican trial begins: Paolo Gabriele, 46, personal butler to Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican City, accused of possessing and leaking secret papers exposing corruption in the Vatican; and fellow lay employee and computer technician Claudio Sciarpelletti, 48, accused of aiding and abetting Gabriele. Story: Conservative Babylon, May 27, 2012; Conservative Babylon, July 22, 2012; Conservative Babylon, August 19, 2012; Huffington Post, September 29, 2012
Sentenced: Steven J. Geyer, 57, former vice principal, Lancaster Mennonite School (a pre-K-12 school “Centered in Christ, Transforming Lives, Changing our World”), Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to three to nine years in prison, 16 years’ probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender after pleading guilty to 11 counts of sexually molesting three boys between the ages of 12 and 16. The boys were foreign exchange students living in a camper behind Geyer’s home; Geyer reportedly threatened to have them sent back to Korea if they didn’t comply. Lancaster Online quotes Assistant District Attorney Karen Mansfield: “He knew their culture. He knew it would be shaming if (the abuse) became known.” Story: Lancaster Online, September 26, 2012
Charged: Gustaro Resendiz Talabera, 39, pastor of an unnamed church, West St. Paul, Minnesota, with criminal sexual conduct in the third degree and two counts of deprivation of custodial/parental rights in connection with an affair he is alleged to have had with a 16-year-old parishioner,” according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office. “On September 26, 2012, West St. Paul Police Department responded to a call concerning a juvenile female runaway. The child, who is 16 years of age, did not attend school that day and was not found at home where she had told her mother she would be because she was sick. In fact, the parents found some of her personal items and clothing missing from the residence.
“Before they called the police, the parents had been contacted by a woman from their church who told them that she was the wife of Gustaro Resendiz Talabera. Talabera’s wife told the child’s parents that she believed her husband and their daughter had run away together. Police later spoke to Talabera’s son who had spoken to his father on the phone that same day and learned that Talabera had told his son that he was having an affair with a young woman who might be pregnant and that they were attempting to flee to Mexico together.
“West St. Paul police officers were able to track the cell phones of Talabera and the girl to the Chicago, Illinois area, where Talabera had relatives. Following issuance of a nationwide warrant for Talabera’s arrest, Talabera was located and placed in custody early this afternoon [September 27th] in Joliet, Illinois. Police also took the 16-year-old girl into protective custody. The girl will be returned to Minnesota as soon as possible and the extradition process has begun to secure the return of Talabera to our state to face these charges.” Story: Dakota County Attorney’s Office, September 27, 2012; Warrant, Minnesota v. Gustaro Resendiz Talabera, September 27, 2012
Related posts (automatically generated):
- Black Collar Crime Round-Up: May 30, 2012
- Black Collar Sex Crime Round-Up: October 20, 2009
- Black Collar Sex Crime Round-Up: October 21, 2009
- Black Collar Sex Crime Round-Up: October 2, 2009
- Black Collar Crime Round-Up: October 26, 2009