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Posts Tagged ‘Courts’

I know I’ve been posting alot of news stories as of late.  I’m sorry about that.  But here is another gem that you may have missed, and is a good Year of the Priest story.  It’s a tale of a false accusation, leading to a conviction for rape, four years of prison for an innocent man, and finally, the truth emerges when the accuser admits that she made the whole thing up to stop her friends from beating her.  After reading the story, it sounds to me like this woman was in some sort of woman’s gang because they were slapping her around.  Years later she does the right thing, with the help of a good confessor and the prodding of DNA evidence.  The truth will set you free, and though this woman will be spending time in prison, I can’t help thinking that she feels somewhat liberated after carrying the knowledge of her guilt.  I’m praying that this goes a long way toward the salvation of this woman.

Again, keep all of those involved in your prayers, especially the unnamed priest who is the real hero of the story.  (note to self: I really need to finish my post on Reconciliation.)

From the New York Post:

A young mother who falsely cried rape, sending an innocent man to prison for nearly four years, will experience firsthand what he suffered — she’ll spend one to three years behind bars for perjury.

“I wish her the best of luck,” said William McCaffrey last night of Biurny Peguero Gonzalez.

“Jail isn’t easy.”

McCaffrey, 33, of The Bronx, was locked up after Gonzalez accused him of raping her at knifepoint on a Bronx street back in 2005.

It was a lie she repeated to doctors, cops, prosecutors, a grand jury and the jury that convicted McCaffrey.

***

Gonzalez was taken away after making a tearful apology to McCaffrey, who was not in court.

She also begged for mercy on behalf of her two sons, ages 3 months and 7 years.

“To Mr. McCaffrey, I am aware that nothing I do or say to him can bring back the years he spent in jail,” she said. “I want him to know I will carry this guilt for the rest of my life.”

Gonzalez, 27, had recanted her story last year after new DNA evidence proved she’d been lying and a priest to whom she’d confessed urged her to come clean.

God, bless your servant in the Bronx.

full story here.

UPDATE

I found another article on this story from WPIX which names the priest, the parish and specifically mentions that the accuser had returned to her faith.  The reporter, Stephanie Barash does a good job of covering this.

A woman – who accused a man of sexually attacking her more than four years ago – has confessed to her priest, that the attack never happened, police said.

Biurny Peguero Gonzalez, 26, who recently tied the knot and has a baby on the way, said she found renewed faith in the Catholic Church and couldn’t go on living with the burden of the lie.

She admitted to her priest, Rev. Zelijko Guverovic of St. Anthony’s in Union City, that she had not been raped by William McCafferey, despite what she told her friends, law enforcement officials, and even a jury.

McCafferey, who was later convicted of the crime, is currently in prison and has already completed 4 years of a 20-year sentence.Guberovic urged Gonzalez to speak with her lawyer, Paul Callen, who then brought her to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where she reportedly recanted her testimony.

During the trial, Gonzalez told jurors she had met McCaffrey after a night of heavy drinking in September 2005. She said she had been in a car parked in front of an upper Manhattan eatery on Dyckman Street when he picked her up to go to a party. Some of her friends remained inside the restaurant when she left.

Realizing they were both too intoxicated to get behind the wheel, Gonzalez said they parked in a garage and got a ride with his friends to the party. When they realized the party was over, McCaffrey took her back to the garage. When he left, she told her friends – who were still inside the restaurant – that she had been raped.

Gonzalez said she went to Christ Hospital in Jersey City the following morning and showed nurses bite marks on her shoulder and arm, apparently from McCaffrey. The nurses, however, found no physical evidence that showed that she had been raped.

Gonzalez said she concocted the outrageous story because her friend became infuriated with her after she abandoned them without a ride from the restaurant – and said they even began physically abusing her.

According to the New York Post, the District Attorney’s office is now considering charging Gonzalez with perjury.

An attorney for McCafferey asked a judge Wednesday to vacate his conviction and to release his client.

Pray for Mr. McCaffery as he rebuilds his life, Mrs. Gonzalez who is taking the fearful road of following the Lord despite personal suffering, and the faithful servant Fr. Zelijko Guberovic.  This story highlights the importance of Reconciliation, and how God acts through his priest to enact His will. 

It’s Lent.  Go to confession.  Go tomorrow.  (for more reasons to go Confession)

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Having seen firsthand how malicious, nasty and expensive a child custody battle can be, as well as how incredibly abusively the court system is extending its authority, stories like this one in the Chicago Tribune give me pause.

Pray for this child.

Divorcing couple war over child’s religion

Dad defies court order by taking 3-year-old daughter to Catholic church

By Cynthia Dizikes and Kristen Mack, Tribune reporters

9:20 PM CST, February 16, 2010

Rebecca Reyes opened an e-mail from her estranged husband in November to learn to her shock that he had their 3-year-old daughter baptized in the Catholic Church even though she said the couple, in happier times, had agreed to raise her in the Jewish faith.

What happened over the next few months brought the couple’s private battles into the open and raises questions about how far the court system can — or should — go in dictating what faith separated parents teach their children.

After the unannounced baptism, a Cook County Circuit Court judge took the unusual step of temporarily barring Reyes’ husband, Joseph, from exposing their child to any religion other than Judaism. But Joseph Reyes then allegedly defied the order by taking his daughter to Mass at Holy Name Cathedral — with a television news crew in tow.

The wife’s lawyers blasted Joseph Reyes’ defiance and demanded he be held in criminal contempt, a charge that carries a maximum punishment of six months in jail if convicted.

A new judge brought into the case Tuesday at the father’s request said she will set a date later for a trial on the contempt allegations.

The couple married in October 2004 but split about four years later. The divorce has raged on since 2008. Rebecca Reyes complained of “extreme and repeated mental cruelty” by her husband, court records show, while he alleged that she was “emotionally abusive” and had an affair.

A psychologist who concluded that Joseph Reyes suffered from a personality disorder recommended he be monitored while visiting his daughter, but after another psychologist weighed in, the court allowed the father to care for her without supervision every other weekend and one weeknight.

Rebecca Reyes was granted full custody last month, but the divorce battle continues.

In a sworn statement in the divorce, Rebecca Reyes said her husband, raised a Catholic, had converted to Judaism after their marriage and had agreed to raise their daughter in the Jewish faith. He denies he agreed to raise her only in the Jewish faith.

Her lawyers argue that the daughter, who attends a Jewish preschool, would “suffer confusion to her emotional detriment” as a result of what they called Joseph Reyes’ “malicious” actions.

“I am upset that Joseph would take such an action so counter to (my daughter’s) Jewish religious education and upbringing without any prior discussion, consultation or notification to me,” she said in the affidavit.

Jeffery Leving, a divorce lawyer who specializes in fathers’ rights, said he would recommend that Joseph Reyes convert back to Catholicism if he wanted to expose his daughter to his faith without further incurring the judge’s wrath. He also questioned whether excluding his estranged wife from religious decisions and inviting the news media to watch him defy a judge’s order was truly “in the best interest of the child or is this a PR circus?”

“This is parental war,” Leving said. “The parents are using the child as a tool of revenge.”

Joseph Reyes, a second-year student at John Marshall Law School, said that despite the judge’s order, he decided to take his daughter to a Catholic church one Sunday after she had asked to go.

Joseph Reyes’ lawyer, Joel Brodsky, who has gained attention in recent months defending Drew Peterson in a sensational murder case, said every parent has a right to take their child to their place of worship “as long as it is not a harm to the child.”

“I cannot see how taking a child to a baptism or church could ever be a harm to a child,” he said.

While many divorce proceedings involving interfaith couples devolve into bitter feuds over religion, Emily Buss, a law professor at the University of Chicago, called the order to temporarily limit the child to Judaism “striking.”

“The idea is we change religious views — that is what religious freedom includes,” Buss said. “Even if (one) parent has more authority in the form of more custody, the other parent can (usually) … still expose the child to his or her religion even if it was not the religious practices within the family when it was intact.”

Carlton Marcyan, a senior partner with the divorce specialty firm Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck, said courts don’t normally “like to get immersed in religious issues.”

“You have a very young child here. A 3-year-old is not going to know whether she’s at a Catholic church or a synagogue,” Marcyan said.

On Tuesday, Brodsky succeeded in transferring the contempt matter to Judge Elizabeth Loredo-Rivera. Brodsky said he didn’t want Judge Edward Jordan, who had temporarily barred the couple’s daughter from attending Catholic services, ruling further on the case.

Tribune reporter Jeff Coen also contributed to this report.

cdizikes@tribune.com

kmack@tribune.com

Copyright © 2010, Chicago Tribune

// http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-interfaith-divorce-20100216,0,2673258.story?obref=obnetwork

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Last year, a young man I knew suffered an undiagnosed brain aneurysm which burst on his way to work.  He was driving down the interstate at the time and wandered across the median where he hit an oncoming car head-on.   Thanks to the testimony of a witness traveling behind him, the paramedics and emergency staff immediately diagnosed him as possibly suffering an aneurysm.  They got him into treatment right away but unfortunately on the second day in the ICU, he had a brain-stem stroke:  basically, the worst kind.  By this time, mutual friends had let me know what happened, and I was making emergency arrangements to travel to his city.

At this point, I should tell you that Andy was a phenomenal human being, just really the kind of son that every parent would want to raise.  He was considerate, respectful, fun-loving, loyal, adventurous, faithful, and joyous.  His MySpace listed his father as his hero and his concerns were always his family, both his parents and especially his younger sister.  To my knowledge, he never went through a period of rebellion, and never was ’embarrassed’ by his parents, as so many kids feel at least temporarily.   His family had raised Andy in a very evangelical church and though he had a lot of fun in college and afterward, he never strayed very far and I must say again, that he was one of the most thoughtful, kind, and generous people I’ve ever met. 

As I was getting ready to travel to see him, a team of doctors were testing Andy’s brain responses.  Though he had some functioning, and could breathe on his own, they determined that he was “brain-dead” and recommended to his devastated family that they sign-off on harvesting his organs.  Now, absolutely, Andy would have wanted to help others through donations of his working organs.  His parents clearly knew this too.  They sadly agreed, having spent several days in shock in the hospital.  However, when I heard about this decision, I was stunned.  I am by no means a medical expert but I know a little about medical issues.  I kept asking  our mutual friends if they were explaining the story correctly.  How could the doctors declare Andy ‘brain dead’ when he passed the functioning test and could breathe on his own?  This really made no sense to me.  I asked them over and over to explain the details to me.

The declaration of ‘brain dead’ was made on a Monday and on Tuesday morning, a team of specialists collected his vital organs and Andy died.  He was 27.

I never made it in time to say goodbye.      (more…)

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From Aggie Catholics comes The (il)Logic of An Abortion Doctor.

This was hard to read.  On the other hand, it is veeeeery interesting to have someone on the inside admit that most birth-control pills are a type of abortifacent.  I’ve tried explaining that to people who do not want to believe it.  Christians.  Fellow Catholics.  Friends in the pro-life movement.  Believers all.

Well, it’s a philosophical question. But to us, ethically, having an early abortion and taking birth control pills are the same procedure, because certain types of birth control prevent the development of a fertilized egg and leads to miscarriage. 

If you consider a fertilized egg a pregnancy, which religious people do, then taking certain birth control pills is just as much an abortion as anything else. It’s somewhat interesting that many people who would demonstrate against an abortion service think nothing of taking birth control pills. Ethically, you cannot differentiate between the two

Second, in a certain patient population, an early abortion is a safer, better birth-control method than even taking birth control pills. So, from a medical point of view, there is no scientific or ethical argument that you could come up with against early pregnancy termination. As long as humans have recreational sex they will need abortion. As long as some pregnancies are abnormal, we will need abortion. You can’t get around it.

(emphasis mine)

I’m glad Aggie Catholics posted this and that I read it.  You simply don’t see that level of honesty from the other side.

One other comment:  I see this as proof that–once again–the Church was right all along. 

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This article is nothing short of horrific.  I’m not sure I can comment on it, I simply find it too upsetting.

Abortion Addict Admits to Multiple Abortions, Suicide Attempts – ABC News

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Listening just now to Fr. John Riccardo’s encore (Nov. 2008?) episode of Christ is the Answer on Ave Maria Radio from Ann Arbor (WDEO).  Post-election, he’s talking about moral relativism, the intellectual fascism ongoing in America and the failure during the election for faithful Americans to stand up for the unborn.  He is exhorting us to stand up, and especially to stop being so intellectually lazy, to engage in the dialogue, and to represent God’s Truth–otherwise the rotten dictatorship of amorality will continue to progress.  He said that the part of the Bible that moral relativists always quote is ‘Judge not’.  As Father John says, these relativists always quote it out of context, and then he goes on to say, that ‘Judge not’ is  the only Scripture any moral relativist knows, cause they use it as a tool to shutup people of faith.  Amen, Father!  that is so very true.  I hear it all the time, in some forum or other.

Father John said a very wise thing in his talk, emphasizing it through repetition.  It may seem to be unnecessary to say, but upon reflection of our current political (and politically correct) situation, one can see how absolutely necessary it is to say:

Reasonable people are intolerant of bad ideas.

Let’s remind each other that we not only have the right but we have the obigation as Catholics and Christians to identify, reject and oppose bad ideas.

Here’s some more advice from David Warren for us average believers who are just living our lives, worried about what is going on but not knowing how we can make a difference:

Because I am a bit of an anomaly in the Canadian “mainstream media” — because I am, to put no finer point upon it, not only rather conservative in my political outlook, but what is called a “social conservative”; and as one of my critics once patiently explained, “not just conservative, but Christian; and not just Christian, but Catholic” — because of this I get many e-mails.

Many of them are just rude; some offer criticism that borders on the constructive; but a surprising number show agreement, amity, encouragement, even praise. And not a few ask me very difficult questions, which I regret I can seldom answer adequately, or at all. Among the most frequent are those who ask Lenin’s old question, namely, “What is to be done?” Or as one inquirer this week put it, “What can ‘normal’ people do to fight stuff like political correctness, and help win back a little order, decency, freedom and sanity in our society?” (more…)

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NH court orders home-schooled child into government-run school

This really really hits home to me.  I am too upset to comment.  I’ll let the article speak for itself.

 

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