Senator who doubts female senator was sexually harassed linked to Church sex abuse coverup

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) says Obamacare will lead to 'rationing'

Senator Ron Johnson (WI-R) challenged Senator Kristen Gillibrand’s claims of inappropriate comments and touching from her male colleagues. If I were Senator Ron Johnson, I wouldn’t go around challenging the veracity of sexual harassment allegations. Because in addition to testifying against a bill that would have made it easier for victims of child sexual assault to sue, Johnson served on the council of a Church that covered up the abuse of children.  Whoops!

Let’s talk about the Gillibrand incident first. In her new book “Off The Sidelines,” Gillibrand reveals that one male colleague who ran into her in the gym  ”Good thing you’re working out, because you wouldn’t want to get porky!” On other hand, another colleague said, ”You know, Kirsten, you’re even pretty when you’re fat.” And another male senator grabbed her waist and advised, “Don’t lose too much weight now. I like my girls chubby.” #MixedMessages

On Tuesday, Ron Johnson went on NewsmaxTV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show,” and said of the Gillibrand claim, “First of all, it was not me.” OK… The Senator doth protest too much, methinks,  but anyway. He went on to say, ”Quite frankly, I’ve never seen that kind of behavior in the United States Senate. “ How odd that he wouldn’t be privy to every one-on-one conversations out of his earshot and vision? And surely, he would have been at the receiving end of comments about weight and boy and appearances if they were being made. But not only did Johnson doubt Gillibrand, he criticized her not naming names and not sensationalizing and personalizing an important discussion about a systemic problem: “If you’re going to throw out accusations, my guess is you probably ought to name names… If you’re going to throw out those kinds of accusations, you ought to give people a chance to defend themselves.”

OK. Now, let’s go back to 2010 and review footage of  Ron Johnson  opposing The Wisconsin Child Victims Act. The 2010 bi-partisan bill would have done what several other states have already done: eliminated the civil statute of limitations in sex assault and rape cases involving children. In Wisconsin, people are barred from suing over child sexual abuse or rape after the age of 35, a totally arbitrary cut-off that makes it harder for victims to see justice and hold abusers accountable.  Controversial? Sadly, to Johnson it was.

Why? Johnson said that he wasn’t sure that the “actual victims” would benefit from the bill but rather only “trial lawyers would benefit.” A combination of logic and  the fact that all of the state’s major organizations against sexual abuse supported the bill could have resolved  Johnson’s doubts about the whole “is justice good?” brain teaser. But Johnson was overwhelmed by concern for the “other victims,” warning, “it is extremely important to consider the economic havoc and the other victims [the law would] likely create.” Who were these other victims? The employers of child abusers. Who will speak for the institutions and corporations that condone abuse? Rob Johnson, that’s who! Giving voice to the voiceless.

It seems puzzling that Johnson, who was running for Senate at the time, would officially come out against legislation empowering survivors of child abuse. But his position has a twisted logic. At the time that he was testifying, Johnson was serving on the Finance Council of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, a church that allegedly covered up scores of cases of child sexual abuse and rape.

A report from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice found the Green Bay Diocese had received credible and actionable reports on at least 50 clerics. And while Johnson sat there testifying, the diocese was being sued for covering up the crimes of John Patrick Feeney, a former Green Bay priest sentenced, in 2004, to 15 years in prison for molesting two young brothers, and defrocked in 2005.  But it was back in 1978 when the boys’ mother had told Diocese Bishop Aloysius Wycislo  that Feeney had molested her two sons. The diocese convinced the mother not to press charges by promising to remove Feeney from any possible interactions with children. Instead, over 30 years, Feeney was moved around to 18 parishes, where he continued to abuse children. Wycislo wrote Feeney at the time that he was “capable of forgetting about all this and writing a good letter of recommendation for you.”  In 2013, the Diocese wound up paying $700,000 to the two brothers whose mother had come forward in 1978. Johnson knows a victim when he sees it.

Originally posted on RawStory

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s