Michael John Hewitt was described as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
A man who took advantage of his position of trust in a Surrey branch of Jehovah's Witnesses and sexually abused three young girls has been sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment on Monday, 12 March at Croydon Crown Court.
Michael John Hewitt, 71 and now of Fremington in Devon, was found guilty of eight counts of indecency with children who were all aged under 16 years at the time.
He will be on the sex offenders register for life and have a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and Restraining Order served.
The court heard that in the 1980s Hewitt, who previously lived in Wallington, was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Congregation and abused his victims over several decades.
Two of Hewitt’s victims were as young as five when the abuse started. He sexually abused all three of them in his and their home addresses, undetected by family members.
He later sold his home in Surrey and moved to Devon.
On January 11, 2016, two of the victims reported what had happened to a family member, who then contacted police. Hewitt was later arrested in January 2016 and bailed pending further enquiries.
Following extensive research by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, the third victim was identified and came forward when told Hewitt was under investigation for two similar offences.
In May 2017, Hewitt was charged with eleven counts of indecency with three girls under 16 years old. He was later acquitted of three offences.
Whilst sentencing Judge Flahive described Hewitt as a significant risk to young children and a dangerous offender.
Detective Constable Janet Williams, the investigating officer from the Met's Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command said: "The victims were abused by Hewitt at a very early age. Only when they were older were they able to understand what Hewitt subjected them to. Hewitt abused his position of trust to exploit the young girls for his own satisfaction.
"I would like to pay tribute to the victims who had the courage to report these distressing crimes to police. I hope today's conviction gives the victims a measure of comfort and closure."
Read more at http://talkradio.co.uk/news/michael-john-hewitt-paedophile-jehovahs-witness-jailed-15-years-18031324822#oKZhFYx0KmfTr538.99
Independent investigators in the United Kingdom are weighing whether to launch a new investigation into the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. after receiving a “considerable number” of abuse allegations.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, or IICSA, a government-sanctioned investigative panel in England and Wales, told The Guardian that it had gotten a “considerable number” of reports from both the public and elected officials about the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.K. A spokesperson told the newspaper the panel would “consider calls for a Jehovah’s Witnesses–specific investigation carefully.”
It was unclear how many reports the watchdog group had received. When contacted by Newsweek, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ public information office did not immediately comment.
Kathleen Hallisey, a lawyer who brought charges against the Jehovah’s Witnesses for sexual abuse in 2015, said she suspected there are thousands of such cases in the U.K., The Guardian reported.
“The Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse to recognize the issue of child abuse in their organization or to create robust safeguarding procedures to protect children,” she said. “An investigation by IICSA into the Jehovah’s Witnesses is an opportunity for the inquiry to effect real change in an organization that refuses to shine a light on child abuse and protect children.”
News of the possible investigation comes weeks after the nonprofit religious transparency organization Faithleaks leaked 33 letters and internal documents revealing a pattern of sexual abuse by one Jehovah’s Witness member, and the lengths the church went to cover up the scandal.
Those documents detail communications among church leaders and several legal entities—collectively known as Watchtower—between 1999 and 2012. In one letterto Watchtower dated November 14, 1999, the Palmer Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses from Brimfield, Massachusetts, said it had reviewed claims by two women who alleged their father sexually abused them as children. The group found those claims to be true.
“Our impression upon speaking with both girls was similar. That they are both quite rational. It certainly appears that these were real events,” the letter said.
In that case, church leaders pressured one of the accusers not to report the abuse to police. Years later, the church held an in-house trial and briefly excommunicated the father.
That victim was not the only person pressured to remain silent.
In the U.K., several alleged victims had come forward with similar claims in November 2017, according to The Telegraph.
“Frankly, I would equate this to a scandal and a cover-up akin to the Catholic Church,” Hallisey told The Telegraph at the time.
By JOHN BUTLER
I cannot understand why there is only partial information concerning the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society Child Abuse accusations from around the Earth. I have just put a status on my FB page saying that : The one thing I have learnt in life is, that I don't know the truth about anything". The reason for this is that there is always some doubt about things read 'online'. Are they true ? Does one want them to be true? Are my opinions correct? So with that in mind I will continue with the information I 'have read online'.
We all know that Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse accusations are, or appear to be 'in fashion' right now. In politics, in entertainment, and in religion. But Jehovah's Witnesses claim to be 'no part of the world', that is the 'world' that belongs to Satan the Devil. So it would come as a surprise then that from top to bottom the JW's are being accused of Child Abuse Earthwide.
What I've noted so far : The Australian Royal Commission did a three year investigation into the JW org, most of which is available online to read. They found that since 1950 there were 1006 accusations of Child Abuse within the Australian branch of Jehovah's Witnesses, none of which were reported to the police or secular authorities........... In Canada there have been large court cases in Quebec and Ontario againse JW org..... A $66 million lawsuit against the religion's leadership is taking place..... In the Netherlands 'Reclaimed Voices' foundation have set up emergency phone lines and have put out advertisements concerning victims of abuse within the JW org there. The 'hotline' had received 80 replies as of December 28th 2017..... In the UK (where I am) the Charity Commision set up an inquiry into the UK branch of Jehovah's Witnesses regarding child abuse / sexual abuse. I think this started with the Manchester New Molton congregation in 2014. The Charity Commision also set up an inquiry into the Watchtower Soc (WTBTS) here in the UK. In Feb 2016. The Org went to court to try to block the investigations but failed. A former elder from South Wales said there was instructions to elders to destroy all documents regarding child abuse. There seemed to be a cost to the Org of over £1 million which I presume is court fines and payouts.
Then of course we have the USA. In 2014 a $10.5 million lawsuit against JW Org by Valicia Alston and others. In 2015 the Candace Conti case against Jonathan Kendrick. And in April 2016 the Watchtower Soc' remained defiant in refusing to hand over documents about the Child Abuse in the USA branch of the JW Org. Now it seems (and remember I'm only going on what I've read) that the JW Org in USA sent out a letter in 1997, to all elders of congregations in the USA. The letter was a direct instruction to the elders to send in ALL documents and information concerning accusations of Child Abuse / Sexual abuse both current and passed. This was to be an ongoing instruction and all information was to be sent in special blue envelopes to Brooklyn. Now there are approx' 14,000 congregations in the USA, and the time period from 1997 to 2017 is of course 20 years. So it would seem that the Governing Body have 20 years worth of accusations concerning Child Abuse and Sexual abuse with in it's USA congregations. However, despite court action and direct instruction to the JW Org / Watchtower Soc', the W/T and JW Org still refuse to hand over the documents to the High court. In November 2017 a High court of California fined the JW Org / WT Soc' $4,000 per day for not handing over the documents, and it seems the cost so far to the Org / WT is more than $2 million. I cannot find out if any of this money has been paid or is still owing.
One other point that I found interesting (providing it's true of course) is that the Governing Body has deliberately separated the JW Org, known as the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, from the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Each of these now has its own Legal Department. The purpose of this is to slow down all court proceedings because the Legal Dept from one has to write to the Legal Dept of the other for information, then the legal Dept of the other refuses such information etc. This is what caused the Supreme Court of California to impose the heavy fines on the Org. Basically the court got fed up with the 'clowning around of the JW Org.
So to sum up: It seems that many countries, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, UK and USA, have found and proved many cases of child abuse / sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses and Watchtower Society. But what makes this worse is that the Governing Body of the Org' is deliberately withholding the information about pedophiles within its ranks. Add to this that elders of congregations Earthwide are instructed not to inform their congregations about pedophiles within their congregation. And, congregation members are told not to report child abuse / sexual abuse within the congregations, to the Police or outside secular organisations. On top of this victims are not believed, because the Governing Body has made a rule that says there must be two witnesses to any accusation of abuse, which of course will not happen in the case of Child abuse or Sexual abuse.
About me : I was one of Jehovah's Witnesses until about a month ago. After doing approx three months research online my conscience would no longer allow me to remain within the Organisation. How could I encourage other people to join an Organisation that allows Child Abuse /Sexual Abuse to continue unreported and unpunished within its ranks. There could be a pedophile within the congregation that I was part of, I would never know, because the Elders would keep it secret.... However, I do believe in God, whether His name is Jehovah, Yahweh or something else, and I am keeping my mind open as to how I will find the 'truth' of God's requirements.
What i am hoping for is that some BIG media source will bring all the information together concerning all the Child Abuse / Sexual Abuse accusations against the Jehovah's Witnesses Org' and the Watchtower Soc' Earthwide, so that all info' is readily available to everyone. At the moment it all seems so 'bitty' and not organised. Yes there is info' online, but are the sources trustworthy. What is needed is a neutral unemotional factual report, please.
By Michael Krewson
From Guatemala to Guatepeor?
By Srecko Sostar
"Some 80 reports of sexual abuse involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses community have been made over the past month, Trouw said on Thursday.
Justice minister Sander Dekker has already said that the (JW)church should look to the example of the Catholic church to dealing with complaints about sexual abuse."
"We are going to study the measures of the Catholic Church."
- Michel van Hilten, spokesman Jehovah's Witnesses
DutchNews.nl: Dozens come forward to report abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/12/dozens-come-forward-to-report-abuse-by-jehovahs-witnesses/