- The Washington Times - Friday, January 21, 2005

Boy safe after being taken by molester

ATLANTA — An 11-year-old boy was found safe yesterday in Georgia, three days after he disappeared with a convicted child molester who had been living with him and his father in Florida.

“He is safe and he is OK,” FBI spokesman Steven Lazarus said of Adam Kirkirt. Police were searching for the man who had been with the boy.

Frederick Fretz, 42, picked up Adam on Tuesday from his school in Dunnellon, Fla., police said. Their drive ended about 375 miles away when their car stalled on an exit ramp north of Atlanta.

Police found the child near a gas station less than 12 hours after the car was found and about two miles from the vehicle.

The boy’s father, Ivert Kirkirt, said he was going to Georgia to reunite with his son.

Mr. Kirkirt says Mr. Fretz never told him he had been convicted of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in Pennsylvania in 1991. Authorities issued an Amber Alert on Wednesday once they learned about the conviction.

Church to bury ashes of aborted fetuses

BOULDER, Colo. — A Roman Catholic church plans to bury the ashes of up to 1,000 aborted fetuses tomorrow to mark the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Boulder Abortion Clinic director Dr. Warren Hern, who had no idea the mortuary working with his clinic had been sending ashes to Sacred Heart of Mary Church, said the decision was “a cynical exploitation of private grief for political purposes.”

Parish volunteer Susan LaVelle said the ceremony would involve the remains of between 600 and 1,000 aborted fetuses from November 2003 through November 2004. She said the parish has held unannounced burials twice a year since 2001, but the parish priest agreed to make the burial public this year.

Swords stolen from Gettysburg park

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A bronze sword was stolen this week from a monument at Gettysburg National Military Park, the second such theft in a little more than four months.

The sword was pried or broken off a stone monument to the 8th Pennsylvania Cavalry dedicated in 1890, probably vanishing between Monday and Wednesday, the National Park Service said. The first sword was reported missing Sept. 15 from a bronze sculpture of Brig. Gen. Alexander Hays, dedicated in 1915.

Replacing the swords and repairing damage could cost as much as $4,200, Katie Lawhon, a park service spokeswoman, said yesterday.

The thefts are punishable by a sentence of up to 10 years and a $100,000 fine.

Trial in nightclub fire not likely until 2006

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — It probably will be next year before trial begins for the owners of a nightclub where 100 persons died in a fire and a manager of the band whose pyrotechnics show sparked the blaze, a judge said yesterday.

The Station nightclub owners Jeffrey and Michael Derderian and former Great White tour manager Daniel Biechele each face 200 counts of involuntary manslaughter, two for every victim of the Feb. 20, 2003, fire.

Proceedings in the criminal case could start by next January “if we’re lucky,” Superior Court Judge Francis Darigan said. He originally had said the case would begin by fall.

Tsunami game pulled from FEMA site

An online game to educate children about tsunamis was pulled yesterday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Web site amid worries it trivialized last month’s devastation in Southeast Asia and beyond.

The game, which debuted on FEMA’s children’s Web site in 1998, asked players to guide a car, a starfish, a surfboard and other beach objects back to their proper places after they were scattered by a tsunami. Winners were linked to a cartoon dancing frog.

FEMA spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said the game was scrubbed from the site immediately after the Dec. 26 tsunami. But the agency later restored it after hearing complaints from teachers and educators who missed it, she said. It was being removed for good yesterday because of “the current environment,” she said.

Jackson judge to let abuse expert testify

SANTA MARIA, Calif. — The judge in the Michael Jackson case yesterday gave prosecutors permission to introduce expert testimony on misperceptions and myths about child molestation during the pop star’s trial.

Prosecutors said at a hearing that they want an expert to testify about why victims sometimes wait to report molestation, give incomplete accounts, avoid telling close relatives and retain affection for their abusers.

Mr. Jackson’s attorneys argued against allowing such testimony, telling Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville that it could be used to buttress unreliable testimony from the purported victim and his family.

Mr. Jackson, 46, is set to go on trial Jan. 31 on charges of molesting the boy and plying him with alcohol.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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