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Report Details Sexual Abuse At Southern Baptist Churches, 13 Cases Of Mumps At Local ICE Facilities, Harris County DA Insists On More Prosecutors, And More

These are some of the stories Houston Public Media is covering.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Top afternoon stories:

Baptist Press
Southern Baptist Convention.

Report Details Widespread Sexual Abuse At Southern Baptist Churches

A new investigation from the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News reveals widespread sexual abuse in Southern Baptist churches in Texas and around the country, involving pastors, youth ministers, volunteers and Sunday school teachers.

Much of the abuse occurred after survivors begged church leaders with the Southern Baptist Convention to take action in 2007. In particular, they wanted a public registry of predators who worked in churches. Baptist leaders refused, saying local churches had autonomy.

The Chronicle and the Express-News built a public database of over 200 predators. Two of them worked at Second Baptist Church in Houston.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
3D graphical representation of a mumps virus particle.

13 Migrant Detainees Test Positive For Mumps At 2 Facilities In Houston Area

As of Monday morning, a total of 13 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in the Houston area tested positive for mumps, according to a statement ICE Houston provided to News 88.7.

Eight of the cases are at the Contract Detention Facility in North Houston, while the remaining five are at the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe. Around 4,000 detainees are held in local ICE facilities.

"Medical professionals have taken the necessary steps to quickly isolate the exposed detainees, provide proper medical care and prevent further spread of the disease," ICE wrote in the statement.

Seven cases of mumps among Houston ICE detainees were first reported on Saturday.

Abner Fletcher/Houston Public Media
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg (center).

Harris County DA Says Her Request For More Prosecutors Has Been Politicized

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Monday her request for 102 additional prosecutors has been politicized and tried to quiet the concerns expressed by several criminal justice reform organizations.

Texas Organizing Project, the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and the Texas Civil Rights Project have criticized Ogg's request.

The DA noted that her request aims to resolve "a math problem" because of a backlog of roughly 40,000 cases, and her department only has 335 prosecutors to handle the caseload.

Ogg has asked Harris County Commissioners to approve a $20 million increase to her budget to hire the additional attorneys. The commissioners are scheduled to vote on the matter this Tuesday.

Black Girl Magic
Judge Cassandra Hollemon.

Newly Elected Harris County Judge Dies At 57

Newly elected Judge Cassandra Hollemon, a member of the "Harris County Black Girl Magic" group, died Monday, the Houston Chronicle has reported. Hollemon was 57 years old and presided over the county's Criminal Court at Law #12.

Hollemon was part of a group of African-American Democratic law professionals who campaigned as "Black Girl Magic" and won election to the bench last November. She defeated Republican candidate John Spjut.

Hollemon was a graduate of South Texas College of Law and practiced criminal law for more than two decades.

In July 2017, Hollemon posed for a campaign photo that showed the group of women who were running for judge in Harris County. The photo later went viral.

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