Jewish Communities - Child Sex Scandals, Agencies Failed to Rescue Lilly Manning
- Tempest in the Temple - Jewish Communities and Child Sex Scandals
Amy Neustein, ed.
Brandeis Series in American Jewish History, Culture and Life
Brandeis University Press
2009 Sociology / Jewish Studies 978-1-58465-671-5
Tempest in the Temple brings together fifteen practicing rabbis,
educators, pastoral counselors, sociologists, mental health
professionals, and legal advocates for abuse victims, each of whom offer
insights into different facets of the problem.
This book is divided into three sections. The first section, "When
the Vow Breaks," describes rabbis who break their "vows"
through active pedophilia. The second section, "Sacrificing
Victims," illuminates the community dynamics surrounding abuse: how
a community unwittingly contributes to the cover-up of abuse; why
victims of abuse are all too often ignored or cast off by their
religious communities; and the mechanisms by which powerful religious
institutions protect their own. The third section, "Let Me Know the
Way," addresses how Jewish communities can overcome the ignorance,
bias, and corruption associated with clergy sexual abuse.
Solutionssome already successful, others yet to be triedare
describes severe abuse
California, Texas agencies all failed to rescue Lilly Manning
By Marjie Lundstrom Jul. 31, 2011
Lilly Manning was 15 when she escaped from a cramped closet in south
Sacramento, after being stabbed and beaten and shoved into the darkness.
This time, she said, she knew she would have to save herself.
Government documents confirm she was right. Four different agencies
visited the family at least 11 times on reports of suspected abuse or
neglect in a five-year period but did not move to protect her or her
siblings, according to confidential records obtained by The Bee.
"They came, they looked, they left," said Lilly, now 19, reflecting on
the parade of visitors from law enforcement, Child Protective Services
and the schools, some of whom she had secretly called. "We just gave
up." Today, Lilly Manning lives with more than 100 scars etching her
5-foot-3 body, physical reminders of the hammer attacks, beatings, burns
and strikes to the head with a 2-by-4 and a padlock swinging from a
cord. Earlier this month, her adoptive mother and great-aunt, Lillian
Manning-Horvath, was sentenced to up to six years in a mental health
facility, followed by consecutive life terms in state prison.
The woman's husband, Joseph Horvath, was convicted by a jury in 2009 and
also sentenced to multiple life terms. Documents and interviews with
family members also reveal how a domineering matriarch terrified people
who witnessed and endured years of her verbal tirades and physical
Authorities swept in, and the rest of the children were taken into
protective custody in the early morning hours of Nov. 6, 2007. The
children would never go home again. Help that didn't come
Lilly says she does not remember much about those chaotic first days and
has "lots of blank spots" about her childhood. She knows that she and
her four siblings were removed from their biological mother in the early
1990s and placed with their great-aunt Lillian, who later adopted them.
In 2002, their adoptive mom married Horvath, a felon 18 years her
Lilly wants to know more. She recently sought and received nearly 700
pages of documents from the Sacramento Juvenile Dependency Court, which
detail the many missteps among government agencies. She shared those
records with The Bee. CPS also is preparing to give her her file....
Ann Edwards, director of Sacramento County's Department of Health and
Human Services, which oversees CPS, said she could not legally comment
on Lilly's case for confidentiality reasons. However, she agreed to talk
in general terms about issues raised by the case.
"It's not uncommon for siblings to want to remain together," said
Edwards. "And it's not uncommon for children to be afraid of the
"It's quite remarkable that even children who are horribly abused
typically still love their parents, or the people who are abusing them."
Lilly says today that their adoptive mom often manipulated the kids into
keeping quiet or lying, promising she would stop the abuse.
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