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VIDEO: Big Island Hippie Guru Alleged Homosexual Child Molester, Boys Supplied by DHS
By News Release @ 6:06 PM :: 4966 Views :: Family

Jay Ram is to the far right. (Photo special to Hawaii 24/7) Jay Ram is to the far right.

News Release from SNAP April 17, 2014

In an explosive new documentary, a former Big Island rancher now residing in Tampa, Fla. has been exposed as a serial child predator, who used Hawaii Social Services to gain new victims.

Now, those victims are using a powerful new law to get justice. But after April 24,the law expires and other, older victims may lose their rights in the courts.

‘Love Serve Surrender,’ a 29-minute documentary produced by Vice News out of New York, tells the story of former “Hippy Guru” Jay Ram.

VICE News speaks with several of Ram’s victims for the first time, many of whom came forward with accounts of sexual abuse, while charities and child welfare agencies continued to place children into Ram’s care.

After running a commune in Northern California, Ram began adopting and fostering young boys, even though former members of the commune wrote letters to social services alerting them to Ram’s sexual behavior with young boys.

Ram later moved to Hawaii, where he continued to adopt and foster boys with the help of social services and Catholic Charities.

Despite more complaints and investigations against Ram, both groups continued to place boys in his care.

It is estimated that he adopted and fostered more than two dozen boys, many of whom he sexually molested.

When Ram’s victims began to come forward, Ram went into hiding in Saipan, and then moved to Tampa under an assumed name.

Ram’s sons had no rights in the court system until Hawaii State Senator Maile Shimabukuro sponsored a landmark two-year civil window for victims. This law gives victims of child sexual abuse a two-year window to come forward and seek justice in the civil courts, no matter when the abuse occurred.

Ram’s sons contacted the law offices of Jeff Anderson and Mark Gallagher. Seeing the moral imperative of the case, they agreed to represent the boys, even though there most likely would be no financial compensation.

“When there is a dangerous man in hiding who molested this many children, we have the duty to do everything we can to make sure that man is exposed and punished,” said attorney Mike Reck. “This case is the reason why we must have strong victim-friendly laws. If the civil window didn’t exist, Jay would never have been outed as the predator he is. Hopefully, this case with help us find the evidence and witnesses necessary to put Jay Ram behind bars.”

He also stresses the upcoming April 24 deadline for other victims.

“After April 24, many victims may no longer have rights in the civil courts. We beg anyone who has been abused to come forward, before it’s too late.”

Members of SNAP worked with the victims to help expose Ram and encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward.

Victims may call 888-567-5557 or visit www.AbusedInHawaii.com to learn more about the civil window and see if they have rights in the Hawaii courts.

VICE is a global youth media company and the industry leader in producing and distributing the best online video content in the world. Launched in 1994 as a punk magazine, VICE now operates out of 36 offices globally, and has expanded into a multimedia network, including the world’s premier source for original online video,VICE.COM; an international network of digital channels; a television & feature film production studio; a magazine; a record label; and a book-publishing division.

  *   *   *   *   *

Victims seek two investigations

News Release from SNAP April 17, 2014

A support group for sex abuse victims is urging Catholic Charities and Hawaii state officials and to investigate how a predator was able to foster children.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are urging the two organizations to answer questions about how so many boys were placed in the care of Jay Ram. And investigate Roselyn Viernes, who is the head of East Hawaii Child Welfare Services in Hilo, and was the social worker responsible for placing the children in foster homes.

Ram, who is also known as Gary Winnick, is accused of sexually abusing boys that he fostered and adopted in California and Hawaii. He is believed to be the Tampa, Florida area.

Ram is accused of molesting the boys and exploiting them and forcing them to do hard physical labor. The victims say that Ram threatened them, deprived them of food and refused to let them to engage in regular social activities with their peers out of fear that the boys would report to authorities.

Although Ram has been investigated by the police in the past, the victims say that they were threatened with violence and more abuse to keep them quiet.

The boys were abused between the ages of 8 and 17 during the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s.

SNAP is writing to the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services and Catholic Charities urging officials to do a complete, independent investigation of all placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator.

“It is time for action. More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints were made known,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP volunteer Western Regional Director. “Most—if not all—of the boys were molested. How many other children were abused because Catholic Charities and CWS refused to listen to children who were being abused? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.”

The letters from SNAP:.

Patricia McManaman
Director
State of Hawaii Department of Human Services
P.O. Box 339, Honolulu, HI 96809-0339
Fax 808-586-4890
dhs@dhs.hawaii.gov

East Hawaii Child Welfare Services
75 Aupuni Street Hilo, HI 96720
Fax: (808) 933-0693

Dear Ms. McManaman

We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation’s largest support group for men and women who have been sexually abused in religious and institutional settings.

We were disturbed and dismayed by the recent news documentary LOVE SERVE SURRENDER, which tells the story of Hilo-area rancher Jay Ram, who fostered, adopted, and sexually abused more than two dozen boys on the Big Island.

What is even more upsetting is to learn that high-ranking state social worker Roselyn Viernes has had knowledge of suspicions and complaints against Ram for decades. She is currently working in your East Hawaii Central offices.

According to the news story and corresponding documents, there are records of at least two allegations of abuse against Ram in 1989. Despite this, Viernes continued to place boys in his care.

The documents can be viewed here: news.vice.com/articles/an-alle…

It is time for action. State social workers who ignore abuse complaints and put more children as risk must be held accountable.

More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints crossed Viernes’ desk. Most—if not all—of the boys were molested.

How many other children were abused because Ms. Viernes refused to do the right thing? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.

We ask that you do the following:

- Do a complete investigation of all of Ms. Viernes’ placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator,

- Immediately remove Viernes from her position until the investigation is complete,

- Reach out to all boys placed in Ram’s care and let them know they have criminal and civil rights and that help is available.

Your offices may even house the evidence necessary to help criminally prosecute Jay and help his victims get the accountability they deserve.

Hawaii’s most vulnerable kids deserve far better than being placed in foster homes with sex predators.

Mahalo,
Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director

Letter two:

Jerry Rauckhorst
President & Chief Executive Officer
Catholic Charities Hawaii

Clarence T. C. Ching Campus
1822 Keeaumoku Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

info@catholiccharitieshawaii.o…
jrauckhorst@catholiccharitiesh…
(808) 599-8761 Fax

Catholic Charities
Hilo Office
62 Kinoole Street
Hilo, HI 96720
Fax: (808) 961-7059

Dear Mr. Rauckhorst:

We are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation’s largest support group for men and women who have been sexually abused in religious and institutional settings.

We were disturbed and dismayed by the recent news documentary LOVE SERVE SURRENDER, which tells the story of Hilo-area rancher Jay Ram, who fostered and adopted—and then sexually abused—more than two dozen boys on the Big Island.

What is even more upsetting is to learn that Catholic Charities had a role in this abuse. According to the news story and corresponding documents, there are records of at least two allegations of abuse against Ram in 1989.

Despite this, Catholic Charities, in partnership with Child Welfare Services, placed boys in Ram’s care and allowed other boys to remain with Ram.

The documents can be viewed here: news.vice.com/articles/an-alle…

It is time for action. More than a dozen boys lived with Jay after the first abuse complaints were made known. Most—if not all—of the boys were molested.

How many other children were abused because Catholic Charities and CWS refused to listen to children who were being abused? Subsequent tragedies involving Jay and the boys could have been avoided completely.

We ask that you do the following:

- Do a complete investigation of all of Catholic Charities’ placements and the approval processes that allowed dozens of boys to be placed with a predator,

- Reach out to all boys placed in Ram’s care and let them know they have criminal and civil rights and that help is available.

Your offices may even house the evidence necessary to help criminally prosecute Jay and help his victims get the accountability they deserve.

Hawaii’s most vulnerable kids deserve far better than being placed in foster homes with sex predators.

Mahalo,

Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director

Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. It has been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in the title, it has members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers.

 

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