2013 January

Jan 31, 2013: The Los Angeles Archdiocese Can’t Seem to Play by the Rules

Earlier this month, a state judge ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to include the names of church leaders who mishandled sex-abuse claims when it finally releases scores of confidential priest files as part of a 2007 settlement. Yet despite that court order, the archdiocese has continued to act as if the rules don’t apply to it. This week, the church resubmitted a proposal that would have redacted the names of top church leaders from the documents and only provided the names of those officials in a generic cover sheet attached to the priest’s file. The church’s actions we…

Jan 31, 2013: Archbishop Takes Action on Mahony, Curry Over Abuse Scandal

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday that Cardinal Roger Mahony would have a reduced role in the church and that Santa Barbara Bishop Thomas J. Curry has stepped down from that job amid recent revelations over their handling of the priest abuse scandal in the 1980s. “Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regiona…

Jan 31, 2013: Justice and Accountability Carry The Day In Philadelphia

Yesterday stands as another great moment in the child protection movement and the search for justice for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.  A Philadelphia jury convicted Rev. Charles Engelhardt, a priest, and Bernard Shero, a teacher, on several counts arising from the childhood sexual abuse of a 24-year old man.  Both men now face more than a decade in prison.  This important moment comes on the heels of the June conviction of Monsignor William Lynn, former Secretary for Clergy in the Archdiocese, for felony child endangerment, stemming from his role in moving predator priests …

Jan 31, 2013: California Man Sues Boy Scouts, Alleging Sex Abuse Occurred Decades Ago

SAN FRANCISCO –  A California man is suing a regional Boy Scouts council, alleging he was sexually abused by his scout leader more than 30 years ago. Coast Guard veteran Mark Dietrich filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Solano County Superior Court claiming the scoutmaster of his Vacaville-based troop frequently molested him between 1978 and 1981. The suit claims that Boy Scouts officials at the local and regional level knew the scoutmaster had inappropriate contact with other boys. Deitrich’s lawyer, Irwin Zalkin, would not provide further details. Neither the Boy Scouts’ Golden Empire Cou…

Jan 30, 2013: Los Angeles Archdiocese Says it Will Release Files With Names

 LOS ANGELES — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has said the names of church leaders who made key decisions on how to deal with cases of sexual abuse by priests will not be blacked out in some 30,000 soon-to-be-released pages of confidential personnel files. The names of any bishops, vicars for clergy and supervisory parish priests will be included in all the documents and they will be turned over to lawyers for abuse victims soon, archdiocese attorney Michael Hennigan said Wednesday. Vicars for clergy are responsible for priestly discipline and often made significant decis…

Jan 30, 2013: Philadelphia Judge: No New Trial For Jerry Sandusky

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Jerry Sandusky lost a bid for a new trial Wednesday when a judge rejected his argument that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the three-week proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict. Judge John Cleland’s 27-page order said lawyers for the former Penn State assistant football coach conceded that their post-trial review turned up no material that would have changed their trial strategy. “I do not think it can be said that either of the defendant’s trial counsel failed to test the prosecution’s case in a meaningful manner,” Cleland wrote. “…

Jan 30, 2013: Minnesota Judge Orders Release of More Confidential Boy Scout Records on Sexual Abuse

MINNEAPOLIS – A Minnesota judge on Tuesday ordered the handover of confidential national Boy Scout records on sexual abuse from 1999 to 2008 in a move attorneys said could add to the body of evidence showing that the organization failed to take adequate steps to protect young people from molesters in its ranks. Ramsey County District Judge Elena Ostby issued the order in a lawsuit involving former suburban Minneapolis scoutmaster Peter Stibal II, who is serving a 21-year prison sentence for molesting four scouts in his troop. The lawsuit was filed by one of his victims. That victim’s…

Jan 30, 2013: Press Release: Boy Scout Perversion Files Ordered Released by Ramsey County Judge

(St. Paul) In a civil lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and convicted sex offender and former Scoutmaster, Peter Stibal, Ramsey County District Judge Elena L. Ostby has ordered the release of previously secret records relating to sexual abuse within the BSA from the years 1999 to 2008.  The records, referred to by the BSA as the “Perversion Files”, are   an internal system maintained for over 80 years to track adult leaders who sexually abuse boy scouts.  The pe…

Jan 30, 2013: Priest, Teacher Convicted in Philadelphia Sex Abuse Case

PHILADELPHIA — A jury convicted a priest and teacher today in a pivotal church-abuse case that rocked the Philadelphia archdiocese and sent a church official to prison for child endangerment. The verdict upholds the stunning account from a troubled 24-year-old policeman’s son that he was sexually abused as a boy by two priests and his sixth-grade teacher. One priest took a plea deal before trial, while the jury convicted the Rev. Charles Engelhardt and former teacher Bernard Shero of all but one count. The 2009 complaint describing the abuse led to the landmark conviction last year of Monsig…

Jan 30, 2013: Los Angeles Archdiocese Says it Will Release Files With Names

 LOS ANGELES — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has said the names of church leaders who made key decisions on how to deal with cases of sexual abuse by priests will not be blacked out in some 30,000 soon-to-be-released pages of confidential personnel files. The names of any bishops, vicars for clergy and supervisory parish priests will be included in all the documents and they will be turned over to lawyers for abuse victims soon, archdiocese attorney Michael Hennigan said Wednesday. Vicars for clergy are responsible for priestly discipline and often made significant decis…