Statement of Jeff Anderson Re: Sentencing of Oliver O’Grady for possession of child pornography


January 30, 2012

Statement of Jeff Anderson

Re:  Sentencing of Oliver O’Grady for possession of child pornography

Contact Jeff Anderson:  Mobile/612.817.8665

“We, and the many families and victims in the Diocese of Stockton, California, who have been wounded by the defrocked pedophile priest Oliver O’Grady are deeply gratified with the news today that an Ireland court has sentenced him to three years in prison for the possession of over 65,000 pornographic images of children on his laptop.  

Those feelings, however, are mixed with fear that upon his release, he can and will continue to harm children the way he has for over 40 years while acting as a priest in the U.S. and Ireland.  We find great comfort that O’Grady will be imprisoned for his crimes, but little comfort in the fact that those who protected him have yet to be brought to justice, including now retired Cardinal Roger Mahony.  We now hope that those responsible for the cover up and concealment of O’Grady’s horrific crimes against children in California, will also be held to account. 

Clearly, Oliver O’Grady suffers from a serious pedophilia that has never been in control and was revealed to many families when he was assigned from Ireland to Stockton, California ,where bishops continued to conceal his crimes and place him in parishes where he abused and shattered the lives of many kids from the 1960’s through the 1990’s. 

As a result of courageous reports by survivors and their families in the 1990’s, O’Grady was convicted in the U.S. after a civil trial in which we (Jeff Anderson & Associates) represented two survivors of abuse.  The jury listened to the testimony regarding the cover-up and returned a verdict of $30 million. Indeed, that relief, and subsequent settlements, gave some relief to the families for the suffering they endured.  However, the reality is that none of them can rest easy and complete their emotional recovery until they know that Oliver O’Grady can do no further harm.  While we are grateful to the many survivors that have found their voice and taken action, we continue to be deeply concerned that Oliver O’Grady will carry on his predatory ways and put other kids in grave danger if he is ever released from prison. 

To that point, incredibly, in the mid-1990’s, after O’Grady was finally prosecuted in criminal court and sentenced to seven years in a California prison, he was allowed to return to Ireland, where he remained  cunning and elusive under the cover of being a trusted priest.  In spite of our efforts to track and expose him, Bishops Guilfoyle, Mahony, Montrose and other top Catholic officials, knowingly concealed his crimes for over three decades in order to protect their own complicity in enabling O’Grady’s sexual assault of children. 

In addition, it is very important for this statement to make known the history of the cover-up and concealment of his crimes by top Catholic officials.  Indeed, the truth is that Oliver O’Grady made a deal with Bishop Mahony that upon his (O’Grady’s) release from prison in California the church would provide him the funds to live roam the landscape in the U.S. and Ireland, and in return he (O’Grady), would not testify to the role the Bishop played in the cover-up and concealment of his crimes against innocent children. 

We are gravely concerned that not only should O’Grady be held fully accountable for the lives he shattered by serving life in prison, but also that those who allowed him to continue his predatory ways from positions of power, including Cardinal Archbishop Mahony and others, are held accountable for having permitted this to have occurred for so many decades.  

We sound this alarm because of what we have learned through the civil cases that we handled for courageous families whose lives have been shattered by this predatory pedophile who uses his position and his cunning ways to access the unwary and the vulnerable.   

Finally, we applaud the survivors and law enforcement for their efforts, but given that O’Grady will very eventually be released from prison, we remain deeply alarmed and our relief can only be temporary.” 

Irish Examiner news story on sentencing: