First Lawsuit Filed Against Diocese of Fresno Under Child Victims Act for Child Sexual Abuse by Fr. Anthony Moreno

Moreno Disclosed as Perpetrator Publicly for First Time: Diocese Refuses to Despite Multiple Reports

Diocese Refuses to Release Promised List of Accused Clergy, Tries to Settle Cases Without Notifying Public Instead

Survivor to Speak Publicly for First Time Today

(Fresno, CA) – Today in Fresno, a courageous survivor and attorneys from Jeff Anderson & Associates will:

  • Reveal and discuss a child sexual abuse lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Fresno and St. Philip the Apostle in Bakersfield under California’s new Child Victims Act (AB 218). The Plaintiff was sexually abused by Fr. Anthony Moreno in approximately 1979-80 at St. Philip the Apostle. Moreno is being identified as a perpetrator publicly for the first time in the lawsuit.
  • The Plaintiff will speak publicly for the first time.
  • Reveal and discuss that Plaintiff’s father reported Moreno’s abuse of Plaintiff to church officials not long after the abuse, but Moreno was permitted to remain in ministry. In approximately 2003 and 2008, Plaintiff reported the abuse to church officials, who confirmed to Plaintiff that Plaintiff’s father reported the abuse decades earlier. Yet, the Diocese of Fresno has refused to identify Moreno publicly as a predator.
  • Reveal and discuss that the Diocese of Fresno promised to release a list of names of its accused clergy several months ago but has not done so. Instead, the Diocese is trying to settle clergy abuse cases under a compensation program without publicly disclosing the identities of the perpetrators, a practice that keeps children in peril. The Diocese recently approached Plaintiff about a settlement, which would not have included the public disclosure of Moreno as a perpetrator. Plaintiff chose to seek justice and help protect children under AB 218 instead.
  • Discuss the historic California Child Victims Act (AB 218), a new law that extends the statute of limitations and provides a three-year window for sexual abuse survivors to bring lawsuits in cases that were previously barred by the statute of limitations, no matter when the abuse occurred or how old the survivor is.
  • Encourage sexual abuse survivors to come forward confidentially under AB 218.
  • Demand full disclosure by Diocese of Fresno Bishop Joseph V. Brennan of the identities, histories, and current whereabouts of all clergy accused of child sexual abuse who worked in the Diocese of Fresno.

Today: Thursday, January 2, 2020 at 10:00 AM (PT)

Radisson Hotel Fresno Conference Center
El Capitan Room
1055 Van Ness Avenue
Fresno, CA  93721

The press conference will be live-streamed via YouTube and on Facebook.

Spanish-speaking JAA staff will be present and available at this event.