**********The City of Angels is Everywhere*********

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Brom Pushes Bankruptcy To Prevent Release of Documents Re His Own "Sexual Misconduct" in Perv Priest Civil Hearings Against Catholic Archdioceses

It’s not just about the money.

Motion Compelling Deposition, Testimony, and production of documents by R. Brom et al, hearing scheduled for Feb 28 2007 canceled due to bankruptcy filing.

In deposition testimony last November Bishop Robert Brom admitted there had been an investigation into his own sexual misconduct. Documents about that investigation were about to emerge if the civil cases in San Diego had continued one more day. A motion to compel Bishop Brom to respond to questions about his specific sexual misconduct allegations was filed February 22, by John Manly, attorney for the plaintiffs, just hours before the San Diego Archdiocese announced it was filing for bankruptcy, thus putting the 140 cases regarding the San Diego archdiocese on hold.

On November 30, 2006 Bishop Robert Brom said under oath in deposition that he had been “investigated for allegations that I took part in a specific orgy at the seminary that was connected with the cardinal.” When Manly asked Brom if he could turn over documents about that investigation into the bishop's sexual misconduct, his attorney Bill Whalen jumped in and got the bishop to stop talking, claiming first amendment freedom of religion rights.

Here is how I stumbled on this information:

San Diego civil case hearings that were scheduled for this morning in L.A. Superior Court just fell off the calendar as attorneys for the church, knowing the archdiocese bankruptcy would be official as of 10 AM today, did not even show up for two scheduled hearings in the San Diego cases: one motion to quash in GIC823004, and a motion for summary judgment for CIG 808368.

So after Judge Haley Fromholz denied all 38 motions to strike filed on behalf of the Catholic Health and Welfare Corporation by John Potts of the Hennigan firm, the same row of attorneys continued to stand before him.

FROMHOLZ: The San Diego attorneys do not intend to appear because of the bankruptcy. And I see that attorneys for Doe 3 are also not appearing, so number 7 is taken off the calendar as it was abandoned by the moving party, and number four was taken off by the moving party.

Number 7 was GIC 808368 so after the hearings I went down to room 106 to view documents in the free room for the public (plaintiffs, and broke attorneys, and private eyes and bloggers hang out there.)

Just out of curiosity I opened up documents on GIC 808368 to see what case came so close to having a motion for summary judgement heard today but was stopped by the San Diego Archdiocese bankruptcy. The most recent documents in this case were motions to compel Bishop Robert Brom to answer questions in deposition.

The questions that Brom is refusing to answer in depositions relate to an investigation of Bishop Brom himself for allegations of sexual misconduct. These words jumped out at me:

On November 30, 2006 Bishop Brom said under oath in deposition that he had been “investigated for allegations that I took part in a specific orgy at the seminary that was connected with the cardinal .”

At this point the bishop’s attorney jumps in and tells his client to stop responding and the bishop then continued to not respond to a whole series of questions.

Attorney Manly for the plaintiffs then asks Brom to produce documents about this investigation that took place against Bishop Brom and the church attorney Whelan chimes in: I’m instructing my client not to answer until we confer” with several other attorneys. . . .

Bishop Brom let it slip that there had been an investigation of him, himself, his Excellency, the robed holy one himself -- about taking part in “this specific orgy at the seminary,” like there were a lot of them?

These are the documents that the church has been losing its battle to refuse to turn over in compliance with subpoenas from the court -- items in the church’s own corporate personnel files regarding sexual misconduct of the church’s own hierarchy.



If the church insists it is a corporation then it has to comply with subpoenas and corporate laws like any other profit making organization.

Other questions Brom refused to answer in deposition concerned how the San Diego Archdiocese handled personnel matters re their employees -- How the priests who were sexually molesting the parishioners and their children were treated.

MANLY: When you say young adults, do you mean eighteen or over?
MANLY: So he was laicized for sexual conduct with persons 18 or older?
WHELAN OBJECTS: “We're getting into sort of religious concepts of reasons for laicization as opposed to being removed from ministry.

Manly asks about the Personnel Board of this Corporation that is the Catholic Church, the board that reviewed criminal allegations about sex molestation against priests. Manly asked about minutes of the Personnel Board meetings and Brom responded, “There aren’t any.”

MANLY: No minutes? Why?

WHELAN: I object again because I think it gets into canonical issues as opposed to secular.

There’s a lot of back and forth between Manly and Whelan and then Manly says, I’m just asking about basic corporate practices, the minutes of a Personnel Board meeting.

(ME: Hey, bishops, if you're going to call yourself a corporation you got to play by corporate rules. )

Whelan says he’s ordering his client not to answer questions about the Personnel Board to “protect his religious decisions, as a bishop, theological or spiritual decisions as an Archbishop.”

Hmm, none of the personnel boards that have fired me in my life ever considered themselves to be making theological or spiritual decisions.

To View these documents go to L.A. Superior Court website, Case documents, GIC 808368 Nov 30 and Feb 22 motions and depositions. These quotes are actually in several places.

There it was on the calendar when I arrived this morning, GIC 808368 filed 2.22.07 - Motion Compelling deposition, testimony, and production of documents be R. Brom et al

And Motion to Strike 21 X and Motion to Strike 17 X in the L.A. cases JCCP4286 - and a motion to quash in another San Diego case GIC 823004.

When Judge Fromholz calls for the first Clergy Case about 17 attorneys rise from their seats, then six go up front to face the judge, three for the defendants, three for the plaintiffs.

Oh and Abrams is on the phone for the church from San Diego.

Fromholz says “re the composite motions to strike, deny all 21. The tentative is written, please don’t regurgitate --

JOHN POTTS: Your honor?

And Potts regurgitates, or rather makes points that are probably meant for a future appeal, just in case.

POTTS: It’s redundant, it’s immaterial -- the time has expired in all 21 cases. If the entity failed to control then it’s only guilty of the sex abuse in the second count -- (Cites Sunbeam) Who cares about fiduciary duties the point is the battery.

Here Potts says he’s even helping the plaintiffs and I’m not the only one looking at him in amazement.

Fromholz takes it under advisement. Then onto number six. One attorney leaves so now there are five.

FROMHOLZ: I see we have the same cast of characters.

Fromholz says he’s issued a 12 page tentative in the 17 motions to strike, denying them all, mainly because “issues raised have been expressed before,” and then he sees John Potts squirming.

FROMHOLZ: And please don’t regurgitate --

JOHN POTTS: Your honor -- it’s appropriate that Alan Arkin just won the Academy Award because I’m caught here in a Catch 22.

Here is the Catch 22: "How can we deal with Certificates of Merit if we can't see the Certificates of Merit?" Potts and the Corporation That Is The Catholic Church want to be able to see and read the entire report from the psychiatrists in each case, not a cover sheet summarizing the therapist's notes.

The church wants the entire psychiatrist’s report on each plaintiff to be attached as evidence to documents -- so you and I and anyone else with a credit card can go in and read them.

This from the corporation that proclaims its right to privacy and the privacy of priests’ conversations with their bosses the bishops regarding criminal sexual pedophile behavior. The crimes and punishments of pedophile priests as they roamed California for 40 or so years are secret, private, but the report from the psychiatrist who interviews the crime victim is supposed to be attached so all the attorneys and anyone who views the document can read it.

The Judge denied all 17 of these motions to strike as well. The tentative was printed out but I wasn’t able to get a copy. It should show up in the documents on the website by Friday.

Please Note: I try to act and sound like I’m with the Times or Vanity Fair, but truth is I do this blog on my own, in free time I find between my job and my kids. So I may not be totally accurate. I also don’t get access to things like Judge’s rulings as soon as they come out, the way reporters from The Times or Vanity Fair would, so I have to dig on my own through this mountain of documents.

Now if the Times or Vanity Fair wants to hire me, I’m available . . .

Back to business. More to come.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Defense of Catholic Church for Harboring Pedophiles Applies Cut And Paste Wizardry


Posted by me recently on a survivor email link:

“I think all of us, the church and the survivors both have put too much attention on us, the immediate crime victims. Because the crimes of the church go so much deeper.

Pedophiles saw the priests getting away with it and so felt empowered to perpetrate freely. People around the crime were affected, and they affected 10 to 200 people and each one of those affected 10 to 2000 people.

We would not have rampant sexual crimes in our cities today if the church had taken care of this problem as soon as they discovered it.

Like it or not the church is responsible for women getting raped in cities across America, kids getting kidnapped and sold to networks of pedophiles, and the sometimes unbelievably sick crimes that second and third generation degenerates are committing against innocent people all over America.

The catholic church empowered the pedophiles and turned them loose on our culture. They are guilty of more than allowing a small percentage of priests to "just" rape a few thousand children in their own rectories”.

The Motion to Strike against case BC308065 that I went to watch last Tuesday took place on February 20th instead. Well not exactly. It was on the calendar then off the calendar then on then off, then on Tuesday morning at 8:20 or so AM the court clerk taped the updated schedule on the wall outside the courtroom and the hearing for BC308065 was scrawled in pen again at the bottom of the page.

There he was again -- this character who shows up often to argue hearings for the archdiocese. His name is Lee W. Potts and if you go to the website for L.A. Superior Court, you will see the torrents of motions and opinions and summonses and deposition testimony demurrers and on and on, many of which say Statement of Lee W. Potts in support of this motion and that motion or if you open the file you will see Lee W. Potts is the person who filed it. There was his note at the bottom of the posted calendar page and there he was.

Lee W. Potts looks like a short, skinnier Anthony Perkins. His wiry body concedes he’s a man of boundless energy, and the endless stream of motions and pleadings he’s contributed to the three thousand plus documents in the clergy cases files attest to his proficiency with word processing.

Ironically, Potts argues in the 37 motions to strike he filed on January 16th about the plaintiffs’ “chain letter pleadings.” Open any one of the “motion to strike and dismiss” files at JCCP4286 at the Superior Court website under JCCP Documents and you will see that argument about the plaintiffs’ “chain letter pleadings,” usually around page 9 of 19, on each motion, hmm. . .

Basically early last January Potts went a little crazy at his computer and employing the power of cut and paste technology he filed these 37 motions to strike and dismiss and each one reads almost exactly the same except for a few words -- here the temp getting 12 an hour probably typed in the name of the perpetrator or the name of the plaintiff -- and then out came another motion to strike to add to the thousands of files in the clergy cases.

My favorite little phrase from Potts’ copy-paste gems is, “All Claims of Childhood Sex Abuse are Irrelevant and Make-Weight.” That precious argument you can find on about page 10 of 18 or was it 7 of 12. He actually filed two fistfuls of Motions to strike January 16 and they are listed on the site as Motion to Strike X 27 and Motions to Strike X 11. So Mr. Potts took the time to write two different addresses on his chain letter pleadings.

One set has to do with Certificates of Merit which -- okay I’m trying to figure out what all the gibberish means and I think he’s saying the plaintiffs didn't name the specific names of their John Doe defendants so they can’t get proper certificates of merit so throw the whole case out.

Plaintiffs have to use John Doe to name the defendants as it will take more investigation and a little cooperation from the archdiocese to find out what the names are, who the real criminals are -- the ones whose names should replace the thousands of John Does who are defendants in these cases.


Potts also cites a long list of precedents citing cases of office workers who sued their bosses, bakers who sued the bakery, a case concerning State Rubbish Collectors, a medical clinic, L.A. Cellular.

The guys who raped us were Catholic Priests!!!!

No employment arena case has a relevant precedent to cite. The priests screwed with our souls, our very connection to God. It affected us all in a little bit different way than any issue in the State Rubbish Collectors lawsuit or anywhere else in legal history for that matter.

But here we are in Judge Fromholz’ courtroom plodding through motions in one case through to motions in another to another. Remember only about 130 of the civil cases are “fast-tracked” for trial right now. There’s still about 350 more cases on the sidelines waiting.


I keep waiting for a DA to swoop in and say, Enough. Halt the civil trials and do this right as a criminal investigation of the church, with all the crime victims coming in and talking to one team of investigators, so all the details of all the perpetrators would end up in one data bank, with one team of people pursuing the patterns of crime, and connecting the dots.

We can then do the civil cases with all the evidence in one place and no more hiding the pedophiles and their enablers --

Why was the sanity of one combined RICO prosecution against the Church apparently abandoned for this boondoggle of confusing, obfuscating, self-defeating cases.

What we have now is a kind of lopsided justice where a few people whose cases fit a tiny set of criteria get settlements and the church files bankruptcy and life goes on. I don't want a settlement, I don't want money from the church or anyone else. I want this story to come out and the church to take responsibility for the decades of reverberating crimes that grew out of their negligent handling of pedophiles in their midst.

We survivors who don’t have litigatable cases try to eke a sort of vicarious justice out from watching other people’s civil cases go through, after watching them disappear from criminal court. I’m waiting for someone to step in and do the right thing here.

That brings me to Attorney Lee W. Potts of Hennigan Bennett & Dorman, one of the main law firms representing “the Roman Catholic Education and Welfare Corporation,” although they don’t admit to having the church on their client list or mention the relationship anywhere on their website. Thanks to his raging fingers there are about a thousand too many documents being filed in the clergy cases as they head for trials beginning in June.

Maybe I’ll have it all figured out by then.


On the L.A. Superior Court website under JCCP4286 there are more than 300 screens, or pages. Each page lists approximately 35 documents. There are a good three thousand documents available for the speed-reading activist to read on the clergy cases.

Does anybody really know the whole story? Is this the way to find it out just how much criminal activity took place?

One “Declaration of Lee. Potts in Support of Motion to Strike” in one case, BC306406, is 81 pages long. The motions to strike filed January 16 alone fill Screen 236 to 239 if you go in ascending order, or screens 6 to 9 if you go in descending order.

At the February 20 hearing a squirming Lee W. Potts stood in front of Judge Fromholz and said, “There is no legal entity, the service wasn’t proper, there was no return of the summons, it’s a mistake in a name, they served a non-existing entity or served it to the wrong person --

JUDGE FROMHOLZ: Isn’t that already an argument in your demurrer?

LEE POTTS: Yes but ---

And on and on and on and on they will string themselves out on caffeine from now until February 28th when these motions are heard in open court.

Oh by the way the judge denied Potts’ motion and BC308065 will continue on course. It is one of the Kreutzer cases going to jury trial June 11th.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Criminal Activity by Chancellors and Bishops Coming To Light In Pedophile Priest Civil Cases Against Roman Catholic Church


Destruction of documents they know are going to be needed in criminal investigations. Lying under oath, well saying, I don't recall, I don't recall under oath, maybe you can’t count that -- that's become a national pastime.

There is plenty of criminal activity by the Roman Catholic Church coming up in hearings, motions, and depositions of the 500 plus civil cases against the L.A. archdiocese as they continue in L.A. Superior Court this month, with the first jury trial scheduled for June 11.

Organized crime, transferring criminal priests, not reporting them to authorities, by the 1990s the church had created an atmosphere where pedophile and pederast could carry on unhindered.

In December 2006 sworn testimony, Monsignor Steve Callahan of San Diego explained that after he got instruction from a national group of bishops in 1994 he destroyed records of criminal behavior by removing documents from priest personnel files and shredding them in a basement in San Diego, in accordance with Canon Law.

Callahan (known to former Catholics in San Diego as Father Callous) said in deposition testimony:

“At that time and I don't know if it was specifically for that study or beforehand, we wanted to know what was in our confidential files in terms of allegations of abuse.”

At that time, the fall of 1994, news of a problem with pedophile priests in the church was just starting to break. Thomas Doyle had just spoken to a national conference of bishops and warned them that the sexual molestation charges and civil suits were going to cost the church a billion dollars if they didn't do something about it soon.

Apparently the church did do something about it right away, with a clever misinterpretation of its own canon law. Callahan returned to San Diego from Chancellery training at Catholic University and embarked on a project to destroy confidential materials in priest personnel files if they related to criminal behavior. He returned to the San Diego archdiocese with the instructions to carry out this file-destruction policy.

How many other chancellery priests returned to their archdioceses across the country in 1994 after the same training and destroyed personnel records? And why did the national bishops decide to effect this confidential file destruction policy then, in 1994?

From Callahan’s deposition testimony:

THE WITNESS: It’s Canon 489.
MR. MANLY: (Plaintiff’s attorney) reads: “In the Diocesan curia there is also to be a secret archive or at least in the common archive a safe or cabinet completely closed and which cannot be removed. In it the documents are to be kept secret and are to be protected most securely.” That's Section 1. Section 2 reads: “Each year documents of criminal cases in matters of morals in which the accused parties have died or ten years have elapsed from the condemnatory sentence are to be destroyed. A brief summary of what occurred, along with a text sentence is to be retained.”

(A side note here, doesn't that canon law wording remind you of the voice overs on Survivor explaining another set of convoluted rules? Or maybe the wicked witch in a fairy tale giving instructions to her minions?)

Secret files, safes that are to be opened by no one? Who made these rules? How are the Catholics allowed to continue with these Dark Ages practices in the 21st Century?

Callahan testified in this deposition that he destroyed the files but neglected to make the summaries of what he destroyed to put in the new files -- just carried out half of Canon Law 489. He did this for a period of six months at the Pastoral Center at University of San Diego campus, but only when no one else was around. Even though he said carrying out this assignment took more than six months he doesn't remember any details about it, like what he shredded or even what the machine looked like.

NOTE: This testimony is from one deposition in one case, just a small part of the five plus file cabinets of documents overflowing in the jury room next to Judge Fromholz's court.

And the case this deposition came from was Mike Shoemaker's case, the one that was dismissed January 22nd, but Mike is certain his lawyers are going to appeal. More on that later.

So Callahan returns in 1994 from special training on canon law with new instructions to destroy personnel files -- but he doesn't remember any details, he ignores the second part of the canon law so does not write the required summaries of what he destroyed.

And it was just all an innocent housecleaning routine job.


District Attorneys across the country should look into what was destroyed in priest confidential personnel files in 1994 and why. Of course first DAs across the country have to get the Roman Catholic Church Corporation to finally comply with discovery laws and turn over subpoenaed documents.

As any legal entity would be eager to do to prove its innocence.

As the Catholic Church keeps refusing to do to keep covering its crimes.

Conspiracy charges -- truth is all these little piddling pedophile priests are not the real guilty parties here. In several cases it’s coming out that the priests wanted help, therapy, treatment and recovery from their sexual compulsions. Instead the apparent policy of the church was to transfer these sick men to new parishes, where they continued to act out.

Now as one or two priests from each region is more or less sacrificed to the system, spends time in prison, and the dioceses work out bankruptcy deals with the courts, and insurance companies pay most of the settlement costs -- the Church will be able to continue on into the next centuries as if nothing happened?

I don't think so. We need some District Attorneys in this country who are willing to stand up to the Catholic Church and the blatant disregard for humanity that has become the church’s practice. Somebody has to stop them -- this cannot go on. Civil judges aren’t going to have the power.

Somehow in Los Angeles lawyers on both sides were convinced that disseminating civil cases through 700 different attorneys, with 4000 plaintiffs and 700,000 defendants and hearings in different places at different times, sometimes as scheduled, sometimes not -- was better than a class action suit which would have consolidated all the cases and the true nature of the crime would have been revealed.

It's too late for that now, but it's not too late to prosecute the bishops for conspiracy.

All across the country the very dimensions and magnitude of the crimes of the church are working to the perpetrators’ favor as almost no one can keep track of what's happening.

So, I guess the church pays off a few settlements and the rest of us are supposed to disappear. Is that the how the church is going to handle its sex abuse crisis?


"I don't recall. I don't recall. I don't remember."

Most of Callahan’s answers are about how vague his memory is about this whole file shredding business. Medical records, tardy slips, records from psychiatrists -- he’s not sure, he can’t remember, it’s so long ago, it was just one of many projects he worked on.

Then the attorney asks?

Q: Did any of them at all relate to child abuse?

A: No.

Callahan knows that answer right away, no I don't recall I don't recall as to almost every other question, no looking to his attorney for instructions. He doesn't remember anything at all about the shredding and which files he shredded but he’s certain they didn't relate to child abuse.


I hope the District Attorney in Los Angeles is paying attention to the civil hearings

Imagine, the pedophile priest conducts mass and hands out communion while thinking about the cute little altar boy he’s going to share real wine with later that day. And if he’s caught the sick priest will just be transferred and all records of his criminal activity will disappear from his file thanks to canon law and centuries of hiding criminals in the church. The degree of systemic hypocrisy in the Catholic Church is astounding. The amount of damage done to thousands of innocent people is astonishing.


This story from Vermont last August seems really significant to me because I think it predicts what we are going to find in more and more old desks in churches.

Church admits finding documents in priest abuse case thought to be missing
Published: Monday, August 28, 2006
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has found 27 years' worth of files on a priest accused of child sexual abuse, documents the church had previously said didn't exist.

Church lawyers, appearing at a hearing in Chittenden County Superior Court late last week, confirmed the discovery of the papers.

The diocese and the priest, the Rev. George Paulin, are facing a lawsuit brought by a former Newport altar boy who alleges Paulin molested him in the 1970s. The case is one of 23 pending cases filed by people alleging that as children they were molested by Vermont priests.

"They were misfiled in the parish file," diocesan attorney Tom McCormick said of the newly discovered papers. McCormick also said other documents thought to be missing were recently found in the desk of former Bishop Kenneth Angell, who retired last year.

Judge Ben Joseph, the presiding judge in the priest sex abuse cases, said he was troubled by the belated discovery of the documents, but will delay a decision on whether to punish the diocese over the matter until he better understands what happened, and why.

"The fact that more things have been found causes me real concern," Joseph said.

Jerome O'Neill, the attorney for the former altar boy in the Paulin case, has alleged in court papers that the church concealed the documents and asked Joseph to forgo a trial in the Paulin case and award his client damages. The Burlington Free Press does not disclose the names of alleged abuse victims without their consent.

McCormick told Joseph he discovered the missing folder containing information about Paulin for the years 1971-1997 in what was marked as the North Troy parish file. Normally, the information would have been contained in Paulin's personnel file.

Until McCormick's discovery, the church had maintained it had disclosed all the files it had on Paulin to the court and O'Neill.

McCormick said both files were kept at the diocese's North Avenue headquarters. He said he did not know much about what was in the paperwork found in Angell's desk.

"I don't know who those documents in Bishop Angell's desk are about and I don't know what's in them," McCormick told Joseph.

In addition to punishing the diocese, O'Neill has asked Joseph to take action against another diocesan attorney, William O'Brien, who O'Neill claimed is primarily responsible for failing to fully divulge documents in the Paulin and other priest abuse cases.

"Not having all the documents has been the largest disruption to this case," O'Neill told Joseph at the hearing last week.

O'Brien did not attend the hearing or respond to a telephone request for an interview. According to an affidavit he filed with the court earlier this month, O'Brien said his failure to find and turn over the Paulin documents was a mistake.

"I did not willfully withhold documents, nor did I intentionally file false statements," he wrote.

In April, the diocese settled the first of the priest abuse cases to come before Joseph, paying $965,000 to Michael Gay, who had accused the Rev. Edward Paquette of molesting him in the late 1970s.

Contact Sam Hemingway at 660-1850 or e-mail at shemingway@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Civil Suits in Pedophile Pederast Priest Cases by Victims of Roman Catholic Church in L.A. Grind Slowly Towards Justice

The attorney took the floor in front of Judge Haley Fromholz and began arguing on behalf of his client and as the attorney for the church began to respond their arguments didn’t seem to jibe. The judge asked a question and the attorneys looked at each other.

Wait a minute is this BC308507687? No it’s, no wait a minute is this BC3085082775 or the other one the one you said.

Judge: No this is -- well wait a minute

It took a good 30 seconds before even the judge and the attorneys on both sides got it straight which case they were hearing, and one of the attorneys went back to his seat red-faced.

BC308031 is one case that's phenomenally confusing and convoluted with 17 plaintiffs and 1000 defendants, and it’s not the worst one. BC308065 is a Krautzer case so it’s already scheduled for trial but a Motion to Quash (Strike and Dismiss) was scheduled to be argued today Feb 13, at 8:31 AM.

As hearings got underway this morning one L.A. clergy case was dismissed with no further interest as the plaintiff was not there and had no attorney to represent him. I went downstairs later and looked up this case, BC308406. It was originally filed by a survivor plaintiff Todd Roberts, versus Defendants 1 - 100, various agents of the church.

He filed a personal injury and wrongful death suit in 2003 but then in 2004 his attorney couldn't locate him. A Motion to be Released as Counsel was sent to the plaintiff’s father in Montana, and there is not much more there. Today an attorney for the church stood up and no one appeared for Todd Roberts and Judge Fromholz dismissed the case.

In the filings from 2003 Todd Roberts had an attorney in L.A. but the phone number now connects to a Fax machine somewhere, with a long b-l-e-e-e-e-e-e-p sound when you call it.

I wonder what happened to Todd Roberts whose case against the church was quietly dismissed in court today. Maybe he’s out there now another one among us of the walking wounded wandering the streets of L.A. trying to find resolution to 87 or so emotional problems as a result of being raped by a pederast or pedophile claiming to be a man of God -- talk about confusion! You can almost recognize us on the streets -- there are thousands of us out here, the walking wounded survivors of Catholic priest pedophilia and pederasty, walking around in a daze in West Hollywood wondering how we got here. . . but I digress.

Another motion to strike was supposed to be argued re BC308065 but if it was I didn't hear it and I was sitting right there.

I have a call in to one of the attorneys on this case, Steven Brady in the 415 -- he’s in Marin County in San Rafael.

From my notes I see this case is set for jury trial on June 11 this year.

I am trying to track down a copy of the motions to strike that were filed on January 16th by the church. The L.A. Superior Court Web Site lists Motions to Strike 17X and Motions to Strike 21X both filed on January 16th with no BC numbers. I am trying to find out if this really means there were -- 21 plus 17 is 38 -- 38 motions to strike filed on January 16th.

02/28/2007 at 08:31 am in department 20 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) - (17X)(PAPERS FILED ON 1/16))
02/28/2007 at 08:31 am in department 20 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Motion to Strike (COMPLAINTS (21X)(PAPERS FILED 1/16))

Anyone can access these calendars and case summaries at the L.A. Superior Court website by typing in JCCP4286 for cases in Los Angeles and JCCP4297 in cases for San Diego. Anyone who wants to pay $4.75 a view and type in their credit card number can look at these documents. I can’t afford that. Plus as of this afternoon the documents available to the public to view for free are two to three months behind. So anything filed after December or the first week of January is not on the website yet.

BC308065, another one the church tried to get dismissed today, is a case I’d like to try to follow. In involves Paul Krautzer, a former Catholic high school teacher who pled no contest to molesting 10 girls in the San Fernando Valley from 1968 to 1996 though he still claims to be innocent. Krautzer is currently in a California state prison and will be eligible for parole in 2022. Judge Fromholz has already put the jury trial for Krautzer’s victims on the calendar for June 11, 2007.

The plaintiff here is Cheryl Buser and one other plaintiff who is listed as Doe 1. The defendants are John Does 2-5 and then another group of defendants are John Does 6 - 100 (these Does are yet to be identified).

I spent some time in the room the court has for the public to view documents in civil cases for free and read a little bit about BC308065.

The attorney represening the church is listed as making a “special appearance for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Education and Welfare Corporation.”

In the list of documents available to view under BC308065 are motion after motion filed by the church requesting to view Carol Buser’s employment records from Wal-Mart and a Nursing home in Moberly, Missouri, and more recently in Jan 2007 from The Gold Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The church asks for all employment documents regarding records, resumes, applications for employment, work absenses, start and end dates, positions held, and any and all personnel records for Cheryl Buser ( and it lists another name for her).

The church has also filed for her student records from a state college in Missouri, in the same detail.

This is what Cheryl Buser is going through, this kind of invasion of personal privacy, because she’s come forward as a survivor of priest rape and is trying to get justice from the court and the church.

Also on December 19 2003 when the Cheryl Buser’s case first started there were 18 motions filed to take depositions in Fulton County, Jasper County, two in Randolph County, Seminole County, St. Clair Illinois, and Marion, Indiana. I have to do more research to find out if these were filed by the plaintiff or defendant.

You are only allowed to use the free access computers for 20 minutes so my search for documents has to take place in spurts. When I first started writing this blog attorneys would talk to me on the phone, but now when I call any of them I get put through to voice mail as they've “just stepped away from the desk” after they find out it’s me calling. Then they don’t return my voice mails.

I focused in on the wording in one paragraph of one document in BC308065: re an “omnibus of oppositions and Memorandums of Points of Authorities in Opposition to the Demurrers” -- huh? Talk about obfuscation and attorneys on both sides are guilty of that.

All attorneys are guilty of that.

Cheryl Buser is one of 10 girls Paul Alphonse Krautzer is serving 17 years for abusing. He apparently got to her when she was at OUR Lady of Perpetual Help High School in Santa Clarita. OR was it at Our Lady of Peace School in North Hills, or was it both?

One woman, one plaintiff, one survivor -- out of thousands of us across America right now. . .

A case that took up quite a bit of time this morning in court was BC307410 one of many regarding George Neville Rucker a retired priest who is now around 87 years old. No matter his age or condition, he’s being compelled to respond to questions he doesn't want to which he does not want to respond on the grounds that it might incriminate himself. Here’s a little background on George Neville Rucker
Victims of 2 Former Corpus Christi Priests to Be Compensated

By Max Taves
Palisadian-Post [Pacific Palisades CA]
December 6, 2006


When the Los Angeles Archdiocese pays $60 million to settle sexual abuse claims, millions will go to the alleged and confirmed victims of two former Corpus Christi priests.

The victims of Fathers George Neville Rucker, 86, and the alleged victim of Richard Martini, 51, were among 45 accusers who said they were sexually abused by L.A. priests. No known victims were members or students of Corpus Christi.

Thirty-eight females have accused Rucker, the former Corpus Christi pastor, of molesting them as children from 1947 to 1980, making him the most cited priest since the L.A. Archdiocese began recording abuse claims in 1930.. . .

Rucker was charged in 2002 with 29 counts of molesting seven girls during the 1970s and arrested while aboard a cruise ship in Alaska. But in 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that extended the statute of limitations for sex crimes against children. That decision freed Rucker from all criminal charges, but it did not stop dozens of lawsuits against him and the archdiocese. Most of those cases have yet to be settled.

According to publicly available archdiocese reports, investigations beginning in the 1960s confirmed abuse allegations against Rucker, but the Church continued a policy of reassigning him to parishes with elementary schools. And abuse followed.

After confirming Rucker's abuse for the first time in the early 1960s, then-Bishop Timothy Manning persuaded the mother of a molested girl not to press charges against the priest with the pledge that the Church would handle the situation, according to police reports.

But instead of reassigning Rucker away from contact with children, Manning assigned Rucker to St. Anthony's, a church with an elementary school in El Segundo. He spent six years there beginning in 1961, and two women later accused him of molesting them when they were nine years old.

One of the women brought criminal charges against Rucker in 1994, but an L.A. Superior Court judge dismissed the case, citing the statute of limitations. Rucker settled a civil lawsuit with one of the women by paying $20,000 without acknowledging wrongdoing. His lawyer argued that the woman believed false memories created by a therapist.

In its 'Report to People of God' published in 2004, the archdiocese described the decision to reassign Rucker to positions where he was in contact with children: 'Although Bishop (later Cardinal) Manning is deceased and cannot be asked his motives, the transfer was consistent with the normal response used at the time in which these cases were seen as sins requiring spiritual solutions. The priest in question had discussed and reflected upon it with his Bishop”
Subsequently, Father Rucker served in a number of different parishes until his retirement in 1987. He continued to live there until he was forcibly removed in April 2002 and placed in an assisted-living center for priests in West L.A., following a 'zero-tolerance' policy toward confirmed sexual predators initiated by Cardinal Roger Mahony.. . . .

So George Neville Rucker is now retired 20 years and 87 years old living in assisted living in West L.A. His attorney Steier is afraid if he answers the questions the plaintiff demands he answer that the 87 year old priest will end up in prison. For this Steier and Rucker were sanctioned and ordered to pay the court $3600 out of their own pockets.

In today’s hearing, Steier was so plaintive in his pleas to Judge Fromholz you’d think he was a plaintiff. It’s a question of 38 questions out of eight hours of deposition, 38 questions that Steier advised his client, the then 86 year old George Neville Rucker, not to answer.

Since then there have been orders compelling Rucker to respond, filed in April and August last year, but “No, your honor, Since then things have changed,” called out Donald Steier sounding to me to be almost in tears.

What's changed since last August is a statement by District Attorney William Hodgman recently saying that if new information comes up during these clergy case hearings he will go ahead and start new prosecutions; if these hearings bring up new evidence of “continuing to engage in a cover-up by the Archdiocese,” then Hodgeman will open new cases of criminal conspiracy, a crime with no statute of limitations.

I'm not sure but I think Steier was referring to one of these quotes:

WILLIAM HODGMAN: We will go where the evidence takes us. We are still actively gathering evidence at this time and, indeed, we will go where the evidence takes us. No one in this county is above the law and that includes Cardinal Mahony.
DREW GRIFFIN: All these people were known to the archdiocese and many known to Cardinal Mahony as well as having a problem with sexually molesting and yet I can't think of one of those cases where the cardinal or the archdiocese came to the police and basically turned them in, is that correct?

HODGMAN: I think the record speaks for itself.

Dec 9, 2004 - CNN

Or maybe Steier was referring to this quote from a New York Times article about Hodgeman’s reaction to the documentary film Deliver Us From Evil:

“The film does certainly charge the atmosphere here in Los Angeles,” said William Hodgman, the top deputy of the target crimes division of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, who coordinated prosecutions of priests in Los Angeles.
The film also “will fuel ongoing consideration as to whether Cardinal Mahony and others engaged in criminal activity,” Mr. Hodgman added.
Joe Scott, a spokesman for the district attorney, Steve Cooley, confirmed that characterization."

Hmm, sounds to me like the 87 year old priest isn't the only one Steier is trying to keep from incrimination. Outside court Steier is still talking about Rucker and I go passionate TV journalist on him and say, "Rucker really wants to talk, doesn't he?" Steier doesn't answer me. I am going to call Donald Steier and ask if I can interview this old priest.

It always amazes me how there’s so much happening in Clergy Cases I and II hearings One small sentence stated out loud out of the thousands of statements being made on paper, online, in deposition testimony, out of public hearing -- one small statement mumbled by an attorney pleading to the judge opens up, to me, a hundred more stories about these decades of criminal activity in the Roman Catholic Church.

Basically the Catholic Church in the Los Angeles Archdioce alone turned a whole population of pedophiles and pederasts into the community with total immunity for decades. Priests blackmailed each other quietly in the rectories across America and bishops quietly transferred the perpetrators from one parish to another, usually putting the worst ones in rural areas where “no one would notice.” The criminal charges against most of these priests in California were dropped in 2003 so civil court is the only place to get any kind of justice at all.

There is starting to be more press in attendance. There was a guy there today from KFWB and a reporter from the L.A. Times both of whom were so green I had to show them who was who, and I don't know myself. Apparently they had just gotten the assignments to cover these hearings, so things are looking up.

Coming up More coverage of the convoluted and confusing probably overwhelming Clergy Cases -- what are the questions Rucker is being compelled to ask.

How many motions to strike were filed on January 16th and how does one get a copy of them?

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Catholic Church Defense Against Plaintiffs in Pedophile Priest Cases Likely to End in Bankruptcy Deals, No Penance for the Guilty


Church Defense and Likely Bankruptcy Will Leave Los Angeles Archdiocese Feeling No Pain, But Will There Be Justice?

What could very likely happen after all this work, all these hearings, upcoming trials, lopsided rulings one way or another? The Los Angeles cases could end up with results like Portland, Oregon, where the archdiocese recently brokered a bankruptcy deal. Insurance companies bear most of the cost, the administration of the archdiocese, from hierarchy down to every last parish, feels very little financial burden, the few plaintiffs’ cases who made it that far get a puny settlement. And life goes on.

That is the pattern followed soon after Portland in Seattle and apparently what L.A. Bishop Roger Mahony hopes to accomplish with the corporate bankruptcy attorneys he has fighting against plaintiffs in the L.A. Clergy Cases. Why else would the archdiocese use corporate bankruptcy specialist lawyers instead of attorneys who specialize in human interests?

Here is an article about the Portland settlement and an idea of what we can expect the archdiocese in L.A. to try this year in order to come out of decades of criminal aiding and abetting with little or no damages.

Portland church deal clears hurdle

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Friday, February 2, 2007

PORTLAND - A federal bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved the first step of a proposed reorganization of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, a deal among insurance carriers and the church that generates more than $51 million for the church to pay to victims of sexual abuse by priests.
The 34-minute hearing carried an air of celebration among two dozen lawyers representing the archdiocese and eight insurance companies who had been fighting over liability and coverage issues for more than two years.
The deal essentially allows the archdiocese to sell its insurance coverage back to its insurers for $51.75 million in cash. In exchange, the insurers walk away with no further liability for any claims by victims of abuse by priests of the archdiocese.
The church ends up feeling no pain. The corporation that is the Roman Catholic Church suffers little. As for the damage done to the individuals (plaintiffs, i.e. crime victims), the residual damage to people who interacted with the victims, the effect on pedophiles around the world when they saw priests getting away with it? We are talking about thousands of lives affected by criminal activity in the Catholic Church. Will an easy bankruptcy be the end of the story?

Friday, February 2, 2007

Who are the Attorneys in Civil Cases of Pedophile Priest Rape Survivors vs L.A. Catholic Archdiocese?

Who Are The Attorneys Fighting Pedophile Priest Rape Survivors to Protect L.A. Catholic Archdiocese’s Corporate Assets? – Corporate Bankruptcy Specialists.

Plaintiffs' attorneys are intelligent and dedicated but fighting like David against Goliath in the current civil cases taking place under Judge Haley Fromholz in Superior Court Los Angeles.

Donald F. Woods, Jr. one of the attorneys representing the archdiocese is with the L.A. firm: Hennigan Bennett & Dorman. At HBD’s website they claim expertise in complex litigation, business reorganization & bankruptcy, litigation, and trial support, which they are bringing to the L.A. Clergy Cases.

As they put it themselves:

The bedrock of HBD’s Complex Litigation group’s practice is our ability to try and to win large business and commercial cases. We are a trial firm with particular expertise handling individual and class actions involving financial and securities frauds, shareholder derivative claims, directors' and officers' liability claims, antitrust claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, commercial contract disputes, and the prosecution and defense of professional liability claims.
Our practice covers a broad range of industries including banking, finance, securities, high technology and the Internet, energy, public accounting, real estate development, aviation, health care, pharmaceutical, and entertainment and media. In the securities law area, we have extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants

Among the cases they’ve won recently:

Sempra Energy Resources v. California Department of Water Resources. HBD represented Sempra Energy Resources ("Sempra") in pursuing a claim for declaratory relief and in defending claims of fraud and breach of contract against the Department of Water Resources in connection with Sempra's ten-year energy contract. The Department sought to void the contract, which it valued at $6.6 billion, and as well as damages. In May 2003, Sempra won summary judgment on all causes of action, and thereafter the San Diego Superior Court entered judgment in Sempra's favor.

Farallon Capital Partners v. Gleacher & Co., Inc., et al. HBD represented Farallon Capital Partners and Oaktree Capital Management in prosecuting fraud claims relating to our clients’ purchase of more than $30 million in bonds backed by a steel company in Thailand. HBD settled the case on confidential terms with a substantial recovery to the client.

And most famously the 1994 Orange County bankruptcy that destroyed hundreds of firms and families in that part of the state:

Orange County.
HBD represented Orange County as lead litigation counsel in lawsuits filed against Merrill Lynch, numerous other broker dealers, structured note issuers, and professionals retained by the County prior to the bankruptcy, including attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors. Settlements of these cases exceeded $871 million. This included the largest litigated recovery ever recorded against a law firm, one of the largest ever against Wall Street, one of the largest ever against a major accounting firm, and collectively one of the largest recoveries for a single series of interrelated suits.

The attorneys who helped broker that wonderful bankruptcy deal for Orange County in 1994 that cost thousands of jobs and cut county services for the next decade now represent the Los Angeles Archdiocese against plaintiffs who were raped by priest in the Catholic church.

Representing the plaintiffs, One of the major firms is Kiesel, Boucher & Larson of Beverly Hills. Their clients, the plaintiffs, are people who were damaged by the church to the point that they are damaged individuals, many are unemployed, many are in therapy or should be, many are recovering from lives of drug abuse and sex addiction among other problems – no one has ever really studied the personality parallels in priest-rape survivors.

KBLA describe themselves on their website as:

Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP was formed in April, 1999 with the merger of Kiesel & Larson and the Law Offices of Raymond P. Boucher. All three name partners have extensive litigation experience in complex matters and have tried many cases. Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP and its predecessor firms have a long and rich tradition in representing consumers who have been injured and suffered damages due to the negligence, fraud, unfair business practices or other wrongful conduct of others.

Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP provides representation to plaintiffs in catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, business fraud, breach of contract, construction defect, employment discrimination, consumer class action, product defect, insurance bad faith, insurance coverage, toxic tort, environmental, and professional malpractice actions.

For over the last 10 years, Messrs. Kiesel and Boucher have been actively involved in the trial bar and have continuously maintained leadership positions with the Consumer Attorneys of California and the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles. In addition, both of them are frequent lecturers at continuing education seminars for lawyers. Please see their biographies for more detailed information.

The associate attorneys at Kiesel, Boucher & Larson, LLP are all very experienced and accomplished litigators. They all have broad-based experience litigating large, complex and significant cases.

KBLA’s website includes a keen link to the Los Angeles County Law Library and other resources, the University Law Review Project where you can sign up for a free abstract email service. The overall sense of the KBLA website is this is an intelligent firm, with human justice and open information being one of its goals,

But the client list? Recent cases of note:

Beverly Hills oil well litigation
Paul Kiesel has been retained to represent the interests of all injured victims making claims against the city of Beverly Hills, the Beverly Hills school district, Venoco, Wainoco, Beverly Hills oil company, ChevronTexaco and Sempra. Dr. Kiesel has been retained, uniquely, as the settlement counsel to assist the plaintiffs in resolving their claims against the multiple defendants. Dr. Kiesel is proud to be working alongside the lead counsel Baron & Budd through their partner Al Stewart.

Lane Garrison DUI
On January 31, 2007 the Beverly Hills Police Department announced the results of its six week investigation into the tragic death of Vahaghn Setian (age 17), on December 2, 2006. The Department's findings conclude that Lane Garrison, who was operating his Range Rover, lost control of the vehicle due to both excessive speed and intoxication. Mr. Garrison's blood alcohol level was at least twice the legal limit in California; cocaine was also found in his blood. KBL is honored to represent the family of Vahaghn Setian regarding this devastating loss. The family anxiously awaits criminal charges to be brought by the Los Angeles District Attorneys' Office against Mr. Garrison.

And most significantly the work of KBLA attorneys:

Orange County Diocese molestation cases
Raymond P. Boucher, as one of the lead negotiators, helped successfully settle all claims against the Orange County Diocese arising out of the priest molestation claims in the amount of $100 million.

You can see that KBLA is dedicated, hardworking, determined, ethical, driven by moral concerns – and on nowhere near the same playing field as the church attorneys.

Another firm representing the Archdiocese:

Carlton Disante & Freudenberger LLP in San Diego.

A visit to their website shows they sell themselves this way:

We are honored to represent a wide spectrum of employers ranging from Fortune 100 companies to regional and local enterprises. Whether we are providing day-to-day human resources advice, or handling sophisticated class action litigation involving thousands of employees, our mission remains to provide our clients with legal services of the highest quality, to achieve superior results, and to assist our clients in attaining their ongoing business goals.

On the CDF Clients page they list 71 names such as:

Denny’s, Domino’s, McDonalds, Napa Auto Supply, The Roman Catholic Church, US Bancorp, Western Digital, Young and Rubicam advertising, Tower Records, New Century Mortgage.

Yep. The Roman Catholic Church is smack in the middle of all those Fortune 100s defending its right to pass the buck on 40 years of turning pedophiles out into the community of Southern California and get away with it.

Another lead attorney for the plaintiffs in Southern California is Katherine Freberg whose firm is Katherine Freberg and Associates. She’s a 1961 Texas Tech graduate who went to law school at Pepperdine and now practices law in Irvine. Freberg had several clients in the Orange County settlement a few years back. A Google search finds evidence of her years of advocacy on behalf of priest rape survivors, with great quotes:

This one is from the Texas Advocates site:
Katherine Freberg, a lawyer in Irvine, Calif., who represents several people who say they were abused by priests, said the ruling would affect not only the estimated 800 child molesters in the California justice system but also many others.

"Potentially thousands and thousands of other pedophiles will get away with their crimes because other state legislatures will be reluctant to pass new laws," Ms. Freberg said. Lawmakers in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and Florida, she said, had been considering extending the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children but would now be unlikely to try.

A June 15 2002 CNN transcript quotes Freberg:

You know, there are two problems here. One is how to deal with the priest who molests and number two, how to deal with the cardinals and the bishops who covered up for the priests who molest. Now this charter that they have proposed does not deal with the second issue at all. It is a charter of zero accountability. And as to the first issue, there certainly is progress, but there are so many loopholes to allow priests to continue on as priests, there is a huge loophole in this charter and it needs to be addressed.

Freberg is part of an NPR report

California Child Sex-Abuse Cases in Question
by Richard Gonzales

All Things Considered, July 3, 2003
California begins releasing accused child molesters who were charged or convicted under a state law that erased the statute of limitations on certain child abuse cases. The Supreme Court struck down the law last week. State prosecutors review cases to determine which charges must be dropped and which convictions overturned. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports

Endless advocacy – Freberg seems to have made bringing the Catholic Church to justice her life’s work but –

WHERE are the resources for plaintiffs to be on the same level as the Archdiocese in pleading their cases? How can this even begin to be justice? Why does a Christian organization hire attorneys skilled in financial wizardry rather than human concerns? Well it's LA Archdioces, forever more concerned with protecting its assets than the children in its churches.

NEXT -- The morass, the conundrum, five file cabinets overflowing and documents spilled out onto the tables and floors in the jury room beside Judge Fromholz' court. It's where they keep motions from just two months of Clergy Cases I and II in Los Angeles.

More to come

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Lawyers Defending Catholic Church in Pedophile Priest Cases Bash Civil Plaintiffs with Motions to Strike Right and Left Right and Left. . .

Right and left.

The church is bashing civil plaintiffs right and left trying to get civil cases thrown out in the 500-plus clergy civil suits being fought today in Los Angeles. February 13th alone there will be three motions to dismiss (two are motions to "Quash, Strike, and Dismiss") argued in front of Judge Haley Fromholz in Superior Court Los Angeles Department 20 (3rd floor) (at the Civic Center Station on the red line).

As they have since November these hearings are taking place with little or no media coverage. The church is getting away with using oversized attorneys and its endless financial resources to fight the few victims whose cases were able to slip through a tiny window of opportunity that opened and closed a few years back. All the criminal cases from that much ballyhooed window ended up being thrown out of court thanks to the Stogner Decision. These 500 plus civil cases are all that's left of the mammoth amount of work that went into getting the window open in the statute of limitations for two years. (See article at bottom of this blog entry for more information.)

The news media is curiuosly absent, uninterested, overwhelmed by the mountains of documents. So what do I do? I'm a single mom recently empty nested with a job that doesn't take up all my time, so I'll be there. Tomorrow I'm going to try to dig through some documents, read some of these motions, find out just what the church is getting away with.

Where is the media? Where is the advocacy for survivors? Shamefully and mysteriously quiet or off other places. The church's claws go everywhere but they can't find me. . . .

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (PLAINTIFF GREG D'S COMPLAINT RE: BC308665)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (PLAINTIFF JOHN DOE 3'S COMPLAINT RE: BC308361)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Supporting Docs/ P's & A's (OF MOTION TO STRIKE COMPLAINT OF ALBERT W. RE: BC308555)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFF ALBERT W. RE: BC308555)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (PLAINTIFFS' FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT RE: BC307225)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (COMPLAINT OF PLAINTIFFS RE: BC305515)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (PLAINTIFF STEVEN S.'S COMPLAINT RE: BC286703)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (PLAINTIFF GARY VASQUEZ'S COPLAINT RE: BC307934)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (PLAINTIFF GREG C.'S COMPLAINT RE: BC308555)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC308186)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1 (I) RE: BC306406)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC306406)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1 (I) RE: BC307949)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC307949)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1 (I) RE: BC307225)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: 307225)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPEICAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1 (I) RE: BC304657)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC307479)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC307479)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1 (I) RE: BC307350)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE PLAINTIFF DAVID MICHAEL SORBO RE: BC307350)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC308555)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE PLAINTIFFS ALBERT W. AND GREG C. RE: BC308555)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC308665)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE PLAINTIFF GREG D. RE: BC308665)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC308361)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC308361)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC286703)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC286703)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Demurrer (TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT RE: BC308186)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1 (I) RE: BC305515)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC305515)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC304657)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC308395)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE RENA F. AND ERNIE R. RE: BC308395)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1 RE: BC308301)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC308294)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE: BC308294)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Declaration (OF LEE W. POTTS IN SUPPORT OF SPECIAL MOTION TO STRIKE CCP 340.1 (I) RE: BC307934)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (CCP 340.1(I) RE PLAINTIFF GARY VASQUEZ RE: BC307934)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (RE CASE NO. BC308301 )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (PORTIONS OF THE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT RE: BC308294)
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (RE CASE NO. BC308395 )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

01/16/2007 Motion to Strike (RE CASE NO. BC307479 )
Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

Here is one of the few articles I've beena able to find about how the Stogner decision in 2003 caused about 500 pedophiles to be set free from pending criminal charges -- it was on the website for TAASA Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. A Google search, bishop-accountability search, L.A. Times search etc showed no local L.A. coverage of this decision and how it affected the clergy cases, letting the priests who were finally being brought up for justice free.

One wonders how much the church helped to get that decision passed, though it had "nothing" to do with the church. . .

Victims Angered and Upset by Ruling Freeing Molesters


LOS ANGELES, July 12 < George Neville Rucker, an 82-year-old former Roman Catholic priest, was on a two-month cruise off the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, when, the authorities said, his past finally caught up with him.

Alaska state troopers arrested him, harnessed him on a tug boat and returned him to Los Angeles, where he faced charges of molesting 12 girls over 30 years, starting a year after he was ordained as a priest in 1946. If convicted, he faced a possible prison sentence of 26 years.

But this week, before any evidence was presented to a jury, Mr. Rucker walked out of court a free man.

He is among perhaps hundreds of people in California who are being freed from trial or jail as a result of a United States Supreme Court ruling on June 26 overturning a 1993 California law that allowed charges against child molesters protected by a previous deadline on prosecutions.

State officials said the decision affected as many as 800 people accused of sexual offenses or already convicted.

The ruling and the release of the offenders has infuriated victims and frustrated prosecutors.

"We're still licking our wounds here," said William Hodgeman, head of the sexual crimes unit of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office. "Conservatively, we have over 200 impacted cases in L.A. County alone, with the prospect of it going higher."

He added, "Without question, there will be established child molesters free from custody and allowed to go back into the communities from whence they came."

Among those the decision frees, prosecutors said, are Roman Catholic priests accused in some of the most notorious molestation cases in California. In addition to Mr. Rucker, prosecutors dropped charges this week against two other former priests. The decision applies to all molesters recently charged in crimes that occurred before 1988 or recently convicted in such crimes.

Among them is John Anthony Salazar, a former priest charged with molesting a student at a rectory at a Catholic high school and an altar boy at a church in Los Angeles in the early 1980's.

"It devastated me and my family," said Carlos Perez-Carrillo, who said Mr. Salazar molested him repeatedly at St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey 20 years ago. "You wait for justice for 20 years, and then it's taken away overnight."

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1993 California law that, effective in 1994, extended the deadline for prosecuting sexual crimes violated the Constitution's prohibition on laws that make an action illegal after the fact.

Until 1994, child molesters could not be prosecuted in California more than six years after the offense. The new law extended the time in which prosecutions were allowed and authorized prosecutions that the old law's deadline had barred.

Under the new law, an adult could provide evidence of sexual molestation before age 18, regardless of when it occurred, and prosecutors had a year to bring charges.

The Supreme Court's ruling said the Constitution's ban on retroactive laws prohibited prosecution for offenses that had been previously barred by the passage of time. The ruling took effect immediately, and several people accused of sexual offenses were released the next day.

"Trials were stopped, people were released from prisons, investigations were closed," Bill Lockyer, the California attorney general, said in an interview. His office is compiling records of cases affected by the decision, and he estimated that 500 to 800 prosecutions would be dropped.

"The court has the last and final word on these matters, and I respect their sensitivity to the constitutional provision," Mr. Lockyer said. "But I think they're wrong. These crimes were committed; they're awful crimes; and turning these people loose creates risks for all children in this state."

The ruling allows charges for molestation after 1988 because only the retroactive extension of the deadline for prosecution was overturned, he said.

On Monday, charges were dropped against Mr. Rucker, who was accused of sexually assaulting 12 girls from 1947 to 1977. The youngest victim was 7, prosecutors said.

After his arrest on the cruise ship, Mr. Rucker was freed on bail and was to have been tried later this year. He has been living in a Los Angeles home for retired priests.

Mr. Rucker's lawyer, Donald Steier, said the California law was defective and he would have challenged it at trial.

Prosecutors cannot conceal their dismay at the effect of the decision.

"I am frustrated and disappointed," said Rosanne Froeberg, chief of sex crimes prosecution in the Orange County district attorney's office. "I have gone through a series of emotions, not dissimilar to a divorce."

Ms. Froeberg said this week that she had identified eight cases that had been dismissed, or would be, and three sexual offenders who would be released from prison. Three of her cases involved clergy, she said.

The worst part, she said, has been breaking the news to victims and victim advocates.

"I have to let them know that these people will be getting out of custody" without any provision for probation, parole or protective orders, she said. Those affected by the decision will not have to comply with the state's law that requires sexual offenders to register with the authorities and notify the communities in which they intend to live.

Katherine Freberg, a lawyer in Irvine, Calif., who represents several people who say they were abused by priests, said the ruling would affect not only the estimated 800 child molesters in the California justice system but also many others.

"Potentially thousands and thousands of other pedophiles will get away with their crimes because other state legislatures will be reluctant to pass new laws," Ms. Freberg said. Lawmakers in New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and Florida, she said, had been considering extending the statute of limitations for sexual crimes against children but would now be unlikely to try.

Mr. Perez-Carrillo, 37, said that his molestation by Mr. Salazar had undermined his relationship with the church, which he said had been the center of his life when he was growing up in the San Fernando Valley. Now he said he was equally disillusioned with the state.

"The implications of what happened at the Supreme Court < that 800 possible child molesters and rapists are going to be set free < is just overwelming," said Mr. Perez-Carrillo, a supervising social worker in Los Angeles. "The Supreme Court needed to look at the protection of children and they didn't. This is just a devastating blow for children."

The New York Times Company - 7/13/2003