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

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?

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