Bishop Finn pays tons to discredited "expert"
He made one of the most stunning and memorable courtroom blunders in US history. But thanks to the generosity of Kansas City Catholics, and the viciousness of Kansas City's bishop, a therapist is getting paid $800 an hour (a total of $55,000) to try to undermine the credibility of a man who says he was sexually abused by two priests.
Of all the mental health professionals in the land, Bishop Robert Finn and his lawyers picked this therapist as an "expert witness" in a clergy sex abuse and cover up trial that's happening now in Independence, Missouri.
Park Dietz, who earns as much $400,000 a year, disputes the widely-accepted reality of “repressed memories.” (Think repressed memory is "unproven?" Talk with doctors and therapists who treat war veterans. Or nearly any psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker who deals with trauma.)
He's help the diocese defend itself against a child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit brought by Jon David Couzens. It involves Missouri's most prolific predator priest, Msgr. Thomas O’Brien. (Couzens was also abused by Fr. Isaac True. That part of his case has settled.)
Dietz is best known for his discredited testimony in the 2002 trial of Andrea Yates, a woman convicted of drowning her five kids. Under oath, Dietz claimed that before Yates committed the crime, the TV show Law & Order had aired an episode about a woman who drowned her children.
But there was no such Law & Order episode. When Dietz' error was exposed, Yates' murder conviction was overturned . According to Wikipedia, “the negative publicity following the Yates trial led Dietz to be dropped as an expert from Marcus Wesson's murder trial.”
(Dietz also testified that John Hinckley, Jr. was sane when he shot President Ronald Reagan. The jury disagreed. He also testified that serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer - who murdered 17 boys and men – was “rational” even though he kept the skulls of 11 of his victims.)
As kids, we're often told we'll be judged by the company we keep. Apparently, Bishop Finn and other KC Catholic officials haven't learned that simple lesson.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.