CA--Two new predator priest lawsuits filed
Two new predator priest lawsuits filed
Perpetrator admitted abuse, sent to prison
But LA archbishop has never reached out to parishes
Another LA predator may still be working in Philippines
Silence is dangerous, victims tell archbishop
Holding signs and pictures of themselves at the age they were abused, sex abuse victims will:
- Disclose two new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits against the LA Archdiocese and a now-convicted priest, and
- Blast the LA Archbishop for possibly letting another LA predator to work as a priest in the Philippines.
They will also beg the LA Archbishop to:
- Reach out to communities where convicted predator worked and may have abused, and
- Demand that Philippine bishops suspend an accused LA cleric who is working there.
Monday, March 23 at 11 am
Outside of the LA Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W Temple St (at Hill), Los Angeles
5 to 6 men and women who were sexually abused as children, and their supporters, who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for people who have been sexually abused in religious or institutional settings
On Friday, two victims of now-convicted LA predator priest Carlos Rodriguez filed a sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit against the priest and the Los Angeles Archdiocese. SNAP believes that there may be more victims and that Archbishop Jose Gomez is doing little to reach out to them.
The boys in the lawsuit charge that they were assaulted by Rodriguez while the priest was working at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Santa Paula between 1989 and 1991 when they were 7-10 years old.
According to the suit, Rodriguez was accused in 1987 of molesting a boy on a trip out of state. When allegations surfaced, Rodriguez told church officials—including then-Cardinal Roger Mahony—that he had molested the boy. Rodriguez was then sent to a church-run treatment facility.
When he came back to LA, Rodriguez was assigned by Mahony to the Office of Family Life in Ventura. While there, Rodriguez worked in parishes throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Rodriguez has at least six known victims.
"This is a tragic case," said Joelle Casteix, SNAP Western Regional Director. "There could be a dozen kids who were molested by this priest. Yet not once, as best we can tell, has Archbishop Gomez done anything to reach out and encourage victims to call law enforcement."
Rodriguez was removed from the priesthood in the late 1990s. He was convicted of felony child sexual abuse in 2002 and convicted to four years in prison. http://articles.latimes.com/2004/mar/13/local/me-vnpriest13 He lives in Huntington Park and is a registered sex offender.
In a similar situation, victims are also urging Gomez to prod Philippines church officials to investigate Rev. Ruben V. Abaya. SNAP believes this is the same Abaya who sexually molested a Los Angeles girl in 1980. Abaya was only in Los Angeles for 11 days when he and other priests allegedly gang raped Rita Milla at St. Philomena Parish in Carson. http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Philippines/Key_Cases.htm#Abaya.
"The least that Gomez can do is to warn communities that there may be a danger, but we haven't even seen him try that," Casteix said. "Even Pope Francis agrees that bishops should do everything they can to keep children safer from abuse."
The victims in the Rodriguez case are represented by attorney Anthony DeMarco (310) 927-9277 cell.
Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director, (949) 322-7434 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org
Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO; SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, email@example.com
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.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
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.