December 15, 2004
Mr. John D. Phillips, District Attorney
San Joaquin County, Stockton Courthouse
222 E. Weber Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 202
Stockton, CA 95201-0990
Dear Mr. Phillips:
We, the members of SNAP, (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) write to implore you to act to ensure justice and the protection of children, by investigating possible perjury charges against Cardinal Roger Mahony.
As you are likely aware, Los Angeles archdiocesan officials (presumably including Mahony himself) are currently being investigated by a grand jury for their potential role in aiding, abetting and covering up for predator priests.
However, Mahony’s mishandling of pedophile priests did not begin when he arrived in Los Angeles. There were at least three known or suspected abusive clerics (but very likely more) that Mahony now admits supervising while he headed the Stockton diocese.
Two of those, he claimed to have forgotten about during a recent sworn deposition: Fr. Antonio Munoz and Fr. Antonio Camacho. Both have since left the country.
Mahony, unlike the average person giving testimony, has nearly unlimited resources and an army of high priced legal minds to carefully and thoroughly read files and documents. These attorneys surely briefed Mahony prior to the 1998 trial and the recent deposition. Neither the trial nor the deposition were impromptu events where the Cardinal were caught unprepared. And this is a small diocese with several dozen priests and a time span of only five years. Therefore, any reasonable person would find Mahony's alleged "forgetfulness" extremely hard to believe.
The most notorious of the known or suspected Stockton abusive priests is Oliver O’Grady, who counts a nine month old girl as his youngest victim.
In a 1998 civil trial in Stockton, against O'Grady, Mahony and the diocese, the Cardinal denied that he knew O’Grady was a child molester. His claim is directly contradicted, however, by the sworn testimony of Dr. William Morris to whom O’Grady admitted being a “molester of children.” Dr. Morris testified under oath that Mahony knew about O’Grady’s pedophilia. Jurors later publicly said they didn’t believe Mahony’s testimony. Further, Mahony failed to mention that he had pedophiles Munoz and Camacho under his supervision during his tenure as bishop.
With all due respect, we urge you to launch an investigation into whether Mahony committed perjury in his sworn statements. We ask you to protect kids by setting an example for those who would protect child molesters. This behavior has unfortunately been tolerated before, but if we value our children and the innocence of their youth, it must never be again.
We look forward to your assistance in this matter and welcome an opportunity to speak with you about it in greater detail.
Mary Grant, SNAP Southwest Regional Director (626) 419-2930 cell
Steven Sanchez, SNAP Los Angeles Director (818) 262-6540 cell
Lee Bashforth, SNAP Leader (949) 735-8347 cell
SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
P.O. Box 20491, Long Beach, CA 90804