Mitchell Garabedian represented more than 130 clients during this time where lawsuits were being brought upon the catholic church for sexual abuse. Garabedian was the lawyer that started the case against former priest John J. Geoghan.
He eventually would go on to represent 118 alleged victims of Geoghan, and he and his firm have obtained millions of dollars in other settlement cases for survivors against the archdiocese of Boston.
Garabedian started hearing these cases of sexual abuse and cover ups after a woman came in with her three children and they told one of abuse by a trusted priest. According to the Boston Globe article on Garabedian, one of the children was so traumatized that he continuously washed his hands until they bled.
''The very institution that is supposed to protect people allowed them to be ravaged. ... How could the church leaders allow this to happen?''
Garabedian's work for survivors was one of the driving forces to get these stories told during the time where people had just started paying closer attention to the stories of abuse, and he was able to reach large settlements with the church for the survivors.
''What's the point of being a lawyer, of being a human being, if you can't help these people?''
In the movie Spotlight, Garabedian is played by oscar nominated Stanley Tucci. Garabedian, who in this interview with Greater Boston accompanied by SNAP Leader Phil Saviano, said Tucci and the Spotlight team did an excellent job in capturing the story and his character and also told some of the complexities of the case not seen in the film.
Also for more on Garabedian and the cases he worked for survivors of abuse during this time read the Boston Globe's profile of the lawyer which tells more about about his life, work and the law.
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.