Shredded-memo motion denied to defense in predator-priests trial
The discovery of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua's 1994 order to shred a memo about 35 Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests suspected of molesting children is no reason to dismiss the case against one of his key aides, a judge ruled Monday.
Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a bid by defense attorneys to drop the charges after prosecutors argued that the shredding directive and other recently unearthed files were the equivalent of "a smoking gun" that bolstered, not weakened, their case against Msgr. William J. Lynn.
The documents, they say, prove Lynn plotted with Bevilacqua, the longtime archbishop who died Jan. 31, and others to protect abusive priests and shield the church from lawsuits.
They said Lynn's attorneys misportrayed the files last week in a bid to try out a new strategy - "a combination of the dead-guys-did-it and the I-was-only-following-orders defenses" - and to sway potential jurors.
"Defendant has used this phony legal motion to falsely paint himself in a sympathetic light - as the pawn of a conspir...
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.