The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Clergy sex abuse victim appeals to legislators
His case against charismatic priest is tossed out
New court ruling will prevent hundreds of other lawsuits
Decision "slams courthouse door" on most kids who were molested
Man was sexually assaulted by head of popular "Pedro Pan" program
He will also
Walsh was once the Director of Resettlement for the archdiocese. Such suits can only be filed against the individual predator, not his/her supervisors, the court determined.
The crimes took place in the early 1960s when Rodriguez was brought to the US from Cuba as part of the archdiocese's Pedro Pan program, which has been called "one of the world's largest political exoduses of children in history." Between 1960 and 1962 more than 14,000 unaccompanied kidrs were sent out of Cuba by desperate parents who feared for their children's future under Castro.
The new ruling reverses/contradicts a 2001 Florida Supreme Court finding (and subsequent rulings by other judges across the state) that lets victims sue both predators and their employers if the employers negligently caused or intentionally enabled the abuse. It essentially removes incentives for employers to work to prevent child sex crimes or respond appropriately when such crimes are reported.
The decision cannot be appealed to the Florida or US Supreme Court, so the only effective remedy would be a new law that would enable child sex victims to hold reckless or deceitful employers accountable for felonies committed by their employees.
At least two other archdiocesan priests who worked in the Pedro Pan program have been sued for molesting kids. They are Fr. Neil Fleming and Fr. Joaquin Guerrero. Rodriguez will also publicly urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by adults in the Pedro Pan program to come forward, get help, call police and start healing.
Rodriguez will also urge Florida legislators to pass “window" law, which would let child sex abuse victims expose predators in civil courts no matter when they were abused. Similar reform legislation in California and Delaware led to more than 1,000 victims coming forward and hundreds of pedophiles being "outed" and removed from positions of access to kids. Such laws also prod employers to work harder to stop abuse from happening in schools, churches, camps and day care centers, and to suspend credibly accused predators quickly.
Rodriguez, now in his 50s, filed his lawsuit in July 2005. Walsh is now deceased. He was also pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul in Miami.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests