The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Clergy sex abuse victim speaks publicly for first time
He’s upset about admitted predator who still works as a priest
In July, he filed lawsuit as “John Doe;” now he’s disclosing his identity
And he’s writing to the Pope: “stop making promises, start fulfilling them”
His case uses novel approach & little-known state code to address cover up
If he wins, victims who got church-paid therapy may have new legal options
Then, dozens of other cases could be brought forward against California churches
With other victims, he will also urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to call police, get help, expose predators, protect kids and start healing.
Several months ago, Torres filed an unprecedented new civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the Sacramento Catholic diocese. It utilizes a little-known state insurance code provision to charge church officials with negligence, negligent retention/supervision and failure to warn, sexual battery, fraud, and fraudulent concealment/intentional non-disclosure.
One of Pinal's victims reported to a Catholic pastor in 1988 that Pinal sexual abused a child a Catholic pastor.. Two diocesan representatives (including then-Bishop Francis Quinn's lawyer) met with that victim and assured him that Pinal was going to be watched very closely and kept away from children. The church officials sent the victim to a church-chosen psychiatrist and paid for the therapy.
But in 2002, without ever notifying the victim, a diocesan lawyer disclosed the victim's identity to a Butte County prosecutor and gave him a 1991 letter from Pinal to Quinn. In that letter, Pinal asked Quinn if Pinal had clearance to return to the United States.
Torres’ lawsuit charges that the diocese never reported Pinal to law enforcement until 2002, even though it had known of his criminal sexual misconduct some 13 years earlier. As a result, Pinal quietly returned to Mexico later in 1989, where he still works as a Catholic priest.
The lawsuit states that under the California Insurance Code, church officials were required to provide the victim with a written notice of when his statute of limitations would expire, because it had made an advanced payment (for therapy). Because the diocese never did this, the victim can take legal action even now, years after the actual crimes.
This is believed to be the first case for child sexual abuse filed under this insurance code section in California.
Pinal worked at Catholic churches in at least five northern California towns: Gridley, Biggs, Live Oak, Winters, and Esparto. He was ordained in 1980.
In 2003, according to BishopAccountability.org, "Pinal was charged with two counts of forcible sodomy in 2003, but the charges were dropped when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a new California law that would have allowed prosecution of child sexual abuse cases beyond the prior statute of limitations."
Torres is represented by Sacramento attorney Dr. Joseph C. George (916) 442-7100; (916) 802-7949 (cell).
A photo of Pinal is available at BishopAccountability.org
Contact: David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell (SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Crystal Shaw 916 670 5595
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests