SNAP
Press
Release



BACK TO:


Roster of Press Releases



 

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Clergy sex abuse victims file complaint against priests’ lawyer

Attorney for accused predators makes “outrageous, hurtful claims”

In court papers, he suggests hundreds of priest abuse cases may be “false”

Group urges Cardinal Mahony to “publicly denounce mean-spirited attacks”

SNAP: His silence discourages others in pain from speaking up & exposing molesters

It also “rubs salt into the deep wounds” of thousands of Catholics & victims, they say

Later this month, in another case, Mahony will be deposed about priest still in parish now

WHAT
Handing fliers to passers-by and holding signs, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
-- announce that they’re filing a formal complaint against the lawyer that represents 31 accused predator priests,
-- blast that lawyer for suggesting that half of the nearly 1,000 CA area clergy sex abuse cases are false, and
-- urge Cardinal Roger Mahony to publicly denounce the lawyer’s “mean-spirited” claims.

The leaflets urge citizens and church-goers to prod Los Angeles’ Catholic officials to
-- stop delaying the public release of long-secret church records about those predator priests and
-- reach out more aggressively to others who were abused by priests, nuns, brothers, seminarians or bishops.

WHEN
Monday, Dec. 13, at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE
Outside the office of a lawyer representing accused predator priests, 4525 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles

WHO
Two-four victims of sexual abuse by clerics who belong a support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

WHY
Two weeks ago, prominent LA lawyer Donald H. Steier filed a little-noticed, ten page declaration in LA County Superior Court. In it, he claims there have been “a high level of false allegations” against California predator priests and that an unnamed FBI agent told him that half of the nearly 1,000 clergy lawsuits against California pedophile priests were “either entirely false” or “greatly exaggerated.”

SNAP considers Steier’s remarks to be among the most outrageous and hurtful ever made by a church defense lawyer and is filing a formal California Bar Association complaint against him. (It’s the first time SNAP has ever done this in its 22 year history.) The group also wants Cardinal Mahony to denounce Steier’s claims and to disclose how much archdiocesan money has been paid to Steier.

Steier also claims that “some accusers change significantly over time” and “in every case, the changes seemed to have enabled or enhanced” lawsuits against priests “drastically increas(ing) alleged damages.”

Steier also claims that hundreds of accused priest cases were settled in LA with “no process to separate false claims from valid claims,” an assertion, SNAP says, that slanders victims, their attorneys, and archdiocesan officials.

Steier’s legal maneuver is the latest in a long series of moves by him and Catholic officials to block the disclosure of thousands of pages of long-secret files concerning hundreds of LA-area child molesting clerics.

The motion was filed in a case called Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles et al. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County et al, # B227743, 2nd District, Division 8, overseen by Judge Emilie H. Elias.

SNAP is also disclosing that Mahony will be deposed in California later this month in a pending civil suit involving Fr. Michael E. Kelly (CV035092). For months, Mahony’s lawyers fought to prevent the deposition, claiming he’s a “corporate president.” Three weeks ago, Judge Elizabeth Humphreys denied Mahony’s request.

Kelly, an Irish priest, was suspended in 2007, reinstated in 2008 and then sued for allegedly molesting a Stockton boy in 1984. He is now pastor of St. Joachim parish in Lockeford CA (209 727 3912, joachim@sonnet.com).

CONTACT-Joelle Casteix 949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com, David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, John Chevedden 310 371 7872, jr7cheve7@earthlink.net


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org