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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Wednesday, December 15, 2010

$2 million more paid to CA victim of Irish priest-SNAP responds

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, jcasteix@gmail.com)

So much for all those promises by bishops to be “open” in child sex cases.

Stockton’s bishop pay $2 million this summer to victims of a predator priest but tells no one.

The obvious question is how many other secret settlements has Bishop Blaire paid – large and small – that he’s keeping hidden from his flock?

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 22 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010

Stockton Diocese pays pair $2M

Two siblings settle in O'Grady abuse lawsuits

By Kevin Valine - kvaline@modbee.com

The Stockton Diocese paid $2 million to a brother and sister to settle their claims that they were abused as children by Oliver O'Grady, the former pedophile priest who served at several Catholic parishes within the diocese, including Sacred Heart in Turlock.

The brother and sister attended the Church of the Presentation in Stockton and Presentation Catholic School. The brother says O'Grady sexually abused him from 1983 to 1985, while his sister says O'Grady abused her from 1981 to 1984, according to their lawsuits filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court in 2006 and 2008.

"Both of them were victims of Oliver O'Grady, and they were abused in the worst possible way," said Beverly Hills attorney Anthony M. Demarco, who represented the brother and sister. "He was taking them out of the classroom at the school and sexually assaulting them."

The brother and sister are only identified as John JK Doe and Jane LA Doe in the lawsuits. Demarco said he believes they still live in San Joaquin County.

The Stockton Diocese, which has about 40 parishes in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, foothills and Sierra Nevada, released a statement Tuesday confirming the settlement.

"On June 16, 2010, the Diocese of Stockton resolved two outstanding lawsuits regarding childhood sexual abuse by Oliver O'Grady," it stated. "The lawsuits were settled jointly for a total of $2 million. Of this sum, the diocese paid $664,667.00. The remainder of the settlement was paid from insurance proceeds. The diocese continues to assist in healing the victims of clergy sexual abuse."

O'Grady arrived at the Stockton Diocese from Ireland in 1971 when he was 25 years old and served parishes in Turlock, San Andreas and Hughson, among others.

Despite at least two reports of child sexual abuse, O'Grady continued to serve as a priest until 1993, when he was arrested, and later convicted, of molesting two brothers from Merced.

He spent seven years in prison before he was released in November 2000 and deported to Ireland.

Before his release, Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire negotiated a deal: O'Grady would voluntarily leave the priesthood in exchange for an annuity that would begin payments when the ex-priest turned 65.

That annuity, worth about $95,000, started paying $780 monthly to O'Grady in June.

In the years since his criminal conviction, the diocese has settled 23 lawsuits filed against O'Grady, paying $20.7 million to his victims.

Dispute in other case

The most recent settlement came to light Tuesday after a Modesto court hearing for the siblings' brother, who filed a lawsuit in August against the diocese and O'Grady in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

Diocese attorneys are trying to get the lawsuit dismissed, saying it was filed after the statute of limitations had expired. The judge made no decision Tuesday, and a hearing will be held early next year.

In his lawsuit, the brother claims O'Grady sexually assaulted him while he was a parishioner and student at Stockton parish from 1978 through 1987. The lawsuit does not name the parish.

The lawsuit also names a Turlock parish as a defendant. O'Grady served at Sacred Heart in Turlock before his work at the Church of Presentation and Presentation Catholic School in Stockton.

The brother is identified as John JS Doe in the lawsuit.

The lawsuits for the three siblings claim the diocese was aware or should have been aware of O'Grady's behavior and failed to stop him.

"It's pretty well-known that the diocese had plenty of warning," said Demarco, the Beverly Hills attorney.

O'Grady was arrested in Dublin, Ireland, on Friday and charged with possession of thousands of images of child pornography.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or 578-2316.

Read more: http://www.modbee.com/2010/12/14/1472259/diocese-pays-pair-2m.html#ixzz18BuqVQwv


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