Catholic Diocese of Oakland Named In Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
Posted on: September 2, 2020 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse
The attorney for ‘John Doe’, a sexual abuser survivor who wished to keep his identity concealed, file a complaint at the Alameda County Superior Court against the Diocese of Oakland, St. John’s Catholic Church in San Lorenzo, and Corpus Christi Church in Fremont, accusing them of negligence in protecting children from predator priests.
The priest accused of sexual abuse in this case is Rev. David Mendoza-Vela. In September 2019, Rev. David Mendoza-Vela was sentenced to prison for nearly five years after taking a plea deal regarding the sexual abuse of another ‘John Doe’. The abuse took place over about an 18-month span between 2016 and 2017 when the victim was only 14-15 years old. The abuse happened in John Doe’s house where his family had hosted Rev. David Mendoza-Vela in Corpus Christi while his primary housing was being renovated. The suit alleged the abuse also happened at the churches.
While Rev. David Mendoza serves his time in prison, the attorney for John Doe now is aiming to hold the Oakland Diocese, St. John’s Catholic, and Corpus Christi Church accountable. In an interview with The Mercury News, the attorney states, “Our allegation is that the church had many opportunities to prevent this from happening, and once it started happening, to end it”.
This isn’t the first time the Diocese of Oakland has dealt with sexual abuse and pedophile priests. In 2005 the Oakland Diocese agreed to a settlement of $56.4 million to compensate 56 childhood abuse victims. And while many of the allegations made are historical in nature, the number of sexual abuse survivors who are coming forward to make claims against their abusers and the organizations responsible, continues to grow.
The attorney for John Doe in the same interview additionally remarked, “…they [dioceses and churches] can’t keep turning a blind eye to the abuse that’s happening over and over again, always to vulnerable children, and generally from families who are so committed to the church they have a hard time believing that a priest would do the kind of things that this priest did.”
The entire article can be viewed here.
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