A lawsuit was filed against the Diocese of San Diego less than two weeks after the diocese said it was contemplating filing for bankruptcy protection. The suit accuses the diocese of fraudulently transferring assets in order to avoid paying large settlements to survivors of clergy sexual abuse.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego recently stated it may choose to file for bankruptcy in the coming months; blaming the number of clergy sexual abuse cases filed against it.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), as well as other survivors of clergy sexual abuse , delivered a list of 312 clergy and lay people publicly accused of sexual abuse . . .
A recent lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Oakland accuses deceased priest Monsignor John T. McCracken of raping a young boy on multiple occasions between 1972 and 1974. It is the first time McCracken has been accused of sexual abuse of a child and his name is not on the Dioceses’ 2019 list of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children.
The Tucson and Los Angeles Dioceses have been accused of violating Arizona’s racketeering laws in a federal lawsuit filed at the end of 2020, which happens to coincide with the end of Arizona’s revival window. The lawsuit alleges the dioceses routinely buried allegations of priests sexually abusing children and would transfer those priests to different parishes instead of alerting law enforcement. A violation of Arizona’s racketeering law also means the state’s Attorney General could investigate the allegations as well.
In December of 2020, the Diocese of Oakland announced it reached a $3.5 million dollar priest sex abuse settlement with a former seminarian who asserted Father Michael Van Dinh raped him in 2017 at St. Michaels Parish in Livermore, CA. The seminarian did not wish to be identified and will be referred to here as ‘John Doe’
How long you have to file a clergy abuse lawsuit in California is a common question. For some California clergy abuse survivors, it may take years, even decades to recall the abuse since traumatic events suffered as a child are often suppressed. Even those who haven’t repressed those memories often still need many years to process the pain and receive treatment or counseling before they are ready to share their stories.
In a July ruling, a California judge has delayed a court case involving the sexual abuse of two undisclosed plaintiffs, John R.R. Doe and John R.F. Doe. The cases will not proceed as scheduled in October, but instead will be rescheduled for March 2021. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Sotelo cites the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason. Disruption in the court system isn’t isolated to California. Recently the Diocese of Albany was flooded with sexual abuse lawsuits after a nearly three-month delay in courts due to the Coronavirus. The California delay nevertheless pushes back potential justice for what started several years ago.
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.
Catholic priest Lawrence Lovell, or ‘Father Larry”, was at the center of a priest sex abuse case filed against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Claretian Missionaries which resulted in a $1.9 million dollar settlement. The victim, Richard Barrios, said the sexual abuse occurred from 1982-1984 when he was an altar boy at San Gabriel Mission Church.
>A new law passed in the state of California provides victims with a window to file claims of childhood sexual abuse that were previously time barred. One man is taking advantage of that law and in February of 2020, filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Archdiocese. The victim alleges that Father Michael Baker sexually abused him repeatedly from age 6 to 10 years old and that the Cardinal at the time, Roger Mahoney, covered it up. The plaintiff’s attorney, John Manly, stated that the Cardinal tried to hide what was going on with Father Baker by transferring him to other parishes rather than reporting the criminal behavior to the police.
In May 2019, a sexual assault lawsuit was filed against a former Brentwood police officer. The claim alleged that the victim was raped by her superior officer in September 2017 at a Reno hotel during a conference they were attending for police training. In November 2017 the woman filed an internal claim with the Brentwood police department. However, at the time, she did not pursue criminal charges citing a ‘fear it would be too much to handle emotionally’. When the Brentwood police chief and captain were made aware, they opened a “supervisory inquiry” instead of an internal affairs investigation.
Six California Catholic Diocese including: Diocese of Fresno, Diocese of Orange, Diocese of Sacramento, Diocese of San Bernardino, Diocese of San Diego, and Los Angeles Archdiocese have recently unveiled a new sexual abuse settlement program for victims of childhood priest molestation in the Catholic Church. Details of the California Catholic Church Settlement fund allow for victims to file a claim without having to directly sue the Catholic Church in court but the deadline is and provide a deadline of January 31, 2020. Typically to file a lawsuit victims would be governed by California’s Statute of limitation laws.