Shame! Shame! Shame! The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles

It is evident why the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles fought for years against the release of their once-confidential “personnel” files. Approximately twelve thousand (12,000) pages were posted Thursday night to the Archdiocese’s website.  Of course you cannot just click on to the files to read them. First you have to go the a page where the Archdiocese defends itself.

They “boast”  that there were only 12,000 pages of secret documents and not the 30,000 that had previously reported by some news organizations.  They also have a graphic to illustrate that most of the abuse took place a long time ago. By doing so, they once again demonstrate that they want to continue fooling people, instead of confronting the Archdiocese’s failings.

No one disagrees that a good deal of the child abuse occurred in the 1980’s. However, the Archdiocese actively took steps to protect its abusing clergy for decades. Sadly, this certainly resulted in more children being sexually abused.

You can read the files here: http://clergyfiles.la-archdiocese.org/listing.html.

Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have excellent articles, which of course, were written before they had  time to study all of the files released. The documents they studied showed that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles leadership had taken affirmative action to protect priests who were sex abusers and to see that they were not prosecuted.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/priestabuse/

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/us/church-documents-released-after-years-of-resistance.html?ref=todayspaper

The Archdiocese has only now taken some administrative action against Cardinal Mahoney. Obviously, they acted because the Court ordered these files to be made public. For decades the Archdiocese knew the contents of these files and tried to keep them secret. More than five years ago the Archdiocese settled a class-action suit brought on behalf of victims of childhood sexual abuse by clergy.  Only now, when the incredibly damaging documents have been revealed,does the world know how corrupt and complicit was the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  Hopefully, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s will scrutinize these records and determine that it is not too late to prosecute Cardinal Mahoney and others.

As we just saw again this week in Philadelphia, criminal prosecutions against both abusers and the leadership that enabled their abuse, can be won. If we are serious about protecting children, then the legal system must hold abusers and enablers responsible.

Seth Langson, Attorney at Law
The Voice for Victims and Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Clergy

 

 

 

 

A Judge Who Understands Child Sexual Abuse

In Judge Cleland’s Order denying Jerry Sandusky a new trial, he stated: “No one who has had the slightest experience with child sexual abuse or given a whit of thought to its dynamics could conclude that failure to make a prompt complaint, standing alone, is an accurate indicia of fabrication,”

Seth Langson, Attorney at Law
Supporting Victims of Sex Abuse

L.A. church leaders sought to hide sex abuse cases from authorities

The Los Angeles Times  published a story about the steps that leaders of the Los Angeles Diocese took to cover up priests who were known child molesters. No wonder that Diocese fought so long to keep those documents confidential.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-church-files-20130122,0,3114631.story

Seth Langson, Attorney for Victims of Church Sex Crimes

William Airey, Former Director General and CEO of Moose International Filed Answer to Suit by Jason Peck Alleging Child Sexual Abuse

Mr. Airey filed his Answer to the Complaint filed on Behalf of Jason Peck in which he denied the core allegations pertaining to child sexual abuse and prior investigations into alleged sexual misconduct. The parties will now move forward with what is known as the Discovery process. This typically includes having to answer written questions under oath, the production of documents to the other side and giving sworn testimony under oath to the opposing party.

Seth Langson, Attorney at Law
Supporting Sexual Abuse Victims and Survivors Nationwide

The Terrible Truth About Jimmy Saville

A chilling official report into Jimmy Saville, the deceased BBC host was just released. This investigation confirmed that Saville had sexually abused or molested more than 200 children. He abused children  beginning in 1955 and continued abusing or assaulting others until 2009, when he was in his 80’s.

There is much to be learned from this report that has application  to child molesters and their victims.  Here are a few of the quotes that resonated with me:

“It could be said that he groomed a nation,” Mr. Spindler, the Scotland Yard commander, said in a BBC interview after the report was published. “He was hiding in plain sight, and none of us was able to do anything about it.”

“This whole sordid affair has demonstrated the true consequences of what happens when vulnerability collides with power.”

“For a variety of reasons, the vast majority of his victims did not feel they could speak out, and it’s apparent that some of the small number who did had their accounts dismissed by those in authority, including parents and carers,” it said.

Here is the link to the excellent New York Times article on this report:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/world/europe/jimmy-savile-sexual-abuse-scandal-report.html?ref=europe&_r=0.

The actual report entitled  “Giving Victims a Voice” can be found here:

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/news-and-views/our-news/child-protection-news/13-01-11-yewtree-report/yewtree-report-pdf_wdf93652.pdf

They paint a chilling picture of the stereotypical child predator.

Seth Langson, Attorney for Victims of Sexual Predators

 

 

 

Sexual Abuse Survivor Speaks Out

Barry Lopez wrote a powerful essay in Harper’s Magazine about being a survivor of child sexual abuse. National Public Radio also interviewed him and this interview is well worth reading.

http://www.wbur.org/npr/168964002/in-sliver-of-sky-barry-lopez-confronts-childhood-sexual-abuse

Seth Langson, Attorney for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse