Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Are Still Being Filed Against the Catholic Church
Oliver O’Grady is one of the numerous priests that the Catholic Church allowed to sexually assault children. While he served as a priest at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Lodi, California, he was responsible for raping, abusing, and molesting at least 25 children starting from 1973.
Similar to many priests and members of the Catholic Church, O’Grady’s actions were covered by other church officials. In O’Grady’s case, Bishop Roger Mahoney moved O’Grady throughout multiple churches in California, allowing O’Grady to continue to abuse children with no repercussions. Sadly, the Catholic Church is notorious for covering up the sexual assault of children and protecting the predators in their organization.
Since the late 1980s, there have been hundreds of thousands of allegations of sexual abuse and cover-ups against the Catholic Church. Although allegations of child sexual abuse were ignited long before the 1980s, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the allegations of child sexual abuse received public attention.
And they are still going forward today. Victims of sexual abuse at the hands of a member from the Catholic Church alleged that their abusers began to sexually abuse them at a young age, and come forward decades after the abuse has taken place. Although a majority of lawsuits against members of the Catholic Church end in settlements, it is important to hold members of the Church accountable for either engaging in inappropriate sexual activity with children or turning a blind eye and covering the abuse up.
One of the most recent settlements is a settlement that was reached between two brothers who alleged to have been sexually abused by a priest at a Riverside parish. Similar to many child sexual abuse victims at the hands of the Catholic Church, the abuse occurred more than 25 years ago.
The two plaintiffs, identified only as John R.R. Doe and John R.F. Doe, alleged that Reverend Carlos Rene Rodriguez abused them when he was assigned to a Riverside church that was part of the San Bernardino diocese. Rodriguez was allegedly a member of the Congregation of the Mission Western Province before, during, and after the time frame in which he molested the two plaintiffs. The attorney of the two brothers, Anthony DeMarco, stated that the resolution was reached Monday evening and that it will take at least two months to finalize. The judge scheduled another hearing for an update to the settlement for January 11.
Allegations made against Reverend Carlos Rene Rodriguez
John R.F. Doe alleged that his abuse began in 1993, when the plaintiff was a minor. The plaintiff became upset after watching a television program where Rodriguez’s ministry at a church in Los Angeles – as well as other allegations of molestation towards other children – were the topics of discussion. After watching the program, John R.F. Doe began to “actively think about Father Rodriguez and the child sex abuse he had committed” against him.
The other plaintiff, John R.R. Doe, alleged that his sexual abuse began at seven or eight years old in 1993, the same year that his brother’s abuse began. Even worse, John R.R. Doe did not confess the abuse to his brother until the spring of 2017, when his brother outright asked him if he had been abused by Rodriguez.
How has the Archdiocese of Los Angeles responded to the settlement?
Following news of the settlement, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released a statement. The statement declared that Rodriguez was misrepresenting himself as authorized to minister, and that the abuse of the two brothers allegedly followed shortly after. The statement also attempted to absolve the parishes and schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles of any responsibility in the matter. According to the statement, the Archdiocese became aware of the brothers’ allegation in 2018.
Why the clergy keeps getting away with sexual abuse of children
Because clergymen have an enormous amount of trust within their congregation, priests who prey on children use that trust to their advantage and take it upon themselves to begin a process known as “grooming.” Predators use the grooming process to develop a relationship with a potential victim.
Through this process, the abuser begins to build trust and build an emotional connection with their victim to make it easier to manipulate and abuse them. Another practice that many priests incorporate to sexually abuse children is isolating the children. Priests may isolate their victims under the false promise of spiritual counseling. Another common practice that priests and clergymen use to sexually abuse children involves controlling and concealing the relationship between themselves and their victims.
Priests use their authority as “men of God” to threaten their victims with God’s displeasure. Stating or implying that God will not be happy if the victim comes forward or refuses the Priest’s advances forces the victim to continue and conceal the abuse.
How has the Catholic Church covered up allegations?
Clergymen who cover up the sexual assaults of priests are just as guilty as the priests of harming children. One way that diocesan leaders help to cover up the sexual abuse of children is to move priests who have been accused of inappropriate sexual acts with minors to different parishes instead of reporting them to the authorities.
This practice is known as “priest shuffling,” and is the main action taken to protect pedophiles in the Catholic Church. The role those diocesan leaders play in covering up the actions of child molesters in the Church has led to victims filing lawsuits against the dioceses and bishops.
If you believe your child is the victim of sexual molestation by a religious leader, you need to take legal action. Trust the reliable law practice of Taylor & Ring to provide you with compassionate and comprehensive representation. Call us today at 310-776-6390 or complete our contact form to secure our knowledgeable and aggressive services. Your initial consultation is free.
John C. Taylor is one of the most accomplished and nationally recognized trial lawyers in California. The broad variety of cases he has tried during his career is matched by few attorneys, trying more than 125 cases to verdict, including: police shootings and civil rights, sexual abuse, serious personal injury, wrongful death, products liability, insurance bad faith, and employment.
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