California Supreme Court: Los Angeles Archdiocese Must Turn Over Abuse Files
In a stunning victory for victims of child sexual abuse, the California Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s order requiring that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles turn over sex abuse and cover-up files about 25 known offending priests.
The files were a part of the 2007, $660 million settlement with more than 500 alleged victims of child sexual abuse by LA Archdiocese employees and volunteers.
The decision, was the last step in the Archdiocese’s long legal battle to keep priest files secret. In Orange County, diocese officials made public abuse and cover-up files on a majority of offending priests and employees less than 5 months after a 2005 settlement with 97 victims.
Evidence in these files are crucial to law enforcement, who can use information to put predators behind bars. For victims, these files are tremendously important to the healing process. When the truth is revealed, victims who were silenced most of their lives are validated. In addition, exposing abuse and cover-up, helps ensure that what happened to them will not happen to another child. Finally, men and women who covered up for abusers will be made publicly accountable.
Hopefully, many victims of abuse in Los Angeles will get a great measure of healing from yesterday’s decision.
Thousands of L.A. Archdiocese priest personnel files
The 25 priests whose files must be turned over include:
4. Angel Cruces
6. Peter Garcia
9. John Salazar
11. Lynn Cafoe
12. Michael Baker
13. John Dawson
14. Gerald Fessard
15. Michael Wempe
17. James Ford
19. Michael Nocita
20. Luis Jaramillo
22. George Miller
23. Eleuterio Ramos
24. Benjamin Hawkes
25. Fidencio Silva
Search through all L.A. Archdiocese priest personnel files
KPCC’s Sharon McNary, Frank Stoltze, Zusha Elinson, Joanna Lin, Robert Salladay, Paul Glickman, Chris Keller have produced a searchable database of the Los Angeles priest personnel files that we helped to get released. The database is well organized and presented in a convenient searchable format. We want to thank KPCC and the folks at Southern California Public Radio for taking the time to make and maintain this useful and accurate resource.
Fighting for Survivors Rights
The Law Office of Anthony DeMarco believes that by holding institutions like the Los Angeles Archdiocese publicly accountable for the sexual abuse caused by its priests, that future occurrences of abuse may be avoided. Stopping abuse from happening to innocent children again is one of the main motivations for survivors who come forward with their painful stories. We proudly join in this fight to stop institutional protections of sexual abuse.
Sexual Abuse Resources
Our website provides a public resource of documents and data that we hope will inform people of problems like the Los Angeles Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Scandal. We maintain a running list of Southern California based Catholic Priest Sexual Abuse cases. And we always find ourselves representing new clients who are bravely confronting the Catholic Priests who abused them when they were innocent children.
We welcome you to explore all of our case resources and to contact us with any questions you might have regarding sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, Schools, and Youth Organizations like Police Explorer Scout program.