The following comes from a December 16 Mercury News article by Tracey Kaplan:
By the time Will Lynch was ready in the mid-1990s to report he’d been sexually abused as a child by a priest on a camping trip, there was nothing police could do about it. The abuse had happened about two decades earlier when he was 7, and the legal window then for bringing charges against the priest had closed by the time he reached 13.
Lynch and his brother sued and won a sizeable legal settlement from the diocese in 1998. And Lynch was able to expose his alleged assailant and draw statewide attention to the fact that child molesters can evade prosecution after he punched the priest in Los Gatos and was tried and acquitted three years ago by a sympathetic Santa Clara County jury. But it still grates on Lynch that a legal technicality allowed the priest to escape criminal prosecution.
Now, Lynch is working to change that. He’s been cleared by the secretary of state’s office to gather signatures for a ballot measure that would wipe out California’s criminal and civil statutes of limitations for sex crimes against children, a move already adopted by New York, Texas and Florida in criminal cases.
The initiative written by the 48-year-old San Francisco man would wipe out the legal deadline barring prosecutors from filing criminal charges against child molesters and victims from suing them after a certain period of time. It would apply only to children molested after its adoption, not to Lynch and others like him.
“It’s painfully clear that Legislature here won’t get it done,” Lynch said. “This is a human rights abuse, and there shouldn’t be a statute of limitations on human rights violations.”
To pull it off, Lynch faces an even bigger challenge — collecting 365,880 signatures by May 9 to qualify the measure for the November ballot. He has to raise about $1.5 million to pay signature gatherers, a sizeable hurdle considering there are 60 other proposed initiatives vying for financial backing, including measures to legalize marijuana and repeal the death penalty.
If Lynch succeeds, California would become the first state to put the issue directly before voters out of the 24 states that allow initiatives by petition.
The statute of limitations regarding aiding and abetting – is protecting
Cardinal Roger Mahony of LA.
He belongs in jail.
Mahony still has a place of honor on the LA Diocese web site.
It cost the Catholics of this Diocese over $660 million in Court settlements.
Stretching the statue of limitations is one thing, but to remove it completely means that charges for events that happened a half-century ago could be brought to trial, long after both the alleged perpetrators, their abettors and any adult witnesses may be dead and the alleged victim relying on decades-old and possibly unreliable memories. How can you hold a fair trial under those circumstances?
Spot on, Tom Byrne: especially notable is the attempt to lift civil limits of the statute of limitations. This proposed legislation is supposed to be ‘de facto’ law (in other words, only “going forward” from the law’s date).
However, it would be easy to amend it by legislation later, so that claimant’s heirs or offspring might be granted standing to sue the Church over alleged abuse centuries ago. Think of suing over the claimed abuse of the Indians of the California Missions by their descendants. Limitless reparations—by the way, of which over 50%, as in the case of the LA Archdiocese settlement, reputedly went to the attorneys,— never to the plaintiffs.
To reply to Tom Byrne– A crime is a crime is a crime! There MUST be recognition, of all crimes that occur! Justice must be done, for the poor, suffering victim, especially if he/she was a poor, helpless child!! Victims carry horrific memories of child molestation to their graves– and some kill themselves, because they cannot stand to live with the daily torment! It is even WORSE, if the child was molested by a priest, in a church! A HORRIBLE TRAUNA!! Some victims are so deeply wounded, they cannot talk about what happened to them. Many crimes to children, are not taken seriously— children DON’T COUNT, in our culture!! HORRIBLE!!!
Tom & George, while I see your point.
BUT do you really believe that Cardinal Roger Mahony should not be held legally accountable for his actions ?
Remember that Diocese and Court Documents are all available and were made public. All the Documentation that one needs.
Tom Byrne I agree with you completely. Your logic makes sense. Well it doesnt matter. Its a tragedy all around. The victims had to endure much injustices due to lack of accountability. Our holy priests have to endure the shame due to the sins of others not handling things right. The enemy sure wants to destroy our church through this great evil. It takes courage and spine, conviction and love of faith for a man to say yes to a vocation into the priesthood. God have mercy and help our church heal and wake up. God help our church leadership be holy!
I agree with Seth! Cardinal Mahoney is a CRIMINAL, and he belongs in JAIL!!He also should have long ago been excommunicated! Some priests and prelates of our Church, have NO MORAL CONSCIENCE!! SHOCKING– but true!!
I am enjoying the men conversing here. They all bring up good points.
This is an attempt to fleece the Catholic church (meaning us in the pews) even more. Undoubtedly there are instances where children and teens were abused and entitlted to compensation, counseling, whatever else is needed. However it is no secret that this has led to some, if not many, false accusations, generating tens of millions of dollars for lying accusers and especially attorneys. Most of this abuse took place decades ago. My blood boils when I see the names of good priests, long dead, who cannot defend themselves from what might be false charges. And even worse when we know there are good faithful priests in prison because those in charge in a few dioceses are unwilling to pursue justice, or perhaps have nefarious reasons to punish…
Anniem, over time there have been some false accusations. But those have been thrown out of Court – if they even got that far.
You can not prove your false statements – that people were paid when they lied.
You need to look at the now public Diocese Records which became part of the Court Cases – proving those priests sexually abused children.
Start paying attention to documentation and evidence.
Yes, it makes people angry at paying that money – but that is only because Cardinals/Bishops were complicit in the cover ups – and they did not turn the offending Priests over to the civil authorities.
MAC while I agree with you but we cant take lightly what false accusations have done to good priests. Once you destroy a mans reputation, even if he was cleared, he is still stained for life. Our priests are human and to easily make them vulnerable by stripping them of their rights is also wrong. People already automatically assume their automatically guilty. We have alot of schismatics and heretics who would hang a priest with false accusations simply because he is Catholic and a priest. No one wins. The victims are not only the innocent children caught in this great evil against their innocence but also innocent priests have been victims too. This hurts us all. Take a look at public schools, they have a history of child molestation,…
I would suggest you go to the website of Opus Bono Sacerdotii and find out what they have done to help priests thrown out with an hours’ notice, because the bishop got one phone call accusing them. Other priests have been dismissed for other reasons, some of them no doubt true. No mercy either way! Also google “These Stone Walls” and read the story of the priest-author who was falsely accused more than 20 years ago and was put in prison because he would not agree to a lesser charge, naturally; he was not guilty. His bishop has refused to cooperate in getting him released; his accused has been proven a pathological liar. But the Courts refused recently to take another look at the case. The Lord will sort all this out in the end, when we…
About 20 or more years ago, I heard of my first case of child sex abuse, by a priest. I was serving as a parish volunteer for the sick, and asked a quiet Latin American lady in her 80’s, if she was Catholic, and would like to receive the Sacraments, and would like to see a priest She slowly opened up, and a hideous story was told! She had grown up in a Latin American country, and came to America in her early 20’s, got married, and raised a nice family. At age 12, she aspired to be a nun someday, and went on a retreat at her school. On the retreat, during confession– a priest raped her! She cried and cried– and told her parents, and the nuns. They did not believe her! I will continue…
I will continue, with my post, above So, this poor lady’s parents, and the nuns at her school, did not believe her, and said she was lying. She got spanked at home, and was punished at school. She made the painful decision, to leave the Church forever, a decision that brought her lifelong tears of agony. So, later she came to America, got married, and raised a family– but never set foot inside a church, ever again! She suffered from nightmares and deep fears, regarding the rape, and fears of going to Hell, too. I felt so sorry for her! I told the priests and the medical personnel, that she really needed special help. And they tried to help her, in the last days of her life. A horrible, shocking story!!
Thats sad. Poor lady. Heartbreaking. I hope that since the issue with pornography is being brought up that awareness is helping our church evolve. No more secrets. Time to take them head on. Protect our children! Im glad we are putting the pressure on our church to be holy. God bless all victims and help them in their healing. All this stuff happening are consequences that hold men accountable. As painful as it is see our church go through this but we must consider all victims and their wounds and that includes all holy priests who feel let down too by how things where handled. God have mercy.
I pray that the Catholic Church not ‘evolve’, but rather goes back to teaching the fullness of Catholic Faith and morals. No more secrets about what Our Lord calls each of us to – that is a life of striving with the help of grace to purity and the imitation of Christ. Priests need a sound, Catholic formation.
“…I’m glad we are putting the pressure on our church to be holy.”
Indeed. Root causing the rot is precisely what needs to be done. And all attempts at obfuscation – especially in not speaking the hard truths in season and out – must go. That and the use of pastoral language to allow for that which is deeply disordered and against the Faith.
I happened, by chance, to talk to a lady at a Catholic event, who revealed to me, that she had grown up in the parish in Stockton, CA, where the famed Irish child molesting priest had been the Pastor– the movie, “Deliver Us From Evil,” was made, about this evil man– who never got sent to jail!! I saw the movie, after meeting this lady. She told me of the shock and deep fear that church people experienced, and deep doubts of God, and of our Faith— after the priest was convicted. Even the Vatican refused to hear the victims’ tragic story, and help them!! MADE ME SICK!! The poor victims’ lives were totally destroyed!
I understand how painful it is but we must also be careful about spreading gossip or hearsay.
Linda and others:
I am NOT talking about cases as recent as those Mahoney is alleged to have covered up: where charges can be filed concerning people still alive (or recently deceased) and about which living witnesses can testify. Stretching the time limit may be reasonable, abolishing it entirely is absurd.
I agree Tom
Given that the heir apparent to the Congressional Seat of CHINO Nancy Pelosi – is none other than the Notorious “Kiddie Porn King” of Sodom by the Sea – State Senator Mark Leno (D-SF), I see little chance of enforcement of the initiative.
Leno earned the title of “Kiddie Porn King” when running against Carole “$5 Smidgen” Migden, after he introduced a “Kiddie Porn” Promotion Bill (AB 50) making huge collections of Racist Child Rape Porn (like his pal Larry Brinkin and ‘happy’ campers shared around) a misdemeanor:
San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony…
Larry Brinkin isn’t the only one to benefit from the “Kiddie Porn” protections pushed by Leno and his ‘happy mafia’, although the media has paid more attention to clowns who kidnap cats – then those who Rape Toddlers as a ‘lifestyle’.
San Francisco’s Gay Icon Larry Brinkin Guilty of Felony Child Porn Possession: https://cnsnews.com/node/757449
SF government again rocked by child porn scandal
When rape matters, and when it doesn’t: Column
In the eyes of the media, all rapes are equal. But some rapes are more equal than others.