Monday, April 30, 2012

One Courtroom, Two Defendants and Two Cases Headed in Opposite Directions

There are two defendants on trial in Courtroom 304, Monsignor William J. Lynn and Father James J. Brennan.

Msgr. Lynn is charged with conspiring to endanger the welfare of children by covering up for abuser priests, and allowing them to remain in ministry; the main charge against Father Brennan is the attempted rape of a 14-year-old.

The back story at the archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial, now beginning its sixth week, is that the evidence against Msgr. Lynn continues to pile up every day, while the case against Father Brennan appears to be unraveling.

Father Brennan's main accuser is Mark Bukowski, who claims that back in 1996, when he was 14, Father Brennan attempted to rape him at the priest's apartment in West Chester. The problems with the case  began with a 2011 grand jury report, where Father Brennan was originally charged with anally raping Bukowski.

The grand jury report had graphically stated that the 14-year-old victim pissed his pants and cried himself to sleep, with Father Brenan's penis still inside him. By the time the case went to trial, however, the rape charge had been downgraded to attempted rape, or what the priest's lawyer, William J. Brennan [no relation] dismissively referred to as a "pelvic bump" or a "savage spooning."

Bukowski testified three weeks ago that both the alleged victim and abuser were wearing t-shirts and shorts at the time of the alleged attack.

The waters were muddied further when Bukowski's mother testified that even she has reasonable doubt about what happened that night in West Chester between her son and her favorite priest. The last words the alleged victim's mother uttered before leaving the witness stand was, "I will never really know what happened."

In court Monday, the case against Father Brennan unraveled further, when Msgr. Kevin Quirk showed up to read a 55-page transcript of a 2008 ecclesiastical inquest of Father Brennan into the record. Msgr. Quirk, a West Virginia priest with a doctorate in canon law, was the canonical judge. He told the jury in Courtroom 304 that he was the one who had questioned Father Brennan, when the priest voluntarily submitted to the inquest.

In the transcript, Bukowski backed off of a second charge he made three weeks ago at the archdiocese sex abuse trial, that in 1999, three years after the alleged attempted rape, Father Brennan had subsequently exposed himself to Bukowski.

At the time, Bukowski, who had been arrested several times, testified that he had sought Father Brennan's help because he needed to do 30 hours of community service. The priest helped Bukowski line up a gig at his new parish, Assumption BVM in Feasterville, where Bukowski was scheduled to mow the lawn.

On the witness stand in Courtroom 304, Bukowski charged that the priest had called him over to a shed, and when he got there, he saw the priest with his pants down, fondling his own penis. Bukowski told the jury that when he saw the priest masturbating, he ran away.

But in the transcript of the church investigation, the alleged alleged exposure incident was never mentioned, even though Msgr. Quirk had already heard Bukowski's testimony.

Why didn't you question Father Brennan about the alleged exposure, defense attorney Brennan asked Msgr. Quirk. And then the defense attorney turned his back, and walked away from the witness stand, awaiting the monsignor's answer.

"The accused had withdrawn that part of the allegation," the monsignor finally replied. Msgr. Quirk testified that Bukowski told him his mind was "scrambled" about the alleged exposure incident, adding, "I'm just saying I don't remember."

But what the jury may remember is that four years later, at the archdiocese sex abuse trial, Bukowski's memory had improved to the point where he could again bring up the alleged incident. Especially after defense attorney Brennan on cross-examination had Msgr. Quirk read a portion of Mark Bukowski's canonical testimony, where the alleged victim was asked if there were any problems when he was doing his community service at Father Brennan's parish.

"It was fine during community service," Bukowski was quoted as saying in the canonical transcript read into the record by Msgr. Quirk.

In the canonical transcript, Father Brennan made his position clear on Bukowski's allegations. The alleged attack never happened, the priest told the monsignor. Neither did another incident that he's been accused of.

A former Little League coach has testified in Courtroom 304 that he once saw the priest massaging Bukowksi's bare shoulders, Father Brennan told the canonical inquest the massage never happened. "No, I'm Irish," Father Brennan was quoted as saying. "I'm not tactile."

Father Brennan told the church inquest that in the summer of 1996, Bukowski's mother called him and asked if he would take Mark for a weekend. The boy had been having "crazy mood swings," and wasn't getting along with his family, the priest said. Bukowski's mother told Father Brennan, "Maybe you can figure out what's wrong with him."

That night in the priest's apartment, Father Brennan told the church inquiry, he drank three beers. Meanwhile, Mark Bukowski took off his boxer shorts and ran around the priest's apartment in a pair of loose gym shorts. That struck the priest as weird, but he said Mark Bukowski told him his mother let him run around like that all the time.

The priest told the church inquest that Mark Bukowski went upstairs and was using the priest's laptop. The boy said he wanted the priest's password so he could go on the internet and look at some porn sites. When Father Brennan said he didn't think that was a good idea, Mark Bukowski got angry and threatened to throw the priest's laptop "out the window," Father Brennan told the church inquest.

Father Brennan said he ran upstairs and, after an argument, reluctantly gave Mark the password. The boy went on a couple of porn sites, the priest said, before Father Brennan decided to shut down his computer.

The two then ended up sharing the priest's king size bed. Msgr. Quirk asked Father Brennan if during the night if it was possible that he touched Mark Bukowski.

No, the priest said. Did you attempt to hug him in bed? Not that I recall, the priest said.

When Father Brennan was told of Mark Bukowski's allegations, he told the canonical inquest, "You may as well beat me over the head with a baseball bat. I have no clue about this. Where the hell did this come from? I was just devastated."

After Bukowski made his allegations, Father Brennan said he was told by a monsignor that he had two days to pack up and leave his parish. During the archdiocese investigation, the priest told the church inquiry, that the charges against him went "very public."

"It was on TV. It was in the newspapers," Father Brennan told the monsignor. And, he said, the archdiocese mailed out "10,000 letters" to parishioners and former students of Father Brennan, trying to find out whether there were any other victims.

And did they find any other victims, Father Brennan was asked in the church transcript.

"Nope," he said.

Father Brennan told the church inquiry that he decided to fight the charges against him because, "I don't want another priest to have to go through this." The battle would be worth it, he said in the transcript, if he could "save one priest, then I'll go to calvary."

In addition to the attempted rape charge, Father Brennan is also charged with conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child. The priest and his lawyer have sat silently at the defense table during most of the past five weeks of trial, as 90 percent of the evidence has had nothing to do with him, but is part of the case against Msgr. Lynn.

It's a daily courtroom ritual that still gets smiles and chuckles from jurors. After every witness testifies against Msgr. Lynn, on cross-examination, defense attorney Brennan will stand and ask the prosecutors if they can stipulate that none of the evidence just entered into court has anything to do with his client. When the prosecutor agrees, Brennan says then he has no questions for the witness.

It happened two more times Monday when the prosecution brought two former victims into court to testify against Msgr. Lynn. Once again, these witnesses had nothing to do with the case against Father Brennan, or even the case against Father Edward V. Avery, the third defendant in the case who, on the eve of trial, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a child, and involuntary deviant sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old boy.

As part of the case against Msgr. Lynn, Judge M. Teresa Sarmina has allowed the prosecution to introduce evidence regarding 21 additional abuser priests dating back to 1948, to show a pattern in the archdiocese of shuffling abusers from parish to parish, without notifying parishioners or doing anything to protect children.

On Monday, a 43-year-old Levittown man testified that he was abused as a school boy during the early 1980s by Father David Sicoli, one of those 21 additional priests. The victim testified that Father Sicoli was always putting his hands on him.

"I was 11 or 12 years old," the victim testified. "I didn't see what was wrong and what was going on. My parents welcomed and relished that attention," he said, adding that his family believed that "priests walked on water."

But in retrospect, he realized the warning signs about the undue attention Father Sicoli showered on him were "signal flares shooting off left and right."

"The guy had really big hands and had physical control over where I was going," he testified. The priest took the victim and other boys to his beach house in Sea Isle City, where he always served them liquor.

"To this day I can't drink Amaretto," he said. The priest also lined up paying jobs at the rectory for his favorite boys, whom he treated like girlfriends. But Father Sicoli was a manipulator who kept the boys in line because they were afraid of his volcanic temper.

The victim recalled one incident where Father Sicoli approached him in the rectory, where he was doing his homework, and insisted they wrestle. The priest, who wore tight pants, pinned the boy down on the ground and with a "full erection," was "grinding me," the victim testified.

"It felt so disgusting," the victim told the jury. "Like a slime on you, and you just want to get it off."

The victim testified that upon his eighth grade graduation, Father Sicoli had gotten permission from the boy's parents to take him to Disney World. But as the trip got closer and closer, the victim became more worried. "It was gonna be like a honeymoon," he testified.

The victim said he told his father he didn't want to go. The victim's father called the priest, and said his son wasn't going. When the priest started screaming, the father said, "He's no longer your girlfriend," and then he hung up.

In 2004, more than 20 years after he had been abused by Father Sicoli, the victim was interviewed by a detective from the archdiocese. The archdiocese had had the names of numerous victims, including the man on the witness stand, for more than 20 years, but had done nothing to investigate the allegations, nothing to protect children. That included Msgr. Lynn, who served as secretary for clergy from l992 to 2004, and had the responsibility of supervising abuser priests.

Finally, in 2004, the archdiocese review board found "multiple substantiated allegations" of abuse against Father Sicoli involving 11 minors between 1977 and 2002. The review board recommended that Father Sicoli be stripped of his ministry.

A second 47-year-old victim from Levittown testified Monday that he had been among the first victims to be sexually abused by Father Sicoli back in the late 1970s. The white-haired witness, whose pregnant sobbing wife was watching from a front-row seat, said that Father Sicoli took him to the shore and served him drinks.

"There was always alcohol, that's the key to this," the victim testified. "He always wanted to wrestle. He always had his shirt off. He was hairy like a bear."

Father Sicoli performed oral sex on the boy, and masturbated him. Then he taught the victim to reciprocate. It went on for three years, the victim testified, until one day, he told the cook in the rectory that he didn't want to go to the priest's shore house any more.

"A man should not touch a child," the victim sobbed on the witness stand while his wife cried along with him. "He wouldn't let us talk to girls," the victim told the jury. The victim testified that after the Boston sex abuse scandal of 2002, " he wondered every day, "When was this guy finally gonna get his?"

The archdiocese did nothing about the abuse for 35 years, the crying victim told the jury. He tearfully spoke about one priest at archdiocese headquarters who was "the only one who apologized" for the abuse.

Sadly for Msgr. Lynn, the victim wasn't talking about him, but another priest in the chancery office. "They waited 35 years," the victim kept crying. "This is all you get."

As the victim walked out of the courtroom, comforted in the arms of his sobbing wife, two male jurors dabbed their eyes. And over at the prosecution table, it was another solid day of racking up points against Msgr. Lynn.

32 comments:

  1. These Catholic priests are a fraternity of child sex freaks, and they admitted 4,392 of these substantiated "Jerry Sanduskys" in the Catholic church's own John Jay report. That was 4% of the total over 50 years, but 8-10% of the total in the 70s and 80s.
    There are undoubtedly 3-5 times that many whose victims have never come forward.

    These priests, like Sicoli, now live wherever they want, and Sicoli lives across the street from a playground, which is no accident, I'm sure. The Catholic church's legacy is that they protected and hid these pedophiles, let them rape dozens of children, and let them live freely among us.

    And don't think for a minute that their sex lives are over at 70 years old, or that your children are safe. Most normal 70 year olds have had plenty of normal sex, so they don't have the same hunger at 70.

    However, many of these Catholic pedophile priests only had sex with children a couple of times a month, so they still have strong urges at 70+ years old, like Bishop Lahey of Canada who was arrested smuggling child porn into Canada last year. Of course, his expensive Catholic lawyers got him off with a guilty plea but no jail time served.

    Another Catholic pedophile priest free to live across from a playground, courtesy of the world's largest pedophile protection program.

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    1. You are a hater I see but also not very intelligent.

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    2. Good comeback, Rufus. I wrote a clear description, using indisputable facts that can all be found online.

      I am a hater of child rape and those who support or hide it, so I do hate the Catholic church, which is BY FAR history's largest pedophile protection program.

      Spoiler alert: God hates people raping His children and lying about it, and God hates the Catholic church for masquerading as His church. God will be vicious to anyone who supported the Catholic church.

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  2. Go here to learn the truth about the media's jihad of exaggeration, bias and misinformation about the Catholic church and sex abuse.

    http://www.themediareport.com/

    Stop the bias! Stop the lies! Tell the truth!

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    1. Good grief, Rufus. The Vatican itself recently acknowledged that up to 100,000 American children may have been molested by priests. Google it. Or just read John Allen's reporting on February 8th. Is the Vatican part of the jihad, Rufus? Is John Allen part of the jihad?

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    2. Sarah,

      Rufus is a friend of Dave "Professional Pedophile Protector" Pierre, who sells books about how innocent these pedophile priests are.

      On example is Fr Gordon Macrae, a convicted pedophile priests who Dave supports (and who recommends Dave's books). Macrae pleaded guilty to sex with 3 children, but Dave will tell you how that isn't an admission that he did it.

      In the previous blog entry, "kopride" wrote a masterpiece about how Macrae was a serial child sex offender, citing proof from public, online sources.

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    3. The John Allen article OF Feb. 8, 2012 clearly indicates that the assertion about the 100,000 possible victims was made not by “the Vatican” but by two persons who – Allen didn’t quite do all his homework, or at least reveal it – turn out to be working for an insurance firm that handles policies for dioceses in the US. But there was no such ‘admission’ by the Vatican and Allen’s piece clearly indicates that.

      This particular assertion has come up before on this site. I had pointed out in a comment at that time that the assertion was made at that conference not by the Vatican but by two persons from an insurance company that insures dioceses in the US. They had apparently taken the original 10,000 or so allegations (not convictions) mentioned in the 1st John Jay Report (2004) and simply extrapolated by a factor of 10.

      I had also pointed out in the same prior comments that the two ‘experts’ – employed by the insurance company or its associated and possibly subsidiary ‘Protect the Children’ organization - had a clearly possible motivation to exaggerate: there are probably few insurers who care to compete for the Church’s business nowadays and any assertions that further spin the matter as an unresolved or insoluble crisis can only serve to increase the company’s leverage over the rate-setting and keep the ball rolling. Business 101 for the crooked timber of humanity.

      Since the 1st John Jay Reports’ ’10,000’ number is so widely credited by various persons and groups, it is curious that the 2nd Report (2011) from that same organization is not credited. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the 2nd Report documents the substantial decline in current allegations against minors, which leads the Report to conclude that the ‘crisis’ is over (and the reforms have taken hold).

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    4. Rufus is a catholic priest with his own blog, "southern orders" complaining about liberal influences on the church and waxing poetically for the good old days before priests let the lay people and uppity nuns take over the asylum. I assume that he will join DPierre,aka the Most Reverend of Gullibility; and Pertinax, our sex offender friend, in blindly defending anything the church says or does.

      Welcome aboard Padre. Thanks for contributing to the intelligent discourse. BTW, have you read any of the documents related to the MacRae case that is DPierre's cause? Most of the most incriminating documents related to his guilt come from the Diocese of Manchester's own internal files which show that he admitted to multiple inappropriate encounters with children to his supervising priests and bishops. He also attended two of the church's "Club Peds" "the Paraclete Retreat in NM and House of Affirmation in MA, and pleaded guilty 4 times to sexual offenses involving minors. But I guess your only agenda is to let the "truth come out," which is why you would support a propaganda site like themediareport.

      So, I don't understand your agenda. Folks like Brennan who was drummed out of a local HS for inappropriate conduct with teens and was the subject of a nun's complaint that he was living in a convent with a teen boy, hurt you the most. Most people hear of a priest showing porn to a teen, sharing a bed, and having graphic conversations with a minor, and recoil in disgust. Is that a normal weekend night for you? Brennan is a disgusting human being and poor excuse for a priest. Did he rape that boy? who knows. Is his conduct extremely suspicious and sketchy beyond words? Sure. Is Bukowski a victim of the blind faith some catholics put in a man wearing a collar? No doubt. How about some empathy towards a poor wretched child of the church; instead of a wayward priest who clearly behaved inappropriately with this boy and his mother.

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    5. Pertinax, we don't care that your church's new report shows that "the Catholic church doesn't practice the same rampant rape that it used to".

      That is a Catholic defense, not a human one. The victims are still alive. The pedophile priests are still alive.

      The Catholic church is the Al Qaeda of the child rape world. They don't commit as many crimes as they used to, because they got caught. We managed to catch some of them, but they have many psychotic followers, and it is difficult to get the truth out of them and find them.

      However, we'll do the best we can, and pray that God is not forgiving, and will be vicious to all that raped children, hid them or supported the rapists. That includes you, Pertinax.

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    6. Don't feed the trolls. Pertinax is simply a sex offender looking for someone to take him seriously. I mean he blogs about Shanley and Eichmann getting a bum deal. I understand your desire to respond, . . . but when you are blogging about Eichmann, you are not a serious person or someone who should be responded to seriously. I agree that DPierre's complaints about the injustice done to Gordon MacRae approach the same level of self-delusion, but there is a difference between appointing yourself spokesman of maligned catholics; and spokesman for sex offenders. Perinax's blog is a whole other creature that approaches a "Justice for NAMBLA website." Even ten minutes reading Pertinax's musings is fairly terrifying

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    7. Alas, here it is several hours after I put up my comments (down towards the bottom of this page) noting an improvement in the maturity and competence of the comments and we are back to this.

      I think that the comment "we don't care" pretty much nails it and I cannot in any way disagree.

      And alas commenter KOPRIDE has - as the Protestant bretheren and sistern would put it - "backslid". But is not the timber of humanity crooked?

      The 'reasoning' displayed - and the utterly unjustified and unjustifiable assertion that I am a "sex offender" - needs to be left right out there where it was hung.

      Readers of my own essays on Shanley or Eichmann will quickly see that I did not deal with the specifics of their defenses but rather was focusing on the process of law and larger issues of jurisprudence involved. Did KOPRIDE read those essays and not see that (goes to reading comprehension) or did KOPRIDE not read them at all (goes to unreliablity and immaturity of assertions)?

      And if there is any evidence in anything I have written anywhere that I have "appointed myself spokesman" for anything or anybody, I would very much appreciate the relevant supporting quotation put up here, and the sooner the better.

      As for other cartoonish assertions and 'connections', they deserve the full light of day, just by hanging out where they have been put for all to read.

      If reading my material is "terrifying" even for "ten minutes", then either the reader has an anxiety disorder or else the reader is terrified by ideas and thoughts marshalled together in a single place, requiring concentration and comprehension. But that's not my problem and this isn't a support group so I'll just leave it be.

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    8. May I just point out here that "God will be vicious to" anybody breaks a rather stunning bit of new ground in theology.

      What God does with anybody at the Final Bar is not knolwedge vouchsafed (as they used to say) to ordinary humans.

      And there are - by all extant material - very few cases or even allegations of child-rape among Catholic clergy. Indeed, the case at bar is no longer formally concerned with it as a formal Charge.

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    9. Pertinax, do you ever stop typing your drivel long enough to read?

      Seek the truth. That's what you're commanded to do.
      Don't lie. That's what you're commanded to do.

      "very few cases or even allegations of child-rape among Catholic clergy"

      That's the lie that you should put on everything you write so that everyone knows you're lying and reporting directly to Satan himself.

      In the Catholic church's own John Jay report, they admit to 4% substantiated allegations against 4,392 of the priests in the US alone.

      Be honest - change your name to LyingAss.

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    10. Substantiated allegation of child-rape or of all allegations whatsoever, along the entire spectrum of 'abuse'?

      I presume I am not commanded by you to seek Truth, since you could not possibly presume t-h-a-t much about yourself.

      And if I am commanded by God, then - thank you very much - I've been aware of that for quite a few years.

      The rest - as so often - simply deserves to be left where it was put.

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  3. Statement by: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com

    Today a West Virginia priest, who's involved in allegations against a Steubenville priest, testified in a clergy abuse and cover up trial in Philadelphia.

    He's Msgr. Kevin Quirk who was one of the officials involved in the case against Fr. Gary Zalenski,

    Zalenski, who has been accused of child sex crimes, was removed from his parish in 2007, and a so called church "trial" was conducted in January of 2010, yet he has not been defrocked and he is still supposedly roaming free, not in a secure location away from children.

    Neither Quirk nor the Steubenville diocese church officials have yet to let the victims or the public know about Zalenski's status or where he is located. We worry that he is still a danger to innocent children.

    contact info for:
    Msgr. Kevin Michael Quirk, kquirk@dwc.org (304) 230-1568, (304) 230-1577 Wheeling-Charleston Diocese
    Msgr. Kurt H. Kemo, kkemo@diosteub.org (740) 282-3631 Steubenville Diocese

    AND---

    This victim is extremely brave for speaking up and taking action to expose the truth about being abused.
    Hopefully anyone, who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Fr David Sicoli, will have the courage to speak up and report it to police.

    Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

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  4. I feel for Mark Bukowski. I think the jury does too. He was betrayed not only by the priest but also consistently by his mother. He was a child who had nowhere to turn. And years later he's expected to remember every detail of his nightmare with unbending accuracy. No one would be able to do that. Mark, there are people all over the country reading about this and pulling for you. You didn't have anyone back then. You do now.

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  5. Someone also mentioned that it came out in court that in the "Catholic Court" trial, according to canon law, the victim has to swear to tell the truth the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but the accused priest does not.

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    1. Somehow, I don't think they would tell the truth even if they had to swear to it.

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  6. Today’s report by Mr. Cipriano captures some of the revelation of the complexity of this case as it proceeds to unwind (which is not to say ‘unravel’, at this point).

    As some amount of live testimony (as opposed to having a reader read Grand Jury material) now occurs, the unsurprising difficulties with some of the accuser’s material becomes evident.

    But the more interesting complication is that involved in the testimony extending back decades, long before the tenure of either of the accused (Avery as priest and Lynn as official for personnel).

    This historical material was admitted by the trial judge as being relevant for establishing a pattern in the AOP, although the AOP is not a Party Defendant. A case can be made for it, and against it – and perhaps on appeal (I think either side will appeal, although I am not sure of it and make no predictive assertions here) there will be further input from higher courts.

    Hence Lynn is now tainted by historical material that long precedes his tenure in the office which he (or historical parties not Defendant) is alleged to have criminally abused.

    Whether this difficulty is evident to the jury I do not know and will not speculate. Mr. Cipriano is an astute reporter and was present in the court-room and perhaps intuited (nothing wrong with that for a competent reporter, it’s what we want them to do) something by actually observing them.

    And again, I would say today’s proceedings indicate what I would characterize as the stitched-together nature of the case that the prosecution has chosen to bring.

    I would also point out, again, that the case seems to have significance beyond the actual matters pertinent to the charges against the specific Parties Defendant. This is evidenced, beyond what I have mentioned in prior comments, by the very material raised by certain commenters: matters beyond the case at bar are routinely brought in as if they are dispositive, or at least vitally relevant. Which such material may very well be, but not to the case at bar. Again then, there is a strong whiff of ‘show trial’ in this thing; and by that I mean that the case is being used in some way as significant for purposes beyond the simple (and legally primary, to say the least) task of establishing the guilt or innocence of the Defendants as to the Charges brought.

    For those interested who have not already noticed, over the weekend I put up an essay on my own site about the case generally.

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  7. Having done lots of trial focus groups, I can offer the following. Very few "jurors" are persuadable. Most jurors have a particular viewpoint and then find things in the evidence or testimony to fit the narrative they want to believe. This should be fairly evident to anyone who has read the comment section to the blog.Regardless of the report from the trial, there are always commenters who are going to see what they want to see in the evidence. For someone like DPierre, witness confusion, inconsistencies, adverse rulings, are all proof that the court is out to get the AOP and the witnesses are lying. For folks who want to believe that the church is simply a massive pedophile ring, there is plenty of evidence to weave into that narrative as well.

    And its why legal commenters on high profile trials are gloriously wrong from OJ to Casey Anthony. In the OJ trial, the jury was simply hearing the testimony that supported their view of the case, which was that the cops set him up; and the massive amount of DNA and blood evidence was not inconsistent with that narrative, the cops planted the massive amount of evidence to set him up because OJ was too smart to leave so much evidence around. To the lawyers and public, the massive amounts of DNA and blood evidence made a claim of a cop conspiracy absurd.

    To lawyers and seasoned court room observers, lying under oath in a prior proceeding is death to a witness. Sworn testimony is our stock in trade so inconsistencies pretty much kill a core value for us--even if our narrative fits with the prosecution. From my perspective, its all we've got until there is a true lie detector that can definitively tell the truth. It's only when a core value clashes with the narrative, that someone who is fairly fixed in the narrative can be moved. For me, there are too many inconsistencies to convict Brennan based upon Bukowski alone, even though I believe in my heart of heart that he is a sick depraved pedophile that should never be allowed around kids. And that is probably what happened in Casey Anthony. Too much crap and static in the system to convict someone on even powerful circumstantial evidence; and the parents simply creeped them out.

    Yesterdays evidence was a treasure trove to either narrative. To the prosecution leaning/all priests are pedophiles, jurors, there is no reasonable explanation for letting a 14 year old share your bed, view porn on your computer, run around in his underwear, and having sexually explicit conversations with a minor. It all corroborated Bukowski's story that something wrong happened on the night in question. The inconsistencies in his testimony are consistent with being abused by a trusted adult. For a defense oriented juror who views the whole trial as catholic bashing, the inconsistencies in sworn testimony support that narrative. He is a liar who keeps changing his story and the priest is simply the victim of a false allegation. And very few people flip during the trial from one side to another. In other words, jurors convict people all the time even though critical witnesses lie under oath--if the overall story fits their narrative. And jurors will find crazy conspiracies or ignore key evidence if they have a different narrative.

    Therefore, i disagree with Ralph's contention that the case against Brennan is unravelling. It is to him because he values the process, which says that lying under oath is a deal breaker. But we have no idea what the jury thinks or the narrative that plays out in their head. Dpierre would acquit even if Bukowski was consistent from hearing to hearing. He would use that consistency to say" see he was coached and testimony rehearsed because is normal to have inconsistencies over time and if it was so traumatic he wouldn't remember it so clearly." Allen would clearly convict even if Bukowski said, I made it all up, because he would discount the recantation as evidence of abuse and brainwashing.

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    1. (Well, I had put this up many hours ago and the site-machinery said it was 'published' but here we are now and it doesn't appear. I will never grasp the mysteries of webverse technology. Anyway, here it is and I hope it makes it through the techno-mill.)

      I would like to go on record here as taking note of what I perceive to be a clear improvement in the quality of commenting by some commenters. I strongly support this and am consoled by the thought that it will continue.

      I would respectfully disagree that there is sufficient evidence that “the church is a massive pedophile ring”. But I also acknowledge that the commenter may simply have been characterizing the mindset of certain people. And I believe that that observation/characterization is accurate.

      It is true that jurors can have their own fixed preconceptions, and even that to such an individual the preconceptions are not evident to the individual (and can honestly be denied) because they are woven so deeply into that individual’s deeply-accustomed mindset, how s/he processes information or input that s/he doesn't recognize them for what they are, much as a fish probably doesn't comprehend the concept of water since water has always been experienced as a given.

      That is one of the difficulties I see with this type of trial – with ‘show trials’ generally but with sex-offense and the priest-abuse subvariant of sex-offense trials in this country in the past two decades: the jury pool is tainted before the fact by media reporting that, for whatever reasons, embraces a certain narrative framing and for all practical purposes takes a side by not objectively (or skeptically) kicking the tires of all relevant framing-narratives.

      Surely in this type of case, skepticism is not only strongly suggested particularly by the material in the case at bar but also by the possibility (I would say probability) of the tainting before the fact of the public mind and thus of the jury-pool.

      But human beings are never completely predictable and one can never know when one or more jurors on a specific case might rise to the occasion and change what would have been their predictable pattern of processing information and drawing conclusions. Again, in this case, we will not know until we know.

      (Second part, one can only hope, to follow immediately.)

      Delete
  8. KoPride wrote: "The inconsistencies in his testimony are consistent with being abused by a trusted adult." I know that's true from my own experience.

    The reason pedophiles get away with their crimes is their victims are rarely able to be good witnesses. The one opportunity I had to tell the Chicago Archdiocese what happened to me at age five, I was confused and scared and stressed and words burbled out of my mouth. I contradicted something I wrote on my blog about a whole different subject, and they used that to discredit me and my case went into limbo.

    I think the system is stacked against pedophile priest victims and only a fraction of the cases get resolved.

    I think these trials belong in a federal court since the crimes happened with the same pattern in every state.

    To me, the best way to get justice is to publish our stories.

    Any Catholic pedophile priest victim who wants to publish their story, along with documents if you have them, contact me through City of Angels Blog (http://cityofangels12.blogspot.com) and we can tell it to the world.

    Sincerely, Kay Ebeling

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    1. I would like to work for a moment with commenter KAYEBELING’s sharing just above.

      I fully respect the concerns of persons who work with those who are genuinely victimized. I think that support-groups organized for the purpose of assisting a growth in mastery of that experience are vital and very worthwhile and I support such genuine support-work fully.

      My concern is, as I have mentioned in other comments on other articles on this site, is that it is not easy – and indeed is fraught with ill-consequences – to too easily transfer the concerns of the therapeutic forum to the juridical or legal forum.

      Thus, to recap my thoughts on the matter: much of the ‘victim-friendly’ legislation and jurisprudence has deranged vital fundaments of justice as it is conceived in the Framing Vision and the American political universe precisely because a) whereas in the therapeutic forum one expects to be more or less ‘believed’ and thus ‘heard’ when one simply relates one’s experiences, yet in the judicial forum such instantaneous according of belief cannot be granted.

      Because b) when one wishes to be ‘heard’ in the public juridical forum one for all practical purposes wishes the Sovereign coercive authority of the government (its police power, so to speak) to be deployed against another person (and citizen). To do so legitimately – and especially even more so in the criminal rather than the civil (lawsuit) forum – the state must determine the accuracy of the complainant’s assertions. And this requires questioning of the ‘story’ that is the gravamen of whatever Complaint or Charges have been lodged against the accused. There is no way around this without deranging and indeed perverting the process of law in the American legal universe.

      It is precisely here, in my view, that ‘victim-friendly’ legislation and jurisprudence has made recently some profound errors (presuming we wish to maintain the integrity of the Law as it must exist in the American legal universe).

      Thus the presumption of the validity of the allegation without serious examination and the requirement that the accuser not be carefully and thoroughly examined work against the very fundaments of American law and of the Law.

      It is, I think, for this reason that many accusers feel that “the deck is stacked against them”, but there cannot be any way of avoiding this without deranging the entire legal process and deranging it profoundly.

      As I read it expressed somewhere very recently, “the protection of innocence works against the presumption of innocence”. But that presumption of innocence – not in any particular case but as a general principle – is a core and fundamental precept and first principle of the process of American law (and of protecting the legitimacy of the Sovereign deployment of its coercive/police power).

      And lastly, in that regard, in the American system, the genuine legal process works for all citizens (accusers as well as accused) by maintaining the general and basic legitimacy of the Sovereign authority. I cannot see how that is not a primary interest of all Citizens and how that does not work ultimately to a vital interest of all Citizens.

      Delete
  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pertinax wrote:

    "Thus, to recap my thoughts on the matter: much of the ‘victim-friendly’ legislation and jurisprudence has deranged vital fundaments of justice as it is conceived in the Framing Vision and the American political universe precisely because a) whereas in..."

    And I went zzzzzzzzz because those words make no sense at all and if I were an English teacher his grade would be D-.

    Actually after perusing Pertinax's blog:

    http://senseoffenses.blogspot.com

    I've stopped reading his long vocabulary-flatulent comments here as the guy has lost all credibility.

    Still it is funny to see him go on and on and on and on... Mr. Pertinax sure has a lot of free time on his hands. Read "unemployable" as who would hire someone who writes blogs endorsing sex crimes against children? NAMBLA maybe?

    Enjoy joy, Kay Ebeling

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    1. Yes, well, ideas and words will have that effect on some people and you are not alone, either on this site or - from my experience - in the wide world.

      That being said, your imagining what an imaginary English teacher might imaginably say in your imagining is your own opinion and you are welcome to it and to express it.

      And to lose 'credibility' among such types ... well I'll put that on my list of sad things, and in just the position it deserves.

      But if you are - as you claim on this site - somehow deeply involved in offering support (and perhaps guidance) to people in need, then how such an attitude would serve that vital purpose - and not cause more harm - is clearly a question that at some point in some way (and not on this site) confronted honestly.

      Delete
  11. I write a blog, don't claim any healing talents and offering support is not my gig. Some people say my blog helps them, but that is not my motive at all. Just seeking to expose the lies and crimes...

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  12. Ah well then. Let's go with that.

    I'm all for exposing lies and speaking truth to power. However, the kicker there is that the former doesn't overwhelm and vitiate the latter. Truth is the key here; if, say, one were to ignore any facts or ideas that don't conform to one's cherished position and Cause, then truth suffers. And how much does more untruth or non-truth help anybody in the long run?

    To repeat: what concerns me in this trial and in all of the Stampede (my term for it) that surrounds this trial and others like it, is that truth goes out the window in pursuit of a particular Cause that requires a single particular narrative framing (or script, since that's a familiar concept to you).

    In fact, to 'script' matters too rigidly and narrowly in matters of great public import and especially in criminal law and trials, is to vitiate a vital process. Script dynamics require some sort of 'hero' or protagonist, some sort of villain, and shades toward the Good-Evil framing so close to propaganda strategies such as Goebbels's.

    And that's where I see things going - and have already gone - in all of these matters.

    I hope you re-visit your decision not to read my thoughts, but in any case I'm happy for the opportunity to put my ideas to the readership of this site.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think you are all so strange the way in which you argue with each other. You all become the enemy of each other; and why? Some accused priests are in fact innocent. Many more are guilty and will never be punished. Unaffected Catholics continue to sit in the pews and laugh at stupid jokes from priests during homilies and never think of those of us who have been abused. We feel abandoned by them, but this does not make them bad people. They have the luxury of not having become a victim.

    This site simply documents what occurred each day in court. I value these postings because it is not easy to obtain accurate accounts of what is occurring in the courtroom each day. Reading your "rantings" is so disappointing. Hate generates hate.

    I wish you all would express your vitriol for each other on another site and let this Blog simply do what it is intended to do. And I'll exercise my choice to not read this ignorant stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "And I'll exercise my choice to not read this ignorant stuff."

    That's what you should do. Everyone here has freedom of speech. You have freedom not to read it. God bless America.

    You say "hate generates hate", but hate defeated Hitler, Stalin, Hussein, Ghaddafi and plenty of other terrorist organizations. Active hate will defeat the Catholic child terrorist organization.

    P.S. its ok to hate child rapists and those that protect them
    P.P.S. the Catholic church isn't God's church

    ReplyDelete

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