Monday, August 20, 2012

Priest Abuse Trial Timeline


  1. watched the 4 corners documentary from Australia.horrific crimes against children where it is proven now a direct link to premature death and suicide after abuse by the clergy

  2. Thanks for this graphic. Thanks for all your work, Ralph

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  4. Charles,

    "Where's the entry for "Rabid Prosecutor Holds Family Grudge Against Bevilacqua; Doesn't Recuse Himself"?

    Well first of all, prosecutors don't recuse themselves because they have a personal agenda or they're biased against the defendant. Prosecutors are generally biased against the criminal defendants, It's kind of what they do. They are advocates. A prosecutor may "recuse" or more properly stated, refer the matter to another office if he or she has a conflict of interest. For example, if the prosecutor has to bring a case against a relative or colleague, the AG's office may handle it or it could be referred to an out of town prosector for trial.

    Second of all, Lynn Abraham didn't bring a case against Bevilacqua while she was DA and he was the Archbishop. Seth Williams, the current DA, brought the case against Msg. Lynn and did not seek an indictment against Bevilacqua. To my knowledge, there is no information that suggests that Seth has any personal family history with the now deceased Cardinal. Indeed, the focus on the Cardinal's activities was the product of Lynn's lawyers, paid for by the AOP, who claimed that the Monsignor was simply following Bevilacqua's instructions, and they produced the infamous memo that he ordered shredded as proof of the fact that he was powerless against the Cardinal's edict. And in this case, Seth followed the recomendations of an empaneled Grand Jury who recomended charges against Lynn, not the Cardinal. So, your whole comment is nonsensical.

    "That's not on the timeline"

    Nor could it be for the reasons stated above. If Bevilacqua looked like the villian in this piece, it was part of a calculated defense strategy. The defense basically argued that Lynn was a powerless pawn of the late Cardinal. During the Grand Jury proceedings, Lynn appeared to be served up to protect the Cardinal's legacy and the strategy was that the Cardinal had no knowledge of these matters. At the trial, a memo had been produced which the cardinal ordered shredded that demonstrated that not only did he have knowledge, but that he intentionally ordered the memo to be destroyed so that he could deny knowledge.

    I am truly sorry that you are butthurt that one of your heroes did not turn out to be the person you hoped they actually were. In that regard, I have the same sympathy for you as the PSU apologists that are struggling with the damage to JoePa's legacy and reputation. Neither JoePa or Cardinal Tony B molested any kids--but that is kind of the bare minimum qualification for even being sub-human. However, they did put their own legacy and institutional concerns over the welfare of children; and for that, some people take issue with their behavior. Neither of them will have to go to jail or face the victims personally in a civil case because of the timing of their death. But both of their reputations will suffer postumously. If you want to blame Seth Williams for bringing it to light, I guess you can.

  5. Per Dictionary Dot Com:

    scape·goat   [skeyp-goht] Show IPA
    1. a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place.

    2. Chiefly Biblical . a goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8,10,26.

  6. Pretty cool Ralph. Nice Work.

    Charles, Your response seems childish. Comical, were there not so many victims, and suicides, and wrecked lives as a result of the offenses of these men whom you defend. I hope that you live long enough to understand what has been done to these children.

    It is my hope that one day you will know that you are defending pure evil, and that you are on the wrong side of history. It is my hope that that day will be tomorrow and that you and others will begin to assist those of us who are compelled to do what we can to help to pick up the pieces.

    These times are the beginning of the end of the sytematic child sexual abuse and cover-up, but the fallout will be felt for many years to come as victims mature and emerge. As you pray, say one for those who may be on the edge that they will hang on and speak out when their strength allows.

  7. Ralph had nothing to do with drawing up the timeline, or putting up this site. My son, Gabriel, did all of it. I think he did a terrific job.

    1. Ralph.

      Gabriel did do a great job. But I think he needs a good lawyer to make sure that he was fairly compensated. Please give him my email address and I will see what I can do for him. I'd like to see his contract; and if he was a minor ensure compliance with applicable wage and hour laws.

      Again, great job and kudos to your son; but a sad testament to the state of local newspapers that a key story is being sponsored by a local law firm, written by a former reporter who was basically run off the local paper because he wrote unpleasant but true things about the AOP and the Cardinal; and put together on a blog by the reporter's son. We used to have a paper in this town that won Pulitzers and covered important stories fully, fairly and accurately. Situations like yours where you had to shop an important story around because the local paper wouldn't print it were the beginning of the end of this long tradition. The only silver lining is that the same PR machine who shut your AOP story down had the temerity to buy the paper and run it into the ground even further.

      I understand that the economics of newspapers have changed forever, but is this really the future? We have to hope that a local benefactor takes an interest in an important story and hires a reporter to fully cover a story, a reporter with a son who can set up a website? Really, this is where we are.

      The only reason that the "cash for kids" scandal exploded in NE PA was because local newspapers there initially pushed the story--despite being intimidated with a huge libel verdict from a corrupt judge who was eventually convicted. The PSU story also saw the light in part because the HB paper was reporting the story hard. Despite the success of this blog, the whole phenomena of the dying mainstream press scares the crap out of me. How could you honestly encourage a kid to go into print journalism if this is the direction we are headed?

  8. Thanks for the clarification Ralph. Nice work Gabriel.

  9. kopride,
    Related to your commnents, Julie Shaw, a staff writer for the Daily News, wrote a story yesterday about the priest from Incarnation.

    Included in her report is an Archdiocese statement which she references by writing, "It said that anyone who needs victim service support could contact them", (and she gives an 800 number),
    "or at their website", (and she cites the website), "and anyone who
    wants to report an allegation of sexual abuse can call its office of Investigation", (and she gives that 800 number), "or call local police."

    I'm sure that the DA's office would not be surprised that they are fourth in line for reporting abuse, even at this point.

    No one should ever call the Archdiocese of Philadelphia ever again prior to calling the District Attorney's office to report sexual abuse.

  10. Kopride, it's the best of times and the worst of times. Print media is dying for sure, but the freedom available on the blogosphere is intoxicating. A lot of the stuff I've written about, whether I hit the mark or missed it, would have been edited out of the Inquirer. Instead, it's all out there.

    Also, print journalism today is dominated by the viewpoints of editors who never leave the office, or in this case, set foot in a courtroom. The editors on this story made up their minds early on that the defendants were all guilty and the victims were as innocent as driven snow. You could smell it, and it showed in the coverage. A lot of the stuff I wrote about was run by other reporters who said flat-out, my editor isn't interested in that. But if you break something, you can get the pack chasing you. Kind of fun, really. Beats going down with the Titanic. I'll take a balkanized media any day over what used to be.

  11. Good for you, Ralph, for being a maverick. I let my Inquirer subscription lapse a year ago, but kept thinking I'd re-up when the trial started. So glad I didn't.

    The Inquirer had such a sanitized reporting of the trial (it must have gone through so many filters and editing before publishing.) The AP articles were certainly better than than the Inquirer's (and they really shouldn't have been, as this is a home town story), but once I found your blog...I finally found the definitive source of information, and there was no looking back. I told many people about your blog, and told them just forget about checking the Inquirer. It was the same story, day in, day out.

    I would read anything you write. I'm guessing you'll turn this into a book. And, you should. I'll be first in line at Chester County Books to buy a signed copy.

    You are a gifted writer and a clear thinker. Please keep up the great work!

  12. Ralph, which victims did you think were not, "as innocent as the driven snow"?

  13. I thought Mark Bukowski's story kept changing, even as he sat on the witness stand. I didn't necessarily buy Avery's victim either, and was sorry that the defense team elected not to cross-examine him, to their eternal regret. It was a stark contrast in the courtroom between those two victims and some of the older victims that we heard from who were credible and devastating in their testimony.

  14. Maybe it takes a few decades for a person to articulate clearly about surviving crimes like these, so the older victims make better witnesses.

    That's why we need to get rid of the SOL on child sex abuse crimes, not for an arbitrary length of years, but permanently.

    Yes, the burden of proof is more difficult after decades, but that applies to both the prosecution and the defense. The way it is now, you have perp pedophiles who in most states it's impossible to prosecute, so they roam free...

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  16. New Post today at City of Angels Blog:
    Interview with Pam Spees re Vatican Crimes Against Humanity charges filed at The Hague in September 2011...


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