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Prosecutor says insufficient evidence found to charge LA cardinal in clergy abuse scandal
By GILLIAN FLACCUS , Associated Press


Last update: June 2, 2010 - 5:14 PM

http://www.startribune.com/nation/95429174.html

"LOS ANGELES - An eight-year investigation into how the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles handled clergy abuse cases suggests "the possibility of criminal culpability" by members of the archdiocese leadership, but investigators don't have enough evidence to file charges, a lead prosecutor wrote in a memo provided Wednesday.

The investigation of alleged sex abuse by priests remains active, but a criminal conspiracy case against archdiocese officials was "more and more remote" because of the passage of time, Deputy District Attorney William Hodgman said in the May 26 memo.

Investigators have insufficient evidence to fill in a timeline stretching over 20 years and are hampered by the statute of limitations, wrote Hodgman, who did not name any church leaders by name in the sections of the three-page memo that were not redacted.

The district attorney's office subpoenaed documents from the archdiocese and hoped to use the material to build more cases, but the effort was stymied by reluctant victims and insufficient evidence to corroborate what was in the documents, the memo said. The memo was released in response to questions about District Attorney Steve Cooley's handling of the priest abuse investigation, which began in 2002. Cooley is in the final week of a campaign to become the Republican nominee for California attorney general.

Cardinal Roger Mahony has come under fire for his handling of several abusive priests during his tenure in the Los Angeles archdiocese and agreed to pay $660 million in 2007 to more than 500 alleged clergy abuse victims.

A federal grand jury is also probing the archdiocese's handling of the scandal and has subpoenaed a former Los Angeles priest convicted of child molestation and a monsignor who served as vicar for clergy under Mahony. Mahony's attorney Michael Hennigan has said the cardinal was not a target of the investigation. Hennigan did not immediately return a call Wednesday seeking comment.

Hodgman's memo only refers to the church hierarchy. It does not name Mahony as a subject of its investigation.

Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said he had not seen the memo. Still, any suggestion of criminal wrongdoing by Mahony or others in the church leadership was false, he said. "Our documents and actions have been scrutinized for nearly 10 years by judges and investigators, and numerous archdiocesan officials have spent hundreds of hours answering questions under oath," he said. "While Cardinal Mahony has said that mistakes were made in dealing with individual cases of abuse in past decades, no facts have established that these mistakes were anything other than mistakes," Tamberg said.

Prosecutors have won convictions against six priests since 2002 and were forced to dismiss 11 cases in 2003 after the U.S. Supreme Court found a law that extended the statute of limitations in some sex abuse cases was unconstitutional. Investigators are currently pursuing a case against another priest, the memo said.

Clergy abuse victims reacted angrily to Hodgman's findings and accused Cooley of not doing enough to crack down on the archdiocese and Mahony.

"We know church officials and church lawyers are extremely shrewd. Still, it's boggling that Cooley can't find a single member of the hundreds of the Los Angeles archdiocesan staff who can be charged," Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. said in a prepared statement.

Mahony, 74, will retire next year. His replacement, Archbishop Jose Gomez, was welcomed to the archdiocese in a special Mass last week and will serve alongside Mahony until his retirement."
Boy o boy, if I was him, I;d get me to the Vatican before they change their minds.
tim
Is it possible that there is here anyone who would be happy if the Cardinal would be punished for criminal negligence?

If yes, try to think. There are at least 500 children abused by teachers, youth leaders and others for each child abused by priests. The negligence of the Cardinal construct a precedent for the negligence of school administrators, city managers, law enforcement leaders and so on, and you will feed the hungry lawyers by your taxes.

The Christians shall love everyone, including Cardinal Mahony, and shall be glad that he is not responsible. The hatred is not only un-Christian, but usually backfires.
(06-03-2010, 10:41 AM)glgas Wrote: [ -> ]Is it possible that there is here anyone who would be happy if the Cardinal would be punished for criminal negligence?

If yes, try to think. There are at least 500 children abused by teachers, youth leaders and others for each child abused by priests. The negligence of the Cardinal construct a precedent for the negligence of school administrators, city managers, law enforcement leaders and so on, and you will feed the hungry lawyers by your taxes.

The Christians shall love everyone, including Cardinal Mahony, and shall be glad that he is not responsible. The hatred is not only un-Christian, but usually backfires.

They should take his hat away and try him for heresy.  A medieval jury wouldn't have much trouble convicting him.  Then he could have his legs broken and thrown in to the Pacific to feed the sharks.  That's one of the ways they dealt with heretics back in the day.

It's never ceased to amaze me how so many liberals cry out for the blood of Cardinal Law but there's almost nary a peep from them about Cardinal Mahony.
(06-03-2010, 10:41 AM)glgas Wrote: [ -> ]The Christians shall love everyone, including Cardinal Mahony, and shall be glad that he is not responsible. The hatred is not only un-Christian, but usually backfires.

He isn't "not responsible", there was insufficient evidence to find him criminally liable.  There is a big difference.
They have not called him the 'teflon cardinal' for nothing.

Nothing seems to stick (as far as charges go).

Best lawyers money can buy perhaps?
Laszlo is right that this goes on in spades in public school systems and everywhere else. No one hunts them down, and the teachers particularly are protected by their Union and are supported by the  Democrats. But two wrongs do not make a right.
tim