Some 200 Catholic priests suspected of sexual abuse are living undetected in communities across California, according to an attorney who represents hundreds of plaintiffs who sued the LA Archdiocese alleging molestation they say was inflicted on them by priests and clergy of the church.
“He would rape me and then say this is what God’s love feels like,” Smith said, struggling to hold back tears more than twenty years after the alleged incidents.
Both men helped make legal history by joining 500 other plaintiffs in suing the LA Archdiocese for sexual molestation, with Boucher as their lead attorney.
In 2007 the LA Archdiocese reached an unprecedented $660 million settlement with many of the plaintiffs without admitting any wrong-doing.
It also agreed to let the courts decide which of the case-related church files should be made public, including those identifying alleged and admitted predators.
But according to Boucher and court documents, the Catholic Church has since engaged in a cover-up. By Boucher’s account, church officials allowed priests suspected of sexually abusing children to retire, flee the country or hide in rehab clinics until the statute of limitations on prosecution ran out.
“What the church did is take these guys and send them off to facilities where they treat pedophile priests without ever alerting police,” Boucher said. “By enabling these priests to be hidden for so many years the church protected them from being prosecuted.”
The bankruptcy hearings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee have revealed more than 8,000 previously unreported instances of alleged sexual abuse of children, according to one attorney representing the victims. The charges cover a span of 60 years and implicate a group of 100 alleged offenders, including nuns, church workers and some 75 priests.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Annysa Johnson writes that 570 “victim-survivors” have filed claims in the case, which is currently before U.S. bankruptcy judge Susan V. Kelley.
At a press conference on the federal courthouse steps in Milwaukee, Peter Isley, director of the Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests said, “This is a public safety crisis, a child safety crisis that needs to be investigated. We need to know who they are and where they are. How can there be 8,000 crimes committed by over 100 offenders and there be no accountability?”
When Kenneth G. Lieberthal, a China expert at the Brookings Institution, travels to that country, he follows a routine that seems straight from a spy film.
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings “loaner” devices, which he erases before he leaves the United States and wipes clean the minute he returns. In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, “the Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop.”
What might have once sounded like the behavior of a paranoid is now standard operating procedure for officials at American government agencies, research groups and companies that do business in China and Russia — like Google, the State Department and the Internet security giant McAfee. Digital espionage in these countries, security experts say, is a real and growing threat — whether in pursuit of confidential government information or corporate trade secrets.
Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice was ravaged by drug use and her regal image was ruined by erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, died Saturday. She was 48.