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Sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles

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The sexual abuse scandal in Los Angeles archdiocese covered a period beginning in the 1930s and was mostly resolved in 2007 when a settlement was reached in which the archdiocese agreed to a pay victims $660 million.

Challenging aspects of investigations of sexual abuseEdit

Cardinal Roger Mahony appealed an attempt to gain access to church documents relating to sexual abuse all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court refused to hear the appeal, and in 2006 the decision required the archdiocese to comply with a subpoena from the Los Angeles County District Attorney for letters to the former priests and notes from counseling sessions conducted by the church.[1]

SettlementEdit

The Los Angeles Archdiocese settled 508 cases for $2 million in July, 2007.[2] On July 16, 2007, Mahony and the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles apologized for abuses by priests after 508 victims reached a record-breaking settlement worth $660m (£324m), with an average of $1.3m for each plaintiff. Mahony described the abuse as a "terrible sin and crime", after a series of trials into sex abuse claims since the 1940s were to begin. The agreement, if approved by a judge, will settle all 15 upcoming pedophilia trials against the Los Angeles archdiocese and avoids the threat of Mahony being forced to testify about how the Church dealt with abuses spanning the 1940s to 1990s. Since 2002 nearly 1,000 people filed sexual abuse claims in California. [3] The archdiocese agreed to pay out $60,000,000 to settle 45 lawsuits it still faces over -2 other pending cases of sexual abuse. According to the Associated Press a total of 22 priests were involved in the settlement with cases going as far back as the 1930s. [4] 20 million dollars of this was paid by the insurers of the archdiocese.[5]

Rita MillaEdit

Rita Milla, an American citizen who was sexually abused by 7 priests was paid a $500,000 (€339,190) settlement on December 4, 2007, from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, America's largest, in her 23-year legal fight. Milla, 46, was one of the plaintiffs in a $660-million-dollar (€447.73 million) global settlement paid by the diocese reached for past abuse victims of molestation by priests. At 16, she was first abused by Fr. Santiago at Los Angeles and the Roman Catholic Church's failure to help here caused her loss of faith: "It felt like God hanging up the phone on me. I'll never escape the memories and I'll always be fighting the after effects of the trauma I went through, but now I can work on healing." She sued the church in 1984, and Tamayo apologized to her in 1991. Tamayo, who died in 1999, was paid to remain in the Philippines.[6]

Impact on the dioceseEdit

On January 22, 2008, Tod Tamberg announced that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles sold its 12-story Archdiocesan Catholic Center on Wilshire Boulevard to Jamison Properties (/ David Lee, President) of Los Angeles for $31 million to pay $660 million 2007 settlement on sex abuse by clergy. It had been donated in 1995 by Thrifty PayLess.[7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Archibold, Randal C (2006-04-18). "Archdiocese Loses Case to Keep Former Priests' Records Secret". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/18/washington/18church.html?_r=1. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
  2. Guardian Unlimited, Church Abuse Trial Ordered in San Diego
  3. "LA cardinal offers abuse apology". BBC News. 2007-07-16. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6900129.stm. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
  4. LA diocese settles abuse claims 1 December 2006
  5. LA church to pay .10 M for clergy abuse July 14, 2007
  6. latimes.com, Legal battle finally ends for victim of priest abuse
  7. LA Archdiocese Offices Sold for $31M