LA archdiocese under investigation over sex abuse cases

Attorney General Xavier Becerra asks Archbishop Jose Gomez to ensure the preservation of documents related to clergy abuse allegations

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s office has launched an investigation into how the Los Angeles Archdiocese handled sex abuse allegations. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The California attorney general’s office will review how the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has handled sexual abuse allegations, including whether it followed mandatory reporting requirements to law enforcement, according to a letter reviewed by The Times.

The letter, dated Thursday, from Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra to Archbishop Jose Gomez, requests that church officials preserve an array of documents related to clergy abuse allegations.

The investigation marks a major escalation in the abuse scandal, which has resulted in massive settlements for victims and criminal charges against individual priests but not the larger institutions.

It’s unclear whether Becerra’s office is also seeking records from other California dioceses. But one source told The Times that other dioceses were being contacted by the attorney general.

Other states’ attorneys general have requested or subpoenaed dioceses’ records on clergy, but Becerra’s request goes further, also asking for records about cases involving non-clergy personnel, such as volunteers and staffers. According to the letter, Becerra is seeking records from the archdiocese, including:

• All allegations of sexual misconduct toward minors that the archdiocese received from 1996 to the present, regardless of when the alleged misconduct took place.

• Any actions taken from 1996 to the present against any individual within the purview of the archdiocese who was accused of sexual misconduct toward a minor or who failed to report allegations of sexual abuse to appropriate law enforcement authorities.

• Individuals who have been the subject of any allegation of sexual misconduct toward a minor who are still active in the ministry.

• All reports of alleged sexual misconduct toward a minor filed by the archdiocese in compliance with the law from 1996 to the present.

• For any individual accused of sexual molestation of a minor, any and all files maintained by the archdiocese about the individual, including “secret archives,” personnel files, litigation files, victim or review board files.

• Any and all policies, procedures, documents or communications regarding the archdiocese’s compliance with the laws.

Full story at Los Angeles Times.

Update 5/6/19: Attorney General Becerra is now looking into all dioceses in the state of California.

Comments

  1. Helena Handbasket says

    Woth the statewide investigation commencing and Cdl. Mahony in retirement within Los Angeles (location intentionally omitted), we can only wonder whether he will pack-up and leave to become a permanent resident of tje Vatican. After all, he is still a “prince of the Church”, enjoying the privileges and immunities of an official of a foreign country.

  2. Steve Seitz says

    I wonder if the RICO statute can be applied against Becerra or his office. If so, the Archdiocese needs to be aggressively pursuing this option.

  3. Lauren Order says

    This is just the beginning, with investigation at the state level. It is only a matter of time befor the federal authorities come knocking on the door under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes.

    There is probably enough out there to make a case against Church officials for carrying out a criminal enterprise of colludong and conspiring to hide the secually crim9nal acts of the clergy.

  4. Im a carpenter and a simple man. Splinters are a reality for any carpenter. They hurt when you get them and usually are only painful when you touch them, but if you are distracted often you forget they are there until you
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    Its painful to rid the body of foreign objects (sin) and sometimes requires the help of a friend or doctor (or civil authority) but in the end for a carpenter to work at his peak performance he must be made whole. So too our church, I pray that all splinters may be removed and justice be served for the…

  5. Al Fresco says

    It is truly unfortunate that it takes a criminal investigation, by civil authorities no less, to ferret out the individuals within the Our Lord”s Church who have allowed it to be defiled.

    The Bride of Christ will be cleansed. Unfortunately, those who will be doing the cleansing will be outsiders.

  6. Joel Fago says

    When I was a member of the LA archdiocese, I wrote a couple of letters which were printed in the archdiocesan paper. Then I was told that they would no longer accept my letters because I had the wrong attitude toward homosexuality.

  7. Kaye Sedilla says

    Cdl. Gomez will soon be in the same “credibility gap” with civil law enforcement authorities as Abp. Wilton Gregory and those in similar positions in seventeen states so far:

    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/uncovering-the-cover-up

    More investigations from other states will follow, plus the federal authorities.

    • Al Dente says

      With the senenteen other states conducting criminal investigations, it is also very probable, if not a certInty, that the attorneys general from those states are collaborating with each other. The California investigation will be part of and benefit from that cooperation.

      It was very common for superiors to transfer predatory clergy to other states. With the interstate transfers, federal investigation is sure to come.

  8. Alex Farnese says

    With the State of California on his trail, with all of the associated legal costs, it would not be surprising that Cardinal Gomez will have the unmitigated gall to insitiute “special collections” at parishes to defray costs.

    He and his legal team have probably already structired the Archdiocese assets in shell trusts abd corporations to insulaye it from fines and civil judgments.

  9. Please note Abp. Gomez is not yet, and may never be, a Cardinal.
    If Abp Gomez institutes a special collection for this, does anyone have change for a penny?

  10. Avenger by the Sea says

    Jose Gomez is mainly known for advocating open borders. He is not known for cleaning up the McCarrick Church in LA brought to us by Roger Mahoney. He is not known for putting a stop to the heresies preached for years by well known dissidents given a platform at the archdiocesan sponsored Religious Education Congress.
    He probably has no clue of the immense pain and suffering the faithful must endure as they watch the corrupt political establishment investigate the corrupt Catholic archdiocese that to this very day protects Mahoney. He probably has no idea how his lack of witness to the truth leads to the abandonment of the faith by countless Catholics.

    • Rick Shaw says

      Whether or not he knew is irrelevant. If he didn’t make an effort to determine for himself (upon being appointed), the extent of the damage inflicted by Mahony, he is complicit nevertheless.

      The Mahony fiasco was well-documemted when Gomez took over.

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