Press Conference April 12, 2012 - Transcripts
The names of a dozen priests named in settlements reached with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston were released in a press conference held on April 12, 2012. Watch the videos or review the transcripts below.
GARABEDIAN: Good morning, I am attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston Massachusetts. To my right is victim Robert Perron, who was abused by Rickard O’Donovan, an Archdiocese of Boston priest. To my left is Ann Barrett Doyle and Susie Norman, both of BishopAccountability.org. They do great work in tracking in tracking the histories of priests. We are here this morning because I released the names of 12 pedophile priests new to my list. Six of those priests are religious brothers, actually five priests and one religious brother, serving in the Archdiocese of Boston at the time of the abuse. That now brings the number of priests who were serving within the Archdiocese of Boston, on my list, to 105, spanning decades. The pool of sexual abuse continues to overflow from the Archdiocese of Boston and around the world, damaging victims, their families, parishioners, friends, and the general public.
I found it necessary to release this list so that victims can heal, other victims can become empowered, and children can be kept safe. The Archdiocese, for its own reasons, refuses to release the full list, and that is very painful to many victims and unsafe to children and the general public. The victims who were abused on my latest list were abused between 1951 and 1991, about 40 years. They ranged in age from 37 to 67 years old when they reported the abuse, and when they were abused, they were anywhere from nine to seventeen years old.
One victim, who was sexually molested by Father James H. Lane, the former Boston police chaplain. The Archdiocese of Boston, through its investigators and attorneys, interviewed my client and his three brothers, and there was overwhelming corroborating evidence and evidence that my client was sexually abused by Father Lane, even though father Lane was a close family friend. My client had been molested at least ten times from ages ten to eleven and then one more time at Father Lane’s home in Marshfield, at age fifteen. Father Lane, as I said, was a close family friend; he actually married my client and baptized two of his children. And the question is, “Why did my client come forward?” My client came forward, because in 2010, he wanted to make peace. And he wanted to make peace so that he could have peace with his religion. He had suffered a heart attack, and had triple bypass surgery. He decided that the only way to make peace was to come forward about Father Lane. He had reported the abuse as early as 36 years ago, again 30 years ago, another brother found out at about 15 years ago. He had told another brother five years ago. It was not a secret. Many family members knew. It was very painful for him to come forward.
To my right is Robert Perron. He was molested from ages nine to eleven, approximately twenty times, if not more, by Father Rickard O’Donovan, at St. Coleman’s church, in Brockton, in the rectory. Father O’Donovan befriended my client because he was bagging groceries in a store, near the church, in which his mother worked. He befriended his mother and Robert, and Robert will tell you his story, about the tragedy, which he has had to live with. Over twenty times, he was sexually molested by Rickard O’Donovan.
In each and every one of these cases, that I have posted, the victims have been found credible, and the settlements have been either five or six figures. The determination was not inconclusive. It was that my clients were found credible; there was corroborative evidence and direct evidence. The victims should be extremely proud of coming forward and telling the truth, taking the weight off their shoulders, and healing. For they are not only speaking for themselves, but they are speaking for other victims.
As to the other cases, not involving the priests serving in Boston, those priests or brothers were associated with Ohio, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, whether they be dioceses, or orders, or just members of religious organizations. Clergy sexual abuse is international in scope, and is ongoing and continuous. Right now I represent 21 victims who were sexually molested in Haiti in the United States District Court in Connecticut. I filed twenty lawsuits. The perpetrator, Douglas Perlitz, was working in a Jesuit-run institution, which was also overseen by Fairfield University in Malta (the Knights of Malta). Most of those children were molested after 2002, when the National Catholic Conference of Bishops instituted their policies for the safety of children. Douglas Perlitz received a 19 year and 7 month jail sentence for sexually molesting children. I will have Robert Perron address you now. Thank you.
Any questions first?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Are there only two new names out of the twelve, is that right?
GARABEDIAN: No, out of the twelve, there were actually seven new names that have never been listed before. I can give you the names if you want them. The names are Brother Peter-Claver, Father James H. Lane, Father James Nickel, Father Rickard O’Donovan, Father Leonard Walsh, Brother Vincent Jerome, Father Augustus Scott.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: And out of those seven, two served in Boston?
GARABEDIAN: Well, actually, there are five in Boston, who were serving in the Archdiocese of Boston. Two were Archdiocesan priests: Father Lane and Father O’Donovan. But when a religious person or a priest works in an archdiocese such as Boston, the archdiocese is supposed to be supervising these priests. I have represented hundreds of victims against 105 priests or religious brothers or members of religious organizations who were working within the Archdiocese of Boston. Any other questions?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Do you know where Brother Jerome worked?
GARABEDIAN: Yes, hold on one second. Yes, Brother Jerome, he was at Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, New Jersey.
AUDIENCE QUESTION : Do you know how many of these new names, of these guys are deceased?
GARABEDIAN: Yes, one minute please.
DOYLE: If you look at the assignment histories that Susan just passed out, at the end, they note death dates for the ones we know are dead.
GARABEDIAN: Eight are deceased. Excuse me, seven are deceased. Of the twelve. One is in Wisconsin, Father Glen Davidowich. Brother Vincent Jerome is in Florida. We do not know where Brother Robert Burgess is. We do not know where Father Henry Rancourt is. And Father Augustus Scott is in North Carolina. Who is watching them? Nobody knows. That is why the archdiocese and the diocese and the orders around the country have an obligation, to list these priests, so that the public is made aware and children are kept safe.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Talk a little more about Father Lane. (Someone) said he was a whistleblower and some people don’t believe in it.
GARABEDIAN: Father Paul Shanley was a whistleblower, too. So, given the fact that he was a whistleblower doesn’t mean that he sexually molested children. Just as in Father Paul Shanley’s case. Again, the Archdiocese interviewed my client, reviewed all the records I presented to them, interviewed the three brothers of my client, and one brother was even fifteen years younger than my client, and they came to the conclusion that he was credible. He came forward because he wanted to make peace with his Lord, as he stated.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: How old is your client, now?
GARABEDIAN: 56 years old. AUDIENCE QUESTION: Can you say what community he lives in?
GARABEDIAN: He lives in southern New Hampshire.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: In a Globe article today, it says that someone at a church where he worked described him as in tears, when he was telling him about Father Geoghan. What is your reaction to that? Coming to a settlement, for abusing another child?
GARABEDIAN: All I can say is that the evidence we presented was overwhelming. So I don’t know what kind of tears they were. I mean, I just don’t know. We presented individuals who gave stories that were consistent, who gave facts that were consistent. My client has been holding this in since a child. When he was eighteen, he told his best friend. Thirty years ago, he told his oldest brother. His oldest brother told another brother. Five years ago he told another brother. His sister knew. Father Lane even presided at my client’s mother’s funeral. It was just very difficult. There was an argument after the funeral between brothers, not involving my client, brothers of the family, because of Father Lane. Father Lane was very close to the family. He gained access to my client through the parents.
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In The Media
May 10, 2016
January 13, 2016"Deerfield Academy settles case alleging 1980s abuse for $500,000," MassLive.com, January 12, 2016
November 03, 2015“Stanley Tucci (Mitchell Garabedian) tells Mark Ruffalo (Michael Rezendes) how the Catholic Church owns Boston in exclusive Spotlight clip,” Entertainment Weekly, October 27, 2015
October 03, 2015"Ex-Priest Jailed in Abuse Scandal Has Been Set Free," (Father Paquin) Boston Globe, October 2, 2015
June 20, 2015"Survivors Skeptical of Vatican Tribunal," Boston Herald, June 11, 2015
June 20, 2015"Letter could Open Door To More Church Sex Abuse Lawsuits,"(Father Vallely) Associated Press via ABC News, April 7, 2015
June 20, 2015"Lawsuits Allege Sexual Abuse Decades Ago by Harwich Priest," (Father Nickel) Cape Cod Times, January 22, 2015
June 20, 2015"Attorneys: Settlements reached with 88 former Bishop McCort students in Baker abuse case" The Tribune-Democrat, October 21, 2014
June 20, 2015"$500k to Each Boy in Haiti Sex Case," ctpost.com, July 1, 2013
June 20, 2015"Sandusky headed to prison, but scandal persists" AP, Boston Globe, October 10, 2012
History of Obtaining Results for Victims and Survivors
In 2002, Mitchell Garabedian obtained a $10,000,000 settlement for 86 Father Geoghan victims or survivors. In 2003, Mitchell Garabedian representing 120 victims and survivors of over 40 different priests, along with lawyers representing other victims and survivors of abuse, obtained an $85,000,000 settlement with the Archdiocese of Boston. In 2013, Mitchell Garabedian as lead counsel obtained a $12,000,000 settlement for 24 Haitian victims of Douglas Perlitz. The Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian continue to work to obtain substantial settlements for victims and survivors.
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The Story of Mitchell Garabedian's Fight for Compensation for Victims and Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Mitchell Garabedian is an attorney specializing in sexual abuse cases. He has become an internationally recognized advocate on the topic. Attorney Garabedian became widely known for his representation of victims or survivors of Roman Catholic Church clergy sexual abuse in the 1990's and 2000's.
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