Press Conference April 12, 2012 - Transcripts
AUDIENCE QUESTION : So the Archdiocese calls this inconclusive, as Terry Donilon indicated?
GARABEDIAN: Why did they pay a settlement? Why did they pay a five figure settlement? That is just spin control. If it was inconclusive, they would not have paid anything. That is just damage control on the part of the Archdiocese. Why hasn’t the a listed names of perpetrators? Up until recently, and why hasn’t that list been all-inclusive? You are dealing with an entity that got caught, allowing children to be sexually abused for decades. You have purportedly the most moral institution in the world acting the most immorally. We are not dealing with an entity that showed up one day and said, “We have a problem within our ranks”.
I have been litigating for more than 15 years with the Archdiocese of Boson, proving time and time again that they have priests who are sexual predators, and they have priests who enabled sexual predators. How can you trust what they say? Why aren’t they here today? Why aren’t they apologizing? Why are not they holding more healing masses? Why aren’t they helping victims by having victims meet with them to discuss how to prevent pedophilia in the future? There is no end in sight to this pedophilia problem in the Archdiocese of Boston. People are pouring into my office. Before I came here this morning, unrelated to this article, a gentleman called me in tears. He had been sexually molested by Father Talbot. He wanted to meet with me today. Unrelated to the article. He had not heard anything…
I’ve discussed 12 priests. I’ve settled dozens upon dozens of cases with the Archdiocese and other dioceses in the past year that don’t involve these 12 priests but involve numerous other pedophile priests, or religious brothers. That is the broad picture. People keep coming forward. A man 87years old came to my office. He wanted to report having been sexually abused by a priest when he was six. He had been carrying it around for 81 years. We don’t hear of older cases because people have passed away. The victims have passed away. There is no end to this. It is just beginning. It has reared its ugly head and it is just beginning. Where is the Archdiocese today? They should be here. They should be addressing these questions. We are doing their work for them, by exposing these priests, so that children can be made safer and victims can heal.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Is there not an ability to bring criminal charges against any of these, or did your clients not want to go that route?
GARABEDIAN: First of all, if the priest is dead, you cannot bring criminal charges. Secondly, because of the age of the cases, and the fact that the perpetrators had not left the state for a sufficient amount of time, the statute of limitations prevented criminal charges from being brought. Which is why we need amendments to the statute of limitations, both criminal and civil, so that claims can be filed. And the Archdiocese should not have a problem with that, because if they claim that the evidence is inconclusive, then we can have a trial and show the evidence to the jury, and let the jury decide whether it is inconclusive or not. But the Archdiocese doesn’t want that. They oppose amending the statute of limitations. Again, you are dealing with an entity that got caught, allowing thousands of children to be sexually molested by hundreds if not thousands of priests, and I’m talking about the Archdiocese of Boston. Hundreds of priests, and hundreds of supervising priests enabling the sexual abuse to occur. For as long as you can imagine. When a man comes to you and he says that he was molested 86 years ago, you know that it has gone on for centuries. Any other questions?
AUDIENCE QUESTION: Just a point of clarification. This is the same client who, ou said, presided at his mother’s funeral, and married him, and baptized the two children?
GARABEDIAN: Yes. And that’s not unusual in these cases. I’ve had that happen quite a bit. There is an attachment, a spiritual attachment, where the victim feels guilty. Like don’t allow Father Lane or this priest to baptize my children, we are all going to burn in hell. Or if I don’t let Father Lane preside at my mother’s funeral, somebody will suspect that I was abused, and they might find out, and I don’t want them to find out. The reasons are endless. Father Lane molested this child when he was 10 and then again when he was 15. It wasn’t one incident, it was more than 10 incidents.
AUDIENCE QUESTION: He came to you in 2010?
GARABEDIAN: Yes, he came to me last year. Early last year. Anything else?
ROBERT PERRON: My name is Robert Perron. And from 1963 to 1965 in St. Coleman’s rectory, next to the church, on Wendell Avenue in Brockton, Massachusetts, I was molested by Father Richard O’Donovan, or he goes by Rickard O’Donovan. He came into my mother’s store, which was the Brockton Public Market. I would go there after school (my mother worked until 5:00). I would bundle groceries for her (the laws were very lax back then). I would get change to bring the bundles out to the cars. He would come through my mother’s register. My mother had just remarried when I was nine years old, to a man who was Catholic. His mother was French Canadian Catholic, and very religious. Father Rickard O’Donovan knew this. He went to my mother and said, your son has not had his confirmation yet. I would like to give him private lessons. He is nine years old. He needs to have confirmation. At that time I was taking CCD classes after school because I was in a regular elementary school / junior high at that time, and I was taking CCD classes at St. Coleman’s, and going to St. Coleman’s church, myself. These supposed confirmation classes were held in the rectory, for two years. I never received anything about confirmation. What I did receive was sexual abuse, and I was molested over twenty times by Father Rickard O’Donovan, from 1963 to 1965.
They moved him in 1965. They must have found out what was going on. He was moved from 1966 to 1974 at the Most Precious Blood in Hyde Park. Then he was moved again, in 1975 to 1986, to the Sacred Heart in Weymouth. Then, he was moved again, in 1987 to 2000 in St. Dougherty’s in Wilmington, Mass. He died in 2002. The reason I’m here today is because I want to make sure that you have put this in print, exactly what I just told you. Not that his name isn’t out there now, but this is in print. I want people to come forward that were molested. I want them to heal. I want them to get what I got out of this. I got closure. I was able to heal. I was able to deal with it after all these years, of 48 years of torment and sexual abuse that I had 48 years ago that tormented me all my life and changed my life completely. I was able to heal. If you were molested by this priest in any of these parishes that I have stated, please come forward. Get closure and be healed. Call Mitchell Garabedian and get closure. If you need to talk to me, I will be available also to speak to you. Thank you very much.
ANNE BARRETT DOYLE: Hi, everyone. My name is Anne Barrett Doyle. I’m a co-director of BishopAccountability.org. We are an archive that collects documents and data pertaining to the sex abuse crisis in the church. We are the largest such resource in the world, but we are based here in the Boston Archdiocese, and we were started by Boston parents.
I’m going to start with a quote from Cardinal O’Malley. He recently said that his “highest priority has been to provide outreach and care for all the survivors of clergy abuse, and to do everything possible to make sure the abuse doesn’t happen again.” These are nice words, but nice words don’t protect children, and they don’t heal victims. Cardinal O’Malley should be giving this press conference today. He found the victims’ claims credible enough to pay substantial settlements. So why hasn’t he informed the public of these allegations? And why hasn’t he added the names of these clerics to his published lists of accused priests?
The victims have suffered enough. It shouldn’t be their added burden, to disclose the names of accused child molesters. One thing that still stuns us, as Mitchell Garabedian alluded to, is the unending pain of victims of child sexual abuse. The agony is particularly debilitating in people who were abused by clergy whose perpetrators have not been acknowledged by the church. In August, the cardinal finally published a list of accused clerics, but he admitted that he had withheld the names of 91 Archdiocesan clerics simply because their names hadn’t already been made public. He was deciding to keep them private. And he even went on to say that the Archdiocese had found some of the claims “credible and compelling”. It is just sad and wrong that in 2012, Sean O’Malley is still protecting the reputations of accused priests rather than choosing to heal victims and protect the children of this Archdiocese. He has mastered the trick of partial and false transparency, and the victims and the public continue to pay the price. He can begin today to make full disclosures. We hope that he will add the clerics who have been newly identified to his public list. And that from now every time the Archdiocese settles with the victim, that he will issue a statement naming the cleric and the settlement and giving the details of the allegation and also all the parishes where that cleric worked, so that as Robert said, the victims in those parishes can feel validated and come forward and finally get closure. Thanks.And if you have any questions, by the way, on our website, BishopAccountability.org, in the upper right hand corner, it says what’s new and noteworthy. We link to this list that we passed out to you today. We link to all those assignment records that my colleague Susie Nomen did. So if you have any questions about the assignment histories, we might be able to help you if Mitchell cannot.
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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