It is intriguing that when the topic here is the sexual abuse of children that some would like to silence or restrict that!!!
Why is that?
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  Home :: 2007 September :: Church Sex-Abuse Cases Ordered To Trial

Church Sex-Abuse Cases Ordered To Trial

 A federal bankruptcy judge hasordered immediate jury trials in 42 civil sex-abuse cases pendingagainst the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.U.S. BankruptcyJudge Louise DeCarl Adler's ruling Friday is a victory for about 150people who claim they were sexually abused by priests as children.Their lawyers told the judge Thursday that re-activating those trialswas the only way to force the diocese into a settlement after more thanthree years of fruitless negotiations in state and federal courts.InFebruary, five cases in San Diego's Superior Court were automaticallysuspended the night before the first trial was to start, because thediocese filed for bankruptcy.Expertshad said the Catholic leaders wanted to avoid a public trial becausedetails of the alleged abuses and the handling of the investigationwould be made public.The diocese has offered $95 million tosettle the claims as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan.Plaintiffs' attorneys are seeking a settlement of about $200 million,which they say would put San Diego in line with settlements reachedelsewhere in California.The judge rejected the diocese'sargument that she could order trials only under "exceptionalcircumstances," saying she had broader discretion. Even if the churchwere correct, "clearly this tsunami of child sex abuse cases againstthe Roman Catholic clergy would qualify as 'exceptional,"' Adler wrote.Some plaintiffs welcomed the renewed possibility of trial."Myhope is that they don't settle and we go to trial," said DianeWilliams, a 49-year-old mother who says she was raped as a girl by amonsignor at a church-run orphanage. "I think these things need to getout, but I don't think the diocese will let that happen.""We hadhoped that the judge would agree with us that the process thebankruptcy court had set in place was the most expeditious way to getthese cases settled," said Susan Boswell, an attorney representing thediocese. "She obviously didn't agree with us."The San DiegoDiocese has the largest number of unresolved cases of clergy sex abuse.The diocese said it couldn't afford to offer more money withoutcrippling the missions of the church.The Los Angeles Archdiocesesettled 508 cases for $660 million in July, two days before juryselection was scheduled to begin in the first of 15 trials involving172 abuse claimants.The Orange County Diocese agreed to settle90 claims for $100 million in 2004 after a judge promised to set trialdates and begin the discovery process if settlement talks collapsed.Bishop Tod D. Brown later said he couldn't risk a trial in a statewhere a jury once awarded $30 million to two people who claimed theywere sexually abused by clergy.Previous Stories:

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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia