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Defending dirty deeds

A Sonoma County judge ruled in favor of a child molesting priest Monday, finding that allegations of sexual abuse at St. Bernard in Eureka came too long after the incidents occurred.

The accused Irish priest had been sent to Eureka after similar allegations led the church to relocate him rather than defrock his ass.

Attorney Adrienne Moran defended the Diocese of Santa Rosa in court and touted the decision.

“The court completely agreed with our position that claims are time-barred no matter what label you put on them,” she told the Press Democrat.

In other words, Rev. Patrick McCabe may be a rapist but the statute of limitations gives him a Get Out of Jail Free card.

That defense may be legally bullet proof but Moran’s quote must have left a foul coating as it crossed her tongue.

Moran is the same attorney who defended the city of Eureka and its manager David Tyson in a harassment lawsuit brought by a former employee in 2009 in which the city settled for $200,000.

There may be good money in defending bad priests — and the City of Eureka — but it’s a dirty job.

  1. December 18, 2011 at 8:32 am

    In other words, you’re opposed to a statute of limitations? If not, why bring it up?

  2. Plain Jane
    December 18, 2011 at 8:43 am

    There are crimes which should have no statute of limitations. We have no time limit on when a person can be convicted of murder and sexual abuse of children should be the same, especially when it was done by a powerful authority figure like a priest or parent figure. However, even monsters deserve the best legal representation they can get. Moran shouldn’t be blamed for defending her clients to the best of her ability.

  3. Mitch
    December 18, 2011 at 9:17 am

    I’m confused by this.

    I can understand concerns about the validity of recovered memories, and I can understand concerns about the loss of evidence over time. But the article seems to be suggesting that if an institution can successfully lie for long enough, when the wall of lies finally crumbles, the institution’s lies are allowed to work to its benefit. Its fraud, if sustained over the long-term, is rewarded.

    I’m hopeful that there’s more here to the judge’s decision, but I have no idea what it might be.

    Fred,

    Do you think the statute of limitations should apply in situations where no charges were brought earlier as a result of a successful fraud carried out by an institution? What about if the institution now admits to the fraud? What about the statute of limitations with respect to the institution itself, if it publicly admits to an ongoing process of fraud that prevented prior charges from being filed?

  4. December 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

    The Church sure makes it easy for these guys.

  5. Plain Jane
    December 18, 2011 at 11:02 am

    It’s really shocking that people who need power over children for sexual gratification would be drawn to a career like the priesthood where their control is presumed to be infallible and eternal. (disgusted sarcasm)

  6. Anonymous
    December 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I wonder how many more cases would be thrown out if all these priests were women diddling with 13 year old alter-boys?

  7. December 18, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Do you think the statute of limitations should apply in situations where no charges were brought earlier as a result of a successful fraud carried out by an institution?

    I see little point in going after someone 20 or 30 years after a supposed crime has taken place.

    I feel that way not just about these church molest cases but others where people like old SLA members are discovered or perhaps someone that escaped from prison 40 years ago and was finally found.

    It seems like the system has to do something and you shouldn’t just let the guy go, but does all the hassle over some 60, 70 or 80 year old guy really accomplish anything? Probably not, except maybe to let some people feel good about themselves.

  8. December 18, 2011 at 11:59 am

    The problem is that “20 or 30 years after a supposed crime has taken place” these people are still a clear danger to children, Fred.

  9. Anonymous
    December 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    First of all, bad taste, certainly.

    Second of all, CA law was changed in the early 2000s to eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexaul abuse cases. The law etempted to eliminate the statute f limitations on crimes that occured prior to the change in the law, but it was struck down based on the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws. Ex post facto laws are laws that make something a crime after the fact or which increase the criminal exposure after the fact.

    The prohibition on ex post facto laws is actually a pretty important bulwork for civil liberties if you think about it. Without it, the powers that be can ecide that they don’t like a group or individual then simply outlaw something that they did in thee past and presto your in jail!

  10. Emerald Hexigon.
    December 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Sorry, first post went too soon by accident.

    First of all, bad taste, certainly.

    Second of all, CA law was changed in the early 2000s to eliminate the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases. The law attempted to eliminate the statute of limitations on crimes that occurred prior to the change in the law, but it was struck down based on the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws. Ex post facto laws are laws that make something a crime after the fact or which increase the criminal exposure after the fact.

    The prohibition on ex post facto laws is actually a pretty important bulwark for civil liberties if you think about it. Without it, the powers that be can decide that they don’t like a group or individual then simply outlaw something that they did in thee past and presto you’re in jail!

    I believe that changes applied to both civil and criminal. So, twenty years from now, when the suit involves the abuse that is (I think it is unfortunately safe to assume) happening now. The same defense won’t apply.

    Let’s not trash a judge because they properly interpreted the Constitution and case law. Rather, let’s change the laws, follow the constitution and individually protect our kids.

  11. Mitch
    December 18, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Fred,

    Thank you, Fred. Your statement is clear.

    I believe it is extremely important that crimes against humanity be pursued, not in the interests of punishing the particular criminal, but to establish the principle that society will never yield to a tolerance of certain evils.

    For isolated incidents of child rape, I could understand someone thinking that after 30 years, it is too late to impose punishment. I disagree, but I can understand the idea.

    For an institutional policy of enabling and ignoring the sexual abuse of children placed under one’s care, I do not believe there should be any statute of limitations. I think much of the church hierarchy belongs in jail.

  12. December 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Rather, let’s change the laws, follow the constitution and individually protect our kids.

    My original concern here was what I saw as suggesting legal protections be removed simply because of a ruling some are uncomfortable with. That’s why I asked the question in my first comment.

    It’s common to see such proposals arise in such cases- the Casey Anthony case being one that still raises my ire, although I’ve never proposed new laws as some have. We need to be very careful in removing legal protections, especially in emotional cases like this that bring with them a lynch mob mentality.

  13. humboldturtle
    December 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm
  14. Ph.D
    December 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    It is well known that children’s susceptibility to sexual gratification from trusted adults is predominantly the result of a culture of irrational sexual repression.

    Children are sexual! Yet, parents commonly deny them age-appropriate exploration. The reasons are complex. In addition to religious dogma, it is (more commonly) over-protective parents who’s emotional deficiency make them unwilling to risk any loss of their child’s attention/affection to age-appropriate sexual activity, either alone, or between other children. (“Centuries of Childhood” Flandrin).

    Extreme sexual repression can result in ribald behavior; sexual dysfunction, promiscuity, prostitution, violence, depression, disease, and suicide.

    However deplorable, falling victim to the manipulated consent to masturbate with priests, uncles and father-in-laws, doesn’t lead a young teen to unhappiness, violence or suicide any more than marijuana experimentation leads to a life of deadly addictions, depression, crime and incarceration.

    That this issue is never included or debated in the national media; that psychologists are never interviewed; that actual statistics and symptoms are never revealed; is a symptom of our culture of sexual repression, furthering the irrational, ignorant responses to another avoidable, widespread problem.

    My own son and daughter were told exactly what was appropriate, and what was not, we provided them with prophylactics at age 13, just in case.

    Both are happily married, healthy and successful in their careers.

  15. Mitch
    December 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    “falling victim to the manipulated consent to masturbate with priests”

    Spare us, Ph. D.

    First, the range of exploitation hardly terminated/terminates at masturbation with priests.

    Second, the use of the phrase “the manipulated consent” is an abuse of the English language. How’s about “being turned into an object for the gratification of a priest’s desire, at the expense of your trust in adults and authority figures, and therefore your ability to trust in general, with further damage caused by the realization that the first people you might turn to for protection may actually be predators.”

  16. anonymous
    December 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    What ever happened to Cole Machado?

  17. December 18, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    PhD sounds like a pedophile or, at the very least, an apologist for the sexual abuse of children, who cannot give consent. Denial plays a big part in it….See Sandusky.

  18. Anonymous
    December 18, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    HH just has a hard one for anything associated with Tyson.

  19. Ph.D
    December 18, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    “How’s about ‘being turned into an object for the gratification of a priest’s desire, at the expense of your trust in adults and authority figures,and therefore your ability to trust in general…”

    Everyone these days is wise to question authority, for example, the children of Congo working 7-days a week to supply computer and cell phone manufacturers with cobalt. The radioactive mines have leeched into the Congo River for many decades where millions of Africans rarely live past 45 years due to a GI cancer epidemic. (Amnesty International Magazine 1999).

    Understanding psychology 101, or the extreme irony of U.S. gov.and U.S. corporation’s LETHAL treatment of children around the world, (while showcasing priests masturbating with young teens), doesn’t make anyone a pedophile or an apologist.

    Being distracted by the media circus has dulled America’s perspective, to say the least, making anyone who dares to make rational observations “suspect”.

    Had aliens come to Earth a few years ago, they would probably have offered their condolences at the death of our leader, Michael Jackson.

  20. Mitch
    December 19, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Ph.D,

    You forgot to mention that all the kids not abused by priests are going to die some day. And many will get ingrown toenails. Both are about as relevant as your observation above.

    Yes, there are many crimes against children. There is no point in using them to excuse a church hierarchy that has criminally abused children placed in its care.

    You are attempting to put something in perspective. To do so honestly, you ought to start by acknowledging the full scope of the crimes that have been committed, and acknowledging their full nature. It’s not just about an isolated priest masturbating with some 17 year old whose “consent has been manipulated,” and then managing to keep his behavior hidden from authorities. Or do you think that’s really the extent of it?

  21. SmokeMonster
    December 19, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Fred, I’m willing to bet if someone ass raped you at any point in your life,30 years later you would still hold a grudge and want them prosecuted.

  22. December 19, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I would expect the US Constitution to be trashed by Dubya, DICK Cheney and Barack Obama, but not the Humbold Herald. So the Constitution’s “Just a GD piece of paper”?

  23. Decline To State
    December 19, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    The law or justice? I choose justice.

  24. December 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    –Benjamin Franklin

  25. Another 2 cents
    December 19, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    @ ph.D – “However deplorable, falling victim to the manipulated consent to masturbate with priests, uncles and father-in-laws, doesn’t lead a young teen to unhappiness, violence or suicide any more than marijuana experimentation leads to a life of deadly addictions, depression, crime and incarceration.”

    “However deplorable………………” – who do you think you are? Sherlock-fucking-Holmes?

    Your analogy is absurd – inaccurate and insulting.

    Hope your assessment of how well adjusted your children are is correct – though hard to imagine, having sprung from such logically challenged loins!

  26. Anonymous
    December 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    I agree. A PhD doesn’t give a person clarity on this issue. It is not well understood. I personally believe that both vices lead to the antecedents you mentioned. I have a master’s degree, but it is just my opinion, as is yours.

  27. humboldturtle
    December 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    There is no reason to believe the writer above has a PhD or anything other than the slick, manipulative mind of an apologist. Young people are psychologically defenseless, especially against adults and more especially against authority figures like priests, teachers and coaches. The rape of a young person involves a taking of not only physical prerogatives, but of normal life experiences.

    There is no second chance to grow up unmolested.
    The effects of rape don’t go away.
    Rapists are gutter trash. Not “opinion”. Facts.

  28. Plain Jane
    December 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    PhD is spouting NAMBLA propaganda. Pedophiles have to believe they do no harm or see themselves as monsters who prey on kids.

  29. Ph.D
    December 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Mitch says:
    December 19, 2011 at 7:48 am

    “Ph.D,
    You are attempting to put something in perspective. To do so honestly, you ought to start by acknowledging the full scope of the crimes that have been committed, and acknowledging their full nature. It’s not just about an isolated priest masturbating with some 17 year old whose “consent has been manipulated,” and then managing to keep his behavior hidden from authorities. Or do you think that’s really the extent of it”?

    Which is precisely my point Mitch.

    The “scope of crimes and their full nature” are completely censored by media, furthering American’s widespread ignorance, wherein statistics, symptoms, specific ages of victims, level of violence, and specific sexual activities, are never reported. Psychologists are readily available everywhere but are literally never interviewed!

    Eureka has it’s own example of the cost of the irrationality this level of ignorance breeds when a grandmother gunned-down a local dentist after a jury found him innocent of sexually abusing his 2 year-old daughter. Had one of grandma’s bullets accidentally killed another child….oh well…abuse, is abuse, is abuse, right?

    “Yes, there are many crimes against children. There is no point in using them to excuse a church hierarchy that has criminally abused children placed in its care”.

    Fascinating accusation. No one has argued for leniency here.

    Yet, the mere mention of the extreme irony of a nation’s media obsessed with the circus of adults masturbating with young teens (the most common occurring abuse) while ignoring an entire economy predicated on the fatal exploitation of the world’s expendable children…..must make it so!?

    Utterly ridiculous!

    Such is the cost of revealing inconvenient truths in a world of deceit.

  30. December 20, 2011 at 6:43 am

    “The law or justice? I choose justice.”

    Wow, I wonder how many innocent black men were lynched with those words”

  31. Perfectly Legal
    December 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    A guy from Mississippi passed away and left his entire estate to his beloved widow, but she can’t touch it until she’s 14.

  32. Bobby
    December 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Removing statute of limitations on child molestation charges would be dangerous. It would increase the number of false accusations.

  33. Anonymous
    December 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    However, it could extend a media-frenzy that could keep the public’s attention diverted from millions of child-victims of our imperial economy for another century or so.

    We could expect to see many more Grandmothers shooting their son-in-laws…..like the incident in Liu’s kitchen in Eureka, moved by the testimony of two year old’s, despite a wiser jury.

  34. Bible Thumper
    December 23, 2011 at 9:41 am

    The priest still must appear before the tribunal of God where there is no statute of limitations, and no penance or purgatory pledge by pope or parishioner will acquit.

  35. Anonymous
    December 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    “Thou who darest toucheth thyn dirty parts, in solo or in pairs, shalt wither in confidence and success in life”.

    Boy Scout Handbook, Ch, 25 page 451.

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