The Diocese of Stockton's latest lawsuit nightmare may very well be the straw that breaks the Cardinal's back. Cardinal Mahony of Los Angeles California to be precise.
A new allegation and lawsuit has surfaced this week in San Joaquin Superior Court naming convicted serial molester Fr. Oliver O'Grady once again as the child sex abuser of a victim who is now 25 -- and this accusation falls well within the statute of limitations for child abuse cases. The allegation is a potential atomic bomb that may cause the Stockton Diocese to implode. O'Grady was previously convicted in 1993 for lewd and lascivious acts of child abuse.
O'Grady is in jail in Ireland right now, serving a three year
sentence for a conviction of possession of child pornography. The prosecution in Ireland followed on the heels of numerous lawsuit settlements that were paid by the
Stockton Diocese for O'Grady's admitted molestation spree that spanned decades in California.
According to prior court documents, in 1984 O'Grady admitted he was a child molester. Nonetheless, Cardinal Mahony reassigned the predator-priest to St. Andrews. This latest victim alleges he was molested eight years after Mahony had knowledge of Grady's sordid history of child abuse. Cardinal Mahony is infamous for shuffling his predator priest around the Diocese and O'Grady has cost the Diocese of Stockton dearly already. In 1998 the Diocese was hit with a 30 million dollar court ordered judgment because of O'Grady's serial depravity.
Last month the Stockton Diocese lost a 3.75 million dollar lawsuit against Fr. Michael Kelly. Kelly was found guilty by a jury vote of 12 to 0. Although Kelly claimed he was innocent during the lengthy trial brought on by victim Travis Trotter, Kelly fled the country to go to Ireland during the second phase of the court trial which was to present evidence of the ongoing negligence by the Diocese and Cardinal Mahony.
The Diocese of Stockton responded quickly by settling the case before the second phase of the trial was completed, apparently implementing much needed damage control. Cardinal Mahony was scheduled to take the stand in the Kelly trial to be questioned about the intentional shuffling of known predators -- an accusation not foreign to Mahony.
According to additional church documents, O'Grady and Kelly had both been sent to California from Ireland and both worked at St. Andrews, St. Thomas Aquinas, our Lady of Fatima, and St. Joachim's. Incredibly, Kelly was in ministry at St. Joachim's just last month during his civil trial.
The coincidences in these cases, and the mounting accusations of negligence and prior knowledge by Mahony, have been continuous for over a decade in California. This latest lawsuit is sure to have far reaching implications. O'Grady has admitted that he molested over two dozen victims but clergy abuse victims' advocates groups estimates are much higher.
SNAP -- Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests -- believes the number of O'Grady's victims who have not come forward may be significantly higher as the majority of child abuse victims commonly suffer in silence and have not come forward publicly about their childhood abuse.
Other alleged victims of O'Grady and Kelly have been encouraged to come forward, to seek professional help and guidance, and to report to law enforcement officials.