Man Who Claims Alleged Abused by Priest Sues All CA Bishops

October 02, 2018 - 3:21 pm

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Attorneys for a man who alleges he was sexually abused as a child by a priest he called a "close friend" filed a nuisance lawsuit today against California bishops and clergy in Los Angeles and throughout the state for allegedly concealing decades of child sexual abuse.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of a Camarillo man, demands that all California bishops immediately release the names and documented histories of all clerical offenders that each diocese allegedly keeps secretly in their possession.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a news conference in Los Angeles to announce the suit, the plaintiff's attorney, Jeff Anderson, released a 120-page report on clerical sexual abuse in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, containing information on several hundred alleged offenders and detailing how the Archdiocese allegedly allowed more than 35 perpetrators to flee the jurisdiction after reports of abuse arose.

"There is a hazard that we feel compelled to expose," Anderson said. "The peril is that the Catholic bishops in California have engaged in such dangerous practices that there is grave peril to children in communities across the state."

Anderson said the report contains information on 309 alleged predator priests linked to the Archdiocese. Among them, he alleges, 37 priests have been moved out of Los Angeles to other states or foreign countries.

"There is a playbook -- to move, transfer, hide, conceal and keep secret" abusive priests and their histories, the attorney alleged. "So, the scope of this is worldwide."

The named plaintiff, Thomas Emens, alleges that he was assaulted by a monsignor he knew as a "close friend" when he was between the ages of 10 and 12 and living in Anaheim more than three decades ago.

"This lawsuit is to find justice -- to get the clerics at the top to come clean and tell the truth," he said.

Anderson said the legal action seeks the forced disclosure of documents and information, not monetary damages.