DAWGS BLOG PODCAST TRANSCRIBED 8-16-2018

WAZZUP

I am starting a new feature having my podcasts transcribed when people are available. I appreciate the efforts by the people involved. Anyone wishing to share the load let me know.

Good Evening Everybody! This is Marty from Dawg’s Blog. A few of you there got to listen to a little conversation I was having with somebody and having a little bit fun before we got started. Today is August 16, 2018. This is a podcast on the Frank Carson, et al. Trial.

If you listened to the noontime report and Tom’s report is also up, nothing got done this morning. The judge had listened to more arguments and made her ruling on whether the information about the vacciliating between the overlaps and the vacillating of the sectors. It’s the same tower, different sectors.

They are saying Frank Carson property is on the overlap, where the sectors overlap each other. Some of the mapping Jim Cook put the property inside the overlap, sometimes he put it outside the overlap, some was on the edge of the overlap, either edge. So the defense is saying, they are trying to use Christina Deflippo text messages and her activity on her phone to establish that it is the Frank Carson property. The defense is saying and is Jim Cook’s own words, you cannot get precise GPS locations on a cell phone through historical records. I just want to remind everyone of that. They can do it real time through major carriers, well just about all of them now, but in 2012 you could not get GPS coordinates on historical records. Real Time with AT&T yes, Cricket and some of them no. Cricket is now owned by AT&T. What the DA is saying is they are trying to say because the overlap area that the signals would cross over each other, they are establishing that with Christina Deflippo lived on the Frank Carson property, that the property hits both sectors on the same tower. The ones they call the 110 sector and the 230 sector on the same tower, which is SE and SW sector. If you picture a pie that has been sliced in 3 slices, 120 degrees, (it varies a bit) and these sectors overlap each other and the signal waver over into each other. No exact numbers on this. He cannot pinpoint exact locations. That is what the Defense was arguing. They are trying to use Christina Deflippo’s text communications that show vacillating between the 2 sectors. Doesn’t necessarily mean she was at the property. They don’t know. When you have people’s lives weighing in the balance, IMO they are supposed to get a reasonable doubt. They have to have beyond a reasonable doubt, IMO it’s not there.

The Judge admitted that the defense did impeach Jim Cook. That doesn’t mean his testimony is thrown out, just to the jury the defense did impeach him because the mistakes he made with the mapping. The mapping was not consistent, the mapping was not to scale. There are towers that overlap with each other, but he didn’t draw it that way. He drew the mapping to whatever they were trying to pinpoint on that particular map. There are 100s of pages of mapping and overlays and Powerpoint presentation used. 100s of maps, so whatever circumstance they were trying to establish in each one, he would highlight those towers and sectors and he used circles and colors, but they didn’t show how they overlapped with the other towers. It’s not to scale. IMO its misleading to the jury. WDIKIAI. So that’s basically what they are trying to say Christina Deflippo’s texts, calls and data communications on her phone during these dates (I’ve got them all written down) shows she’s at the property, vacillating back and forth. She actually could have been anywhere in the sectors during that time.

If I was a juror I’m not sure I’d be listening to this account and the jurors weren’t writing much down this afternoon. I hope I’ve led you into this enough to get you to understand what they were trying to do. As Tom put it “The DA is trying to put lipstick on a pig”. I think that’s accurate. The Judge says he’s been impeached and the DA has the job of rehabilitating him.

So we had the issue with the Juror the same one we’ve had issues with before. She didn’t show up. Apparently another juror was picking her up every morning. The juror lives in Denair and she didn’t answer her door this morning. Phone calls went unanswered. Many jurors tried to call her. They finally got ahold of her husband, he had to leave work and he went home and she was asleep. Sheriff’s deputy called her and eventually made contact with her also. She initially said she’d tried to by there at 11:30 am so they could talk to her, but couldn’t make it and she showed up at 1:15 pm. So nothing done this morning, except the defense motion was denied by the Judge.

The juror did show up at 1:15 pm and went into chambers with attorneys. The Juror came out in 10 min. Attorneys stayed in chambers about 15 min later and wanted to talk to their clients. They went outside and talked in private. They confirmed with their client (who can listen to the conversations) that it is OK to release juror, Judge was hesitant because she knows she has a long haul in front of her and she didn’t want to lose a juror. IMO she was creating an issue between the jurors themselves. They were not happy today or the last time this happened. You can hear conversations. The Judge took just the juror, called the court reporter back to put it on record. The juror was dismissed. When the Judge came out about quarter after 2, she stated she did have a conversation with the juror, it is on the record, but the record is sealed (intimate information there). She apparently didn’t have a ride home so they arranged for and Uber to take her home. Judge also confirmed with defendants that they are ok with excusing this juror. They had an old octagon spinner (like and old bingo spinner) to put in the name tags of the alternate jurors, bc it has to be arbitrary on who takes her place. Why we were waiting the Judge explained to attorneys that it was the same issues as before with this juror and there is a issue going on and keeping her up at night and she slept through everything this morning. It seemed an unanimous decision by all involved.

Jury came up. The clerk grabbed a paper from the spinner and an alternate was chosen. The Alternate did take the place of the excused Juror.

Jim Cook was back on the stand. They were talking about explaining what it means “being dark”. “Being dark” Jim Cook explained means there is no activity, doesn’t mean phone is off. No data connections, calls, texts or anything. They went into much detail on these calls with the defendants and Christina Deflippo’s and some of these dates I don’t understand the value, but the DA is choosing to do this.

She showed slide #126, dated April 6, 2012 in regards to Korey Kauffman’s device hitting a tower and the DA was very sporadic and was not consistent in the way she went down a list and it got confusing, even to Jim Cook and the Judge. Sometimes she mentioned the tower or they day or am/pm on the time and sometimes she didn’t. Talking about Korey Kauffman’s last known mappable event was the same sector as Pop ‘n Cork. (as if that means something when it really doesn’t, unless they can prove by other means where the phone was). They talked about Baljit Atwal and Daljit Athwal’s phone during the same time period that was 10:06 on April 6, 2012, There phones were dark until about the same time the next morning. WW phone was dark from 1030 that night to 8:04 the next morning. This is April 6, 2012 (What does that mean? I have no idea) They talked about Frank Carson’s phone on the 6th about 11 pm it went dark (and his phone is dark alot).

Slide #127 – Again Daljit Athwal on 4-6-12 at 10:06am, it last came on at his residence at 10:03am, it was in the vicinity of Pop ‘n Cork (his business). Baljit Athwal, same period, he went dark on that same day and then came on later on that night. Walter Wells went dark at 8am until 11am on 4/6/12. Frank Carson was dark until 12:15 pm on that same day.

Slide #130 Dajit Athwal on 4/7/12 at 1130am, he was in his residence. Walter Wells on 4/7/12, he got a call from Dajit Athwal around 11:30 am at his residence. Frank Carson on 4/7/12 he was dark until 12:48pm. They are not mentioning the towers or sectors. I really don’t know what they are trying to prove here or why these dates are important. There is nothing in the evidence about the first part of April at all.

Dajit Athwal 4/8/12 1052-1126 he was dark at his residence when he came back on. Baljit Atwal on 4/8/12, 10:52 am at residence, got a call at 10:42am and he initiated the call and then no other activity until 1:08 pm. Walter Wells sent a text at 9:48am on 4/8/12 and was dark until 11:23, until another text and all those devices were listed at Pop ‘n Cork. Saying Walter Wells was in the vicinity of Pop ‘n Cork. Frank Carson on 4/8/12 at 10:52am and he went dark until the next day at 0500. It was very confusing, she wasn’t consistent and even Jim Cook was getting confused and having trouble answering her, but he doesn’t CNAQAP her.

July 31 – Baljit at Pop ‘n Cork, Walter Wells at residence, Frank Carson dark from 7th – 9th.

Slide #132 4/9/12 Dajit was dark from 10:08 – 10:27 am and he was at Pop ‘n Cork. Walter Wells 9:25 – 11:12 he was dark and then he showed at his residence. Frank Carson from 7th to 9th he was dark until 5pm on the 9th.

Next Slide: Dajit Athwal 7: 34 pm – 9 pm he was dark. I’m not going to go through all of these, but I wanted to give you an idea of what was going on today. I don’t really understand. No calls to each other. She keeps repeating herself over and over.

Dajit Athwal was at his residence, dark for 1.5 hours in the afternoon and then made a call from Pop ‘n Cork.

Next slide: Baljit Athwal was dark for 40 min in the vicinity of Walter Well’s residence. Walter Wells dark from morning to afternoon on April 10, 2012 at his residence. Frank Carson was dark for 6 hours in the evening and then there was a bit of activity and then dark again until the next morning with once call and then dark again for over 24 hours until 4/11/2012. They aren’t saying where they are, just giving their activity.

Next Slide #141, 4/11/2012. Time stamped as 11:18, but then showed times before and after. Dajit Athwal had a user event around 11 am. Walter Wells dark for a little over 2 hours. Frank Carson dark after 9 am until 2:43 pm on 4/12/12.

The jury isn’t writing any of this down. I was watching the jury closely. They aren’t getting it. The DA was moving at a fast pace and the Judge continued to tell her slow down. She’d say “yes Mam” and then continued at a fast pace.

4/13/12 – Dajit Athwal was dark for 2 hours in the afternoon, Baljit about the same. They were at Pop ‘n Cork. WW was dark for a little over an hour in the afternoon at his residence. They also talked about Frank Carson, for 1.5 hours was also dark on 4/13/12.

Next Slide: 4/16/12 Daljit Athwal dark for 1.5 hours. Baljit Athwal was dark from 10pm to 5pm in the morning. Walter Wells dark around 9pm to 9:33 am. Frank Carson was dark from 7:03 pm until the next day at 12:27pm.

I don’t know if they are establishing anything at all here. It is confusing. I’ve heard much of this and can follow it and it’s not making any sense to me. Maybe there is a point they will make eventually. The DA is trying to rehabilitate Jim Cook.

They talked about Georgia Deflippo’s phone and trip to Salinas in August 2011. (Not sure of the significance of that date). At 1:04 she hit on the San Luis Reservoir Tower, she’s was going across 152 over Pacheco Pass. At 1:38 she had a data connection on the 152 Tower. 2:35pm she had a data connection in Castroville Area by Salinas. 2:44 pm she had a data connection in the Marina area of Salinas or Monterey. The DA was talking so fast I had trouble keeping up with her. 8/20/11 she hit a data connection at Pebble Beach. On 8/21/11 she had a data connection at 2:15 and at 6:22 at Pebble Beach, so she was there the next day. 10:26 pm data connection in the Monterey/Salinas Area. 9:26pm data connection at Monterey cell site. So she was moving back up into the Monterey Area. On 8/21/11 at 6:48 am there was a data connection on the Monterey cell site. She gave a bunch of other information that was contradictory to that so I don’t know. At 12:57 she’s at Pebble Beach. These could be call, text, data, networked initiated. 8:59 on 8/21/11 She had a connection at Seaside Cell Tower. 9:13 pm she had a connection at Prunedale Cell Site. 11:38 pm she had a connection in S. Gustine. Again, I don’t know what the significance is. She wanted to go through it. She’s gone through it before. But, like I keep saying WDIKIAI.

Then they went in to Dajit Athwal’s and Robin Attenhofer’s (Robert Woody’s girlfriend/live in/wife in April 2012) device. Robert Woody didn’t have a phone. Robin Attenhofer did and she has since passed away. (She supposedly wrote the letter to the Kauffman family and that turned out to be not true). They called Robin Attenhofer’s phone because Robert Woody didn’t have one. She lived with him and lived in the Woody household. Robert Woody worked at Pop ‘n Cork and they were constantly calling him. He didn’t have an consistent schedule and they called him when they needed him. They did talk about the dates March 30 – April 2, 2012.

March 30 Dajit Athwal called Robin Attenhofer 12:02 pm, there was 4 texts sent from 3:24 on. Then 4/2/12 there was a number of calls made within 1-2 min, then she called back 1 min later.

Then at 6:20 pm 4/2/12 Daljit again called Robin Attenhofer’s phone.

On March 30, 2012 Bobby Athwal texted Robin Attenhofer’s phone at 6:35pm.

There could be some significance there, since that is their theory date. There were no other phone calls between defendants between March 30th – March 31st.

Then they went to some other information and some connections between Baljit Athwal and Robin Attenhoffer on Jan 31, 2012 to April 10, 2012. There were 133 connections between Bobby Athwal and Robin Attenhofer. There were 149 contact (call, text) between Daljit Athwal and Robin Attenhofer. There were some that extended into 4/11/12 with Daljit Athwal.

On April 25, 2012 there were numerous contacts between Daljit Athwal and Robert Woody. This is about the time that Robert Woody activated a phone number (4/24/12 and it was only active a few months), but there was 171 contacts between Daljit Athwal and Robert Woody during that time period, from 4/25/12 – 10/19/12.

Jim Cook’s opinions and conclusions have been made by many sources he’s reviewed and texts from Christine Deflippo’s when her computer’s were seized and her messages were automatically saved and Art Hively was able to bring those up. They checked Christine Deflippo’s CDR’s from Jan 2011 to Feb 14, 2015. A number of dates there were “vacillations” on the same tower, the SE sector of the Turlock Tower and the SW sectors of the Turlock Tower. She was vacillating, they say, because she was on the overlap area of both those sectors where they come together.

Marlissa Ferreria put up on the overhead, slide #99. SE Turlock Tower showing the sectors. The Frank Carson location of interest is in the overlap area, Jim Cook is testifying to (which all of his mapping does not show that). The SE sector covers the Frank Carson property. He also said the SW sector covers the Frank Carson property and Pop ‘n Cork. Christine Deflippo was connecting to both sectors and they have quite a few notations here.

This led to a sidebar (this info they were arguing at the end of the day yesterday and this morning and the Judge ruled that the DA could introduce this evidence, even though it was outside the scope of cross).

Jan 18, 2011 there was 13 texts (Remember these dates and times are the only information they are giving out, there are many other dates of call/texts, etc, but they are only showing the times that Christine Deflippo is vacillating. They can’t give precise GPS locations though) 10:43 -10:53 pm she was connecting both sectors, vacillating. It means she could be in an overlap area. These towers cover miles of area.

Jan 24, 2011 Christine was vacillating. I’m not going to list them all. There are so many of them. Same thing on Feb 4, 2011, Feb 6, 2011, (these are in a very tight time periods) March 4, 2011, March 21, 2011, March 30, 2011, April 20, 2011, June 25, 2011, November 6, 2011, November 21, 2011, Jan 25, 2012, Jan 27, 2012, Jan 29, 2012, March 1, 2012, March 3, 2012, April 13, 2012, April 26, 2012, July 1, 2012, July 8, 2012, July 9, 2012, July 10, 2014, July 21, 2014, Aug 4, 2014, Aug 11, 2014, Sept 28, 2014, Sept 29, 2014, Oct 8, 2014, Oct 10, 2014, Oct 13, 2014, Oct 14, 2014. It’s all the same thing, just different time periods. They are trying to prove she’s in the Frank Carson property during the vacillation. She can be in the overlap area anywhere and can vacillate.

That is where they ended up. Like I said they pinpoint location through historical records, he went back 2-3 years, cause he came into this case in 2015. They briefed him into the wiretaps, search warrants to tell Jim Cook what they wanted. Instead of getting a clean sanitized version of a cell phone report. Remember they spent $354,900 prior to his testimony and he’s billed 118 hours + since that and he’s now on the stand so the clock is still running. He’s getting $350/hour while in court. He gets $200/hour and his son get $150/hour while he’s sitting next to the prosecutor because she doesn’t understand this, Trust Me.

Remember Jim Cook’s own words “The phone decides where it is going to connect”. The phone has a computer chip that decides where it is going to connect to, by determining the quality of signal strength. A call takes the best quality signal, a text takes the next best and a network connection takes the worst quality of signal. If there is poor quality of signal or the tower is overloaded the call could vacillate. Jim Cook only uses the information he gets on the CDR’s, uses a protractor and eyeballs it. He’s already admitted to making some mistakes on these.

That’s where we’ve left it today. Jim Cook is very cooperative with the DA, but CNAQAP’s the Defense.

No court tomorrow. Jim Cook wanted to delay his appearance next Tuesday (he has another court case), the Judge says No.

Walter Wells Court Date has been cancelled and will be rescheduled. (It fell through the cracks)

I will contact Scott McFarlane’s Attorney and get the latest information on his case too.

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Contact me here to let me know if you can help transcribe:

 

FRANK CARSON ET AL 8-16-2018 (TOM)

FRANK CARSON ET AL CASE

FOR ALL THE MARBLES

MORNING SESSION

08/16/2018

BY WILLIAM THOMAS JENSEN (TOM)

Week 17, Day 62 (Juror #6 Wearing Out Her Welcome)

This morning, we got very little accomplished. We started out at 9:46AM, outside the presence of the jury and the Cooks, with Marlisa Ferreira making arguments concerning her line of questioning of self-proclaimed cell phone expert Jim Cook. The jury was supposed to be called into the courtroom at 10:00AM, and a familiar problem popped up. We waste so many days in this never-ending case. I would say that all these days have added up to months of wasted time. Meanwhile, the defendants continue to pay their defense attorneys their life savings.

Marlisa Ferreira states that her offer is that the defense went into questions that went into possible bias and manipulation by Jim Cook. She states that the defense has inferred that Jim Cook manipulated the points of interest in his mapping to reflect the prosecution’s theories in their case. She states that the defense attorneys argued that Jim Cook never has previously testified to these things, and that the questions she wants to ask Jim Cook are out of the scope and can’t be asked.

Marlisa Ferreira argues that Jim Cook has testified how obstructions can affect the cell phone connections with the cell phone towers. She states that the phone records suggest that Christina DeFelippo was home on the Carson property when her cell phone was vacillating between the South-East Turlock cell phone tower on its South-East sector and the South-East Turlock cell phone tower on its South-West sector. Marlisa Ferreira wants to use this suggestion to try to show why Jim Cook came to the conclusion that the Carson property was within the overlap area of that cell phone tower. Defense attorney Jai Gohel had gone to great lengths to show that Jim Cook’s mapping was very ambiguous about whether or not the Carson property would be covered by this cell phone tower. Marlisa Ferreira states that Christina DeFelippo admitted to being home on a certain date while testifying on the stand. Marlisa Ferreira states that if she is disallowed by Judge Zuniga in going into this line of questioning, she will re-open her direct examination of Jim Cook to get this testimony in front of the jury.

Defense attorney Percy Martinez states that “We are going over and over again on the same things.” Percy states that the state of the law is that Jim Cook can’t testify that Christina DeFelippo was at any particular location based on his analysis of the cell phone data records. Defense attorney Hans Hjertonsson states that he is going to submit based on his comments made yesterday. Defense attorney Jai Gohel states that his questions to Jim Cook were pointed to the way Jim Cook drew his cell phone sectors on his mapping, and where he drew the lines in relation to the points of interest in the sectors. He states that his questions were not directed at whether or not a point of interest was in a certain location on his mapping. Jai Gohel states that it is impossible to prove that a cell phone was in a certain location, and therefore it is not relevant.

Judge Zuniga states that she spent a lot of time last night going over the case law concerning this issue. She cites the case law. One of the cases she cited was the People vs Banks. She states that Jim Cook has been impeached, and that he has made some mistakes in his mapping. She states that bringing in evidence that shows he is not biased is appropriate. She states that whether or not Christina DeFelippo was home is argument by the defense. Judge Zuniga instructs Marlisa Ferreira to tell Jim Cook that he can’t articulate on the stand that Christina DeFelippo’s cell phone was at the Carson property at any time. Judge Zuniga: “The motion by the defense to preclude additional testimony is denied.”

It is now around 10:15AM, and Judge Zuniga states to the courtroom: “We have a problem.” She states that juror #6 is not present and has not responded to repeated calls. It is revealed that one of the other jurors has been picking her up at her house in the mornings, and that she did not answer the door. The bailiff had been trying to reach the juror’s husband and was not able to get ahold of him. Judge Zuniga states that she needs to speak to the juror before she will contemplate discharging her.

We wait for another 45 minutes, and the judge finally calls all the attorneys into her chambers. When they come back into the courtroom, it is announced that her husband had found his wife asleep in their house. Judge Zuniga states that she will talk to the juror when she arrives. She is supposed to be in the courtroom by 11:30AM. Judge Zuniga states that she is preparing the “Slips” to replace the juror. Judge Zuniga states that this trial has a long way to go, and she is reluctant to replace the juror, and reduce the number of alternate jurors that are available to step in for deliberations. Judge Zuniga instructs the bailiff to call the jury room and tell the jurors that they are released until 1:30PM today. Be sure to listen to Marty Carlson’s Podcast tonight for what happens in the afternoon. We will not have any court tomorrow, so I will be back next Tuesday morning to report on what I see and hear.

Sincerely; William Thomas Jensen (Tom)

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301 ‘Predator Priests’ Named In Pa. Grand Jury Sex Abuse Report

‘They Were Raping Little Boys & Girls’


The report begins with the following statement:

“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this. We know some of you have head some of it before. There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.”  

KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti Reports:

The report cites 301 priests, clergy and lay teachers with credible allegations against them. There are 99 in the Diocese of Pittsburgh alone.

Of those 99, a group of four groomed and violently sexually assaulted young boys, said Shapiro.

“One boy was forced to stand on a bed in a rectory, strip naked and pose as Christ on the cross for the priests. They took photos of their victim, adding them to a collection of child pornography which they produced and shared on church grounds,” Shapiro said.

Shapiro said the priests would mark their victims by giving them gifts.

“To make it easier to target their victims, the priests gave their favored boys gifts – gold crosses to wear as necklaces. The crosses were markings of which boys had been groomed for abuse,” Shapiro said.

Because of an on-going legal battle, more than a dozen names and identifying information have been redacted. But the report shows a consistent pattern of bishops having prior knowledge of the actions of these predatory priests, reassigning them and not alerting law enforcement.

Shapiro said his office is not satisfied with the release of the redacted report. Shapiro said each one of those redactions represents a story of abuse that deserves to be told. He went on to say that he will fight to reveal the names currently redacted in the report.

The report states:

“All victims were brushed aside, in every part of the state, by church leaders who preferred to protect the abusers and their institution above all. The main thing was not to help children, but to avoid scandal.”

“Priests were raping little boys and girls and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing: they hid it all.”

“Diocesan administrators, including the Bishops, had knowledge of this conduct and yet priests were regularly placed in ministry after the Diocese was on notice that a complaint of child sexual abuse had been made. This conduct enabled offenders and endangered the welfare of children.”

In addition, the report says administrators and Bishops “often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement to terminate or avoid an investigation, or conducted their own deficient, biased investigations without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities.”

“Above all else, they protected their institution at all cost,” Shapiro said.

The report includes some priests who stood trial and were convicted of sexual assault. In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, they include: Father Robert Wolk of St. Thomas More in Bethel Park; Father Richard Zula of Saints Mary and Ann in Marianna, Washington County, and Father Richard Dorsch, convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in North Park.

Until now, the Pittsburgh Diocese had been considered a leader in those reforms since now Cardinal, then bishop, Donald Wuerl defied the Vatican back in 1993 by refusing to reassign pedophile priest Anthony Cipolla. Wuerl was a leader in formulating policies to protect children, but in the report, his record here also comes under fire.

Cardinal Wuerl responded to the allegations in a statement saying:

“As I have made clear throughout my more than 30 years as a bishop, the sexual abuse of children by some members of the Catholic Church is a terrible tragedy, and the Church can never express enough our deep sorrow and contrition for the abuse, and for the failure to respond promptly and completely. While I understand this Report may be critical of some of my actions, I believe the Report confirms that I acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse. I sincerely hope that a just assessment of my actions, past and present, and my continuing commitment to the protection of children will dispel any notions otherwise made by this report.”

The Archdiocese of Washington, which Cardinal Wuerl leads now disputes some of the report.

In a statement, they say, in part: “The document referenced by the Report contains the hand-written phrase “circle of secrecy.” However, the handwriting does not belong to then-Bishop Wuerl as the writers of the Report mistakenly assumed. Indeed, the Cardinal confirmed the handwriting is not his, and confirmed he neither wrote nor used the phrase while serving as Bishop of Pittsburgh. When the Cardinal’s legal counsel informed the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office about this error – prior to the Release of the Report – the Attorney General and his Senior Deputy refused to acknowledge the mistake and refused to take any steps to correct the dramatic use and misattribution of the phrase in the Report.”

To read the full statement, visit this link.

Grand Jury Reform Recommendations

As part of the report, the grand jury has recommended four changes be made to Pennsylvania law:

1. Eliminate the criminal statute of limitations for sexually abusing children

“This grand jury exists because Pennsylvania dioceses routinely hid reports of child sex crimes while the statutes of limitations for those crimes expired. We just do not understand why that should be allowed to happen. If child abusers knew they could never become immune for their crimes by outrunning the statute of limitations, maybe there would be less child abuse.”

2. Create a two-year “civil window for child sex abuse victims who couldn’t file lawsuits before.

“Victims don’t just need sex criminals prosecuted; they need care and compensation for harm done by the abusers and the institutions that empowered them. The way you get that is by suing. We understand that civil cases are different than criminal prosecutions, and that it’s appropriate to have a statute of limitation that prohibits lawsuits after a certain amount of time. We’re OK with a time limit for lawsuits, as long as it’s a long time limit, and Pennsylvania’s is pretty good – until the victim reaches age 30, which is longer than in most other states.

The problem is that this law doesn’t apply to most of our victims. It’s only been in effect for about 15 years, and most of the victims from before then were under a much tighter time limit for suing – only two years. But even that two-year limit was something of a sham. Until not too long ago, the church was actively and systematically concealing clergy sex abuse. Victims didn’t know if their attackers had a history of abuse, and they didn’t know the diocese had been enabling that abuse. You can’t very well exercise your right to sue when the people responsible are doing their best to cover up.”

3. Clarify the penalties for a continuing failure to report child abuse.

“Reporting child abusers isn’t just a moral obligation; it’s the law. We can’t pass laws telling the church how to administer its internal operations – but we can demand that it inform authorities about rapists and molesters. Unfortunately, document after document told us the same story: church officials repeatedly received word of crimes against kids, yet repeatedly refused to alert law enforcement.”

4. Prohibit “non-disclosure” agreements regarding cooperation with law enforcement.

“We also think it’s time to tackle an issue that hasn’t been mentioned in prior grand jury investigations of clergy sex abuse. We’ve heard the reports over the last year about the use of confidentiality agreements to make sexual harassment suits go away. We can tell you that it doesn’t just happen to women in the workplace; we’ve seen the same tactic used by the dioceses to hush up child sex abuse in the church. In the rare case where a child was able to report abuse within the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, the bishops would avoid “scandal” by paying off the family to keep quiet.”

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