April 13, 2005

Oakland Diocese case goes to jury

Contra Costa Times

By Randy Myers

HAYWARD - A jury on Tuesday began pondering how much the Diocese of Oakland should pay in damages to two brothers who were molested in an Antioch church - $27 million, as their attorney asked, or up to $400,000 as a church lawyer argued.

The closely watched trial sped closer to a verdict Tuesday as the lawyers forcefully delivered closing arguments and assessed how much the diocese should pay Robert and Tom Thatcher.

Before going to trial, the diocese conceded it had been negligent in regard to former priest Robert Ponciroli who was defrocked in 1995 and now lives in Florida.

The jury of 10 women and two men, five of whom identify as Catholic, will resume their deliberations this morning in the landmark civil trial, one of the more than 150 clergy sex abuse cases involving Northern California dioceses.

Posted by kshaw at April 13, 2005 06:58 AM