March 05, 2005

Two of 150 sex abuse claims against dioceses head to trial

Contra Costa Times

By Randy Myers

Two landmark sex abuse trials involving the Oakland Diocese are slated to get under way next week.

The trials stem from more than 150 sex abuse cases brought against Northern California dioceses in 2002 and 2003.

One in San Francisco heads to trial Monday, while a trial involving a priest who served in at least five parishes in Alameda and Contra Costa counties may be delayed two days.

Stephen McFeely, an attorney for the diocese, said Friday that a mandatory settlement conference ordered by Alameda County Judge Ronald Sabraw, who has been presiding over the 150 cases in pretrial hearings, puts the Oakland Diocese trial on hold. But Larry Drivon, who is one of the lead plaintiff attorneys, said it could begin Monday.

Only nine others among the 150-plus Northern California cases have trial dates so far.

"I'd expect some fireworks from those 11," predicts Dan McNevin of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

Posted by kshaw at March 5, 2005 08:52 AM