March 07, 2005

Dioceses' sex-abuse trials to begin today

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Cases alleging negligence at two northern California Roman Catholic dioceses are scheduled to go to trial today , making them the first of about 150 civil suits filed by alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests since the statute of limitations was temporarily lifted in 2002.

The trials involving the San Francisco and Oakland dioceses are scheduled to begin Monday in Alameda County Superior Court before two separate judges. But the Oakland case may be delayed after a judge ordered a settlement conference for Monday.

The case set for trial against the Oakland diocese was filed by a 34-year-old former altar boy, who now lives in Arizona. The man claims he was abused by former priest Robert Ponciroli at St. Ignatius Church in Antioch. Ponciroli, 68, now lives in Florida.

A second claimant in that same case is the man's brother, according to Stephen McFeely, a lawyer for the diocese.

Posted by kshaw at March 7, 2005 06:50 AM