May 18, 2005

Release of records about teacher denied

Toledo Blade


A judge in Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday declined to release documents in a civil lawsuit involving a former California high school teacher now working at Adrian College in Michigan.

Thomas Hodgman, choir director at the college, had asked Judge Peter Lichtman to block the release of several documents that had been held by the Diocese of Orange County in California.

The diocese agreed not to object to the release under terms of a $100 million settlement agreement between the diocese and dozens of victims of sexual abuse by priests and others.

Mr. Hodgman was among those named in the lawsuits. He was accused of carrying out a relationship with a student in the 1980s when he was a teacher at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif.

The school is part of the diocese.

His accuser, Joelle Casteix, has become an outspoken critic of the diocese and has spearheaded an effort to release the documents, saying the information will help protect others.

Posted by kshaw at May 18, 2005 08:26 AM