May 20, 2005

Stockton Diocese to Pay $3 Million in Abuse Suit

Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione, Times Staff Writer

The Diocese of Stockton will pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that a former Roman Catholic priest raped a boy in a church confessional while he forced the child to say penance.

The settlement, announced Thursday, is the latest involving Oliver Francis O'Grady, a former Stockton priest who spent seven years in state prison for child molestation before U.S. immigration authorities deported him to Ireland in 2001.

O'Grady's chillingly frank account of his decades-long sexual attraction to children refocused national attention on the clergy sexual abuse scandal last week.

In a 15-hour videotaped deposition, he admitted molesting 25 children, and described how he groomed his young victims for abuse. At one point, he looked into the camera, softened his voice, and demonstrated how he might lure a young girl into his arms, with the intention of fondling her.

He denies, however, molesting the man who just settled with the diocese.

Costa Mesa attorney John C. Manly, who represents that plaintiff, now 42, said the O'Grady case was emblematic of the church hierarchy's failure to stop predator priests or to warn parishioners of the danger.

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2005 06:35 AM