February 07, 2006

Who Would Take a Case Like This?

Village Voice

by Kristen Lombardi
February 7th, 2006 11:43 AM

Manhattan attorney John Aretakis likes to say that he's in it for the long haul. And after 10 years of handling clergy-sexual-abuse cases—representing some 200 victims, from New York City to Albany and Long Island to Rochester—he has built a reputation as an aggressive foe of the Catholic Church. In the capital district, where he's taken on Bishop Howard Hubbard, he remains controversial.
"John Aretakis has no fear," one victim's mother says.

Maybe that explains why Aretakis, Greek Orthodox himself, has agreed to represent Father Bob Hoatson, who is charging that three top Catholic bishops are "active homosexuals" who have covered up child molestation by priests for fear of exposing their sexual secrets. Like his client, Aretakis says he has one mission: "I'm here to expose the truth. I'm mad as hell at all priests and bishops, gay and straight, whose silence has caused harm to children."

His passion has a way of stirring others. Contacted by the Voice, Hubbard spokesperson Kenneth Goldfarb instantly tried to raise doubts about Aretakis's credibility, warning, "You should know something about Mr. Aretakis."

Goldfarb brought up the June 2004 investigation into allegations that Hubbard had engaged in sexual relationships with several men, which was led by Mary Jo White, a former federal prosecutor whose name carries weight. Her inquiry found "no credible evidence" to substantiate a flurry of accusations (see "About That White Report").

Posted by kshaw at February 7, 2006 11:38 AM