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S ECTION 14: C OMPLICITY – O CTOBER 26, 2006 P RIMARY C ASE IN S ECTION : C ARDINAL B ERNARD L AW Key Facts: - Father John Geoghan has a long history of sexually abusing children in the various parishes he was assigned to - He was transferred several times as a result of molestation complaints brought against him by parishioners in multiple parishes - In 1980, he begins church-mandated treatment and is allowed to return to his priestly duties in 1982 when Dr. Brennan and Dr. Mullins (psychiatrist and physician) recommend that he is “able to resume priestly duties” o Neither have specialized training in the treatment of sex offenders - The archdiocese continues to avoid punishing Geoghan as a matter of policy o Faith of the public in the Catholic Church, how the Church is viewed if Geoghan’s conduct was made apparent to the public - When Bernard Law becomes archbishop in January ‘84, he is instructed as to Geoghan’s history - In October, 1984, Law reassigns Geoghan to another parish, informing only the parish priest and no one else about Geoghan’s sexual abuse problem - The Archdiocese (under Law) begins paying settlements on claims against more than 70 priests, but victims required to sign a confidentiality agreement in exchange - In 1986, Geoghan assaults/molests several children, one of them being Patrick McSorley. - In ’89, Law pulls Geoghan from service and sends him for a program for priests who are sexual offenders o Psychiatrists classify him as “high risk homosexual pedophile” o Dr. Brennan recommends to Law’s deputy that they “clip his wings” before there is an explosion - Banks sends Geoghan to Hartford’s Institute for Living, where following a 3 month treatment, doctors reports that Geoghan is an “atypical pedophile in remission o Gives written confirmation that Geoghan was fit to return to his duties - Law allows Geoghan to return to St. Julia’s and resume his duties in November 1989 - Law relocated Geoghan in January 1993 following more reports of sexual abuse - In May, Law meetings with experts in the field of child sexual abuse o Say that the archdiocese is mishandling the problem: Shouldn’t permit homosexual pedophiles who have a high rate of repeat behavior to have easy access to young boys Should have reported the allegations that arose to the authorities o Law declines experts’ help in developing a policy to deal with the problem 1
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- Geoghan’s sexual abuse does not stop o 1995 – third set of criminal charges that he faces - In August, 1996, Law places Geoghan on sick leave and asks him to retire 2 months later Commonwealth v. Morrow - Defendant held liable for an accomplice’s rape of a woman during the armed robbery of two men at a house - Being an accessory doesn’t require physical participation o Because Defendant has associated himself with the criminal venture and participated in any significant way Commonwealth v. Stout - Defendant held liable as an accessory for an attempted bank robbery
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