At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Chicago's Cardinal Stritch) stood over me and said, I had to "stop babbling" about what the priest did to me. It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Today, I babble.

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Monday, July 27, 2009

New cases in L.A. re Father Michael Baker & Brother Modesto Leon going through court system; jury trial re Renato Lopez cancelled as case settled

By Kay Ebeling

With new lawsuits making their way through the courts in Los Angeles, the pedophile crisis in the Catholic Church is indeed not "behind us" as Cardinal Roger Mahony and other church heirarchy have claimed.

The L.A. Archdiocese's motion to strike the case concerning Michael Baker was going to be heard Tuesday, July 28th but it has been continued. This case concerns charges made by plaintiff “Luis C,” one of the victims whose accusations sent the pedophile priest Baker to prison last year. The hearing on Motion to Strike and three Demurrers filed by the church, originally continued from July 1st to the 28th, is now on calendar October 1st, 2009.

Another case we are watching is “Saul R versus Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” filed June 2, 2008. These charges concern Brother Modesto Leon at Camp Unity in the Angeles National Forest above LaCanada, a Catholic retreat for at risk teenage boys that was founded, organized, and supervised by Brother Leon, through his own nonprofit organization, Soledad Enrichment Action, Inc.

Jury trial in the Julie C case, which was on calendar for October 19, 2009, is now canceled as the case was settled early this month. Julie C concerns allegations against Renato “Ray” Lopez, Jr. Athletic Director and coach at Sacred Heart High School in L.A. Later in today's post are quotes from a document in the Julie C case. The formal dismissal hearing of Julie C is August 24th, but City of Angels will not be there to cover it. Because we will be in Portland speaking and taking part in the Walk Across Oregon.

The new set of allegations against Michael Baker, the Archdiocese, and Servants of the Paracletes in the Luis C case happened in 1995. “It occurred in different places, in the boy’s house, mainly in his home,” said Vince Finaldi of Manly & Stewart, who represent Luis C, in a recent phone conversation.

Brother Modesto Leon from the Saul R case first surfaced as a pedophile priest in the L.A. Archdiocese Report of 2004 on page 6, with one accusation: “Los Angeles. Leon, Modesto. Claretians C.M.F. 1995 - 1996.”

Following are quotes come from the original complaint in the Saul R case with new allegations against Brother Modesto Leon from 1996-1999. All charges and quotes here are from public documents:

Following are


Plaintiff Saul R alleges that he was a victim of childhood sexual abuse by Brother Modesto Leon, a Roman Catholic Brother in the religious order Claretian missionaries.

For decades certain Roman Catholic Church personnel have sexually preyed upon the children under their leadership and or supervision. All the while, Defendants knew such vile practices were occurring, yet failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of these children and to prevent the future acts of molestation.

Defendants’ despicable conduct has resulted in a legacy of pain and emotional devastation. This suit seeks compensation for sexual abuse.

Defendants use their position as religious instructors and counselors to gain the trust and confidence of sexual molestation victims. Thereafter, Defendants misrepresent, conceal, or fail to disclose information relating to the sexual misconduct of clergy members.

This suit seeks compensation relating to this breach of trust.

Plaintiff SAUL R brings this action as an individual.

Plaintiff Saul R alleges that the abuse occurred between 1995 and 1999 while he was a participant in youth retreats at Camp Unity in the Angeles National Forest - founded, organized, and supervised by Brother Leon.

(There is as of now, one allegation concerning Modesto Leon at Bishop Accountability. The allegations in Saul R took place three years after the one case identified in the BA database regarding Brother Modesto Leon. The Saul R case is now going through pretrial motions in L.A. Superior Court with new allegations: )

On June 15th Church Attorney Lee Potts of the Hennigan Law Firm, the L.A. Archdiocese’s lead attorneys in the Clergy Cases, filed “Motion to Quash Second Amended Complaint and Motion to dismiss for lack of Personal Jurisdiction” in the Saul R. Case.

I don't think a hearing has yet been set regarding this motion in the Saul R case, but I might be mistaken. Will try to find that out this week as well.

This could be a hearing about Saul R: (From L.A. Superior Court website:)

08/05/2009 at 11:00 am in department 324 at 600 South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005
Motion to Strike (-DEMURRER)

Dawn Smith of CIFARELLI THOMAS A. ESQ in Santa Ana, CA, is the attorney in Saul R, currently appearing in pretrial hearings on motions in the Raul C case. I will try to contact her this week.

More about Brother Modesto Leon’s Camp Unity for at risk teenagers to come be put at risk of a Catholic priest predator pedophile in the woods:

Camp Unity is in the Angeles National Forest above LaCanada Flintridge, The place where Brother Leon apparently set up a whole non profit 501(c)3 organization where he could bring young boys and molest them.

DRIVING ROUTE 1 to Camp Unity, run by Soledad Enrichment Corporation

• From the intersection of I-210 and Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2), drive north on Angeles Crest Highway 9.5 miles to Angeles Forest Highway. Keep straight.

• Continue about 4.5 miles to the junction with the Mount Wilson Road at the Red Box Ranger Station.

• Continue on Angeles Crest Highway 3.7 miles farther to the Barley Flats Road (paved) on the left. Turn left.

Drive 2.5 miles to the gate of Camp Unity


One final lawsuit against the Salesian Religious Order, from Clergy Cases 2007 settlement in L.A, may finally be drawing to a close in the coming weeks.

A hearing regarding Las Encinas Medical Center and its liability in the one last Salesian case case was on calendar last week and parties may be about to finally reach a settlement. There were hearings in April, May, and June.

Las Encinas Medical Center has been trying to get their portion of the case dismissed.

Another hearing to dismiss the Las Encinas portion of the Salesian case (or settle it) will be in August:

From L.A. Superior Court website:

08/24/2009 at 11:00 am in department 324 at 600 South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005 - Motion (TO CONTEST GOOD FAITH SETTLEMENTOF LAS ENCINAS MEDICAL CENTER'SSETT. (RE: BC294323)AND MTN FOR PROTECTIVE ORDERRE: BC376766)

HOWEVER, City of Angels won’t be at the Aug 24th hearing in L.A. as we will be winding down in Portland, Oregon, getting ready to come back to L.A. on Amtrak.

Kay Ebeling, producer of City of Angels blog, is speaking in Portland Oregon at the Aug 23 and 24th venues of Walk Across Oregon to End Child Abuse, in that Pacific coastal clean water filled city that week.

Join me for a potluck picnic in Jameson Park Aug 23rd in Portland at the interactive fountain.

City of Angels also hopes to interview Kelly Clark, plaintiff attorney, on camera in his Portland, Oregon, offices while we are there, to talk about his lawfirm's battle to get the Portland Archdiocese to release documents from the 2006 settlement, a battle that is finally drawing to a close now, after three years.


As one chapter ends, another one begins. We will try to track down documents on all these cases in the next 30-40 years, as City of Angels continues to cover Sex Crime Coverups in the Roman Catholic Church

I'll be covering these stories until I’m 90 years old or so, like Dominick Dunne.

I want to be the Dominick Dunne of Catholic priest sex crimes. What Dominick Dunne did for Wealthy People Who Get Away With Murder, I want to do with Catholic priests who get away with pedophilia and other sex crimes, - ke


In that last final Salesian case, Las Encinas Medical Center was fighting to get out of its part of the 2007 settlement. Count the number of defense or Church Attorneys versus plaintiff attorneys.

(From L.A. Superior Court Website:)


BOUCHER RAYMOND P. ESQ. - Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

DON BOSCO TECH - Defendant

DUMMIT BUCHHOLZ & TRAPP - Attorney for Defendant/Respondent

DUMMIT CRAIG S. ESQ. - Attorney for Deft/Respnt

FOLEY & LARDNER LLP - Attorney for Deft/Respnt


LB - Plaintiff/Petitioner

LR - Plaintiff/Petitioner

MCFEELY STEPHEN A. ESQ. - Attorney for Defendant/Respondent



We are still trying to track down the illusive deposition of George Neville Rucker from this hearing last February: 02/26/2009 Objection Document (OF ARCHDIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES' TO RELEASE OF INFORMATION FROM DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPTS PROHIBITED BY COURT ORDER ) Filed by Attorney for Defendant/Respondent


The Julie C case which was on calendar for a july trial October 19, 2009, settled out of court last week. The Julie C case involved Catholic School employee RENATO LOPEZ, JR, and was first filed February 4, 2008.

From a doc filed in the Julie C case:

Plaintiff Julie C alleges that she was a victim of childhood sexual abuse while a student at Sacred Heart High School in Los Angeles, owned by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. She alleges that the perpetrator of the abuse was Renato “Ray” Lopez, Jr. Athletic Director and coach at Sacred Heart in 2003-2004. The Complaint includes a negligence cause of action, and alleges that the Archdiocese either knew or strongly suspected that Lopez had engaged in prior romantic and sexual relations with Sacred Heart students.

The archdiocese negligently hired, supervised, retained, monitored, and otherwise employed Lopez, and negligently failed to ensure the safety of a minor student, Plaintiff Julie C, who was entrusted to the Archdiocese’s custody, care, and control.

Again the Julie C case settled last week, attorney was David Ring of Los Angeles. The hearing where the case will officially be dismissed will be August 24th, and City of Angels will still be in Portland, Oregon, on that date.

Reminder: Kay Ebeling will be speaking August 22nd and August 23rd, in Portland, as part of the Walk Across Oregon to End Child Abuse. On Sunday the 23rd, City of Angels is hosting a pot luck picnic in the park near the Interactive Fountain in Jameson Square.

Hope to see you there, or at the listening session at Ascension Church the day before.

Help pay for this trip

Re Luis C Case against Michael Baker:
From Los Angeles Superior Court Website:

10/01/2009 at 02:30 pm in department 324 at 600 South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90005 Motion to Strike (AND 3 DEMURRERS RE: BC376766LUIS CC/F 7-1-09)

Notice, this is a new courtroom, new judge too I believe, stay tuned for more. I plan to go to the courthouse one day this week and find out what's happening.

Brother Modesto Leon, in the Saul R case, was founder and operator of Soledad Enrichment Action, Inc. and Camp Unity, where the two allegations against him so far took place.

RE U.S. Supreme Court:

One of the first cases to come before the new session of the United States Supreme Court, which could begin as early as August 7, 2009, in Washington, D.C., will be the class action lawsuit filed against The Holy See from Portland, Oregon, by Jeff Anderson of Minnesota, which was passed forward by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, March 2009.

So it does matter that new Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (not yet confirmed) would be a Roman Catholic with a passion for pure justice.


HIGH FIVE ME, please

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