Thursday, March 30, 2006

Removing the Rhetoric, 12 years is better than 2

Chris Redfern is quoted in today's Toledo Blade as linked above stating:

"I'm ashamed to be a Roman Catholic in the Toledo Diocese because my church failed me and will soon fail victims,"

The Columbus Dispatch is reporting this exchange of rhetoric:

"The House took the side of people who rape children," said Sen. Marc Dann, a Democrat from the Youngstown area.

House Speaker Jon A. Husted said that by voting against the bill, it was Dann who was "allowing people to rape children without reporting it."

Before this bill, a person had two years after they turned 18 to file a lawsuit. Now they have 12. This is an additional two years from the ten year period as listed in previous versions of this bill. What was not agreed to was the one year look back period where cases that were up to 35 years old could file lawsuits.

The measure makes it a crime for priests, rabbis, ministers, and other clergy and church employees to fail to report suspected abuse by fellow clerics. It extends the time limit for victims of abuse to file lawsuits in future cases from two years to 12 years after the child turns 18.

The bill would also stop the clock on the statute of limitations in cases where a potential defendant has engaged in fraud or hid crucial information.

Then there is the civil registry on which I need more precise information on. The Blade is stating:

Victims of past abuse could seek a court order to place an accused sex offender's name on the public list, regardless of whether the person has been convicted or charged with a crime. Those placed on the list would be treated much like sex offenders who are required to register their whereabouts.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a different explanation of that segment of the bill:

And for cases where the statute of limitations has expired, the House version would allow the state attorney general, local prosecutor or victim to sue a priest - but not for monetary damages. If guilty, the priest would be listed by the state as a child-sex offender.

Isn't that the goal? This gives those who do not meet the 12 year window to file for monetary damages the ability to still take action.

Recently, Several Ohio Republicans including candidate for Governor, Jim Petro tried to imply a Democratic Judge was soft on child molesters. I stated that was not inline with all of the facts as provided on that case. Democrats trying to imply that Republicans as well as the Catholic Church are somehow going to "fail victims" because a one year 35 year window to sue for monetary damages was not agreed to are not behaving any differently.

Yes, I know, the resulting Catholic bashing and how dare you support those pedophile priests, etc. etc., will probably follow. The facts concerning sexual abuse of children and who are the main perpetrators of abuse will be ignored as well as logic that dictates waiting 35 years to sue means the chance of witnesses remembering or the priest in question even being alive to defend the charges are slim. It serves no purpose, except for those who have a different agenda. An additional ten year time period gives a person until they are age 30 to be able to file a lawsuit. Not withstanding the additional impression that even those who have had more than 12 years pass still have an option to file a suit.

So Mr. Redfern, I'm not ashamed to be a Toledo area Catholic, but I am ashamed of the way some of you on both sides continue to use the sex abuse of children as a political way to score points. As to Dann's comment? Depending on what type of comment Chandra makes on this issue that could very well be the final deciding factor for me as to who I support as AG. I'm not giving Husted a pass on his rhetoric either, but he's not asking me for his support or his vote.

If you'd like information on this bill the pdf link to the Senate Journal it begins on page 10, the vote on the bill as a whole is on page 24.

The House Journal votes for the bill on are on page 23, beginning on page 3.

I'd also point out that bills designed to increase the penalities for those who abuse children also were voted on yesterday Ironic that it appears some of the same people accused of allowing victims to be abused voted for the increase in sentencing requirements.


Stephanie said...

Once again you present a very fair argument that breaks through the rhetoric. Yes, child molestation is bad, and yes a two year limit is not enough, but a twelve year limit is more than fair, especially since others can still prevent abuse by getting these guys registered. Besides, when it comes to being molested as a child, is money really the important thing?

Me4Prez said...

Somehow the Catholic church became the only institution where molestation happens. I am not defending those that have committed crimes, but I went to Catholic school for 12 years and was close to many priests. None of whom have ever been accused of anything. Several of whom helped me through tough times growing up and never once told me I needed to turn to God for help. They just listened and offered advice.

I am not one 2 defend the Catholic Church. Anyone who reads anything I write would know that I am not a fan, but treating them like they invented child molestation and are the only offenders is ignorant. I have never known a priest accused, but I have known a teacher, a coach, 2 cops, and a born again Christian in the Army who have been.

Stephanie said...

Catholic priests are like everyone else... Some are good, some are bad, and some are simply trying to keep to the middle. I guess part of the reason they get such a bad rap is because of the whole celebacy thing. So many people want to believe that because priests are expected to remain celebate, that they must be closet perverts. After all, everybody knows human beings simply cannot live without sex, right?

Stephanie said...

So, what's with the whole Bastards thing?

Lisa Renee said...

It's a blog called "Those Bastards" and they are having a contest to win a Nano Ipod if you put their logo on your blog.

I read them, and sometimes they have some pretty good stuff. Right now they have a set of cards they are developing, that are like sarcastic trading cards but for some of the big bloggers. Mean? Yes, but still funny.

The one for Kos had me cracking up as well as the one they created for Michelle. So, that's what it's about.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely disgusted with how politicians are putting politics into sex abuse. This is absolutely unforgivable. The latest looks to be about exploiting sex abuse for their own political advantage and money. Somebody needs to call them on this.

I had a family member who was wrongfully accused by these SNAP people a few years ago. The claim was completely false, but just the accusation ruined his life. Since then, I have been following what they have been doing and investigating them. The whole story about this folks needs to be told.

This group SNAP is a very sophisticated national operation. They want you to think that it is just a local group. Just check out their web-site: The site includes ways to make contributions, including ways to donate cars, etc. You would also enjoy reading through their 2005 Conference Book, which quickly tells you that this all about money.

SNAP is the front for a lawyer named Jeff Anderson from Minneapolis who has made reportedly $300 million dollars from suing the Catholic Church. Here is a link to a story that lays it all out. If you do nothing else, read this. You will quickly doubt the motives of SNAP. Anderson and other trial lawyers want to do away with the statute of limitations so they can make millions in Ohio and other states. In his own words, he has “sued the sh*t” (his words in the article) already and has every intention of doing so in the future, including right here in Toledo.

The model is simple. Find some local victims to try to get support for what is called a “look back” provision. Normally cases like this, including the one against my family member who was wrongfully accused, are barred by the statute of limitations. That means that after a few years, you can’t bring a suit just like everything else. Anderson has lost a lot of money in Ohio because of the statute of limitations and wants to change it so he can make millions.

He is doing this all around the country. Just a quick look at the SNAP web page and you can see that he is doing it in Illinois, Massachusetts, Indiana, and many others. They are also just getting started in Michigan with the same formula. Who do you think is funding this? Just look at how sophisticated they are in Ohio That is not a bunch of amateurs.

They are lead in Toledo by a woman named Claudia Vercelloti. Prior to coming to Toledo, Vercelloti was a former Cincinnati police officer who was accused of bribery and was the subject of high profile investigation. Many people think that she was guilty, but apparently the prosecutors did not have enough evidence to bring a case against her. Here is a link to a story on it:
Vercelloti has a long history of making allegations of sexual abuse. In addition to her own claims of sexual abuse when she was abused by a priest when she was 17 years old, she also claims that she was sexually harassed while a police cadet in Cincinnati. Now she makes all these allegations against others. Is there a mental health issue here?

Anderson and Vercelloti closely work together. Here is Anderson in Toledo with Vercelloti.
Now are you starting to get the picture that this is all about money?

The latest debate appears to be over this Senate Bill 17 that wants to allow people to sue for acts of sexual abuse over 35 years ago. Let me put that into perspective: 35 years ago Richard Nixon was still in his first term as President! How can anyone remember what happened that long ago, let alone defend themselves.
Here is where the politics come in. Representative Fedor and Marc Dan are Democrats who raise a lot of money from the trial lawyers. By pushing this issue they know that their supporters will make a lot of money that they can give to them. This is pay to play if I have ever seen it.

Now, I am not exactly sure what Senate Bill 17 does, but I am sure that it is all about the money, like everything else in politics. Somebody needs to call them on this.

Lisa Renee said...

I read all of the links anonymous, and that is my primary reason for not supporting the 35 year window. It doesn't help the real victims get closure but it does help some people make money and it appears more the lawyers than the victims. I know what it's like to be raped and abused, money doesn't make that go away.

Ironically the very church they are trying to destroy is what helped me get thru what I went thru. Pedophiles exist and they should face punishment but I don't buy the repressed memory scenario, nor does getting money from the diocese if the priest that you are accusing you of abuse is either dead or so old they can't remember nor working to have any assets of their own solves anything.

A 12 year window should be enough time if someone is seeking financial damages, and if it's been longer than that they can still file so there is a chance their abuser would be listed on a sexual offender registry.

Thanks for posting what you did, at this point the window is out of the bill, however from what I understand they are filing a complaint that this was done in secret. Stating it violates Ohio's Sunshine Laws. I hope that the Congresspersons involved were not that stupid. Either way, I don't believe that there needs to be a 35 year window for financial suits.

Stephanie said...

"It's a blog called "Those Bastards"..."

Yeah, I clicked the link. It just seems so not your style. But, for an Nano iPod...

So, what is a Nano iPod?

Lisa Renee said...

It's an mp3 player thingy. If I am lucky enough to win it I can download some of the podcasts that I listen to rather than have to have them on my computer.

They are pretty pricey over $200.00. Anyway, I wouldn't pick using the name "bastards" as part of my blog title, but? Some of their posts and some of their satire work is pretty funny.


Stephanie said...

I didn't see anything I'd actually call "posts," just them making fun of other people (satire). Not something I usually go for, but, if ya' like it, then enjoy!

Podcasts aren't even something I can play on my computer yet, thus my total ignorance as to the mp3 player thingy.

Though, Dan is sending me headphones to hook onto my computer. Live chat with actual chatting for our discussions. Should be interesting.

Lisa Renee said...


Spinning the truth: How blogs (and newspapers) misused their influence to misinform their readers about FISA...

That's the type of article they write that I find interesting. The satire pictures to me are funny because I know several of those featured. There's more profanity at times than I use but less than some of the other places that I visit. Yet even when I don't agree with all of it? I appreciate the directness and the honesty.

Lisa Renee said...

I listen to alot of podcasts, several friends have them as well as the Meet the Blogger events are on pod cast. An mp3 player lets you take them with you so when I'm walking or walking the dog I could listen to them then.

I however don't think I'll ever do a podcast, the phone in post thing is enough of an adventure for me.


Stephanie said...

The post seems like a fairly accurate assessment of the situation. The surprise for me is that people need to be told this.

Stephanie said...

Maybe I'll get up to podcasts someday, but mostly I'd just rather read it.

historymike said...

I'm not going to comment on SNAP; I do not know enough about the organization to make an informed comment.

I can say that I have interviewed Claudia Vercellotti and Barabara Blaine before, and I find that they seem to be genuine in their passion for justice.

It would not surprise me, though, that some lawyers are getting fat on this movement to expose church abuses.

Lisa Renee said...

I don't know enough about SNAP either, I wasn't aware of the article on Claudia's prior employment. I do know that the lawyer pictured with Marc Dann is the one that they refer people to on the message board to contact.

I know that I spent some time searching the court data base and every lawsuit that I looked up that was mentioned was dismissed giving the appearance that they all were settled.

Stephanie said...

" the appearance that they all were settled."

Or possibly frivolous.

Lisa Renee said...

Probably settled at least all but one because they were "dimissed without prejudice" and monetary demands were the main focus of the lawsuits. I have a feeling if any of the cases were dismissed without settlement the diocese would be quick to point them out.

Stephanie said...

Good point. Me, I just don't understand this pressure for financial compensation. I've been through abuse, and I really don't see how money has anything to do with it. Especially when the monetary payments don't actually hurt the criminal involved. It seems like it's just yet another attack against the church for the sake of weakening the church.

Anonymous said...

While this is a moot point given that the original SB 17 was disemboweled, the reason that the opportunity to file lawsuits was important is because they provide a chance for discovery, as well as financial compensation for people whose lives were devastated by their abuse.

Many people are content to take the church's word for things simply because they are the church, but lest we forget this is the same group of people who claimed "We didn't know it was a crime." And then we find out that they had their own gang of thugs at the police department who diverted the cases from the courts.

As far as the cases being dismissed, they were dismissed on statute of limitations not on the case itself. If you look at the church's own website, you will see that even they acknowledge that the vast majority of these cases are true and not made up.