LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels
By Kay Ebeling
October 28, 2010
Q Bishop, when did you first realize or learn that when an adult lays his hands on the genitals of a child and manipulates the genitals of a child and places them on the body of a child for sexual purposes, it was a crime? When did you first realize that?
A You know, it's really hard for me to say. I think society-
Q No, you.
A I think I thought, along with society, for so many years it was-
Q Bishop, I'm going to ask you to focus on the question.
(From Santillan v. Bishop of Fresno transcript of March 18, 2009, testimony of Bishop John Steinbock, questioned by Jeff Anderson, copy and pasted in this post in full below.)
As stories about pedophile priests broke across the nation the past decade, little was said about residual effects of these offenses. Could sexual felonies against children committed by thousands of priests with little repercussions be, at least in part, the reason there are so many more horrendous sexual and violent crimes being committed against children in the United States today? Did pedophiles everywhere see priests getting away with it and become empowered?
Melissa Huckaby kidnapped, raped, and killed Sandra Cantu on Mar. 27, 2009, 4 days after Bishop John Steinbock finished testifying in the trial, Santillan vs. Bishop of Fresno. Cardinal Roger Mahony had testified 10 days earlier. News reports carpeted California during the weeks of the trial, as members of California Catholic Church hierarchy took the oath then hedged around the truth and sidestepped away from answers. Melissa Huckaby raped and killed nine-year-old Sandra Cantu in the basement of a church, just as the Santillan v. Bishop of Fresno trial was winding to a close 130 miles away.
How many pedophiles around the world became empowered when they saw Catholic priests get away with their crimes? Huckaby was living in March 2009 with her grandfather, the pastor of Clover Baptist Church in Tracy, where she sexually assaulted Cantu in the basement with a rolling pin, as the jury deliberated in Santillan v. Bishop of Fresno.