Mahoney Deposition in O'Grady Case Stayed

By Ross Farrow
Lodi News-Sentinel [California]
Downloaded May 9, 2004

Orange County attorney John Manly had hoped to conduct a deposition of Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese regarding allegations against former Lodi priest Oliver O'Grady on April 22.

But due to a stay issued by a Los Angeles judge, Mahony's deposition won't be held until late June or the first half of July, said two attorneys involved in clergy abuse cases.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charles McCoy ordered a "coordination" of numerous clergy abuse cases in Northern California so that attorneys in 94 civil cases against Mahony won't ask the same questions over and over again. The cases have been assigned to Alameda County Superior Court.

O'Grady, who was a priest at Lodi's St. Anne's Catholic Church from 1971 to 1978, allegedly sexually assaulted several children -- Manly calls it "child rape" -- while at St. Anne's and other churches in the Stockton Diocese. The diocese is named in eight pending civil lawsuits involving O'Grady.

O'Grady was deported to his native Ireland shortly after he was paroled from state prison in late 2000. He served seven years at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione after pleading guilty in 1993 to four counts of sexual abuse with children under 14, according to Calaveras County court records.

Manly, who represents a former St. Anne's altar boy who claims to have been sexually assaulted by O'Grady in the 1970s, said Friday that all attorneys representing plaintiffs in cases involving the Stockton Diocese will question Mahony together in the upcoming deposition.

Mahony was bishop of the Stockton Diocese from 1980 to 1985, when he became head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Manly said he wants to ask Mahony what he knew about O'Grady's conduct and when he knew it.

Mahony's attorney, Donald Woods of Los Angeles, said Friday he sees no reason for Mahony to give a deposition. Mahony give four depositions in the late 1990s about O'Grady.

Mahony wasn't aware of any complaints against O'Grady until 1984, Woods said.

Manly said he wants to know why Mahony appointed O'Grady director of the Stockton Diocese's Family Life in 1980 and as spiritual director of the Legion of Mary, a family organization, in 1984.

Morada attorney Larry Drivon, who has represented numerous clients claiming clergy abuse throughout California, said he hopes that the judge assigned to the coordination cases will move for cases ready to go to trial and cases involving settlement talks to proceed quickly.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.