L.A. Cardinal to Be Deposed in Abuse Cases

By Gillian Flaccus
The Associated Press, carried in News Tribune [Los Angeles CA]
November 22, 2004

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles, will be deposed Tuesday in clergy sex abuse lawsuits that date to his time in three Northern California dioceses, according to a source close to the litigation.

Lawyers for alleged abuse victims are expected to question Mahony all day at an undisclosed location in downtown Los Angeles, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The Los Angeles Times first reported on the deposition in Monday's editions.

The deposition transcript could become public next month, unless Mahony's attorneys object in court. A judge has placed all attorneys in the case under a gag order.

Mahony will be questioned about his handling of former Stockton priest Oliver Francis O'Grady, who pleaded guilty to child molestation in 1993. Mahony was bishop in Stockton from 1980 to 1985, during part of O'Grady's tenure there.

O'Grady served seven years of a 14-year sentence and was deported to his native Ireland in 2000.

After a 1998 trial in which Mahony testified, a jury awarded $30 million to two young brothers who alleged molestation by O'Grady. The award was later reduced to $7.5 million in a settlement with the diocese.

Pending cases allege O'Grady molested six other children, including two of the brothers' siblings.

Mahony will also be questioned about alleged abuse by other priests in the dioceses of Fresno, Monterey and Stockton, where he served before becoming archbishop of Los Angeles in 1985.

Mahony's attorneys say the cardinal has already revealed everything he knows about O'Grady and knows little about allegations against other priests. Besides his 1998 testimony in civil court, Mahony has been deposed on two previous occasions about O'Grady.


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