Judge Limits Defendants" Disclosure of Clergy Sex Abuse Accusers" Identities

By Haidee V Eugenio
Pacific Daily News
December 4, 2017

Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood is shown in this file photo.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ordered attorneys for the defendants in dozens of clergy sex abuse lawsuits to limit their disclosure of the true names of accusers who are identified only by their initials in court documents.

In a Nov. 30 blanket order in at least 101 clergy sex abuse cases, the chief judge said defendants' attorneys shall not disclose plaintiffs' true names "until that person has certified in writing that the person is either an insurer or an investigator for the defendants or their counsel and further assures that the true names shall not be disclosed to any other person."

Among the defendants in the cases are the Archdiocese of Agana, Boy Scouts of America, priests, other clergy, and others associated with the Catholic Church of Guam.

Initially, the chief judge ordered plaintiffs' attorneys to disclose the true names of the plaintiffs, to defendants' attorneys.

She also initially ordered plaintiffs' attorneys to file, along with any complaint not yet filed, a statement with the true name of the plaintiff, under seal.

During an Oct. 17 status hearing, Boy Scouts attorney Patrick Civille told the court it's necessary that the defendants, including their insurers and investigators, know the true names of the plaintiffs.

Attorney Delia Lujan Wolff, representing the plaintiffs, said this should only be to the extent necessary for the defendants and their counsel to perform their responsibilities.

As of last week, the number of clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in local and federal court reached 146.








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