Christopher Young v. Louis E. Gelineau
Thomas J. Tobin's Petition for Writ of Certiorari
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Filed January 9, 2007

This publicly filed petition by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence provides a new and shocking admission regarding the diocese’s total number of accused priests. Tobin filed the petition in January 2007 to overturn a judge’s order that the diocese release abuse documents in a civil case. To show that the plaintiff’s request for documents (see "List each incident ...") is “unduly burdensome,” Tobin explains in the petition that the diocese has known of 125 accused priests between 1971 and 2006 (see "With respect to the interrogatory..."). After the judge restricted the files to just those involving allegations of child rape and/or intimate sexual contact with a child (see "She did, however, modify ..."), Tobin says, he was able to reduce his accused priest tally to 95 (see "By November 1, 2006 when ..."). But this modified order would still require him to review and copy 100,000 to 130,000 pages (see "The affidavits and motion ..."). Finally, Tobin argues, the documents aren’t even relevant—they won’t support the plaintiff’s attempt to show that when he was abused in 1981, the diocese was routinely mismanaging abusers. That’s because, Tobin says, before 1981, the diocese knew of only one bad priest (see "Analysis of the interrogatory ...").

Tobin’s admission of 125 accused priests since 1971 is more than twice the total announced by the Providence diocese in 2004.

The reader may page through this petition using the links at the bottom of the page. See also a PDF version of Bishop Tobin's Petition; Tobin's Memorandum in Support of his petition; and Judge Nettie Vogel's order denying the petition. For Christopher Young's suit alleging sexual abuse by Rev. John Petrocelli, see Abuse Suit against Diocese Lingers On, by Scott MacKay, Providence Journal (6/18/07); and 1st Amendment Won't Bar Priest Molestation Lawsuit, by Eric T. Berkman, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly (10/1/07).

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