New Lawsuit Charges Top Church Staff with Conspiracy

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
February 14, 2011


At a sidewalk news conference, attorneys and clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss a new civil lawsuit that charges an ex-priest, one retired and four current Philadelphia Catholic church officials with "conspiring" to conceal child sex crimes by two priests against one boy.


Monday, Feb.14 at 1:00 p.m.


On the sidewalk outside Philadelphia City Hall (north Broad Street side, near statue of General Reynolds)


Two Philadelphia attorneys and several clergy sex abuse victims (including a Chicago woman who heads an international support group and a Philly man who heads a statewide advocacy group)


A lengthy new civil lawsuit charges that two priests sexually assaulted a boy and that top Catholic officials engaged in a "conspiracy" to hide the crimes.

Former priest Martin Satchell is accused of molesting a child in the early 1990s at St. Aloysius Academy. And Fr. Richard J. Cochrane is accused of molesting the same boy around 1996-97 at Malvern Prep School in Malvern PA. (St. Aloysuis is run by the archdiocese; Malvern Prep is run by a Catholic religious order called the Augustinians.)

The suit contends that the archdiocese "continues to tolerate and actively conceal the sexual abuse of children." It also charges that just four months after Satchell was ordained, archdiocesan staffers heard the first of several child sex abuse reports about him and "were aware or should have been aware that Satchell had sexually abused children" before Satchell sexually abused the plaintiff in this case.

The suit names Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Cardinal Justin Rigali, and Msgr. William Lynn as defendants, along

with archdiocesan staffers Karen Becker (director of the Archdiocese's Office of Child and Youth Protection) and Maggie Marshall (an archdiocesan "victim assistance coordinator"). All of them are still on the church payroll, though Bevilacqua is retired.

Satchell was a archdiocesan deacon from 1990-1992 and a priest from 1993-2004 (when he was defrocked by the Vatican). He is believed to be living now at 4000 Presidential Blvd., Apt. 1502) in Philadelphia, PA. Cochrane is believed to still be an Augustinian priest, living at 44 Portland Ave., Apt 3 in Dover NH.

In 2003, Cochrane pled no contest to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student at a cabin in the Poconos in 1991. He was sentenced to 48 months in jail. The 2005 grand jury report said that another boy had also accused Cochrane of abuse in 1990.

The victim in today's suit lives in the Pennsylvania. He is filing as John Doe and will NOT be at the event.

The suit, filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, seeks actual and punitive damages of over $50,000. The Villanova-based Augustinians are also a defendant.

CONTACT Attorney Jeff Anderson (651-227-9990, 612-817-8665 cell), Daniel Monahan (610-363-3888, 484-883-2901 cell,, Attorney Marci Hamilton (215-353-8984,, Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,

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