First Lawsuit Filed against Diocese of Fresno under New Law

Fox26 TV
January 2, 2020

FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26) The first lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of Fresno under the new Child Victims Act (AB 218).

A lawsuit has been filed against Fr. Anthony Moreno alleging child sexual abuse.

The Diocese of Fresno and St. Philip the Apostle in Bakersfield are both named in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit says the diocese refuses to release a promised list of accused clergy while attempting to settle cases without notifying the public.

Jeff Anderson & Associates is representing Toni Moreland, the plaintiff, who says she was sexually abused by Moreno in approximately 1979-1980 at St. Philip the Apostle in Bakersfield.

Jeff Anderson & Associates held a news conference at the Radisson Hotel Fresno Conference Center on Thursday to announce the lawsuit and allow Moreland to speak publicly for the first time.

The lawsuit claims the Moreland's father reported Moreno's abuse to church officials not long after the alleged abuse, but Moreno was permitted to remain in ministry.

Attorney Jeff Anderson says the Diocese recently approached his client about a settlement, which would not have included the public disclosure of Moreno as a perpetrator.

"The most troubling of all was, they just moved Anthony to another parish," said Moreland. "When I learned this is what the Catholic Church does, they need to be stoped, they need to stop victimizing innocent children."

The new Child Victims Act law extends the statute of limitations and provides a three-year window for sexual abuse survivors to bring lawsuits in cases that were previously barred by the statute of limitations, no matter when the abuse occurred or how old the survivor is.








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