Attorneys for Alleged Church Sex Abuse Victims Asking Court to Unseal Deposition of Accused Pedophile Priest
By Kimberly Curth
January 19, 2021
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Attorneys for alleged church sex abuse victims are fighting to get the deposition of an accused pedophile priest unsealed. Those lawyers claim the Archdiocese of New Orleans concealed almost all of Lawrence Hecker’s crimes from law enforcement.
In a new court filing, lawyers for the alleged church sex abuse survivors say “there is more than ample evidence and ‘support’ that both Hecker and the Archdiocese concealed multiple felonies perpetrated by Hecker against children.”
“They clearly can show, I think, that Hecker was a multiple offender and that they knew about it, that the Archdiocese did, and covered it up. The Archdiocese is trying to deny that and I think the plaintiff wants to show, with this deposition, that they are in fact covering it up and talking out of two sides of their mouth,” said Fox 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti.
Hecker was on the Archdiocese of New Orleans 2018 list of clergy credibly accused of child sex abuse.
As part of their recent argument, survivors attorneys also reference Fox 8?s reporting about Hecker. Their court filing argues the Archdiocese has said it doesn’t want these cases tried in the media but it gave Fox 8 a “lengthy statement” about the motion.
The filing goes on to say, “for years, the Archdiocese lawyers consistently have whined to courts that plaintiffs are attempting to smear the Archdiocese in the media. Because of that deceptive strategy, it is necessary to expose the duplicitous nature of what the Archdiocese is stating in public through the press, and what is in reality supported by evidence.”
“They did reference your story. It was just as an example that they are using the media, that they are not about confidentiality, they’re about talking to the media when it serves their purposes, but, covering up and wanting things to be sealed when it also serves their purposes and they wanted to show the dichotomous nature of their two positions,” Raspanti said.
A hearing will take place next week in federal court on whether the Hecker deposition will be unsealed.
We reached out to the Archdiocese about this story. The church said, ”The Archdiocese of New Orleans will not comment on matters pending before the courts and continues to assert that trying these matters in the media is unjust.”
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