How many times during the course of various sex abuse news cycles have we read about lawyers using various legal maneuvers to try to keep official, confidential documents pertaining to priestly sex abuses cases out of the hands of courts?
These instances only reveal what scoundrels both the lawyers are—*and* their clients. I mean, the *only* reason to try to keep a document out of the court’s hands is if you have something to hide, and that shows that you are acting in bad faith, trying to stop justice from being done.
Consider this story on the web site of the National Catholic Register (*not* Reporter):
SNAP director may be forced to testify in abuse case
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—The leading advocacy group for child victims of clergy sex abuse may be compelled to turn over 23 years of internal documents, correspondence and email to the attorneys of an accused priest unless Missouri state courts act to quash a court-ordered deposition.
David Clohessy, head of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, has been ordered to appear for deposition in a county court case involving allegations of sexual misconduct against Kansas City diocesan priest Fr. Michael Tierney.
Victims’ advocates say if Clohessy is compelled to appear, it could have wide-ranging impact on the ability of victims of clergy sex abuse to identify their accusers and tell their stories without revealing their names in public.
A law professor noted for her decades of work with clergy sex abuse victims said the “end result” of Clohessy’s deposition would be “a huge chilling effect on helping child sex abuse victims at every stage.”
Also at stake is the confidentiality of emails between reporters and victims’ advocates that may reveal sensitive information and names of sources. In a court filing, the Missouri Press Association said Clohessy’s deposition would “eviscerate the free-press guarantee” of journalists.