Above, Cardinal Roger Mahoney, retired (2011) Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, relieved last week of all public and administrative duties by his successor, Archvishop Jose Gomez, for his central role in covering up sexual abuse of children and young adults by priests. The announcement followed a court order requiring the Archdiocese to released unedited files on clergy sexual abuse. The original settlement ($660 million on behalf of 500 victims) was in 2007; the Archdiocese fought the release of the files for six years, ending at the State Supreme Court.
February 4, 2013: The New York Times reports that regardless of the court order, "...it now appears that the files the church released with much fanfare are incomplete and many are unacounted for...in addition, on many documents the names of cfhrch supervisors informed of abuse allegations were redacted by the archdiocese, in apparent violation of a judge's order..."
February 5, 2013: "We are seeing more of these cases, not just LAUSD, but more child molestation cases across the board." -- Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, quoted yesterday in the LA Daily News in a story concerning the arrest of a Tarzana middle school teacher on charges of sex-abuse of a student.
A 32-year-old history and communications teacher, Jason Leon, was arrested yesterday on charges that include four counts of misdemeanor child molestation ("child annoyance") and three counts of battery after allegations of sexual abuse by three female students at his place of employment, Portola Middle School in Tarzana, part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Two of the students reported "fondling" and "inappropriate" touching occurring last June and a third "claims to have been similarly abused by Leon on several occasions in 2010, when she was 14."
According to the LA Daily News story, written by Barbara Jones and Dakota Smith:
[Leon] was removed from the campus when the allegations were made in June. The district sent a letter to parents then, and again on Monday, alerting them that a teacher had been accused of sexual misconduct.
Trutanich believes his office has seen an increase in molestation cases since the Miramonte Elementary sex-abuse scandal erupted a year ago.
In the meantime, Jennifer London of SoCal Connected reports that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles's spokesman Tom Tamberg claims that "the diocese has sent notices to the [Los Angeles Unified School District] regarding people [related to the church] accused of misconduct who either have current or former ties to LAUSD..."
...The ...Archdiocese [says] it was made aware, in 2001, that defrocked priest Joseph Pina had applied for a job with [LAUSD] after resigning in disgrace from the church in 1998. Recently released church documents reveal Pina began having sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl [he was in his mid-forties at the time] while still a priest. The documents detail his admission that he became attracted to [her] after seeing her dressed as Snow White when she was in the eighth grade.
Yesterday's Huffington Post adds:
"...I had a crush on Snow White, so I started to open myself up to her," he told the psychologist, the Los Angeles Times reports. "I felt like I fell in love with her. I got sexually involved with her, but never intercourse. She was about 17 when we got involved sexually, and it continued until she was about 19."
The psychologist's evaluation recommended authorities "take appropriate measures and precautions to insure that [Pina] is not in a setting where he can victimize others." Yet Pina continued to work as a priest until at least March 1998, KCET reports.
After he retired as a priest, Pina was hired by LAUSD to be involved in community outreach and building support for school projects, FOX reports. He was laid off from the job last year but returned to occassionally help organize events, including a ribbon-cutting event Saturday in the City of Bell.
LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy said the district is looking into the matter of Pina's hiring. "I find it troubling," he said of the allegations, ABC reports. "And I also want to understand what knowledge that we had of any background problems when hiring him, and I don't yet know that."