A note from SNAP, can you attend ? If so bring a lamb, contact information is below.
I got this from David C. from SNAP. I went to this trial today. It was the first day I was able and I had sent emails to the mom and didn't hear back from her till last night. I am going for most of tommorrow. The poor 13 year old who was 10 at the time of the molest was visablly dissassocciating on the witness stand. The girl and the mom did great. The now 17 y.o. was caretaking both of them.
The part that's horrible is the FAN club the priests have brought with them. The mom said they used to be her friends. It's awful. On Wed. the perp was told by the judge to move to the back of the courtroom because he was trying to distract the 17 y.o. from testifying. The fan club fills every seat on the defense side and our so horrible that one of the young woman in the club went and was kneeling before the accused perp and then went and got him water. It was HORRIBLE. They also brought up Stockton's O'Grady case, the defense did, so now the mom's attorneys can use the link. In my mind, they linked a horrible pedophile in Stockton with their client.
A struggling family - a mom and her two young daughters - needs
They are in a rare civil trial in Stockton against two priests - the abuser and his pastor.
The crimes took place in 2001. The molester is still in active ministry. The enabling pastor is too. Needless to say, it's a horrible case.
And needless to say, misguided parishioners are in court every day to support the
Here's what you can do to help:
1) Please try to attend some of the trial. It's expected to last at least two more
weeks (tho there are no sessions on Mondays.) For details, pls
contact attny George MacKoul at 508-495-4955 or
2) Please try to send letters to the editor
to the Stockton Record and the Modesto Bee, which are ! covering the
trial, as soon as possible.
(here are some tips on how to
increase the chances your letter will get printed:
Please send messages of encouragement to the mom, Kathleen, at
takes stand in trialWoman describes priest's actions with her daughter
during a visit to house
By AMY WHITE
BEE STAFF WRITER
email@example.com?subject=Mother takes stand in trial
Last Updated: March 10, 2005, 05:26:59 AM PST
STOCKTON -- A mother testified Wednesday that she heard one of
her daughters cry out in their Hughson house one day in July 2001, and
discovered a visiting priest leaning over the young teenager.
"He threw his hands up in the air and said, 'I didn't do anything!'"
the woman said in San Joaquin County Superior Court, where a jury is
hearing the family's civil lawsuit against the priest and others
associated with St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Modesto and the
Catholic Dioc! ese of Stockton.
The girl, then 13 and now 17, testified Tuesday that the Rev. Francis
Arakal "grabbed" one of her breasts during that visit in 2001. One of
her sisters, now 13, testified Wednesday that she saw the touching,
and said the contact occurred over her sister's clothing.
The younger girl said Arakal touched one of her upper thighs, also
over clothing. The alleged contact with the girls came during a tickle
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, claims the diocese and
St. Joseph's pastor, the Rev. Joseph Illo, failed to deal
appropriately with the allegations.
The 13-year-old testified that Illo and Arakal yelled at her, accusing
her of lying about the incidents.
In cross-examination, the girls testified to recalling few details
surrounding the incidents with Arakal and Illo, frequently responding
"I don't know" and "I don't remember."
Defense attorneys say diocese officials addressed t! he allegations as
soon as they heard about them, nearly a year after the alleged
A Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department report from July 2002
describes allegations that Arakal had acted inappropriately and had
touched the older girl in a sexual manner. Hughson police, sheriff's
investigators and the district attorney's office determined there was
insufficient evidence to prosecute.
The tickling involved Arakal and the three girls in the Hughson
family, the oldest girl testified. She said she found herself on the
floor, where Arakal pinned an arm while he grabbed her left breast
"I yelled, 'No,' he did it again. I yelled, 'Stop it!' That's when my
mom came around the corner," she said, crying. She fled to her room,
she said, where she later told her middle sister not to tell anyone.
The 17-year-old said her mother asked what had happened, and the girl
said she responded: "Nothing." In her testim! ony, she said: "I felt
ashamed and I didn't think anyone would believe me, because (priests)
are supposed to be holy people."
The middle sister testified Wednesday that she agreed with her
sister's request to keep the incidents secret.
The mother said she did not find out what allegedly had occurred until
the spring of 2002, when her middle daughter told her.
The oldest daughter changed after the incident, becoming socially
withdrawn, her mother said. "It was like (Arakal) put a wedge between
me and my daughter." She said her middle daughter began to act angry.
The mother said she observed a series of "red flags" involving Arakal,
including his frequent requests to be invited to the house, telephone
calls and messages that he left while the girls were home alone,
pulling up his shirt after a meal and asking the girls to touch his
abdomen, asking the girls to tie a hair around a mole on his neck, and
a "game" that he tried ! to play with her youngest daughter.
"He took off his (priest's) collar, pushed it in his (front) pocket,
way down, and said, 'Where did my collar go? Put your hand in there,
see what you can find,'" the mother testified.
She felt the game was inappropriate and told Arakal to stop, she said.
George MacKoul, the plaintiffs' attorney, suggested the behaviors
indicate a predator "grooming" potential victims.
Defense attorneys assert that family members misconstrued Arakal's
MacKoul's questioning of the mother was expected to continue today,
and defense attorneys were expected to continue cross-examining the
Bee staff writer Amy White can be reached at 578-2318 or