ISSUE: August 8, 2005VOL.
43, NO. 14Oakland,
Settlement nears in abuse cases in Oakland Diocese
By Voice staff
As the Voice went to press on Aug. 3, the Oakland Diocese
was in the final stages of settlement talks with more than 50 plaintiffs
who filed suit for damages in charges of sex abuse against members of
The cases are the largest group of some 150 consolidated cases involving
Northern California dioceses known as Clergy III, which were under the
jurisdiction of Alameda County Superior Court Judge Ronald Sabraw. Oakland’s
cases were later assigned to Judge David Hunter, of the same court, for
mandatory settlement talks.
The Oakland Diocese settlements follow agreements reached earlier this
year by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Diocese of Sacramento and
the Diocese of Santa Rosa. On June 29, Sacramento officials announced
a $35 million settlement for 34 clergy abuse cases, and the same day Santa
Rosa agreed to settle eight cases involving three priests for $7.3 million.
San Francisco has reached agreements on about half of its cases involving
clergy sexual abuse. In June, the archdiocese agreed to pay $21.5 million
to 15 plaintiffs who claimed they were molested by five priests. On July
9, San Francisco settled with 12 people allegedly molested by a San Jose
priest during the 1970s for a total of $16 million.
Last January, the Diocese of Orange agreed to pay 90 victims a total of
In April, an Alameda County Superior Court jury awarded $1.9 million in
damages to two brothers who had charged that they were molested by Robert
Ponciroli when he was pastor of St. Ignatius Parish in Antioch two decades
When the Oakland settlements are concluded, the information will be available