He can now seek $7,300 from 22 year old woman
She told police Catholic coach was molesting her
Based on her report & testimony, he ended up in jail
SNAP: But church officials "exploit technicalities” & “play hardball”
Their goal, group says, is to “scare other victims into staying silent”
Victims deplore “this mean-spirited tactic” and write to Pope Francis
Holding signs and childhood photos, a 22 year old woman who was repeatedly abused as a youngster will
--disclose that Catholic officials are trying to force her to pay $7,300 in costs related to her sexual abuse and cover up lawsuit against them, and
--blast Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto for “trying to shut up victims like me.”
Wednesday, April 17 at 3:00pm
On the sidewalk outside the Sacramento Catholic diocese headquarters (‘chancery’), 2110 Broadway, (corner of 21st St.) in Sacramento
The young victim, her Sacramento attorney, perhaps one other local victim and a Missouri man who is also an abuse victim and the former long time executive director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
In what’s being called “an outrageous move to silence abuse victims,” lawyers for Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto have obtained a court order allowing them to collect $7,300 from a 22-year-old woman who was molested by a former softball coach when she was 15 years old. The rationale: Her civil childhood sexual abuse lawsuit against school and church officials was voluntarily withdrawn.
But there’s no doubt she was victimized and her former softball coach is responsible, SNAP says, because it was her report and testimony that landed the perpetrator in jail.
Starting in 2013, Bailey Boone was sexually abused as a sophomore by softball coach Michael Martis. He was 54. She was 15.
In 2016, he was charged with six felonies. The following year, he pled guilty to abusing Bailey and another 15-year-old girl. He’s in jail now.
A month later, Bailey filed a civil case against the diocese and St. Francis High School for Martis’ sexual abuse and their negligence.
In January 2019, Bailey dismissed her civil complaint, for technical reasons, though state law entitles her to re-file it any time before she turns 26.
Then, lawyers for the diocese and school they said they would not try to collect money from Bailey if she agreed to stay silent and promise to not re-file her lawsuit. When she refused, Soto’s lawyer sought and obtained the roughly $7,300 judgment (called a “Memorandum of Costs”) against her on March 29, 2019.
Chad E. Blomberg of the Kansas City-based Lathrop & Gage (816 292 2000) represents Bishop Soto and the school. The law firm has 300 lawyers in ten offices across the US.
SNAP says the company has long used “scorched earth” tactics against victims.
Stephen Greene, who is Bishop Soto’s local counsel, claims that Soto isn’t seeking money from Bailey. He blames the church insurer. SNAP doesn’t believe this, noting that Soto chose to hire Lathrop & Gage and picked the insurer. SNAP stresses that the bishop could ‘reverse this meanness’ if he wanted.
Bailey’s attorney and SNAP are both convinced the attempt to make her pay is “nothing more than a threat, designed to scare her and other wounded victims, into keeping quiet thus enabling more predators to hurt more kids.”
“This is shameful,” said attorney Joseph C. George, Ph.D. “In my 33 years of representing child sex abuse survivors, I have never seen any defendant try to silence a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by intimidating them with a cost bill.”