Saturday, April 21, 2012

Child Molester Michael Kelly Trial Finished

UPDATE January 14, 2014:
Kelly has just been CRIMINALLY Indicted, and request for extradition from Ireland has been filed.
Read more

The penalty phase in the civil trial of child molester Michael Kelly has ended in a settlement. The Stockton Diocese will pay the victim of "Father" Kelly's child sexual abuse $3.75M. $2M of that payment will come from their insurance carrier. Hopefully the Stockton Diocese insurance rates will skyrocket, unless they start to do something about covering up abuse.

According to The Record, Bishop Stephen Blaire said:
"We just felt it was in the best interest of everybody to bring the second phase of the trial to an end," Bishop Stephen Blaire said, adding the settlement isn't an admission of negligence on the diocese's part.

"I don't think a settlement in any way conveys anything other than an agreement, and I would hope people would not take it that way," he said.
I suppose the Bishop is allowed to grandstand about not "admitting negligence."

Pretty stupid if you ask me.

$3.75M is decidedly NOT "eh...go away... money."  In my opinion, it says something more like: "Holy Mother of Duped Parishioners, we really didn't do a good enough job of covering for "Father" Kelly's molesty-ness, and given the already established guilt of Kelly, and his flight from justice, and the fact that  Vicar General Monsignor Richard Ryan already testified that he, and Bishop Stephen Blaire, and attorney Paul Balestracci ignored a psychologist's report that recommended removing Kelly from access to children; we're probably ALL going to lose most of our retirement benefits if we stick to our guns about finishing the trial."  

So yeah. I suppose that does seem like it's not an admission of negligence. If you're really, really stupid.


After the settlement was announced, the victim came forward and held a press conference.

The victim's attorney, John Manly, "urged law enforcement officials to investigate the diocese's handling of clergy sexual misconduct."

According to the Lodi News-Sentinel, The victim stated that "coming forward, and identifying himself Friday was empowering, providing closure not only for him but perhaps blazing a path for other victims to come forward."

Personally, I think that one of the most important keys to preventing the proliferation of child molestation is in stopping the enablers, those who look the other way because they're afraid to rock the boat, and those who are unfortunately entwined with the molesters. I'm sure it's a horrible situation to have been a vocal supporter of a person who is found to be a molester, but to hang on even when it becomes obvious that allegations are true, ESPECIALLY when you are in a position of authority to stop it, is simply reprehensible.

According to the same article in The Record, Bishop Stephen Blaire says this about their responsibility to protect children from child molesting staff:
Blaire said the diocese has clear procedures and policies for investigating allegations, including a review board made up of community members, law professionals and abuse survivors.

"If anybody wants to come in and examine the way we conduct our investigations, I welcome them to do that," Blaire said.

Blaire said the diocese already has education and training programs for personnel and for youth.

"But I think this will be an opportunity to review all of that. If we need to make some improvements, we can do that.

People like Blaire and Vicar General Monsignor Richard Ryan and attorney Paul Balestracci are clearly, in my opinion, a huge part of the problem, and refuse to understand the import of this kind of problem. This kind of "Yeah, whatever." response is disgusting.

People who read this blog know that I'm a Christian, not a Christian basher, or hater of Christian organizations in general. In this case, I DO hope that others who have been abused by Kelly will come forward and file criminal and civil claims as appropriate, so that those responsible for BOTH the molestation AND the for protecting the molester can be removed from the positions that allow them to do this. It doesn't matter if that happens through criminal charges, or by fiscally draining the Diocese of all financial resources, but it needs to happen.

If fiscal draining frightens the Stockton Diocese community of Christians, then they need to look hard at WHY this was allowed  to happen, and they need to protect themselves from financial drain, and their children from further abuses by insisting that those responsible for allowing Kelly to continue be removed from their positions -- not just moved so they can damage other communities, but REMOVED from their positions.

Blaire states "If anybody wants to come in and examine the way we conduct our investigations, I welcome them to do that,"  Every single responsible adult in the Stockton Diocese should do EXACTLY that, and they should make DAMN SURE that Blaire takes this as an "opportunity to review all of that." If you don't, then you can blame yourselves for the fallout, and the molestations, and so can everyone else.


  1. At the press conference with his lawyer John Manly, the victim broke his anonymity. He told reporters that his name is Travis Trotter. He served in the military overseas and then was a commercial airline pilot before the depression stemming from abuse required him to stop flying.

    I commend Trotter for breaking his anonymity, as victims in Boston have done. I believe this will encourage other victims to break their silence.

  2. There is a San Mateo County connection to the Kelly case. A man who is believed to have been molested by Kelly when he was at Annunciation School in Stockton, then molested his own children. The San Mateo DA dropped his molestation case under prosecutor Melissa Mckowan under fraudulent circumstances.

    This man, the victim of Kelly, then died in his early 40s. Then his younger brother died of alcoholism six months later. It is believed that both men were molested by Kelly, who was a frequent visitor to their family home when they were children.

    "Father" Michael Kelly, if you are reading this: You know who these two boys are from the Annunciation School. May you rot in hell for all eternity.