A slew of in limine motions filed this past week by former Mater Dei High School boys' basketball coach/admitted statutory rapist Jeff Andrade and his former employers, the Catholic Diocese of Orange. Andrade's lawyers moved that any potential jury not hear "in any manner, either directly or indirectly, any reference to documentation, witness testimony and/or opinions that refer to any allegation that [Andrade] was criminally prosecuted or not criminally prosecuted as a result of his sexual relationship with the [15-year-old] plaintiff." The lawyers claim the fact that Andrade wasn't criminally prosecuted is "irrelevant" to the case. Never mind that Andrade originally lied to authorities and received $100,000 for it.
Diocesan lawyers, on the other hand, don't want the public to know about many more things:
*that former coach John O'Shea once carried a gun on campus. They claim this fact "has nothing to do with the allegations in this case and instead appears to be only likely to confuse the issues." Um, no.
*They don't want the plaintiff's attorney, John Manly, to introduce "evidence or referencing in any way rumors or allegations of sexual abuse involving persons other than Andrade, or the handling thereof." Basically, Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown doesn't want prospective jurors to know Mater Dei has historically been a beehive of statutory rapists in its illustrious history. If jurors knew about this, the Orange diocese argues, a "fair trial...will be impossible." As if it's not already considering the guy being sued admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old?
Interesting disclosure in this motion. Brown's legal team notes that the Orange diocese has settled "approximately 100 other abuse cases" since the 1950s. Everyone knows about the 90 cases settled in 2004 for $100 million, plus about seven others settled in the 1990s. That leaves about three that have never been publicly revealed. New game: guess the pedophile priest!
*Also a big no-no for the Orange diocese is Manly "referring to...Andrade being present on Mater Dei's campus at any time after August 1997" because it "would only serve to confuse, mislead and potentially inflame the emotions of the jury" and serves as a "red herring in this litigation." This point is hilarious, in that it seems absolutely preposterous for Mater Dei officials to allow someone they fired for molesting a student back on campus--but it happened. That's somehow not relevant in this case?
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*Bishop Brown doesn't want Manly to refer to the Orange diocese leadership as a "hierarchy." "The word 'hierarchy' conjure an image of an elite kingdom," diocesan lawyer James M. Hansen writes. "It implies power, authority, and dominion and has no bearing on the issues presented in the present action." Except...no less an authority than the Holy See uses 'hierarchy' to describe itself. Will Hansen also serve Pope Benedict XVI with papers?
*Nor does he want Manly to ask witnesses "their opinions as to the fault of the various parties involved in this action."
*Most importantly, the Orange diocese does not want jurors to know that Mater Dei coaches went to strip clubs--never mind that it happened.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Adler is expected to rule on the diocese's motions today. Stay tuned for further detail...