A Catholic priest admitted to raping a child. Because his testimony is sealed, he walks freely.

Photo courtesy of SCSA

the Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors (SCSA) sent a letter to various law enforcement officials asking them to read the sealed statement of accused child rapist and former Catholic priest, Lawrence Hecker.

SCSA President Richard Windmann explained that a “federal court in New Orleans, Louisiana sealed a deposition in which a Catholic priest admitted to raping a child. Because the deposition is sealed by the court, this predator is a free man on the streets of our community, and no child is safe, and he has escaped justice… In the original filing of the petition, the lawyers deposition (who conducted the deposition) admitted that Lawrence Hecker admitted to raping a child. The court ended up sealing the deposition due to the filing for bankruptcy of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Archbishop Aymond, who heads the Archdiocese of New Orleans, has repeatedly stated that the church cannot disclose staff records because they are private, valuing the privacy of his pedophile priest before the safety of children. This makes sense considering how Aymond credibly continued to provide living allowances to accused priests until the church was ordered to stop by a federal bankruptcy judge. The Archdiocese will always side with it and try to cover up the crimes of those priests who raped children.

This tactic of silencing the horrific details of abuse through depositions and sealing testimonies has often been used by the Catholic Church to cover up sexual abuse. Lawyers argued that documents containing evidence of criminal activity or cover-up crimes should not be labeled as “confidential.”

In one “Message to Federal and State Law Enforcement of Louisiana“Said Mark Vath, one of the founders of SCSA,” In December 2020, one of the church’s most heinous criminals was brought to federal court. Dozens of survivors have come forward to share their terrible memories of abuse at the hands of Father Lawrence Hecker. The federal court agreed to allow Hecker’s deposition, and any future depositions of the few priests still alive, including one of my attackers, Paul Calamari. These men are still alive, walking the streets, and still pose a very real threat to young children who come in contact with them.

After Hecker’s testimony, lawyers for the victims drafted a motion to unseal her and make her response to the rape allegations public. These lawyers believed that this would not only allow law enforcement to finally ensure that Hecker was brought to justice, but also protect the public. The lawyers who filed the petition Lawrence Hecker said “is still very much alive, vibrant, lives alone and a danger to young boys until he takes his last breath”.

The motion explained: “This is one of the most important pleadings the three undersigned lawyers have ever filed, and it is expected to be for the court as well. This case concerns matters of the utmost importance to the public, the sexual abuse of JW Doe and many other children by a living and ill pedophile (Father Lawrence Hecker) and the cover-up of this abuse by the Archdiocese of the New Orleans.

The lawyers argued that “this deposition and the documents attached to it establish grotesque crimes committed by Hecker which have been systematically covered up by the Archdiocese for several decades. Undisclosed evidence of crimes can never be called “confidential”… the archdiocese has concealed multiple crimes perpetrated by Hecker against children. It is even more fallacious for the Archdiocese to claim that the sexual abuse of children by the Catholic clergy is NOT a matter of public concern.

The federal court read and considered the attorney’s request to unseal the documents, but denied unsealing them. The court explained, “For the reasons set out in detail in the record, the court refuses to grant the plaintiff the relief he is requesting at this time. As for the transcripts of Hecker’s depositions, there is no protective order in place yet, despite the previous court order asking the parties to submit one. As a result, the court will now issue an ex officio protection order. Likewise, there was no designation of confidential testimony, as was also ordered by the court. Any effort to unseal the testimony at this point is therefore premature … More importantly, the questions and testimony relating to the claims against Hecker and the Archdiocese are so closely intertwined that they are not susceptible to significant unraveling, which in in the event of a motion to unseal, would be necessary in view of the limited stay order issued by the receiver.

The court says the bankruptcy proceedings and the Hecker case are inseparable, linking two distinctly different cases. One concerns the finances of the archdiocese and the other a priest who sexually assaulted children.

Before the decision, Fox 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said, “In America, there is a presumption that things should be opened in a courtroom, so, which is a compelling reason for this not to be published, is a question the judge will have to answer. . So the church has to find a reason, which I’m having a hard time with, as to why it shouldn’t be published… there is no real reason why it should not be published.

The SCSA is asking law enforcement authorities, including the United States Attorney General, Attorney General, and Louisiana State Police, who are authorized to read sealed documents to prosecute crimes, to read transcripts of Hecker’s deposition. They hope this will result in felony convictions or the unsealing of the deposition.

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