The Monterey County Weekly began covering alleged sexual abuse by a priest at the Diocese of Monterey back in 2011, after parishioners first learned their beloved priest at Old Mission San Juan Bautista had been suspended.

The civil litigation continued for years; a young man identified as John RJ Doe sued the diocese and Father Edward Fitz-Henry; the diocese agreed to pay Doe $500,000 in a settlement.

Fitz-Henry then sued the diocese, claiming they'd failed to protect him; the diocese paid him an undisclosed sum as part of a settlement

The Weekly wanted to know what was in depositions and other documents that had been filed under seal. What could have led an organization that uses every legal means at its disposal to fight sexual abuse allegations and keep information hidden from the public to settle the Doe suit?

On May 21, 2013, the Weekly’s First Amendment attorney, Roger Myers of the firm Bryan Cave, filed a motion to intervene in the John Doe case and get the records unsealed.

The Weekly won at Monterey County Superior Court, and the diocese appealed; the Sixth District Court of Appeal upheld that victory in a decision Sept. 30, 2015.

We obtained transcripts of depositions and other documents, totaling about 1,350 filed pages, a day later.

The results of what the Weekly found in those documents appear as the cover story in the Oct. 29, 2015 print edition of the Weekly

The complete story is available here, accompanied by court decisions, an audio recording of the oral arguments, extended sidebars and a full Q&A with Fr. Edward Fitz-Henry.

  • 0

Who's who in this case, including the lawyers who represented the Diocese of Monterey, Father Edward Fitz-Henry, John Doe and the Monterey County Weekly

  • 0

From 1977 to the present, a timeline of events relating to Father Edward Fitz-Henry's career, the allegations against him, and the legal battle that followed.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.