Cover-up alleged in abuse by cleric

LOS ANGELES — The former vicar of clergy for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles testified this week under oath that Cardinal Roger Mahony ordered him in 2000 not to contact police about allegations of sexual abuse by a priest.

In deposition papers filed Friday as part of a civil case, Msgr. Richard Loomis also testified that Mahony ordered him not to inform parishes of allegations against the now defrocked Rev. Michael Baker.

In 2007, Baker was sent to state prison for 10 years after his conviction on molestation charges. He has been called before a federal grand jury investigating how the archdiocese handled priest abuse cases.

Loomis is on leave from the archdiocese after also being accused of sexual abuse. A spokesman for the archdiocese, said church officials had not seen the deposition and could not comment.

Under questioning by John Manly, an attorney for one of Baker’s victims, Loomis testified that after learning that Baker had performed three baptisms, despite orders to discontinue ministry, he told Mahony in a memo that the archdiocese should tell police.

“He (Mahony) wrote on the memo and initially his response was to proceed but then through the general counsel’s office I was told … that we were going to wait,” Loomis said.

The 2000 discussions about Baker arose after an attorney for two brothers told the archdiocese that Baker molested them until 1999.

The archdiocese and Baker settled the matter out of court for $1.3 million.

The deposition contains a comment by Donald Steier, an attorney for Baker, that by 2000 the individuals who alleged that they had been sexually abused were adults.

Because of that, he said, “there is no legal requirement to make reports.”

Manly said Friday that, “because of Cardinal Mahony, they never called the police until 2002.”

In a 2002, Baker said he had informed Mahony in the 1980s that he had sexually abused children.

“I told Mahony I had a problem,” Baker said.

Mahony allowed Baker to remain active in the archdiocese and sent him to a New Mexico treatment center.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Norton Playfield, a three-acre play field owned by Housing Hope on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vote nears on Housing Hope’s Everett playfield project

The Everett City Council will deliberate Wednesday on the multi-family, supportive housing proposal.

Two teens shot near Mill Creek, taken to hospitals

The males, 17 and 18, were in a vehicle when two males approached and got into an altercation.

Driver hits, critically injures pedestrian in Everett

A driver hit a male who ran across the road Saturday night but stayed there and spoke with police.

Marysville School Districts' McKinney-Vento & Foster Care Liaison Deanna Bashour (left to right) Andrea Wyatt, Larisa Koenig and Rosemary Peterson on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A new haven of help for homeless students in Marysville

“You name it, if they need it, we’ve got it,” says the Connections Center’s foster care liaison.

The USS Michael Monsoor has been a recent frequent visitor at Naval Station Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
New Navy ship visits Everett base while training near Canada

The USS Michael Monsoor may visit a few more times before it leaves at the end of October.

Pedestrian seriously injured in hit-and-run in Everett

He was expected to survive. A 31-year-old woman was later booked into jail as a suspect.

Everett man who fled scene of hit-and-run fatality sentenced

“I just panicked is all,” said Thomas Rock, who was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in prison.

Ian Terry / The Herald

An abandoned car sits on flooded Mann Road in Sultan on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015.

Photo taken on 11132015
County considers raising roads to skirt flooding near Sultan

Ben Howard Road and Mann Road are in line for culverts and elevation gains.

Most Read