Monterey County Weekly Publishes Investigation of Diocese of Monterey

SEASIDE, CA – Monterey County Weekly today published a 10,000-plus word

investigative report “True Confessions,” which tracks an alleged sexual abuse scandal

within the Diocese of Monterey and the church’s attempt to keep the real story from the public.

The backstory: In 2011 a former parishioner sued the diocese for alleged sexual

molestation by Father Fitz-Henry dating back to 2005 when John “RJ” Doe was fifteen

years-old. The Church settled with Doe for $500,000, and sought to keep its internal

investigation of the priest sealed and out of the public’s view. In a cross-complaint, the

diocese also settled a lawsuit filed by Father Fitz-Henry, which resulted in his leaving the

church ministry.

Monterey County Weekly filed a motion in 2013 to have the documents unsealed and

ultimately prevailed in a unanimous 3-0 vote by the state Court of Appeal in July,

affirming the lower court decision allowing the documents to be disclosed. The Weekly

subsequently received nearly 1,350 pages of court documents, including depositions

and correspondence.

“True Confessions” reveals that the Diocese’s own investigator believed there may have

been up to six alleged victims, that a whistleblower was told to mind her own business,

that Father Fitz-Henry’s attorney “begged” the church not to settle with John Doe, and

finally, in his first interview since the charges were made, the former priest maintains

his innocence.

“True Confessions” was written by Weekly editor Mary Duan and assistant editor Sara

Rubin, is a Special Report — following this multi-year court battle — revealing what the

diocese knew, when they knew it and what they did about it.

Monterey County Weekly was represented in its legal battle by Roger Myers of Bryan

Cave, San Francisco. The complete Special Report is also available online, including the

full Q & A with Father Fitz-Henry.

Contact: Mary Duan, Editor (831) 394-5656 x 107; Bradley Zeve, Founder & CEO, (831)

601-5678; Erik Cushman, Publisher (831) 2394-5656 x125; Roger Myers (415) 328-9654

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