The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Roman Catholic Cardinal Norberto Rivera. He gets the award for the following.
LOS ANGELES - A judge dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday against Mexico City Cardinal Norberto Rivera, who had been accused of conspiring with Roman Catholic officials in the U.S. to transfer a priest accused of sexual abuse.To this non-legally trained mind, it appears Judge Berle is correct. US courts don't have jurisdiction.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu M. Berle found Rivera could not be held accountable in a U.S. court because the plaintiff didn't have enough evidence against him, said Mike Finnegan, the plaintiff's attorney.
"It was a legal technicality," he said. "It didn't reach any of the merits of the case, and it didn't get to the key issues in the case, which is Cardinal Rivera's complicity in sending (the priest) to the United States as a child molester."
The judge's ruling also dismissed claims against the Mexican Diocese of Tehuacan, where the cardinal was bishop at the time he transferred the priest.
Steve Selsberg, an attorney representing the Mexican cardinal in Los Angeles, said the judge found no evidence of conspiracy after reviewing a year's worth of evidence collected by attorneys from both sides.
Plaintiff Joaquin Aguilar Mendez, 26, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that Rivera, who was then a bishop in Puebla state, knew that the priest had molested children when he sent him to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The priest, Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, is no relation to the cardinal or the plaintiff.
The cardinal's spokesman, Hugo Valdemar, told The Associated Press in Mexico City that the cardinal was pleased with the judge's decision.
As to Cardinal Rivera, who I've blogged about before, he is far from an innocent in this matter.
Rivera got rid of his problem by hoisting off Nicolas Aguilar Rivera on unsuspecting people. Now this Cardinal uses the law to allude justice. And this man gets up in front of thousands and preaches about sin. What a sicko, Cardinal Norberto will get his just reward in heaven one day but first, I make him today's Knucklehead of the Day.
In a declaration filed in February, the cardinal said he sent a letter to Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony in 1987 warning him that the priest had "homosexual problems." A spokesman for the Los Angeles archdiocese has said the U.S. cardinal never received it.
The priest fled to Mexico after he was accused of sexual abuse in Los Angeles and before police could begin an investigation. He has since been charged in California with 19 felony counts of committing lewd acts on a child.
The priest lied to the Archdiocese of Mexico City and was able to get temporary permission to serve as priest there, Selsberg said. He fled Mexico City in 1995 when Norberto Rivera was promoted to cardinal and has been a fugitive since, Selsberg said.
The priest's whereabouts are currently unknown, Finnegan said.
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