1. Fr. Peebles was ordained for the Diocese of Dallas on April 30, 1977. Prior to ordination he had received two evaluations from pastors of parishes wherein he had served as a temporary deacon. Both of these evaluations contained significant negative material, though none of this material was sexual in nature. One of them expressed concern for Peebles drinking. There appears to have been no significant follow-up with Peebles regarding this material and he was ordained to the priesthood.
2. Peebles history of sexual molestations while a priest began within two years of ordination. In 1979 he molested two boys from Ennis on an out-of-state camping trip. Some time from 1978 to 1980, a Fr. Scott relayed a report to the Vicar General, Msgr. Rehkemper, from a parent involving concerns about Fr. Peebles activities on a camp out on the family property in Ennis. It is unclear whether Fr. Scott s report came before or after the abuse incident in 1 979. It is known that the individual making the report was the father of John Doe Ill in the Peebles case. There was no investigation of the reports nor confrontation with Peebles. Nevertheless the fact of the reports/rumors were known to diocesan officials. Although these reports came by way of rumor, the diocese, through the bishop, had a obligation in Canon Law to investigate the rumors. No such investigation took place.
3. There is a note in the CID (The Army s special investigations unit) report that Fr. Peebles was caught abusing a boy in 1981. This event coincides with Fr. Peebles entering counseling with Dr. McCandlish. This counseling was arranged by the Vicar General, Msgr. Rehkemper. The records of the Rosenberg Clinic, Dr. Emory, indicate that Peebles told Dr. McCandlish about the inclination rather than the behavior. This coincides with reports in Bishop Tschoepe s 3/16/94 deposition of a dinner conversation with Dr. McCandlish
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in this same time frame where they discussed whether a sexual molester would repeat the offense.
4. In spite of there having been at least rumors of inappropriate sexual actions with boys, the Bishop appointed Peebles the Diocesan Director of Boy Scouts on June 29, 1981. During this same year, Peebles commenced sexual relations with another minor, John Doe IV.
5. Peebles was permitted by his bishop and endorsed by the Military Vicariate for the inactive reserves in January, 1981 and subsequent to this he began to see a counselor, Dr. McCandlish. In February, 1982 he was endorsed by the Military Vicariate for active duty. Had the diocese disclosed the fact of his counseling and the suspicion of sexual abuse to the Military Vicariate, or had the Military Vicariate conducted a more detailed investigation into Peebles suitability (given the Vicariate s awareness at the time of such problems with other chaplains), the endorsement would not have been granted.
6. In January of 1982, Peebles admits to advising Retreat Director Fr. Val LaFrance that he was sexually abusing boys and was out of control. As indicated in previous sections of this report, such reports to retreat directors were customarily held in confidence. It is worthy of note, however, that within a few weeks of this date, Peebles was given permission by Bishop Tschoepe to enter the army as an active duty officer, effective July 1, 1982. The ecclesiastical endorsement from the Military Vicariate is dated 2/16/82. It is without question that Peebles was unqualified on that date to represent the Catholic denomination in the United States Military because he was both an alcoholic and an active child abuser. There is no evidence that any investigation of Peebles background was conducted by the Dallas Diocese or the Military Vicariate prior to this ecclesiastical endorsement.
7. Peebles attended a retreat sponsored by the Military Vicariate at the Galilee Retreat House in Spring Lake, New Jersey in May of 1982. I have reviewed pictures of a minor boy (John Doe IV) with Peebles at this retreat house, during the orientation course sponsored by the Military Vicariate for incoming chaplains. It is reported that the boy, John Doe IV, stayed in Peebles room at the Galilee Retreat House. It is also reported that bishops from the Military Vicariate were present at the Galilee Retreat House during this orientation session. How Peebles got away with having the boy with him during the retreat is not known. The very act of Peebles having brought a boy with him to the Galilee Retreat House should have been thoroughly investigated. The very fact that this boy was present should have caused those in charge of the retreat to ask some very serious and pointed questions about Peebles. Apparently none were asked and, if they did, nothing was done and John Doe IV alleges he was sexually assaulted by Peebles while Peebles was on retreat with other incoming chaplains under the direction of priests and bishops of the Military Vicariate.
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8. On March 18, 1984 Peebles was apprehended at Fr. Benning, Georgia for sexually abusing John Doe I. Peebles confessed to this incident. Although a Catholic Chaplain, Fr. Michael Ortiz, was given responsibility for contacting John Doe l s parents and arranging his return to Dallas, John Doe I remained for a day and a half at a Catholic Rectory in Georgia without his parents knowledge or consent. The psychological effect of this event is beyond my expertise; however, it appears to have played a major role in the later events in this case. Significantly, the Dallas Diocese was made aware of the abuse on March 19, 1984 when Peebles called Msgr. Rafael Kamel (Chancellor of the Dallas Diocese) to report the incident. Records indicate that Peebles complied his request to resign from the Military in lieu of prosecution before John Doe I returned to Dallas and his parents were made aware of this incident. These events played a significant role in the events that led to Peebles not being prosecuted for this crime and the victim not receiving adequate treatment.
9. The Judicial vicar, Fr. David Fellhauer, and Msgr. Rafael Kamel, pastor of All Saints Church and Chancellor, placed pressure on the family of John Doe I not to prosecute Peebles. Contemporaneous records summarize the representations made to John Doe l s family by the representatives of the Dallas Diocese. These representations conceal Peebles prior history and fail to disclose the ongoing problem of priest sex abuse within the Catholic clergy and the Dallas Diocese. The family s decision not to prosecute Peebles was also impacted by the actions of a psychologist, Dr. Ray K. McNamara. Dr. McNamara s actions will be discussed by other medical experts;. however, it is clear that Dr. McNamara failed to disclose his previous relationship with Fr. Fellhauer and the Dallas Diocese. The fact that Dr. McNamara subsequently treated Peebles while continuing to treat the family of John Doe I without disclosing this fact also calls his actions into question. Dr. McNamara also destroyed critical treatment records involving contested events after learning that Doe I was investigating this entire episode in August of 1S993, also calling his actions into question.
10. Two months after the Ft. Benning incident Peebles was made an assistant pastor and one year later a pastor at a Dallas Diocesan parish. One year after being appointed pastor he was identified as having sexually abused several minor boys. He resigned from the pastorate on Aug. 27, 1986 and was sent to St. Luke Institute for evaluation. The bishop subsequently decided that Peebles would not attend St. Luke s for therapy.
11. On Nov. 21, 1986 Peebles was suspended and on Nov. 26, 1986 he initially petitioned the Pope to be laicized. The decree of laicization was finally granted on Dec. 6, 1989.
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12. Subsequent to his suspension and de facto departure from the priesthood, the diocese loaned him $11,000.00 per year for law school tuition and continued his monthly stipend of $800.00 per month for living expenses.
13. Subsequent to the Ft. Benning assault on Doe I, which was without doubt a true sexual assault, Peebles was assigned to another pastoral post. No warning was given to the pastor or to the people. Canon Law stipulates that an associate pastor or pastor not be assigned unless it is proven that he is morally and spiritually fit. The bishop had a duty to the people of the parish and to the diocese in this regard. Nevertheless, acting not on certainty of Peebles capacity to properly function, they assigned him. He was in therapy and had admitted the abuse prior to his appointment. The assignment involved a true risk to Peebles and to the parishioners.
14. In sum, the rumors about Peebles should have been properly investigated
1979 but they were not. The military and military vicariate should have been advised that these rumors existed and had not been investigated. No such information was given and no questions were asked by the Vicariate about prior drinking or sexual problems. After the Ft. Benning incident the diocese concentrated its efforts on keeping this incident a secret by allegedly conveying incorrect and incomplete information to the parents concerning Peebles history and by convincing the parents that prosecution would be harmful to the victim, promising that Peebles would lose his status as a priest, and that the Diocese would make efforts to insure against the occurrence of another incident of child abuse. Instead, the Diocese appointed Peebles to another pastoral position and placed him in therapy with the same counselor who had advised the family against prosecution. This action on the part of the Dallas Diocese, Dr. McNamara, and perhaps others, had the effect of concealing important information from the parents of John Doe I and delaying the discovery of the true facts concerning Peebles history and the Diocese s actions until shortly before the filing of this case. All of this is directly contrary to the standard of care to which the Diocese is called with regard to its obligations to lay Catholics and with regard to the appointment and supervision of priests to pastoral (or any) positions.
15. The concept of religious duress, i.e. the degree of trust and confidence reposed in church leaders, is applicable to the case of Peebles. Church officials quickly intervened with the family, giving incomplete or incorrect information and promising that Peebles would receive help, would no longer serve as a priest, had suffered much because of the events, and should not be subjected to court martial. Military officials, all the way up to the Secretary of the Army, were convinced by church officials of the Dallas Diocese (and perhaps others) that a court martial would cause more harm than good.
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16. The evidence of pressure placed on the victim s family points to the fact that the church officials repeatedly stressed that pursuing a court martial would be harmful to the victim in that he would have to testify. This pressure was insistent and included the psychologist involved, Dr. Ray McNamara, who also had a dual relationship with the diocese, the judicial vicar, the priest and possibly others. Letters were sent to military officials involved from diocesan officials. These letters stressed their concern for the victim and promised that Peebles would receive treatment and be supervised. Without going over each and every document regarding the process whereby the family itself asked the Army to allow Peebles to resign, it can be said that all of it points to the conclusion and presumption that the diocese was primarily concerned about its image, possible negative backlash from a prosecution and not necessarily the impact on the victim nor on the future activities of Peebles. This fits the national pattern I have observed.
17. Ironically, after being accused of and confessing to what amounts to a felony crime and facing the possibility of a lengthy term in prison, Peebles was reassigned as an assistant pastor at St. Augustine s parish in the Dallas diocese on May 21, 1984, not two months after the events of March 18. This assignment was made not only with the knowledge of what had happened to the victim at Ft. Benning but also with the knowledge that Peebles had been tentatively identified as a child abuser as early as 1979 or 1980 and this was known to diocesan officials. Even more ironically, Peebles was appointed pastor of the same parish on June 3, 1985. Prior to the-assignment as assistant the pastor and people of the parish were never informed of Peebles background. Finally, by August, 1986 it became known that Peebles had acted out again with teenage boys.
1 8. Although the events surrounding the alleged molestation at Ft. Benning appear to. dominate the Peebles case, it is more important to focus on the circumstances that preceded this event. These circumstances lead to the conclusion that the Diocese had sufficient information about Peebles as early as 1979 to have taken adequate steps to see that further child abuse did not occur. Moreover, the identity of John Does II and Ill could have been determined by the Diocese pursuant to investigation and the abuse of these victims could either have been prevented or they could have been assisted, depending upon the date and the results of the investigation of Fr. Scott s report.
19. I have been shown documentation which demonstrates that Peebles was not the first Catholic priest with a documented history of sexually abusing minors who was endorsed as suitable to serve as a military chaplain by the Military Vicariate. This is concrete evidence that the Military Vicariate cooperated with other Catholic bishops in a pattern of assignment designed to conceal the
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sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. This apparently included endorsing Peebles as suitable for reserve duty in 1981 and active duty in 1982.
20. It is totally reprehensible that in virtually every case of sexual abuse, these young boys were given excessive amounts of alcohol by Peebles, so much so that all report having become physically ill and vomiting.
a. There were two negative reports about his deportment and attitudes as a deacon intern prior to ordination to the priesthood
b. There was notice of a possible drinking problem prior to ordination to the priesthood.
c. Fr. Scott had communicated to Msgr. Rehkemper rumors about sexual abuse as early as 1979 or 1980.
d. Peebles was confronted by the parents of a boy while at St. Mark s in early 1981
e. Peebles was referred to Dr. McCandlish for counseling in Feb. 1981 without however informing the doctor of the rumors about sexual abuse. Peebles told Dr. McCandlish about an inclination to inappropriate sexual activity.
f. Peebles advised the retreat director in January, 1982 about his sexual abuse of children. A few weeks later the Dallas Diocese, in a reversal of its previous posture, grants Peebles permission to enter the active army.
Peebles takes Doe IV with him to the Galilee Retreat House at a retreat sponsored by the Military Vicariate in 1 982. No investigation by Military Vicariate results from this incident.
h. Peebles assaults John Doe I in March of 1984. In spite of confessing to the incident, Peebles is immediately given another parish assignment, is made pastor, and abuses at least three more boys in 1986.
XII. FR WILLIAM HUGHES
1. William Hughes was ordained as a priest for the Dallas Diocese on
1982. Some "incident" occurred in the seminary which is not adequately explained or documented. It does not, however, involve sexual abuse. Very shortly thereafter he was assigned as an assistant pastor in a Dallas parish. It
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was in his capacity as assistant pastor that he first met, became friends with and eventually sexually abused the plaintiff, Jane Doe.
2. The documentation clearly shows that Jane Doe and her family were devout Roman Catholics. They held the priest in the highest esteem. Although the defendant became a fixture in their home and spent inordinate amounts of time with the plaintiff the parents could not bring themselves to believe that a priest would be romantically interested in their daughter. The parents had seen the two together more than once in situations that would cause alarm in most parents, yet they shrugged it off based on their conviction that a priest would not do those kinds of things. It was not until a number of love letters were found by the girl s mother in July, 1984, that they began to believe that something was indeed wrong.
3. The documentation shows that the defendant Hughes would never have been able to establish the relationship with Jane Doe had he not been a priest and totally trusted by the family and by Jane Doe herself. The unfolding of events indicate a pattern of seduction aimed at taking advantage of the, plaintiff. Hughes was a priest moving in on a devout Catholic family. No one would believe that he had designs on the minor plaintiff and nobody did until it was too late.
4. A review of the depositions in this case demonstrates that this priest spent an inordinate amount of time with this one little girl. 'There"were 'apparently numerous calls to the rectory by Jane Doe, and Fr. Hughes missed a number of early morning masses. In addition, Fr. Hughes frequently escorted this 12 and 13 year old girl to the movies, the mall, picked her up from school, and other activities. Jane Doe reports that this seduction process went on for some time before any sexual contact occurred. There is no indication that any of these activities were deemed questionable by Church authorities.
5. By the late 1970s the problem of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clerics was well known in Dioceses throughout the United States. A warning to Catholic parents would have prevented the sexual abuse at issue here. Within the Dallas Diocese, there had been notice of the abuse of children by other clerics prior to 1979. There is no evidence that the Dallas Diocese, or the NCCB/USCC, took any action to warn parents.
6. The diocese, through its officials, made a major mistake when the mother of the plaintiff disclosed the love letters to Fr. Cloherty (vocations director) in July, 1984. The parents testified that Fr. Cloherty reacted with alarm but suggested that the letters be destroyed. It is alleged that this abuse was ultimately known by Fr. Cloherty, Msgr. Rehkemper, and the Bishop. Since the Plaintiff was 13 at the time, the disclosure by the mother and the father constituted a valid report of a possible Canonical crime (sex with a minor, Canon 1395, 2). This
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should have triggered the investigation mandated by Canon 1719 but it did not. There is no evidence to indicate that the meeting between Hughes, Fr. Cloherty and the Doe family, which occurred around this time, was part of the investigation nor is there any reason to believe that Msgr. Rehkemper had mandated this meeting. Although the mother later met with Msgr. Rehkemper and the Bishop, there is no evidence that an investigation resulted. No one reported the incident to the proper authorities.
7. Furthermore, Hughes was assigned to All Saints parish at which parish Rudy Kos and Robert Peebles had also been assigned. By the time Hughes had been reported to diocesan officials as an alleged abuser in July, 1984, the diocese had also been put on notice about alleged sexual abuse of at least four other clerics: Peebles, Kos, Father "B", Father "E and permanent deacon Narciso Custodio who was arrested in June, 1984. In spite of this awareness of the problem of sexual abuse of young people by clerics, and the very pointed reports about Hughes, he went on to be reassigned, placed on the personnel board and even made a parish director of youth groups. Allied with this apparent neglect by diocesan officials, there is also the question as to why no one at the parish asked any questions about the constant presence of the victim with Fr. Hughes during the time period prior to the report of the abuse.
8. In August, 1984 Fr. Hughes was reassigned to another parish and made the youth group director. The bishop and vicar general were allegedly aware of the allegations and their seriousness yet this reassignment took place anyway. In light of the allegations, it is inexcusable that this happened. The duty of the diocesan officials to protect the welfare, spiritual and moral, of all of the faithful combined with the duty of assigning to pastoral positions only properly qualified priests, was clearly breached with this reassignment.
9. In September, 1 984, Jane Doe s mother testified that she met with the Bishop and Msgr. Rehkemper. This was a meeting she sought out and not one that was initiated by the highest diocesan officials. From the description of this meeting by the girl s mother, it appears that it was to little avail. The bishop and his vicar general appeared to have not believed the story nor did they appear to have instituted any kind of follow-up either with the plaintiff s family, the plaintiff or with Fr. Hughes.
10. In May, 1988, Hughes was reassigned to another parish and made a resident so that he could attend school. In Feb. 1989 he was appointed as a member to the Priest personnel Board of the Diocese. Both actions indicate that there had been no credence given to the Doe family concerns or if there was credence given, that the actions of the diocese in so assigning Hughes were irresponsible.
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11. Finally, in July, 1990, the family met with the new bishop and told him the story. It is not known what action the bishop took at the time but it is known that Hughes petitioned for and was granted a leave of absence on July 17, 1990.
12. There seems to be little doubt that the diocese failed to act when the initial report of the abuse was made in 1 984. The defendant Hughes was still a risk to young people and to the plaintiff but no report was made to authorities and he was simply reassigned. Also, there is little if any evidence that any adequate pastoral care was extended to the plaintiff or her family. Granted, the diocese paid for some counseling session for the plaintiff with the defendant Dr. McNamara in 1991, but the documentation indicates that when the subject of providing counseling was first brought up with Msgr. Rehkemper he suggested that the Doe family insurance pay for it.
13. The documentation indicates that Jane Doe was referred to Dr. McNamara by Fr. Cloherty. Dr. McNamara commenced his treatment without disclosing his previous relationship with the Dallas Diocese, and his treatment of other priest perpetrators. There is also evidence that Dr. McNamara continued to receive referrals from the Dallas Diocese and consulted in cases involving other allegations of abuse. For example, Dr. McNamara apparently evaluated and issued a report concerning Fr. "C" to Bishop Charles Herzig in May of 1987. He issued a Report of the Psychological Expert in support of Peebles laicization in 1988, and he was deposed in a lawsuit involving Fr. "D" sometime in 1989 or 1990. Since 1986, Dr. McNamara has had the title of Psychological Consultant to the Dallas Diocese. His relationship with the Dallas Diocese should have been disclosed to Jane Doe and her parents or he should have refused to take the case.
XIII. FR. RUDOLPH KOS
1. Special Canon Law Concerns
a. In the case of Rudy Kos there are some Canon law concerns which are unique to his case. These concerns pertain to the fact that he may well have been ordained "illicitly that is, illegally in that certain canons were not observed. His ordination however, is to be presumed to have been valid.
b. Canon law contain numerous provisions aimed at protecting the common good, that is, the good of the faithful. Among these provisions are those related to the ordination of men to the priesthood. The provisions refer to certain circumstances or barriers to ordination. These are
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circumstances in the candidates life which could prevent him from properly performing the duties of a priest.
c. The 1917 Code was in force at the time of Kos ordination, therefore all references are to that code. Canon 973 states that the bishop must have positive proof of the candidates suitability which means, according to the commentators, that he not just possess an absence of negative factors but positive proof of capability, moral and spiritual suitability etc. The bishop alone is the judge of a candidate s suitability for orders. Usually the bishop relies heavily upon the recommendations of the seminary and of other advisors, but he alone is responsible.
d. Among the prerequisites are a good moral character (Canon 974). Also, a married man cannot be ordained but this was presumably taken care of by the annulment granted in 1976. At this juncture it might be pointed out that the validity of the annulment could also be called into question if it was in fact based on false evidence or if the rights of the respondent were not adequately protected.
e. There is evidence in this case that the rights of the respondent were not adequately protected by the Defender of the Bond, the Bishop of Dallas, and the NCCB. The wife testified that she told Fr. Duesman, the Defender of the Bond, that Kos was a homosexual with a sexual attraction to minor boys. She further advised Fr. Duesman that this problem had become evident while he was in the military and that the military chaplain was aware of the problem. She further indicated her willingness to complete written questionnaires concerning her marriage. Written questionnaires were never sent to her and, instead, a statement from Kos brother was obtained.
f. In spite of these facts, the Bishop of Dallas relieved the Defender of the Bond of the obligation to protect the rights of the Respondent and appeal the judgment of annulment and approved the annulment. Thomas Kelly, Assistant General Secretary of the NCCB, also approved of the waiver of the Defender of the Bond from appeal, thus allowing the annulment to become final. The wife has testified in deposition that the marriage was never sexually consummated, that Kos had a problem with boys to whom he was sexually attracted, that this problem had become evident while he was in the military and that her willingness to complete written questionnaires concerning her marriage was never taken up by the tribunal. It is clear that the truth was never established in this proceeding.
g. Canon 984 refers to irregularities for ordination. These are circumstances in the candidates life that constitute an impediment.
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There are two mentioned in the Canon which apply to this case: the irregularity of insanity and the irregularity of infamy of law.
h. The use of the word "insanity in the code is a technical or legal use. It is a broad term that refers to a mental illness with which the candidate is afflicted. Labeling of the various types of mental illnesses changes and is the subject of medical science and not the law. If an illness is such that it would prevent a candidate from properly exercising his orders than it constitutes an irregularity. The compulsion to have sex with minors is and has been generally considered a form of emotional or mental illness and would fall under the umbrella of this Canon. Consequently it appears that the diocese had some reason to believe that Kos suitability should have been studied.
I. The other irregularity, infamy of law, is a unique canonical term. In short, it is a penalty which is automatically incurred at the time a person commits one of the crimes specifically set forth in the Code. One of these is the crime of impurity with minors (Canon 2359). The ultimate conclusion: The Diocese of Dallas had notice of Kos activities with children prior to his admission to the seminary. Had the interest of the Respondent been adequately protected, the annulment would not have been issued and Kos would not have been eligible to be ordained as a Catholic priest. Had Kos not been ordained as a Catholic priest, the abuse complained of in this case could have been prevented.
2. Rudy Kos was married in the Catholic Church in 1966 and received a civil divorce in 1971. In 1975 he expressed an interest in becoming a priest of the Dallas Diocese but his initial application for admission to the seminary was denied. On February 17, 1976 he received a Church annulment from the Dallas Tribunal for his marriage. This annulment was necessary for Kos ever to be ordained as a Catholic priest. As part of the annulment process the diocese was obliged to contact Kos former wife which they did by phone on Dec. 19, 1975. Although the diocesan representative, Fr. Duesman, was asked to send questionnaires to the ex-wife so that she could respond in writing, no questionnaires were ever sent. The documentation contains references to the ex- wife, Kathy s, deposition in which she states that she advised the priest that Kos should not become a priest because he had a problem with sexual attraction to boys.
3. The documentation contains a note from Fr. Duesman to the effect that he had called Kathy, that she had implied that the petitioner had problems and that the service (military) chaplain knew about the problem (in reference to the alleged abuse by Kos of a military officer s son and report of an FBI investigation). Duesman ended by writing "something is fishy. Perhaps should get petitioner to level with me." There is no further indication in the documentation that the
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diocesan officials ever contacted Kathy about her allegations concerning Kos nor were her statements to Fr. Duesman ever taken into consideration in the process leading up to Kos admission to the seminary, and ordination.
4. There is evidence in the medical records obtained from the Servants of the Paraclete that Rudy Kos sexually abused one of his brothers and this was known within the family. In addition, when Kos was age 17, a neighbor saw him sexually abusing another boy in the neighborhood. He spent time in a juvenile facility following this report. Kos sexual activities with minor boys were also known to his wife. There is evidence that an investigation by officials of the Dallas Diocese prior to Kos admission to Holy Trinity Seminary would have revealed that he was unsuited for a ministry involving access to children.
5. There are also significant warning signs present prior to Kos ordination to indicate that he never should have been ordained. These lead one to the conclusion that the diocese violated its obligations in Canon and civil law to the community by failing to properly screen Kos. Perhaps the two most egregious errors were the failure to take into consideration the information provided by Kos former wife and, the failure to give proper attention to the disclosure of improper sexual advances on Kos part to by a seminarian to Msgr. Rehkemper in March or April of 1981.
Although it could be argued that the Bishop of Dallas had the right to ordain anyone it chose as a priest, there is no question from the record that Kos was totally unsuited for a parish assignment involving access to minor boys.
6. The documentation contains reference to almost constant sexual abuse or attempts at sexual abuse by Kos from prior to his ordination, through the time when he was an assistant pastor, then a pastor, up to an including the time when he was in supposed therapy with the Paraclete Fathers. The documentation also includes evidence of numerous red flags from the first parish assignment at All Saints which included efforts to entice children to Kos personal quarters, evidence of overnight stay overs by boys in the rectory, evidence of gifts to boys, and evidence of financial problems (resulting from spending habits involving boys) which continued from 1981 through October of 1 992. At no time does it appear that the Dallas Diocese conducted any investigation or attempted to determine the nature of the ongoing activities with children on the part of Kos despite numerous notices, red flags, and complaints.
7. John Does V, VII, and XL have alleged they were sexually abused by Kos during and/or as a result of counseling sessions to assist them with psychological problems. It has been recently alleged that abuse during counseling began in the fall of 1982 with John Doe XL. It is clear that Kos was totally unsuited to act as a psychological counselor to a minor boy. Had the Diocese of Dallas and
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the NCCB investigated the report received by the Dallas Tribunal from Kos exwife and conducted an appropriate investigation prior to admitting Kos to the seminary, there would have been no question that Kos should not counsel minor boys. There is no evidence that Does V. VII, and XI were aware of these problems until the ex-wife of Kos was deposed in May of 1994.
8. While Kos was an assistant pastor at St. Luke s in Irving in 1985, his inappropriate activities were observed by the pastor (Fr. Clayton) and these were reported to Msgr. Rehkemper. The documentation indicates that Rehkemper spoke with Kos in January, 1986 about having boys stay overnight in the rectory. Kos was apparently told not to do this yet in June, 1986 Fr. Clayton again spoke with Rehkemper about Kos having boys overnight in the rectory. The Priest Personnel Committee notes indicate that in 1986 Kos was warned, on penalty of suspension, to cease overnight visits by minor boys. Significantly, this is the same meeting where Peebles resignation was accepted for having abused three additional boys as pastor of St. Augustine parish.
9. In spite of what a reasonable person would consider to be dangerous signals going back many years including his initial parish assignment, Kos was appointed pastor at St. John s in Ennis, Texas on May 22, 1988. The wife had advised the Dallas Tribunal of Kos predilections with boys in 1976. Seminarians had complained of his sexual activities to the Vicar General in 1981, red flags were evident concerning his activities with boys from 1981 through 1986, the pastor at St. Luke s in Irving had put the Diocese on written notice, yet there is no evidence that an adequate investigation ever took place. It appears that Msgr. Rehkemper simply talked to Kos and believed his version of the story and the abuse went on and on: Knowing these things, Kos was still assigned by the bishop as a pastor with no supervision.
10. While at Ennis, there were more reports to the Bishop and Msgr. Rehkemper, including reports by Fr. Williams, Sr. Caroleen Hensgen, the Superintendent of Schools, and her replacement, Shawn Underhill. In December, 1991, Kos was referred by Msgr. Rehkemper to a psychiatrist, Dr. Jaeckle. Dr. Jaeckle was not provided with any background material by the Diocese and relied only upon Kos statement and input. Involved in Kos activities at this point is Fr. Williams who lived with Kos at the Ennis parish. Fr. Williams had documented Kos activities and had reported the same to Msgr. Rehkemper. Fr. Williams persisted in his pressure on Msgr. Rehkemper to take some definitive action.
11. In April, 1 992 Fr. Williams and Msgr. Rehkemper met with Brenda Keller, an expert on pedophilia. Brenda Keller s recommendation was that Kos be immediately removed from contact with boys. Brenda Keller also stated that once Kos is removed, the Diocese should expect claims. Kos was not removed as pastor of the parish. Shortly thereafter Kos went to St. Luke Institute for an evaluation. The evaluation reflects the recommendation by St. Luke that
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addition testing take place but there is no indication that this was ever accomplished. Kos returned to Texas and went back to his parish. It was not until October, 1992 that Kos was sent to the Paraclete facility for care, and then only after he confessed to improper sexual activities with John Doe tin the Kos case.
12. One thing that is remarkable in this case is the absence of any evidence that the diocesan officials sought out any of the victims of Kos to determine from them what had happened even though the names of many of these boys were known.
1 3. In sum, it can safely be said that the officials of the Dallas Diocese consistently failed with regard to Rudy Kos. They failed to investigate reports that he was unsuited for a ministry involving children prior to his admission to the seminary. They failed to properly investigate reports that he had a problem prior to his ordination. After he was ordained, the Chancellor of the Diocese failed to investigate the ongoing presence of boys overnight in his quarters in the rectory. The Diocese failed to investigate detailed reports given by at least two priests who observed the activities of Fr. Kos. They failed to provide Dr. Jaeckle, and perhaps St. Luke, with adequate information upon which to evaluate Kos, and they failed to take action when Brenda Keller advised them that Kos should not have any contact with boys.
14. There appears to be no rational excuse for this succession of negligent acts by the diocese. The diocese had already been dealing-with the problem of Fr. Peebles and several other priests so it cannot-claim ignorance of the problem of sex abuse of children by priests on that score alone. The diocese had more than sufficient notice about Kos from the time before his ordination to the effect that he was a potential problem.
15. The NCCB also became involved in the Kos matter when Thomas Kelly, Assistant Secretary of the NCCB, approved the waiver of the Defender of the Bond protecting the rights of the respondent, the wife of Fr. Kos, who specifically complained to the Dallas Diocese of Fr. Kos activities with minor boys.
XIV. ACCRUAL OF A CAUSE OF ACTION
1. I am aware that under the law of most states, an individual has a certain amount of time within which to bring a claim for damages. I have been advised that the Diocese of Dallas, the Military Vicariate, Dr. McNamara, the NCCB/USCC and the three priests have claimed that the Does in these cases have waited too long to bring their lawsuit. I have been asked to assume that under Texas law, the issue is when the cause of action accrued in these cases.
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If the cause of action accrued within two years of the date the lawsuits were filed, then the cases were filed on time.
2. I have been asked to assume that accrual of a cause of action in Texas is deferred in two types of cases. The first type involves allegations of fraud or fraudulent concealment. I have been asked to assume that in such cases accrual is deferred because a person cannot be permitted to avoid liability for his actions by deceitfully concealing wrongdoing until limitations has run. The other type of cases involve the discovery rule where the cause of action does not accrue until the Plaintiff knew or in the exercise of reasonable diligence should have known of the breach of duty. I have been asked to apply these principles to the facts of this case in order to see whether there is any basis against any of the Defendants for deferring the accrual of these claims based upon fraud, fraudulent concealment, or under the Discovery Rule.
3. It is my opinion that accrual of these claims should be deferred because evidence exists that could factually support the following:
a. The priests and Bishop of the Dallas Diocese, the NCCB/USCC, and the Military Vicariate/Archdiocese for Military Services were in a position of trust and confidence with regard to the lay Catholic community, including the claimants in these cases.
b. The Dallas Diocese, the NCCB/USCC, and the Military Vicariate were aware of the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests prior to all of the sexual abuse alleged in this case.
c. The pattern in Dioceses across the United States concerning the handling of these cases contain common elements that could not exist in the absence of a common plan and scheme for the handling of these cases. The bishops through the NCCB/USCC are the only means to achieve such a common plan and scheme.
d. The Dallas Diocese (and the Military Vicariate in the Peebles case) had pre- existing evidence of the sexual abuse of children by Kos and Peebles which was concealed and not properly investigated.
e. Information concerning the prior sex abuse of children by Peebles was concealed from the Parents of John Doe I by representatives of the Dallas Diocese and the Dallas Diocese benefited from this concealment through the passage of time regarding all the Doe claimants, not only in the Peebles case, but in the Kos case and case involving Hughes.
f. There is evidence of active concealment of material facts which would have alerted the Doe claimants in all of these cases as to potential claims
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against the Dallas Diocese and the NCCB/USCC in the Kos case, the Dallas Diocese, the Military Vicariate and the NCCB/USCC in the Peebles case, and the Dallas Diocese and the NCCB/USCC in the Hughes case. This concealment includes concealing evidence of the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests, concealing evidence of the previous abuse of children by Peebles and Kos, and allegations of the destruction of material evidence in the Hughes and Peebles cases.
g. There is evidence that all Defendants in each of these cases were deceitful in concealing wrongdoing until limitations had run. There is also evidence that these Defendants cooperated with one another towards the common goal of concealing the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, concealing the previous sexual abuse of children by Kos and Peebles, and concealing negligence with regard to the supervision and assignment of Hughes. There is also evidence that Dr. McNamara s actions furthered this deception by preventing the prosecution of Peebles and the exposure of other priests who were abusing children at the very same time. The fact that Dr. McNamara did not make reports to the proper civil authorities in the Peebles and Hughes cases is further evidence of the active concealment of these crimes.
h. All of the Defendants cooperated with each other to one degree or another to achieve the common goal of preventing public exposure of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and the bringing of claims for damages. Fact issues are thus presented as to deceit in concealing wrongdoing until limitations had run, therefore denying the Does an opportunity to discovery their claims against the Diocese of Dallas and the NCCB/USCC in all cases, the Military Vicariate in the Peebles cases, and Dr. McNamara in the Peebles and Hughes cases. it is my belief that the Does did not and could not have discovered that the representations of the various defendants were false and that material information was withheld despite the exercise of due diligence.
II. There is evidence that Dr. Ray K. McNamara concealed his dual relationship from the family of Doe I in the Peebles case and the family of Jane Doe I in the Hughes case. The facts exposing this dual relationship did not come to light until after August of 1993.
j. I have been asked to assume that in claims involving concert of action involving criminal behavior that limitations are tolled so long as acts are committed in furtherance of the conspiracy. Certainly Dr. McNamara 5 act in destroying treatment records in August of 1993 was an act in furtherance of this conspiracy. There are other affirmative acts as well, including the representations of the Judicial Vicar in June of 1993 to a victim of Fr. "B". As in other cases in other Dioceses, once the
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concealment is exposed in one case, it inevitably leads other claimants to realize that they were deceived as well. This leads to the bringing of numerous claims by victims who recently discovered the breach of the duty to exercise due care.
k. With regard to the claims in the Kos matter concerning sexual abuse during counseling sessions, it appears that these claims did not accrue until after Does learned that Kos wife had advised the Diocese in 1976 that Kos was sexually attracted to children. This was the first opportunity that the Kos claimants had to discover the concealment of Kos history as a sex abuser establishing the fact that he was a danger to minor boys and totally unsuited to counsel a minor boy. This information was concealed until the Tribunal file was produced and the wife s deposition was taken in May, 1994.
l. As to the claims involving Kos, Peebles, and Hughes, it is my opinion that substantial evidence exists that these claims were timely filed. As this litigation progressed, Does learned of the concealment of material information by the various Defendants in these cases.
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