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Abuse of children causes lifelong injury

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Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:57 am, Sat Apr 28, 2012.

The trial of Michael Kelly in Stockton evoked an emotional response from some of the communities of Lodi and Lockeford. I do not wish to revisit the blow-by-blow retelling of the trial; the unanimous verdict of the jury and the flight by Kelly to Ireland settled that question.

I would like to explore one myth that lawyers and victims bring priests and church officials to court for no other reason than to gain money. Nonsense.

I am a survivor of rape and abuse by a priest when I was 13. The rape and assault on a 10-year-old boy such as Travis Trotter in Stockton should shock all who hear of it. The abuse causes lifelong injury. Childhood is robbed of its wonder and exploration. Social relations are deformed — relationships are damaged. Depression and nightmares are constant companions. Anxiety diminishes your life each day. Fear paralyzes every action. Sadness colors every bright experience. Anger explodes with little cause, harming all who are within the blast — including ourselves. Some victims are so overwhelmed that they sink into severe depression, never to emerge to life, only to try to cover their pain with drugs and alcohol. Others never see a way out and commit suicide.

As a child, you don't have the resources to understand what happened. No person wants the memory of such horrific abuse.

Every child is precious — don't let another child be destroyed by dismissing their complaints. It is the responsibility of all of us to protect children.

Tim Lennon

San Francisco

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  • Ronald Brown posted at 11:50 am on Tue, May 22, 2012.

    gipper Posts: 116

    Well, I can say pretty definitively that Travis Trotter is a fraud. He seemed to take SNAP and others that believed his story to the tune of a $3.75 million ride.

    As I was right, Mr. Trotter seemed to get back and into the workforce pretty quickly. His resume is already up on LinkedIn!! I am glad that he is an active job seeker in this tough economy, but I think the money that he stole from the Diocese of Stockton gives him much more financial security than those who are looking for work.

    I was right in the fact that he is still being employed by Southwest Airlines (as in other posts). He currently says that he is on the "leave of absence". This means that he drawing a salary from a disability insurance carrier or Southwest that is between 60-75% of his salary. Moreover, this kills the argument that SNAP and others have made about his medical bills. He is currently a Southwest employee, and he can purchase insurance at employee rates versus market rates for health complications that may arise because of "his abuse". Funny, Mr. Trotter's physician never testified as to his medical condition. He is still paying fairly affordable rates for his and his family's health insurance.

    The only people that testified about Trotter's mental state was an "expert" on repressed memory and the prosecution's own psychiatrist Dr. Ko (more about her later).
    It looks like he is still looking to stay in the aviation industry as you look at his career "Airlines/Aviation". Mr. Trotter just needs to be taken off this anti-depressants by his psychiatrist or physician, and he will be fine to assume flight duty (pending a physical). Like I said, he will be up and flying in no time!!

    Mr. Trotter's LinkedIn profile also shows that he has an interest in "food and wine". Funny, HIS psychiatrist that examined him for the case (Dr. Ko) said that he IS an alcoholic that was brought on about by sexual abuse. It is funny, but I do not know many alcoholics who claimed to have an interest in "wine" when they have been found to be an alcoholic by THEIR own hand picked psychiatrist. Did Manly or Trotter deny that Trotter was an alcoholic when Dr. Ko delivered this finding?

    Continuing on, it is more amazing that Mr. Trotter has been able to take on further his studies during the whole time the trial was going on. It is amazing that he was able to continue fastidously through his studies when there was so much "anguish" and "anger" in his life that caused him to leave his job. I wonder if he picked up the idea of "repressed memory" during his study of Industrial Psychology.

    It looks like SNAP, the jury and others were played as fools by the pianist "Trotter the Great". It is sad that money that could have been used in San Joaquin County has now flowed to Marin and Orange Counties. I hope Mr. Trotter enjoys the Master's Degree (and no student debt!!) for emotional testimony based on nebulous details with more holes than a block of swiss cheese.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:34 am on Sun, Apr 29, 2012.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Mr. Sanacore, there is no “absolute certainty” in our system of justice. Criminal juries are directed to reach their decisions based upon the standard of “beyond all reasonable doubt.” As human beings, this is the very best we can do. Of course with advances in scientific proof finding such as DNA, that standard is being elevated all the time. But absent such scientific proof AND an admission of guilt from the accused who is then able to clearly describe the nature of the crime, we can never know for sure if innocent people are sent to prison (or worse) for crimes they simply did not commit.

    I know very little about repressed memories. On the other hand, I’ve reunited with people from my distant past who remember events much differently than I do. Are they wrong with their memories of how I might have reacted in certain instances? I really can’t say for sure.

    This is why I agree that in order for someone like Father Kelly, it should take much more than just one person with a claim of abuse to convict and pack him off to prison. In my estimation that would be a very loose interpretation of “reasonable doubt.”

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:08 pm on Sat, Apr 28, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405


    A reasonable objective person who desires justice to be served should be shocked and dismayed that so little time was devoted to achieve justice in deliberation. These jurists may have been intelligent. That is not the question. The question is how could a contemplative curious person vote “ guilty” in just two hours considering the complexity and expert testimony that for me should have taken a week... not two hours. I submit that it is not possible.

    Even Tim Lennon, the author of this letter, stated he was in court and the turning point in this case happened with an emotional outburst from the plaintiff where he screamed and hollered” You Raped Me” … Key witnesses for the plaintiff cried and poured tears during testimony.

    To not consider these intelligent jurists subject to emotion is silly. Even during the press conference, Travis Trotter stated ( about he and the jury) that they had developed an emotional connection.

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:00 pm on Sat, Apr 28, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405


    We finally had all the information we needed and for the next hour, developed a time line we could all agree to. We took a vote, and it was still 12-0 to convict.

    This process took one complete day to finish and we finally read the verdict. We were satisfied that we did our best to give justice and consideration to this simple robbery case.

    Father Kelly's case, with days and days of conflicting professional expert testimony, with controversial repressed memory as its key evidence... so controversial that many state's supreme courts have ruled that they will not allow it as evidence in the state's courts... the jury only deliberated a very brief two hours. “TWO HOURS”.... again... only “2” hours...

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 2:58 pm on Sat, Apr 28, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Josh Morgan stated...How do we know it wasn't a group of twelve intelligent fellow citizens who did their best to come to a fair and appropriate decision?

    Josh... I have been on a jury and was elected by the jury as it's foreman. We listened to one week's testimony of a simple robbery case before we went to deliberation. No expert witnesses to complicate the process. One of the first things we did was take a vote to see where the jurists stood on guilt of innocence. It was a 12-0 vote to convict. That process took about 15 minutes.

    As foreman, I suggested that in fairness to the defendant we owed him justice. Justice meant that we took the time to review and consider all the possibilities that would lead us to vote innocent or guilty. we then started a discussion with some people who had some doubts of guilt even though they voted guilty. At least five people had questions of time line conflict and well as uncertainty as the what the testimony actually was. We spend the next two or so hours developing a time line of events and specifics. The problem was the conflict between what each person thought they heard in testimony.
    We then requested some read backs of testimony. That required the defendant to be present, the judge, and both attorneys. It took time to assemble everyone. Maybe 30 minutes. A person of the court read the passages that we wanted to hear again... We then went back to deliberate. More questions came up as a result and a second reading was requested.

  • Ben Sanacore posted at 7:18 am on Sat, Apr 28, 2012.

    Ben Sanacore Posts: 106

    Mr. Lennon, when allegations of sexual abuse toward anyone are brought forward they must be proven. These are such heinous allegations that can horribly destroy a persons life, so I repeat that they must be proven, not maybe or possibly but for absolute certainty.

    The allegations in Fr. Kelly's case were completely unsubstatiated. What this case boils down to is, "he said and he said". Fr. Kelly's word is not less credible than Travis Trotter's word. Pedophiles usually don't stop with one victim; they often possess child pornography; and they often engage in on-line activities related to child sexual attraction. No such evidence was presented. No physical evidence was presented. Many others have clearly explained in great detail why Mr. Trotter's case clearly doesn't hold water. Above all else, many many people have stated that such charges are completely out of character for Fr. Kelly.

    Mr. Lennon, I will tell you what I've told you before. We need to find real pedophiles, not imaginary ones. You and SNAP are not serving justice; quite to the contrary, you are only opening the door to others from all walks of life being falsely accused and terribly destroyed under this very bad precedent of unprovable repressed memory evidence.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 7:05 am on Sat, Apr 28, 2012.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Darrell, do you have some insight to the jury that the rest of us do not have? How do you know it was an emotional decision? Were you at the trial? Have you heard any statements made by jurors after the trial? Have the jurors been instructed not to discuss the trial. I've been anxious to hear from the jurors and surprised nothing has been forthcoming. How do we know it wasn't a group of twelve intelligent fellow citizens who did their best to come to a fair and appropriate decision?

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 5:09 am on Sat, Apr 28, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Mr Lennon's plea is a good one. We should all protect children. We also should be concerned and protect innocent people from being victims of overzealous organizations like SNAP who thinks a person is guilty simply because they have been accused. Mr Lennon also has claimed repressed memories. As far as I know, his claim is a bad dream just as bad as Father Kelly's. Imagine being found liable of a crime you did not committ. No evidence...Kelly did anything. Mr Lennon and Mr Trotter depended on an emotional jury to get what they wanted... It was all about the money. Clear and simple.


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