LOS ANGELES— On Monday, July 6, a judge announced that the child sex abuse trial against two archdioceses will be delayed by five months. It was initially scheduled to take place on October 6.
“Our world is a different place than it was when we last spoke,” said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Sotelo in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most other cases have also been put on hold with the exception of a few civil cases.
In February of 2018, two plaintiffs sued the archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, as well as the Congregation of the Mission Western Province. The plaintiffs allege they were sexually abused by a priest, Rev. Carlos Rene Rodriguez, over 25 years ago.
The two plaintiffs are identified as John R.R. Doe and John R.F. Doe. The alleged abuse occurred while Rodriguez was assigned to a parish at the Roman Catholic Bishop of San Bernardino. The parish has not been identified. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles had apparently previously suspended Rodriguez for allegedly abusing other children.
John R.F. Doe alleges Rodriguez began abusing him in 1993 when he was a minor. The suit states that in the fall of 2016, John R.F. Doe saw a television report regarding Rodriguez. It caused him to “actively think about Father Rodriguez and [the] child sex abuse he had committed” upon him.
John R.R. Doe claims the abuse also began in 1993, he was 7 or 8 years old. He says that his memories have been affected by a longtime alcohol problem that was caused by suppressing memories of abuse out of guilt and shame.
The trial is expected to resume on March 2, 2021. By then, the lawsuit may not include the accused Rodriguez as a defendant. The plaintiffs’ attorney, Anthony M. De Marco, has been unable to locate Rodriguez and he likely has little to no money.