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At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Card. Stritch) stood over me and said, "Stop babbling about what Father Horne did to you." It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Now, I babble. - ke
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in 2009 our ongoing coverage of the pedophile epidemic in the Catholic Church will be at City fAngels5. in 2010 at CityofAngels8

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Salesian attorneys toasted their victory before the verdict in a bar near the courthouse, but their million dollar defense did not persuade the jury

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“At my trial they put Brother Sal Billante on the stand to testify against me. My attorney Richard Simons says, have you ever been arrested and Valenti says yes. Simons says what for. Child molestation, says Brother Sal. They lost the case.”

In 2002 the one-year window in the statute of limitations resulted in 170 cases against the San Francisco Archdiocese, all of which settled in 2006 except those with the Salesians Religious Order. Their website claims the Salesians “stand in solidarity with the victims of sexual abuse.” Joey Piscitelli talks about his trial and battles with the Salesians up north in this interview (continued from March 18 post) in Joey’s own words.

Brother Sal Billante was watching and masturbating while Father Steve Whelan jerked off in front of me. I was 13 years old and they made me watch. Fr. Steve invited me to play pool at the Boys Club. I was an 80 pound kid, I turn around and there’s Father Steve masturbating on a bench. I put the cue stick down and he said, no don’t leave. So I had to stand there, I'm sweating, the hair on my neck is standing up.

I thought, God is jerking off in front of me and making me watch. Because at that time the priest was like God to me. Then Brother Sal walked in I thought oh my god finally, someone will stop this, and Brother Sal he stood there and watched. He’s a voyeur. He’s standing in the doorway with his arms crossed leaning against the wall drooling, watching. I found out later Valenti used to take nude pictures of boys

What I didn't know was Brother Sal and Father Steve had grown up together in the North Beach area of San Francisco and went to Salesian seminary together in the 40s and 50s, which then became the Salesian high school in Richmond. They're an absolute nest of pedophiles. I told Fr. Steve one time I’m going to tell on you. He looked at me and laughed and said, Do you think anybody is going to believe you over a priest.

(Fr. Bernard) Dabbenne. the principal told me the exact same words when I went to him. “Who’s going to believe you over a priest?” It was a ring, it’s incredible there were so many pedophiles all sleeping in the Salesian residence, all covering for each other and lying.

Then when I went to court I could only mention Whelan, the Salesians got mention of all the other perpetrators thrown out before trial. Also the Salesians petitioned to dismiss my case claiming if one priest watches another priest masturbating in front of a child, that is not sexually abusive. Do you see what that means? The Salesians don’t think it’s abuse if a man masturbates in front of a child. So if a Salesian brother is masturbating in front of a child today, the Salesians don’t think that's sexual abuse.

In my court case I was able to say they had prior notice because Brother Sal watched and then had the duty to report. Whelan got to me 25 times after that. He did it to me on the stairway, in the office, the attic all over the school.

In July 2003 the Salesians offered me zero. Since then court costs alone for the Salesians are more than 2 million dollars. They’d rather spend millions fighting plaintiffs than give them a settlement. They are appealing the July 2006 settlement.

Before and during my trial the Salesians released lies to the press and lied often to the press on camera.

Titian Miani was at my high school in Richmond when we had all those pedophiles here in the 1960s. Then the Salesians sent the same guys down to LA. They had complaints on all of them from San Francisco before sending them to LA.

Fr. Larry Lorenzoni and . Bernard Dabbenne both ended up getting promoted in San Francisco. After Fr. Richard Presenti admitted being a pedophile, he became principal of Don Bosco High School in Bellflower. Richard Gross complained against Presenti in 1968, and Presenti admitted the abuse. After that they made Presenti Administrator of Salesians, then principal in Bellflower.

Joey Piscitelli continues:

Right before my trial the Salesians hired a PR man, Sam Singer, to bad mouth me during and before my trial to poison the jury pool. Again these people claim they don’t have any money.

Singer is the same PR man who today represents the San Francisco Zoo re the tiger attack last Christmas. Now he’s bad mouthing the tiger victims in the press. He’s a very expensive spokesperson

During my trial Singer released a statement that I wasn’t credible and I was thinking, who’s he?

My trial lasted two weeks, the Salesian Provincial Father Purdy and Fr. Steve Whelan the perp who molested me got on the stand and called me a liar.

In closing arguments, the Salesians compared me to the guy on Oprah who lied about his book. They produced a video that showed a book cover “My Story of Abuse by Joey Piscitelli,” and then flashed across the screen Fiction, Fiction, blinking.

Our closing arguments were minimal. All we did was show Father Whelan in court testifying, answering one question Are You the Same Man as you were when you were molesting Joey. And he said no, I'm not.

The only witnesses we put on were my therapist, my wife, my brothers and sisters. We presented a personal case with just my family and my therapist.

The Salesians claimed my therapist was lying.

There were dozens of attorneys, from at least three law firms defending the Salesians.

Before the verdict, I went to have a sandwich, I saw the dozen or so Salesians attorneys drinking and partying, high-fiving each other that they won before the trial was over.

My wife was there for the verdict. I couldn't be there, I -- the trauma -- She told me in court the Salesian attorneys were all smiling and sure they were going to win.

Their attorneys said outside court in front of several people, “We're not going to give you one dime, we’d rather spend the money fighting.”

Joey Piscitelli continues:

With the Salesians it is not about money, it’s about hate and vindictiveness. Because in my case, rather than give me even a dime or ten dollars they spent millions fighting me.

Their goal with this million dollar defense is to discourage any more victims

You have to remember that Cardinal William Levada lived right across the street from the Salesian Mansion. The largest cathedral in San Francisco St. Peter and Paul is all run by Salesian priests who work for Levada.

I don't know if the Salesians are going to ask for another extension on taking my verdict to the Supreme Court. I don't know what they're going to do next. I just know their next move, whatever it is, will be spiteful hateful and vindictive.

The thing about the Salesians
is they do not settle. Richard Gross filed suit when I filed, in 2003.

Salesians fought him knowing he was molested but they said, you don’t have proof that Presenti was a molester before he molested you.

I had 11 documents from my school.

The day before trial they argued, if Piscitelli is allowed to introduce this evidence, it will prejudice the jury against the Salesians. The jury pool will hate the Salesians.

The judge who went to a Salesian school himself, agreed and wouldn't allow the evidence.

The technicality they used was that Brother Sal watching Fr. Whelan masturbate in front of me doesn't constitute prior knowledge even though Whelan molested me 25 more times after that.

The judge ruled that Brother Sal didn't have a duty to report.

ME: It’s almost like the Salesians want to continue to let pedophiles have access to children.

JOEY: It’s true, their income is from schools, boys clubs, and camps for low-income children.


Onward. . .

2 comments:

M Shoemaker said...

One can only hope and pray that justice prevails in Mr. Piscitelli's case against these Salesians....the verminous filthy evil,lying, child molesters that they

The Salesians can hire all the PR firms they like, it's par for the course. We saw this spinning of reality in LA as well..no matter,

Mr. Piscitelli's story rings very true, after all, brother Sal had to get a ruling that he was not not required to report his observation of a fellow priest spanking his monkey in front of a child...but we are to believe that these maggots are sorry.

I hope a higher court reverses some of this judge's obviously pro Salesian rulings.

My heart just goes out to victims who have to endure this kind of crap from this so called church.

Unknown said...

At that time there was a father frank a very young father he was there in the late 60s early 70s he would know all about this he was transferred to the Dominican Republic very quickly my father coached basketball and baseball at that time and brother Sal was at our house for dinner many times he always brought a young kid with him my parents thought it was strange my dad name was Gene Eason also the Vanpelts who rebuilt the boys club knew of them both good luck

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