Family of Alleged Priest Abuse Victim Sues Oakland Diocese

8 months ago 170
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The household of a deceased antheral who said helium was repeatedly sexually abused arsenic a kid by a Bay Area Roman Catholic clergyman is suing the Diocese of Oakland nether the provisions of a caller authorities instrumentality that allows specified cases to determination forward. 

The household and property of Jim Bartko, erstwhile diversion manager astatine Fresno State University, filed the suit past week successful Alameda County Superior Court.

The suit alleges Bartko suffered repeated intersexual maltreatment from 1972 to 1975 astatine the hands of Stephen Kiesle, past a clergyman with the Diocese of Oakland and assigned to St. Joseph's Parish successful Pinole.  

It besides claims the diocese knew of Kiesle's "history of intersexual behaviour with and intersexual assaults upon minors" anterior to his alleged maltreatment of Bartko and negligently allowed Kiesle to proceed moving with children contempt that knowledge. 


Kiesle was convicted successful 2004 of sexually abusing a child, got retired of situation successful 2009 and lives successful Walnut Creek, according to the California Megan's Law website. 

He was besides convicted successful 1978 of sexually abusing children astatine Our Lady of the Rosary Parish successful Union City but was allowed to instrumentality to enactment portion helium was connected probation, according to Bartko's attorneys. 

Kiesle near the priesthood successful 1981, but returned to St. Joseph's successful 1988 arsenic a unpaid younker minister, Bartko's attorneys said.

He is listed arsenic a "credibly accused clergy" connected the diocese website, which says helium was removed from the ministry successful 1978 and "laicized" successful 1987.  

Bartko, who wrote a publication astir his maltreatment and consequent struggles titled "Boy successful the Mirror," sued the diocese successful 2020 but died astatine the property of 54, conscionable 3 days aft announcing his lawsuit.

"The origin of decease was cirrhosis of the liver, the effect of decades of utilizing intoxicant to header with his puerility trauma," Bartko's lawyers said successful a quality merchandise Monday.

“Jim's archetypal portion came astatine the property of 7, provided to him by Fr. Stephen Kiesle arsenic a means of making Jim much susceptible to Fr. Kiesle's intersexual advances," according to the release. 

The caller law, SB447, took effect connected Jan. 1 and allows the families of deceased victims of puerility intersexual maltreatment and different crimes to writer for non-economic - oregon "pain and suffering" - damages connected their behalf. 

Under the erstwhile law, those claims typically died erstwhile the victims passed away. 

“Now it doesn't substance what they dice of, the lawsuit lives connected nary substance what the origin is," said Bartko lawyer Rick Simons. 

"It besides means the nett successful stalling these cases and keeping it concealed until precocious successful life, the nett successful making arsenic galore motions and hold tactics arsenic imaginable hoping radical volition dice is taken retired of the equation," Simons said. 

A spokesperson for the diocese said Monday they haven't been served with the suit yet and declined to comment.

An lawyer for Kiesle, who is not named arsenic a suspect successful the suit, declined to comment, saying helium had not yet seen the complaint.

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