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Judge Refuses To Bow Out Of Philadelphia Clergy Child Abuse Trial

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia judge today rejected a defense motion that she remove herself from the pending clergy abuse case (see related story) because of bias.

And there were some sharp exchanges in the courtroom as the defense suggested continuing bias by the judge.

The defense cited a statement by Judge Teresa Sarmina during a hearing on proposed questions for prospective jurors.  The judge had said, “Anyone doesn’t think there was widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is living on another planet.”

But Judge Sarmina noted her use of the past tense in her comment — that there was widespread sexual abuse — and said the defense had twisted her words in its motion.

Defense attorney Jeffrey Lindy objected, saying he had not taken the judge’s words out of context, but she would listen to no further argument.

And during argument on another issue, Lindy wondered if they had won a single ruling, indicating that multiple rulings have been fundamentally unfair.  He was warned by the judge not to raise his voice.


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More from Tony Hanson
  • Ryan MacDonald

    I see Dorothy’s point. This strange man just used the word “pedophile” six times in one brief comment! I’d say Dorothy’ point is well made. Let’s give him the attention he deserves.

    • Neil Allen

      Ryan sees Dorothy’s point because he is one of David Pierre’s pedophile protection pals, as you can see from his blog at where the blog entries are all about protecting pedophile priests.

      Folks, don’t think for a moment that priests are the only pedophiles in the Catholic church. They are also supported by people like Pierre, Dorothy Stein, and Ryan MacDonald that support the pedophile priests.

      The Catholic church has a dark cult of pedophiles in it, and obviously, they aren’t all priests, and they all work together. But they are all dangerous.

  • Dorothy R. Stein

    Neil Allen’s remarks here would be laughable if he didn’t throw the word “pedophile” around so freely even when it doesn’t apply. Any rational person would read these comments and conclude that this individual doth protesteth too much! Further more, he is far behind the 8-ball, not to mention behind the times, in the case of Fr. Gordon MacRae. A look at this week reveals a stunning report that some of the nation’s top lawyers and two FBI agents have uncovered explosive and conclusive evidence that this priest was the victim of an organized scam. Mr. Allen, your comments are not only libelous, but you exhibit the worst combination of human traits: a closed mind and an open mouth.

    • Neil Allen


      I throw the words pedophile priest around so that people associate the two words, as they should for the safety of their children.

      I certainly don’t keep up with Fr Macrae like you and Dave Pierre, so you must both be fans with the pedophile priest prisoner to know about this week’s update from his blog. Its not too complicated to figure out why someone would follow the blog of a pedophile priest, but clearly you two do.

      Macrae PLEADED GUILTY to 3 cases of child sex abuse, so you can argue for him all you want, as the fans of a pedophile would do. I’m glad the pedophile priest was beaten in prison, and hope he continues to be beaten every time the prisoners have the opportunity, and I hope the guards look away like the NH priests & bishops looked away when he was abusing those children.

      May all of the other 4,392 pedophile priests that the Catholic church admitted to in their John Jay report all get the same fate, both on earth and in the afterlife.

  • NJEG

    Yes, She should be removed. She is bias aganist the Catholic Church. Still I believe,, even in this face of the devil that is effecting All of our curture, the Catholic Church dose far more good And I am proud of them recently standing up for our religios freedom.

    • Neil Allen

      She just said what everybody knows if you read a paper in the last 10 years, which is that the Catholic church raped more children and hid more pedophiles than any group in history, with 4,392 “Jerry Sanduskys” in the US that they admitted to in their own John Jay report.

  • DPierre

    This entire case has been unfair from the start.

    The bias against the Church has been horrible.

    • Neil Allen

      Want to read the truth about the case? Read the first 6 pages of the grand jury report to see what these perverted pedophile priests did

      DPierre is Dave Pierre, who is trying to sell a book, and is in cahoots with convicted pedophile priest Fr Gordon Macrae, a convicted pedophile priest who is spending 30-60 years in jail for raping one child, and pleaded guilty to sexually abusing another 3 children. Pierre and Macrae endorse each other on their web pages, and are followed by a legion of Catholics that forgive pedophile priests and fight the victims.

      He is also the author of themediareport, which supports his forgiveness of child rapists.

      • DPierre

        What you are saying, sir, is libelous.

        To say my site “supports the forgiveness of child rapists” is completely false. How dare you.

        If you want to disagree with me on something – fine. But don’t personally attack me with lies. It is a sign of a bigot who doesn’t want the truth to be heard.

        Let people decide for themselves:

        Btw, a grand jury report is essentially a press release for the prosecution. Individuals are not cross-examined or analyzed for their credibility.

      • Neil Allen

        Why don’t you also send them to the web site of your convicted pedophile priest pal, Fr Macrae, who endorses both of your books.

        He blogs from jail, serving his 30-60 year sentence for child rape (I don’t know if that includes the 3 sex abuse cases he pleaded guilty to), and has supporters besides you that all still follow the pedophile priest.

        People can clearly see that your web site contains nothing other than pro-pedophile-priest stories, and a constant theme of trashing the victims, as Catholics have always done.

        You are also proving that you are a liar when you say that “a grand jury report is essentially a press release for the prosecution”.

        Everyone has to speak under oath, with penalties of perjury, so the 50+ people who testified about the pedophile priests in Philadelphia weren’t issuing a “press release”. They were amazingly consistent in the way they explained that the priestly rapists said they would go to hell if they told anyone, so a lot of these priests shared their tactics, probably as they confessed to each other in Catholic confession.

    • Donna Gaspar

      What planet do you live on Dave Pierre, the party is over – unless of course someone murders the Judge.
      the Roman Catholic Church is the largest, organized crime organization in the world protecting rapists, and murderers – and getting away with it until this Judge in the Cradle of Liberty, has the courage to try this case.

      • Carla Kendall

        well said, Donna. These freaks that protect child molesters should rot in prison before they rot in hell.

  • Clare Peterson

    Hooray! These priests, this teacher, and the lawyers have run up against someine whom they can’t bamboozle.

  • Legal weasel

    Automatic appeal is more like it.

  • Bloodhound

    I smell mistrial.

  • grumpy

    Good work! Now if only our political leaders can legislate an end to the Statute of Limitations clause in these cases, it would help that much more!

  • Judy Block-Jones

    Finally there is hope for exposing the truth and therefore protecting kids today.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511
    “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests” and all clergy.

    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is

  • Patrick OMalley

    The fact that the Catholic church has more child rapists than any other organization isn’t news. Its a fact.

    There were 4,392 “Jerry Sanduskys” that the Catholic church admitted to in their own John Jay report of 2004.

    Catholic priests are 100 times more likely to be pedophiles as you can see at

    However, all priests, bishops and others who protect the pedophiles in the Catholic church will continue to fight to save them. Thankfully, the judge is not going to stand for it.

    • Bill

      and you can PROVE your “fact”?

      • Patrick OMalley


        I gave you the two references, including the Catholic church’s own John Jay report of 2004, which, if you can’t use Google, is at

        What more do you need?

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