The above is the heading to a Newsweek report about a sexual abuse case in the US. It is reminiscent of several in Australia. The report by Ralph Cipriano should be read carefully, mindful of possible parallels with cases in Australia.
On October 9, 2015, a former Philadelphia altar boy reported to the office of Dr. Stephen Mechanick to undergo a court-ordered forensic psychiatric evaluation. It took nearly three hours because the two men had a lot of ground to cover. Daniel Gallagher is a slender 27-year-old with a wispy beard who is better known as “Billy Doe.” Under that pseudonym, he made national headlines in 2011 when he claimed to have been serially raped as a fifth- and sixth-grader at St. Jerome’s parish by two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher.
Gallagher subsequently became the Philadelphia district attorney’s star witness at two historic criminal trials. His graphic testimony helped convict three alleged assailants, as well as Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s former secretary for clergy, who was found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child. The monsignor became the first Catholic administrator in the country to go to jail for failing to adequately supervise a sexually abusive priest.
The Billy Doe rape story was so sensational it attracted the attention of crusadingRolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely. She described Billy Doe in a 2011 story, “The Catholic Church’s Secret Sex-Crime Files,” as a “sweet, gentle kid with boyish good looks” who had been callously “passed around” from predator to predator. According to the charges recounted by Erdely, two priests and a Catholic schoolteacher “raped and sodomized the 10-year-old, sometimes making him perform stripteases or getting him drunk on sacramental wine after Mass.”