New Developments in the Katinas Lawsuit

Date Published: 08/20/2008
Publication: Pokrov

A Case of Conspiracy?

On August 15, 2008, Dallas attorney Tahira Khan Merritt filed a Sixth Amended Petition on behalf of the five plaintiffs that she represents. Ms. Merritt writes:

“Throughout the United States, the GOAA and its various Metropolises have handled other such cases of criminal sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable persons by Orthodox clerics in such a uniform fashion as to demonstrate a common pattern and practice for concealing these crimes from the public and civil law authorities, for recycling the perpetrators back into active ministry in other parishes and states, for failing to report them to proper civil authorities, and/or for spiriting such clerics to treatment facilities in and out of state or country to evade probable criminal prosecution of them and possible filing of civil claims of their victims.” (Page 34.)

“Plaintiffs allege that prior to the incidents of sexual abuse complained of herein, it was well known to Defendants Denver Metropolis and GOAA that a number of Greek Orthodox priests within and without its territory (at least 13 clerics but probably more), before and during the times of the offenses at issue, had sexually abused children. Yet, Defendants negligently failed to adopt and implement pertinent preventative policies and procedures; to identify potential and actual sexual offenders; to deny them acceptance into their seminaries and parishes; to refuse them positions that provided access to children; to monitor and supervise their actions; to warn Orthodox parishioners and non-Orthodox citizens when proven predators were in their midst; and to report their crimes to civil authorities as required by law.” (Page 23)

“Defendants spoliated evidence relevant to this case by, among other acts, destroying and/or failing to produce Reverend Nicholas Triantafilou’s copius notes regarding his investigation of Katinas’ abuse of Doe IV in 1987, as well as Vice-Chancellor Reverend Michael Kontogiorgis shredding notes and documents related to his GOAA 2005 and 2006 “investigation” regarding “DZ” and Doe I.” (Pages 40-41)

A link to the actual court document can be found above.

Parish’s Attorneys Bowing Out

Also on August 15, the attorneys for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas, Douglas D. Fletcher and Richard G. Miller of the law firm of Fletcher, Farley, Shipman & Salinas requested permission to withdraw as attorneys of record. The proposed order indicated that the attorney representing the Metropolis of Denver and the GOA, James W. Grau, of the law firm Grau Koen, has agreed to represent the parish as well.

A link to the actual court document can be found above.