Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Contradict Democrat Kamala Harris’ Claims

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by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  June 27, 2019   

Victims and their attorneys question presidential candidate's record

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SAN FRANCISCO (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Democrat presidential candidate claims to fight for sexual abuse victims — but victims say otherwise. 

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has promoted herself as a champion for victims of sexual abuse since she was district attorney of San Francisco. Victims of clerical sex abuse and their attorneys, however, have been telling a different story based on her silence.

The website for her presidential campaign states that "Kamala has been a fearless advocate for the voiceless and vulnerable throughout her career."

The website also highlights her career as a prosecutor in child sexual assault cases:

She began her career in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, where she specialized in prosecuting child sexual assault cases. In 1998, she joined the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, where she led the Career Criminal Unit. She also served as the head of the San Francisco City Attorney's Division on Children and Families.

Joey Piscitelli, a victim of clergy sexual abuse and the current Northern California spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), however, says Harris "did nothing" as the district attorney of San Francisco when he wrote to her about a priest at a local Catholic cathedral who molested him. 

Piscitelli wrote to Harris again five years later to urge her to help alleged victims by releasing records of their clerical abuse lawsuits that the former district attorney, Terence Hallinan, had gathered. Harris never responded.   

Harris' failure to release those records is significant because Hallinan's team was gathering evidence as part of an investigation into pervasive clergy sexual abuse. That investigation disappeared when Harris became the district attorney.

The Intercept released a graphic video regarding Harris' dubious record on clerical sex abuse in early June. 

[WARNING: Graphic Content]


According to a recent report from NBC, clergy abuse survivors and their attorneys say that Harris was silent on Catholic clerical sex abuse both as the district attorney of San Francisco and as the attorney general of California before becoming a senator.

Though silent on clerical sex abuse as the attorney general, Harris was quick to go after pro-life activist David Daleiden in 2016 for his videos on what journalist Rita Diller described as Planned Parenthood's macabre baby body parts business

Church Militant covered that story.

In the raid Tuesday the office of Attorney General Kamala Harris seized all of Daleiden's incriminating video footage and according to Daleiden also took much of his personal information. The pro-life activist says the harassment he has received from the California authorities comes as "no surprise" considering that Democrat Kamala Harris was "elected with tens of thousands of dollars" from Planned Parenthood. Daleiden called Harris "Planned Parenthood's bought-and-paid-for AG."

Harris' commitment to abortion has exposed her as an anti-Catholic, according to Steve Cortes writing for RealClearPolitics in 2018.  

In written questions to then-judge nominee Brian Buescher, Sens. Mazie Hirono and Harris challenged Buescher's suitability for the bench based on his membership in the Knights of Columbus. Harris defined the Knights of Columbus as "an all-male society comprised of primarily Catholic men," a society that "opposes a woman's right to choose." 

Cortes compared this line of questioning to McCarthyism where Harris basically asked, "Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Knights of Columbus?"

"Such anti-Catholic bias represents not just a discriminatory affront, but also an unconstitutional religious litmus test for appointees," wrote Cortes. 

"In addition, the actual scandal would be if the Knights did not fully accept church teaching on matters as fundamental as the definition of marriage and the beginning of life," he added.

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