In December 2010 police discovered a laptop computer accidentally left aboard an Aer Lingus flight, scheduled to travel from Amsterdam to Dublin, and were appalled to discover that numerous images of child pornography were stored on the device.
After an investigation, Irish Police discovered that it was owned by Oliver O’Grady, a pedophile with a horrific record of child abuse stretching back some thirty years across the Stockton Diocese in the State of California where he had practiced as a Catholic Priest.
During this time he sexually molested and abused at least 25 children and was sentenced to 14 years gaol in 1993. It was alleged that Roger Mahony, Bishop of Stockton after 1980, had knowledge of at least some of these crimes but had failed to act appropriately, instead attempting to conceal the incidents to avoid bad publicity.
O’Grady’s actions, together with the alleged cover up orchestrated by the Church, led to a major scandal when it was revealed that several other priests working around Los Angeles from the 1970’s to 1990’s had also engaged in pedophilia. However instead of being reported to police the priests were typically relocated within the Church, with details of their conduct withheld from the public.
These events eventually led to the dismissal of several priests from the Los Angeles Diocese in 2002, and a financial settlement of a record $660 million dollars was paid to 508 victims of sexual abuse across the previous three decades.
A documentary film about O’Grady’s life – “Deliver Us From Evil” – was produced by Amy Berg in 2006, with the full cooperation of O’Grady. The film details his offences and the elaborate attempts by the Church to conceal his conduct from public scrutiny. It proved to be a particularly hard-hitting film and eventually won the Best Documentary Award at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival.
In 2012 O’Grady served another gaol sentence in Ireland for the possession of child pornography.
Image: Oliver O’Grady – screenshot from Deliver Us From Evil.