Defrocked priest Oliver O'Grady has cost diocese in California over $30m in abuse compensation

DEFROCKED Irish paedophile priest Oliver O'Grady forced a brother and a sister to perform sex acts on each other after he raped and sexually assaulted them in California over a number of years, the Sunday Tribune can reveal.

The brother and sister, who were aged seven and eight respectively when O'Grady began to abuse them in Presentation parish in California in the mid '80s, were awarded $2m (€1.5m) in compensation in recent weeks.

The diocese of Stockton in California settled the case after a number of pre-trial hearings. In total, it is estimated that the diocese of Stockton has paid out over $30m (€23.3m) to victims of the convicted sex abuser.

Attorney Anthony De Marco, at the law firm Kiesel Boucher Larson in LA, took the civil action on behalf of the siblings.

"The abuse was as awful as you can imagine. O'Grady used to go into their classroom and take them out of class; they attended a Catholic elementary school. It was attached to a church and he would take them into the church to abuse them. He would abuse them in front of each other. He forced one child to watch while he abused the other. He even made them do things to each other. He coerced them to abuse each other," De Marco told the Sunday Tribune.

"The abuse went on for a few years. He also abused them in their family home. It was rape and sexual assault in both cases. The abuse was horrific. They are coping as best they can, they have obviously had a lot of therapy. I think coming forward helped them and getting resolution is helping towards their healing. But nothing will take away the images in their minds. I have dealt with over 400 victims of sexual abuse in southern California and come across some truly horrific offenders. But when I read the Oliver O'Grady file, the level of callousness and disregard for children appalled me."

O'Grady was deported to Ireland in 2000 after spending seven years in prison in the US for sexually abusing two boys. He still lives here. He has admitted to sexually abusing many children in depositions, but has only been convicted for abuse against two boys. Dozens of victims of the former cleric have since come forward.

The former priest obtained notoriety when he agreed to feature in a documentary discussing his sexual abuse of children. Deliver Us From Evil, which was nominated for an Oscar, was released in 2006 and many of O'Grady's victims also featured in it, discussing the impact his abuse has had on their lives.

The documentary also explored how high-ranking clergy in California moved O'Grady from one parish to another over several years when allegations of sexual abuse began to emerge.