During a confidential deposition over two full days in May and June 2014, Dan Gallagher – the Philadelphia native whose varying and preposterous tales of abuse as an altar boy in the late 1990s landed three Catholic priests and a school teacher in prison – stated more than 130 times that he could not remember some very basic facts about his claims.
That is just one of the many eye-popping new details appearing in this week's issue of Newsweek uncovered by veteran journalist Ralph Cipriano, who continues to doggedly pursue the cause for justice for the wrongfully incarcerated men. (For those who are new to the Philly story, we suggest background here and here.)
According to Cipriano, Gallagher stated in his deposition that he could not remember telling his doctors and drug counselors in the past that he had been:
- sexually abused by a friend at age 6;
- sexually abused by a neighbor at 6;
- sexually abused by a teacher at age 7;
- sexually molested at 6 (or 8) by an unknown assailant;
- sexually molested at 8 (or 9) by a friend; and
- sexually abused at 9 by a 14-year-old boy.
And Gallagher admitted at the deposition that none of these prior allegations were true.
[Note: Graphic descriptions of abuse accusations follow]If all that were not enough, according to Cipriano, Gallagher also admitted that he somehow "didn't remember telling two archdiocese social workers wild stories about being anally raped by a priest for five hours in the church sacristy; being tied up naked with altar boy sashes by another priest; and being forced to suck blood off of the other priest's penis."
In addition, when Gallagher was asked about whether he remembered telling a drug counselor that his hands were tied during an alleged sexual assault by a priest, Gallagher simply replied, "I really don't remember what I told him."
"Were your hands ever tied up during any of the sexual assaults?" the questioner asked.
"No," Gallagher replied.
Remember that these admissions are in addition to many other facts that Cipriano has already uncovered, which call into question Gallagher's claims, such as:
- Gallagher has admitted that he lied when he said he worked as a paramedic and a "professional surfer" (yes, a professional surfer from Philadelphia);
- Even members of the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office itself did not believe Gallagher's wild claims and questioned whether they should even move forward with the case;
- An alternate juror even came forward after the trial in which Gallagher put two priests and a teacher in prison with the dramatic charge that the guilty verdicts were "insane," "incredible," and "a tragic miscarriage of justice."
Yet in his deposition, the one story that Gallagher did obstinately stick to was his wild drama of being raped by two priests and a schoolteacher.
Oh, and Gallagher did admit to being a drug dealer and being arrested a half dozen times for drugs and retail theft. [Check out a court summary of Gallagher's extensive arrest record.]
And as far as the oft-heard claim from victim advocates and Church-suing lawyers that "memory lapses" from Gallagher stem from the trauma of his sexual abuse, Cipriano quotes Dr. James I. Hudson, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the director of the biological psychiatry laboratory at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, who declares:
"There is no legitimate scientific evidence that psychological trauma can cause the massive amount of inconsistencies and contradictions that is exhibited by Mr. Gallagher's reports of the allegations of sexual abuse."
And the Philly Inky remains silent
After Cipriano's second article about the case appeared last week in Newsweek – his first article was in January – TheMediaReport.com wrote to Philadelphia Inquirer Editor-in-chief Bill Marimow and other editors at the Inky to ask if there were any plans to finally expose this fraud to its readers in Philadelphia.
It would seem to be the least they could do after running scores and scores of front-page articles promoting Gallagher's dubious claims and giving free publicity to publicity-hound D.A. Seth Williams, who organized the witch hunt against the three priests and Catholic school teacher.
Not surprisingly, we have received no response.