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JUSTICE KENNEDY DENIES SCIENTOLOGY REQUEST FOR STAY IN FORCED-ABORTION CASE

SCOTUSWe just received a call from the U.S. Supreme Court informing us that Justice Anthony Kennedy has denied the Church of Scientology’s application for an emergency stay in Laura DeCrescenzo’s four-year lawsuit. For the moment, that leaves the church with no legal way to avoid turning over thousands of pages of evidence to DeCrescenzo, which was ordered by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Sohigian.

As we reported yesterday, the church had asked Kennedy to stay Sohigian’s order as it once again appealed the decision that it must turn over to DeCrescenzo her “pc files” — hundreds of folders of confessional material compiled during her 13 years as an employee of Scientology’s “Sea Org.” In her lawsuit, DeCrescenzo is alleging abuse, including being forced to have an abortion at 17. Twice before, the church had appealed Sohigian’s order to turn over DeCrescenzo’s files and had lost.

The court’s spokesman explained to us that the church does still have some options.

As we posted yesterday, the church has filed for a writ of certiorari, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to examine the California Supreme Court’s denial of its previous appeal. But that takes quite a bit of time, and won’t stop Sohigian’s order in the meantime, which compels the church to turn over DeCrescenzo’s files on Tuesday, July 2.

However, the church can file another application for an emergency stay with another justice, and given Scientology’s history, we wouldn’t be surprised if it does just that.

For now, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to delay Sohigian’s order, and on Tuesday the church will finally have to give DeCrescenzo her own confessional files.

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Please see our previous stories, which explain the church’s position — that the “pc files” should be protected under California’s priest-penitent statute, which keeps confidential what is said in confessionals. But in this case, DeCrescenzo is the “penitent” and wants possession of her confessional files.

Once again, we’ll post what this case is really all about: Scientology is fighting so hard because just imagine if Laura DeCrescenzo gives this evidence on a witness stand….

 

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on June 26, 2013 at 16:50

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