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LA Archdiocese Sued For Alleged Abuse Cover-Up

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A group comprised of child sexual abuse victims and their supporters alleged on Wednesday that officials with the Los Angeles Archdiocese tried to cover up allegations that a former staffer had abused and videotaped a Catholic high school student.

KNX 1070’s Vytas Safronikas reports John Malburg was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2009 after pleading guilty to sexually molesting a male student and videotaping another one for commercial purposes.

Malburg, 43, was dean of students at now-closed Daniel Murphy Catholic High, which was closed by the Archdiocese in 2007 in an effort to help pay for its share of a $660 million settlement with families of abuse victims.

But now a complaint filed on behalf of former Daniel Murphy Catholic High School student John Doe TD against the archdiocese and John Malburg alleges sexual battery, negligence and fraudulent conveyance and claims church officials tried to cover up the allegations as early as 2005.

“Cardinal Mahony needs to be held accountable for this,” said Joelle Casteix of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests(SNAP) . “They found out that he was surreptitiously filming his students and making child pornography, and instead of calling the police, they did nothing.”

Archdiocese spokesman Tod M. Tamberg disputed that allegation and said Malburg was removed by church officials once police notified them of the charges.

“The archdiocese first became aware of the investigation from the police and fully cooperated with the investigation,” he said. “Malburg was immediately removed from his position and archdiocesan officials met with parents at the school.”

The plaintiff, now an adult, alleges he was coerced into appearing in a series of pornographic videos being produced by Malburg. At the time, Malburg was a teacher as well as the vice principal and dean of students at the school, which closed in 2009.

In addition to the allegations against Malburg and the archdiocese, the complaint alleges that Malburg’s parents, Dominica and former Vernon Mayor Leonis Malburg, were involved in a fraudulent scheme to transfer property assets in order for their son to avoid civil judgment claims.

The younger Malburg pleaded no contest to continuous sexual abuse of a minor and using a minor for commercial sex acts and was sentenced to eight years in state prison in a plea deal in which 12 other counts were dismissed.

One of the named victims in the criminal complaint was the plaintiff, according to his attorneys.

Malburg pleaded no contest in a separate case to conspiracy to commit voter registration fraud, voter registration fraud and perjury by declaration, and was sentenced in that case to three years and four months in state prison.

His father was convicted of charges including fraudulent voting and conspiracy for falsely claiming to live in the tiny municipality of Vernon, while his mother was convicted of conspiracy and fraudulent voting.

Leonis Malburg was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $579,000 in fines and restitution, while Dominica Malburg was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $36,000 in fines and penalty assessments.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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