Laura Ann DeCrescenzo, Ex-OC Scientologist, Gets Judge Removed in Coerced-Abortion Suit

scientology-spyentology-ocw-cover.jpg
A woman who began doing volunteer work for the Church of Scientology in Orange County when she was age 6 or 7 got a judge removed Wednesday in her lawsuit against the institution that she alleges coerced her into having an abortion when she was 17.

The lawsuit first filed by Laura Ann DeCrescenzo in 2009 alleges the Church of Scientology engaged in human trafficking, obstructing justice, employment violations, discrimination and violation of privacy. It's being heard in the same Los Angeles Superior Court civil courthouse that DeCrescenzo claims to have picketed at age 7 with other church members out to prove the institution would "go to every length to bring down people who filed lawsuits" against the Church of Scientology. That's right, Marty McFly, she essentially protested against her future self.

Paulien Lombard Was a Spyentologist: A former spy for Scientology came clean on abuses. Now, she says, the church is chasing her

DeCrescenzo's attorney John Blumberg convinced Judge Richard Rico to remove himself from the case due to the jurist's social relationship with LA Superior Court Judge Leslie Swain and her husband Bert Deixler, who is an attorney for the church. Blumberg explained he did not believe Rico would have been biased but that he perhaps could have been "unconsciously favorable" in rulings due to his friendship with Deixler and Swain.

It's now up to the court's presiding judge to reassign the case, perhaps in as early as two weeks, reports City News Service.

Rico had inherited the case from Judge Ronald Sohigian, who retired on April 16. Sohigian had dismissed the suit in March 2010, after the defense argued too much time had passed before DeCrescenzo sued.

A three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal reversed that decision in June 2011, sending the case back to Sohigian to determine whether the church could raise the statute of limitations as a defense.

Years after joining the church in Orange County, DeCrescenzo claims she was 12 when she was recruited to join its elite Sea Org, for which she claims to have been initially required to work for daily from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Two more hours a day were later tacked on, she adds.

DeCrescenzo says she became pregnant in February 1996, alleging the church persuaded her to abort her fetus to show her allegiance to Sea Org and the long hours. It's an allegation other women have made dating back to Sea Org's operations at sea during the mid-1970s through the opening of the Scientology and Sea Org land base in Hemet.

Claiming to have been told she could never leave Sea Org, DeCrescenzo alleges she only managed to do so in 2004 when, by then 25, she pretended to attempt suicide by swallowing bleach. She left the church for good four years later.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
5 comments
Dàrth Pöwers
Dàrth Pöwers

Sounds like someone needs an auditing session. E-meter time!

Kelly Hughes Davis
Kelly Hughes Davis

Only Scientology is a crazier religion than (fill in the religion of your choice).

deanblair06
deanblair06

I truly hope that Laura wins this case and that others will follow.  David Miscavige is a creep and in fact did implement abortions throughout the Sea Org.  He should get his reward for doing this.


zxemooo
zxemooo

Good for Laura, long past time the Church of $cientology was held responsible for its actions.

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

General

Loading...