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. . . Reveals a Pattern of Molestation, Silence

San Jose Mercury News
December 31, 1987

[See a linked list of all the articles in the Priests Who Molest series.]

[Note: Our source for this article is missing 1 1/2 columns on the left (see a PDF of the original article). We are searching for a complete copy, but in the meantime we offer a partial transcript here.]

[Carmel]o "Mel" Baltazar
* DATE: 1985
* STATE: Idaho
* AREA: Diocese of Boise
* HISTORY: Sentenced to seven ... prison for luring two ... boys to his house and ... them after giving them ... [d]rugs and pornography. ... out of the U.S. Navy, ... was a chaplain, and ... [pre]vious dioceses for simi[lar condu]ct.
     ... [att]orney who sued the dio[cese] ... that Baltazar's previous ... at Queen of the Valley ... in Napa, where he fon[dled] ... y on a dialysis machine. ... being told about this, a ... hospital in Boise hired ... then took no action after ... opal minister reported to ... Sylvester Treinen that ... 51, had fondled a boy in ... g traction.
     ... Judge Alan Schwartz- ... [sen]tenced Baltazar, he said: ["]... the Catholic Church has ... ment to make as well. ... ped create you."
     ... Treinen said this ... I've felt all along we've ... [ev]erything we can do. ... en prudently careful all ... r years. No matter how ... take care of your car, ... r how safe your car is, ... [st]ill going to have an acci[dent no]w and then. Or a flat ...


[John A]nthony Salazar
* DATE: 1987
* STATE: California
* AREA: Archdiocese of Los Angeles
* HISTORY: Sentenced to six ... prison for engaging in ... [cop]ulation with two altar ... .
     [Salaza]r, 31, was left in his posi[tion desp]ite one mother's report ... son had been molested in ... e family sued recently ... million. Archdiocesan of[ficials] ... d not comment.


Alvin L. Campbell
* DATE: 1985
* STATE: Illinois
* AREA: Diocese of Springfield
* HISTORY: Sentenced to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing seven boys while pastor of St. Maurice Parish in Morrisonville.
     Campbell, 62, was sent to the remote St. Maurice parish in 1982. Police said he forced himself on the victims, then gave them lavish gifts to keep quiet. Campbell later admitted he had molested boys for more than 20 years.
     "They handled it the way they handle every other problem," said Ray McGrew of the Illinois Division of Criminal Investigation. "They remove the problem to someplace else and forget it."
      The same diocese paid $2.5 million, one source said, to three families who sued when a pattern of transferring from parish to parish was uncovered with Father Walter Weerts, sentenced last year to six years in prison for performing oral sex on three teenage boys.
     Diocesan officials refused to discuss the cases.

Ronald Lane Fontenot
* DATE: 1983-86
* STATE: Washington state
* AREA: Diocese of Spokane
* HISTORY: Suspended from a parish in Lafayette, La., for molesting a young boy; accepted as counselor at a center that treats adolescent drug and alcohol abusers in Spokane.
     Fontenot, 41, was arrested last year after teenage boys complained he engaged in oral copulation with one and fondled four others. He was convicted and sentenced to one year in jain, two years in a treatment program.

Andrew Christian Andersen
* DATE: 1986
* STATE: California
* AREA: Diocese of Orange
* HISTORY: Found guilty on 26 counts of child molestation; received five years' probation on condition he go to a church-owed treatment facility in New Mexico.
     Andersen, 35, was reported to authorities by a psychiatrist counseling a 13-year-old altar boy. The church never told authorities of abuse reported three years earlier, when it sent Andersen to counseling, and did not remove him from supervising boys. As soon as counseling stopped, molestings began.

William O'Connell
* DATE: 1986
* STATE: Rhode Island
* AREA: Diocese of Providence
* HISTORY: Sentenced to one year in prison and two years at Catholic treatment center in Maryland after pleading no contest to 26 counts of abusing a dozen boys.
      The Providence Journal reported that in November 1983, 18 months before O'Connell was arrested, two priests talked at least four times to Auxiliary Bishop Kenneth A. Angell, about their suspicions that O'Connell, 64, was involved with teenage boys.
      One of the priests told Angell, "there was an explosion waiting to happen," the paper said. "If there's evidence, let them produce it," Angell responded.
     A $14 million lawsuit against the diocese by the mother of one of the victims is still pending. Another priest in the diocese, Paul Leech, was sentenced to three years in prison in 1985 for molesting three teen-age boys at his parish.

Thomas Bender
* DATE: 1987
* STATE: Pennsylvania
* AREA: Diocese of Allentown
* HISTORY: Arraigned Nov. 20 on charges of indecent assault on a minor.
     Civil lawsuit filed Aug. 5 accuses Bender, 53, of engaging in oral and anal intercourse with a Pottsville, Pa., boy from the time he was 10 until he was 16 and with photographing him engaging in acts with other adult homosexuals.
     The suit says that Allentown Bishop Thomas J. Welsh and other top diocesan officials knew about Bender's activities and told the child victim to tell no one, incuding parents. The diocese has not commented on the allegation.


Timothy Slevin

* DATE: 1986
* AREA: Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
* HISTORY: Sentenced to three to 12 years after pleading guilty to four counts of sodomizing one boy at Sacred Heart Catholic School.
     Slevin told police he sexually abused six other boys aged 10 to 16, some as many as 20 times, after he was hired in 1980 to coach the boys' basketball team. Slevin, 48, is a former cleric who left the priesthood in 1974. While a priest, he received treatment after he was accused of fondling children, according to a prosecutor's report.
     After being arrested in 1985, Slevin admitted abusing other boys. The archdiocese offered psychological help only to victims who came forward, an archdiocese spokeswoman said.
     The mother of one of the boys sued the church for $200 million; the case was settled out of court.

 
 

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