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Sex Abuse Allegations Against Los Angeles Archdiocese Priests

In Sunday Report: Archdiocese for Years Kept Allegations of Abuse from Police

By Glenn F. Bunting, Ralph Frammolino, and Richard Winton
LA Times
August 18, 2002

[See also the main article in this feature and essays on four accused priests: Revs. Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, Michael S. Baker, Theodore Llanos, and Carl Sutphin.]

The archdiocese has not made the names of accused priests public, but a review of lawsuits, police reports and internal archdiocese records found at least 33 priests and one deacon accused of sexual abuse since Roger M. Mahony became archbishop in 1985.

[ Aguilar Rivera | Ahumada | Baker | Berumen | Bismonte | Caffoe | Cotter | Dawson | Fernando | Fessard | Granadino | Guerrini | Henry | Hernandez | Jayawardene | Kavanaugh | Kearney | Kelly | Llanos | Miller | O'Grady | Pina | Rucker | Salazar | Santillan | Savino | Savrianandam | Silva | Sutphin | Tamayo | Tresler | Van Liefde | Wempe | Wishard ]

Priests Removed This Year


Gerald B. Fessard, 56, pleaded no contest in 1987 to misdemeanors of soliciting lewd acts and battery and received 36 months' probation. Subsequently resided at St. Timothy Church in Los Angeles and St. Luke Church in Temple City. Could not be reached for comment.

Roderic Guerrini, 70, former pastor at St. Mark Church in Venice. LAPD investigating 1992 claims that he engaged in sexual misconduct with two teenage girls in the late 1970s. Living at Los Angeles church retirement home. Denies allegations.

James F. O'Grady, retired in Ireland. Former pastor at St. Anthony Church in El Segundo. LAPD investigating 1997 claim that he molested altar girl years earlier. Incident previously reported to El Segundo police. Could not be reached.

G. Neville Rucker, 81, retired in 1987 as pastor at Corpus Christi Church in Pacific Palisades. Forced to move out of rectory in April. LAPD investigating claims that he molested two girls at St. Anthony Church in El Segundo in 1960s and four girls at St. Agatha Church in Los Angeles in early 1970s. Had no comment.

Carl Sutphin, 70, retired as associate pastor of Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral. LAPD and Ventura County sheriffs investigating claims that he sexually abused two pairs of brothers in 1960s and 1970s. Could not be reached for comment.

Michael Wempe, 62, retired. LAPD and Ventura County sheriffs investigating claims that he molested three boys between 1976 and 1985 while serving at St. Jude Church in Westlake Village, Sacred Heart Church in Ventura County and St. Mary Church in Palmdale. Could not be reached for comment.
John Wishard, 70, retired in 1997. Charged in 1980 with felony oral copulation involving a boy and pleaded no contest. Sentenced to probation. Conviction later dismissed. In 1987, returned to active ministry at St. Genevieve Church in Panorama City and later in Santa Maria. Could not be reached.


Priests Who Fled

Lynn Caffoe, 56, out of ministry. Left in 1994 after a high school student reported allegation of molestation at St. James Church in Redondo Beach to a counselor at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance. Whereabouts unknown.
Tilak Jayawardene, 58, returned to Sri Lanka in 1990. Left post as associate pastor at Glendale's Incarnation Church after learning of abuse allegations by a teenage boy. Charged in 1991 with six counts of oral copulation. Prosecutors seeking extradition.
Patrick Kelly, 71, returned to his native Ireland from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Tujunga after allegedly fondling a young girl. Promised to return to Los Angeles to face charges, but pleaded no contest to misdemeanor from Ireland and received three years' probation.
Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, 60, went to Mexico City after learning of allegations that he sexually abused altar boys at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in El Sereno and St. Agatha Church in Los Angeles. Charges dismissed in Mexico in 1995. LAPD still investigating.
Arulappan Savrianandam, 56, returned to India. At St. Paul of the Cross Church in La Mirada was accused in 1996 by a teenage girl of sexual touching. Left after being sent to a retreat house by the archdiocese.
Santiago Tamayo, died in 1996. Accused in a lawsuit of having sex with an underage girl in the 1970s and '80s while at St. Philomena Church in Carson. Later apologized to victim. After he fled to his native Philippines, the L.A. Archdiocese in 1980s urged him to stay and become a priest there.


Priests Convicted

Richard Allen Henry, 49, sentenced to eight years in prison in 1993 after pleading no contest to committing sex acts on four children from one family at Holy Redeemer Church in Montrose. Registered sex offender. Now living on East Coast.
John Anthony Salazar, 53, sentenced to six years in prison in 1988 after pleading guilty to molesting two boys, ages 13 and 14, in his living quarters at St. Lucy Church in East Los Angeles. Registered sex offender.
Deacon Arturo Ahumada, 46, sentenced to a year in County Jail in June for providing pornographic material to two boys and committing sexual battery on another while serving at Epiphany Church in South El Monte.


Charges Dismissed

Theodore Llanos, committed suicide in 1997. Charged in 1995 on 38 counts of sexual abuse of minors while serving at St. Barnabas Church in Long Beach and other parishes. A judge dismissed all charges in 1996 because statute of limitations had expired.

 

Other Priests Under Investigation


Michael S. Baker, 54, resigned in 2000. Admitted molesting two boys to Cardinal Mahony in 1986. Reassigned to several parishes until archdiocese agreed to $1.3-million settlement with two brothers in 2000. Los Angeles County sheriff investigating. Had no comment.

Matthias Berumen, 41, out of ministry. A 25-year-old adult male said he was abused from 1985 to 1988 while Berumen served at St. Martha Church in Valinda. Los Angeles district attorney examining files. Could not be reached.
Honesto Bismonte, 72, on leave pending charges filed in April on four counts of lewd conduct with two teenage girls in Fontana between 1997 and 2001 while at St. Joseph Church in Pomona. Pleaded not guilty.

Patrick Cotter, 70, retired. L.A. County sheriff investigating claims that he molested a teenage girl about a decade ago while serving at St. Joseph Church in Pomona. Could not be reached.

John Dawson, 61, out of ministry. LAPD investigating claims that he molested three boys in the 1970s and 1980s while serving at Our Lady of Refuge Church in Long Beach and St. Sebastian Church in Los Angeles. Removed after allegation in 1992 of sexually abusing a boy in 1970s. Could not be reached.

Walter Fernando, 58, on inactive leave from Assumption Church in Pasadena. LAPD investigating claim that he fondled a teenage girl in the 1980s while serving at St. Hilary Church in Pico Rivera. Denies allegations.

David Granadino, 46, on inactive leave as pastor at St. Francis of Rome Church in Azusa. L.A. County sheriff investigating claim that he molested a teenage boy in the 1980s in Norwalk. Denies allegations.

Stephen Hernandez, 68, on inactive leave. LAPD investigating claim that he repeatedly fondled a teenage boy from 1998 to 2002 at county Central Juvenile Hall. Denies allegations.

Philip Kavanaugh, 56, on inactive leave as pastor of Precious Blood Church in Los Angeles. LAPD investigating claims that he molested a teenager in 1973 while serving at Cathedral Chapel in Los Angeles. Could not be reached.
Christopher Kearney, 59, at left, is on inactive leave. L.A. County sheriff investigating claims that he molested several boys during impromptu wrestling matches between 1970 and 1995 at St. Francis High School in La Canada Flintridge. Could not be reached.

George Miller, 64, retired. LAPD investigating claims that he molested boys during the 1970s and 1980s while serving at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima. Denies allegations.

Joseph Pina, 56, at left. L.A. County sheriff investigating claims that he sexually abused a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s while serving at a Los Angeles parish. Could not be reached.
Dominic Savino, 63, on inactive leave. Removed as president of Encino's Crespi Catholic boys school. LAPD is investigating claims that he molested minors in the 1970s and 1980s. Could not be reached.
John Santillan, 63, now in Bolivia. LAPD investigating claim that he sexually abused an altar boy in the 1970s while serving at Santa Teresita Church in Los Angeles. Denies allegations.
Fidencio Silva, 54. Oxnard police investigating claim he sexually abused eight boys from 1979-85 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Alleged victims suing Silva and archdiocese. Now in Mexico. Denies allegations.
Carl Tresler, 37. Authorities investigating claim that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old boy in 1998 while serving at Resurrection Church in Los Angeles. Removed from ministry in Los Angeles. Now serving as a priest in Peru. Could not be reached for comment.
Monsignor Christian Van Liefde, 53, on inactive leave as pastor of St. Genevieve Church in Panorama City. LAPD investigating claim that he sexually abused a minor in 1974. Could not be reached.

 


 
 

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