Menlo Park Priest Pleads Guilty to Sex Offense

San Francisco Chronicle
August 23, 2000

A Menlo Park priest charged with five counts of distributing harmful matter to a minor over the Internet pleaded guilty yesterday in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose.

As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, the Rev. Carl Anthony Schipper, 57, now faces up to a year in the Santa Clara County Jail. If he had been convicted at trial, he could have been sentenced to as much as two years and 10 months, said Deputy District Attorney James Sibley.

Schipper may be placed on probation for up to five years and will be required to register as a sex offender, Sibley said. Sentencing is scheduled for October 10 in San Jose.

Schipper, who has been out on bail since March, was arrested at his Santa Rosa home on a $50,000 warrant charging him with distributing harmful matter to a minor.

San Jose detectives began an investigation in September when a teenage boy showed up in the police department's sexual-assault unit with an Internet screen name written on his hand. Though the boy did not identify Schipper, the screen name -- Srcasa -- matched Schipper's.

Investigators then started looking to see whether Schipper had been using his computer to solicit minors. Police seized Schipper's computers at the seminary and his home in Sonoma County.

Following his arrest in March, Schipper was relieved of his duties at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, where he worked as an instructor. Schipper, who has a long history of teaching in San Mateo County, also was placed on administrative leave.


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