Neighborhood Warned about Accused Pedophile

By Scott Jason
Chico Enterprise Record [California]
October 24, 2005

OROVILLE - A Kelly Ridge subdivision was blanketed with leaflets Saturday in an effort to alert residents that an accused pedophile and defrocked priest lives in the neighborhood. It was not a surprise to some of them.

Seven members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, handed out fliers with a picture of former San Francisco Roman Catholic Monsignor Patrick O'Shea to people on Jack Hill Drive and posted more at the Bidwell Marina.

The flier urges anyone who has been abused by O'Shea, 72, to contact the Oroville Police Department or the survivors network.

"(The victims) are wracked with guilt and shame," said SNAP member Wayne Presley, 46. "It's like a bad dream you can't wake up from."

Presley, of Foster City, accused O'Shea in 1994 of molesting him during retreats at O'Shea's Lake Berryessa home from 1971 to 1976. Presley was an altar boy at Mission Dolores Elementary School.

According to a June 29, 2003, article by the San Francisco Chronicle, Presley's case formed part of a 224-count indictment against O'Shea in 2000. The indictments were dropped in 2003 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a California law extending the legal deadline for child-molestation charges was unconstitutional.

O'Shea was defrocked in 1994 and convicted of stealing about $200,000 from the church in 2004.

Presley said he reached an out-of-court settlement with the Catholic Church in 1996.

Phone calls to O'Shea were not returned and a note left on his door requesting comment was not answered.

Butte County Sheriff Perry Reniff said his office was aware O'Shea moved to Oroville because O'Shea is on probation for the embezzlement from the church. He said there have been no complaints filed about O'Shea.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco agreed to pay $2.6 million to settle two brothers' claims that O'Shea molested them in 1972, according to an Oct. 14 Associated Press story.

Presley said he is alarmed because O'Shea's home and boat near Lake Oroville mirrors the setup O'Shea had at Lake Berryessa.

Other people were molested by O'Shea, Presley said, but refuse to come forward because they don't want to keep remembering the abuse.

"This is a slow death," Presley said. "Each victim is different. Some of us are functional, some of us are not and some of us are dead."

Presley, along with two other men from the survivors network, knocked on O'Shea's door. It didn't appear O'Shea was home, said Presley, who left two fliers and O'Shea's door and speared a third onto a gothic-style yard light.

What would have Presley done if O'Shea answered the door?

"I would have asked if he would talk to me and tell the truth," Presley said. "Come clean so we could move on just a little bit."

Joe Piscitelli, a coordinator for the survivors network, said most people are thankful the group tells them about pedophiles living in their neighborhoods. Others get angry because they don't want to know, he said.

Many neighbors declined to comment.

Ralph Beasley, who lives near O'Shea, said many of the neighbors knew about O'Shea's indictments prior to the survivors group coming.

"Everyone knows who he is," Beasley said. "I don't care for him. The neighborhood ignores him."

Beasley said there are not many children who live in the neighborhood and he isn't bothered by O'Shea living nearby.

"Not as long as he stays out of my way," he said.

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