Ex-Priest, Child Molester Is Paroled|
Rodrigue Had Ties to San Diego Area
By Sandi Dolbee
January 26, 2006
A former San Diego priest and convicted child molester was released from prison yesterday and is staying in a San Bernardino motel while parole authorities try to make longer-term arrangements, according to his brother.
"No one wants to accept him," said Tom Rodrigue, younger brother to Edward Anthony Rodrigue, who served parishes in the San Diego and San Bernardino Roman Catholic dioceses for about 20 years from the 1960s to the 1980s. "Part of that is the notoriety and part of that is the crime."
Edward Anthony Rodrigue, 69, was sentenced in 1998 to 10 years in state prison for molesting an 11-year-old developmentally disabled boy in San Bernardino County. He is facing at least 19 civil lawsuits filed by men who allege he molested them while he was a priest and they were minors.
While the former priest declined to be interviewed, his brother described him as being "very glad to be out" and "very positive about the future."
Under terms of his parole, Edward Anthony Rodrigue has a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, is wearing an electronic monitor on his ankle and will undergo extensive therapy, according to his brother.
He also cannot attend any church services, his brother said.
Rodrigue's release prompted a victims rights group on Tuesday to urge bishops to warn parishioners.
"While we are thankful that he is no longer a Roman Catholic priest with unfettered access to children in Catholic parishes or schools, we know that Rodrigue's release from prison will undoubtedly place children at risk of abuse again," said the letter from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests to Bishops Robert Brom of San Diego and Gerald Barnes of San Bernardino.
A San Diego diocese spokesman confirmed the letter was received but said the diocese had no comment.
San Diego attorney Irwin Zalkin, who is handling several of the lawsuits involving Rodrigue, echoed SNAP's concern. "I think he's a threat to any child," Zalkin said.
Rodrigue made headlines last year after he said in court papers that at least one bishop knew of the accusations against him but allowed him to continue to work as a priest.
According to his statement, in 1976 he discussed accusations made against him with the late Bishop Leo Maher of San Diego. He said Maher ordered psychological treatment, after which he returned to parish work and was transferred as other accusations were made.
Rodrigue was ordained in San Diego in 1962, when the diocese included San Bernardino and Riverside counties. He retired in 1982 from the Diocese of San Bernardino. Ten years later, he agreed to be removed from the priesthood.
Sandi Dolbee: (619) 293-2082; email@example.com
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