Archdiocese: Church Told to Keep Quiet about Sex Crime Investigation

November 19, 2006

Los Angeles -- A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles said prosecutors told church officials not to tell parents that the dean of students at Daniel Murphy Catholic High School was under investigation for sex crimes, it was reported Saturday.

Tod Tamburg of the archdiocese said prosecutors told church officials not to tell parents about the investigation of John Joseph Malburg, but Sandi Gibbons of the District Attorney's Office denied it.

Prosecutors "never told them not to tell the parents," Gibbons told the Los Angeles Times. "They were told not to tell the suspect we were investigating him but never told not to tell the parents."

Tamberg stood by his statement, "regardless of what the D.A.'s office may have told you," he wrote in an e-mail to The Times.

On Thursday, Malburg, 37, pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually abused two boys, posed a third in a sexually explicit video produced for commercial purposes and videotaped several minors without their knowledge while they showered at his Hancock Park home.

Malburg is also charged in a political corruption probe in the industrial city of Vernon, where his father is the longtime mayor.

Parents at the school were notified Friday that Malburg was accused of abusing three students and another minor over the past decade. He was fired in July but continued to videotape an unsuspecting minor in the shower for two months, according to a criminal complaint.

Steve Sanchez of the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests told The Times the archdiocese should have notified parents as soon as they became aware of the investigation.

"The archdiocese of L.A. clearly cannot police itself," said Sanchez, who has a molestation lawsuit pending against the church.

The archdiocese is in settlement talks involving more than 500 sexual abuse lawsuits against clergymen. Six of those accused worked at Daniel Murphy but not in recent years.

As dean of students, Malburg was one of the top three administrators at the boys school. He had worked there since 1997, The Times reported. In the abuse case, Malburg faces 12 charges, 10 of them felonies. He is free on $495,000 bail.


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