|Diocese of Phoenix's List of Those Accused of Sexual Abuse
By Michael Clancy
June 15, 2011
It is almost impossible to put an exact number on Catholic priests and church employees who have been accused of sexually abusing underage people, especially in the Diocese of Phoenix. The problem arises out of the nature of the diocese itself, with numerous priests from religious orders, priests from elsewhere working here temporarily, even priests from the Tucson diocese, which included Phoenix prior to 1969.
Of the six clergy identified on the diocese website since 2007, only two were part of the Diocese of Phoenix.
The latest list is:
- Former priest Louis Ladenburger, a Franciscan who was arrested in Montana in 2007 on charges of abusing a young man in Idaho. No allegations had been made against Ladenburger locally at the time of the announcement, although he worked at St. Mary's High School, St. Mary's Basilica, St. Joan of Arc and Franciscan Renewal Center in the Phoenix diocese at different periods starting in the mid-1960s.
- The Rev. Jorge Cordova, who was indicted in Maricopa County in 2007, was charged with the abuse of a 13-year-old girl when he worked at St. Augustine and Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Glendale in the early 1990s.
- Former priest Donald McGuire is a Jesuit who was indicted in 2008 in Maricopa County for abuse that took place during visits to the Valley. He is believed to have conducted retreats in the state.
- The Rev. Loren Riebe, a Los Angeles priest, worked at St. Maria Goretti in Scottsdale for two years in the '90s, and presented mission appeals at several churches here. No allegations are pending against him locally, although the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was investigating him.
- Deacon Maxwell Rollin (Ron) Pelton of Cottonwood was charged in 2009 in Yavapai County with several criminal counts relating to the sexual abuse of a minor. Pelton served as a deacon in Cottonwood from 1991-2000.
Outcomes on those five cases are unknown.
- Former priest Dale Fushek, who was laicized and later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of assault. Fushek faced numerous misdemeanors for activities related to his time at St. Timothy in Mesa. He currently is pastor at the Praise and Worship Center in Gilbert.
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