Former Eureka Priest Accused of Molesting Boys Sentenced to Prison in Ireland
March 22, 2013
A former Catholic priest who once served in Eureka has been sentenced to 18 months in prison in his native Ireland for molesting two boys more than 30 years ago.
Patrick Joseph McCabe, 77, who fought his extradition from the Bay Area in 2011, pleaded guilty and was sentenced today at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.
Four Humboldt County men filed lawsuits in Sonoma County Superior Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa in 2010, alleging they were repeatedly molested by McCabe when he was at St. Bernard's Parish in the 1980s.
McCabe was transferred to St. Bernard's Parish -- which comprises St. Bernard's and St. Joseph churches -- in 1983 after molestation allegations began surfacing against him in Dublin. McCabe arrived in Eureka, reportedly just months after he was deemed a pedophile, enrolled in a treatment program and was placed on medications intended to rein in his sexual desires. He was transferred out of Eureka to a Guerneville church in 1985.
Three of the men settled their lawsuit in 2012 for $550,000, according to the Press Democrat. A fourth case was rewritten due to statute of limitation issues.
Sacramento attorney Joseph George, who represented the plaintiffs in the case, did not immediately return a phone call and email seeking comment.
In an earlier interview with the Times-Standard, George described the case as “a true international conspiracy.”
McCabe also received an 18-month sentence in Ireland last year for abusing boys.
The former priest was working as an administrator at the Water's Edge Lodge nursing home in Alameda when Interpol located him in September 2007.
Two Irish police officers also visited Alameda and interviewed McCabe before he was extradited to Ireland in June 2011.
One of his victims, James Moran, now 50, said McCabe “changed the path of my life forever” in a statement he prepared for Irish authorities as part of the prosecution.
”For me it was a turning point, initially I was shocked, confused and nervous,” said Moran, who waived his right to anonymity following today's sentencing. “I didn't know who to trust. I couldn't concentrate on anything.”
McCabe targeted Moran in January 1976 at a boarding school in County Kildare after he saw his photo while visiting Moran's family and thought the youth was attractive.
Another boy was abused in the parochial house of the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin, according to investigators.
”We are glad that Fr. Patrick McCabe has received prison time for abusing two 13-year-old boys in the 1970s,” said Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. “We are especially grateful that McCabe was not let off the hook because of his advanced age. Children are always safer when predators are behind bars, whether that predator is 20 or 80.”
According to a 2009 Irish government report on sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, officials in the Dublin Archdiocese moved priests such as McCabe to the United States and other locations after they became aware of complaints against them.
At least three former parishioners have sued the Santa Rosa Diocese -- where McCabe worked from 1983 until his forced resignation in 1987 -- alleging that McCabe molested them. He served in Guerneville, Sacramento, Eureka, Stockton before leaving the priesthood in 1988.