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  California
10 Priests with the Most Accusations

Los Angeles Times
February 18, 2004

More allegations of sexual misconduct have been made against these 10 priests than any others, according to a report by the archdiocese. Included are civil and criminal allegations and complaints to the church. Some have been discredited.

George Neville Rucker, retired in 1987 as priest at Corpus Christi Church in Pacific Palisades. He has been accused of molesting 38 girls from 1947 to 1980 while at St. Anthony Parish in El Segundo and St. Agatha Parish in Los Angeles. Rucker, 82, was charged in 2002 with 29 counts of molesting girls and was plucked off a cruise ship bound for Russia by authorities fearing that he would try to flee prosecution. The charges were dropped in July 2003 after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down the law allowing such prosecutions. Several civil suits are pending.

Fidencio Silva, Missionaries of the Holy Sprit priest in Mexico. He has been accused of molesting 28 young boys from 1978 to 1986 at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oxnard. Silva, 53, was charged with 25 counts of child molestation in 2002 involving boys between the ages of 11 and 15. Those charges were dropped after the 2003 Supreme Court ruling. Several civil suits are pending

Michael Stephen Baker, a defrocked priest. He has been accused of molesting 23 boys and girls from 1974 to 1999. Baker, 56, was charged with 34 counts of child molestation in connection with a boy he allegedly abused during the 1970s and 1980s, but the case was dismissed after the Supreme Court ruling. Baker told then-Archbishop Roger M. Mahony in 1986 that he had abused two or three boys, though Baker stayed in the ministry until 2000. Mahony transferred Baker to nine parishes, many temporary assignments, after learning about the priest's history of alleged sex abuse and sending him to therapy. In 2000, the cardinal approved a confidential $1.3-million settlement to two youths. Mahony removed Baker from the ministry that year without notifying authorities. Multiple civil suits have been filed

Theodore Llanos, deceased. He has been accused of molesting 21 youths from 1972 to 1991. Llanos was charged with 38 counts of sexual abuse of minors in 1995 in various parishes in Covina, Bellflower and Long Beach. Long Beach police say the archdiocese did not cooperate. The charges were dismissed in February 1996 by a judge, who ruled that the statute of limitations had expired. In January 1997, Llanos committed suicide. Because several of Llanos' victims and their families filed a lawsuit, the archdiocese cut off payments in 1996 to counselors who were providing psychiatric treatment to them.

Clinton V. Hagenbach, deceased. He has been accused of sexually assaulting or molesting 18 youths from 1968 to 1986 at four of the eight Los Angeles-area parishes where the priest served before his death in 1987. The archdiocese in June 2002 paid $1.5 million to settle a man's claim that he was abused as a child. Several civil suits are pending.

Carl M. Sutphin, 71, has been accused of molesting 18 youths from 1958 to 1978. He was charged with molesting six boys, age 7 to 12, from 1968 to 1978 while he was associate pastor at St. Mary Magdalen Church in Camarillo and a chaplain at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard. The charges were dropped last year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the case was barred because of time limits.

Richard Allen Henry, 57, has been accused of molesting 13 youths from 1982 to 1992. He pleaded guilty in 1991 to sexually abusing four boys who attended his church -- Holy Redeemer in Montrose -- during a six-year period that ended in 1991. He later served three years of an eight-year prison sentence. Last year he was living in Maryland.

Donald Patrick Roemer has been accused of molesting 13 youths from 1962 to 1981. He was sentenced to a state hospital in 1981 and placed on 10 years' probation in 1983 for child molestation.

Michael E. Wempe, 64, has been accused of molesting 13 youths from 1972 to 1995. He is in County Jail awaiting a criminal trial on three counts of lewd conduct with a boy and a count of sexual assault between 1990 and 1995. Criminal charges that he had molested the boy's two brothers and three other children were dismissed last summer after the U.S. Supreme Court barred the prosecution of older cases.

Nicolas Aguilar- Rivera, a visiting priest from Mexico, has been accused of molesting 19 youths in 1987. He was charged the next year with 19 felony counts involving the alleged sexual abuse of 10 altar boys while assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in El Sereno. He fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution.

 
 

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