Defrocked Priest Settles Molestation Lawsuit

By Cicero A. Estrella
San Francisco Chronicle
April 4, 2006

A defrocked priest who has admitted molesting numerous boys from 1969 to 1980 on Tuesday settled a lawsuit filed by three of his former altar boys.

Patrick O'Shea, 73, agreed in Oakland Superior Court to pay $100,000 to each of the plaintiffs, who said they were among the boys molested by the former monsignor from 1969 to 1980, the plaintiff's lawyers said.

As part of the agreement, O'Shea couldn't contest any of the charges and had to apologize in open court to his victims -- Wayne Presley, 47, of Foster City, Matthew Hadden, 47, of Sonoma, and Steve Lucarelli, 49, of Oregon.

"That was critical to our clients," attorney Larry Drivon said. "It's one thing to get every last nickel that a guy's got, but it's something else to have public acknowledgement of what happened to them all those years ago."

The $300,000 settlement represented 100 percent of O'Shea's personal assets, Drivon said.

"In some ways, this takes the pressure off my shoulders," Presley said. "But I wish we had gone on to trial to expose O'Shea and the archdiocese. This was a one-shot deal. Either we all took the settlement, or none of us took it."

O'Shea has admitted in a deposition that he molested alter boys over several years when he was assigned to the Most Holy Redeemer Parish in San Francisco. He was defrocked in the mid-1990s, charged with molesting nine boys and spent two years in jail awaiting trial.

Presley said O'Shea molested him from 1971 to 1975. He said O'Shea would take him to a trailer in Lake Berryessa, give him alcohol and then molest him


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