Only On 7: San Francisco church accused of lurid sex cover-up


[with video]

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — There are charges of lurid sex and cover-ups at the landmark St Francis of Assisi Church in San Francisco’s North Beach. The accuser is a former worker who just filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco. It’s a story you’ll only see on ABC7 News.

Jhona Mathews is a single mother in her 30s with a 2-year-old child. She worked in the administration office of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.

Mathews says church trustee Bill McLaughlin, who has since been fired, became her supervisor. Her lawsuit charges that he forced her to have sex and spanked her with a wooden paddle.

“Many of these sex acts and demands and the spankings occurred inside the shrine premises, in the sacristy of the shrine,” said the plaintiff’s attorney, Sandra Ribera.

Mathews says the paddle was given to McLaughlin by his close friend, Monsignor James Tarantino. He’s charged in the lawsuit with covering up the alleged wrongdoings.

“The inscription BNO, which stands for boys night out,” Ribera said. “And it says To Bill M. from Father T. The sexual acts that Bill McLaughlin was basically threatening my client to engage in otherwise she would lose her job.”

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