New sex abuse allegations raised against former Hanna Boys Center director

The Press Democrat

April 17, 2019

By Mary Callahan and Guy Kovner

Two past residents of the Hanna Boys Center have come forward to accuse former longtime Executive Director John S. Crews of repeatedly abusing them during their stays at the Sonoma Valley facility up to three decades ago.

A press conference Wednesday publicizing their complaints marked the first time Crews, a Catholic priest now living on the East Coast, has been accused publicly of criminal behavior while at the helm of the center for troubled boys. He worked there for 29 years and was relieved of his duties in 2013 after sexual misconduct allegations emerged against him from a former parishioner at St. Sebastian’s Church in Sebastopol.

David Anthony Ortega, a 33-year-old Seattle resident, said he was molested “on several occasions” at Crews’ house and in his van from 1999 to 2001.

In a letter released at the news conference, Ortega said he experienced “acts of abuse that were not only sexual but highly degrading, shameful and nothing that any little boy should have to ever had to live through.”

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