The Archdiocese of Seattle has reached settlements totaling just over $1.3 million for four cases involving allegations of sexual abuse against three priests and a youth minister.
The three priests were included on the archdiocese’s “List of Clergy and Religious Brothers and Sisters for Whom Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor Have Been Admitted, Establish or Determined to be Credible” when the list was originally published in January 2016.
On March 6, the archdiocese reached a settlement in a case involving an allegation of sexual abuse by Father Patrick Desmond McMahon in the mid-1970s. McMahon served as pastor at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish in Port Townsend from 1973 to 1985. McMahon was put on administrative leave when an individual brought forward an allegation of sexual abuse. He was put on permanent prayer and penance, removing him from service. Later he was returned to the lay state, which means he is no longer able to serve as a priest.
On March 23, the archdiocese reached a settlement in a case involving allegations of sexual abuse by Father David Jaeger in the fall of 1979 when he was in residence at Sacred Heart Parish in Seattle. He was in residence from 1978 to 1981. He was laicized in 2005 and died in 2014.
On April 6, the archdiocese reached a settlement in a case involving allegations of sexual abuse by Father William O’Brien from approximately 1960 to 1962 when he was the pastor at All Saints Parish in Puyallup. He served as pastor at All Saints from 1949 until his death in 1970. No allegations came forward about O’Brien until over 20 years after his death.
On April 12, the archdiocese reached a settlement in a case involving allegations of sexual abuse from late 1988 to early 1989 by James Funnell, a youth minister at St. John Vianney Parish in Kirkland. Funnell served as youth minister at St. John Vianney from 1985 to 1989 and was terminated by the parish when an allegation of abuse came forward in 1989.
As part of its commitment to transparency, the Archdiocese of Seattle invites people to visit its Protect and Heal website to learn about the history of sexual abuse in the archdiocese, which peaked in 1975 and has since sharply declined. The website also outlines how since the early 1980s, the archdiocese has taken steps to prevent abuse, protect the community and help victims and their families heal.
To report any suspicion of abuse by any church personnel, please contact local law enforcement. In addition, anyone who has knowledge of misconduct by a member of the clergy, an employee or volunteer of the Archdiocese of Seattle is urged to call the archdiocesan hotline at 1-800-446-7762.