Legal window closes this month for survivors of clergy child sex abuse

KEYT-TV [Santa Barbara CA]

December 2, 2022

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A new round of lawsuits centered on clergy child sex abuse accusations was made public this week in Northern California.

A separate Franciscan abuse lawsuit was filed this week in Santa Barbara. The local case involves a 66-year-old survivor and is linked to accusations stemming from decades ago. Documents show the man lived in Santa Barbara or Alameda as a child at the time of the alleged abuse.

The larger list of accusations entails 116 lawsuits filed in Alameda County. It names 80 Catholic clergy members accused of child sex abuse.

Tim Hale, a Santa Barbara attorney with Nye, Stirling, Hale & Miller, has spent decades representing survivors of child sex abuse across the country and here at home. The majority of the cases are linked to an institutional cover-up.

Hale said it is not yet known if any of the accused clergy members in this latest list have local ties as the assignment listings have not been released.

“The critical part of that information is that the window is closing on December 31,” said Hale. “So, to that extent that there are survivors out there who are still thinking about and wrestling with the idea of coming forward and speaking publicly, they have 30 days to make that decision. Really, they need to make that decision sooner.”

Hale said there is a “high probability” that some of the clergy names will have local ties; registry locations are expected to be released “any day.”

The former Saint Anthony’s Seminary in Santa Barbara was considered “ground zero” for the child abuse sex scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in the 1990’s. Many of those cases are still ongoing.

Below is a list of alleged clergy members accused of child sexual abuse, identified in public lawsuits filed in Alameda Co. Superior Court under the California Child Victims Act, as revealed by the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates.

  • Fr. William Allison
  • Fr. Donald E. Broderson
  • Fr. James Corley
  • Fr. Bernard Dabbene
  • Fr. Raymond Etienne
  • Fr. Gerald Funcheon
  • Fr. Martin Greenlaw
  • Fr. William Hold
  • Fr. Robert H. Lewis
  • Msgr. John T. McCracken
  • Fr. James McSorley
  • Fr. Jorge Moreno
  • Fr. Francisco Javier Ochoa
  • Fr. Jose Antonio Pinal
  • Br. U Benedict Reams
  • Fr. Eric Swearingen
  • Fr. Joseph Watt
  • Fr. William Dodson
  • Fr. George Crespin
  • Fr. Raul Carvajal
  • Fr. Thomas Bettencourt
  • Br. William C. Farrington
  • Br. Adrian Furman
  • Br. Joseph (Jesse) Gutierrez
  • Fr. Domingos S. Jacque
  • Fr. John A. Lynch
  • Msgr. Michael J. McGinty
  • Fr. Hector David Mendoza Vela
  • Fr. George Moss
  • Fr. Patrick O’Shea
  • Fr. Robert Ponciroli
  • Fr. Christian Sandholdt
  • Fr. Gary Timmons
  • Fr. Gerald Wertz
  • Br. Salvatore Billante
  • Fr. James A. Clark
  • Fr. John Crews
  • Fr. Pearse P. Donovan
  • Fr. Don D. Flickinger
  • Fr. Elwood Geary
  • Fr. Sidney Hall
  • Fr. Austin Peter Keegan
  • Fr. Robert Marsicek
  • Fr. Joseph McGovern
  • Fr. Vito Mistretta
  • Fr. Leonel Noia
  • Fr. Ted Oswald
  • Fr. Jesus Prieto
  • Fr. John Francis Scanlon
  • Fr. Gary B. Tollner
  • Fr. Anthony Bolger
  • Fr. Edmond G. Cloutier
  • Fr. John Crowley
  • Fr. Donald Eagleson
  • Fr. Francis (John) Ford
  • Fr. Robert Gemmet
  • Fr. Henry Hall
  • Fr. Stephen M. Kiesle
  • Sis. M. Rosella McConnell
  • Fr. Patrick McHugh
  • Fr. Anthony Moreno
  • Fr. Maurice Joseph O’Brien
  • Fr. John Pierson
  • Fr. Joseph Pritchard
  • Fr. Simon Twomey
  • Fr. William Storan

Additionally, 14 alleged Catholic perpetrators identified in lawsuits filed under the California Child Victims Act in the Alameda County Court system have been publicly identified for the first time.

  • Fr. James Corley
  • Fr. Sidney Hall
  • Fr. John A. Lynch
  • Fr. John Francis Scanlon
  • Fr. William Dodson
  • Fr. Henry Hall
  • Sis. M. Rosella McConnell
  • Fr. Joseph Watt
  • Fr. Elwood Geary
  • Fr. Domingos S. Jacque
  • Br. U Benedict Reams
  • Fr. Robert Gemmet
  • Fr. Robert H. Lewis
  • Fr. Christian Sandholdt