Fr. John Peter Lenihan

Ordained: 1969
Status: Settled

Diocese: Diocese of Orange CA

From Ireland. Told church officials in 1991 that he sexually abused a teenage girl in the 1970s. Church paid $25K to settle lawsuit; allowed him to continue to work. Removed 9/01 after he revealed several past sexual relationships to an L.A. Times columnist (under pseudonym). In 12/01, he was accused in a second lawsuit of molesting a second teenage girl, starting in the late 1970s. Civil suit settled for $1.2M. Criminal charges dropped 2003 due to Supreme Court ruling. Laicized 5/28/02. Personnel file released 11/23/13.


Return to main database page. See abbreviations and posting policy. Send corrections.

Our Database of Publicly Accused does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.