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 in 9/2001 after he revealed several past sexual relationships to an L.A. Times columnist (under pseudonym). In 12/2001, 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 in  2003 due to Supreme Court ruling on statutes of limitation. Laicized 5/28/2002. Suspected of Personnel file released 11/23/2013. Suspected of fleeing to Mexico after allegations were made in the U.S. In 2006 Cardinal Norberto Rvera Carrera, Mexico archbishop, refused to support efforts to find Lenihan and 39 other accused priests who may have fled the U.S. for Mexico .

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