Fr. Robert M. Van Handel

Order: OFM
Ordained: 1975
Status: Convicted

Diocese: Archdiocese of San Francisco CA

Founding director of Santa Barbara Boys’ Choir and principal of St. Anthony’s Seminary High School. May have sexually abused 150 boys, ages 8-12. Charged 1994 with abuse of students. Sentenced 8/94 to eight years prison for abuse of one. Released in 2002. Named in several civil suits. Reportedly abused six 1970-82. Four claims settled in 2006. Personnel File released in 5/12; may have been laicized 7/23/97. On sex offender registry 1/12. On Santa Barbara Province Franciscans’ list 5/31/19. It notes report in 1992 of abuse of minors 1977-84. On Oakland diocese’s list in 2019. Accused along with Msgr. Vincent McCabe in a 6/22 lawsuit of abuse of a fifth-grade boy in 1989. Per plaintiff’s attorney, Van Handel told his superiors in the 1970s that he was attracted to young boys.

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