Rev. Richard Presenti, s.d.b.

Summary of Case: Presenti was accused of sexually abusing boys at Camp Salesian in Middletown, CA. Presenti was a Salesian brother for years until his ordination as a priest in 1968. In 1972 or 1973 a boy told a Salesian brother at the camp that Presenti sexually abused him and another boy in the camp infirmary the night before. The Brother told the San Francisco Provincial House Superior, who convinced the boy's parents not to go to the police. He reassured them that Presenti would be kept from children. The boy discovered that Presenti was working at his high school when he started as a ninth grader there the next year. Presenti was next sent to a Salesian high school in Los Angeles, where he was made Principal. In 1992 a man reported to the Salesians that Presenti had sexually abused him as a child at Camp Salesian in 1962. Presenti admitted to having sexually abused boys between 1970-1973. He was allowed until he stepped down in 2005 to work as Provincial Treasurer. He is last known to have been living at the Salesian Provincial Residence in San Francisco.

: 1968


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Santa Rosa bishop was Leo Thomas Maher (1962-1969)

  Camp Salesian


A man reported to the Salesians in 1992 that Presenti had sexually abused him at this camp in 1962, when the man was 12 or 13 years old.

CA Presenti was a Salesian brother until he was ordained a priest in 1968.  


Oakland bishop was Floyd Lawrence Begin (1962-1977)

1974 Salesian High School Richmond CA

Assistant Principal 1971-1974

Finance Director (per news reports)

Salesian High had 350-425 students, all male.


Mark Joseph Hurley replaced Maher as Santa Rosa bishop (1969-1986)

  Camp Salesian


Presenti was accused of sexually abusing boys at this camp in the summer of 1972 or 1973. (The former camper who reported the abuse remembers it as in 1972. The Provincial Superior at the time believes it was in 1973). Two boys were sleeping in the infirmary. Presenti is said to have gone into the darkened room with a flashlight and molesting the boys, one after the other. He admitted in 2003 that he had abused one of the boys.


This assignment is per news reports.

One of the boys told a Salesian brother the next day what had happened. The brother reported the incident to the order. The San Francisco Provincial House Superior, Rev. Walter Rasmussen, met with the boy's family and convinced them not to go to the police. He told them the order would handle the matter and Presenti would receive treatment, and be kept away from children. The boy who had come forward discovered the following school year at Salesian High, where he was a freshman, that Presenti was working there.


Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985)

1980 St. John Bosco High School Bellflower CA Principal

John Bosco High had 750-855 students, all male.

Rasmussen admitted under oath decades later that he did not tell anyone in Bellflower that their new principal was accused of child sexual abuse. In fact, Rasmussen had recommended Presenti for the job. Rasmussen did not document the reports of abuse by Presenti.


San Francisco archbishop was John Raphael Quinn (1977-1995)

1989 Salesian Provincial Residence San Francisco CA

Provincial Treasurer 1980-1988

Director of Development 1986-1989



Los Angeles archbishop was Roger Michael Mahony (1985-2011)

2000 St. John Bosco High School Bellflower CA

Director 1989-1990

President 1990-1998

John Bosco High had 870-1,110 students, all male.


Monterey bishop was Sylvester Donovan Ryan (1992-2006)

2006 St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School Watsonville CA Councilors  


Quinn was succeeded by William Joseph Levada (1995-2005), followed by George Hugh Niederauer (2005-)

2010? Salesian Provincial Residence San Francisco CA Provincial Treasurer 2000-2005

Presenti admitted in 2005 to having molested three boys sometime between 1970 and 1973.

Men who had claimed to have been sexually abused by Presenti as children at Camp Salesian sued the Salesians. The lawsuits were barred in 2008 because of the statute of limitations.

News reports state Presenti stepped down as Provincial Treasure in 2005 "for health reasons".

Presenti is indexed but not listed in the San Francisco archdiocesan pages as at Salesian Provincial Residence in the 2008-2010 Directories.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1969-2010)

House of the Accused, By Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly, January 5, 2006
San Jose Man Sues Santa Rosa Diocese over Priest Abuse Claim, Associated Press, carried in CBS 47, July 18, 2007
San Jose Man Sues Santa Rosa Diocese over Priest Abuse Claim, Associated Press State & Local Wire, July 18, 2007
Local Abuse Network Accuses Catholic Church of Sheltering Molester, KCBS, July 22, 2007
Sexual Abuse Claims Denied For Lack of Evidence, Doe V. Salesian Society, January 29, 2008
Doe vs Salesian Society, filed Jan. 29, 2008
Court: Priest Sex Abuse Suit Barred by Statute of Limitations, By Steven M. Ellis, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, January 30, 2008
Appeals Court Rebuffs Molestation Lawsuit, By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, January 30, 2008
Salesians Hold World Record for Pedophile Priests -- Guest Writer Joey Piscitelli Lists Their Names and Connections to William Levada, By Joey Piscitelli, City of Angels, March 19, 2008
Abuse Was Common in Religious Orders, By Jeremy Herb and Rob Dennis, San Jose Mercury News, April 1, 2008
Accused Clerics, Contra Costa Times, April 1, 2008

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Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Presenti's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that 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.

This assignment record was last updated on Nov. 13, 2011