Priest Suspended Amid Sex Allegations
Rev. Rodolfo Delgado Most Recently at St. Philomene Parish

May 8, 2006

Sacramento, Calif. - A long-time priest in Sacramento's Catholic Diocese has been suspended amid allegations that he sexually assaulted a boy in the 1980s.

Parishioners at St. Philomine's were stunned Sunday to hear an announcement from Bishop William Wiegand that their parish priest, Rev. Rodolfo Delgado, has been suspended and is under investigation.

Delgado was ordained in the Sacramento diocese 24 years ago.

St. Philomene's has an elementary school with 250 students and offers masses in English, Croatian and Spanish.

The accuser is a 38-year-old man now living in Oregon. He alleges the incidents were ongoing from 1983 to 1985, and took place at St. Joseph Parish in Rio Vista, at the main cathedral in Sacramento, and at a private home in Sacramento's Natomas neighborhood.

Attorney Joe George represents the alleged victim and explained why he kept quiet until now.

"He gradually came to grips with what had happened to him and felt a burden to reach out to others who may have been harmed by Father Delgado," George said.

George, who is also a forensic psychologist, said the assaults were serious.

"Including masturbation, oral copulation and attempted anal sex. It was very aggressive and it's highly, highly, highly doubtful that this behavior hasn't continued," he said.

George and the alleged victim met with officials from diocese in Sacramento on Friday. Church leaders deemed the accusations serious and suspended Delgado.

A spokesman explained the church's zero tolerance policy.

"We suspend the priest, we take away his faculties, we put him on leave, because above all else, we want to make sure we prevent any further harm from possibly taking place," church spokesman Kevin Ackerly said.

The diocese said a man with 30 years of FBI experience is heading up their internal investigation.

Delgado was at other parishes, including Sacred Heart, in Alturas, St. Peter's, in Sacramento, Holy Rosary, in Woodland, St. Christopher's, in Galt, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Sacramento.


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