Detectives Seek Help in Priest Allegations

By Kimberlina Rocha
Santa Maria Times [California]
December 22, 2006

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's detectives are seeking information from the public as they continue investigating an alleged sexual assault by a local priest against a former St. Joseph High School student.

Father Timothy Lane, a priest who was teaching at St. Joseph, was transferred to Missouri after an alleged sexual assault in June against an 18-year-old woman who had just graduated from the high school, said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Erik Raney.

The assault allegedly took place at Lane's residence at the St. Joseph seminary at 180 Patterson Road in Orcutt.

"We've investigated one specific incident of sexual battery," Raney said.

He defined sexual battery as any unwanted touching of one person by another in a sexual manner.

The sheriff's department was not notified until September by the Catholic Archdiocese in Los Angeles, after church officials had done their own investigation, Raney said.

St. Joseph officials referred all inquiries to the archdiocese office, and archdiocese officials did not return repeated telephone calls this week.

Sheriff's detectives intend to turn the case over to the District Attorney's office but they are waiting to see if anyone else comes forward with information, Raney said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's Detective Bureau in Santa Maria at 934-6170.

Kimberlina Rocha can be reached at 739-2216 or


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