OC Diocese Could've Stopped Boy-Molestor Long Ago

By Gustavo Arellano
Orange County Weekly
September 22, 2008

[See also other articles by Gustavo Arellano.]

Not to pile on Matt "Jubal" Cunningham, OC's blog king who infamously outed Diocese of Orange sex-abuse victims, but his recent comment about my post regarding the necessity of ridiculing the county's pedo-priests and their apologists got me thinking. The case of Luis Eduardo Ramirez, a member of the Order of Augustinian Recollects who served at Our Lady of the Pillar in SanTana and is going to jail for his boy-molesting ways , still stinks like sulfur. Apologists for Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown said His Eminence did everything possible to alert county Catholics about Ramirez's crimes, that there just wasn't any way he could prevent the priestly perversion to happen.

Bullshit. Brown and his hierarchy had ample reason to consider Ramirez a risk to children and—surprise, surprise!—did nothing about it.

The Weekly has obtained the late 2005 police report filed after Ramirez was arrested for driving under the influence. This was no mere buzz ride: Ramirez was so soused (at .18, more than twice the legal limit) that the reporting officer wrote he originally stopped the padre for driving "on only three tires." A partner saw "the right front tire was missing and that there were sparks coming from the rim." Once stopped, Ramirez failed his sobriety tests miserably. Twice, he began a test before the officers told him to. When asked to raise his left leg, "he raised his right one." Ramirez couldn't touch the tip of his nose the six times he tried.

But it gets worse.

On March 10, 2006, the district attorney's office ordered Ramirez to show up in court 20 days later. That didn't happen, so the court issued a warrant for the priest's arrest. A warrant! Ramirez eventually pleaded not guilty to the DUI but sobered up by September, when Ramirez pleaded guilty to a DWI (the DA's office dropped the DUI charge). Instead of throwing the book at a drunk who skipped a prearraigned court date, however, Judge John S. Adams suspended his sentence of 120 days in the slammer and put Ramirez on three years' probation with the warning to not piss off John Law. Ramirez also had to attend alcohol counseling for six months.

The worst part about the Ramirez case is that he isn't even one of the diocese's own. Brown and his boys back each other up—that's why you'll never hear a priest publicly blast Brown in Orange County and offer mumbled, general apologies for their church's multiple cover-ups—but Brown could've easily, conceivably discarded Ramirez or dumped him off to the Catholic drunk tanks the Orange diocese sends so many priests to. Nope. His Eminence stuck with a problem and ended up with another mark on his soiled miter.



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