A Disturbing Statistic: Santa Barbara’s Franciscan Friars’ Sex Abuse Case ‘trumped’ La, Boston

Santa Barbara News Network
October 3, 2010

The cities of Boston and Los Angeles have more high-profile Catholic priest sex abuse cases, but on a per capita basis, Santa Barbara has had more friars as perpetrators against children.

That disturbing statistic was among the evidence plaintiff’s attorney Tim Hale successfully presented to the 2nd District Court of Appeal back in July.

The Franciscan Friars’ were ordered last week to release the medical, psychiatric and personnel files of the 6 men who sexually abused children here.

Beginning in 1960, twenty-seven friars assigned to St. Anthony’s Parish and the Old Mission abused 64 kids, Hale said.

He pointed out when you look at the number of children, friars and the population, over that 20 year span, it is a tragic percentage that trumps cities 10 times the size of Santa Barbara.

And Hale said those numbers speak to conspiracy and other crimes.

He has no doubt that evidence had a profound impact on the 3 member judicial panel that decided the Franciscans can no longer be allowed to hide under a cloak of secrecy.


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