SNAP Protests Religious Brother in Los Gatos Accused of Sexual Molestation

By Sheila Sanchez
The Patch
September 12, 2012

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests hold news conference at noon in town to alert community that Brother 'Bill' William Farrington is the subject of two investigations of alleged sexual abuse.

Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests were walking around downtown Los Gatos at noon Wednesday alerting the community that Brother "Bill" William Farrington, who resides at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, has been named as a credible molester of children in Northern California.

Joey Piscitelli, Northern California director of SNAP, stood at the intersection of College Avenue and E. Main Street with fliers in his hand that read, "Protect your children. Accused sex offender Catholic priest!"

"We're trying to alert the town of Los Gatos that there's an alleged serial sexual predator that's been roaming around unsupervised," Piscitelli said, after Channel 4 had interviewed him about the recent outing of the former religious brother who's been accused of sexual wrongdoing while working at Catholic schools.

Piscitelli said Jesuit High School authorities in Carmichael and Los Gatos Jesuit Center officials released statements Tuesday to the public that he's alleged to have molested children. At least one former Bellarmine College Preparatory student in San Jose and another at the Catholic school near Sacramento have come forward alleging Farrington molested them, Piscitelli said.

Father Alfred E. Naucke, with the Sacred Heart Center in Los Gatos, declined comment and referred all media inquiries to Patrick Walsh, the Order's spokesman.

It's believed that Farrington worked at Bellarmine in the '60s and '70s, Piscitelli said and worked up until 1987 at Jesuit High School.

Piscitelli has frequently visited the center located at 300 College Ave., just above Town Hall, to protest Father Jerold Lindner, whom Santa Clara County prosecutors have admitted is a known sexual offender.

Lindner testified this past summer as part of a trial brought against William Lynch, a San Francisco man who had been accused of felony assault and elder abuse of the priest he said had raped and sodomized him and his brother while they were children. He was acquitted by a jury on July 5.

"What is alarming about this is that the Jesuits didn't make any effort to alert the community until now. He was removed in 2002 from ministry due to the allegations," Piscitelli said. "It takes 10 years for them to tell the community there's a predator. What has he done in the last 10 years? What has he done here? Where has he been? Who's watching him?"

Parents in the area need to know that Farrington is capable of molestation, Piscitelli added.

Walsh issued a press release on Tuesday that said Bellarmine College Preparatory alumni, who graduated from 1964 to 1974, will be receiving letters from Father Michael Weiler, the provincial of the California Jesuits, and fellow alumnus, Mike Grabill, who reports being sexually abused by Farrington in the 1960s while he was a boarding student at the school.

"Mike asked that I write to introduce his letter that relates his experience and encourages others who may have been abused to move along the path of healing as he has," said Father Weiler, a 1972 Bellarmine graduate. "On behalf of my fellow Jesuits, I apologize to Mike and to anyone else who may have been abused. We desire to further the healing of anyone harmed by a Jesuit of this Province."

Grabill, a 1968 Bellarmine graduate, told Jesuits that he had been sexually abused by Farrington, who supervised the school's boarding students in the 1960s and 1970s, according to the release.

"At each step, I was met with an apology, concern, caring and willingness to help," Grabill is quoted saying in the release. "They [the Jesuits] support my desire to send this letter as an expression of my care and concern for my classmates who might have had (during that time) similar painful experiences."

Farrington was removed from ministry with minors after allegations surfaced from another former student, Walsh wrote in the release.

He now exercises no public ministry and lives under close supervision at the Jesuit infirmary in Los Gatos, he added.

His restrictions are reviewed annually by a lay advisory board that includes medical professionals, law enforcement and business leaders from the local civic community, he said.

Since the sexual abuse crisis surfaced 10 years ago, the California Province of the Society of Jesus has submitted itself to the supervision of Praesidium, an independent company which certifies the training and protocols meant to protect minors and ensure the proper reporting of suspected abuse, the release stated.

Anyone who has experienced sexual abuse by a Jesuit of the California Province may contact law enforcement and the Victim Advocate for the California Province Ms. Mary Pat Panighetti at 408-893-8398, the release said.


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