Ex-priest Molested Children in South Bay: Lawsuit

By Emily Holland
Palos Verdes Patch
November 1, 2017

An ex-priest who served in Southern California molested at least four children at parishes in Redondo Beach, Palmdale, and Covina, according to lawsuits recently filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Former Rev. Chris Cunningham had already been named in a 2015 child sexual abuse lawsuit, according to The Daily Breeze. Civil complaints filed this year allege Cunningham sexually molested boys between ages 10 and 15 from the mid-1990s to early 2000s at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Palmdale, St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach and St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church in Covina, according to The Daily Breeze.

The lawsuits name the churches and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as defendants and allege the archdiocese knew of the allegations against Cunningham, the San Gabriel Valley Times reported. The archdiocese didn't investigate and opted to transfer the priest to various assignments and destroy the complaints, according to the court filings.

The new lawsuits are from the same attorney who filed the 2015 case, Anthony DeMarco, on behalf of a plaintiff who he said was sexually molested as a 12-year-old boy at St. Louise in Covina from 2001 to 2002.

"We've since that time learned of quite a few more victims of his abuse," DeMarco told the San Gabriel Valley Times. "Folks in charge of youth at every parish he was at leading up to St. Louise and at St. Louise were aware of that conduct and nearly all of them reported their suspicions and concerns to their superiors."

Robert Flummerfelt, an attorney from Canon Law Services, is representing Cunningham and said in an email that the former priest denies the allegations and has "never sexually abused anyone," according to Daily Breeze.

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