Accused Priest Back in Court
Judge Forbids Any Contact with Boy

San Francisco Chronicle
November 17, 2000

A high-ranking priest with the San Francisco Roman Catholic Archdiocese was ordered yesterday to have no contact with the 17-year-old boy he is charged with sexually assaulting, officials said.

The Rev. Bernard J. Dabbene has yet to enter pleas to felony charges of assault with intent to commit oral copulation and false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and annoying or molesting a child.

Dabbene, 63, was arrested after police patrolling the area of 25th and Illinois streets Saturday night said they spotted him and a youth in a parked car, both with pants undone.

The youth said that he had accepted a ride from Dabbene after being chased by gang members in the Mission District and that the priest had then held him against his will and rubbed his genitals. Dabbene told police he was there with the youth to discuss job opportunities.

Dabbene's attorney, Arthur Pirelli, did not comment after a court hearing yesterday and did not return calls asking for comment.

Dabbene is scheduled to enter a plea Nov. 30.

At the hearing, Judge Wallace Douglass agreed to prosecutor Susan Eto's request that Dabbene be ordered to stay away from the 17-year-old. Dabbene is free on $10,500 bail posted by his order, the Salesians of Don Bosco.

Dabbene is on leave from his post as the archdiocese's liaison to 89 parishes in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties. He is also on leave from his position on the church's board of education.


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