Former Marin Priest Held on Sex Charges from '70s

By Wyatt Buchanan
San Francisco Chronicle
October 16, 2002

A former Marin County priest was arrested Tuesday and charged with four sex offenses stemming from his service in the church in the 1970s.

Guy Anthony Murnig, 59, was arrested by San Rafael police at his home in Sonoma County and charged with one count of sodomy by use of force, one count of sodomy with a person under age 18, and two counts of oral copulation with a person under age 18.

The charge of sodomy by use of force is a felony, and the others are misdemeanors. If convicted of all four, Murnig could spend up to nine years in prison.

The alleged incidents took place between 1970 and 1974 when Murnig was a priest at St. Sebastian's Catholic Church in Greenbrae and a faculty member at Marin Catholic High School, according to San Rafael police.

The woman accusing Murnig said the first incident took place in the church rectory after she joined the St. Sebastian's Teen Club, which Murnig organized. She was 15 at the time.

The accusations were first made to the San Francisco Archdiocese a few years ago and were turned over to the city's district attorney in May. The high school principal knew nothing of the incidents, and Murnig left the priesthood in 1978, an archdiocese spokesman said.

Murnig is to be arraigned today in Marin County Superior Court and is being held on $1 million bail on a felony warrant.


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