Lawyers Release Papers Detailing Alleged Abuse

By Susan Abram
Daily News of Los Angeles
July 16, 2007

Lawyers representing victims of sexual abuse released new information Sunday detailing alleged misconduct by a handful of clergy members, including a nun who slapped a girl after she accused a priest of molesting her.

The document, designed to serve as an example of priest abuse within the Los Angeles Archdiocese, listed old and new information on eight priests. Seven of them had worked in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, as well as in Ventura County. All worked in Los Angeles County at one point.

"This is a snapshot of the stories victims told and why the diocese wants to settle," said Katherine Freberg, an attorney whose law offices are representing 109 of the more than 500 people who say they were abused by priests and clergy.

"This is just a smattering of the information we could include," because the details were graphic, Freberg said.

In 2004, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released the names of 211 priests and clergy accused of molesting children. Freberg's information is a result of diocese documents, police reports, and depositions taken from victims.

Freberg said her law office would hold a press conference today to formally release the report.

Alleged misconduct

Michael Baker

Lived in residence at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Van Nuys from 1988 to 1991, then again in 1992 to 1993. Charged with 13 counts of committing lewd acts with a minor and 16 counts of oral copulation with a minor from 1976 to 1985.

Lynn Richard Caffoe

Attended St. John's Seminary in Camarillo from 1964 to 1971, where faculty noted he had a tendency to "gather younger people around him." Served at Our Lady of Peace in North Hills from 1975 to 1982, where two people came forward alleging abuse. Transferred to St. Bede the Venerable in La Canada Flintridge where he served from 1982 to 1986, where two priests discovered videotape of Caffoe filming several high school boys with their shirts off while encouraging them to become sexually aroused.

Clinton Hagenbach

Served at St. Cyril Jerusalem in Encino from 1961 to 1966, where a pastor noticed minor boys in his rectory room eating, drinking beverages and playing games. Two victims allege abuse.

Theodore Llanos

Served at St. Bernard in Long Beach from 1978 to 1979, where 11 known victims came forward.

Lawrence Lovell

Served at San Gabriel Mission from 1979 to 1984. Victims allege he would take them to the rectory where they had dinner with the other priests, spend the night, then he would molest them.

Neville Rucker

Served at St. Mary Magdalene in Camarillo from 1959 to 1961. After he was transferred to St. Anthony's in El Segundo, a victim reports abuse to a nun, who ``slaps the girl several times and tells her not to talk about Father Rucker like that.'' Despite complaints, he is named Pastor Emeritus at Corpus Christi in Pacific Palisades.

Carl Sutphin

Served at St. Mary Magdalene in Camarillo from 1971 to 1975, where eight children from the parish school allege molestation. Assigned to Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles, where he served from 2001 to 2002.

Henry Vetter

Served at Passionist Monastery and Mater Dolorosa Laymen's Retreat House in Sierra Madre from 1956 to 1977. Admits to molesting two victims when confronted in 1973.
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