Report to the People of God List of Priests Accused of Sexual Misconduct with Minors
Below is the 2018 Update which supplements the 2004 Report to the People of God. The status of those listed in the 2004 Report, as amended through 2008, is also being reissued to show their current status . The 2018 Update includes priests accused since 2008. We recommend that you read the introduction page and FAQs below before exploring the lists.
The names of living priests in the 2018 Update include instances where the allegations were found to be credible. The names of those who were in ministry at the time of the accusation have previously been made public through announcements at parishes and schools where the accused served in the Archdiocese. In addition, the list includes names of deceased priests or priests who had long ago left the Archdiocese before the allegations were received and, where there is a single, plausible allegation of sexual misconduct against the priest even though it could not be investigated. Those names are being included in the 2018 Update out of respect and deference to the victim-survivors who made the reports.
The 2018 Update shows that, since 2008, two reports of misconduct by Archdiocesan priests have been made to the Archdiocese that involved minors at the time when the reports were made. Those priests, Juan Cano and Jose Cuevas, served in the Archdiocese when the alleged misconduct occurred. In 2016, the Archdiocese was informed by the Diocese of San Bernardino that they received an allegation against an extern priest from Argentina, Roberto Barco, concerning misconduct involving a minor that allegedly took place in 2010 when he was serving in the Diocese of San Bernardino, California. In each of these cases, when the allegation was received, it was immediately reported to law enforcement, announcements were made at the parishes and schools where the priest had been present, and the matter was investigated and reviewed by the Archdiocese Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board.
The remaining names in the are allegations made by individuals who are now adults alleging sexual misconduct that occurred when the reporting person was a minor. Most of these allegations involve sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred decades before the allegation was reported and includes names of deceased priests or priests who had long ago left the Archdiocese, as described above.
FAQs Regarding the 2018 Update:
1- Why did the Archdiocese decide to publish an update of the list of accused priests in the Report to the People of God?
The Archdiocese first published its Report to the People of God in 2004, the first comprehensive report of its kind in the Church. It gave a history of how abuse had been addressed in the Archdiocese. The Report included names of priests either publicly or credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Report was updated in 2005 and 2008. In 2013, the Archdiocese also released clergy files, under a Court-supervised process as the final component of the 2007 global settlement of abuse cases.
The Report was not updated after 2008 because public announcements of sexual misconduct allegations for those in ministry have been and are being made directly at parishes and schools where an accused priest had served. These announcements have helped to inform communities directly and, in some cases, have resulted in further victims coming forward. This process has proven effective in encouraging the reporting of misconduct. It has also enabled the Archdiocese to provide victim-survivors with pastoral support and to bring persons responsible for misconduct to justice.
Archbishop José H. Gomez, in the interest of full transparency and out of concern for the healing of victim-survivors, and in consultation with the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board leadership, concluded that the Archdiocese should publish the current status of those named in the Report to the People of God through 2008, as well as the 2018 Update.
In addition, the 2018 Update includes names that were not previously announced because the allegation was plausible but could not be corroborated, either because the accused was deceased at the time the report was received, or the accused had long ago left the Archdiocese before the allegation was reported. In each case, the Board received only one allegation naming the listed priest. These names are being included in the 2018 Update out of respect and deference to the victim-survivors who made the report.
2- Who decided what names would be released in the 2018 Update and what were the criteria?
All reports of allegations of misconduct by clergy are reviewed by the Archdiocese’s independent Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board which includes healthcare, legal and social service professionals as well as a victim-survivor and clergy. The Board has reviewed the allegations and supervised investigations. The publication of the 2018 Update has been personally reviewed and approved by the founding Board chairperson, Judge Richard Byrne (Ret.), and by the current Board chair, an active medical practitioner.
The following criteria were followed for inclusion in the 2018 Update:
- The list includes the name of a priest if the allegation could be investigated and was found to be credible after an investigation and review by the Board.
- Where the priest was long deceased or had long ago left the Archdiocese, the name of the priest is included if the allegation was found to be plausible: that is, the time and place of the allegation matches the period of service for the accused priest, even if it could not be fully corroborated because the accused was deceased or had long ago left the Archdiocese. In such cases, the name of the priest has been included out of respect and deference for the victim-survivor who reported the matter and for others who may have never reported misconduct by the listed priest.
- In cases where allegations against a deceased priest could not be substantiated or found to be plausible after an investigation and a further review by the current and former Board chairs and staff, the name of the priest has not been included in the 2018 Update.
3- Do the allegations against priests in the 2018 Update involve current minors?
Due to strict policies and programs on abuse reporting and prevention that have been in place in the Archdiocese since 2002, reports of sexual misconduct involving current minors are rare.
Since 2008, the Archdiocese has substantiated two allegations of sexual misconduct of a current minor by an Archdiocesan priest. In addition, the Archdiocese has substantiated an allegation received in 2016 from a then minor against an extern priest from Argentina who was then serving in the Archdiocese. However, the alleged sexual misconduct was reported to have taken place in 2010 when the priest was serving in the Diocese of San Bernardino, California.
In each of these cases, according to Archdiocesan policy:
- the alleged misconduct was reported to law enforcement and investigated regardless of the statute of limitations;
- the accused was removed from ministry pending the result of the law enforcement and independent internal investigations conducted by retired FBI special agents;
- all victim-survivors and their families were offered healing support and professional counseling through the Office of Victims Assistance Ministry;
- public announcements were made at the parishes and schools where the accused had served; and
- the matter was referred to the independent Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board for review. The Board reviewed the results of the law enforcement and internal investigations and made recommendations regarding a return to ministry or permanent removal from ministry of the accused.
In both cases involving current minors that occurred while the priest was serving in the Archdiocese, the priest has been subjected to a canon law process for permanent removal from any ministry as a priest.
4- Are accused persons returned to ministry if found to have abused a minor?
Absolutely not. The Archdiocese follows a strict “zero tolerance” policy that states that if individuals are found as adults to have sexually abused a minor, regardless of whether they are clergy or lay persons, they may never serve in any capacity in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
5- Are there priests whose names are not included in this new list even though they have been accused of allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors?
The Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board reviewed all allegations received by the Archdiocese to ensure that the 2018 Update to the Report to the People of God includes all corroborated reports of sexual misconduct by priests involving minors. In cases where allegations could not be substantiated as credible or plausible, as noted above, or the conduct involved was determined not to be sexual misconduct, the names of the accused are not included. The Board does an independent investigation of allegations and takes into consideration the results of investigations by law enforcement before making recommendations concerning the return to ministry of any accused priest.
6- Does the 2018 Update include the names in the Jeff Anderson and Associates Report of Accused Priests, which Anderson claimed were not previously disclosed?
The 2018 Update includes the names of five priests listed by Jeff Anderson who were not on previous updates because they were accused after 2008; all of whom have been otherwise previously publicly disclosed. Of the 307 names on the Anderson list, only one was a priest of the Archdiocese who had not been disclosed in the Archdiocese’s public releases, and that one priest was not accused of sexual abuse. All the other individuals listed have been disclosed, had no affiliation with the Archdiocese, or no allegation of abuse against them was known to the Archdiocese while they were affiliated with the Archdiocese.
7- Are the previous names released by the Archdiocese publicly available?
The original lists of names published in the 2004 Report to the People of God and the 2005 and 2008 updates have been consolidated into a single list and the status of the individuals have been updated in the combined list. Of the total of 296 persons listed on the consolidated, 269 were priests, of whom 6 have been exonerated and are in active ministry or retired with full faculties to minister in the Archdiocese; 120 are deceased; 86 are no longer in the Archdiocese; 28 are inactive or retired without faculties; 27 have been returned to the lay state; and, the status of two is unknown. The remaining 27 persons listed in the Report to the People of God were named in litigation as religious brothers, seminarians or an imposter priest.
8- Have there been any grand jury investigations involving the Archdiocese?
There have been three grand jury investigations since 2002, two California state investigations and one federal investigation in Los Angeles. The Archdiocese has cooperated in each investigation.
9- How does the Archdiocese address allegations of sexual misconduct by priests or deacons involving adults?
The Archdiocese addresses misconduct by priests and deacons involving adults in the same way as with allegations involving minors:
- the alleged misconduct is reported to law enforcement and investigated regardless of the statute of limitations;
- the accused is removed from ministry pending the result of the law enforcement and independent internal investigations conducted by retired FBI special agents;
- all victim-survivors and their families are offered healing support and professional counseling through the Office of Victims Assistance Ministry;
- public announcements are made at the parishes and schools where the accused has served; and
- the matter is referred to the independent Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board for review. The Board reviews the results of the law enforcement and internal investigations and make final recommendations regarding a return to ministry or permanent removal from ministry of the accused
10- How does the Archdiocese address allegations of sexual misconduct in the Church not involving clergy?
- All allegations of sexual misconduct are handled under the Archdiocese’s strict reporting policies mentioned above. These allegations are reported to law enforcement and investigated by retired FBI special agents. The accused is removed from ministry pending the result of the investigations. Since the allegations do not involve clergy, the results of the investigations are not reviewed by the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board. Under the Archdiocese’s “zero tolerance” policy, if the investigations find that an accused has abused a minor, he or she may not serve in any capacity in the Archdiocese.
For more information on the policies and programs of the Archdiocese on abuse prevention and reporting, visit www.protect.la-archdiocese.org