California Franciscan Friars Release Names of 55 Men Accused of Sexual Abuse

| Jun 4, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

On June 1, 2019, the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Barbara (OFM), based in Oakland, California, quietly released a list of friars accused of sexually abusing minors.  The province operates throughout the Western United States, including California, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington, “serving communities whose profiles cross ethnic, cultural and economic boundaries,” according to its website. Friars also serve in a number of Native American nations in the Southwest.

According to a release attached to the list, the men appearing on the list were included after an internal investigation by the religious order, and only after the Order determined that “there is a preponderance of evidence that the allegation is more likely true than not…Credibility can also be established by conviction in a court, or by the admission of the truth of the allegation by the accused friar.”

To its credit, the Friars did include in its public release a caveat that, when evaluating the allegations, “the benefit of any doubt was given to the victim.  It is our belief that almost all victims are trustworthy and telling the truth. In almost all cases if there was an allegation made directly by a named minor(s), or multiple allegations over time with no victim named, the friar’s name is included in the list even when other factors might not support the allegation(s).”

The list did not include any details about the allegations themselves, such as the age and gender of the victim(s), or the accused friar’s assignment at the time of the abuse.  However, the year of the alleged abuse was included, as well as an indication if the friar has been accused of abusing one child or more than one child.

The 55 accused friars appearing on the list published in June 2019 are:

Accused Friars Who Are Still Living

  • Br. Gerald Chumik
  • Br. Dennis Duffy
  • Br. Stephen Kain
  • Br. Josef Prochnow

Accused Friars Who Are Now Deceased

  • Br. Felipe Baldonado
  • Br. Melvin Bucher
  • Br. Samuel Cabot
  • Br. David Carrier (a/k/a Carriere, a/k/a Laurian)
  • Br. Camillus Cavagnaro
  • Br. Mario Cimmarrusti
  • Br. Philip Colloty
  • Br. Berard Connolly
  • Br. Owen da Silva
  • Br. Kevin Dunne
  • Br. Adrian Furman
  • Br. Martin Gates
  • Br. Gavin Griffith
  • Br. Rayner Harrington
  • Br. Gus Hootka
  • Br. Conan Lee
  • Br. Mark Liening
  • Br. Jorge Lopez
  • Br. Finbar Kenneally
  • Br. Sylvester Mancuso
  • Br. Martin McKeon
  • Br. Bede McKinnon
  • Br. Joseph Mikulich
  • Br. Claude Riffel
  • Br. Remy Rudin
  • Br. Ramon Varela
  • Br. Fernando Villalobos

Accused Friars Who Have Left the Order

  • Br. Santiago Alamaguer
  • Br. Aloysius Antlitz
  • Br. John Bradley
  • Ed Byrom (a/k/a Byron)
  • Br. Felix Calonge
  • Br. Francis Ford
  • Br. Carmelo Garcia
  • Br. Edward Henriques
  • Br. David Johnson
  • Br. Gus Krumm
  • Br. Louis Ladenburger
  • Br. Epiphanius Lewis
  • Br. Joaquin Moreno
  • Br. Gary Pacheco
  • Br. Robert Peguero
  • Br. Charles “Jude” Ruetten
  • Br. Tom Thing
  • Br. Robert Van Handel
  • Br. Philip Wolfe

Additionally, the Province identified four priests who have been named in court filings but who could not be said by the Province to be “credibly” accused of sexual abuse: Br. Didicus Clavel, Br. Matteo Guerrero, Br. Forrest McDonald, and Br. Pedro Vasquez.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in California and nationwide.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a Franciscan Friar, or any other member of the clergy in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the California may now have legal options to recover damages due to compensation funds created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or [email protected] today.