Fr. Arthur J. O’Brien – Archdiocese of Washington

| Jun 5, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Arthur J. O’Brien

Archdiocese of Washington

Ordained: 1983

Removed: 1984

Died: 2011

Assigned as follows:

  • 1983 – 1984      St. Pius X (Bowie, MD)
  • 1984 – 1985      Christ the King (Daphne, AL)
  • 1985 – 1987      Kalihi parish
  • 1987 – 1988      St. John Apostle and Evangelist (Mililani Town, HI)
  • 1988 – 1989      St. Rita (Haiku, HI)
  • 1988 – 1989      St. Gabriel (Keanae, HI)
  • 1989 – 1990      Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace (Honolulu, HI)
  • 1991 – 1993      Office of the Clergy
  • 1991 – 1995      Special Assignment (Office of the Clergy)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Arthur J. O’Brien:

According to media reports, the Archdiocese of Washington said it received the first report of sexual abuse against Father Arthur J. O’Brien in 1983. The alleged victim said Father O’Brien was a family friend and his Confirmation tutor. The boy was around 14 years old.  He said that when he went to Father O’Brien’s seminary residence they would massage each other in various stages of undress. 

In 1984, Father O’Brien was removed from ministry, sent for treatment at a rehab center for Catholic priests and cleared for return to ministry. From 1985 to 1989, he accepted assignments in Alabama and Hawaii. In 1989, he was accused of abusing a 10-year-old boy for several months. The boy did yard work at the Maui church where Father O’Brien was pastor.  

In 1992, he was arrested and convicted on three counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted sexual assault in Hawaii.  He received a 6 month sentence (suspended) and 5 years probation.

Father O’Brien was placed on permanent leave in 1993. He retired in 1995.

In 2002, a man claimed Father O’Brien sexually abused him when he was age 14 while Father O’Brien was a seminarian in Boston.

From 2005 – 2011 O’Brien’s whereabouts were unknown. It is believed he may have been living in Florida until his death in 2011.

In October 2018, Father O’Brien’s name first appeared publicly on the Archdiocese of Washington’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Washington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.