Father Andrew Christian Andersen
Diocese of Orange
Assigned as follows:
- 1983-1986 St. Bonaventure (Huntington Beach, CA)
- 1987-1996 Leave Of Absence
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Andrew Christian Andersen:
Father Andrew Christian Andersen was ordained in 1982, who served in the Diocese of Orange. According to media reports, in April 1986, Father Andersen was arrested after an Orange County psychiatrist told police that a troubled 13-year-old altar boy at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church might be a victim. He was accused of dragging a seventh-grade boy into his car on a downtown Albuquerque street one month prior in March and attempting to molest him several times in a three-hour period.
He was charged with 26 counts of sexual abuse against four altar boys ages 12 to 13, during a 13-month period. Before Father Andersen waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to all 26 counts, he told the judge that what he did with the kids was little more than “wrestling” and “horseplay.” In September 1986, he was sentenced to five years of probation in the Servants of the Paraclete treatment facility in New Mexico. He served no prison time.
It was later revealed that Monsignor Michael Patrick Duffy was aware of Father Andersen’s alleged misconduct in 1983. The church never told authorities of the abuse reported three years earlier, when it sent Andersen to counseling, and did not remove him from supervising boys. One of the molested altar boys said in an interview that he knew of at least 13 victims.
The mother of one of the victims said, “Now we find it very difficult to go to church … A church helps its people. Our church didn’t help us.
“You look at your church community, you look at who applauded a molester, they don’t realize the damage it did to a child who trusted so much,” she said.
They first were alerted that something was wrong with their son when his grades began to slip and he began to seclude himself in his room. Then they found a book in his room with explicit illustrations of homosexual and heterosexual sexual positions—a gift for their son, they said, from the priest.
Four years after his initial conviction, Father Andersen was again arrested, this time for sodomizing a 14-year-old boy and violating his probation. According to the boy’s police statement, Father Andersen drove by him four times. He offered to give him a ride or take him for a bite to eat. The boy refused. But on the fourth pass, the boy approached the car and the priest pulled the boy inside. He was sentenced to six years in prison in 2005.
In 1996, over a decade after his first conviction, Father Andersen was removed from the priesthood and laicized. Father Andersen’s name (spelled Anderson in the release) was included in a press release issued by the Diocese of Orange in 2004 as a priest accused and removed from ministry. Reports revealed failed efforts to rehabilitate him and two other Orange County’s most notorious predator priests. As of 2014, Father Andersen is believed to be living in Tustin.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange now have legal options due to a temporary change in California law, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help.