Father Anthony Edward Rodrigue
Diocese of San Bernardino
Assigned as follows:
- 1963-1964: Mary Star of the Sea (La Jolla, CA)
- 1965-1966: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Lakeside, CA)
- 1967: St. John (Encinitas, CA)
- 1968-1971: Our Lady of Guadalupe (Calexico, CA)
- 1971-1972: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Indio, CA)
- 1972-1973: St. Joseph (Barstow, CA)
- 1974-1975: St. Michael (San Diego, CA)
- 1976: Our Lady Church (El Centro, CA)
- 1977-1981: St. George (Ontario, CA)
- 1981-1982: St. Joseph the Worker (Loma Linda, CA)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Anthony Edward Rodrigue:
According to media reports, in 1979, Fr. Anthony Edward Rodrigue pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor child molestation charge and was sentenced to probation. He was also sent to Cavena Treatment Facility a psychiatric treatment center in Azusa, for eleven months in 1980. He continued serving in the priesthood until his retirement in 1983.
In 1992, amid more allegations of sexual abuse, Rodrigue was laicized. According to a 1997 San Bernardino County Sheriff’s report, he admitted to sexually abusing four or five boys each year during his 29-year career as a priest. In 1998, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten years in prison for sexually abusing an 11-year-old, developmentally disabled boy. According to a probation report prepared for the court, a woman in his housing complex reported her son had a “hickey” on his neck after Father Rodrigue had babysat him. “It is likely if he is not incarcerated he will continue to victimize other boys,” the report said.
Rodrigue sexually abused approximately 150 victims. In 2003, at least 30 alleged victims filed civil suits against him. A judge ruled that the Diocese of San Diego and the Diocese of San Bernardino may be assessed punitive damages if found liable. In court papers, Rodrigue said Bishop Leo Maher of San Diego knew of the accusations against him in 1976 but allowed him to continue to work as a priest.
In 2004, his brother spoke publicly about his brother. He asked for all potential sex-crime victims of Rodrigue to come forward with their stories. He said he knew for decades that his brother was a pedophile. The two men had not spoken since 1978 when he suspected that his brother might be attempting to molest his 9-year-old son. He remained silent for fear of upsetting the victims’ parents.
Rodrigue was released from prison in January 2006. The claims against him were included in the Diocese of San Diego’s 2007 settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse. In March 2007, his name was included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.
One suit was settled in April 2010, and in October, the Diocese of San Diego released his personnel file. The files revealed that in 1976, a group of parents at his parish in Heber complained he had molested their children. He was sent to a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts for treatment but was reinstated in ministry despite the recommendations of those who treated him. Rodrigue was also included in the Diocese of San Bernardino’s list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse released in October 2018.
Rodrigue died in 2009.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in San Bernardino, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino 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.