Monsignor Patrick O’Keefe
Diocese of Orange
Assigned as follows:
- 1960-1965 St. John The Evangelist (San Diego, CA)
- 1966-1974 St. Charles Borromeo (San Diego, CA)
- 1975-1976 St. Adelaide (Highland, CA)
- 1977 St. Joseph Church (Loma Linda, CA)
- 1978-1983 St. Peter and St. Paul (Alta Loma, CA)
- 1984-1986 Unknown
- 1987-1990 Junipero Serra House of Formation (Riverside, CA)
- 1990-1992 St. Margaret Mary Church (Chino, CA)
- 1993 Unknown
- 1994 Holy Family Church (Hesperia, CA)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Patrick O’Keefe:
Monsignor Patrick O’Keeffe, a Native of Ireland, was ordained a priest in 1959, who served in the Diocese of Orange. He served in Southern California for nearly thirty years before being appointed Monsignor in 1988. He served as Monsignor for several years before having his faculties removed in April 1994. According to records Monsignor O’Keeffe was dismissed from all parish duties after a lawsuit alleging sexual misconduct was settled by the Diocese of San Diego.
Monsignor O’Keeffe and the church also faced a separate civil lawsuit containing accusations of sexual abuse from more than a dozen girls and women. In the second case, a woman accused Monsignor O’Keeffe of molesting her at a Chula Vista church in 1958. He was targeted in two other lawsuits, which accused him of molesting two girls in Chula Vista in the late 1950s and a 14-year-old student at St. Margaret Mary School in Chino in 1990.
According to media reports, in 2002, Monsignor O’Keeffe was criminally charged with 15 counts of child abuse with a 17-year-old girl at St. Adelaide Catholic Church in Highland in 1972. The suit states that he admitted in a letter that he molested her and other girls at various parishes in San Diego and San Bernardino.
According to court documents, over several months, he introduced the girl to oral sex, then intercourse, all while professing his love and promising to leave the clergy and marry her. Then he dumped her, leaving the girl confused, angry, alienated from her faith and family. He left her with severe psychological scars. Her father, who had befriended Monsignor O’Keeffe and became a priest himself after her mother died, did not speak to her for years after she disclosed her secret to him in 1992.
Monsignor O’Keeffe returned to Ireland days before a warrant was issued for his arrest. The charges were dropped in 2003 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that had extended the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. He was laicized in 2006.
In March 2007, Monsignor O’Keeffe was included on the Diocese of San Diego’s list of 38 priests in which the Diocese has received a credible allegation involving sexual abuse of a minor. The Diocese of San Diego filed bankruptcy one day before the civil trial. The claims were settled in September 2007 for $198.1 million. His personnel file was released in October 2010.
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.