Fr. Claude Riffel – Diocese of Sacramento

| Jun 16, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Claude Riffel

Diocese of Sacramento/Franciscan Friars

Ordained: 1940

Reported: 2009

Died: 1977

Assignment History:

  • 1940-1945: St. Anthony’s (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1945-1946: St. Mary’s (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1955-1958: Serra High (Salem, OR)
  • 1958-1968: St. Francis (Troutdale, OR)
  • 1968-1968: Holy Cross (Mesilla Park, NM)
  • 1968-1969: Ascension (Portland, OR)
  • 1969-1974: St. Francis (Spokane, WA)
  • 1974-1976: St. Anthony’s (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1976: St. Francis (Sacramento, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Claude Riffel:

A $4M lawsuit was filed in 2009 against the Franciscan Friars of California, by a Portland man for sexual abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of Fr. Claude Riffel. The assault occurred while Riffel served at the St. Francis Minor Seminary in Troutdale, Oregon, between 1962-1965. According to the lawsuit, Riffel, then the Dean of discipline for the school, would call the 15-year-old boy out of class on the pretext of assigning his work tasks, and would then abuse him.

Sexual abuse allegations were also reported to the Santa Barbara Franciscan Friars in the years following. His name is listed on the Santa Barbara Province Franciscans’ list in 2019 and on the Diocese of Las Cruce’s list of deceased credibly accused in 2019.

Riffel died in 1977.

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