Father Oliver O’Grady
Diocese of Sacramento/Diocese of Stockton
- 1971-1977: St. Anne’s (Lodi, CA)
- 1977-1982: Sacred Heart (Turlock, CA)
- 1982-1984: Presentation of Blessed Virgin Mary (Stockton, CA)
- 1984-1992: St. Andrew’s (San Andreas, CA)
- 1992-1993: St. Anthony’s (Hughson, CA)
- 1993-1995: Absent on Leave
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Oliver O’Grady:
Making headlines all over the news and gaining much publicity, Fr. Oliver Francis O’Grady was convicted on four counts for raping and molesting at least 25 children in California from 1973-1992. O’Grady was sentenced to 14 years in prison but was released after seven. Two of O’Grady’s victims were brothers that were repeatedly molested between 1978 and 1991, from ages 3 to 13, while at Sacred Heart in Turlock, California. He was also a frequent visitor to Camp Pendola (in Diocese of Sacramento) in 1970.
Court documents show church officials knew that O’Grady had abused children as early as 1976 but had done nothing except cover it up. Police had been informed of earlier charges and had declined to file charges. Bishop Roger Mahony of the Diocese of Stockton sent O’Grady to a psychiatrist for an evaluation, and the second opinion said the counseling was satisfactory; the second opinion did not recommend he be removed from ministry, nor established diagnosis of pedophilia.
According to media reports, in 1998, a civil jury ordered the Diocese of Stockton to pay $30 million in damages to the two brothers. A judge later reduced the amount to $7 million. O’Grady was paroled from prison in 2000 after serving seven years and was then deported to his native town in Ireland.
According to media reports, in December 2010, O’Grady was arrested in Dublin, Ireland, for possession of child pornography. The victims were as young as two years old. Authorities discovered child pornography photos and videos on O’Grady’s laptop, on an external hard drive, and a USB key. In January 2012, O’Grady was sentenced to three years in prison in Ireland for possession of child pornography.
In a 15-hour videotaped deposition in 2005, O’Grady claimed he abused at least as many as 25 children in California. He described how his heart raced when one of the slim, playful boys he preferred toweled off after a swim. He also said he liked to lift little girls’ skirts and peek at their underpants. He also claimed to have been molested himself by a priest at the age of 10, and that he was involved in sexual abuse in his own family, both as perpetrator and victim.
The then 66-year-old was the subject of an award-winning 2006 documentary, “Deliver Us from Evil,” in which he talked openly of abusing more than 20 children as he was shuffled from one parish to another in California through the 1970s and 80s.
O’Grady is included in the Diocese of Sacramento list of priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse.
His whereabouts have not been located since 2008.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Sacramento 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 Sacramento now have legal options due to a temporary change in the 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.