Father Christopher Cunningham
Archdiocese of Los Angeles
- 1989-1990: St. Mary’s (Palmdale, CA)
- 1990-1994: St. Christopher’s (West Covina, CA)
- 1994-1998: St. Mary’s (Palmdale, CA)
- 1998-2001: St. Lawrence Martyr (Redondo Beach, CA)
- 2001-2004: St. Louise de Marillac (Covina, CA)
- 2004-2006: Our Lady of Assumption (Ventura, CA)
- 2006-2017: Unknown
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Christopher Cunningham:
Fr. Christopher Cunningham was ordained a priest in 1989, and served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Los Angeles. According to media reports, he has been accused of child sexual abuse by at least six people, five of them in civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse occurring from the mid-1990s to the early-2000s at parishes in Palmdale, Redondo Beach, and Covina, CA.
The first lawsuit was filed in 2015, alleging that Fr. Cunningham abused him in 2001 and 2002 when the victim was 12 and 13 years old at St. Louise de Marillac Church in Covina. He was also accused in a 2017 lawsuit of sexually abusing four boys, ages 10-15, in the mid-1990s-early 2000s at three different parishes in Southern California.
In April 2021, Cunningham was charged with committing lewd acts on four boys while assigned to churches in Palmdale and Redondo Beach between the mid-1990s and 2001. The alleged victims include an 11-year-old boy who was allegedly sexually abused on two occasions between November 1995 and September 1997 and another boy who was allegedly abused at his home sometime between June 1996 and June 1998, while Cunningham was an associate pastor at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmdale.
Prosecutors also allege that Cunningham abused a 12-year-old boy who claims to have been sexually abused on two occasions between July 1998 and January 2001, and a 10-year-old boy who was allegedly sexually abused on multiple occasions during the same time frame while Cunningham was at Saint Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church.
The Los Angeles Archdiocese stated, “Father Cunningham has been inactive and out of ministry since 2005 after the archdiocese received allegations of improper boundary violations concerning Father Cunningham in August 2005.” Notes from the lawsuits say that Cunningham was sent to another parish in 2004 due to Cunningham acting “emotionally unstable, harsh in exercising authority and interfered with an internal church investigation.”
Fr. Cunningham was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. In 2017, Fr. Cunningham was found to be a psychologist working with youth in Rhode Island. He is set to be arraigned in early May 2021 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles 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 Archdiocese of Los Angeles now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, 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.