Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann
Diocese of Santa Rosa
- 1968-1971: St. Matthias (Huntington Park, CA)
- 1972-1974: Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA); Holy Family Church (Orange, CA)
- 1975-1987: Our Lady Seminary (San Fernando, CA)
- 1984: Our Lady of the Valley (Canoga Park, CA)
- 1988-1992: Auxiliary Bishop Archdiocese of Los Angeles
- 1993-1999: Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann:
Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1967. He was elevated to Auxiliary Bishop in 1987, then to Bishop in the Diocese of Santa Rosa in 1992. According to media reports, in 1999, a younger priest accused Bishop Ziemann of coercing him into sex over a two-year period, ending in 1998. Bishop Ziemann abruptly resigned, admitting to a sexual relationship with the priest, but denied coercing him. He left the diocese in financial debt of over $16 million. He removed three priests accused of sexual misconduct and secretly paid more than $560,000 in church funds to an unknown number of victims of clergy abuse. He was sent to St. John Vianney, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sexual abuse.
Bishop Ziemann was named in two civil lawsuits, which accused him of sexually abusing three boys. In July 2002, one man filed suit against Bishop Ziemann accusing him of sexual abuse beginning in 1968, when the man was a sixth-grade altar boy and continuing for almost twenty years. He claimed that Bishop Ziemann began to pay him for sex when he was 17 years old and that payments continued after the sexual encounters stopped, he stepped down in 1999. Bishop Ziemann denied the allegations.
In the early 2000s, another man claimed that Bishop Ziemann sexually abused him as an altar boy in the 1960s, when he was a St. Matthias altar boy. Bishop Ziemann denied the charges. A third man, in 2004 accused Bishop Ziemann of sexually assaulting him as a boy in the 1970s, on the grounds of Our Lady’s high school seminary. The archdiocese settled the claims for $2.8 million, according to the plaintiffs’ attorneys.
In 2000, he settled into a ‘life of prayer and study’ at St. David, a Benedictine monastery in the Diocese of Tucson, where he lived without faculties until his death in October 2009. In December 2003, he was named in a civil suit alleging a conspiracy by 28 priests to cover up abuse in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Bishop Ziemann was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. He was rumored to be in line for a bishop or archbishop’s post at a larger diocese prior to his own scandal.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Santa Rosa 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 Santa Rosa now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Diocese of Santa Rosa, 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.