Fr. Gary Timmons – Diocese of Santa Rosa

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Gary Timmons

Diocese of Santa Rosa

Ordained: 1967

Laicized: 2001

Assignment History:

  • 1964: Founded Camp St. Michael (Leggett, CA)
  • Youth Minister of Diocese of Santa Rosa
  • 1981: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Rohnert Park, CA)
  • St. Eugene (Santa Rosa, CA)
  • 1990-1994: St. Bernard (Eureka, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Gary Timmons:

Fr. Gary Timmons was ordained a priest in 1967. He served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, and was the founder of Camp St. Michael in Leggett. According to media reports, in the 1970s, a boy complained that Fr. Timmons groped him at Camp St. Michael. Fr. Timmons, along with the camp director Robert Bailey, insisted it was a misunderstanding.

In 1979, the former principal at Cardinal Newman High School told Bishop Hurley about allegations against Timmons. In 1994, a civil lawsuit was filed on behalf of seven plaintiffs alleging abuse by Fr. Timmons. Timmons was removed from ministry at St. Bernard’s in Eureka, CA, and sent to a church-run residential treatment program for 20 months. Criminal charges were sought but dismissed for “lack of evidence.”

In 1995, Fr. Timmons was arrested in Chicago on 17 counts of felony child sexual assault charges after three more victims came forward. At the time of his arrest, Fr. Timmons was enrolled at the Institute of Spiritual Leadership in Hyde Park (Archdiocese of Chicago) to “help students become better spiritual leaders.”

Court papers state Timmons’ diary included an entry that said, “I am a child molester” and that 172 pages of notes were found in Timmons’ Chicago apartment, which included descriptions of his sexual encounters and a letter to one of his victims.

In 1996, Fr. Timmons pleads guilty in Sonoma County to two counts of lewd conduct with teenage boys. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Timmons received another 8-year prison sentence in Humboldt County for abuse of a 12 y/o boy at St. Bernard’s Church in Eureka, CA.  According to the Megan’s Law database, Timmons was convicted of committing lewd or lascivious acts with children in 1996.

As of May 2021, multiple lawsuits are pending which accused Catholc Diocese of Santa Rosa of failing to protect children from Gary Timmons.

Timmons was released from prison in 2002 after serving four years. He was laicized in 2001. In 2019, Gary Timmons’ name appeared on the Diocese of Santa Rosa’s list of accused priests and deacons who served in the Diocese of Santa Rosa.

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.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.