Fr. John P. Leary – Archdiocese of San Francisco

| Dec 15, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father John P. Leary

Archdiocese of San Francisco/Jesuits

Ordained: 1951

Dead: 1993

Assignment History:

  • 1951-1952: Alma College (Alma, CA)
  • 1952-1954: Manresa Hall (Port Townsend, WA)
  • 1954-1955: Rome, Italy
  • 1955-1969: Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA)
  • 1969:  Cranwell Prep. School (Lenox, MA)
  • 1969-1970: Utah State University (Logan, UT)
  • 1970-1978: Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA)
  • 1971:  New College of California (Sausalito, CA)
  • Year unknown: New College of California (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1977:  Academic Year in New York (NY)
  • 1981-1985: Old College (Reno, NV)
  • 1985-1986: St. Joseph’s (New York, NY)
  • 1987-1988: Jesuit Seminary & Mission Bureau (Portland, OR)
  • 1988-1993: Jesuit Provincial Residence (Portland, OR)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John P Leary:

Fr. John P Leary was president of Gonzaga University when allegations were made that he sexually abused a student. Although records show that reports were initially made beginning in 1966, the police weren’t notified until 1969. The Spokane police went to the Jesuits with an offer that Leary would be spared arrest if he left town within 24 hours. Leary was quietly sent away to a Jesuit boys’ school in Lenox, MA, to “recuperate”.

According to media reports, the Jesuit order has settled with two of Leary’s victims so far. One of his accusers said that Leary sexually abused him as a teenager in 1965. The victim was a Gonzaga student and asked to drive the president to a speaking engagement. When he parked the car, Leary made an aggressive pass. The student was able to fend off Leary’s attempts at sex, though he was still subjected to abuse.

Over the course of his tenure, Leary lived and worked in Utah, California, New York, Nevada, and Oregon. In 2006, The Oregon Province Jesuits claimed they didn’t learn the details of allegations against Leary until 2006; they said documents show Leary may have abused as many as 12 youths.

In 2018, Leary was included on the Jesuits West Province list named as being credibly accused of child sex abuse. It notes reports in 2006 and 2009 of abuse that took place from 1965-1966.

Leary died in 1993.

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