Father Ted Oswald
Diocese of Santa Rosa
Assigned as follows:
- St. Rose Church (Santa Rosa, CA)
- St. Mary of the Angels Catholic Church (Ukiah, AZ)
- St. Mary Immaculate Church (Lakeport, AZ)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Ted Oswald:
Father Ted Oswald was ordained a priest in 1984, who served in multiple dioceses including in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. Prior to his ordination, from 1976-1977, he was a member of a lay group, “Brothers of Our Lady of the Poor,” that provided charitable services in the Yuma community. He was known then as Brother John.
According to media reports, in January 2008, Father Oswald was named in a civil lawsuit that alleged he sexually abused two teenage boys. The alleged abuse occurred between 1988 and 1995 while Father Oswald was serving at St. Mary Immaculate Church in Lakeport and the boys were young parishioners. He denied the allegations.
Father Oswald was placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Santa Rosa in 2009 after the allegations of sexual abuse were found credible. The suit was settled by the Santa Rosa diocese in March 2009 for $1.3 million. A former police officer and Vietnam veteran, Father Oswald testified in 1999 and 2000 that he had reported abuse by Father Trupia to his superiors in 1976 and provided written statements from his students. He was permanently removed. Fr. Oswald died in July 2010.
A second civil lawsuit was filed in August 2013. The new suit alleged Father Oswald began molesting the plaintiff in 2007 after “grooming” the child through flattery and ingratiating himself to the child’s parents. The lawsuit alleges the priest plied the boy with alcohol and groped him, both over and under his clothing. The alleged incidents occurred both at Father Oswald’s home and the church office, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges Father Oswald had been accused of sexual misconduct years before contacting the plaintiff. Those allegations included “incidents on and off the physical premises owned and operated by the Diocese of Santa Rosa where Father Ted Oswald would fondle children sexually and force them to play games from which he derived sexual gratification, well before Father Ted Oswald was assigned to St. Mary Immaculate Parish,” the lawsuit states.
In July 2014, the suit was settled for $3.5 million. In January 2019, Father Oswald’s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Tucson’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.
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.