Father Michael Van Dinh
Diocese of Oakland
- St. Michael’s Catholic Church (Livermore, CA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Michael Van Dinh:
In 2017, a 24-year-old man alleged he was sexually abused by Fr. Michael Van Dinh inside the rectory of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Livermore, California. According to media reports, the man claims that Van Dinh lured him there with the promise of helping him find a job. He said when he arrived, something felt off. Van Dinh led him into a candlelit room and gave him a gift bag filled with massage oils, underwear thongs, a shirt, and chocolates. Van Dinh pushed him down on a mattress, took his clothes off, and began massaging his body with baby oil against his will. The victim claimed he was blindfolded, had his hands tied in front of him, and was raped. When the Police investigated, they recovered the underwear along with a blindfold, a meth pipe, and five rubber rings from Van Dinh’s room.
According to media reports, the Livermore police report stated that four days passed before the Diocese of Oakland reported the alleged sexual assault to authorities. According to the report, by the time detectives attempted a pretext phone call between the victim and Dinh, the Diocese had already informed Dinh of the allegations. Detectives recommended two felony charges, including sodomy by force, but the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the encounter wasn’t consensual.
Van Dinh was put on administrative leave after that allegation surfaced. However, no criminal charges were ever brought against Dinh. The victim filed a civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Oakland in 2020, naming Van Dinh. The Diocese settled but again, Van Dinh was not charged due to lack of evidence. He was removed from ministry.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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.