Mister James Funnell
Diocese of Baton Rouge (Seminarian)
Left Diocese of Baton Rouge: 1979
Assigned as Follows:
- Notre Dame Seminary (New Orleans, LA)
- Youth Minister at St. Isidore the Farmer (Baker, LA)
- Youth Minister at St. Aloysius Church (Baton Rouge, LA)
- Wrestling Coach at Archbishop Rummel High School (Metairie, LA)
- St. John Vianney Catholic Church (Kirkland, WA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Mr. James Funnell:
In January 2019, the Diocese of Baton Rouge identified James Funnell as the subject of credible allegations of sexual abuse of one or more minors or vulnerable adults which allegedly occurred within the Diocese of Baton Rouge after its formation in 1961. The Diocese received multiple allegations of abuse against Funnell (1/2012, 12/2013 and 4/2016). The alleged abuse occurred in the mid-late 1970’s when Funnell was a youth minister in Baker, LA. No further information was released about the gender/age of the victim or the number of people who have come forward.
According to the Seattle Times, in 1989 church officials at St. Vianney Catholic Church in Kirkland, WA received a complaint of sexual misconduct against James Funnell, who was acting as a youth minister at the time. Funnell was removed from his position and law enforcement was contacted. Later that year, Funnell pleaded guilty to one “count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.” He served 90 days in jail and two years of probation.
In 2010, a Seattle man sued the Seattle Archdiocese claiming that he was abused during the 1980’s by James Funnell, who was a youth minister at St. John Vianney Catholic Church. The victim claims that abuse began in 1983 when he was 12 years old and continued for four years. The complaint also cites that the Seattle Archdiocese failed to initiate a background check on Funnell, which would have uncovered previous allegations of sexual misconduct.
According to media reports, the Seattle Archdiocese paid $635,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by another man who also claims he was abused by Funnell in the mid-1980’s when Funnell worked at St. John Vianney. The abuse began when the victim was between 13 and 14 years old and continued for one year. The victim also stated that he knows of 10-12 other boys who were abused by Funnell.
James Funnell changed his name to James Fionnghael and currently resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Louisiana, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Baton Rouge may 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 Louisiana and nationwide. We can help.