Category: Uncategorized

Fr. Francis Ford – Diocese of Santa Rosa

Father Francis Ford

Diocese of Santa Rosa

Francis Ford Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1951

Leave of Absence: 1979

Died: 1985

Assignment History:

  • 1949-1950: St. Francis (Spoke, WA)
  • 1950-1953: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland, CA)
  • 1953-1958: U.S. Air Force Chaplain 
  • 1960: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland, CA)
  • 1960-1963: Ascension (Portland, OR)
  • 1963-1967: St. Paul of the Shipwreck (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1967-1968: St. Luke’s (Woodburn, Oregon)
  • 1969: St. Apollinaris (Napa, CA)
  • 1970-1972: St. Rose’s (Santa Rosa, CA)
  • 1973: St. John the Baptist (Napa, CA)
  • 1974-1976: Napa State Hospital (Napa, CA)
  • 1977-1985: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Francis Ford:

In 1951, Fr. Francis Ford, also known as John E. Ford, was ordained for the Franciscans. He left the order and was incardinated into the Diocese of Santa Rosa in 1971. In 2002, Fr. Ford was accused in a lawsuit against the Portland Archdiocese and the Franciscans of sexual abuse towards a minor.

According to media reports, in 1961, Ford abused a 12-year-old former altar boy for two years while assigned to Ascension parish in Portland, Oregon. One of the sexual abuse incidents occurred during a trip to the World’s Fair in Seattle, Washington. Fr. Ford moved back and forth between the Portland Archdiocese and positions in California. In 2002, the lawsuit was settled for $3.8M.

According to media reports, Fr. Ford spent time in the U.S. Air Force and then served briefly at St. Anthony parish in San Francisco, California before he was assigned to Ascension parish in Portland, Oregon in 1961. He left Portland in 1964 to serve at St. Paul of the Shipwreck in San Francisco, California, before returning to Oregon in 1967 to serve in Astoria. Ford returned to California in 1969 to work at St. Apollinaris parish in Napa, and then apparently left the Franciscan Order. He served as a priest until his death in 1985.

In 2019, Francis Ford was included on a list of priests in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, the Santa Barbara Province Franciscans, and the Diocese of Oakland’s list, named as being credibly accused of child sex abuse.

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 adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Patrick Finnegan – Diocese of Oakland

Father Patrick Finnegan  

Diocese of Oakland

Ordained: 1952

Removed: 1972

Died: 1980

Assigned as follows:

  • St Ambrose (Berkeley, CA) 
  • St. Joseph (Pinole, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Patrick Finnegan:

Father Patrick Finnegan was ordained for the Diocese of San Francisco in 1952. According to media reports, in 2019, name appeared on the Diocese of Oaklands’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted allegations of abuse reported in the 1960s and in 1973, though he had been removed from ministry in 1972. He died in 1980.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. George E. Crespin – Diocese of Oakland

Father George E. Crespin  

Diocese of Oakland

Ordained: 1962

Assigned as follows:

  • 1963                Holy Spirit (Freemont, CA)
  • 1964-1966      Cathedral of St. Francis De Sales (Oakland, CA)
  • 1967-1971      Corpus Christi (Piedmont, CA)
  • 1972-1979      Our Lady of Rosary (Union City, CA)
  • 1980-1983      Archivist, 2900 Lakeshore Ave. (Oakland, CA)
  • 1982-2006      St. Joseph the Worker (Berkeley, CA)
  • 2001                St. Ambrose (Berkeley, CA)
  • 2007-2011       Retired, St. Joseph the Worker (Berkeley, CA)
  • 2012-2017      Retired, St. Cornelius (Richmond, CA)
  • 2018-2020      Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father George E. Crespin:

Father George E. Crespin was a high-ranking diocese official who served as Chancellor and Vicar General of the Diocese of Oakland from 1979 to 1994. According to media reports, in 2005, he was named in a lawsuit in which he was accused of sexually abusing a minor boy from approximately 1974 to 1975, while was pastor at Our Lady of Rosary in Union City. He denied all charges. 

During the trial, Father Crespin testified that reporting allegations of child sexual abuse to law enforcement was not their practice. When the Dioceean Review Board found insufficient evidence to support the allegations against him, he returned to ministry with his privileges restored as a retired priest. In August 2005, the plaintiff was paid $600,000 as part of a global settlement.  

In December 2019, two men filed a lawsuit under the CA Child Victims Act, claiming the cover-up of child sexual abuse by Father Crespin and Father Stephen Kiesle (a serial pedophile) at Our Lady of the Rosary in the 1970s. Father Crespin’s accuser said the abuse began when he was 11 years old, and that the priest also abused his best friend, who died by suicide in 2020. 

“I kept this dark secret,” he said. “As a child I lost my faith.”

Father Crespin is currently a priest in residence at St. Cornelius Church in Richmond. Whether he has access to children is unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Bernard Connolly (Franciscans) – Diocese of Oakland

Brother Bernard Connolly  

Diocese of Oakland

Bernard Connelly Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Died: 1999

Assigned as follows:

  • 1945-1946      Old Mission (San Luis Rey, CA)
  • 1946-1948      Old Mission (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1948-1949      Old Mission (San Miguel, CA)
  • 1949-1950      St. Joseph’s (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1951-1953      St. Francis Retreat (San Juan Bautista, CA)
  • 1953-1958      Serra Retreat (Malibu, CA)
  • 1958-1964      Ascension (Portland, OR)
  • 1964-1968      St. Francis (Spokane, WA)
  • 1968-1971      St. Anne’s (Spokane, WA)
  • 1971-1978      St. Francis (Provo, UT)
  • 1978-1980      St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland, CA)
  • 1980-1986      St. Anthony’s (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1986-1988      (Toledo/Winlock, WA)
  • 1988-1993      San Xavier del Bac (Tucson, AZ)
  • 1993-1998      St. Francis Retreat (San Juan Bautista, CA)
  • 1988                Old Mission  (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1989-1992      Unknown
  • 1993                St. Francis Retreat (San Juan Bautista, CA)
  • 1994-1998      Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Brother Bernard Connolly:

Brother Bernard Connelly (Connolly) was a member of the Franciscan Order. According to media reports, in 1993, he was named in a lawsuit alleging he sexually abused a minor girl in the early 1970s when she was a student at Marycliff High School in Spokane, WA. He was sent for treatment, and transferred back to California in 1978. He died in 1999. In 2003, he was named in another lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse from 1985 to 1987, while he worked at St. Anthony’s Seminary in Santa Barbara, CA. 

In 2012, Brother Connelly’s personnel file was released to the public. His name was included in the Diocese of Spokane’s list of admitted, proven, or credibly accused perpetrators of sexual abuse and on the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of child sexual abuse.

In 2019, his name appeared on the Diocese of Oaklands’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors and on the Santa Barbara Province Franciscans list. It noted incidents of abuse occurring in 1960-1961 and 1982-1984 reported in 1993, 2003, 2004, and in 2014. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

He’s Locked Up. Why Should I Act Now?

If you’ve been sexually victimized by anyone at any time, please pay attention to today’s news about Bill Cosby.

“What’s new about Cosby? He’s been in prison for months and will stay there for years, right?”

That’s half right. He’s been incarcerated for sexual assault. But he and his lawyers were just in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Their claim: his conviction should be overturned.

And – brace yourself – they might win.

“But my situation is nothing like the Cosby case. Why should I care about this?”

Because the sordid Cosby saga reminds all of us who want to stop sexual violence that WE CAN TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED and WE CAN’T ASSUME SOMEONE ELSE HAS OR WILL ‘FIX’ THINGS FOR US.

And because the actions of judges, predators and defense lawyers remind us that

—predators are often incredibly determined

—they often pick and can afford smart lawyers

—the law can be complex and evolving

—the law can be influenced by societal trends and pressures

—a judge or a panel of judges

—some employers do, in fact, hire employees without adequate background checks OR

—believe in ‘redemption’ and ‘forgiveness’ and even hire proven predators.

We could go on and on and on. Our point, quite simply, is that even after someone like Cosby winds up in prison, inaction is inadvisable. Things can change and long prison sentences, wrongly thought to end the danger of re-offending, can be reversed.

So if you haven’t spoke up about your abuse – for any reason – PLEASE RECONSIDER, especially if you’re assuming that your perpetrator isn’t or can’t hurt anyone else.

“But my abuser is now retired.”

That might make it worse, since he now has even more time to groom and abuse.

“My abuser isn’t around kids any more.”

That could change tomorrow when he volunteers at a local school or scout troop or starts offering trumpet lessons out of his apartment.

“My abuser is old and in a wheelchair.”

That kind of disability probably stops a would-be bank robber, but predators usually rely on cunning and manipulation, not physical prowess.

“My abuser has escaped charges in the past.”

That doesn’t guarantee he won’t be charged in the future. (In fact, if anything guarantees he’ll keep evading justice, it’s the silence of those he assaulted.)

“The statute of limitations has expired.”

That’s not necessarily true. Some states have reformed their statutes recently. Some exceptions to the statutes exist. Sometimes a predator can be nailed on other wrongdoing (witness intimidation, evidence destruction, child porn, child endangerment, etc.) besides the original child sex abuse.

“No one will believe me.”

That was once more likely the case. But fortunately – largely because of victims’ courage – society understands childhood trauma much better these days.

“I tried once but didn’t succeed.”

That’s painfully common. But NOT trying again guarantees failure. Maybe now you’ll find other victims, a better sheriff, a smarter lawyer or more allies.

We at Horowitz Law believe that virtually that’s truly valuable happens in one magic move. If there IS ANY single best step or solution that MOST effectively protects the vulnerable, it is this: when every victim who can speak up does speaks up (even if the predator has been extensively ‘outed’ in the media or even convicted).

So again, please reconsider your silence. And please forward this to anyone you know who was hurt (or you suspect may have been hurt) and remains silent.

(If you’re interested in the actual legal arguments in the Cosby case, they’re fairly straightforward. Cosby claims that his trial judge let too many of his victims testifying, thus unfairly prejudicing the jury against him. Prosecutors, on the other hand, argue that the other victims who took the stand basically showed a similar and thus relevant ‘pattern and practice’ of predation by Cosby.)

 

A Valuable Film Airing Soon

We at Horowitz Law aren’t in the habit of promoting TV shows or movies.

That said, however, we hope you’ll tune into the Oxygen channel on December 6th at 7 p.m. Eastern for a documentary called “The Case Died With Her.”

(People Magazine summarizes the film well: https://bit.ly/33a5VtY)

It’s about a predator, James Wilder III, who still walks free, still lives in suburban St. Louis, Missouri, apparently still has a teaching license, and may have killed a woman.

(We say “predator,” not “alleged predator,” because Wilder admitted molesting a then 16 year old girl, in an 87 minute secretly-recorded conversation she had with him under police supervision.)

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/jtes/the-case-died-with-her

It’s also about that girl, Emilie Morris, who mysteriously died in 2014 shortly before her criminal case against Wilder was to be resolved.

The story raises two crucial questions. First, can we ever just assume that a victim of child sexual abuse is finally OK and not in need of our concern? And second, can’t we somehow, as a society, speed up the way suspected child molesters are brought to trial?

Let’s look at the second question first.

We at Horowitz Law specialize in civil litigation – exposing wrongdoers, fostering healing, and protecting the vulnerable in civil courts – where harm can be deterred, cover ups can be revealed, justice can be done, and victims can be compensated.

We are not experts in criminal law (though we very often gently prod victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to contact criminal authorities, so that the dangerous may be prosecuted, convicted and kept away from the vulnerable.)

But it seems to us that somehow, cases against child molesters – who cause SO much devastation and who are SO apt to keep on offending – can and should be put on a faster track than cases against purse-snatchers and car jackers.

You’ll learn, if you watch this documentary, that about two years elapsed between Wilder’s confession and Emilie’s death. Maybe a speedier criminal process played into that.

And maybe, during those two years, Wilder may have assaulted another girl. We don’t know.

Emilie’s relatives clearly believed and supported her throughout her ordeal and the tragically self-destructive after-effects of the abuse that plague nearly every abuse victims. They are to be commended for their love for Emilie, their concern for others and their courage in speaking out.

Frustratingly, they report that shortly before her death, Emilie really seemed to have her life back on track.

That brings us to the first question: Can we ever just assume, after X number of years, that a victim of child sexual abuse is finally OK and not to be worried about?

The answer is of course unknowable. But here’s what we believe: Abuse does lifelong harm. The harm, even well into adulthood, can re-surface at any time. And having usually lived with secrets for years or decades, victims aren’t necessarily forthcoming to loved ones about when they’re having a hard time.

So what are we who know and love victims of abuse to do?

Our answer: Check in with them from time to time. And specifically – but gently – bring up the abuse.

Worry less that “If I bring up her abuse again, will I be making her sad?”

Worry more that “Maybe she doesn’t want to bring up her abuse. Maybe she’s ashamed or frustrated that it still affects her even though she’s now 55. Maybe if I bring it up, she’ll feel free to tell me how she’s really feeling. And maybe I can help somehow.”

Please watch the film. And please join us in hoping that Wilder will end up behind bars so others are safe and in hoping all the best for Emilie’s brave, supportive family members who are still hurting.

 

HEALTH DEPARTMENT DISCIPLINES TITUSVILLE MASSAGE THERAPIST AFTER MULTIPLE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT REPORTS

HEALTH DEPARTMENT DISCIPLINES LONGTIME TITUSVILLE MASSAGE THERAPIST AFTER MULTIPLE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT REPORTS

On Friday, November 20, 2020, the Florida Department of Health ordered the emergency restriction of the license of massage therapist, Thomas Gregory Grasso.  The Emergency Order prohibits his practice of massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida.  The Emergency Order was entered in response to three sexual misconduct complaints by clients at Daly Family Chiropractic in Titusville. Grasso, reportedly a subcontractor there, has been a licensed massage therapist since January 1993. 

On June 25, 2020, Grasso, age 57, performed a full body massage on a 42-year old female client he had seen several times in the past at Daly Family Chiropractic.  During the massage, he placed something soft in her hands. She was not sure what it was but it felt awkward. The following month on July 20, the woman booked another session with Grasso. Again, he placed something soft in her hands. On August 17, in another session, while massaging her buttocks, Grasso moved his hands closer and closer to her vagina, and told her that her muscles were “super tight” multiple times. According to the Order, he then touched on and around her vaginal area with his hands. Again he reportedly placed something soft in her right hand. It was his penis, according to the Order.

On September 10, 2020, Grasso performed a massage on a 52-year old female client he had previously seen several times over a two month period at Daly Family Chiropractic. According to the Order, during the session, he exposed his penis and placed it in her hands. The woman was “terrified and mortified,” and reported the incident to the Titusville Police Department.

On September 28, 2020, Grasso performed a massage on a 59-year old female client he had previously seen several times over a five month period at Daly Family Chiropractic. According to the Order, during the session, she felt him touch her wrist and hand with something soft, that made her suspicious. The following month, on October 7, the woman returned for another session with Grasso. While massaging her, he reportedly removed his penis from his shorts and rubbed it one her.  The Order says he started masturbating and touched her back, shoulders and hair. He then reportedly asked her to turn over on her back. He proceeded to pull her hands and arms over her head and rubbed his penis on her hands and wrists. Disturbed by the incident, she reported it to the Titusville Police Department. He was arrested and charged with battery and exposure of a sexual organ.

According to the Department of Health, Grasso flagrantly disregarded the laws and regulations governing massage therapists by willfully violating the massage therapist-patient relationship.  The Order ensures he can no longer pose an immediate, serious danger to the public’s health, welfare and safety, pending a final hearing by the Department. When clients book a massage, it is to decompress from the stresses of life. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa will act professionally and expect they are carefully vetted and safe to engage with the public. It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims against massage therapists and spas on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched during a massage. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage by Thomas Grasso, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Florida Attorney General Report on Clergy Abuse & Cover Up Disappoints

The more we read the just-released report by Florida state authorities into Catholic child sex crimes and cover ups, the more disappointed we are at Horowitz Law. Here are some of the reasons why:

—-Unlike reports issued in other states, Florida officials refused to make even one recommendation to reduce the chances of abuse and cover up in the future (neither for external reforms through the legislature nor internal church reforms).

—-The report misleadingly implied that one recently-adopted legal change (extending the criminal statute of limitations) was sufficient to prevent scandals like this in the future.

—-While 97 accused Florida predator priests are mentioned by name in the report, almost no details about them are given – no photos, work histories, last known whereabouts,

—-While dozens of accused priests from other states, who came to or were sent to Florida, are listed by name, almost no details about them are given, not even the names of the dioceses in which they offended or were ordained.

—-Almost no ‘enablers are mentioned by name, the non-offending church staff and supervisors who ignored suspicions or reports of abuse and/or hid those suspicions or reports from police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the press.

http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/SSWN-BV4R8E/$file/Report.pdf

—-Only two child molesting clerics – Fr. Rocco D’angelo and Ernesto Garcia-Rubio – are examined in any depth.

In fairness, there are some positive parts of the report:

–It did list more than 170 accused child molesting Catholic clerics in Florida by name.

–It concluded what many of us have known for years, that “Florida was one of the states to where (accused predator) priests were routinely relocated.”

–It noted that sometimes, though not always, noting that sometimes Florida bishops were warned (by bishops elsewhere) of the clerics’ criminal pasts.

–It include the names of those pedophile priests from up north who came down here. (Some are notorious serial predators, like Romano Ferraro, now serving a life sentence in Massachusetts, and Norman Rogge, who may be the only priest who was put back into ministry twice, after two child sex abuse convictions.)

https://www.snapnetwork.org/ma_mo_victims_applaud_tough_sentence_for_abusive_priest

https://www.snapnetwork.org/a_priest_on_his_way_to_breaking_an_abuse_record

–At least one ‘enabler’ — Bishop (later Archbishop) Coleman Carroll of Miami – is named.

Sadly, throughout the document, nearly all other enablers remain concealed. When discussing the cover ups, the authors use the passive voice: “Law enforcement was not notified of the crimes.” Or the enablers are identified as institutions, not individuals: “.”

Maybe the most upsetting parts of the report, however, are one likely outcome and one glaring omission.

The outcome

First, for wounded victims, there’s usually relief when long-hidden crimes and cover ups like this are revealed (especially if names and details of predators and enablers are disclosed).

For innocent children, however, there’s risk when revelations like this happen. The risk (as we explained in our earlier post) can be summed up in one word: complacency.

We tend to assume that once scandals have been publicized, those in charge are already taking steps to prevent future scandals. And of course, in the worlds of business, politics and non-profits, that often happens.

But the Catholic church is different. It’s an ancient, resilient, secretive kingdom headed exclusively by unelected, elderly, hand-picked “don’t rock the boat” men (the pope and his bishops) who hold their rarified positions in this rigid hierarchy until they die. People literally kneel before them, kiss their rings, and call them ‘your excellency,’ ‘your grace’ and similar titles. And neither their paychecks, their power, their prestige nor their perks are hurt when they perform poorly.

That’s NOT a recipe for reform. That’s a recipe for continued irresponsible behavior. And that’s still the practice, culture and climate in Catholicism.

(For more reasons to stay vigilant, avoid complacency and basically ignore the church hierarchy’s claim that ‘all’s now well,’ check out this report done by an independent non-profit).

https://childusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Archdiocesan_Policies_WhitePaper_10-1-20s.pdf)

The omission

The report should have been replete with sentences like these:

“We beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to keep calling us.”

“Disclosing such horror is tough, so we commend the brave survivors who have spoken up.”

“Our hearts ache that none of these selfish and callous clerics can be criminally charged.”

“Police and prosecutors are getting more aggressive and skilled at pursuing crimes, even ones that happened long ago. So please pick up the phone.”

“We know only a small minority of victims ever come forward, so no one should consider this a thorough document.”

These omissions, tragically, send precisely the wrong message to still-suffering victims who feel trapped in silence and hopelessness. That message is “All’s OK now. We don’t particularly care about your pain. And we’re not especially anxious to hear from you.”

Please know, however, that we at Horowitz Law feel differently. We are ALWAYS anxious to hear from those who hurt and who seek justice, healing and prevention.

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/florida-closes-investigation-into-catholic-church-alleged-sexual-abuse-by-priests

 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a Catholic priest, clergyman or other lay employee of a Diocese or Archdiocese in Florida, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in Florida  have legal options, but statutes of limitations will apply so do not delay in contacting us now.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide.

Three Anti-Child Politicians Who Should Have Lost on Election Day

Three anti-child politicians who should have lost on Tuesday

A progressive Kansas man. A controversial Georgia woman. A conservative Missouri politician.

All three won elective office this past Election Day. And all three have troubling records with or on sexual abuse.

A newcomer to politics, Aaron Coleman just won a spot in the Kansas House of Representatives. The trouble is, he admitted sexually harassing girls and engaging in revenge porn.

https://www.kshb.com/news/election-2020/20-year-old-who-admitted-to-sexual-harassment-elected-to-kansas-house-of-representatives

An incumbent, Rick Roeber, just won re-election to the Missouri House of Representatives. The trouble is that his now-adult children have accused him of molesting them when they were kids.

https://lstribune.net/index.php/2020/10/16/bi-partisan-declaration-calling-for-rick-roeber-to-withdraw/

Another political novice, Marjorie Taylor Greene just won a congressional seat in Georgia. The trouble is that she believes in QAnon’s claim of “a global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles” headquartered in Washington DC. And that hurts dedicated child advocates by detracting and distracting from the real issues.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/03/politics/marjorie-taylor-greene-wins/index.html

(One news account: “Sensational depictions of random kidnappings, coupled with inflated and unreliable data, undercuts the efforts already underway and distorts public perceptions of the reality of trafficking, experts said.”)

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/politics/story/2020-09-13/child-trafficking-rallies-qanon

The New York Times notes that QAnon is “an online movement that has inspired real-world violence and been branded a potential domestic terrorism threat by the F.B.I.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/03/us/politics/qanon-candidates-marjorie-taylor-greene.html

For other QAnon candidates, see

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/03/us/politics/qanon-candidates-marjorie-taylor-greene.html)

Tragically, with two of these politicians, the controversies don’t solely revolve around kids.

—Coleman was charged at the age of 14 with threatening to shoot a high school student. This week, party officials said they would try to oust him after what they saw as a threat he made against the top Democrat in Kansas. (He predicted that Gov. Laura Kelly would face “an extremely bloody” primary, adding “I’m not playing around. People will realize one day when I call a hit out on you it’s real.”.)

—Greene tweeted that ‘children should not wear masks,’ rejecting the recommendation of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health professionals,” according to the Associated Press. “She also posted on Facebook an image of herself holding a gun alongside images of elected Democratic officials encouraging people to ‘go on the offense against these socialists.

Thankfully, Facebook removed the photo by the following day, saying it violated the social network’s policies.

Greene has also come under fire for making derogatory remarks about at least three minority groups.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/17/us/marjorie-taylor-greene-georgia.html

“So what? There are tens of thousands of elected officials across the country. Big deal if a few of them shouldn’t have won,” you might say.

But consider this: These candidacies attracted a lot of public attention. Think about the message they send to survivors of sexual violence.

Maybe the very saddest messages is this one: “Why should I speak up and report the horrors I suffered? It won’t make any difference anyway.”

And the very saddest effect of victims feeling too helpless to speak up is this one: others end up being sexually violated because predators remain in the shadows.

Here’s where you come in. Want kids to be safer? Then don’t do things that discourage victims from stepping forward. Don’t vote for or buy from or promote or praise ANYONE who’s been credibly accused of sexual violence. It’s that simple.

There are, however, at least three bright spots in all of this.

The Fraternal Order of Police withdrew its endorsement of Roeber when abuse reports against him were made public. Good for them!

https://missouriindependent.com/2020/10/27/missouri-fop-rescinds-endorsement-of-republican-candidate-accused-of-abuse/

And State Representative Keri Ingle took the lead in organizing a bi-partisan public letter urging Roeber to withdraw from the race. Thanks to these Missouri lawmakers who signed it: Senator John Rizzo, State Rep Bill Kidd, State Rep Ingrid Burnett, State Rep Crystal Quade, State Rep Greg Razor, State Rep Sheila Solon, State Rep Barbara Washington, State Rep Jerome Barnes, State Rep Jack Bondon, State Rep Ashley Bland Manlove, State Rep Mark Sharp, State Rep Shamed Dogan, State Rep Rory Rowland, State Rep Robert Sauls, State Rep Joe Runions and State Rep Yolanda Young.

https://lstribune.net/index.php/2020/10/16/bi-partisan-declaration-calling-for-rick-roeber-to-withdraw/

(That declaration included this powerful passage: “We believe in forgiveness and the ability of individuals to change, but the honor of serving in the People’s House is a privilege that certain acts preclude.”)

Finally, there are the victims of these two men. They did the right thing. They may feel dismayed at the election results. But they’ll know, for the rest of their lives, that they did what they could to expose wrongdoers and protect kids.

 

Fr. John Santillan (Piarist Fathers) – Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Father Juan (John) Santillan (Piarist Fathers)

Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Ordained: 1969

Removed: 2002

Died: 2014

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970-1974      St. Bernard High School (Playa Del Rey, CA)
  • 1975                St. Lucy (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1976-1981      Santa Teresita (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1982                Left Archdiocese
  • 1983-1985      St. Lucy (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1985                Pater Noster High School (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1986                Left Archdiocese
  • 1987                Casa Calasanz (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1987-1993      St. Lucy (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1994-1998      Our Lady Help of Christians (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1999-2002      Unknown (potentially Bolivia)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Juan (John) Santillan (Piarist Fathers):

Father Juan (John) Santillan was a member of the Piarist religious order. According to media reports, he has been named in two civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse. One suit claimed the abuse occurred from approximately 1977 to 1981 when he worked at Santa Teresita Church, and the other lawsuit claimed the abuse occurred from approximately 1983 to 1985 when he worked at St. Lucy Catholic Church. 

In 1998, Father Santillan was accused of sexually abusing an altar server in the 1970s. He was also sued in 1998, but the case was dismissed. As of 1998, he was working as a priest in Bolivia. In 2002, the Los Angeles Police Department investigatied another claim of child sexual abuse against him. That same year, he was removed from ministry. His name was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse. It is believed he may have died in approximately 2014. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles 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 Los Angeles and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.