Fr Wilputte Alanson “Lan” Sherwood – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Wilputte Alanson “Lan” Sherwood 

Diocese of Phoenix

Ordained: 1975

Removed: 1993

Assigned as follows:

  • 1976-1978      St. Theresa (Phoenix, AZ)  
  • 1978-1979      St. Theresa (Phoenix, AZ)  
  • 1979-1982      St. Louis the King (Glendale, AZ)  
  • 1983-1985      St. Henry (Buckeye, AZ) 
  • 1986-1993      St. Benedict (Chandler, AZ) 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Wilputte Alanson “Lan” Sherwood:

According to media reports, Father Wilputte Alanson “Lan” Sherwood was arrested in 1984 and 1986 for public indecency. In 1993, he was arrested and convicted of sexually abusing a minor boy in 1987, while working at St. Benedict in Chandler, Arizona. He resigned was placed on paid administrative leave by the Phoenix Diocese.  

Father Sherwood pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten years in prison with lifetime probation. According to a press release from the U.S. Marshal’s office in Phoenix, he “kept extensive logs and video tapes of many of his sexual encounters with numerous underage boys.” Twelve of those minors appeared on videotape, and authorities have said the youngest victim was 14. 

It has been reported Father Sherwood targeted over 3,600 individuals for sexual interludes spanning 12 years and five different parishes. It was estimated that Sherwood had over 1,800 sexual affairs resulting from Sherwood roaming the streets of Phoenix targeting hitchhikers and runaways, of whom 22 were minors.

In November 2003, he was released from jail, and placed in Arizona State Hospital for an evaluation as a sex offender. permanently removed from ministry.

In 2005, Father Sherwood fled the Phoenix area and disappeared. In March 2008, Sherwood was named as the Most Wanted Sex Offender by the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department. He was arrested in November 2008. He had been living in San Francisco for about two years.  Father Sherwood faced charges for fleeing probation and state and federal charges for failing to register as a sex offender. 

In February 2012, his name was included in the Arizona sex offender registry. His name  also appeared in the Diocese of Phoenix’s list of “…priests and deacons who have been laicized and/or removed from ministry due to sexual misconduct with a minor,” published in February 2018.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Phoenix.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Phoenix, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.