Fr. Gerald Plesetz – Diocese of Orange

Father Gerald Plesetz

                Diocese of Orange                  

Ordained: 1970

Laicized: 1978

Assigned as follows:

  • 1971-1972      St. Rose of Lima (Maywood, CA)
  • 1973-1976      St. Edward Church (Dana Point, CA)
  • 1976                St. Bridget (Van Nuys, CA)
  • 1977                St. Cecilia Church (Tustin, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Gerald Plesetz:

Father Gerald Plesetz was excardinated to Diocese of Orange in 1976. According to media reports, at least two survivors have come forward alleging sexual abuse by Father Gerald J. Plesetz between approximately 1973 and 1977. He left the priesthood in 1977 to marry. He was laicized in 1978. In 2002, he was arrested on charges of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s while he worked at St. Edward in Dana Point. The charges were later dropped. At least one civil suit has been filed against him. 

Father Plesetz was included in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. Records from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles reflect that in April 2002, an adult woman reported that when she was a 16-year-old student at Mater Dei High School and a parishioner at St. Edward’s Parish in Dana Point, she became pregnant and gave birth to a daughter in 1975, and that Father Plesetz was the father. Two months later in June, another adult woman reported that when she was 24 and a parishioner at St. Edward’s Parish, Dana Point, she gave birth to a daughter in 1978. She named Father Plesetz as the father.

In February 2017, Father Plesetz was arrested on molestation charges after allegedly confessing to an undercover deputy who was posing as the daughter he is accused of helping put up for adoption three decades earlier. The victim alleged she was molested by Father Plesetz when she was 14 years old between April 1972 and October 1974, according to a criminal complaint filed by the district attorney’s office. The woman claimed she was a member of the choir at St. Edward Catholic Church when she first met Father Plesetz, who played piano for the choir, the complaint said. She told her parents that he was the father. According to the complaint, Father Plesetz told the family he would take care of it and paid the expenses of the birth and a subsequent adoption.

“It was a stupid thing. It was a terrible thing,” he said.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orange.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Orange, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Orange 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.