Father Franz Robier
Diocese of San Diego
Assigned as Follows:
- 1937-1957: Unknown
- 1958-1959: St. Joan of Arc (Victorville, CA)
- 1960-1963: St. Anthony (San Bernardino, CA)
- 1964: St Joan of Arc-Catholic Church (Victorville, CA)
- 1965: Unknown
- 1966: St. John (Encinitas, CA)
- 1967: St. Anthony (Riverside, CA)
- 1968-1971: St. Didacus (San Diego, CA)
- 1972-1975: St. Joan of Arc (Victorville, CA)
- 1976-1982: St. Madeleine Church (Trona, CA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Franz Robier:
Father Franz Robier was an Austrian priest who was incardinated into the Diocese of San Diego in 1957. For almost thirty years, he worked at various parishes throughout Southern California. According to media reports, in 1957, Father Robier was sent for treatment at Via Coeli Monastery in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, an institution known for treating clergy accused of child sexual abuse.
He retired in 1983 and died in April 1994.
In 2003, Father Robier was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl while at the St. Anthony Parish in San Bernardino. Following that first accusation, five women filed a lawsuit alleging the priest sexually abused them between 1955 and 1957 at the Church of the Holy Spirit in San Diego. They were all members of the church choir, between the ages of 8 and 11 when the alleged incidents occurred.
The suit claimed the Diocese of San Diego covered up Father Robier’s misconduct, and sent him for treatment in New Mexico. He has been named in several other San Diego suits, and accused of child sexual abuse, including rape, of as many as 24 girls from 1955 through the early 1960s while at 11 churches in San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
One lawsuit filed by four sisters in the fall of 2003, alleged that they were systematically abused by Father Robier, when they were placed in foster care at a San Diego orphanage operated by Catholic Charities after being orphaned in Belgium in the 1950s. Their lawyer said that all abuse cases are egregious, “but these were particularly so.”
“The sisters all knew what one of them was enduring, at the beach, say, or in the water. At the dinner table, while one sister was made to sit on Robier’s lap, the others knew exactly what he was doing,” he said.
“What happened to us should never happen to any child,” said one alleged victim. “They knew this priest was molesting us, and they moved him around and let him molest other children.”
In March 2007, Father Robier’s name was included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. All claims against him were included in the Diocese of San Diego’s $200M settlement with survivors of child sexual abuse in September 2007.
In October 2010, as part of a settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the Diocese of San Diego released his personnel file.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Diego 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 San Diego now have legal options due to a temporary change in the law, 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.