Fr. Melvin Bucher – Diocese of Sacramento

Father Melvin Bucher

Diocese of Sacramento/Franciscan Order


Melvin Bucher Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1961

Retired: 2006

Dead: 2019

Assignment History:

  • 1963-1964: St. Francis Seminary (Troutdale, OR)
  • 1964-1968: Serra Catholic High School (Salem, OR)
  • 1968-1970: St. Anthony’s (Tigard, OR)
  • 1971-1972: Unknown
  • 1972-1973: St. Anne’s (Spokane, WA)
  • 1973-1976: St. Elizabeth’s High School (Oakland, CA)
  • 1976-1977: Franciscan Fathers Provincial House (Oakland, CA)
  • 1977-1988: St. Francis of Assisi (Sacramento, CA)
  • 1988-1994: St. Anthony’s (Tigard, OR)
  • 1995-2006: Mission San Luis Rey Retreat Center (San Luis Rey/Oceanside, CA)
  • 2006-2010: Retired
  • 2010-2017: Franciscan Friars of California

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Melvin Bucher:

Fr. Melvin Bucher was a Franciscan friar who worked in California, Oregon, and Washington states. There have been multiple survivors who have come forward alleging child sexual abuse by Bucher while he worked at various parishes on the west coast during the 1970s. The Diocese of Oregon said he was on a leave of absence when the abuse occurred, so they were not responsible for him. A civil lawsuit was filed against Bucher for both compensatory and punitive damages, in which a settlement was eventually reached.

Reports of sexual abuse began popping up in the early ’90s. According to media reports, in 1993, Bucher failed a lie detector test regarding having sex with minors, and Bucher has reportedly admitted to sexually abusing minors in the 1960s. In 1994, Bucher was named in a lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse while working at St. Anthony’s in Tigard, OR. The lower court dismissed the charges stating it was not within the scope of employment. Oregon Supreme Court reversed the lower court in 1999. This ruling became noted for changing OR law. The lawsuit did not settle until right before trial in 2001, during which Bucher was allowed to remain at his post the entire time. The case settled for $512,500.

Franciscan Friars Province of Saint Barbara reports that Bucher retired in 2006 but still remained active in the community. Bucher was included on the Province of St. Barbara Friars list who have been credibly accused. He is also included on the Diocese of Sacramento list of credibly accused clergy.

He died on Ash Wednesday in 2019 in California.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Sacramento 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 Sacramento 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. 

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