Father Melvin Bucher
Diocese of Oakland/Franciscans
Assigned as follows:
- 1963-1964: St. Francis Seminary (Troutdale, OR)
- 1964-1968: Serra Catholic High School (Salem, OR)
- 1968-1970: St. Anthony’s (Tigard, OR)
- 1971-1972: Leave of absence
- 1972-1973: St. Anne’s (Spokane, WA)
- 1973-1976: St. Elizabeth’s High School (Oakland, CA)
- 1976-1977: Franciscan Fathers Provincial House (Oakland, CA); Pre-Novitiate Formation (Hayward, CA)
- 1977-1988: St. Francis of Assisi (Sacramento, CA)
- 1988-1994: St. Anthony’s (Tigard, OR)
- 1995-2001: Mission San Luis Rey Retreat Center (San Luis Rey/Oceanside, CA)
- 1995-2005: Mission San Luis Rey (San Luis Rey/Oceanside, CA)
- 2005-2006: Mission San Luis Rey (Oceanside, CA); Mission San Luis Rey Retreat (Oceanside, CA)
- 2006-2019: Elder Care Facility (CA)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Melvin Bucher:
Fr. Melvin Bucher was a Franciscan friar who worked in California, Oregon, and Washington. According to media reports, multiple survivors have come forward alleging child sexual abuse by him in the 1970s, while he served in various parishes on the west coast. He has been named in multiple civil lawsuits.
According to media reports, in 1993, Bucher failed a lie detector test in reference to him sexually abusing minors. He reportedly admitted to sexually abusing children in the 1960s. The abuse occurred while he was on a leave of absence, so the Diocese of Oregon claimed they were not responsible for him. A civil lawsuit was filed and a settlement was eventually reached.
In 1994, Bucher reportedly left the Archdiocese of Portland. He was named in a lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse while he worked at St. Anthony’s in Tigard, Oregon. The lawsuit was settled for $512,000 just before his court trial in 2001. During that time he was permitted to remain in ministry. In 1995, he lived in Mission San Luis Rey Retreat Center in Oceanside, California.
Bucher’s name was included on the Franciscans’ Santa Barbara Province 2019 list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted reports in 1993,1994, 2005, and 2013 of child sexual abuse from 1965 to 1973. He was also included on the Diocese of Oakland list.
Bucher retired in 2006 and remained active in the community there until his death in 2019.
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