Father Ponciano Ramos
Diocese of San Bernardino/Divine Word
Removed: 2002 and 2018
- 1986-1992: St. Rita (Indianapolis, IN)
- 1993: Unknown
- 1994-1996: Society of the Divine Word (Riverside, CA)
- 1997: Unknown
- 1998: St. Martha’s (Murrieta, CA)
- 1999-2003: St. Mary of the Valley (Yucca Valley, CA)
- 2004-2016: Society of the Divine Word Missionaries (Riverside, CA)
- 2017-2018: Unknown
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Ponciano Ramos:
In 1992, Fr. Ponciano Ramos was accused of sexually abusing three boys at St. Rita Catholic School in Indianapolis, Indiana. The boys were 13 and 14 at the time of sexual abuse.
According to media reports, the incident began when the three boys set off two stink bombs in the school, after which all three were forced to submit to a strip search by Ramos. “The touching that occurred during the course of these was done in a rude, insolent and angry manner,” according to a plea agreement in the case. He eventually pled guilty to criminal charges of child sexual abuse and was sentenced to an 18-month suspended sentence and 15 months of probation.
Following the conviction, Ramos was briefly moved to Chicago and then to the Diocese of San Bernardino. He was removed from ministry in 2002. Less than a year later, in 2003, the Diocese of San Bernardino allowed Ramos to return to active ministry.
Ramos was included in the Diocese of San Bernardino’s 2018 list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. According to the list, the diocese became aware of Ramos’ misdemeanors in 2002 and removed him. Ramos was permanently banned from ministry in the diocese, however, Ramos was reportedly working at Divine Word Seminary in Riverside, California, until 2017. His status as a priest, whereabouts, and whether he had access to children from 2017 to the present, is unknown.
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