Tag: California sex abuse attorney

Oxnard Plastic Surgeon Faces Criminal Charges for Sexually Abusing Patients

Dr. David Nathanial Michelson Faces

 Charges For Sexually Abusing Patients

David Michelson Horowitz Law sexual abuse

On January 20, 2021, an Oxnard, California cosmetic surgeon was charged with 22 new counts of felony sexual assault by patients at his medical practice. Dr. David Nathaniel Michelson, age 73, was initially arrested in August 2020 by investigators from the Oxnard Police Department’s Family Protection Unit and Drug Enforcement Unit after an eight month investigation. Michelson has been a licensed plastic surgeon in California since 1975.  He owns his own private practice, Michelson Cosmetic Surgery (1889 N Rice Ave #201, Oxnard, CA 93030) Michelson was forced to surrender his medical license through Jan. 20, 2022, until further investigation.

According to a statement released by Oxnard police, the initial complaint included 15 felony counts of sexual assault and alleged Michelson had digitally penetrated the victim and orally copulated her breast. Authorities were able to identify 14 additional victims who were allegedly violated by Michelson at his practice between 2011 and 2019. Most of his alleged victims were women who spoke Spanish and lived in Santa Maria, Ventura, and Santa Barbara counties. The new victims brought the total number of felony charges against Michelson up to 37 acts of sexual assault. The investigation into Michelson’s alleged crimes remains ongoing.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted by a physician or at a doctor’s office or hospital, it is important to have experienced legal counsel. We are experienced in handling cases involving sexual assault by doctors and other medical personnel. If you have been a victim of sexual assault by a doctor in a hospital or medical office, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com 

Franciscan Friars Horowitz Law

California Franciscan Friars Release Names of 55 Men Accused of Sexual Abuse

On June 1, 2019, the Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Barbara (OFM), based in Oakland, California, quietly released a list of friars accused of sexually abusing minors.  The province operates throughout the Western United States, including California, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington, “serving communities whose profiles cross ethnic, cultural and economic boundaries,” according to its website. Friars also serve in a number of Native American nations in the Southwest.

According to a release attached to the list, the men appearing on the list were included after an internal investigation by the religious order, and only after the Order determined that “there is a preponderance of evidence that the allegation is more likely true than not…Credibility can also be established by conviction in a court, or by the admission of the truth of the allegation by the accused friar.”

To its credit, the Friars did include in its public release a caveat that, when evaluating the allegations, “the benefit of any doubt was given to the victim.  It is our belief that almost all victims are trustworthy and telling the truth. In almost all cases if there was an allegation made directly by a named minor(s), or multiple allegations over time with no victim named, the friar’s name is included in the list even when other factors might not support the allegation(s).”  

The list did not include any details about the allegations themselves, such as the age and gender of the victim(s), or the accused friar’s assignment at the time of the abuse.  However, the year of the alleged abuse was included, as well as an indication if the friar has been accused of abusing one child or more than one child.

The 55 accused friars appearing on the list published in June 2019 are:

Accused Friars Who Are Still Living

  • Br. Gerald Chumik
  • Br. Dennis Duffy
  • Br. Stephen Kain
  • Br. Josef Prochnow

Accused Friars Who Are Now Deceased

  • Br. Felipe Baldonado
  • Br. Melvin Bucher
  • Br. Samuel Cabot
  • Br. David Carrier (a/k/a Carriere, a/k/a Laurian)
  • Br. Camillus Cavagnaro
  • Br. Mario Cimmarrusti
  • Br. Philip Colloty
  • Br. Berard Connolly
  • Br. Owen da Silva
  • Br. Kevin Dunne
  • Br. Adrian Furman
  • Br. Martin Gates
  • Br. Gavin Griffith
  • Br. Rayner Harrington
  • Br. Gus Hootka
  • Br. Conan Lee
  • Br. Mark Liening
  • Br. Jorge Lopez
  • Br. Finbar Kenneally
  • Br. Sylvester Mancuso
  • Br. Martin McKeon
  • Br. Bede McKinnon
  • Br. Joseph Mikulich
  • Br. Claude Riffel
  • Br. Remy Rudin
  • Br. Ramon Varela
  • Br. Fernando Villalobos

Accused Friars Who Have Left the Order

  • Br. Santiago Alamaguer
  • Br. Aloysius Antlitz
  • Br. John Bradley
  • Ed Byrom (a/k/a Byron)
  • Br. Felix Calonge
  • Br. Francis Ford
  • Br. Carmelo Garcia
  • Br. Edward Henriques
  • Br. David Johnson
  • Br. Gus Krumm
  • Br. Louis Ladenburger
  • Br. Epiphanius Lewis
  • Br. Joaquin Moreno
  • Br. Gary Pacheco
  • Br. Robert Peguero
  • Br. Charles “Jude” Ruetten
  • Br. Tom Thing
  • Br. Robert Van Handel
  • Br. Philip Wolfe

Additionally, the Province identified four priests who have been named in court filings but who could not be said by the Province to be “credibly” accused of sexual abuse: Br. Didicus Clavel, Br. Matteo Guerrero, Br. Forrest McDonald, and Br. Pedro Vasquez.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in California and nationwide.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a Franciscan Friar, or any other member of the clergy in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the California may now have legal options to recover damages due to compensation funds created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.