Tag: Diocese of Oakland

Fr. Michael Van Dinh – Diocese of Oakland

Father Michael Van Dinh

Diocese of Oakland

Michael Van Dinh Horowitz Law

Ordained: 2008

Leave: 2017

Removed: 2020

Assignment History:

  • St. Michael’s Catholic Church (Livermore, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Michael Van Dinh:

In 2017, a 24-year-old man alleged he was sexually abused by Fr. Michael Van Dinh inside the rectory of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Livermore, California. According to media reports, the man claims that Van Dinh lured him there with the promise of helping him find a job. He said when he arrived, something felt off. Van Dinh led him into a candlelit room and gave him a gift bag filled with massage oils, underwear thongs, a shirt, and chocolates. Van Dinh pushed him down on a mattress, took his clothes off, and began massaging his body with baby oil against his will. The victim claimed he was blindfolded, had his hands tied in front of him, and was raped. When the Police investigated, they recovered the underwear along with a blindfold, a meth pipe, and five rubber rings from Van Dinh’s room.

According to media reports, the Livermore police report stated that four days passed before the Diocese of Oakland reported the alleged sexual assault to authorities. According to the report, by the time detectives attempted a pretext phone call between the victim and Dinh, the Diocese had already informed Dinh of the allegations. Detectives recommended two felony charges, including sodomy by force, but the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the encounter wasn’t consensual.

Van Dinh was put on administrative leave after that allegation surfaced. However, no criminal charges were ever brought against Dinh. The victim filed a civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Oakland in 2020, naming Van Dinh. The Diocese settled but again, Van Dinh was not charged due to lack of evidence. He was removed from ministry.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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.

Fr. Luis Lopez – Diocese of Oakland

Father Luis Lopez

Diocese of Oakland

Luis Lopez Horowitz Law

Ordained: 2016

Suspended: 2021

Assignment History:

  • 2016-2017: St. Anthony (Oakley, CA)
  • 2017-2019: Divine Mercy (Oakland, CA)
  • 2019-2021: Corpus Christi Parish (Fremont, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Luis Lopez:

Once again, the Diocese of Oakland is involved in a sexual abuse lawsuit, naming two more priests of sexual abuse. A 28-year-old victim who had previously alleged in 2019 that he was raped by a Livermore priest Fr. Michael Van Dinh, now claims he was also sexually abused by Fr. Luis Lopez.

According to media reports, the victim had repressed memories he was trying to figure out. When he did, he filed another lawsuit. The victim claims that Lopez abused him when he was at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon. Lopez would visit the seminary, find ways to be alone with him, and stuck his hands down the victim’s sweatpants multiple times.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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.

Fr. Ricardo Chavez – Diocese of Oakland

Father Ricardo Chavez

Diocese of Oakland

Ricardo Chavez Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1963

Retired: 2010

Assignment History:

  • 1963-1966: St. Cornelius (Richmond, VA)
  • 1967-1979: St. Edward (Newark, NJ)
  • 1979-1982: Our Lady of the Rosary (Union City)
  • 1982-1990: Hispanic Affairs Office of the California Catholic Conference (Sacramento, CA)
  • 1990-1997: St. Leander (San Leandro, CA)
  • 1997-2010: St. Peter Martyr

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Ricardo Chavez:

Once again, the Diocese of Oakland is involved in a sexual abuse lawsuit, naming two more priests of sexual abuse. A 28-year-old victim who had previously alleged in 2019 that he was raped by a Livermore priest Fr. Michael Van Dinh, now claims he was also sexually abused by Fr. Ricardo Chavez and Fr. Luis Lopez.

According to media reports, the victim had repressed memories he was trying to figure out. When he did, he filed another lawsuit. The victim claims that Chavez abused him when he was a ten-year-old altar boy at St. Peter Martyr Parish in Pittsburg and continued for a decade. The suit claims that Chavez began fondling the victim, then moved underneath his clothing, then underneath his pants, and finally inside his pants.

During an investigation, reports were found stating Chavez had been accused of abusing minors while serving at San Leander Church in San Leandro, California in the 1990s, but the church never investigated the claim. Not only were these allegations against Chavez admittedly never investigated by the Diocese of Oakland in the 1990s, but the Diocese of Oakland to this date has failed to discipline Chavez in any manner whatsoever.

Chavez retired in 2010 but continued to assist within the diocese.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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.

Fr. Gordon Wilcox – Diocese of Santa Rosa

Father Gordon Wilcox

Diocese of Santa Rosa (Holy Cross)

Gordon Wilcox Diocese of Santa Rosa Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Died: 1984

Assignment History:

  • 1956-1960: St. George’s College (Chile)
  • 1961-1963: University of Portland (Portland, OR)
  • 1964-1970: Notre Dame High School (Niles, IL)
  • 1971-1978: Moreau High School (Hayward, CA)
  • 1979-1981: Unknown
  • 1982: University of Portland (Portland, OR)
  • 1983: Unknown
  • 1984: Moreau Seminary (Notre Dame, IN)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Gordon Wilcox:

Fr. Gordon Wilcox was a member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross religious order, who served in multiple dioceses including in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. According to media reports, in 2003, he was named in a civil lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse by Fr. Wilcox and Fr. Donald Eagleson, another known child sexual abuser. The abuse allegedly occurred in 1976 at Moreau High School in Hayward, CA, where Fr. Wilcox worked.

Another allegation against Wilcox was reportedly made in 2012. The details of the sexual abuse allegations, including when and where the alleged abuse occurred, or the victim’s age/gender, are unknown.

Fr. Wilcox died in 1984.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Santa Rosa 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 Santa Rosa now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Diocese of Santa Rosa, 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.

Fr. Rayner Harrington – Diocese of Oakland

Father Rayner Harrington 

Diocese of Oakland/Franciscans

Rayner Harrington Horowitz LawOrdained: Unknown

Died: 1996

Assigned as follows:

  • 1941-1948: St. Anthony’s (San Francisco, CA )
  • 1948-1949: St. Francis of Assisi (Spokane, WA)
  • 1949-1961: Our Lady of Lourdes (Seattle, WA)
  • 1961-1967: St. Anthony’s (Tigard, OR)
  • 1967-1968: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland, CA)
  • 1968-1969: Serra High School (Salem, OR)
  • 6/69-9/69: Our Lady of Peace Friary (Salem, OR)
  • 1969-1976: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland, CA)
  • 1976-1983: St. George’s (Seattle, WA)
  • 1983-1986: (Edmonds, WA)
  • 1986-1995: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Rayner Harrington:

Fr. Rayner Harrington was a Franciscan priest. In 2020, his name appeared on the Franciscans’ Santa Barbara Province list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted an allegation of child sex abuse in 1996 reported that same year. Harrington was also included on the Diocese of Oakland list. Information about the age/gender of his alleged victim/victims, the nature of the alleged sexual abuse, or Harrington’s assignments at the time of the alleged abuse is unknown.

Harrington died in 1996.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

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

Br. Joseph (Jesse) Gutierrez-Cervantes – Diocese of Oakland

Brother Joseph (Jesse) Gutierrez-Cervantes 

Diocese of Oakland

Joseph Gutierrez-Cervantes Horowitz Law

Joined order: N/A

Left order: 1985

Dismissed: 1986

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970: Christ the King (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1971- 1972: St. Peter Church (Lamitan, Philippines)
  • 1973-1974: Rt. 4, Box 105G (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1975-1980: Cordi Marian-Sisters/Villa (San Antonio, TX)
  • 1981-1984: St. Anthony Claret (Fresno, CA)
  • 1984-1986: Hanna Boys Center (Sonoma, CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Brother Joseph (Jesse) Gutierrez-Cervantes:

Br. Joseph (Jesse) Gutierrez-Cervantes was a member of the Brothers of the Christian School, Christian Brothers religious order. He was a teacher at De La Salle and a licensed therapist at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. According to a 1968 memo by his provincial, Gutierrez-Cervantes was transferred to Concord from Berkeley, “where he had relationships with students that had sexual overtones”. According to media reports, he left the order in 1985. He worked as a counselor at Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma, California. The following year, in 1986, he was fired after his patients said he sexually abused them during therapy sessions. 

In 2003, Gutierrez-Cervantes was named in a civil lawsuit that alleged he sexually abused a minor at De La Salle High School. The suit was settled for $4 million in late 2004. In early 2019, new allegations of child sexual abuse in 1986 surfaced. In October 2019, Gutierrez-Cervantes was named in a lawsuit filed by another De La Salle alumnus alleging that he drugged and abused him multiple times while he was a student from 1968 to 1972.

“I’ve suffered from anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, you know, have been diagnosed with bipolar, PTSD. Pretty much everything you can think of,” the former student said.

Gutierrez-Cervantes’ name appeared on the Diocese of Oaklands’ 2019 list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. He was last known to have a communication consulting company in Sonoma and went by the name of Jesse Gutierrez-Cervantes. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

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

Fr. Steven Kain – Diocese of Oakland

Father Steven Kain

Diocese of Oakland/Franciscans

Steven Kain Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1974

Removed: 1993 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1973-1974: Sts. Simon & Jude (Huntington Beach CA)
  • 1974-1976: Mt. Carmel (Fresno, CA)
  • 1976-1978: Sts. Simon & Jude (Huntington Beach CA)
  • 1978-1982: St. Anthony’s (Tigard, OR)
  • 1982-1987: St. Anthony’s (Santa Barbara, CA)
  • 1987-1988: Sts. Simon & Jude (Huntington Beach CA)
  • 1988-1993: Catholic University of America (Washington, DC)
  • 1993-2001: St. Boniface (San Francisco, CA)
  • 2001-2010: Lived with and cared for parents
  • 2010-2019: San Damiano (Danville, CA)
  • 2019-present: Elder Care Facility (CA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Steven Kain:

Fr. Steven (Stephen) Kain was a Franciscan priest ordained in 1974. In 2001, an allegation was reported that Kain sexually abused a minor child while serving at St. William’s in Los Altos, California. According to the lawsuit, the priest testified in court that his parishioners were never warned, despite the Franciscans’ knowledge of his child sexual abuse history.

In 2004, Kain was named in a civil lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted a student while he served at St. Anthony’s Seminary High School in Santa Barbara in the 1980s. He was removed from ministry in 1993 and transferred to St. Boniface in San Francisco. In 2006, he was named in another child sex abuse lawsuit with another priest, Joseph Prochnow. The case was settled for more than $28 million. He was named in two more lawsuits in Fall 2009.

In 2019, his name appeared on the Franciscans’ Santa Barbara Province list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted allegations of abuse from 1981 to 1987 reported in 1993, 2004, 2006, and 2008. It also noted Kain had been removed from ministry in 1993 and was living under restrictions. In 2019, his name also appeared on the Diocese of Oakland’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. 

He is currently living at an Elder Care Facility 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 Oakland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

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

Fr. David (Dave) E. Johnson – Diocese of Oakland

Father David (Dave) E. Johnson 

Diocese of Oakland

David E. Johnson Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1984

Left Order: 2001

Laicized: 2001

Assigned as follows:

  • 1977-1980: St. Anthony’s (Santa Barbara, CA) 
  • 1980-1981: (Berkley, CA) 
  • 1981-1982: (Oakland, CA) 
  • 1982-1983: St. Anthony’s (Santa Barbara, CA) 
  • 1983-1984: Franciscan School of Theology (Berkley, CA)
  • 1984-1985: St. James (Las Vegas, NV) 
  • 1985-1988: St. George (Seattle, WA)
  • 1988-1999: St. Anthony’s (Three Rivers, CA)
  • 2000-2001: Old Mission San Luis Rey (San Diego, CA) 
  • 2002-present: Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father David (Dave) E Johnson:

Fr. David E Johnson was a member of the Franciscan Friars. According to media reports, at least five people have named him in civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse. In 2001, he left the order and was laicized. 

Johnson’s name appeared on the Archdiocese of Seattle’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. In 2019, his name appeared on the Franciscans’ Santa Barbara Province list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted allegations of child sex abuse from approximately 1978 to 1982 were reported in 1993, 2006, 2007, and 2009. Johnson was also included on the Diocese of Oakland list.

As of 2016, he was believed to be living in Hurricane, Utah.

Johnson’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

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

Fr. Francis J. Ford – Diocese of Oakland

Father Francis J. Ford

Diocese of Oakland

Francis J. Ford Horowitz LawOrdained: 1951

Died: 1985 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1952-1953: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland, CA) 
  • 1954-1959: U.S. Air Force
  • 1960: St. Anthony’s (San Francisco, CA) 
  • 1961-1962: St. Elizabeth’s (Oakland, CA)
  • 1963-1964: Ascension (Portland, Oregon)
  • 1965-1966: St. Paul of the Shipwreck (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1967-1968: St. Luke’s (Woodburn, Oregon)
  • 1969: St. Apollinaris (Napa, CA)
  • 1970-1972: St. Rose’s (Santa Rosa, CA)
  • 1973: St. John the Baptist (Napa, CA)
  • 1974-1976: Napa State Hospital (Napa, CA)
  • 1977-1985: Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Francis J Ford:

Fr. Francis J Ford, (aka John E. Ford) began his career in 1951 in Oakland, served in the U.S. Air Force and was posted as a priest in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Portland, OR, and Astoria, OR. According to media reports, in May 2002, he was accused of repeatedly molesting a 12-year old altar boy over a period of approximately two years, starting in the early 1960s. The abuse allegedly took place in Portland, where he was a parish priest at Ascension, and during a trip to the Seattle World’s Fair.

In a press release, the victim said, “I have been freed from my silence by the courage of the other men and women who have come forward to disclose their abuse by a priest.”

Ford died at the Old Santa Barbara Mission in 1985.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

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

Fr. Robert E. Freitas – Diocese of Oakland

Father Robert E. Freitas 

Diocese of Oakland

Robert E. Freitas Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1972

Removed: 2002

Laicized: 2007

Died: 2011

Assigned as follows:

  • 1972-1976: All Saints (Hayward, CA)
  • 1976-1978: St. Felicitas (San Leandro, CA)
  • 1978-1979: St. Edward’s (Newark, CA)
  • 1979-1982: Santa Paula (Fremont, CA)
  • 1982-1985: Our Lady of the Rosary (Union City, CA)
  • 1985-1987: St. Catherine of Sienna (Martinez, CA)
  • 1987-1990: Good Shepherd (Pittsburg, CA)
  • 1991: Unknown
  • 1992: St. Anthony (Oakley, CA)
  • 1993: Unknown
  • 1994-1997: St. Lawrence O’Toole (Oakland, CA)
  • 1995-2002: The AIDS Project (Oakland, CA)
  • 1995-2002: Sisters of the Holy Family Motherhouse (Fremont, CA)
  • 1997-2002: St. Alphonsus Liguori (San Leandro, CA)
  • 2002-2011: Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Robert E Freitas:

According to media reports, in 1985, Fr. Robert E Freitas was accused of molesting two teen boys at Our Lady of the Rosary in Union City, California. He was sent for treatment and placed on “restricted ministry”.

According to media reports, in 2002, a man told the Diocese that Freitas molested him in 1979 when he was a 15-year-old boy at Santa Paula in Fremont, CA and the police were notified. The accuser wore a wire during a meeting in which Freitas admitted the abuse and was arrested. He pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor and was sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation. 

In 2002, Freitas was removed from ministry for six months and sent to the House of Affirmation, a treatment center for clergy, in Massachusetts. In 2003, he was accused of sexually abusing an 11-year old boy in 1977 at All Saints in Hayward, CA. At least four more of his child sex abuse victims are believed to have not yet come forward, according to Police. 

In June 2003, Freitas was released from prison when the Supreme Court overturned a ruling that had lifted the statute of limitations for sexual abuse of children. A settlement was reached in November 2003. 

In June 2004, the Diocese publicly apologized to parish communities for his “acts of clerical sexual abuse of minors that occurred”. Freitas’ name appeared on the Diocese of Oaklands’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors in 2019.

Freitas was laicized in 2007 and died in 2011.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in California State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, 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 Oakland and nationwide. We can help.

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