Tag: Melvin Bucher

Fr. Melvin Bucher – Diocese of Oakland

Father Melvin Bucher 

Diocese of Oakland/Franciscans

Melvin Bucher Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1961

Died: 2019

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. 

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. 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.