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Diocese of Monterey’s list of clergymen accused of sex abuse includes former SLO County priests

Posted at 3:34 PM, Jan 02, 2019

(KSBW) – The Catholic Diocese of Monterey has released a list of 30 clergymen who have been “credibly accused” of abusing children going back to the 1950s.

The Diocese of Monterey includes San Luis Obispo County, as well as Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties.

The list documents cases dating as far back as 1954 and as recently as 2009. Eighteen priests were arrested and 19 of them are now dead. None of those still living are currently active clergymen except for possibly one, whose status was listed as “unknown”.

Most of the allegations occurred in the 1970s. The fewest in the 2000s.

In a written introduction to the report, the Diocese states that it “engaged in a review of the files of all Clergy with known allegations of sexual misconduct as well as reviewed the files of all currently active Clergy in the Diocese of Monterey to determine if there are any allegations of sexual misconduct with a child against any Clergyman currently in ministry.”

The Diocese also states that it is making the report public to promote transparency and trust.

In addition, an outside law firm was hired to review the files and to make an independent decision as to whether a clergyman’s name should be included on the list of those credibly accused.

“Clergymen” includes priests, deacons, religious men, and candidates for ordination.

In order to be identified on the list as “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse, the clergymen had to meet four criteria:

  1. The allegation involves clergy and
  2. Involves sexual misconduct with a minor (i.e. under 18) and
  3. The accusation appears credible (i.e. believable) or
  4. The clergyman was dead at the time the allegation was received by the Diocese, which prevented a complete investigation, but the allegation appears plausible (i.e. alleged to have occurred at a time and in a place where the clergyman was assigned).

The Diocese divided the list of the “credibly accused” into three categories —

Category 1: Credibly accused Clergy not previously released or in the public domain:

  • Rev. Phillip Abinate — Date of Incident(s) 1970, 1971, 1975; Date reported to Diocese 2003; Deceased (6/27/2008)
  • Rev. Raul Carvajal — Date of Incident(s) 1984-1985; Date reported to Diocese 2005; Faculties removed
  • Juan Carlos Esquivel — Date of Incident(s) 2007; Date reported to Diocese 2007; Former Seminarian
  • Rev. Carl Faria — Date of Incident(s) 1968-1971; 1973-1976; Date reported to Diocese 2002; Retired, faculties removed 2002
  • Luis Garcia — Date of Incident(s) 1982; Date reported to Diocese 2009; Former Seminarian
  • Manuel Jimenez — Date of Incident(s) 1994; Date reported to Diocese 1999; Former Seminarian
  • Rev. Scott McCarthy — Date of Incident(s) 1976; Date reported to Diocese 2002; Retired, allegation reclassified in 2019 from non-credible to credible and faculties removed in 2019
  • Rev. Gilbert Meyer — Date of Incident(s) 1961-1964; Date reported to Diocese 2010; Retired, not in ministry
  • Rev. Charles Moore — Date of Incident(s) 1974; Date reported to Diocese 2003; Deceased (12/9/2007)
  • Rev. Colman O’Connor — Date of Incident(s) 1979-1980; Date reported to Diocese 1993; Deceased (3/3/1996)
  • Rev. Joseph Sheehan, C.S.S.Sp. — Date of Incident(s) 1971-1975; Date reported to Diocese 1992; Deceased
  • Br. James Wisecaver, SM — Date of Incident(s) 1997; Date reported to Diocese 1997; Deceased (10/23/2015)

Category 2: Credibly accused Clergy previously released or in the public domain who were working in the name of the Diocese of Monterey when the alleged abuse occurred:

  • Rev. William Allison — Date of Incident(s) 1964, 1966, 1969; Date reported to Diocese 2003; Deceased (12/16/1987)
  • Rev. Alberto Battagliola — Date of Incident(s) 1970s; Date reported to Diocese 2003; Deceased (2/17/1977)
  • Rev. Antonio Cortes — Date of Incident(s) 2009; Date reported to Diocese 2009; Laicized (no longer a priest)
  • Rev. Edward Fitz-Henry — Date of Incident(s) 1990; Date reported to Diocese 1991; Laicized (no longer a priest)
  • Rev. Juan Guillen — Date of Incident(s) 1992; Date reported to Diocese 2003; Status Unknown
  • Rev. Gregory Kareta, OFM Conv. — Date of Incident(s) 1970s; Date reported to Diocese 2002; Deceased (10/4/2006)
  • Rev. Michael McDonald — Date of Incident(s) 1965-1966; Date reported to Diocese 2003; Deceased (11/3/1971)
  • Rev. Patrick McHugh — Date of Incident(s) 1960s; Date reported to Diocese 2002; Deceased (3/24/1979)
  • Rev. Paul Valdez — Date of Incident(s) 1997; Date reported to Diocese 1999; Retired, allegation reclassified in 2019 from non-credible to credible and faculties removed in 2019
  • Rev. John Velez, SM — Date of Incident(s) 1991; Date reported to Diocese 1991; Deceased

Category 3: Accusations received by the Diocese of Monterey after the Clergyman was dead but appear plausible (as defined above):

  • Rev. Thomas Condon — Date of Incident(s) 1959; Date reported to Diocese 2003; Deceased (7/29/1983)
  • Rev. Edward Crews — Date of Incident(s) 1954; Date reported to Diocese 2002; Deceased
  • Rev. Patrick Daly — Date of Incident(s) 1958; Date reported to Diocese 2002; Deceased (11/14/1966)
  • Rev. Edward Haskins — Date of Incident(s) 1950s, 1960s; Date reported to Diocese 1996; Deceased (2/22/1981)
  • Rev. Felix Migliazzo — Date of Incident(s) 1970s; Date reported to Diocese 2007; Deceased (5/21/2005)
  • Rev. Thomas Neary — Date of Incident(s) 1958; Date reported to Diocese 2013; Deceased (5/5/1983)
  • Rev. John Pierson — Date of Incident(s) 1973-1979; Date reported to Diocese 1995; Deceased (12/14/1992)
  • Rev. Rino Spada, C.S — Date of Incident(s) 1967-1969; Date reported to Diocese 2011; Deceased (8/20/2002)

KSBY News has learned that at least four of the credibly accused clergy worked on the Central Coast.

Rev. Alberto Battagliola was alleged to have sexually abused a 14-year-old altar boy in 1973 while serving at the San Luis Obispo Mission, according to multiple reports. The victim reportedly contracted a sexual disease from the encounter. Battagliola was murdered in 1977 in San Francisco.

The report also listed Rev. Gregory Kareta, who was publicly accused in 2003 of the abuse of an 11-year-old boy in the 1970s while serving at the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Pismo Beach. Reports state three other alleged victims corroborated the charges, according to the website BishopAccountability.org. Kareta previously admitted abuse to the LA Archdiocese, including in the 1960s while serving in Wisconsin, but was kept active. He died in 2006.

Two who had not been named until this report include Rev. Patrick Daly with a report of incident in 1958 and Rev. Thomas Neary, also in 1958. Both served at the San Luis Obispo Mission.

All four men are deceased.

Click here to read the full report from the Monterey Diocese.