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Diocese of Oakland

For decades, our team has been handled some of the most complex sexual abuse and personal injury claims across the nation. For more information, please contact our office to set up a free consultation at (800) 477-2989.

List of Accused Priests in the Diocese of Oakland

The Diocese of Oakland has many priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Many of those individuals deny the claims that have made against them, and because of older statute of limitations in California, the claims were difficult to prove.

Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse survivors sometimes don’t come forward with their stories until much later in life because of the frustration and shame involved. Often that means the statute of limitations on such claims has long since expired, and because of that, the claim cannot be investigated by the authorities.

Proof, therefore, is a little hard to come by in these cases, but the fact remains that every priest on this list has had an sexual abuse accusation made against him, and where it was possible to do so, we included a summary of those accusations and a list of postings for that priest while he worked for the Catholic Church.

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Father Jeffrey N. Acebo

  • Ordained: 1986
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

As a newly ordained priest, Acebo confessed to Bishop Cummins in 1986 that he had molested a 16-year-old girl. He wanted to make the 'relationship' public but Bishop refused. He sent Acebo for treatment and reassigned him. Acebo served in four parishes over the next 15 years. Named in civil suit and apology service. On the diocese's list in 2019. It notes abuse 1986-88, and that he was removed in 4/02. Given a life of prayer and penance.

Father Thomas Duong Binh-Minh

  • Ordained: 1987
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list in 2019. It notes abuse in 1987. Removed from ministry in 4/02.

Father Vincent Ignatius Breen

  • Ordained: 1936
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Forced at age 70 in 1982 to retire, seek treatment, and leave area to avoid prosecution for fondling eight girls over a 1 1/2 year period. May have been as many as 100 victims, 1950s-1980s. In 1967 one girl disclosed abuse by Breen to a nun, who was her school principal; the nun is believed to have informed the diocese. Vicar General Macchi stated in 1982 that he had first heard "rumors" about Msgr. Breen three years prior. Died 12/31/86. Civil suit filed in early 2000s. New suit filed 11/10 claiming abuse in 1980-81. On diocese's list in 2019. Another suit in 10/19.

Father Donald Eugene Broderson

  • Ordained: 1968
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Accused in a 4/03 lawsuit of molesting an altar boy many times in the 1970s. Broderson was "forced into retirement" in 1991 and officially retired later. Diocese knew of complaints against him in 1991. Became a marriage family therapist/licensed hypnotist in Richmond, CA. Settlements in 2003. Admitted to abuse. Laicized 3/21/05. Six brothers sued in 2007. Case dismissed then reinstated 2/09 by appeals court. CA Sup Court dismissed 3/29/12. Broderson died 9/19/10. On diocese's list in 2019.

Father Kenneth J. Cabral

  • Ordained: 1950
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Accused of abuse at St. Catherine of Siena in Martinez 1964-1965. Absent on sick leave 1987-1991. Removed from ministry/retired 6/30/91. Named publicly in 2004 at one of the diocese's apology services. Died 3/3/96. On diocese's list in 2019.

Father Alexander Q. Castillo

  • Ordained: 2011
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

From Costa Rica. Arrived in U.S. in 2008. Assignments included parishes in Oakley and Fremont. Teacher at St. Junipero Serra Catechetical Institute and academic dean of Escuela de Ministerios Pastorales. Director of Dept of Faith Formation and Evangelization and episcopal master of ceremonies. Castillo was informed on 1/30/19 that he had been placed on leave during an investigation of sexual misconduct toward a minor. Leave publicly announced in a 1/31/19 press release; police notified of the allegation 5 hours later. Fled the country. Diocese filed missing persons report 2/22/19.

Father James A. Clark

  • Ordained: 1947
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Arrested and convicted in 1963 on felony charge of oral copulation with a 19-year-old man in Santa Cruz. Given probation. Transferred to Corpus Christi parish in Fremont in 1965, where he allegedly abused "numerous" children. Retired 4/29/84. Two brothers filed suit in 12/03 alleging abuse by Clark 1968-1972. Third plaintiff filed separate suit. Clark died 7/27/89. At least one claim included as part of a $56.4 million payout to 56 childhood sexual abuse survivors in 8/05.

Father Phillip Colloty

  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: OFM Franciscan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Santa Barbara Province Franciscans on their list 5/31/19. It notes sexual abuse of a minor in 1955, reported in 2010. Colloty died in 1976. On the Oakland diocese's list 6/1/19.

Father Hilary Cooper

  • Ordained: 1965
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Oakland diocese on its list in 2019. Ordained for the Benedictines in Kansas CIty. Incardinated into the Oakland diocese 10/1/76. Abuse noted to have occurred in 1978. Removed from ministry in 1995. Given life of prayer and penance.

Father Virendra Coutts

  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Salesians of Don Bosco

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Oakland diocese on its list in 2019. Doesn't specify if priest or deacon.

Father Sidney J. Custodio

  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Alleged in a lawsuit to have abused one girl at St. Gregory parish in San Mateo between 1960-1963. Last known address was in Menlo Park.

Source: "BISHOP ACCOUNTABILITY - News: Bay Area News Group 4.1.08; Contra Costa Times 4.1.08 Assignments: N/A"

Father Pearse P. Donovan

  • Ordained: 1943
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Accused in a 2003 civil suit of molesting a boy beginning in 1978 at St. Clement, and of later passing him on to an abusive Holy Cross brother, Lawrence O'Brien. During this same time period, Donovan was being treated for alcoholism at two treatment centers. He served as Superintendent of Schools 1963-1972. Removed from ministry/retired 1983. Died 9/12/86. On the diocese's list in 2019. It notes abuse having occurred 1978-80. -Source

Father Dennis Duffy

  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: OFM Franciscan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Santa Barbara Province Franciscans on its list in 5/31/19. Unclear if priest, brother, or deacon. First assignment in 1968. Allegations in 1990 of sexual abuse of minors in 1975. Removed from ministry, put on a safety plan. Also on the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Father Donald W. Eagleson

  • Ordained: 1985
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Holy Cross

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Accused in 2002 of abuse in 1971 when he was a Holy Cross brother teaching at Moreau High School in Hayward. Ordained for the Diocese of Santa Rosa in 1985. Suspended in 2002 on new allegation of 1971 abuse; not revealed to parishioners or public until 2006. Partial settlement of 2004 civil suit in 2005. Died 10/22/04. On Santa Rosa diocese's list 1/12/19. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Father Joseph A. Ferreira

  • Ordained: 1959
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

In a lawsuit filed in 11/06, a woman alleged she was molested by Ferreira at Our Lady of Good Counsel in San Leandro in 1973 and 1974 when she was in her teens. She also claimed that Ferreira continued to harass and stalk her throughout the years. Case later settled out of court. A second woman filed suit 6/09 alleging abuse by Ferreira 1970-1972 at Our Lady of Good Counsel in San Leandro. On diocese's list in 2019. It notes that Ferreira was removed from ministry/retired 12/28/98. Died 12/21/14.

Father Patrick Finnegan

  • Ordained: 1952
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Oakland diocese on its list in 2019. It notes abuse in the 1960s and 1973. Removed from ministry 2/6/73. Died 9/28/80.

Father George J. Francis

  • Ordained: 1937
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Accused of having raped a 7-year-old girl in 1959. His alleged victim filed a lawsuit in the early 1990s; settled in 1993. Officials denied any wrongdoing by Francis. Another suit filed 11/02 by a woman who alleged that Francis abused her 1979-1982, when she was ages 5-11. Settled in 1/04 for $3 million. Both victims went public in 2002; diocese admitted abuse and that there were other victims. At least nine known victims. On the diocese's list in 2019. It notes abuse occurring in the 1960s and 1972. Removed from ministry/retired 4/4/86. Died 5/4/98.

Father Robert E. Freitas

  • Ordained: 1972
  • Status: Convicted
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Sent to treatment and placed on "restricted ministry" in 1985 after two boys alleged sex abuse. In 2002, a man told the diocese that Freitas molested him in 1979. Police notified. Accuser wore a wire during meeting; Freitas admitted abuse and was arrested. Accuser filed suit. Police believe there were at least four more victims from about the same time frame. Pled guilty 12/02; sentenced to six months jail and five years probation. Released 6/03 after US Supreme Court ruling. Settlement 11/03. On diocese's list 2/17/19. Laicized 2007. Died 11/14/11.

Brother Adrian Furman

  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: OFM Franciscan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Brother. Named publicly as accused by the Franciscans' Santa Barbara Province on its list 5/31/19. Allegations reported in 2002 and 2010, of sex abuse of minors 1959-1965. Furman died in 2003.

Father William S. Green

  • Status: Convicted
  • D/O: Redemptorist

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Arrested 4/99 along with 5 other individuals for sending sexually explicit messages and pornography to a 14 yr old boy in chatroom on the Internet. Pleaded guilty 7/99 to two counts of oral copulation and one charge of attempting to send harmful material to a minor and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Brother Joseph (Jesse) Gutierrez-Cervantes

  • Status: Settled
  • D/O: FSC - Brothers of the Christian Schools

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Left the Order in 1985. Worked at the Hanna Boys Center in Sonoma as a counselor. Dismissed from there in 1986. Accused in a 2003 civil suit of abusing a boy who was a student at De La Salle High School. Plaintiff received $4M in settlement in late 2004. Gutierrez was working as a consultant in Sonoma in the 2000s, known as Jesse Gutierrez-Cervantes. New allegations of abuse in 1986 against Gutierrez surfaced in early 2019. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019. Lawsuit filed in 10/19 by another De La Salle alumnus claiming he was drugged and abused by Gutierrez several times 1968-72.

Father Stephen M. Kiesle

  • Ordained: 1972
  • Status: Convicted
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Left priesthood 1981. Laicized 1987. Convicted in 1978 of abuse of 2 boys. Got 3 years probation. Arrested 2002 after 3 women for assault of a male. Possibly up to 10 female victims. Kiesle said that if girls said abuse happened then he was sure it did. Charges dropped 7/03. Sentenced 2004 to 6 years prison for abuse in 1995. Released 2009. Civil suits filed. Registered sex offender, living in Walnut Creek, CA. Two more suits with 7 accusers 8/10. Accused in a 10/18 suit vs the Vatican of abuse 1972-74 of a girl, ages 11-13. On diocese's list in 2019.

Father Ronald J. LaGasse

  • Ordained: 1969
  • Status: Arrested
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Arrested in 1984 on suspicion of molesting a 17-year-old boy at St. Raymond in Dublin. Sent to treatment. Placed on leave for a year then reassigned. Later became a chaplain in the Army Reserve. Last known to be serving as abbot of an independent Benedictine monastery in Hawaii. On Oakland diocese's list 2/17/19. Excommunicated 6/14/08.

Father Tarcisio D. Lanuevo

  • Ordained: 1956
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

In 12/79, parents of two girls, ages 7 and 2, reported to police that Lanuevo had molested their daughters at St. John the Baptist in San Lorenzo. Incardinated into the Oakland diocese 4/2/85. Girls filed civil suit in 1993. Suit claimed that Lanuevo's pastor had promised their parents that he would receive treatment and never be around children if they dropped the criminal charges. Suit eventually settled. Lanuevo continued to work in diocese until 1991. Removed from ministry 7/29/92. In 1993 he was working at V.A. domiciliary in Portland, OR. On Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Father Cornelius P. Leehan

  • Ordained: 1948
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Redemptorists

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Full name Cornelius Patrick or Pedraig Leehan. Accused in a 12/03 lawsuit of raping a 5-year-old boy at St. Alphonsus Liguori in San Leandro. Also allegedly fondled the boy 7 years later, after he was reassigned to the parish. Leehan's accuser said he told his father and that his father, a friend of Leehan, told him to tell no one and to never speak about a priest that way. Leehan died in 1996. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Father Gary M. Luiz

  • Ordained: 1977
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Society of Precious Blood

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Assignments included St. Barnabas in Alameda, CA and St. Edward's in Newark, NJ (1980-1985). Accused in a (2003?) civil suit of abusing a boy at St. Edward's 1980-86. The boy's parents said they complained to St. Edward's pastor in 1984, but Newark diocesan officials said they did not learn of the abuse until about 1990, and that they placed him immediately on leave. Luiz earned a canon law degree from Catholic University in DC in 1993. He was reportedly sent to a Berkeley, CA monastery by 1995. Per the 2017 Official Catholic Directory, Luiz was working as a canon lawyer in the Diocese of Reno. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Brother Bede McKinnon

  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: OFM Franciscan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Franciscans' Santa Barbara Province on its list 5/31/19. It notes an allegation reported in 2010 of the sexual abuse of a minor 1978-79. Assigned at the time of the alleged abuse to St. Elizabeth's in Oakland. Died 1998. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Father Daniel McLeod

  • Ordained: < 1970
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Oakland diocese on its list in 2019. Incardinated into the diocese 4/16/70. Abuse noted to have occurred in 1969. Removed from ministry/retired 1/18/87. Died 12/17/01.

Father Hector David Mendoza Vela

  • Ordained: 2013
  • Status: Convicted
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

From El Salvador. Arrived in the U.S. in 2008. Pastor of Corpus Christi in Fremont CA when arrested in 3/19. Accused of sexually abusing a boy, age 14 or 15, over 18 months in 2016-17. Placed on administrative leave. Pled not guilty in 7/19 to 30 criminal counts; pled no contest in 8/19 to 5 counts in a plea agreement. Sentenced 9/27/19 to 4 years, 8 months in prison. Canonical process initiated.

Father Joaquin Moreno

  • Ordained: 1981
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: OFM Franciscan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Franciscans' Santa Barbara Province on its list 5/31/19. Allegation noted in 1996 of the sexual abused of a minor. Left the order in 2008. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Brother Lawrence O'Brien

  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Holy Cross

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Accused in a 2003 civil suit. Abuse was said to have occurred in 1970s and 1980s, of at least one youth, at Hayward's Moreau High School. O'Brien is deceased.

Father William Odom-Green

  • Ordained: 1991
  • Status: Convicted
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Ordained for the Diocese of Owensboro, KY. Worked in the Oakland diocese 12/97-4/99. Faculties removed. Convicted of abusing in the Diocese of Oakland, sent to prison. Named publicly as accused by the Oakland diocese on its list 2/17/19. On Owensboro's list 4/12/19.

Father Robert F. Ponciroli

  • Ordained: 1969
  • Status: Arrested
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Removed from ministry 2/9/95 and sent to therapy due to an allegation. Accused in an 8/02 suit of sexually abusing a boy, age 11, in 1975 in Antioch, CA. Arrested 2/03 for abuse of two brothers. Charges dropped 6/03. They filed suit in 3/03. $2M verdict 4/05. At least 7 other known victims per plaintiff's attorney. Ponciroli admitted he was a sex addict. Laicized in 2005. Died 1/19/09. On the diocese's list in 2019.

Father James E. Prindeville

  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Prindeville left the priesthood at some point after 1961 and married.He continued his association with the religious world, assisting former priests and religious in resume preparation and job networking. Per 2003 civil suit, Prindeville was accused of molesting a 16 yr old girl at Bishop O'Dowd High School between 1952-1953 (prior to creation of Diocese). Prindeville, who died in 2004 at age 85, denied the allegations prior to his death.

Father Arthur A. (Arturo) Ribeiro

  • Ordained: 1950
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

On sick leave in 1982. Removed from ministry/retired 1/1/92. Confronted in 1996 by two priests about his sexual misconduct. As of 1/03, three men had filed suit alleging Ribeiro sexually abused them in 1960s at All Saints in Concord. Per 7/04 article, four plaintiffs in two lawsuits. One plaintiff said he told his pastor during confession within two weeks of abuse and that Ribeiro was then transferred and promoted. Died 10/18/00. On diocese's list 2/17/19.

Father Anthony Slane

  • Ordained: 1942
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Redemptorist

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named in lawsuit as having abused at St. Alphonsus Ligorui in San Leandro, CA. Also served in the Seattle archdiocese, including 1981-88 at Our Lady of Good Help in Hoquiam. and Sacred Heart in Seattle 1988-2002. Died 4/2010, age 94, at St. Clement Health Care Center in Liguori, MO. Name included on Seattle archdiocese's list 1/15/16. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Father Gary B. Tollner

  • Ordained: 1961
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

In 1982, Tollner's sister accused him of molesting his special needs nephew, age 22, who had the mental age of 12. Parishioners told of "suspicious behavior" involving young boys, alcohol and drugs in the hot tub Tollner had installed on the rectory roof. Reportedly abused six children. One alleged victim is said to have become an addict by age 12 and died by suicide years later, citing abuse by Tollner in his suicide note. Removed from ministry 1995. In 2/04, Bishop Vigneron publicly apologized to the parish community of St. Philip Neri, Alameda. Tollner died 2/17/99. On diocese's list 2/17/19. Abuse noted 1960s, 1970s, 1980s.

Father Ramon Varela

  • Ordained: 1949
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: OFM Franciscan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the Franciscans' Santa Barbara Province on its list 5/31/19. It notes allegations received in 1994 of the sexual abuse of minors 1949-79. Varela's first assignment was in 1949, in AZ. He died in 2002. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Brother John Vas

  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Salesian

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Woman came forward in 2/08 to accuse Vas of molesting her for nearly 7 years, beginning in 1960s when she was age 7. Vas, then a brother in the Salesian order, was the band instructor at Salesian High School, where her brother was a student. Vas is last known to have in Florida with his wife. Per a 2/28/08 article, this is second public accusation against Vas.

Brother Francis Verngren

  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Brothers of Christian Schools

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

A man filed suit in 5/03 alleging abuse by Verngren 1966-70, when Verngren was principal and head dorm resident at a Catholic school in Berkeley. The man said he told another staff member in 1969, that Verngren was temporarily removed, returning later to his position. Suit settled 9/03. Vergren died 12/12/03. On Santa Rosa diocese's list 1/12/19. Worked there at Mont LaSalle 1969-84 and at Justin Siena in 1984. Math tutor at St. Apollinaris 1990-2002. On Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Father Stephen (Steve) Whelan

  • Ordained: 1969
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Salesian

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Editor of Salesian Bulletin in 1997. Civll suit filed 2003 by a man alleging abuse by Whelan when he was a student at Salesian High School 1969-early 1970s. Still active in 8/05. Civil trial started 7/7/06. On 7/19/06 jury awarded plaintiff $600K. Whelan was removed from his position after the verdict and resided at the provincial house. CA Appeals Court upheld verdict 8/08. Removed from ministry. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

Father Gordon Wilcox

  • Ordained: 1955
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Congregation of Holy Cross

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named in a 2004 suit against Rev. Donald Eagleson, which was partially settled in 2005. Wilcox was named as an abuser of a male student in 1971 at Moreau High School in Hayward. Died 10/4/84. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019. On the Congregation of Holy Cross list 6/12/19. It notes multiple allegations in 2003 and 2012 of abuse in CA in the 1970s. Suit filed in 11/19 by man claiming abuse in the 1970s as a Moreau Catholic High student, by both Wilcox and Rev. John Moriarty.

Brother Terrence Wong

  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Marianist

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Accused in a civil suit of abuse at St. Joseph High School in Alameda 1967-70. Died 4/19/97. On the Oakland diocese's list in 2019.

DISCLAIMER: The individuals on this list have allegations of sexual abuse against them. Under U.S. law, an allegation, however, does not define guilt. Instead, a person accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty during legal proceedings, whether criminal or civil. These list entries do not imply the individual on the list is criminally guilty or legally liable for civil claims of damage caused by sexual abuse. Instead, it represents those who have been publicly accused of abuse.

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