COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working and offering consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.

Diocese of Santa Rosa

The Zalkin Law Firm are sexual abuse attorneys who specialize in clergy abuse, including those inflicted by priests in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. To learn more about the power justice can have in your life, contact us today.

List of Accused Priests in the Diocese of Santa Rosa

If you’ve read about the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, you likely know that across the United States, priests have been accused of abuse. In the Diocese of Santa Rosa, the list of priests accused of abuse is below.

Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

Not all of the cases of sexual abuse listed below, though, were investigated. Survivors sometimes wait until adulthood to come forward with the accusation of sexual abuse because of the emotional pain involved with such an accusation.

As a result, prior to AB 218, statute of limitations laws often expired on these cases, and that can mean they go uninvestigated. This list comes from a number of different sources, but every priest on the list has been credibly accused. Those accusations are summarized and the list of where the priest served has been included when it was possible to do so.

Let Us Help You Move Forward

If you know someone who was abused by a priest, we can help. Contact our childhood sexual abuse attorneys today.

Father Anthony Bolger

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Ordained for Diocese of Santa Rosa. Excardinated to Honolulu 6/18/84. Accused of abusing a boy at St Anthony's in Kailua 1978-81. Bolger was teacher at the school. Civil suit filed 5/8/13. Same plaintiff says he was abused by Bishop Ferrario while Ferrario was still priest at St. Anthony's. Possibly named as accused (but not defendant) in original suit against Ferrario. Died 1/7/15 in Tijuana, Mexico, where he had been living. On Santa Rosa diocese's list 1/12/19. It notes he was accused in 1994 of abuse of a minor 1972-73, and that Honolulu was notified in 1994.

Father John J. Brenkle

  • Ordained: 1958
  • Status: Cleared
  • D/O: Diocese

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Per 9/08 article, Brenkle was placed on leave in 2005 after man complained that he had molested his 7th grade son in approx 1995. Brenkle denied the allegation. Diocese investigated, exonerated him, and returned him to duty. Brenkle says he has a letter from the youth saying that nothing happened. Brenkle has been serving as chairman of diocese's Lay Review Board, SNAP wants him off the board as unable to be impartial.

Father John S. Crews

  • Ordained: 1971
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Executive Director of Hanna Boys Center in Sebastopol beginning 1984. Resigned 2/6/13 after report of an inappropriate relationship with a minor male 1971-75. Prior to Hanna Boys Center, Crews was assigned to St. Sebastian's in Sebastopol and St. Joseph's in Cotati. Alleged victim is deceased; matter reported by his widow to Sheriff's office prior to notification to diocese. On diocese's list 1/12/19. It notes "no assignment" and that he retired in 2013. In 4/17 two men stated publicly that Crews sexually abused them when they were teenage Hanna Boys Center residents, one 1999-2001, the other 1984-1985. In 4/19 Crews was living in NC.

Father Patrick Gleeson

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Native of Ireland. Ordained for Diocese of Sacramento. Incardinated into Santa Rosa diocese when it was created in 1962. Retired 8/21/89. Died 4/15/91. Native of Ireland. A man filed civil suit 11/02 against diocese alleging that he was abused as a boy by Gleeson numerous times 1968-1972 as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Calistoga. Diocese said no previous accusations against Gleeson. Two cases settled 6/05 as part of $7.3M deal with 8 people. On diocese's list 1/12/19.

Father Patrick A. Hannon

  • Ordained: 1949
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: null

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named as accused on the Diocese of Santa Rosa's list 1/12/19. Noted to have been an order priest, without specifying. Accused in 2000 of abuse in 1981. Worked in the diocese 1980-81. Died 1993.

Father Michael Emmet Kelly

  • Ordained: 1971
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 1/12/19. Accused in 1999 of abuse occurring 1971-99. Suspended 10/24/99. Laicized 10/15/04.

Father Donald Wren Kimball

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Placed on leave 1990. Accused of abuse of boys and girls. Civil suit settled 2000 for $1.6M. Other suits also settled. Convicted of child molestation in June 2002; sentenced to 7 years in prison for abuse of a 13 year-old-girl in 1981. Same trial found him innocent of raping another girl. Supreme Court overturned law under which he was criminally convicted. Laicized in 2002; died 9/15/06. Several settlements in 2005 & 2006. On diocese's list 1/12/19. It notes he was accused in 1990 of abuse in the 1980s.

Father Patrick Joseph McCabe

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

From Diocese of Dublin, Ireland; abused there. Arrived in CA in 1983 (Santa Rosa, Sacramento and Stockton). Removed when parents complained of children sitting on lap during confession. Faculties removed 1987. Laicized 1988. Interpol found him in Alameda, CA 2003; interviewed by Gardai 2007. Arrested 8/10 for abuse of 6 boys in Ireland 1973-1981. Four US suits in 9/10. Three men settled 3/12 for $550K. Extradited to Ireland 6/5/11. Sentenced 3/13 to 18 months jail in Ireland; released for time served. Subject of 21 complaints, per Murphy Report. On Santa Rosa diocese's list 1/12/19. It notes he abused in the diocese. Worked there 1983-86, removed 2/27/86.

Father John A. Meenan

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 1/12/19. Accused in the 1960s, on leave 1971, laicized 5/23/75. Died 4/21/09.

Father Francis E. Neville

  • Ordained: 1973
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused on the Santa Rosa diocese's list 1/12/19. Ordained of the Diocese of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Worked in Santa Rosa 1983-84. Accused in 1993 of abuse in 1983. Died in 10/02.

Father Vincent O'Neill

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

In 9/96 five former altar boys accused O'Neill of abusing them when they were age 13 in the 1970s. O'Neill resigned two months later. Charges were leveled and church officials suspended him during investigation. Diocese settled with the five 1/97 for undisclosed sum. In 3/97 it was announced that O'Neill had brain tumor and had only weeks to live. He died 11/12/98. On diocese's list 1/12/19.

Father Francisco Xavier Ochoa

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Ordained in Mexico for the Jesuits; began working in the Santa Rosa diocese in 1988, incardinated there 7/11/91. Admitted in 4/06 to a recent incident of sexual misconduct involving boy; placed on leave 5/06. Admitted a past history to bishop. Other accusers came forward. Fled to Mexico before bishop reported to police. Two civil suits filed 10/06. Diocese and bishop settled with 10 plaintiffs 9/07 for a little over $5M. Federal arrest warrant issued 7/27/08. Laicized 6/29/09. Died in Mexico 11/30/09. On diocese's list 1/12/19.

Father Ted Oswald

  • Ordained: 1984
  • Status: Sued
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Religious brother in Tucson 1976-1977 before entering seminary for priesthood. In 6/1/08, he said he was taking leave due to1/2/08 civil suit which alleged he had sexually abused a teenage boy 1988-1995. He denied allegations. Permanently removed. Two plaintiffs settled 3/09 for $1.3M. A Vietnam vet, Oswald was military and civilian policeman before becoming a priest. Testified in 1999 and 2000 that he had reported abuse by R. Trupia to his superiors in 1976 and provided written statements from his students. Died 7/4/10. New suit 8/13. Suit settled 7/15/14 for $3.5M.On diocese's list 1/12/19. (It shows erroneous death date.)

Father Xavier Pallathuparambil

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Named publicly as accused on the diocese's list 1/112/19. Ordained for the Diocese of Vijayapuram, India. Worked in Santa Rosa diocese 2/2/84 until he was dismissed 4/13/84. Died in India 5/29/04.

Father John K. Rogers

  • Ordained: 1976
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Rogers, noted religious scholar and former campus minister at Humboldt State University died by suicide 11/8/95 in Belgium upon being ordered back to the US to face accusations that he molested a 15-year-old boy in 1976. Suicide note declared innocence but said pain and embarrassment too much to handle. Accuser said he first complained in 1989 and again in 1995; he died of drug abuse about six years after Rogers' death.

Father Wilfred L. Sheehy

  • Ordained: 1960
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Ordained for the Pallotine Fathers in WI. Worked in Fargo ND until 1966. Taught for a year in Milwaukee, WI. Moved to the Diocese of Santa Rosa in Summer 1966. Retired 1989. Accused of sexually abusing a minor 1972-77. Died 10/21/14.

Father Alfredo Sobalvarro

  • Ordained: 1971
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Ordained for the Archdiocese of Washington DC. Worked in the Santa Rosa diocese 1972-76. Named publicly as accused on the Santa Rosa diocese's list 1/12/19. It notes he has been "out of ministry since 2003."

Father Gary Timmons

  • Ordained: 1967
  • Status: Convicted
  • D/O: Diocesan

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Founded Camp St. Michael in Leggett. Two 1994 civil suits alleged abuse by Timmons of 8 boys. Arrested 10/31/95 on 17 counts involving two victims. There were 18 others known but dropped because of statute of limitations. Admitted in 1970 diary entry that he was a child molester. Sentenced in 9/96 to two concurrent 8-year prison terms. Released from prison in 2000. Laicized 5/15/01. Other civil suits filed in 2003 and in 2007. On Sex Offender Registry. On diocese's list 1/12/19. It notes he worked in the diocese 6/67-3/94.

Father James Walsh

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Ordained for the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Incardinated into the Santa Rosa diocese when it was established in 1962. Died 12/3/93. Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 1/12/19. It noted that he was accused in 2005 of abuse in 1965.

Father Bernard (Bernie) Ward

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

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Left priesthood in 1979 or 1980. Went on to marry and have children. Became a radio talk show host. Indicted in 12/07 on federal internet child porn charges. His attorney said the images were for a book Ward was researching three to four years prior. He reportedly emailed child porn images to a woman who immediately turned him over to police and the FBI. Originally pled not guilty. Pled guilty in 5/08 to one count. Per 5/08 articles, abuse was alleged when he was an active priest. Sentenced 8/08 to seven-plus years. Released from prison in 12/14. On Santa Rosa diocese's list 1/12/19.

Father Ron Wiecek

  • Ordained: 1971
  • Status: Accused
  • D/O: Holy Order of the Most Precious Blood

Sexual Abuse Allegation Notes:

Allegations made public in 1/10. Placed on leave. Per news reports, Wiecek's privileges were removed after accused of having "overzealously spanked" a boy in the 1970s while working in the Santa Rosa diocese, and he attempted to pick up a gay man about 30 years prior. Had been in Monterey for 20 years. Order recalled him to Ohio immediately. On Santa Rosa diocese's list 1/12/19.

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.

Your Story Deserves to Be Heard

Schedule a Free Consultation Now
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.