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Diocese of San Bernardino ACCUSED PRIESTS

The Roman Catholic Church has been the subject of many lawsuits in recent years due to its role in allowing child sexual abuse to persist within its dioceses for decades. The Diocese of San Bernardino, formerly the northern half of the Diocese of San Diego, is one of the many dioceses that hosted clergy members accused of sexually abusing children. The Diocese comprises San Bernardino and Riverside counties and got its start in 1978. It presently has about 2 million parishioners.

In 2018, the Diocese released a list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse from 1978 (the year of the Diocese’s creation) to the present. The list contains the following names of clergy: Daniel de Dominicis, Joseph Jablonski, Robert Kurilec, Peter McCormick, Dominic Gaioni, Robert Barco, Alex Castillo, Robert Donat, Timothy Keppel, Louis Perreault, Gustavo Benson, Jesus Dominguez, Rudi Gil, J. Ernest Hayes, Malachy McGinn, Paul Nguyen, Anthony Rodrigue, Charles Rourke, Edward Ball, Joseph Fertal, Howard Melzer, Carlos Rene Rodriguez, John Schmitz, Paul Shanley, Bernard Waltos, Fidencio Silva-Flores, Ponciano Ramos, Esteban Trujillo, Joseph Bell, Ruben Garcia, James Gormley, John Haberthier, Neil Kalina, Gregory Kareta, Terrance Reilly, and James Stauber.

According to the Diocese, all except one of the priests is either defrocked or dead. The one remaining priest left the Diocese voluntarily, and his location is unknown. Along with numerous other Catholic dioceses throughout the US, the Diocese of San Bernardino agreed to release the list of credibly accused clergy members after the publication of an explosive grand jury report detailing widespread child sexual abuse and the subsequent systemic cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church.

Child abuse victim advocates in the Diocese claimed that the list is incomplete and that many more priests assigned to work in the Diocese sexually abused children for many decades. In addition, some victims claim that San Bernardino became a “dumping ground” for child molester priests, with 84 priests transferred in and out of the diocese over the past 50 years, as the Catholic Church shuffled priests accused of molestation from one parish to another.

One such priest, Fidencio Silva-Flores, faced harrowing accusations of sexually abusing at least 28 children between 1979 and 1985. His victims named him as a defendant in at least 15 civil lawsuits. The Church removed Silva-Flores from the priesthood in 1998, and in 2002 he found himself facing criminal charges, including 25 counts of felony child molestation.

The list of credibly accused priests also includes Edward Ball, a former priest in the Diocese convicted in 1992 of sexually abusing three boys. The court sentenced him to only nine months in jail. Then, in 1999, the court handed him a second conviction for sexually molesting two brothers who served as altar boys in the Church between 1979 and 1986. He pled guilty, and the court sentenced him to three years in prison.

The two victims also filed a civil lawsuit against Ball, the Diocese, and the Sacred Heart of Aurora, Illinois, where Ball was ordained. The Church settled the case out of court, paying out $4.2 million to the brothers in 2003.

In a recent allegation of priest sexual abuse in 2018, a boy claimed that a priest made verbal advances toward him in 2014 while driving to a church retreat at Our Lady of Solitude Parish in Palm Springs, California. The Diocese claimed that the priest lacked permission to use any of the church facilities or to minister in any of the Diocese’s parishes at the time. When the boy reported the incident to Church officials, the Diocese contacted Child Protective Services to report the allegations.

In response to the unveiling of the prevalence of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church and other recent findings of the time it takes a survivor to report the abuse, California lawmakers extended the state’s statute of limitations or time restriction for filing civil lawsuits against sexual abusers and the institution allowing the abuse to happen. Childhood sexual abuse survivors now have until their 40th birthday to file a civil claim, up from the previous cut-off of a victim’s 26th birthday. There’s also an additional allowance of five years after discovering injuries stemming from the abuse, whichever comes later.

Additionally, California legislators implemented a look-back window to revive previously time-barred cases. This window commenced on January 1, 2020, and will continue for three years, during which time survivors of childhood sexual abuse can file a civil claim regardless of their current age or how long ago the abuse happened.

No one should have to endure the horrifying effects of child sexual abuse, especially in a Church environment where safety and trust should be paramount. If you or someone you love suffered sex abuse at the Diocese of San Bernardino, you may be able to pursue a legal claim against both your abuser and the Diocese.

You should act now to get the compensation you deserve to aid in your ongoing healing. Our lawyers at Herman Law have years of experience fighting for the rights of child sex abuse victims. Contact us today for a free consultation.

CLERGY CREDIBLY ACCUSED OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

CASES NOT PREVIOUSLY IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN

Assignments in Diocese: Notre Dame High School, Riverside (1958-68); Our Lady of the Valley, Hemet (1976-78)
Year(s) of Incident(s):
1975-85
Left the Diocese in 1978
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware 8/94
Reported to Religious Order 8/94
Reported to police 2002
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: St. Joseph, Upland (1997-2000)
Year(s) of Incident(s):
2014
*He was visiting the Diocese. Did not have faculties
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware May 2014
Reported to police May 2014
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese Vatican sentenced to Prayer & Penance

Assignments in Diocese:
Notre Dame High School, Riverside (1980-83)
Enters U.S. Military Archdiocese as a Navy Chaplain in 1984
Year(s) of Incident(s): 
1970, 1972
Alleged abuses took place in Indiana, Illinois and Maryland
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware 1987
Reported to U.S. Navy 1988
Reported to police 2002
Status of Priest: 
Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese
Vatican sentenced to Prayer & Penance

Assignments in Diocese: Sacred Heart, Palm Desert (1984-2000)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1990
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: Diocese aware 2/7/00
Removed from ministry 2/9/00
Reported to police 2002
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese

Assignments in Diocese: St. Catherine of Siena, Rialto (1986- 92)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1993
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 5/93
Suspended 7/93
Reported to police 2002
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese

CASES PREVIOUSLY IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN 2002 – Present

Assignments in Diocese:
San Salvador, Colton (2009); St. Louis, Cathedral City (2011- 2014)
*Incardinated in Diocese of Chascomus, Argentina
Year(s) of Incident(s): 2009-2010
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 4/25/16
Reported to Police 4/25/16
Removed from Ministry in Archdiocese of Los Angeles May 2016
Status of Priest:
Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese of SB
Returned to home Diocese in Argentina

Assignments in Diocese: St. Anthony, San Bernardino (1988-89); Diocesan Diaconate Hispanic Ministry (1991-96); St. Catherine of Siena, Rialto (2000-03); Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ontario (2003-09); St. George, Ontario (2006-07)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 2009
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 6/24/10
Reported to Police 6/24/10
Removed from ministry 6/25/10
Status of Priest: Removed from the priesthood

Assignments in Diocese: St. Bernardine, San Bernardino (1977); St. Anne, San Bernardino (1979); Aquinas High School, San Bernardino (1969- 1993); Our Lady of Lourdes, Montclair (1993-2006)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1984
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware 11/12/10
Reported to Police 11/13/10
Was retired @ time of allegation
Faculties removed 9/12/11
Status of Priest:
Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese
Vatican sentenced to Prayer & Penance

Assignments in Diocese: St. Joseph, Fontana (1977-80); Resurrection, Fontana (1984-87); Our Lady of the Lake, Lake Arrowhead (1997- 2009), St. John XXIII, Fontana (2009); Our Lady of the Desert, Apple Valley (2010- 2012)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1976-79
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 8/24/12
Reported to Police 8/24/12
Suspended 8/25/12
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese

Assignments in Diocese: Our Lady of the Valley, Hemet (1986- 95)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1990-92
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware Sept. 2011
Reported to Police Sept. 2011
Was retired w/out faculties
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese

CASES PREVIOUSLY IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN 1978-2002

Assignments in Diocese: Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Bernardino (1977-78); San Salvador, Colton (1978); Immaculate Conception, Colton (1983-85); St. Joseph, Barstow (1985-87)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1978, 1985-86
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 12/86
Arrested 1/87
Status of Priest: Removed from the priesthood

Assignments in Diocese: St. Edward, Corona (1983-84); Our Lady of Soledad, Coachella (1984-87); St. James, Perris (1987-91); Our Lady of Guadalupe, Chino (1991)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1983, 1988
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware 1988
Removed from ministry 1993
Arrested 2001
Status of Priest: Removed from the priesthood

Assignments in Diocese: St. Edward, Corona (1985-87); Our Lady of Guadalupe, Ontario (1987-89); St. Frances of Rome, Lake Elsinore (1989- 93)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1987
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware 6/87
Suspended 1993
Reported to police 2002Status of Priest: Removed from the priesthood

Assignments in Diocese: St. George, Ontario (1961-65);Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Indio (1965-67); St. Mel, Norco (1974-76); Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Riverside (1976- 77); St. Anne, San Bernardino (1977-84); St. Bernardine Medical Center, San Bernardino (1988) Christ the Good Shepherd, Adelanto (1989-90)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1978-83, 1981, 1987
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 6/87
Died 1990
Reported to police 2002
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: Blessed Sacrament, 29 Palms (1972-74); Our Lady of the Assumption, San Bernardino (1974-81); St. Margaret Mary, Chino (1981-85); St. Theresa, Palm Springs (1985-97)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1969, 1981
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Priest deceased in 1997
Diocese aware 2002
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese:
St. Francis de Sales, Riverside (1992-93)
*Incardinated in Diocese of Oslo, NorwayYear(s) of Incident(s): 1993
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware 2/2/93
Suspended 2/5/93
Reported to police 2/5/93
Status of Priest: Left Diocese in 1993; whereabouts unknown

Assignments in Diocese: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Indio (1971-72); St. Joseph, Barstow (1972-73); St. George, Ontario (1977-81); St. Joseph the Worker, Loma Linda (1981-82)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1978
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Arrested in 1979
Removed from ministry 1983
Laicized in 1992
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: Extern with faculties (no parish assignments) Incardinated in Diocese of Tuscon
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1979
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware 1979
Removed from ministry 1979
Reported to police 12/06
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: Diocesan Center for Catholic Ministry (1979); Diocesan Dept. of Catechetical and Theological Formation (1980-89); Our Lady of Fatima, San Bernardino (1989-92)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1979-86
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 9/92
Removed from ministry 9/92
Arrested 12/92
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: Joseph Fertal, SVD
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1995
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware 8/95
Suspended 8/95
Reported to authorities 10/95
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese

Assignments in Diocese: St. Matthew, Corona (1976-80)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1976-80
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 10/17/93
Reported to Religious Order for action 10/18/93
Reported to Police 2002
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: No faculties; No assignments
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1993
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware May 2018
Reported to Police Nov. 2018
Status of Priest: Removed from the priesthood (1998)

Assignments in Diocese: Rosary Cathedral, San Bernardino (1984-85) Incardinated in the Archdiocese of Dubuque
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1985
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Told to leave Diocese and reported to his home diocese 4/85
Reported to Police 5/85
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: Extern w/faculties (no parish assignments) Incardinated in the Archdiocese of Boston
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1990
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware Feb. 2002
Reported to Police Feb. 2002
Status of Priest: Removed from the priesthood

Assignments in Diocese: Queen of Angels, Riverside (1981-1991)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1984-90
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: Diocese aware January 1994 ( priest was deceased)
Status of Priest: Deceased

CASES PREVIOUSLY IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN 1978-2002 ALLEGATIONS OUTSIDE THE DIOCESE RE: PRIESTS WHO LATER SERVED IN DIOCESE

Assignments in Diocese: St. Philip Neri, Lenwood (1998)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 
1979-85, 1995
Alleged abuses took place in Oxnard, CA Lynwood, CA
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware Nov. 1998
Removed Nov. 1998
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese

Assignments in Diocese: St. Martha, Murrieta (1996-97); St. Mary of the Valley, Yucca Valley (1998-2002)
Year(s) of Incident(s):
1993
Alleged abuse took place in Indiana
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware Apr. 2002
Removed from Ministry Apr. 2002
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese

Assignments in Diocese: No Faculties; No Assignments; Was residing with his family in Diocese
Year(s) of Incident(s): 
1998, 2001
Alleged abuses took place in Mexico
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware June 2002
Removed June 2002
Status of Priest: Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese

Assignments in Diocese: St. Peter and St. Paul, Alta Loma (1985-86)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 
1960s-70s
Alleged abuses took place in Indiana, Kentucky, New York
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware Dec. 1985
Priest Deceased Jan. 1987
Reported to police 2006
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Chino (1986-87) *Incardinated in Diocese of Tijuana, Mexico
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1981 Alleged abuse took place in Idaho
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware Apr. 1986
Priest leaves Diocese Feb. 1987
Reported to police 2006
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: St. Francis de Sales, Riverside (1979-80); Our Lady of the Valley, Hemet (1982- 87)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 
1973
Alleged abuse took place in Whittier, CA
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware Oct. 2006
Reported to police Dec. 2006
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: Queen of Angels, Riverside (1978-81); Franciscan Center, Newberry Springs (1979-80); St. Thomas the Apostle, Riverside (1981-82)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 
1964, 1973-74
Alleged abuses took place in Hermosa Beach, CA and Pismo Beach, CA, respectively
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Left Diocese 1983
Arrested Jan. 2003
Diocese aware Feb. 2003
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: Notre Dame High School, Riverside (1988-93)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 
1983
Alleged abuse took place in Eugene, OR
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities:
Diocese aware May 1993
Priest leaves Diocese May 1993
Reported to police 2006
Status of Priest: Deceased

Assignments in Diocese: St. Adelaide, Highland (1982); Our Lady of the Assumption, San Bernardino (1982-83); Immaculate Conception, Colton (1983-84); St. Catherine of Alexandria, Riverside (1984-88, 90); St. Edward, Corona (1988-90); St. John, Rubidoux (1991-93)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 
1970
Alleged abuse took place in St. Louis, MO
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware Feb. 1993
Removed Feb. 1993
Reported to police 2006
Status of Priest: Deceased

CASES PREVIOUSLY IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN 1978-2002 ALLEGATIONS FOR WHICH SETTLEMENTS WERE PAID, BUT CREDIBILITY NOT VERIFIED

Assignments in Diocese: St. Edward, Corona (1982-84); St. Joseph, Barstow (1984-86); Our Lady of Guadalupe, San Bernardino (1986-89); The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mecca (1991-97)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1988-89
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 2002
Removed from ministry 2002
Status of Priest: 
Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese
Retired without faculties

Assignments in Diocese: St. Matthew, Corona (1979-83); California Institute for Men, Chino (1983-91)
Year(s) of Incident(s): 1983-89
Date Reported to Dioces/Authorities: 
Diocese aware 10/1/04
Reported to police 10/29/04

Status of Priest: 
Permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese
Retired without faculties

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Were you or someone you know sexually abused?

We are sorry, we exclusively handle cases of sexual abuse.

Lo sentimos, manejamos exclusivamente casos de abuso sexual.