66 Clergy Members Accused of Sexual Abuse Identified in 116 Lawsuits Filed in Alameda County Court

14 Accused of Sexual Abuse Publicly Identified for the First Time

Attorneys & Advocates Urge Survivors of Catholic Clergy Child Sexual Abuse to File a Lawsuit Before December 31

(Oakland, CA) – Today, the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates revealed that 66 Catholic clergy members accused of child sexual abuse have been identified in 116 lawsuits filed in Alameda County under the California Child Victims Act. This public data collected is believed to be a small percentage of what attorneys & advocates anticipate the final number of lawsuits filed under this historic legislation to be.

“The California Child Victims Act has helped hundreds of survivors seek justice and healing,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “This law is a major advancement in the child protection movement, and we applaud all of the survivors who have come forward. But time is running out. Survivors must act before the December 31st deadline.”

Included below is a list of alleged clergy members accused of child sexual abuse and identified in public lawsuits filed in Alameda County Superior Court. The locations where the alleged abuse occurred are affiliated with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Archdiocese of San Francisco, Diocese of Fresno, Diocese of Monterey, Diocese of Oakland, Diocese of Sacramento, Diocese of San Jose, and the Diocese of Santa Rosa:

Fr. James Corley

Fr. Martin Greenlaw

Fr. Robert H. Lewis

Msgr. John T. McCracken

Fr. Francisco Javier Ochoa

Br. U Benedict Reams

Fr. Eric Swearingen

Fr. Joseph Watt

Fr. William Dodson

Fr. Domingos S. Jacque

Fr. John A. Lynch

Msgr. Michael J. McGinty

Fr. Hector David Mendoza Vela

Fr. Patrick O’Shea

Fr. Christian Sandholdt

Fr. John Crews

Fr. Elwood Geary

Fr. Sidney Hall

Fr. Robert Marsicek

Fr. Joseph McGovern

Fr. Vito Mistretta

Fr. Ted Oswald

Fr. Jesus Prieto

Fr. John Francis Scanlon

Fr. John Crowley

Fr. Robert Gemmet

Fr. Henry Hall

Sis. M. Rosella McConnell

Fr. Patrick McHugh

Fr. Anthony Moreno

Fr. Maurice Joseph O’Brien

Fr. Simon Twomey

Fr. William Storan

Based on public records available to date for recent filings in the Alameda County Court system, Br. Salvatore Billante and Fr. Stephen Kiesle, are identified and accused of child sexual abuse most frequently. Br. Billante is identified in at least 11 lawsuits filed in the Alameda County Court system and is accused of sexually abusing children in locations affiliated with the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Fr. Stephen Kiesle is identified in at least nine lawsuits filed in Alameda County Court system and is accused of sexually abusing children in locations affiliated with the Diocese of Oakland.

Additionally, 14 alleged Catholic perpetrators identified in lawsuits filed under the California Child Victims Act in the Alameda County Court system have been publicly identified for the first time. The current whereabouts of these alleged perpetrators and whether they have access to children are unknown:

Fr. James Corley

Fr. Sidney Hall

Fr. John A. Lynch

Fr. John Francis Scanlon

Fr. William Dodson

Fr. Henry Hall

Sis. M. Rosella McConnell

Fr. Joseph Watt

Fr. Elwood Geary

Fr. Domingos S. Jacque

Br. U Benedict Reams

Fr. Robert Gemmet

Fr. Robert H. Lewis

Fr. Christian Sandholdt

“Because we do not know the current location of these accused perpetrators, if they are dead or alive, and whether they have access to children, there is a great public risk,” said attorney Mike Finnegan. “We are urging the public to help us in any way they can. If you know anything about these newly accused perpetrators, contact law enforcement.”

The Archdiocese of San Francisco is the only diocese in California that has not released a list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse. The law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates has called on Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to release the names of accused clergy in San Francisco, but Cordileone continues to deprive survivors and the public of the perils in the Archdiocese.

Of the 66 clergy members identified to date in lawsuits filed in Alameda County, the following 15 clergy members are affiliated with the Archdiocese of San Francisco:

Fr. Elwood Geary

Br. U Benedict Reams

Fr. Robert Gemmet

Fr. Christian Sandholdt

Fr. Martin Greenlaw

Fr. Patrick O’Shea

Fr. Joseph Watt

“San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s decision not to disclose the identity of predatory priests serving in his Archdiocese puts children and the public in great peril,” said Anderson. “The self-serving decisions of Archbishop Cordileone is unfortunately, not a surprise to us or the courageous survivors who have come forward. The California Child Victims Act will expose Archbishop Cordileone’s callous decision to continue to harbor predatory priests.”

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California have until December 31, 2022, to take legal action and file a lawsuit. If you were sexually abused as a child by a clergy member in California, no matter how old you were, no matter when the abuse occurred, you still have rights and can still take legal action, but time is running out.

Note:  All alleged perpetrators identified in this press briefing have been publicly identified in lawsuits filed in the Alameda County Court system under the Child Victims Act (AB 218), California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1. The vast majority of claims against these individuals have not been fully evaluated in a civil or criminal court. The allegations should not be considered proven or substantiated in a court of law. All individuals should be considered innocent until proven guilty.