Despite Being First Reported in 1988, and Again in March of 2020, Fr. Marco Reyes Still Allowed to Minister to Children
(Los Angeles, CA) – Following the submission of a child sexual assault claim against Father Marco Reyes to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Independent Compensation Program (ICP) on behalf of a courageous survivor, attorneys from the law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates have identified Fr. Marco Reyes as an active minister and present danger to the St. Linus Church (Norwalk) and St. Paul High School (Santa Fe Springs) communities. The claim identifies for the first time Fr. Marco D. Reyes as a child sexual abuser. It also names another known abuser, Fr. Michael Baker.
“Archdiocese officials have been aware of allegations against Reyes for more than 30 years and have looked the other way,” said attorney Jeff Anderson noting that Reyes was first reported to school officials in 1988. “The Archbishop has full knowledge of the peril Reyes presents right now, and that peril grows every day Reyes is allowed to remain in ministry.”
The survivor, who has chosen to retain his anonymity guaranteed by the ICP, reported that:
- While attending school and serving as an altar boy at Resurrection Church and School in Los Angeles, the survivor was sexually assaulted approximately 15 times by Reyes beginning in approximately 1986 when the survivor was approximately 11 years old. The abuse took place in the church before and after services, during a church-sponsored outdoor fiesta, and off-site in a movie theater in Monterey Park. The abuse was first reported to church/school officials in 1988.
- While a student at St. Hillary in Pico Rivera in 1983, the survivor was also sexually assaulted by Baker, his Catechism teacher and priest.
Following his assignment at Resurrection Church and School, Fr. Reyes has ministered at multiple churches and schools throughout the Archdiocese including Mary Star of the Sea (San Pedro), Our Lady of Guadalupe & St. Agatha (Los Angeles), St. Anthony (San Gabriel), St. Emydius & St. Joseph’s High School (Lynwood), as well out-of-state in Boston and Missouri. According to Church websites, Reyes currently remains in ministry at St. Linus Church and St. Paul High School.
A known predator, Fr. Baker is estimated to have sexually abused at least 23 children. In approximately 1986, Fr. Baker admitted to Cardinal Roger Mahony that he had sexually abused children. In response, Cardinal Mahony sent Fr. Baker to treatment and returned him to ministry shortly thereafter. Since approximately 2011, Fr. Baker’s whereabouts and whether he has access to children are unknown.
“We commend the brave survivor taking this action,” said attorney Mike Reck. “While the compensation program offered is far from full justice we must acknowledge that Church officials are running this program and it has quietly unearthed hundreds of claims. For the sake of public safety, we encourage the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to disclose the allegations and alleged abusers to the public.”
Attorney Mike Reck is available for comment via phone or video/teleconference.