justice for California child sexual abuse survivors

SAn diego/San Bernardino diocese abuse survivors

There is justice, hope and healing. We can help.
If you or someone you know was sexually abused or sexually assaulted by clergy or laity, you can hold abusers and the San Diego/San Bernardino Diocese accountable. California law opened a limited-time window for compensation. The time to act is now.

Many child abuse survivors live for years in shame and self-blame. Coming forward and speaking out is the first step in healing. We will represent you in a respectful, confidential manner and file your claim for compensation before the deadline.

We can help, but you must act now to hold the San Diego/San Bernardino Diocese responsible.

Contact Us Today

To Request A Free and Confidential Consultation

JUSTICE FOR San Diego Diocese ABUSE SURVIVORS

Our legal team of compassionate professionals has empowered hundreds of abuse survivors to come forward with claims against individuals and related entities. We are ready to help you or your loved one achieve justice for what happened within the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

LEGACY OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND HARASSMENT

In California, cases of abuse have been raised in all 11 Catholic Diocese. Several of these Dioceses have created victim compensation funds in an effort to heal and move beyond the allegations of systemic abuse.

Perpetrators of alleged sexual harassment and assault may include:

Rev. John Beatty

Ordained: 1950
Beatty started out in Illinois working for the Diocese of Peoria until he was transferred to the Diocese of San Diego in 1963. During his career, Beatty worked as a parish priest, high school teacher, and hospital chaplain in the Dioceses of San Diego and San Bernardino. He died in 1997. Beatty was named publicly in the San Diego Diocese’s 9/14/18 list of credibly accused priests. He was also added to the Diocese of Joliet’s (Joliet, IL) list of credibly accused priest in 2/2021.

Rev. Gustavo Benson

Ordained: 1972
Benson was arrested in 1987 for molesting a 13-year-old altar boy in Barstow, CA. He pleaded no contest, was sentenced to three years’ probation, and became a registered sex offender. As part of his sentence, Benson was allowed to undergo treatment at the Catholic Church’s rehabilitation center for sexually abusive priests, the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. Following this treatment, Benson resumed his ministry. He was Incardinated into the Diocese of Tijuana Mexico in 1991.

In 2010 a San Diego Judge ruled that previously sealed Catholic Church documents be made public. These records were the personnel files of priests who were credibly accused or convicted of sex abuse. Gustavo Benson’s file revealed official church memos. One letter, dated December 19, 1986, sent from the Bishop of San Bernardino to Benson orders Benson to leave St. Joseph Parish in Barstow, move in with the Paraclete Fathers and that his “official status is a priest on sick leave.” At the end of the letter, bishop tells Benson that what he did was “extremely serious”, but then assures Benson that he will do everything possible to assist him with his “future ministry as a priest.”

Rev. Monsignor James T. Booth

Ordained: 1946
James T. Booth was a priest in the Diocese of San Diego from 1946 to 1971. He served as a Pastor and a Chancellor during his career as a priest. At 49 years old, Booth resigned from the Catholic Priesthood when the church discovered that he married a 19-year-old college student in 1971. He became an Episcopal priest after his marriage.

Booth was named in a lawsuit in the early 2000’s where he was alleged to have molested a woman when she was 15 years old at Mission San Diego de Alcala between 1969 and 1970. Booth is named in the San Diego diocese’s list of credibly accused priests. He died in 2012.

Rev. Jose Chavarin

Originally from Mexico, Rev. Chavarin began working as a priest in California in 1986. In 2008, allegations that Chavarin had sexually abused minors in the 1980’s were brought to the attention of the San Diego Diocese. Chavarin was working in the Diocese of San Francisco at the time. The San Diego Diocese notified the San Francisco Diocese who then confronted Chavarin with the allegations. Chavarin denied any wrongdoing but ran away to Mexico shortly after he learned of these accusations. His whereabouts are currently unknown.

Rev. Peter Covas

Ordained: 1957
Rev. Covas worked in several Dioceses throughout the United States before he began working in California as a teacher at Notre Dame High School in Riverside, CA in 1960. He was removed from active ministry in 2002 after allegations that he had molested two boys in the 1970’s was brought to the attention of the Diocese.

The yearlong criminal investigation into these allegations ended when prosecutors announced that they did not have enough evidence to charge Covas. With criminal charges dropped, Rev. Covas was reinstated as a retired priest in good standing. He died in 2004. Regardless of the charges against him being dropped, Rev. Covas is on the San Diego/ San Bernardino list of credibly accused priests.

Msgr. Donald F. Doxie

Ordained: 1952
He worked in several parishes in the Diocese of San Diego. It states in Msgr. Doxie’s priest file, which was released by the Diocese in 2010, that he was found dead in the parish rectory in November 1976. He was accused in a 2003 lawsuit of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy from 1969-1972.

Rev. Simeon (Samuel) Engl

Began his career as a priest in Wisconsin in 1930. According to the Diocese of San Diego/San Bernardino he moved to San Diego for health reasons following a leave of absence from his position in the Diocese of Green Bay, WI. Rev. Engl worked in the San Diego Diocese from 1955 until he retired in 1969. He was incardinated to the Diocese of San Diego in 1961. The Rev. Engl has been accused of molesting several boys in 1950 when he worked in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Rev. Engl died in 1989 at 85 years old.

Rev. James Patrick Foley

Ordained: 1973
Publicly named by the Diocese of San Diego in 2018, Foley was added to the list of credibly accused priests in San Diego Diocese. He is also named on the credibly accused lists of the Dioceses of Sacramento, Oakland, and Stockton.

He worked in several parishes throughout the Diocese of San Diego, he also worked at University High School and University of San Diego.
According to his file released by the church, Foley took a leave of absence in 1991 for “personal issues”. That same year, he transferred to the Diocese of Sacramento. The Diocese of San Diego claimed in the media that although Foley was working in Sacramento, he was still officially under San Diego Diocese jurisdiction. In 2010, Foley was accused of molesting two boys in Sacramento during the 1990’s. He was suspended from ministry in July 2010 but reinstated in 2012 after an inconclusive church tribunal. In 2015 the church, again, removed Foley from ministry after they learned of another allegation that he had molested a boy in the 90’s. After being included in the 2018 credibly accused report, Foley sued the Diocese of San Diego for defamation of character.

Rev. Michael French

Ordained: 1964
Started his career as a Catholic Priest on the east coast working in parishes in Queens and Brooklyn, New York from 1964 until 1973 when he moved to San Diego. Rev. French remained a priest in San Diego until his death in 1995. Rev. French was included in the San Diego Diocese’s publicly released list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

In 2003, the Diocese of San Diego was made aware that French had abused a boy back in 1980. The Diocese settled this case out of court.

Msgr. Rudolph Galindo

During his 30-year career as a Catholic priest, Galindo worked in six churches in the San Diego/San Bernardino Dioceses. In the early 2000’s, three men contacted the Diocese alleging that they had been sexually abused by Galindo when they were minors. When the bishop of San Diego confronted Galindo with these allegations, 73-year-old Galindo admitted that the allegations were true. Consequently, Msgr. Galindo was barred from ministry.

This was not the first time Galindo was accused of sexual abuse. In 1985, a settlement was paid to a young man who accused Galindo of molesting him when he was an altar boy. The next year in 1986, Galindo retired. His last known whereabouts are a retirement home for priests in Texas.

Rev. James Ganahl

Ordained: 1956
Retired from priesthood in 1987. According to his personnel file released by the Diocese, Ganahl was removed from any public ministry in 1998. Ganahl is named in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. He died in 2010.

In the late 1990’s, four women reported to San Bernardino Diocese that they were abused by Ganahl between 1961-1963. They reached a settlement. Although, with this knowledge about Ganahl and having reached a settlement regarding his crime, the church did not report Ganahl to the police until 2002.

Rev. Paul Gill

Ordained: 1966
A civil lawsuit in 2002 alleged that Gill had sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in the late 1970’s. The church barred Gill from ministry because of this lawsuit. Gill denied the accusations. He was hit by another lawsuit in 2003 by a different man who alleged Gill had abused him in the 70’s. Gill retired in 1998. He was added to the San Diego Diocese’s publicly released list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse in 2007.

Rev. Maximiliano Gomez

Ordained: 1946
Native to Mexico, Rev. Gomez was ordained for the Diocese of San Diego, CA in 1946. Gomez was a priest in six different parishes throughout southern California starting in 1946 until he left the diocese in 1966. Gomez was sued in civil court in 1966 for alleged assault and battery of a teenage boy in 1962. The court awarded $35K to the boy. According to his personnel file released by the church, Gomez was transferred to and incardinated in the Diocese of Tlalnepantla, Mexico in 1967.

Rev. George Lally

Ordained in the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island in 1968, Lally was transferred to Diocese of San Diego around 1970. He left the priesthood in 1979 and got married. A man filed a civil suit against the Diocese in 2002 alleging that Rev. Lally abused him at St. Mary Church in El Centro in 1971. Lally was transferred when the boy reported the abuse to the church’s pastor. Lally was added to San Diego Diocese’s list of sexual predator priests in 2018.

Rev. Justin Langille

Ordained:1980
Removed from the priesthood by the church in 2018. The Diocese of San Diego received allegations that Langille had abused a teenage girl in the 1990’s. Langille was cleared of these allegations by the Diocese twice, once in 1995 and again in 2002. The Diocesan Independent Review Board investigated the abuse claims from the 90’s against Langille again in 2018 and found evidence which subverted the priests’ alibi. Subsequently, Langille was removed from ministry.

Rev. Peter Luque

Ordained: 1962
Resigned in 2003 after he was accused of sexual abuse. The Diocese placed Luque on leave in 2002 when allegations that he abused two teenage boys in the 1960’s surfaced. Luque was included in a list of 20 priests turned over to the San Bernardino Police Department by the diocese in 2002. Luque was named in the San Diego Diocese’s list of credibly accused priests in 2007.

Rev. Malachy McGinn

Ordained: 1961
Rev. McGinn was ordained in Ireland and was a member of the Salesian order before ordination. He worked in both San Diego and San Bernardino Dioceses. In 1993, the Diocese of San Diego received a complaint from a woman alleging that McGinn made unwanted sexual advances on her when she was 21-years old. McGinn died in 1997.

Named in San Diego and San Bernardino Diocese’s list of priests accused of sexual abuse. Personnel file released in 2010. Added to San Bernardino list in 2018. It states that in 2002, the Diocese was aware of abuse allegations from 1969 and 1981.

Rev. Patrick McNamara

Ordained: 1980
Named in San Diego Diocese list of priests accused of sexual abuse in 2007. The Bishop of San Diego Diocese received a complaint against McNamara in the summer of 1993, the bishop responded with a letter saying he would never assign a priest to a parish who would put children at risk. McNamara took a leave of absence in 1994 then resigned from the priesthood and got married in 1995, the Diocese accepted his resignation and removed him from ministry. He left the church and rebranded himself as a “Spiritual Counselor”.

Msgr. Mark Medaer

Ordained: 1950
Worked as a priest in Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, and Pennsylvania before transferring to San Diego Diocese in 1959. Medaer spent the rest of his career in southern California. He retired in 1992 and died in 1993. An allegation was brought to the attention of the Diocese in 2002 that Medaer abused a boy in 1982 when he was pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Calexico. The Diocese paid for the alleged victim’s counseling. Medaer was publicly named as a priest accused of sexual abuse by the San Diego Diocese in 2018.

Rev. Richard Houck

Ordained: 1965
Houck was a pastor at several San Diego Parishes all the way until his retirement in 1996. Houck was first publicly named as an accused sex abuser on the San Diego Diocese’s list of credibly accused priests in 2018. Media reports that a man came forward in 2004 alleging that Houck abused him when he was a 10-year-old altar boy. The Diocese paid a settlement, and the matter was not pursued in court. Houck died in 2002.

Rev. John Keith

Ordained for Society of Jesus: 1956
Incardinated in the Diocese of San Diego in 1961, Keith had 17 different assignments throughout San Diego and San Bernardino area during his career. Keith was a teacher; he worked at three different high schools between 1963-1965. He retired in 1990. Keith was accused of molesting a 12-year-old altar boy in 1985. The lawsuit alleged that Keith took the boy out of school and abused him. This case was settled with the church out of court. Keith died in 2003.

Rev. Msgr. William Kraft

Ordained: 1951
Kraft worked in several parishes in San Diego and San Bernardino. In his time, Kraft was a pastor and hospital chaplain. Kraft retired in 1991 and died in 2001. Kraft has been accused of abusing many children in various lawsuits that have been filed. Kraft was named in the San Diego Diocese’s list of credibly accused priests in 2007, his personnel file was released to the public in 2010.

Rev. Ricardo Mejia

Ordained: 1977
Mejia’s name is on the San Diego Diocese’s list of credibly accused priests. He was publicly named as credibly accused by the Diocese in 2007. According to the Diocese, his priestly faculties were removed in 1998. No specific info regarding allegations is available at this time.

Rev. Thomas Moloney

Ordained: 1943
Originally from Ireland, Moloney entered the San Diego Diocese in 1946. He was a pastor in Southern California until his death in 1986. A civil suit was filed against the Diocese by a man in 2003 alleging that Moloney molested him at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Riverside, CA in 1963. San Diego Diocese released Moloney’s personnel file to the public in 2010.

Rev. Paolino Montagna

Montagna was publicly named as an accused sex abuser by the San Diego Diocese in 2018. He is accused of molesting two girls. Montagna worked in the Diocese for three years (1972-1975). Not much is known about Montagna, he is thought to be deceased.

Rev. Robert Daniel Nikliborc

Ordained:1955
Nikilborc was a priest in the San Diego Diocese from 1955-2001. According to his assignment history, he began working again in 2002 at St. Anne parish in San Diego until he retired for the final time in 2005.

He was sued in in 2005; accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy at Boys Town of the Desert, which was a residential-care facility for troubled/at risk boys located in Banning, CA. Nikilborc was assigned to Boys Town of the Desert from 1957-1969. He spent time at the Servants of the Paraclete, the Catholic Church’s former rehab center for pedophile priests, in Jemez Springs, NM in 1956. He went to jail for 97 days when he was convicted of tax evasion in 1968. Nikilborc died in 2006.

Rev. Daniel Polizzi

Ordained: 1969
Originally ordained in the Santa Rosa Diocese, Polizzi transferred to the Diocese of San Diego in 1970. He was suspended from the priesthood in 1996 after a hospitalized teenager told hospital staff that he had been abused by a priest. The hospital reported this allegation to CPS, the Diocese, and the police. No criminal charges were pursued. The Diocese permanently removed Polizzi from ministry in 1997. Polizzi died in 2003. He is named in both the San Diego and Santa Rosa Dioceses’ list of credibly accused priests.

Rev. Franz Robier

Ordained: 1936
Originally from Austria, Robier began working in the San Diego Diocese in 1955. He spent time at the Servants of the Paraclete, the Catholic Church’s former rehab center for pedophile priests, in Jemez Springs, NM in 1957. Robier died in 1994.

Several civil lawsuits were filed against the Diocese in 2003 regarding sexual misconduct by Robier. A serial abuser, Robier was accused of abuse, including rape, of as many as 24 girls during the late 1950’s- early 1960’s. Claims settled in 2007 as part of a multimillion-dollar settlement against the Diocese. Robier’s personnel file was released to the public by the Diocese in 2010.

Fr. Anthony Rodrigue

Ordained: 1962
One of the most prolific abusers in the Diocese, Rodrigue admitted to sexually abusing 150 children. Rodrigue has a criminal record for molesting boys. He was placed on probation in 1979 when he pleaded no contest in the sexual assault of a boy. Despite being an admitted child abuser, Rodrigue remained a priest until the church removed Rodrigue from the priesthood in 1992.

In 1997, Rodrigue was arrested for the sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy at an apartment complex where the former priest worked as a janitor. Rodrigue pleaded guilty to this and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released from prison in 2006 and died in 2009. Several civil suits filed against the diocese since 2003 by people who were abused by Rodrigue when they were children. Rodrigue is named in the San Diego/ San Bernardino list of credibly accused priests.

Rev. Thomas Moloney

Ordained: 1943
Originally from Ireland, Moloney entered the San Diego Diocese in 1946. He was a pastor in Southern California until his death in 1986. A civil suit was filed against the Diocese by a man in 2003 alleging that Moloney molested him at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Riverside, CA in 1963. San Diego Diocese released Moloney’s personnel file to the public in 2010.

Rev. Paolino Montagna

Montagna was publicly named as an accused sex abuser by the San Diego Diocese in 2018. He is accused of molesting two girls. Montagna worked in the Diocese for three years (1972-1975). Not much is known about Montagna, he is thought to be deceased.

Rev. Robert Daniel Nikliborc

Ordained:1955
Nikilborc was a priest in the San Diego Diocese from 1955-2001. According to his assignment history, he began working again in 2002 at St. Anne parish in San Diego until he retired for the final time in 2005.

He was sued in in 2005; accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy at Boys Town of the Desert, which was a residential-care facility for troubled/at risk boys located in Banning, CA. Nikilborc was assigned to Boys Town of the Desert from 1957-1969. He spent time at the Servants of the Paraclete, the Catholic Church’s former rehab center for pedophile priests, in Jemez Springs, NM in 1956. He went to jail for 97 days when he was convicted of tax evasion in 1968. Nikilborc died in 2006.

Rev. Daniel Polizzi

Ordained: 1969
Originally ordained in the Santa Rosa Diocese, Polizzi transferred to the Diocese of San Diego in 1970. He was suspended from the priesthood in 1996 after a hospitalized teenager told hospital staff that he had been abused by a priest. The hospital reported this allegation to CPS, the Diocese, and the police. No criminal charges were pursued. The Diocese permanently removed Polizzi from ministry in 1997. Polizzi died in 2003. He is named in both the San Diego and Santa Rosa Dioceses’ list of credibly accused priests.

Rev. Franz Robier

Ordained: 1936
Originally from Austria, Robier began working in the San Diego Diocese in 1955. He spent time at the Servants of the Paraclete, the Catholic Church’s former rehab center for pedophile priests, in Jemez Springs, NM in 1957. Robier died in 1994.

Several civil lawsuits were filed against the Diocese in 2003 regarding sexual misconduct by Robier. A serial abuser, Robier was accused of abuse, including rape, of as many as 24 girls during the late 1950’s- early 1960’s. Claims settled in 2007 as part of a multimillion-dollar settlement against the Diocese. Robier’s personnel file was released to the public by the Diocese in 2010.

Fr. Anthony Rodrigue

Ordained: 1962
One of the most prolific abusers in the Diocese, Rodrigue admitted to sexually abusing 150 children. Rodrigue has a criminal record for molesting boys. He was placed on probation in 1979 when he pleaded no contest in the sexual assault of a boy. Despite being an admitted child abuser, Rodrigue remained a priest until the church removed Rodrigue from the priesthood in 1992.

In 1997, Rodrigue was arrested for the sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy at an apartment complex where the former priest worked as a janitor. Rodrigue pleaded guilty to this and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released from prison in 2006 and died in 2009. Several civil suits filed against the diocese since 2003 by people who were abused by Rodrigue when they were children. Rodrigue is named in the San Diego/ San Bernardino list of credibly accused priests.

Fr. David Roll

Ordained: 1970
Roll is named on the San Diego Diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of abuse. According to the list, the church had his “faculties removed” in 1986. Roll was treated at the Paraclete Center (the Catholic Church’s now closed rehabilitation center for sex offenders) in 1987. The Diocese of San Diego placed Roll on medical retirement in 1993. According to church documents released to the public, the Bishop of San Diego stated that in his opinion, “Father Roll will be unable to perform priestly duties due to the diagnosis of severe characterological impairment.”

Rev. Joseph Rossell

Ordained: 1930
Ordained in Spain. Arrived in Colorado in 1947, moved to San Diego in 1953. Incardinated in 1954 in the Diocese of San Diego. Assigned to St. Anthony in National City from 1956 – 1972. He retired and moved back to Spain in 1972. He died in 1982.

Rossell is named several lawsuits, and in a suit filed under the CA Child Victims Act in January of 2020, he was accused of molesting two girls in catechism class. The Diocese of San Diego released Rossell’s personnel file to the public in 2010, he has been on the Diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of abuse since 2007.

Rev. William Savord

Ordained: 1957
Savord’s personnel file was released to the public in 2010. He is named in the Diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of sex abuse. Savord transferred to San Bernardino Diocese in 1984. He was removed from active priesthood in 1988 and sent to the Servants of the Paraclete treatment center, the Church’s former treatment center for sexually abusive priests. Savord resigned from the priesthood in August of 1990. He died in 2004.

Msgr. Gregory Sheridan

Ordained: 1935
Originally from Spain, Sheridan worked in KS, TX, and NE before moving to San Diego, CA in 1948. Incardinated in San Diego Diocese in 1952. He retired in 1983 and died in 1991.

Allegations of sexual abuse were made against Sheridan in 2006 by a woman who claimed Sheridan had abused her in 1969 when she was eight years old. The Diocese of San Diego added Sheridan to its list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse in 2007 and his personnel file was released in 2010. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the Diocese by women and men who claim Sheridan sexually abused them as children. Media reports that at least one previous claim has settled. Sheridan is alleged to have abused children as far back as 1957.

Fr. Frank Sierra

Ordained: 1946
Fr. Sierra taught high school in Buenos Aires in the early 1950’s before he arrived in the Pueblo, CO diocese in 1951. He then worked in several parishes in El Paso, TX several parishes in the 1950’s and 1960’s that would later be part of the Las Cruces, NM Diocese. Sierra started working in the San Diego diocese in 1970. He retired in 1988. A civil suit filed in 1994 accused Sierra of abusing girls in Santa Cruz, NM; the case settled. Fr. Sierra is included on the credibly accused lists in the Dioceses of San Diego, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and El Paso.

Msgr. William Spain

Ordained: 1956
A native to San Bernardino, CA. Msgr. Spain retired in 1986. He died in 1993. He is named on the San Diego diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse. Spain’s personnel file was released to the public in 2010.

Rev. Matthew Thompson

Ordained: 1928
In 2002, a man alleged Thompson abused him when he was an altar boy in the late 1950’s – early 60’s. There was also another allegation against Thompson. Claims included in multi-million-dollar settlement against the Diocese in 2007. Thompson retired in 1975 and died in 1976. Thompson’s personnel file was released publicly in 2010. He is named in the San Diego Diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of abuse.

Rev. Victor Uboldi

Ordained: 1945
Retired because of health reasons in 1982. Died in Italy in 2001. His name appears on the San Diego Diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of abuse. His personnel file was released by the San Diego Diocese in 2010. In 1992, a woman filed a suit alleging abuse when she was a teenager. At least one other person has come forward with allegations against Uboldi.

Fr. William Valverde

Ordained: 1962
Valverde was named in a 2003 civil suit filed by two men who alleged Valverde introduced them to drugs and alcohol and abused them. He also worked in the San Bernardino Diocese. Valverde is known to have helped organize community counseling centers in several towns and worked with “delinquent” youths. His assignment record states he left the Diocese in 1983. He is included in the San Diego Diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse.

Rev. Barry Vinyard

Ordained: 1975
A lawsuit filed in 2003, alleged that Vinyard abused a boy 1978-79 at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Calexico, CA. Vinyard retired in 2004. He is included in the San Diego Diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse. The Diocese of San Diego released Vinyard’s personnel file to the public in 2010.

Rev. Thomas Moloney

Ordained: 1943
Originally from Ireland, Moloney entered the San Diego Diocese in 1946. He was a pastor in Southern California until his death in 1986. A civil suit was filed against the Diocese by a man in 2003 alleging that Moloney molested him at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Riverside, CA in 1963. San Diego Diocese released Moloney’s personnel file to the public in 2010.

Rev. Paolino Montagna

Montagna was publicly named as an accused sex abuser by the San Diego Diocese in 2018. He is accused of molesting two girls. Montagna worked in the Diocese for three years (1972-1975). Not much is known about Montagna, he is thought to be deceased.

Rev. Robert Daniel Nikliborc

Ordained:1955
Nikilborc was a priest in the San Diego Diocese from 1955-2001. According to his assignment history, he began working again in 2002 at St. Anne parish in San Diego until he retired for the final time in 2005.

He was sued in in 2005; accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy at Boys Town of the Desert, which was a residential-care facility for troubled/at risk boys located in Banning, CA. Nikilborc was assigned to Boys Town of the Desert from 1957-1969. He spent time at the Servants of the Paraclete, the Catholic Church’s former rehab center for pedophile priests, in Jemez Springs, NM in 1956. He went to jail for 97 days when he was convicted of tax evasion in 1968. Nikilborc died in 2006.

Rev. Daniel Polizzi

Ordained: 1969
Originally ordained in the Santa Rosa Diocese, Polizzi transferred to the Diocese of San Diego in 1970. He was suspended from the priesthood in 1996 after a hospitalized teenager told hospital staff that he had been abused by a priest. The hospital reported this allegation to CPS, the Diocese, and the police. No criminal charges were pursued. The Diocese permanently removed Polizzi from ministry in 1997. Polizzi died in 2003. He is named in both the San Diego and Santa Rosa Dioceses’ list of credibly accused priests.

Rev. Franz Robier

Ordained: 1936
Originally from Austria, Robier began working in the San Diego Diocese in 1955. He spent time at the Servants of the Paraclete, the Catholic Church’s former rehab center for pedophile priests, in Jemez Springs, NM in 1957. Robier died in 1994.

Several civil lawsuits were filed against the Diocese in 2003 regarding sexual misconduct by Robier. A serial abuser, Robier was accused of abuse, including rape, of as many as 24 girls during the late 1950’s- early 1960’s. Claims settled in 2007 as part of a multimillion-dollar settlement against the Diocese. Robier’s personnel file was released to the public by the Diocese in 2010.

Fr. Anthony Rodrigue

Ordained: 1962
One of the most prolific abusers in the Diocese, Rodrigue admitted to sexually abusing 150 children. Rodrigue has a criminal record for molesting boys. He was placed on probation in 1979 when he pleaded no contest in the sexual assault of a boy. Despite being an admitted child abuser, Rodrigue remained a priest until the church removed Rodrigue from the priesthood in 1992.

In 1997, Rodrigue was arrested for the sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy at an apartment complex where the former priest worked as a janitor. Rodrigue pleaded guilty to this and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released from prison in 2006 and died in 2009. Several civil suits filed against the diocese since 2003 by people who were abused by Rodrigue when they were children. Rodrigue is named in the San Diego/ San Bernardino list of credibly accused priests.

Rev. Carmelo Baltazar

Ordained: 1960
Originally from the Malolos Diocese in the Philippines, Fr. Baltazar is accused of abusing boys over a 20-year period while working as a priest in the Philippines, Diocese of Cleveland, Diocese of Boise and Diocese of San Diego. A Boise Idaho judge sentenced Baltazar to seven years in prison for lewd conduct with an Idaho youth. He served 3 years then was sent to treatment. Named in 2003 civil suit in San Diego. Baltazar is reportedly deceased.

Rev. Franklyn W Becker

Ordained: 1964
Becker started at the Archdiocese of Milwaukee before working in dioceses across America including Wheeling-Charleston, WV, St. Louis, MO, and San Diego, CA dioceses. Removed from ministry in 2002 for alleged abuse. Becker was arrested in 2003, charged with abusing a teenage boy in San Diego in the 1970’s. The church Laicized Becker in 2004. It is reported that the Catholic Church was aware of allegations of sexual misconduct by Becker as far back as 1963. Becker is included in credibly accused lists for the Dioceses of Wheeling-Charleston and San Diego.

Rev. James H. Cotter

Ordained: 1950
Cotter spent his career as a priest in Buffalo, NY. He retired in 1978 and moved to San Diego. Allegations of abuse from when he was in Buffalo surfaced in the 1990’s. Settlement was reached in a 2003 civil suit for abuse perpetrated by Cotter over a 4 year period. Diocese of San Diego released Cotter’s personnel file in 2010. Included on Diocese of San Diego’s list of credibly accused priests. Cotter died in 1991.

Rev. Nelson Damasco

Priest from the Philippines. Before arriving at the Diocese of San Diego. Damasco was Associate pastor in the San Diego Diocese from 1980 – 1982. Added to the Diocese of San Diego’s list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse in 2007. Before San Diego, he briefly worked in the Newark, NJ diocese. Damasco served as Army reserve chaplain on active duty, he was reportedly stationed at Fort Hood in the Austin, TX diocese. Damasco died in 1988.

Rev. Edito d'Amora

Ordained: 1980
Priest from the Dipolog diocese in the Philippines. D’Amora is publicly named in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse. The diocese released his personnel file in 2010. In 1991, he was accused of abusing a 10-year-old girl about eight years prior while he was a Navy chaplain.

Fr. Luis Eugene De Francisco

Ordained: 1931
Originally from the Cali, Colombia diocese, Fr. De Francisco had a brief stint in the San Diego diocese from 1962-1963. His personnel file states he was assistant pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Indio, CA in 1962. De Francisco was arrested in 1963 after being accused of abusing the children of migrant workers.
His personnel file, released by the diocese in 2010, reveals that, “arrangements were made between this Chancery and the civil authorities of San Diego in which, if Father left the United States with the promise never to return, the charges against Father would be set aside by the Civil Law.” De Francisco went back to Colombia. He was also resided in Texas and Florida while in the United States.

Br. Clifton Raymond Etienne

Order: Society of the Divine Word
Ordained: 1979
A civil suit accused Etienne of abuse at Divine Word Seminary in Riverside, CA, prior to his ordination as a priest. He worked as a priest in the Oakland and San Bernardino dioceses. He died in 1998. Etienne’s personnel file was released in 2010, he is included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse.

Fr. Herman Flynn

Order: Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross
Ordained: 1929
Born in Quebec Canada. He was a priest in South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia, and California. Fr. Flynn was a priest in the Diocese of San Diego from 1963-1977. He is included on the list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse released by the Diocese of San Diego in 2007. The church released his personnel file to the public in 2010.

Fr. Robert Koerner

Order: Oblates of Mary Immaculate
Ordained: 1937
Koerner was a priest in Texas, Montana, and California. He was at St. Patrick’s parish in Calipatriam, CA from 1963-1990. After hearing accusations from parishioners and conducting his own investigation, the Bishop of San Diego informed the people of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church that Koerner had molested several minors during his 27-year tenure there; even though Koerner’s history of abuse was known in the parish for years. Koerner died in 1999.

Fr. Adalbert Kowalczyk

Order: Congregation of the Resurrection
Ordained: 1938
Kowalczyk was a priest in Chicago before we moved to California. He was sued, along with the church, in 1993 by a woman alleging Kowalczyk abused her in the 1960’s. This case was dismissed due to statute of limitations. Kowalczyk died in 1972. He is included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse.

Fr. Peter Joseph Marron

Order: Augustinians – OSA
Ordained: 1936
Originally from Ireland, Marron moved to U.S. at age 16. Served as Navy Chaplain from 1945-1969. Associate Pastor at St. Patrick’s Parish in San Diego from 1970-1975. He died in 1998 at age 91. Marron is the brother of accused priest Michael V. Marron. Recent lawsuits filed against the church allege that Marron abused women when they were girls in the late 1970’s.

Fr. Michael Victor Marron

Ordained: 1930
Born in Ireland, priest of the Clogher Diocese in Ireland. Victor Marron is on the San Diego diocese’s list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse along side his brother, Peter J. Marron. Victor Marron worked in several San Diego parishes from 1961-1963.
A 1963 letter (contained in Marron’s personnel file released by the diocese) reveals that Pastors received several complaints from parents objecting to Marron’s “over familiarity with their children, especially their daughters.” He was moved out of the Diocese of San Diego after these complaints.

Fr. Emmanuel Omemaga

Ordained: 1983
Originally from the Philippines, he started working in the Diocese of San Diego in 1990. Three years later, he was charged with molesting a teenage girl while he was associate pastor at the Church of the Most Precious Blood in Chula Vista, CA. He resigned as a priest and fled to the Philippines in 1993. Omemaga is considered a fugitive from criminal charges. He is named in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse. The diocese released his personnel file in 2010.

Rev. Thomas Moloney

Ordained: 1943
Originally from Ireland, Moloney entered the San Diego Diocese in 1946. He was a pastor in Southern California until his death in 1986. A civil suit was filed against the Diocese by a man in 2003 alleging that Moloney molested him at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Riverside, CA in 1963. San Diego Diocese released Moloney’s personnel file to the public in 2010.

Rev. Paolino Montagna

Montagna was publicly named as an accused sex abuser by the San Diego Diocese in 2018. He is accused of molesting two girls. Montagna worked in the Diocese for three years (1972-1975). Not much is known about Montagna, he is thought to be deceased.

Rev. Robert Daniel Nikliborc

Ordained:1955
Nikilborc was a priest in the San Diego Diocese from 1955-2001. According to his assignment history, he began working again in 2002 at St. Anne parish in San Diego until he retired for the final time in 2005.

He was sued in in 2005; accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy at Boys Town of the Desert, which was a residential-care facility for troubled/at risk boys located in Banning, CA. Nikilborc was assigned to Boys Town of the Desert from 1957-1969. He spent time at the Servants of the Paraclete, the Catholic Church’s former rehab center for pedophile priests, in Jemez Springs, NM in 1956. He went to jail for 97 days when he was convicted of tax evasion in 1968. Nikilborc died in 2006.

Rev. Daniel Polizzi

Ordained: 1969
Originally ordained in the Santa Rosa Diocese, Polizzi transferred to the Diocese of San Diego in 1970. He was suspended from the priesthood in 1996 after a hospitalized teenager told hospital staff that he had been abused by a priest. The hospital reported this allegation to CPS, the Diocese, and the police. No criminal charges were pursued. The Diocese permanently removed Polizzi from ministry in 1997. Polizzi died in 2003. He is named in both the San Diego and Santa Rosa Dioceses’ list of credibly accused priests.

Rev. Franz Robier

Ordained: 1936
Originally from Austria, Robier began working in the San Diego Diocese in 1955. He spent time at the Servants of the Paraclete, the Catholic Church’s former rehab center for pedophile priests, in Jemez Springs, NM in 1957. Robier died in 1994.

Several civil lawsuits were filed against the Diocese in 2003 regarding sexual misconduct by Robier. A serial abuser, Robier was accused of abuse, including rape, of as many as 24 girls during the late 1950’s- early 1960’s. Claims settled in 2007 as part of a multimillion-dollar settlement against the Diocese. Robier’s personnel file was released to the public by the Diocese in 2010.

Fr. Anthony Rodrigue

Ordained: 1962
One of the most prolific abusers in the Diocese, Rodrigue admitted to sexually abusing 150 children. Rodrigue has a criminal record for molesting boys. He was placed on probation in 1979 when he pleaded no contest in the sexual assault of a boy. Despite being an admitted child abuser, Rodrigue remained a priest until the church removed Rodrigue from the priesthood in 1992.

In 1997, Rodrigue was arrested for the sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy at an apartment complex where the former priest worked as a janitor. Rodrigue pleaded guilty to this and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was released from prison in 2006 and died in 2009. Several civil suits filed against the diocese since 2003 by people who were abused by Rodrigue when they were children. Rodrigue is named in the San Diego/ San Bernardino list of credibly accused priests.

If you or someone you know are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego/San Bernardino, we can help you file a claim. We will fight for the justice you deserve.

Please feel free to contact us today. As always, your information will be kept confidential, and any information you provide in the form will be securely sent to us so we can help you determine what rights you may have. You may also call us at 1 (714) 955-5511.