Valley News -

By Jeff Pack
Writer 

Priests with ties to area listed in sexual abuse report

 

Last updated 2/8/2019 at 1:39am

Courtesy photo

Mike Reck, an attorney from the Jeff Anderson & Associates law firm, leads a news conference announcing the release of a report that describes that alleges sexual abuse by clergy within the Diocese of San Bernardino.

A report released in a news conference Thursday, Jan. 31, by a Minnesota-based law firm described alleged sexual abuse by clergy within the Diocese of San Bernardino.

A review of the 70-plus page report revealed accusations and reports involving several priests attached to the church that had ties to local cities and towns in southwest Riverside County.

In all more than 80 clergy members that have been accused of sexual misconduct dating back to the 1950s were included in the report. The Jeff Anderson & Associates law firm contended that most of the claims levied against the priests were settled or weren't dealt with in courts.

"We're doing this because disclosing this information makes children safer and it lets those survivors who are still suffering in silence, thinking they may be alone, know that they are not alone," attorney Mike Reck said in the news conference, which is available to view at https://youtu.be/RcYUwwJuXrs. "This information is information that could have and should have been shared by church officials long ago. We're doing this because the Diocese of San Bernardino did not."

According to the law firm, the report had several goals, leading with information dissemination.

Another goal was to "Challenge Bishop Gerald Richard Barnes to release the names of all clergy accused of sexual misconduct that have previously worked or are currently working in the Diocese of San Bernardino," according to the report.

The law firm also wanted Bishop Gerald Richard Barnes to release the names of all clergy accused of sexual misconduct and the identities of all church officials, past and present. They said the members of the diocese were "complicit in concealing the known histories and identities from the public, parishioners and law enforcement."

In October of last year, the Diocese of San Bernardino released a list of 34 priests who had been accused of abusing children, but this new report goes a lot further.

"Of the 84 publicly accused perpetrators named within the Anderson report, 53 of them we believe to be deceased based on the publicly available information that we have found," Jennifer Stein, who worked on the fact gathering side of the report, said. "That leaves a remaining 31 publicly-accused priests that may or may not still be ministry."

The report contended that the data reveals "the horrifying scale of priests sexually assaulting minors from early history when the Diocese of San Bernardino was included within the Diocese of San Diego to the present day."

The law firm said that data collected suggests patterns and practices by church officials tell the story of cover-up campaigns and transfers of priests that were known to be sexual abusers but retained trusted positions anyway.

The report also contended that the Diocese of San Bernardino served as a "dumping ground for problem priests."

Jeff Anderson & Associates reported that the Diocese of San Bernardino suffers from a shortage of diocesan priests and depends on an influx of priests from religious orders and other dioceses.

They said that in 1950 a bishop wrote to a church official in Rome complaining of the problem, saying that the Franciscan Fathers "used this diocese as a dumping ground for their moral, mental and physical problems."

The law firm said those policies put many, many children at risk.

According to the report, several members of the clergy that were included in the Diocese of San Bernardino report or were not, spent time in southwest Riverside County and Fallbrook church locations or facilities.

Below is a list of those connected with local churches and allegations of the law firm:

The Rev. Daniel De Dominicis, C.S.Sp: Dominicis was accused of sexually abusing a child in approximately 1975 to 1985. The diocese learned of the allegation in 1994, but the allegations were not reported to the police until 2002. From 1977-1979 he was placed at Our Lady of the Valley in Hemet.

The Rev. James Creaton: In 2010, as part of a settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the Diocese of San Diego released Creaton's personnel file. His last known location was St. Anthony in San Jacinto from 1956 to 1964. He died in 1964.

The Rev. Jesus Dominguez: According to the Diocese of San Bernardino, the Diocese was aware of allegations involving Dominguez as early as 1988 and purportedly removed him from ministry in 1993. In 2005, Dominguez was criminally charged in connection with his sexual abuse of two minors at Our Lady of Soledad Church in Coachella and St. James Church in 1988 in Perris. Shortly after being charged in 2005, Fr. Dominguez reportedly fled to Mexico and has remained a fugitive since.

The Rev. James A. Ganahl: Ganahl was accused of abusing four girls from approximately 1961 to 1963 in San Bernardino and has been named in at least one civil lawsuit. He spent 1982-1987 at St. Catherine's in Temecula. He retired in 2005 and died in 2010.

The Rev. Rudi Gil, O.Ss.T .: In 1993, Gil was accused of sexually abusing a child. He resigned from his parish assignment at St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church in Lake Elsinore and was sent to Servants of the Paraclete, an institution known for treating priests accused of child sexual abuse. During counseling, Gil allegedly admitted that he had sexually abused a child. It was not until 2002 that the allegations were reported to law enforcement. According to the diocese, Gil has been removed from the priesthood. He was at St. Frances of Rome Church in Lake Elsinore from 1990 to 1993.

The Rev. Louis G. Perreault, C.S.Sp .: Perreault was accused of sexually abusing a minor from approximately 1990 to 1992 at Our Lady of the Valley in Hemet. Perreault was permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese and retired without faculties. Perreault also spent two years at Holy Ghost Fathers in Hemet from 1998-2000.

The Rev. Ponciano M. Ramos, S.V.D .: Ramos was accused of sexually abusing three boys at St. Rita Catholic School in Indianapolis, Indiana. He eventually pleaded "guilty" to criminal charges of child sexual abuse and was sentenced to an 18-month suspended sentence and 15 months of probation. He was removed from ministry in 2002. Less than a year later, in 2003, Diocese of San Bernardino Bishop Gerald Barnes and the Diocesan Review Committee unanimously agreed that Ramos should be brought back to active ministry. He spent 1998 at St. Martha's in Murrieta.

Monsignore Mark "Marc" "Marcel" Medaer, C.I.C.M .: In the early 2000s, a man reported to the Diocese of San Diego that he had been sexually abused as a child in 1982 by Medaer while he was working at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Calexico. Medaer spent 1984-1992 at St. Peter Church in Fallbrook and 1992 at Alpine Rainbow Conservation Camp in Fallbrook before retiring and dying in 1993.

Monsignor Gregory Sierra Sheridan: Sheridan was ordained in Spain in 1935. In 2006, a woman accused Sheridan of sexually abusing her in 1969 when she was 8 years old. Sheridan was at St. Peter Church in Fallbrook from 1971 to 1983. Sheridan's whereabouts and whether he had access to children from 1983 to his death in 1991 are unknown.

The entirety of the report can be viewed at http://www.andersonadvocates.com.

Jeff Pack can be reached at [email protected]

 

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