Clergy Abuse Claims Against Sacramento Area Priests

Abuse Claims Against Sacramento Area Priests

Clergy abuse is a topic that many fail to address, including some religious institutions. Those who are sexually assaulted often shy away from reporting it for a variety of reasons. However, one man, identified only as John Doe, has come forward in Sacramento to speak about an unmentionable crime in the mid-1980s. Then, as a 17-year-old, he was abused by a local cleric. Afterward, like many others, he said nothing about it to anyone. In the years since he said he has struggled with the effects of what happened. After counseling, he was able to challenge the cleric directly. Today, in a formal statement, he asks that the priest come forward and admit what he has done.

Details of the Clergy Abuse

In 1985, John Doe volunteered at a facility operated and owned by the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento at Camp Pendola, two hours north of Sacramento. Monsignor Murrough Wallace, 81, who worked as the camp’s director, allegedly abused the teenager. In a second incident, Doe said he was sexually assaulted by another cleric, Monsignor Mistretta, formerly at Citrus Heights Holy Family Catholic Church. Both incidents occurred within two months. Since then, John Doe said he knew of two other people who suffered the same fate, one of whom was reportedly abused by Wallace. The other was allegedly abused by Mistretta, who is now dead.

Confrontation With Monsignor Wallace

Several years ago, John Doe was able to discuss what happened to him directly with the alleged perpetrator, Monsignor Wallace. He reported that the cleric started crying and apologized for it. He said today he is asking that the cleric, now retired as pastor of St. Theresa Parish located in South Lake Tahoe, publicly announce what he did. John Doe believes that this would help many people still suffering from clergy abuse.

The Diocese Responds

The vicar general of Sacramento’s Catholic Diocese, Father Michael Vaughan, responded that the diocese is in the middle of a full audit of all prior cases that involve clergy abuse by priests involving children. He said the diocese is working with Kathleen McChesney, an independent consultant. The review by McChesney, an assistant FBI director, is expected shortly. In additional remarks, the vicar general said that the diocese recognizes that the response to such horrific acts by clergy was lacking in the past. He said the diocese would confront the situation, try to protect children and other individuals, and report offenders to the police. The clerics will be removed from the ministry pending review.

Behaviors Involved in Clergy Abuse

Some acts that constitute clergy abuse are:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Child molestation
  • Pornography involving children
  • Statutory rape
  • Lewd acts perpetrated on a minor
  • Sexual harassment
  • Touching a child

Statutes of Limitation in California

In recent years, California abolished statutes of limitation for the majority of its felony sex crimes. Because sexual abuse of minors is a particular situation, the period is often extended. A clergy abuse lawyer will be able to tell you more about civil claims and sexual abuse. Just because it happened years ago does not mean the person cannot be brought to justice. In the event you were abused by a cleric, you can get in touch with the attorney general’s office in California to report the incident.

What a Clergy Abuse Lawyer Can Do for You

It takes courage for someone who was sexually abused to come forward. When they do, they can benefit from the insight a clergy abuse lawyer can provide. Many survivors want to put the event behind them, and recounting what happened is difficult. An attorney can investigate the case and help the individual be compensated for the hurt, pain, and suffering they’ve experienced.

Sacramento Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento clergy sexual assault lawyer. If you have suffered through sexual abuse by a member of the clergy, you might benefit from my free and friendly advice. Call me anytime at (916) 921-6400 locally or (800) 404-5400 if you live outside the area. You can also schedule a case review by contacting me online.

I’ve helped residents of Sacramento with clergy sexual abuse and will be available if you need to speak to me.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates. We are a nationwide group that has won more than $1 million for a client.

You might want to review my practice before calling by looking at the comments by former clients and my peers, as well as learn how I resolved other cases on the following pages:

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