Los Angeles Archdiocese: Priest abuse files

The former lead­er of the Los Angeles arch­diocese, Car­din­al Ro­ger M. Ma­hony, and a top ad­visor dis­cussed ways to con­ceal the sexu­al ab­use of chil­dren from law en­force­ment of­fi­cials, ac­cord­ing to in­tern­al church re­cords re­leased Monday.

In memos writ­ten to Ma­hony in 1986 and 1987 con­tained in per­son­nel files for 14 priests and filed this month as evid­ence in a court case, his chief ad­visor on sex ab­use cases pro­posed strategies to pre­vent po­lice from in­vest­ig­at­ing three priests who had ad­mit­ted mo­lest­ing young boys to church of­fi­cials.

Full story: L.A. church lead­ers sought to hide sex ab­use cases from au­thor­it­ies

— Victoria Kim, Ashley Powers and Harriet Ryan

By the spring of 2002, the file Car­din­al Ro­ger Ma­hony kept on Fath­er Mi­chael Baker had grown to more than 300 pages. Only a hand­ful of people had ever laid eyes on it, and the car­din­al thought it in­con­ceiv­able that its dam­aging con­tents would ever be­come pub­lic.
A let­ter from Car­din­al Ro­ger Ma­hony to Arch­bish­op Jose H. Gomez giv­ing the his­tory and con­text of deal­ing with the sexu­al ab­use of minors in the Arch­diocese of Los Angeles.
State­ment from Car­din­al Ro­ger M. Ma­hony re­gard­ing sexu­al ab­use of minors by clergy
Jan. 21, 2013  By Victoria Kim, Ashley Powers and Harriet Ryan
Mi­chael Baker con­fessed to ab­us­ing boys to then-Arch­bish­op Ro­ger M. Ma­hony in 1986, but was al­lowed to re­turn to the min­istry after re­ceiv­ing ther­apy. However, he went on to mo­lest more chil­dren. Au­thor­it­ies be­lieve that Baker mo­les­ted at least 23 boys in his 26 years as a priest. He pleaded guilty in crim­in­al court to sexu­ally ab­us­ing two boys in 2007 and was sen­tenced to 10 years in pris­on.
Jan. 21, 2013  By Victoria Kim, Ashley Powers and Harriet Ryan
Mi­chael Wempe ad­mit­ted to sexu­ally ab­us­ing 13 boys dur­ing his 36 years in the Los Angeles Arch­diocese. At the end of a high-pro­file tri­al in which a series of vic­tims re­coun­ted the priest’s ab­uses, he was con­victed in 2006 of mo­lest­ing one boy. He ad­mit­ted to us­ing a 12-year-old pa­rish­ion­er as what a church of­fi­cial called his “sex part­ner,” ac­cord­ing to in­tern­al church re­cords.
Jan. 21, 2013  By Victoria Kim, Ashley Powers and Harriet Ryan
Peter Gar­cia told ther­ap­ists that he had mo­les­ted boys “on and off” since his or­din­a­tion in 1966. He sexu­ally ab­used up to 20 boys, in­clud­ing one he al­legedly tied up and raped, ac­cord­ing to church re­cords. Many of his vic­tims were un­doc­u­mented im­mig­rants from Mex­ico, and Gar­cia as­sured church of­fi­cials they would not go to the au­thor­it­ies. Gar­cia left the priest­hood in 1989. He died in 2009 without be­ing pro­sec­uted.