Friars With Established Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors

In the years since the 2002 Dallas Charter, we have learned that making the names of clergy with credible allegations of sexual abuse of children public strengthens our accountability and demonstrates our desire to rebuild trust. It encourages other victim-survivors to come forward and helps in the healing of those victim-survivors who do not come forward, but see the acknowledgment by the Church that the priest who abused them was victimizing children sexually. In the interest of objectivity and thoroughness, we engaged an independent third-party investigator in the fall of 2018 to examine all of our files of the Dominicans who have served in our Province, including those priests and brothers from other Provinces who served in our ministries. This list is based upon the results of that investigation.

We have chosen to list the men from our province in a way that acknowledges their current status in the Church. We neither use the title “Fr.” (father) if the man has been dismissed from the clerical status, nor “Br.” (brother) or the suffix “O.P.” if the man is no longer a member of the Dominican Order. In each case, the abuse occurred while they were members of the Order.

This list does not include any cases that may be currently under investigation. Accused friars who are alive are placed on administrative leave while an allegation is investigated. If new allegations are established by the Western Dominican Province, we will update this list accordingly.

A) Friars Permanently Removed from Public Ministry:
The following friars were permanently removed from public ministry while they were members of the Dominican Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus because of an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor that was deemed established by the Provincial after consultation with the Province Review Board, or because of the friar’s admission of guilt.

Fr. Roberto Bravo, O.P.
• Birth: 1964
• Profession of religious vows: 1991
• Ordained: 1998
• Removed from public ministry in 1999
• Fled after the province began the canonical process to remove him from the Order
• Death: 2014

Fr. Dominic de Domenico, O.P.
• Birth: 1939
• Profession of religious vows: 1961
• Ordained: 1966
• Removed from public ministry in 2002
• Current Status: living a life of prayer and penance under supervision with a safety plan in addition to monitoring by an external third-party supervisor

Cristobal Garcia
• Birth: 1951
• Profession of religious vows: 1976
• Ordained: 1982
• Removed from public ministry in 1985 and fled to the Philippines
• Left the Dominican Order without its knowledge or permission and joined the Archdiocese of Cebu in 1986
• Removed from public ministry in the Philippines in 2012
• Dismissed from the clerical state in 2017
• Current Status: living in the Philippines

Fr. Jerome Henson
• Birth: 1947
• Profession of religious vows: 1971
• Ordained: 1977
• Left the Dominican Order in 1993 and joined the Diocese of Orange, CA
• Removed from public ministry by the Diocese of Orange, CA in 2002
• Current Status: living a life of prayer and penance under supervision of the Diocese of Orange

Juan Macias Lopez
• Birth: 1958
• Profession of religious vows: 1981
• Removed from ministry and dismissed from the Order in 1988
• Current Status: location unknown

Fr. Mark O’Leary, O.P.
• Birth: 1935
• Profession of religious vows: 1955
• Ordination: 1985
• Removed from public ministry in 2002
• Current Status: infirm and living a life of prayer and penance under supervision with a safety plan in addition to monitoring by an external third-party supervisor

Fr. Terrence Reilly, O.P.
• Birth: 1933
• Profession of religious vows: 1953
• Ordination: 1959
• Assigned to the Western Dominican Province from the Province of St. Joseph, 1970
• Became a member of the Western Dominican Province, 1973
• Removed from public ministry in 2002
• Death: 2016

Fr. Edmund Ryan, O.P.
• Birth: 1938
• Profession of religious vows: 1960
• Ordination: 1965
• Removed from public ministry in 2003
• Current Status: infirm and living a life of prayer and penance under supervision with a safety plan in addition to monitoring by an external third-party supervisor

Fr. Leo Tubbs, O.P.
• Birth: 1927
• Profession of religious vows: 1961
• Ordination: 1966
• Removed from public ministry in 1992
• Current Status: infirm and living a life of prayer and penance under supervision with a safety plan in addition to monitoring by an external third-party supervisor

Br. Peter Yost, O.P.
• Birth: 1929
• Was received as an unvowed lay brother (donatus) in 1949
• Removed from public ministry in 2003
• Death: 2018

B) Friars with an Allegation after their Death or Departure from the Province
The following friars were deceased when an allegation of sexual abuse against a minor was established by the Provincial after consultation with the Province Review Board, or their names have appeared on other lists of priests accused of sexual abuse of minors which have not yet been reviewed by the Province Review Board.

Fr. Leo Hoffstee, O.P.
• Birth: 1903
• Profession of religious vows: 1926
• Ordained: 1935
• Death: 1986
• An allegation of an act of abuse was deemed established by the Provincial after consultation with the Province Review Board in 2018

Fr. Thomas McElhatton, O.P.
• Birth: 1904
• Profession of religious vows: 1930
• Ordained: 1938
• Death: 1965
• The Archdiocese of Los Angeles made a settlement after an allegation against this friar. Another plausible allegation has been made against this friar which is being reviewed by the Province Review Board

Patrick Purcell
• Birth: 1898
• Profession of religious vows: 1921
• Ordination: 1926
• Left the Dominican Order in 1951
• Death: 1964
• The Archdiocese of Los Angeles made a settlement after an allegation against this friar. The Province was unable to establish the allegation.

C) Priests from other jurisdictions with established allegations who served in ministries in the Western Dominican Province

Fr. Stuart B. Campbell, O.P. (Dominican Province of St. Joseph [Eastern Province])
• Birth: 1899
• Profession of religious vows: 1924
• Ordination: 1930
• Death: 1986

Fr. Walter Horan, O.P. (Dominican Province of St. Joseph [Eastern Province])
• Birth: 1917
• Profession of religious vows: 1939
• Ordained: 1945
• Death: 1983

Fr. Michael Louis O’Halloran, O.P. (Dominican Province of Ireland)
• Birth: 1925
• Profession of religious vows: 1951
• Ordination: 1956
• Removed from public ministry in 2004
• Death: 2018

D) Friars falsely accused of sexual abuse of minors whose names still appear on other lists:

Fr. Emmerich Vogt, O.P.
• In February, 2016 Fr. Vogt was accused in a lawsuit of sexual abuse of a minor in the mid-1980’s
• The Province Sexual Misconduct Advisory Group deemed the allegation implausible; nevertheless, Fr. Vogt was placed on restriction while the lawsuit was disputed
• The lawsuit was dismissed in December, 2016
• As required by our Province Safe Environment Policy a thorough third-party investigation was conducted. The investigation report was submitted to the Province Review Board which recommended to the Provincial that the allegation be judged unfounded
• After consultation with the third-party investigator and the Province Review Board, the allegation was determined to be unfounded, and Fr. Vogt was returned to ministry at the end of May, 2017

Glossary of Terms
Sexual Abuse
any deliberate and serious sexual or sexualized activity which is consensual or non-consensual, physical or verbal, in person or otherwise (e.g., in writing, over the internet, by telephone, etc.) with a minor, i.e., one who is under 18 years of age when the sexual abuse occurs, or with a vulnerable adult, i.e., a person who habitually lacks the use of reason; they are to be considered equivalent to a minor.

Established Allegation
After a thorough investigation of available facts and circumstances, and after the Prior Provincial’s formal consultation with the Province Review Board, an allegation is judged to be established by the Prior Provincial when there is an objective, moral certainty that the accusation is true and that an incident of sexual abuse of a minor or vulnerable adult has occurred.**

**This is a definition according to the concept of moral certainty required by canon law. The judgment of a major superior must be objective, i.e., based upon the facts and circumstances discovered in the course of the investigation. It is not based upon a percentage of evidence, i.e. most likely true or most likely occurred, which implies 50 + 1% of the evidence. It allows for the canonical principle in moral certitude which states that the judgment of the major superior admits that the contrary (the falsity of the accusation) is indeed possible but highly unlikely or improbable, to the extent that the major superior has no fear that the contrary (the falsity of the accusation) may be true.

Safety Plan
Any friar who has been removed from ministry and living on restriction in a Dominican community has a safety plan approved by the Provincial and the Province Review Board. This plan includes the establishment of a supervisory team which meets regularly with the friar. A safety plan stipulates conditions under which the friar may be in public, monitoring of internet usage, and restrictions with whom he may speak with or be with. Often psychological counseling may be a part of the plan. An important aspect of any plan is oversight and monthly visits by a third-party, independent safety monitor and an annual year-end review with a report given to the Province Review Board and the Provincial, as well as specific consequences for non-compliance with the plan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who decided which friars would be included on the list?
The Prior Provincial, Fr. Christopher Fadok, decided which friars would be included on the list after careful review of all information available to him, including that provided by an independent third-party review of all of the Province files, and consultation with – and approval of – the Provincial Council.

What are the criteria for being included on the list?
The list includes names of clergy against whom an established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was made. For purposes of the list, an allegation was considered established if moral certitude could be established regarding its occurrence. Factors and circumstances which would lead to an allegation to be established would include, but not be limited to: admissions, settlements of civil claims, detailed, consistent and plausible complaints, number of victims, the priest’s assignment history, and whether the name was published on other lists of known abusers. The facts and circumstances that could substantiate a credible allegation vary from case to case.

This analysis was made more difficult by the fact that most child sexual abuse occurrences happen in the absence of witnesses. After careful analysis, a name was added to the list if there was moral certainty that the abuse occurred (i.e., established). This does not mean it was proved to have occurred, which would happen in a court of law.

What are you doing to help victim-survivors?
The Province policy has been to assist victim-survivors of sexual abuse in the healing process since 1995. The extent of our assistance depends upon the needs and requests of the victim-survivors. We have and continue to provide funding so that they can receive psychological counseling to assist in the healing process. For those victim-survivors who desire it, we maintain contact with them to provide support in other ways they request. They have been harmed by a member of the Province, and we are obligated to assist them in their healing as much as possible.

How many friars in your Province have established allegations against them?
Of the approximately 950 friars who have been a part of the Western Dominican Province since its founding in 1851 and nearly 350 friars from other provinces who have served in one capacity or another in our province during that time, ten friars have been permanently removed from public ministry because an established allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor. Nine of them, in addition to a member of another Province working in one of our ministries, were removed after an allegation was received. Only four of these friars are still alive.

Since the Province Review Board was established in 2002, two friars who were deceased had allegations made against them that were deemed to be established by the Board. After the review of the historical files of the province was completed in the spring of 2018, it was determined that one more former friar, now deceased, has an allegation that has yet to be examined by the Province Review Board. This will be completed at the next meeting of the board in February 2020. Our list also includes two additional members of other provinces who worked in the Western Dominican Province who appear on a list provided by their own province. The above mentioned sixteen friars are listed on this website along with pertinent information, in order to offer consolation to those who have been harmed and to encourage others to come forward to receive help.

How does the Province deal with accused friars?
Friars from our Province who have an established accusation of sexual abuse of a minor fall under various categories. They may have been dismissed from the Order after a canonical process. If they were a priest, they may also have been laicized and no longer function as a priest. Currently there are four living members of our province who have established allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them. They are between 81 and 92 years in age, and none have been dismissed from the Order or laicized. None are involved in any kind of ministry. As members of our province, we are obliged by Christian charity, the legislation of our Order and our responsibility to society to continue to provide them with healthcare, food, lodging, spiritual support and ongoing monitoring. Their lives are restricted by safety plans. Three live in a Dominican community, not attached to any of our ministries, with an on-site supervisor. The fourth has physical limitations which require care in an assisted living facility. All are visited each month by an outside monitor who ensures their safety plans are followed.

Why are Dominicans from your Province on other lists? Are these other allegations?
A Dominican from one province may sometimes minister and live within the territory of another province, and even serve in the other province’s ministries. For this reason, a friar who has an established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor will be included on the list of his own province, as well as on the list of the other province(s) in which he served. This does not necessarily mean abuse happened in both provinces.

Why are some Dominicans from your Province on other lists, but not this one?
In one case, an allegation taken to court was dropped by the plaintiff. Afterward, an independent third-party investigated the allegation and made a full report to the Province Review Board which determined unanimously that the accusation was patently false. Yet because a lawsuit commenced, some websites, including those of plaintiffs’ attorneys, continue to list the name of the friar.
In another case, a friar was included in a global settlement over the protest of the Prior Provincial and his council who disputed the allegation. The Province Review Board has not reviewed that case, but will in February 2020.

Why hasn’t the sexual abuse of minors by clergy stopped?
According to a recent article in Psychology Today, “the relentless press attention gives the impression that sexual abuse of children is still commonplace in the Catholic Church, even though the vast majority of cases of clerical abuse occurred before the mid-1980s (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2004, 2011). After the Church reforms articulated in the Dallas Charter and Essential Norms (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002a, 2002b), the number of new cases in the United States averaged about a dozen per year; during the past five years, it was reduced to about one new case per year. The Church has gone from averaging about 660 new cases of abuse per year during the 1970s to about 1 new case per year since about 2014 (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2011; Steinfels, 2019; United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2018). In fact, few realize that the well-known Pennsylvania grand jury report on clerical abuse in that state during the past 70 years found only two cases from the 21st century—with both cases already known and managed (Office of Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2018; Steinfels, 2019).”
From: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/do-the-right-thing/201908/top-10-myths-about-clergy-abuse-in-the-catholic-church

The Western Dominican Province is committed to promoting a culture of safety, and not merely compliance with our policies. We want our members to prioritize learning how to provide a safe environment for minors and vulnerable adults, to identify and support the reporting of any problems at our ministry sites or within our communities. It is estimated that one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18 in our country. As preachers and pastoral ministers, we have a charge to address this tragic reality and work with dedicated lay people in our ministries and in the communities where they are located, for the love of God and neighbor.