Anti-Gay Activist and Prop 8 Donor Charged With Sexually Assaulting Young Boys

A longtime anti-gay activist, California Prop 8 donor, and elementary school teacher was taken into custody on August 17th after admitting inappropriate contact with young boys.Caleb Douglas Hesse, a teacher for the Morongo Unified School District since 1987 (most recently, he was teaching first grade at Friendly Hills Elementary School in Joshua Tree) and a longtime youth volunteer with the virulently homophobic Evangelical Free Church of Yucca Valley, has confessed to sexually abusing “numerous underage boys,” with authorities believe the crimes occurred between the early 1980’s and as recently as a week ago.”

Investigators say Hesse met the majority of the victims during overnight outings with a youth group at the Evangelical Free Church

During his arraignment on August 21st Hess recanted his confession and changed his plea to “not guilty”.

Hess’s bail was set at 2,5 million dollars.

Complete Article HERE!

Newly appointed SF archbishop arrested for DUI

Feet of clay after all. Just as I suspected. There goes his coveted red hat!

The newly appointed archbishop of San Francisco was arrested for DUI over the weekend.

Police in San Diego say Bishop Salvatore Cordileone was arrested over the weekend for driving under the influence. Police say it happened in San Diego’s College District just before 12:30 Saturday morning.

Bishop Cordileone is currently bishop of Oakland — a post he’s held since 2009. Last month Pope Benedict chose Bishop Cordileone to become archbishop of San Francisco — replacing retiring Archbishop George Niederaur. He’s scheduled to assume the new post in October.

Complete Article HERE!

Woman shares story of alleged abuse by priests

An Iowa woman contemplating a return to the Roman Catholic Church last year agreed to meet with a priest on one condition — he remove his collar.

“Roman collars still frighten me,” Kathleen Bowman, 47, told the priest.

She then emerged from four decades of silence, having only ever shared with a therapist her story of alleged abuse as a child by three priests because the memories were making her suicidal.

“I didn’t know I could report,” Bowman told the Quad-City Times, her first time speaking publicly about the alleged abuse. “It was taking everything just to maintain life.”

The Clear Lake, Iowa, woman first told a Mason City parish priest in the Archdiocese of Dubuque in August 2011, and he encouraged her to report her story. That brought her before a review board with the Diocese of Davenport, where her three alleged abusers had been clerics around the time she says she was abused.

How the Davenport diocese handled her case was the subject of a judge’s decision last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The diocese recently emerged from bankruptcy after a $37 million settlement covering 150 child sex abuse victims.

U.S. District Judge Lee Jackwig ordered the diocese to add the now-deceased Revs. John Bonn, Michael Broderick and William Dawson to its online list of credibly accused priests, according to a filing late Tuesday.

Bowman petitioned the court last month to require the diocese to put Bonn, Broderick and Dawson on the list. The diocese resisted, saying it had reviewed Bowman’s case and found her accusations not credible, although she received a settlement after an arbitrator heard her case earlier in the year.

“If they think throwing money at you compensates having your childhood ripped away, it doesn’t,” Bowman said. “I want the names on that list, so that if someone else comes forward, they don’t have to go through what I went through reporting my abuse.”

One of the bankruptcy settlement’s non-monetary requirements is that the diocese identify on its website priests whom it deems to be credibly accused of committing child sexual abuse. The list includes 31 former priests, their places of employment, dates and other details.

As of Friday, Bonn, Broderick and Dawson weren’t on the list.

Diocese weighs response

Diocese spokesman Deacon David Montgomery said the diocese received the court’s written order Thursday morning and is “exploring its options,” declining further comment about Bowman’s case.

A lawyer representing the diocese, Rand Wonio of the Davenport law firm Lane & Waterman, said the diocese is studying the judge’s order and will respond soon.

Bowman said she was 4 years old when a tall, white-haired man wearing a priest’s collar reached down and picked her up and carried her upstairs in her family’s home in Waterloo, Iowa. When she woke up from a nap, the priest was lying beside her, fondling her, she said.

The incident occurred in 1969, and Bowman has identified the man as John Bonn. She said she was abused again by Bonn as well as by Broderick and Dawson in separate incidents over the course of five years. She said her parents knew.

The three priests made multiple weekend trips together to her home, she said.

“They were family. They were my dad’s best friends.”

She said her father, Michael Huston, who once considered the priesthood, went to high school with Dawson at Catholic Central in Ottumwa, Iowa.

An obituary shows that Dawson co-officiated Huston’s funeral in 1997.

Fellow priest skeptical

The Rev. John Hynes, a retired Davenport diocese parish priest, said Friday that he knew Dawson for more than 60 years, since they were students in college, and affectionately called him “Digger.”

Hynes said he was “devastated” by the allegation against Dawson.

“Every instinct I have within me tells me it couldn’t have happened,” Hynes said.

He said Dawson was admired as a professor at St. Ambrose University in Davenport and was recognized for leading peaceful demonstrations during the Vietnam War. He received multiple awards for his teaching and has long been regarded for his work in social justice, Hynes said.

Hynes doesn’t remember an accusation ever being made against Dawson before this.

“Anyone who knew Digger well would have a hard time thinking he could be involved in such a thing,” Hynes said.

Hynes confirmed that Dawson and Huston were friends. Hynes said he personally knew Huston’s parents when he spent his first 10 years as a priest in Ottumwa, where Huston grew up.

“I knew of Michael Huston. He was a friend of Digger’s,” Hynes said. “I knew his parents.”

Dawson once visited Huston at a hospital after Huston was in a car accident, Hynes said.

Hynes also confirmed that Dawson and Broderick traveled together and were close friends. He said Broderick was a parish priest in Ottumwa while Dawson was a student, and “Broderick thought the world of Digger.”

He said he doesn’t recall Bonn ever joining Broderick and Dawson on their trips but said it is possible the three were acquainted. According to Hynes, Bonn served at the Ottumwa Naval Air Station during World War II around the same time Broderick and Dawson were in Ottumwa.

Bonn, a Jesuit priest from the New England Province of the Society of Jesus, relocated to the Davenport diocese in 1969, according to New England Province spokeswoman Alice Poltorick.

Poltorick said the Davenport diocese notified the province about the allegation in late 2011. The province has not received any other allegations against Bonn, she said.

Bonn was a professor at Boston College from 1937-43, when he joined the service as a World War II naval chaplain, Poltorick said. He returned to Boston College and was a member of the faculty until 1946, she said.

Bonn applied for and was given a faculty position at Marycrest College in Davenport in 1969, Poltorick said.

Bonn died in 1975; Broderick died in 1984.

Accuser denied meeting

Bowman brought her allegations to the Davenport diocese in September 2011, while Dawson still was alive. She repeatedly requested a meeting with Dawson and was refused, she said. He died Dec. 13, 2011, and she said she never received a written apology from him.

“With or without their blessing, I’m credible,” Bowman said. “I need them to do the right thing and name those priests.”

Complete Article HERE!

Denis Lyons, ex-OC Roman Catholic Priest, Must Register as Sex Offender For Sex With Second Grade Boy

A onetime prominent priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County finally will pay for repeatedly molesting a seven-year-old boy inside a parish rectory and church sacristy in the 1990s.

According to prosecutors, Denis Lyons pleaded guilty in March and last week received his punishment: one year in jail, five years of formal probation and 400 hours of community service.

The 78-year-old serial molester must also register for the rest of his life as a sex offender and won’t be allowed to visit places where children congregate.

In 2008, the victim filed a complaint with the Costa Mesa Police Department and officials arrested Lyons the following year at Leisure World in Seal Beach.

“Today is the day I finally have closure,” a prosecutor’s press statement quoted the victim as saying. “I have spent the last 16 years living in pain, living in shame. He took away my innocence as a child. This man has ruined my life and many others besides me. He has changed my perception of religion, life, and right and wrong . . . He is a bad person, a bad man.”

Lyons–whose infamous conduct won previous coverage by the Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano HERE and HERE–escaped convictions in other alleged molestations because of statute of limitation issues.

In addition to working in Costa Mesa, Lyons also worked as a priest at St. Edwards the Confessor Catholic Church in Dana Point and St. Mary’s by the Sea Church in Huntington Beach.

Complete Article HERE!

Elderly Woman Sues The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles for Defrauding Her of $284k

An elderly widow claims in court that a Catholic priest defrauded her of $284,000 after her husband died.

Michalena Jones, 79, sued The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles and Father Peter Valdez, in Superior Court.

Jones claims that Valdez befriended her after her husband died in 2003, then “enticed her” to give him $160,000 to buy himself a house.

That done, she says, “Valdez wrongfully placed his name [on] various checking accounts in which Jones had funds” and paid his mortgage out of those joint accounts until 2010.

The complaint continues: “Additionally, Valdez at various times would place his name on, and take his name off, the title of the property. This was done for purposes of re-financing the property at which time Valdez would secret, appropriate and retain the money from the re-finance. Defendant Valdez was given additional sums [of] money over the course of years from 2003 to 2010, in an amount in excess of $284,000.00.”

Jones says she met Valdez after her husband died, when she volunteered to work at her church, St. Mary’s in Palmdale. “Valdez, in his capacity as Jones’ Catholic priest, and in his official capacity as Catholic priest and under color of authority, made certain representations to plaintiff and enticed her to give money to Valdez in part for the purchase of a home for Valdez,” in Downey.

Jones says he handed over $160,000 to Valdez for the house, in the form of two cashier’s checks.

Jones describes herself in the complaint as a “devout Catholic,” who “developed a great admiration, trust, reverence, respect and obedience to, Roman Catholic clergy, who occupied positions of great influence and persuasion as holy men and authority figures. Plaintiff therefore was encouraged to trust, respect and obey Catholic priests, including defendant Valdez.”

Jones claims that the “defendant Archdiocese was aware of Valdez’s activity and condoned and otherwise approved of Valdez’s activity. Defendant Archdiocese was at all times aware of defendant Valdez’s activity and was specifically made aware of these activities by another Catholic priest who complained to the office of the Clergy in Los Angeles. Defendant Archdiocese, knowing that these events took place from 2003 through 2010 acted recklessly in failing to stop such wrongful activities and in failing to warn plaintiff and her family.” Jones seeks compensatory and punitive damages for elder financial abuse, fraud, conversion and negligent hiring, supervision and retention.

Complete Article HERE!