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Utah Catholic Church Priest & Clergy Sex Abuse List

Utah Priest Sex Abuse List: A list of Roman Catholic Priests & Clergy members of the Utah Diocese accused of sex abuse and/or sexual assault of minors.

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Merson Law has compiled a list of Roman Catholic Priests and Clergy members (the Utah priest sex abuse list) accused of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault of minors. The Sexual Assault team at Merson Law specializes in Catholic Clergy and Priest Sex Abuse and Sexual Assault cases.

This information found in this list is compiled from the Database of Publicly Accused Priests and does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty.

Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

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Utah Priest Sex Abuse List

Merson Law’s Utah Priest Sex Abuse List was compiled from accounts of sexual abuse by a member of the Utah Catholic Church network. The names in this list are only those that have been found to be credible, however it is likely that there are names missing, due to the sheer number of accounts and the historical aversion to transparency by the Catholic Church.

This list is not endorsed by the Archdiocese, which has yet to release the names of priests found guilty through its own internal investigations.

Last NameFirst NameDioceseNotes
ArizaLeonardo E.Salt Lake City, UTSeminarian. Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 12/4/18. Diocese noted to have received an allegation 8/27/02 of sexual abuse of a minor 8/15/02. Terminated from seminary 9/4/02. Reported to DCFS/Law Enforcement 9/5/02.
BaraniewiczJoseph M.Salt Lake City, UTWorked in Salt Lake diocese 1974-90. Named publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 12/4/18. Incident(s) of “holding children on lap, kissing, hugging children 10/25/90 reported to diocese 10/26/90. Sent for alcohol treatment, returned to order. Died 2/24/12.
BresslerWilliam CodySalt Lake City, UTNamed publicly as accused by the Salt Lake City diocese on its list 12/4/18. Allegations reported to diocese 2/13/04 that Bressler put his hands up the legs of a minor 1955-56. He was a visiting priest. Salt Lake informed the Diocese of Arlington VA. Faculties removed. On Alexandria LA diocese’s list 2/6/19. It notes multiple credible allegations of abuse of male and female minors in the 1960s, brought to the Review Board in 2004 and 2005. Died in 1990. Settlements with victims in 2006 and 2017.
DavichGeorge F.Salt Lake City, UTMonsignor. Named publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 12/4/18. Parish priest, Vicar General 1982-86. Allegations reported 5/2/02 to the diocese that Davich slept in bed with a minor 1979-85. He retired without faculties 8/02 and was ordered by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance. Reported in 2012 to be living in CA.
FrancoPaulSalt Lake City, UTNamed publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 12/4/18. Report to diocese 6/17/02 that Franco sexually abused a minor 1976-79. It notes that Franco left ministry in 5/86 and was suspended in 10/86.
GaetaDavid R.Salt Lake City, UTAllegations reported to archdiocese in 8/18 of abuse by Gaeta in 1981 or 1982 at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Ogden. Placed on leave 8/24/18. Military chaplain and hospital chaplain in his native Massachusetts during 1984-2017. Returned to UT 2017. On Salt Lake diocese’s list 12/4/18. Retired without faculties.
GomezFranciscoSalt Lake City, UTNamed publicly as accused on the Salt Lake diocese’s list 12/4/18. It notes he was a visiting priest, working in the diocese 1990-2002. Allegation in 4/02 of sex abuse of a minor in 1994. Faculties removed and retired in 5/02.
GreenwellJames M.Salt Lake City, UTNamed publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 12/4/18. Allegation to diocese 9/12/02 that Greenwell molested and took nude photos of a minor in 1980. Greenwell’s first assignment in the diocese was 1975. He left the priesthood 8/86.
KonatEdward J.Salt Lake City, UTAccused several times while assigned to the Salt Lake diocese of sexual advances toward ‘young men.’ On Harrisburg diocese’s list released 8/1/18. Included in the PA Grand Jury Report 8/14/18. No known accusations during his brief time in Harrisburg. On Salt Lake City diocese’s list 12/4/18. It notes abuse of two minors in 1984, reported 11/4/02 and 12/15/10. His faculties were removed and he left UT in 3/85. Expelled by the Jesuits.
LaPentaCharlesSalt Lake City, UTNamed publicly as accused on the Salt Lake City diocese’s list 12/4/18. Noted to have been accused in 11/06 of kissing a minor 1972-1976+. LaPenta worked in the diocese 1970-96. LaPenta was living in a nursing facility run by his Order in 2006, diagnosed with dementia. Died in OH 8/1/09. Per his obituary he was a high school teacher, guidance counselor and administrator. He worked at his Order’s schools in DE, PA, NY and UT. Chaplain to the Royal family of Monaco in the 1960s. Also U.S. Army chaplain in UT and pastor of two parishes.
LopezLeonidasSalt Lake City, UTFrom Colombia. First assignment in the diocese in 1987. Named publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 12/4/18. Allegations of the sex abuse of three minors 1984 and 1988+ noted to have been reported 9/6/02 and 11/20/08. Lopez’s faculties were removed in 9/99. Returned to Colombia. Laicized 9/5/14.
McMenaminNeilSalt Lake City, UTNamed publicly as accused on the Salt Lake City diocese’s list 12/4/18. Diocese noted it received a allegation 3/13/07 that McMenamin sexually abused a minor in 1962. Reported to Order 3/07. McMenamin died 4/7/15. Per his obituary, he joined his Order in 1958. Assigned to Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia 1959-62, Judge Memorial High School in to Salt Lake City 1962-71, then St. Mary’s High School in Stockton CA 1971. Lived in Order’s community in Childs MD 2010 until his death.
O’NeillThomas P.Salt Lake City, UTAccused 4/25/02 of sexually abusing a boy 1963-67 in the early 1960s, while assigned to Judge Memorial School in Salt Lake City. O’Neill was at the school 1957-70, principal 1962-70. Principal of St. Mary’s HS in Stockton CA diocese 1970-78. Removed 5/02 from St. Francis de Sales HS in Toledo OH diocese where he moved in 1978. Taught at Father Judge HS in Philadelphia PA in late 1950s. Named in 2003 suit as having knowledge of abuse by James Rapp. Suit dismissed on SOL 8/03. Died 09/21/15. On Diocese of Salt Lake City’s list 12/4/18.
Olarte (Olartez)Mario ArbelaezSalt Lake City, UTArrested 5/03, charged with enticing a minor over the internet. Claimed he was doing research. Posed as a 20-year-old. Agreed to meet a 15-year-old boy ; the “boy” was a police officer. Placed on leave, his computer seized. In 9/03 he pled no contest to the criminal charges. Did not show up for sentencing 11/03. Defense attorney said Olarte had returned to his native country of Colombia as part of plea agreement. Prosecutors denied.Judge issued an arrest warrant. On sex offender registry. Laicized 3/31/06. On Salt Lake diocese’s list 12/4/18.
RappJames F.Salt Lake City, UTWorked in PA, UT, NY, IL, MI and OK. Teacher and wrestling coach. Accused of abuse of at least 2 MI boys in 1987. Removed, sent for counseling. Transferred to OK; abused several boys there. Convicted 1999 in OK; 40-year sentence. $5M settlement in OK civil suit. Accused in 2003 Utah civil suit by 2 brothers. Suit dismissed on statute of limitations. Dismissal upheld by UT Supreme Court 3/07. Charged 5/15 with 13 counts criminal sexual conduct re accusations of 1980s sexual abuse of boys at Lumen Christi High in Jackson MI. Six more counts added 6/26/15. Pled no contest in 2/16. Sentenced to up to 40 yrs 4/29/16. On Salt Lake diocese’s list 12/4/18. Accused 11/00-02 of abuse of 4 minors 1969-75.
RodriguezReyes G.Salt Lake City, UTNamed publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 12/4/18. It notes three cases of abuse, reported in 1987, 2004 and 2007. Faculties removed in 2002, retired 8/02. Ordered by the Vatican to a life of prayer and penance.
ShropeGlen M.Salt Lake City, UTNamed publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 12/4/18. Diocese noted it received an allegation in 2003 that Shrope sexually abused a minor in 1976. He was assigned to St. Therese in Midvale 1972-82. His faculties were removed in 1983. Deceased.
SpellenLawrence M.Salt Lake City, UT“Bud.” A retired priest, Spellen told Bishop Weigand in 1993 that he was being accused of having perpetrated sexual misconduct during the mid-1980s. Diocese officials investigated and found some merit in accusations. Spellen was placed on leave. Matter reported to CPS. Apparently the misconduct was still going on because Vicar General offered the youth counseling when he said he wanted to break off the “relationship.” Spellen died 2/18/03. Worked in Honolulu at Damien High at one point. Named in 10/13 civil suit in Hawaii. On Salt Lake CIty diocese’s list 12/4/18. It notes allegations received 1992, 5/02 and 10/12 of abuse of three minors 1958-69 and 1980s.

Please note that this Utah priest sex abuse list is not an exhaustive and complete list because new information of sexual abuses and sexual assaults by priests and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church becomes available daily.

Please bookmark this page and check back regularly for more up-to-date information on this priest abuse list as it becomes available.

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