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Washington D.C. Catholic Church Priest & Clergy Sex Abuse List

Washington D.C. Priest Sex Abuse List: A list of Roman Catholic Priests & Clergy members of the Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. 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.

Were You Sexually Abused or Sexually Assaulted by a Washington D.C. Catholic Diocese Priest or Clergy Member?

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Washington D.C. Priest Sex Abuse List

Merson Law’s Washington D.C. Priest Sex Abuse List was compiled from accounts of sexual abuse by a member of the Washington D.C. 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 Name First Name Diocese Notes
Bellwoar John F.X. Washington, DC Named publicly as accused by the Jesuits Maryland Province on its list 12/18/19. Multiple allegations of abuse, occurring in the 1950s-60s in Prince George’s County, MD and Washington DC. Died in 1993. Added to Baltimore archdiocese’s list in 2/19.
Benham Francis A. Washington, DC First complaint made in 1979; sent for treatment, returned to ministry. Assigned to Diocese of Columbus OH 1979-85. Left priesthood 1985. Pled guilty in 2005 to molesting a 15-year-old boy and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl in the late 1970s. Sentenced to 2 concurrent 10-year sentences, all but 18 months suspended. Laicized 2005. Released from prison 1/06, followed by 3 years probation. Placed on sex offender registry. Also worked in IL, where he was a certified child care provider with Human Services. Cited 10/12 in IL for practicing clinical psychology without a license. Included on archdiocese of WDC’s 10/15/18 list. On Columbus diocese’s list 3/1/19.
Bucca Salvatore F. Washington, DC First named publicly as accused on archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. Abuse reported in 1978 and noted to have been “possibly sexual.” Removed from ministry in 1978.
Butler John Fabian Washington, DC Religious Brother, professed vows 1941. Named publicly as accused by the Dominicans St. Joseph Province on its list in late 2018. Per Order’s bio, assigned mainly as Sacristan at St. Mary’s in New Haven, CT 1948-59; St. Dominic’s Washington, DC: Sacristan and Part-time Class 6 Boiler Operator at St. Dominic Priory in DC. Died 2/9/03. Allegation established in 2012. No indication as to when or where abuse is said to have occurred.
Callahan Raymond Washington, DC Per archdiocese, abuse first reported in 1971. Would take boys to a cabin in VA. Removed from ministry in 1971. Criminally convicted but apparently did not serve any prison time. Laicized 1977. Died 1996. At least one claim against Callahan included in $1.3M settlement with 16 men who alleged abuse 1962-1982. Included on archdiocese’s list 10/15/18.
Chleboski, Jr. Thomas C. Washington, DC Thomas C. aka C. Thomas. Began to abuse boys prior to ordination. Report to archdiocese in 1990 and removed from ministry. Criminal charges in DC, VA and MD for abuse of two 13-yr-old boys. Convicted in all three states. Sentenced to prison for 22 years and 15 years probation in 1991 in VA; also sentenced in MD. DC sentence unknown. Abused a child again after he was reported. Mother of a youth filed civil suit. Voluntarily laicized 1996. Out on probation and registered as sex offender as of 10/3/10. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18.
Cote Aaron Joseph Washington, DC An 18-year old male filed suit 11/05 alleging abuse in 2001-02 when he attended Mother Seton parish in Germantown MD. Suit said abuse occurred in both MD and DC. Cote transferred to RI. Alleged to have abused a second youth in OH in the 1980s. Case settled 8/07 for $1.2M paid by Order. Also worked in Springfield MA. Woman filed suit 4/08 claiming abuse of her children. First criminal charges filed 7/08 claiming 2003 abuse. Found guilty 7/09. Received 10 years probation 11/09. Died 2012. On Archdiocese of Washington DC list 10/15/18. On Columbus diocese’s list 3/1/19. On Dominicans St. Joseph Province list in late 2018.
Coyne Joseph B. Washington, DC First named publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. Report to archdiocese in 1992. Coyne retired in 1994 and his faculties were removed in 1995. He died in 1999.
DeRea Philip Washington, DC DeRea, Catholic chaplain for the Indy Racing League since 1971, was placed on leave 12/10 after order learned of allegations that he had abused a man for about 8 years, beginning in 1980 when he was 11. Civil suit filed 4/14/11 in Chicago where the order is based. Complaint alleges that DeRea used his connections with the racing world and celebrities to make the Plaintiff feel honored to be associated with him.
Dillard Russell L. Washington, DC Suspended in 3/02 after two sisters alleged he kissed and fondled them when they were teenagers. One woman said he was “pretty much my boyfriend for four years.” Dillard admitted that he might have “crossed over a line” with at least one teenage girl. Formally dismissed from active ministry 8/02. Laicized 2003. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18.
Dooley R. Joseph Washington, DC Monsignor. Long-time chaplain of the Catholic Police and Firemen’s Society in Hyattsville, among others. Archdiocese said it received first report of abuse in 1991. Dooley was removed from parish ministry 1992, worked as Coordinator for Sick and Retired Priests 1992-1995, then retired without faculties. Died 2002. Accusations first public when two brothers sued the WDC archdiocese 6/09, alleging sex abuse by Dooley 1950s – early 1960s, and that the archdiocese knew that there had been other allegations against him. Third man also filed suit 6/09. All said they were St. John’s College High students when abused. On archdiocese list released 10/15/18,
Finan James Aubrey Washington, DC Removed from ministry in 1996 after report of abuse. Pled guilty in 1997 to sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in 1966. Also accused of abuse of a 6-year-old girl in 1966. Sentenced to 18 months prison 3/97. Pled guilty in 2003 to sexually abusing a 7- or 8-year-old boy in 1966. Sentenced to a 5 year suspended sentence and 5 years probation. At least one claim settled in $1.3M settlement with archdiocese 12/06. Laicized in 1996. On Sex Offender Registry 12/10. Died 2013.
Fisher Carl A. Washington, DC Named publicly as accused by the Baltimore archdiocese on its list 4/24/19. It notes multiple allegations of abuse, occurring in the 1970s. Appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1987. Died in 1993.
Gallagher Roger P. Washington, DC First named publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. It notes that the archdiocese first first received a report of abuse by Gallagher in 1992, and that he was removed from ministry. He died in 2012.
Hartel Edward T. Washington, DC Accusation to archdiocese in 1995 that he sexually abused an altar boy on one occasion sometime between 1975 and 1978. Admitted to the abuse. Arrested. Three other priests were accused of abuse of the same youth. Hartel was acquitted on another allegation because of identification problems. Diocese said he would not be reassigned. At least one claim included in $1.3M settlement with the archdiocese in 12/06. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. Died in 2013. On archdiocese’s lsit 10/15/18.
Lavin Paul E. Washington, DC Accused of sexually abusing boys. First complaint received in 1997. Investigation found no evidence and Lavin continued in his position. Two more men complained in 2002. He was then placed on permanent leave. Laicized 2004. At least one claim included in $1.3M settlement of 12/06 with Archdiocese. No criminal charges ever filed.
Lyons Thomas W. Washington, DC First named publicly as accused on archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. It notes that abuse was first reported in 2002. Lyons died in 1988.
McCutcheon Peter M. Washington, DC Report to archdiocese in 1986 of abuse. Removed from ministry. Charged. Pled guilty in 1986 to sexually abusing boys between 1981 and 1985. Sentenced to 25 years jail; served only about 1 year. Sent to treatment in NM and put on probation. Civil suit filed against archdiocese and McCutcheon in 1987, alleging among other things, that the priest had sexual and alcohol problems dating back to seminary days. Settled in 1988 after Judge found McCutcheon liable for damages. Archdiocese paid settlement. Laicized 2004. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18.
Miles Matthew Washington, DC Admitted in 3/08 deposition that he was convicted of sodomizing young boys in Washington, D.C. He said he spent 20 yrs in Sex Addicts Anonymous program. Also admitted abusing at least one youth at St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, SD. This manfiled suit 6/07 alleging Miles and another staff member raped and sexually abused him from age 7-10 at the school. Case is currently before the SD Supreme Court.
O’Brien Arthur J. Washington, DC WDC archdiocese said it received first report against O’Brien of abuse in 1983. In 2002 a man claimed O’Brien sexually abused him when he was age 14 and O’Brien was a seminarian in Boston. Accused of abuse of a boy in MD 1984-85. Moved to Hawaii in 1985, allowed to work as priest. Accused of abuse of a HI boy, age 10, in 1989. Convicted in 1992 on three counts of sexual assault and one count of attempted sexual assault. Received 6 month sentence (suspended) and 5 years probation in 1992. Placed on permanent leave in 1993. Per WDC list 10/15/18, O’Brien also assigned to Alabama sometime during 1985-89. He died in 2011.
Orr Garrett D. Washington, DC Accused in 2003 of abuse of a boy at Georgetown Prep in 2002. Suspended in 2004. Investigation by Jesuits in 2006 found allegations “substantially true.” Assigned 2006 – 2009 to Baltimore Jesuit Maryland Provincial Curia, per Catholic Directory. Allegation in 2009 of abuse in 1989. Arrested 1/11 and charged with abuse of two. Indicted 2/23/11. Pled guilty 9/12/11. Sentenced 11/10/11 to 5 years probation and registration as sex offender. Laicized 2008. On Maryland Province Jesuits list 12/17/18. Added to Baltimore archdiocese’s list in 2/19.
Petrella Robert Joseph Washington, DC Per archdiocese, first report of abuse received 1966. Alleged to have raped two brothers. Sent to treatment, returned to ministry. Sent for treatment 3 times. Permanently removed 1989 after more allegations. Indicted and convicted 1997 for sex abuse of 10-year-old boy in late 1970s. Sentenced to 6 months in jail, reduced to 7 days. Convicted 2003 for abuse of three. Sentenced to 18 months in prison. Laicized 4/03. At least 1 claim included in $1.3M settlement with archdiocese in 12/06. At least 25 accusers. Living at his mom’s in North Arlington, MD as of 9/08. On archdiocese’s 10/15/18 list.
Powderly James J. Washington, DC Accused in 2005 phone calls with archdiocese and in police report of sexually abusing a boy 1974-77, beginning when the boy was age 14. Abuse allegedly included masturbating the boy. Also accused of abusing the boy’s sister. Abuse l included sexually touching the girl. Powderly died 10/8/04. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. It noted that abuse was first reported in 1997, and that Powderly retired without faculties in 1997.
Pritchard Edward B. Washington, DC Received treatment in 1986 for abuse of a boy. Sent for evaluation and treatment, returned to ministry. Arrested 1995. Accused of abuse of three altar boys. Pled guilty 12/95 and sentenced to 5 years probation. Permanently removed from ministry. Died 11/02. At least one claim included in $1.3M settlement with the Archdiocese in 12/06. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18.
Schaefer Thomas S. Washington, DC Abused at least 21 boys. Arrested 1995. Convicted 1996 of abuse of 5. Sentenced to 16-year sentence. Judge reconsidered after he had served about 4.5 months and reduced sentence to time served and treatment in MO. Sent to live at St. John Vianney in St. Louis. At least one claim included in $1.3M settlement with Archdiocese in 12/06. Died 7/22/09 in MO. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. It noted abuse first reported in 1967 and that Schaeffer was sent for evaluation and treatment, then returned to ministry. Another report 1982; again evaluated and treated, then returned to ministry in 1983. Permanently removed from parish ministry in 1986, assigned as nursing home chaplain.
Schapfel Michael Washington, DC Schapfel, a native of Germany, had been working in the DC area since 2004 serving German communities and diplomats. He was suddenly removed from ministry 4/10 and returned to Germany after allegations that he had molested numberous girls and young women in Germany in 1980s-1990s. Accusations had been known since original complaint in 2004.
Scott James A. Washington, DC First named publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. Per archdiocese, first report of abuse 1986. Scott was suspended, evaluated and returned to limited ministry in 1987 as a hospital and nursing home chaplain. Faculties removed in 1995, laicized 1996. Scott died in 2013.
Skelton, Jr. Joseph Washington, DC In 2008 civil suit, a man alleged he was abused at age 14 by Skelton, a seminary student, and by Fr. Stallings. in the summer of 1984. The youth was helping Stallings remodel rectory at St. Teresa of Avila & staying in the rectory’s attic to avoidlong commute. Case settled 10/09 for $125K. In 1988, he resigned from seminary in MI after pleading guilty to abusing a 15 yr old boy in seminary room. Ordained for Tagbilaran Diocese in Philippines and still working there as of 10/09.
Slevin Timothy Washington, DC In 1972 Slevin underwent treatment for fondling children. “Formally separated” from priesthood in 1974 after allegations. Laicized 1978. In 1986 Slevin, then basketball coach at Sacred Heart Catholic School, admitted to police that he abused 6 boys more than 50 times in six years. Charges relating to these acts were dropped in exchange for guilty plea on 4 counts of abusing another boy 1983-1986. Sentenced to 3-12 years prison. A 1986 lawsuit settled out of court. On archdiocese’s 10/15/18 list.
Smith Alphonsus M. Washington, DC In 1995 Smith admitted “affair “with a youth 1988-1993. Civil suit filed 1995 dismissed on statute of limitations. Sentenced 1995 to 16 years for abuse of 5. Judge reduced sentence to <1 year in 1996. Sent to live at St. John Vianney in St. Louis. Died in 2005. At least one claim included in $1.3M settlement with archdiocese 12/06. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18.
Stallings Dan Paul Washington, DC Stallings, ordained a deacon in 1986, was arrested in 12/07 and charged with having a sexual relationship with an underaged girl in his family in late 1960s and early 1970s. Police fear that his activities involving the CYO group may have allowed him to abuse other children. Additional charges filed 1/08 after woman came forward to allege abuse when she was 15-16 yrs old. Pled guilty 3/08 to original charges. Sentenced to 20 years prison. Laicized 2009. Died 2015.
Stallings George A., Jr. Washington, DC In 1989 Stallings was accused by man of abuse when the man was 16. Another person allegedly complained to Cardinal in 1986 of similar allegations. Third man claimed Stallings abused him 1976-1984. Cardinal Hickey ordered Stallings to treatment in 1989 but Stallings refused and formed his own breakaway congregation as a Black Catholic church. Later excommunicated but claims he left because of racism. One man filed suit 2008 which settled 10/09 for $125K.
Stock William McSherry Washington, DC Stock left priesthood in 1985. First allegation arose in 3/06 when a man reported he was assaulted by Stock was arrested and charged in 5/06. Arrested again 9/06 and charged with abusing another youth in the late 1970s when accuser was 14. Sentenced to 19 months in prison 11/07 for abuse of second accuser. On archdiocese’s list 10/15/18.
Twiddy Paul T. Washington, DC First named publicly as accused by WDC archdiocese on 10/15/18 list. Archdiocese first received a report of abuse by Twiddy in 1965. He was removed, sent for eval and treatment, and returned to ministry in 1968. Worked in Diocese of Monterey 1968-71. Accused pf abuse in CA 1971-79. Sent to treatment, returned to limited ministry 1980. In residence in a WDC parish 1980-86, in out-patient treatment. Retired 1986. Died 7/2/09.
Vazquez-Ortega Urbano Washington, DC Accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl at Sacred Heart Shrine in Columbia Heights in 5/15. The girl’s mother reportedly informed Rev. Mosis Villalta, OFM.Cap. in 2015; police were not notified until 10/26/18, after Villalta told a visiting priest about the situation. Arrested 11/7/18, charged with second-degree child abuse. Also accused of kissing a 16-year-old girl in 2015, and of rubbing a 15-year-old girl’s leg during confession the same year. Archdiocese suspended Vazquez after notified by Order of allegations 10/26/18. Removed as pastor. Parish’s child protection coordinator placed on leave. Arrested on new abuse allegations 12/11/18, of abuse of a girl starting when she was age 9. On Baltimore archdiocese’s list 12/14/18. Indicted in 5/19 on 7 counts of sex abuse of 2 children and a woman.
Walsh William J. Washington, DC In 1996 five of Walsh’s nieces told the Jesuits that Walsh sexually abused them hundreds of times as children in the 1940s-60s, when they were ages 5-14. Walsh was teaching in China in 1996. He was recalled, assigned to the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown Univ, and sent to treatment. The women made their allegations public in 1998 because the Order had not removed their uncle. Placed on leave. Per the Order’s MD Province, there were credible allegations against Walsh 1950s -1980s. After his removal in 1998, he lived until 2010 at Ferdinand Wheeler House in Baltimore, then the Colombiere Jesuit Community until his death at age 95 in 12/18. On the province’s list 12/17/18. Added to Baltimore archdiocese’s list in 2/19.
Wert William C. Washington, DC Previously worked in CA. Charged in 2007 in D.C. re abuse of 14-year-old boy. Convicted 9/07 of simple assault; sentenced to 180 days in jail and 5 years probation. Living at Order’s retirement home in FL when arrested in Venice FL 2/1/11; accused of sex with a 14-year-old boy between 9/10 and 1/11. Father told police after finding improper messages on boy’s phone. Civil suit filed 3/11. Order paid $1.75M to settle 7/15/11. Criminal trial held 2/13. Convicted 3/1/13. Sentenced to life in prison 5/13.
Zelaya Miguel Umana Washington, DC First named publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 10/15/18. Removed from ministry in 2000 after report of abuse. Laicized 2003.

Please note that this Washington D.C. 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.

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