Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Priestly sexual predator went unchecked in Oakland

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
August 6, 2013

OAKLAND, CA (8/6)- Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) gathered on the sidewalk outside the Oblate Provincial Mission House, 290 Lenox Avenue (between Montecito Ave. & Van Buren Ave.) in Oakland. Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclosed that a credibly accused child molesting Catholic priest quietly lived in Oakland for ten years, and 521 pages of his personnel files were released last week and are now available on line. (The Associated Press say they “paint a devastating picture.”). Going door-to-door, they handed out leaflet to neighbors urging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered his crimes to call police. They also called on local Catholic officials to reveal the names of other proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics who live or lived at this church building.

A predator Catholic priest from Southern California who admitted abusing at least 100 kids lived for at least a decade at the Oblate Provincial Mission House. The AP reports that he “confessed shocking details” including that he abused his 5-year-old brother, had sex with male prostitutes, and frequented gay strip clubs.

Summary at The Blaze

His file was released last week because victims insisted that the documents be made public when they settled their abuse and cover up lawsuits back in 2007.

LA Times story at LA Times

The priest is Father Ruben D. Martinez. He belongs to a religious order called the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

The files, which were made public on July 31st by a lawyer for victims, include more than 500 pages about Martinez. The LA archdiocese, the Los Angeles Times reports, “settled eight lawsuits accusing him of molesting boys from 1970-82” at three southern California parishes.

History of Fr. Martinez Assignments

“Over the years, hundreds of dangerous proven, admitted and credibly accused Catholic priests, brothers, nuns, seminarians and bishops have been removed from active ministry, but allowed to come and go as they please in unsuspecting neighborhoods,” said Melanie Sakoda. “We suspect most weren’t and still aren’t being monitored even now.”

“Regardless of whether the offenders are supervised or not, Catholic officials have a duty to tell citizens who and where these child predators are,” she added. “These men could still be serious threats to innocent kids.”

SNAP is calling on Catholic officials – in the Oblates and in the Oakland diocese – to reveal the names of other child molesting clerics who live or lived at this Oblates facility. The documents released on Martinez can be found here.

Click here for Martinez documents

Martinez worked in at least three southern California towns, all within the Los Angeles archdiocese: San Fernando, Wilmington, and Pacoima. He was ordained in 1968 and sent to treatment in 1991.

Melanie Sakoda voiced her anger at officials within the San Francisco Archdiocese and Oakland Archdiocese, stating,"I am angry and frustrated. When Pope Benedict promised victims that he would do everything in his power to help the victims of priestly abuse, I seriously doubt that meant allowing child molesters to live in a residential area without any supervision. They are certainly not doing everything possible to address this issue in any serious fashion..."

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