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Law firm alleges abuse by 212 Bay Area priests

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A Minnesota-based law firm released the names of 33 men Tuesday that are connected with the Diocese of San Jose who have been accused of sexual abuse, building on a list of 15 names the diocese released last week.

Jeff Anderson & Associates, which filed a lawsuit in early October against 10 of California’s 11 Roman Catholic dioceses alleging a sexual abuse cover-up, published the list in a large report that includes 212 names across three diocese including San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.

The report has photos of the accused, their work history and accusations, sourced through existing online resources like media reports, bishopaccountability.org and local dioceses’ public statements. The report also suggests San Jose was a “dumping ground” for priests accused of sexual abuse.

All of the names on the Diocese of San Jose’s list are presented in the report, but 18 new men are accused of sexually abusing children over the course of several years. A majority of those accused have either died or have their whereabouts listed in the report as “unknown.”

Their names join priests who are alive and believed to be in the Bay Area, including Rev. Don Flickinger, Robert Gray, Alexander Larkin, Hernan Toro and Phil Sunseri.

Some of the accused, such as Edward F. Beutner, who worked only in campus ministry at Santa Clara University from 1989 to 1991, did not serve in the diocese in an official capacity as a priest.

The report says:

“The data reveals the scandalous scale of hundreds of priests assaulting thousands of minors from early history to the present in these Dioceses … The data collected suggests the patterns and practices of Church officials, including the orchestration of an institutional cover-up of an enormous magnitude.”

The Diocese of San Jose, which released its list on Thursday, has said their list only includes the names of the “credibly accused” and the group may grow. The list only includes those who admitted to the offense, were convicted legally or deemed guilty by the Independent Diocesan Review Board.

Many of the priests in the new report worked in the Diocese of San Francisco and Diocese of Oakland, in addition to San Jose, and several are listed as having worked at schools in the area, including Santa Clara University and Bellarmine College Preparatory.

The San Jose diocese said the new list is “heartbreaking” and officials are currently reviewing the names and will respond to the allegations by Wednesday. The church added it is committed to providing healing and reconciliation for the victims.

Diocesan officials said in a statement:

“This will allow us to begin the process of restoring trust that has been painfully eroded by those in positions of leadership and trust by being accountable and transparent for what has happened in the past within the Diocese of San Jose.”

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