Local names appear on list of priests ‘credibly accused’ of sex abuse

From staff and wire reports

The Catholic Diocese of San Jose yesterday (Oct. 18) released a list of 15 priests, most of whom have died or been banned from the ministry, who they say were “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children in cities including Mountain View, Menlo Park and Palo Alto.

The list does not go into detail about the nature of the crimes reported, which date back to 1961 in some cases, but it does list all known locations where that priest worked during his career with the Catholic Church.

It also contains the years in which crimes by specific priests were first reported, some of which were as late as this year, and when that priest either died, was banned from ministry or placed on “restricted ministry,” which means they were reassigned to administrative duties and only allowed to participate in mass with permission from the bishop and under supervision.

Only two priests on the list of 15 are accused of sexually abusing children in the Mid-Peninsula.

Phillip McCrillis was accused of sexual misconduct with children between 1968 and 1969, while he was assigned to St. Albert the Great Parish in Palo Alto and at St. Patrick’s Seminary.

McCrillis was also stationed at St. Anthony Parish in Menlo Park in 1969 and St. Nicholas Parish in Los Altos from 1973 to 1976 and again from 1983 to 1991. McCrillis was first reported in 2004 and died in 2007.

George Moss was reported of sexually abusing children while stationed at St. Joseph Parish in Mountain View from 1963 to 1976.

Moss’ victims came forward in 2002, 2004 and 2012. Moss retired from ministry in 1976 and died in 1986.

Of the 15 priests on the list, six are still alive. The list includes information of their current whereabouts.

Rev. Don Flickinger, who was first reported in 2002 and permanently banned from the ministry in 2006, is said to be in the vicinity of the Diocese of Fresno.

Robert Gray, who was reported and convicted in 1993, then permanently banned in 2002, is said to be in the Sunnyvale area.

Alexander Larkin, who was first reported in 2003 and permanently banned in 2009, is said to still reside in the San Jose area. Larkin was previously stationed at St. Pius X Parish in Redwood City (1968-1974), Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Palo Alto (1974-1981), St. William’s Parish in Los Altos (1981-1985), Stanford’s Newman Center (1987) and at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Palo Alto (1987-1992).

Hernan Toro, who was convicted and forced to register as a sex offender in 1983, is said to currently reside in the San Leandro area. After Toro was reported while stationed at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Alviso, he was moved to St. Athanasius Parish in Mountain View (1983-1984) and later to St. Aloysius Parish in Palo Alto (1986-1988), after which he was sent to “detention ministry” and retired in 1990.

List may not be complete

The list, which only includes priests if the accusations against them were “determined to be credible” may be incomplete, however. That term only covers those who admitted to the offense, were convicted in criminal court, or deemed as such by the Independent Diocesan Review Board or the diocese’s Sensitive Incident Team.

The diocese says that additional names may be added to their list once the priest in question meets the criteria noted above.

Joey Piscitelli, Northern California leader for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, provided a list of six priests whose names do not appear on the diocese’s list. He also suspects there may be additional priests who have yet to be named and may still be working in ministry.

“It sounds way short,” Piscitelli said. “I’m sure there’s a lot more.”

“The dioceses never give a complete list,” he added.

Piscitelli argued that the diocese may be offering up an abbreviated list of accused priests in an attempt to “beat the government investigators to the punch” if they launch a major criminal investigation.

No lists from San Francisco or Oakland

He’s also argued that this effort at transparency may be an effort to stem the loss of parishioners who may leave the church as a result of recent headlines.

So far out of the three Bay Area dioceses, only the San Jose Diocese under Bishop Patrick McGrath has released a list of accused priests. However, the Oakland diocese is working on putting together its own list, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The full list of accused priests and where they were stationed can be accessed at https://bit.ly/2PN8B88

Victims urged to come forward

Anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse by any employee of the church can report the crime to local authorities and is asked to contact the Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults at (408) 983-0113.