The Diocese of Sacramento and Bishop William K. Weigand issued a media statement on January 6, 2004, reporting that from 1950 to 2002, of the 1,215 priests in the Diocese, 21 priests were accused of child sexual abuse. According to Bishop Weigand, four of the priests had been exonerated.
As a result of the California State Legislature opening a one-year window in 2003 for survivors of sexual abuse to come forward with civil claims, 33 people filed sexual abuse lawsuits against the Diocese. Nearly half of the lawsuits involved a Salesian priest, Father Mario Blanco, who worked in the Diocese of Sacramento from 1969 to 1973.
As of January 2004, the Diocese of Sacramento stated that since its formation in 1976, the Diocese had received allegations of priest sexual abuse involving 47 alleged victims.
On May 14, 2019, the Catholic bishops of California announced the establishment of an Independent Compensation Program for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests (ICP) for six California dioceses, including the Diocese of Sacramento. The independent program will be administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille Biros, with an oversight committee including include former governor Gray Davis and Maria Contreras-Sweet.
We encourage all survivors of priest sexual abuse to consult with legal counsel before proceeding with a claim as part of these compensation programs in California. We have extensive experience navigating similar programs in New York and Pennsylvania, and our California attorneys and advocates are ready to help you explore your options to determine whether this is the right path for you.