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Br. Charles Leonard Connor, S.J.

Notes: Br. Charles Leonard Connor is one of several Jesuits accused of sexually abusing two mentally disabled men at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in the mid- to late 1990s. Br. Connor admitted to his Jesuit superiors that he had inappropriately touched one of the mentally disabled men, but the superiors never notified police and allowed him to continue working. After Jesuit superiors learned that a police investigation was opened in 2000, Br. Connor was removed from the Jesuit center and transferred to Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California. Per Fr. Thomas H. Smolich, then-head of the Jesuit Province of California, the Jesuits “had to move quickly” and “it was the best place for [Br. Connor].” Bellarmine College Preparatory was not informed about the allegations against Br. Connor before Br. Connor arrived at the school. Br. Connor was criminally charged in 2001 and pled no contest, resulting in six months of house arrest. The Jesuits have since settled two separate civil cases involving Br. Connor, one of which was a wrongful death lawsuit involving another Jesuit priest who committed suicide after repeatedly telling superiors that Br. Connor had sexually abused him.