Abuse Survivors Warn OC Families About Convicted Priests
SEAL BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Victims of alleged sex abuse by Catholic priests were expected to distribute leaflets Thursday outside of an Orange County retirement community where two convicted predator priests have recently lived.
Members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) say Michael Wempe and Denis Lyons may pose a threat to children visiting family members at the Leisure World retirement community.
Both Wempe and Lyons have been convicted of sexually abusing kids and have been accused of or admitted to abusing many others, according to SNAP.
Wempe – whose file was a part of a massive release of documents by the Los Angeles Archdiocese – was convicted in 2006 of sexually abusing a boy, although the former priest admitted to molesting at least 13 other boys during his career in the Archdiocese.
Records show Wempe referred to one 12-year-old boy as his “sex partner.”
Convicted Orange County priest Denis Lyons was sentenced to a year in prison in 2012 for abusing a boy at a Costa Mesa Catholic church and school. Lyons was arrested in 2008 while he was playing cards in a community room near his Leisure World home.
In addition to urging Archbishop Gomez to “cooperate completely with law enforcement” in their investigation into alleged sexual abuse, SNAP members are also demanding that Cardinal Roger Mahony refrain from taking part in the upcoming papal election.
The group Catholics United has started an online petition calling for Mahony to stay home after was recently stripped of his public duties for his part in a sex abuse cover-up while he led the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The rally in Seal Beach was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Thursday.