Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa releases names of 39 accused of child sexual abuse

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- The Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa released the names of 39 members of the clergy who church leaders say sexually abused children - or faced credible accusations of abuse.

The Santa Rosa Diocese sent a news release containing the names to 140,000 parishioners, and the news media. Dan McNevin of SNAP - the survivor's network of those abused by priests - is stunned by the number.

"It's shocking that we only knew of 16 names before today and now we know of somewhere between 40 and 50," McNevin said.

RELATED: Get help with sexual assault, rape, and abuse

The ABC-7 News I-Team has investigated several of the priests who were named Saturday. Dan Noye's 1995 report on Father Gary Timmons led to a prison sentence.

Also on the list - Father Austin Peter Keegan - who Dan followed to Mexico and found working at an orphanage.

The Diocese says Timmons, Keegan and two other priests - Don Kimball and Francisco Ochoa abused 63 of the estimated 100 young victims.

There are also several names left off the list - which troubles McNevin.

I-TEAM EXCLUSIVE: California Attorney General looking into priest sexual abuse

"And that is demoralizing. I think it doesn't serve justice or those unknown survivors that these names have been left off the list," he said.

One famous name that is on the list is that of disgraced former radio host Bernie Ward, who was part of the Santa Rosa diocese from 1978 to 1979. A victim accused him of abuse in 2008.

The Bishop says he's making the information available in pursuit of transparency. But, McNevin notes that the list wasn't released until 23 of the 39 priests and deacons were dead.

"It's an intentional strategy to try to suppress reports and to avoid as much law enforcement as possible," according to McNevin.
Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.