Two survivors of childhood sexual abuse by a notorious Oakland Diocese predator priest, Fr. Donald Broderson, filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Oakland. A copy of the lawsuit is attached.
Fr. Broderson sexually abused then 7-year-old David Duenas in or around 1971 at St. Philip Neri church in Alameda, California and then 10-year-old Charles Ott in or around 1972 at St. Joachim church in Hayward, California.
“I know of at least 22 minor boys and girls who suffered sexual abuse by Oakland diocese priest Donald E. Broderson,” said Tim Stier, an Oakland native, author and whistleblower priest who worked for 25 years in Oakland parishes until 2005, when he voluntarily exiled himself from the priesthood.
The Diocese of Oakland knew about Fr. Broderson’s sexual misconduct with children from at least 1973. Bishop Floyd Begin received a letter dated Jan. 24, 1973, from a woman in St. Joachim Parish, Hayward, informing the bishop that
… I beg of you to please give the man professional help, and remove him from the influence of our boys, I don’t even want my son to serve Mass, for fear of Father Don being the priest he will be with…
“Broderson was moved to Most Precious Blood parish in Concord and then to three more parishes over a period of 18 years. The Diocese repeatedly reached out to this priest to provide him psychological help while at the same time concealing his horrendous crimes against children and not warning his new parishioners. Broderson began sexually abusing children while a student at St. Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, in the mid 1960’s,” said Tim Stier. Father Donald Broderson befriended and infiltrated Catholic families and invariably sexually abused every sibling within a family he could isolate.
In 1991, the Diocese of Oakland received additional reports of Broderson’s childhood sexual abuse and Fr. Broderson was “forced” into retirement. Again, the Diocese failed to contact law enforcement and failed to notify parishioners.
A 1993 psychological report and test results indicated that Broderson was a pedophile and should not be placed back into parish assignment. Broderson also admitted to sexually abusing both boys and girls.
In 1986, Fr. Broderson was issued a Marriage and Family Therapist license by the state of California.
“Shame on the church for knowing all of this about Father Don and moving him from one place to another,” said survivor Charles Ott. “He has forever changed my life in a negative fashion and was given permission and the ability to do so by the very church that I was taught was the next thing to god.”
Broderson died in 2010. Besides St. Philip Neri in Alameda, California from 1971 to 1972 and St. Joachim in Hayward, California from 1972 to 1973, he also worked at Santa Paula in Fremont, California (5/16/68 – 5/15/71), Most Precious Blood in Concord, California (2/16/73 – 6/14/75), St. Leonard in Fremont, California (6/15/75 – 1979), St. Raymond in Dublin, California (1979 – 1982), and Transfiguration Church in Castro Valley, California (1982 -1987).
In February, Oakland Bishop Barber released a list of ‘credibly accused’ abusive clerics. Fr. Broderson is on the list as abusing minor children in the “1970s”.
In September, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 218. Commonly called a “civil window,” the law provides a three-year window for anyone who was molested as a child in to use the court system to expose those who committed and concealed the crimes, regardless of when the crimes were committed.
It’s expected to result in over a thousand civil child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuits against California institutions and employers, and expose hundreds of predators who have been ‘under the radar.’
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed that measure into law on October 13, 2019.
The bill also extends the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual assault, allowing survivors up to their 40th birthday (formerly their 26th birthday), or within five years (formerly three years) from the date of discovery of an adult psychological injury caused by the childhood sexual assault.
To report clergy sex crimes and cover-ups to the California attorney general’s office, see https://oag.ca.gov/clergyabuse
David Duenas and Charles Ott encourage all other victims of Fr. Broderson to file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. https://oag.ca.gov/clergyabuse/complaint
Dr. Joseph C. George is both a licensed psychology and attorney and has represented hundreds of survivors of childhood sexual assault. Dr. Joseph C. George and survivor of childhood sexual abuse are available for comment via telephone / Skype.
Joseph C. George, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; office: 916.641.7300; cell: 916.802.7949
Tim Stier, cell: (510) 557-4917