April 18, 2005

Personnel Bile No. 7: The Choir Master

Orange County Weekly


On April 12, eight former Diocese of Orange priests or workers accused of child molestation asked a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to block the release of their personnel files. The move again delayed the release of about 30 boxes of documents that priestly sex abuse victims and their lawyers claim will prove Catholic Church leaders knowingly protected pedophilic employees.

One of the objecting priests was Richard T. Coughlin. For years, he headed the Costa Mesa-based All-American Boys Choir, a group that has travelled the globe and performed before dignitaries. But, in 1993, Coughlin resigned after former choir boys approached the Orange diocese with claims that the priest had molested them repeatedly.

Coughlin—who still lives in Orange County—has always maintained his innocence even though then-Orange Bishop Norman McFarland found the 1993 allegations credible enough to defrock him. But, as the following documents show, 1993 wasn't the first time someone came forth with a Coughlin boy-fiddling tale.

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2005 12:19 PM