October 22, 2005

Priest abuse survivors visit the accused's neighborhood

Ventura County Star

By Maria Gonzalez, mgonzalez@VenturaCountyStar.com
October 21, 2005

Armed with stacks of fliers, members of a priest abuse survivor's group knocked on doors and talked with neighbors of a Westlake Village residential complex Thursday where one of the accused priests lives.

Kevin Barmasse is named in files released by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles last week chronicling years of alleged sexual abuse of children by clergymen.

In 1983, Barmasse was an associate pastor at St. Pancratius in Lakewood when parents of a young boy accused him of sexually abusing their son in the priest's bedroom, according to the documents. Barmasse was then moved to a parish in Tucson, Ariz., while undergoing therapy.

In 1992, the archdiocese removed him from ministry after five more accusations surfaced. Barmasse can no longer practice as a priest. He has not been criminally charged with abuse.

On Thursday, the five group members, belonging to Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, went to the Westlake Village neighborhood to educate residents and to express their outrage that for so many years the church's policy for handling claims of abuse was to reassign priests rather than turn them over to law enforcement, they said.

Posted by kshaw at October 22, 2005 08:32 AM