Recent hazing and violence lawsuits against Mater Dei have alerted a lot of noses to a stink that has been brewing for years: decades of child sexual abuse, hazing, and cover-up at the infamous high school.
The parents of a recent hazing victim remarked to me that they had had no idea about the scandals at the school—what happened to me, what happened to dozens (perhaps hundreds) of other kids, and the administration that has always put the school’s reputation above child safety and obeying the law.
And for decades, kids like me and their own son paid the price. This has to stop.
So, over the next few weeks, this blog will be devoted to a comprehensive guide to the places, the personalities and the events that made this “school for scandal.”
The Basics: The People Who Made it Possible
This below is a “living” list of known, credibly accused predators who worked at Mater Dei. As more names are exposed, they will be added here with the date of addition. Some of the predators were there for decades. Others, just a few weeks. But grooming and abusing a kid doesn’t take much time, especially when you have the power to withhold a kid’s spiritual life, school transcripts, ability to graduate, or college admissions …
You can click on each name for an introductory article. I invite you to do more research on each of them.
- Msgr. Michael Harris
- Fr. Jerome Henson, O.P.
- Fr. Bertrand Horvath, O.F.M. Conv.
- Fr. Gustave “Gus” R. Krumm, O.F.M.
- Fr. David LaPierre, O.F.M. Cap
- Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann
- Mr. Thomas Hodgman His online sex abuse and cover-up file is posted here
- Dr. Larry Stukenholtz
- Mr. Bernard “Bernie” Balsis
- Mr. John Merino
- Mr. Robert “Bob” Richardson
- Mr. Jeff Andrade
And Mater Dei doesn’t stop at sex abuse. When a storied football coach assaulted and choked a female (and much smaller) athletic trainer because she wanted to keep the locker rooms locked, he got promoted in the press and she was forced to leave the school. The trial ended with a hung jury:
And Mater Dei shouldn’t consider this list complete. A couple of years ago, California opened a new civil window for survivors—AB 218. This law allows survivors of abuse—no matter when the abuse occurred—to use the civil courts to expose predators and institutional cover-up. The first two years of the window were stunted by Covid and windows in other states. But starting last week, California is one of the only states with an open civil window. As a result, I expect this list to grow. Exponentially.
Keep checking back here for updates. Future posts will include abuse facilitators, events, media attention, alumni reaction, how Mater Dei treats victims of abuse, and other topics.
But when push comes to shove, this list alone should be a HUGE eyeopener. Since it takes survivors decades to come forward (and we know that MD treats survivors like sh*t), I would not be surprised is there is a trove of predators working at the school in 2000s and 2010s who have yet to be exposed.