Oliver O'Grady (born 1946) is a former Irish Roman Catholic priest who raped, molested and abused many children in California from 1973 onwards. He wrote a letter of confession to parents in 1976 and a copy was given to the Bishop of Stockton at that time.

Early life

Born in Limerick, Ireland, O'Grady was ordained into the priesthood at a seminary in Thurles during the late 1960s. He emigrated to the United States in 1971.[1] He served as a priest at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Lodi, California from 1971 to 1978. He later served at Church of the Presentation in Stockton, California, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Turlock, California, St. Andrew's Parish in San Andreas, California, and St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Hughson, California.[2] He later claimed to have been himself molested by a priest at the age of 10, and that he was involved in sexual abuse in his own family, both as perpetrator and victim. [3]


In 1993 he was convicted on four counts of "lewd and lascivious acts" on two minors, the brothers John and James Howard, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Attorney Jeff Anderson said the Howard brothers were repeatedly molested between 1978 and 1991, from age three to 13. Anderson argued that church officials knew that O'Grady had abused children as early as 1976 and 1984, but had done nothing. However police had been informed of earlier charges and had declined to prosecute.[4] In 1998 a civil jury ordered the Catholic Diocese of Stockton to pay US$30 million in damages to the brothers. A judge later reduced the amount to $7 million.[5] O'Grady was paroled from prison in 2000 after serving seven years, and went to live in Ireland after being deported from the United States. One of his victims was a nine-month-old baby girl.

In a 2005 videotaped deposition, O'Grady revealed that he had abused as many as 25 children in and around Northern California.[4] Recently, there have been lawsuits filed accusing O'Grady of abusing children even while in the seminary in Ireland.

Deliver Us From Evil

O'Grady is the subject of the 2006 Academy Award-nominated documentary, Deliver Us From Evil. In the film, O'Grady states, "I want to promise myself this is going to be the most honest confession of my life." He then details how he preyed on children, and claims that church officials knew about his abuses, but protected him by moving him from parish to parish.[6][7] When questioned whether his bishop knew that there were claims that he had abused children in 1976 and before, O'Grady confirmed this was true, and despite that he was made pastor of another parish.[8]

2006 -

The film finishes by saying that O'Grady is still roaming free in Ireland, but that an American priest is making efforts to see that he and people like him are being monitored. At the time the film was made he clearly has difficulty fully accepting what he had done. He clearly states in the documentary that he is not sexually drawn to women or men, but is only sexually attracted to children.

Since his deportation to Ireland in 2001, he has been reported as living in Thurles and the Dublin suburb of Phibsboro. In October, 2006, it was reported that he had left Ireland possibly for France and "may be en route to Canada".

In 2007 the Irish Examiner reports that O'Grady's solicitor claims O'Grady registered voluntarily with the local Gardai.[9]

In October, 2007, the rented house where he was living in Dundalk was burgled and damaged.

In October, 2008, it was reported that California-based lawyers were considering offering a reward for information about his whereabouts in Ireland so that further civil actions could be pursued against him.

See also


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