Attorney General Bill Lockyer Announces Charges Filed in San Diego Priest Sexual Abuse Case

Friday, May 9, 2003
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SAN DIEGO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today filed sexual assault charges against retired Catholic priest, Franklyn Becker. The four-count criminal complaint stems from an investigation by the San Diego Police Department of sexual assault complaints within the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese.

The Attorney General's complaint alleges that Becker committed numerous sexual acts against a male victim, then aged 15, on separate occasions during the late 1970s. The alleged acts occurred while Becker served as a visiting priest at St. Brigid's Church in San Diego from a Milwaukee Diocese.

"These allegations of sexual abuse represent a tragic and criminal violation of the sacred trust between parishioners and their clergy," Lockyer said. "My office continues to investigate these cases and remains committed to prosecuting those that use their position within the church to perpetrate acts of sexual abuse."

In March, the Attorney General's office agreed to assume responsibility for cases alleging sexual abuse by clerics in the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese at the request of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Local San Diego law enforcement agencies continue their investigations into several other Diocese-related sexual assault cases.

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