News - July 20, 2011

Church continues priest investigation

• San Francisco DA closes case against priest.

by Sandy Brundage

The San Francisco District Attorney's Office has decided not to press charges against Father William Myers, pastor of St. Raymond Catholic Church in Menlo Park, in connection with an incident involving a 17-year-old boy in San Francisco.

As the Almanac first reported, Assistant District Attorney Seth Steward said on July 12 that the decision was made for "a number of reasons, primarily lack of corroboration." He then declined to discuss specifics of the investigation.

Father Myers was put on administrative leave in May after the church learned about an incident a month earlier in San Francisco. The father of a 17-year-old boy asked for police after the priest followed his son into a dressing room at a Ross Dress for Less, according to a spokesman for the San Francisco archdiocese.

Describing the encounter as a "boundary violation," the spokesman said no physical contact occurred.

Director of Communications George Wesolek said a source notified the archdiocese of the San Francisco incident on May 26. When confronted by church officials, the pastor admitted struggling with a sexual addiction to adults and receiving therapy for sexual identity issues while serving in Stockton.

Church assignment records show that Father Myers was on leave from the Diocese of Stockton for approximately four years from 1996 to 2000, but don't indicate why.

Bishop Stephen Blaire said that while the Stockton diocese knew Father Myers had undergone therapy, "at no time was it suggested or otherwise reported to the Diocese that the therapy was in any way related to sexual conduct with minors." In June the diocese notified its 34 parishes about the store incident.

Ordained in 1988, Father Myers joined St. Raymond four years ago, transferring from St. Brendan Church in San Francisco. The San Francisco archdiocese repeatedly refused to confirm whether he kept an apartment in San Francisco in addition to his parish lodgings in Menlo Park. He is reportedly in treatment while on leave.

Mr. Wesolek said the church's institutional review board met around July 15 to discuss the case, without reaching any conclusions, and will convene again in August.


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