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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Crimes of Pedophiles at Santa Barbara Seminary like Thousands Reviewed by Pope as Cardinal, Part 2, Re Perpetrator: Dave Johnson, Franciscan,

Story Originally Posted in SoapBox at AlterNet

Plaintiff JPS was raised Roman Catholic in Bakersfield. He attended a parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe, operated by the Franciscans in the neighboring town of Delano. Because his family spent summers in Carpentaria, he also attended St. Joseph parish in Carpentaria and, occasionally, Defendant Old Mission in Santa Barbara. JP served as an altar boy at St. Joseph during the Summers of 1973-76. As a result of this upbringing, he held Roman Catholic priests in very high regard. He recalls feeling priests were living saints, and believed they spoke with the voice of God.
By the Summer of 1978, JP was determined if not obsessed, with the idea of becoming a priest. Pursuant to this, he visited minor seminarians in California, ultimately choosing one, St. Anthony’s, run by priests and brothers from the same religious order that operated his home parish in Delano, the Franciscans.

Starting in Fall of 1978, JP embarked on what at the time he believed would be the beginning of his journey to priesthood. He was accordingly thrilled when school started and he moved to St. Anthony’s. Unfortunately, he was quickly enveloped by the culture of abuse at St. Anthony’s.

The Assaults by Dave Johnson

Despite his openly inappropriate behavior towards students, defendants allowed Dave Johnson to live in the student dormitory, and to go from bed to bed preying on students after lights out or just before. Johnson’s grooming of victims was open and extensive. JP recalls watching Johnson slowly make his way to JP’s bed, at first just sitting on students’ beds and chatting, sometimes progressing to wrestling on the bed with Johnson, placing students in headlocks. JP also remembers seeing Johnson giving massages to other kids, sometimes inducing the kids to take their shirts off. each night light would go out at 10:00 PM. But Johnson would continue his “rounds” until around 11 or 11:30.

After grooming and abusing an unknown number of students, Johnson finally reached JP’s bed sometime late in September or early October 1978. Despite Johnson’s obviously inappropriate behavior, JP was thrilled with the attention Johnson showered on him in bed. Because of his upbringing in a parish operated by the Franciscans, JP held all Franciscans in such high regard he was unable to recognize their inappropriate conduct, even when directed against him. In JP’s eyes, such men were simply incapable of behaving inappropriately.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s physical contact towards JP grew progressively more inappropriate over the next few weeks and eventually crossed the line into sexual abuse. During his grooming Johnson would comment that JP appeared really stressed as justification for rubbing JP’s neck or back while playing with JP’s hair. As Johnson’s behavior grew worse, he would clamp down on JP as if he were resting on the boy. In reality, Johnson was restricting JP’s movements, rendering him susceptible to Johnson’s abuse. While doing this, Johnson would wear shorts, or sometimes thin jogging shorts, that easily opened through the cuffs and exposed Johnson’s genitals.

After a number of nights of grooming, Johnson sexually assaulted JP. On the night of the first assault, at some point after lights out, JP was laying on his stomach under the bed covers. As he had on previous nights, Johnson climbed on top of the young boy while still outside the sheets. Johnson was on his side with his leg draped over JP’s thighs, again rendering the boy immobile and trapped. Johnson then began massaging JP’s back and moving his knee to the boy’s upper thighs and buttocks while simultaneously making small talk as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening. As Johnson moved, JP could feel Johnson’s genitals on his upper thigh, and that Johnson was becoming erect.

Johnson then began engaging in frotteurism by grinding and pressing his hips and erection into the boy’s thigh. JP was in shock, unable to believe a man whom he believed spoke God’s word could be engaging n such behavior. Overwhelmed by what was happening, his complete faith in Catholic priests, and his horror at being trapped by the much larger Johnson, JP disassociated himself from the abuse and immediately repressed all memory of what was happening. He now recalls hearing himself engaging numbly in Johnson’s small talk, as if nothing was happening. After about ten to fifteen minutes, Johnson stopped without explanation and moved on to the next student’s bed. Thus, JP’s first sexual experience was a horrifying sexual assault at the hands of a trusted religious authority figure.

Approximately two weeks later, Johnson repeated his assault and JP again repressed all memory of the abuse. This time Johnson was actually under the covers. John Paul defensively hunkered down and did not engage in conversation with Johnson in hopes of getting the assault over with and Johnson off of him. He also recalls speaking out to another student in hopes of scaring Johnson into leaving.

However, these efforts failed. Johnson continued his assault, and JP shut down and disassociated himself from what was happening, again repressing his memory of the abuse.

Unfortunately this was not the last assault by Johnson. JP now recalls that during a third and final assault, Johnson had crawled under the bed sheets. And whereas previously Johnson had engaged in conversation apparently intended to groom JP, this time Johnson made little such effort, instead going directly to gratifying himself by sexually assaulting the freshman.

During this assault Johnson’s hip thrusts were more forceful and JP could feel the flesh of Johnson’s penis which was clearly outside Johnson’s shorts as Johnson was under the covers.

The traumatized boy remained on his stomach the entire time until out of desperation he tried to turn his body and dislodge Johnson. When this failed, he again shut down, dissociated himself from what was taking place, and repressed his memory of the assault.

After about twenty minutes Johnson finally ended the assault and left.

From this point on, JP felt compelled to avoid Johnson but did not understand why he felt so strongly. When Johnson would select him for an activity, JP would refuse to go or participate. Johnson then began to shun JP. Unfortunately, a new perpetrator eventually set his sights on the boy.



quinn said...

i really don't know what to do! i too was a student at st. anthony's. i vaguely remember dave johnson as i have scanty recall about other things at that place. i remember vividly some other names that were mentioned but what's the point? i had such a self destructive mode for so long that i am petrified to relive it by delving too much into this part of my past and yet there is a part of me that wants accountability or something. i dont know maybe this is not the place to vent.

city of angels lady said...

Keep writing, as the more you write the more you will remember. Email me at and we can talk by phone as well.