58-year-old Christopher John Cunningham has been charged with 12 felony counts of lewd acts upon a kid under 14 years of age, the DA’s Office stated in a press release.
Prosecutors affirm that while Cunningham was an associate priest for Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmdale, he sexually attacked an age 11 young boy two times in between November 1995 and September 1997.
He’s additionally implicated in sexually assaulting a young boy at the youngster’s residence between June of 1996 and 1998.
Between July 1998 and January 2001, while employed by Saint Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach, Cunningham purportedly sexually attacked an age 12 young boy two times and an age 10 young boy multiple times.
“The victims were innocent children who have spent most of their lives with the trauma caused by the abuse alleged in this case,” District Attorney George Gasc ón stated. “My office is committed to holding accountable anyone who abuses and takes advantage of our children, especially when they hold a position of trust.”
The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles stated in a declaration that the news of Cunningham’s apprehension was the very first time church authorities were alerted of the criminal accusations against the former clergyman. The Archdiocese stated it’s cooperating with detectives.
“Fr. Christopher Cunningham has been out of ministry since 2005 after the Archdiocese received and investigated allegations of boundary violations, which are unrelated to the current criminal matter,” the Archdiocese stated.
“The Archdiocese was first informed through a media inquiry of an allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor in May 2015 when a civil lawsuit was filed, ten years after he had been removed from ministry. The Archdiocese was not aware of any information concerning these allegations prior to being advised of the civil lawsuit,” the statement declared.
Authorities submitted the case for a warrant on April 2. An arraignment day is awaiting to be scheduled.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau is investigating the case. Anyone with additional details is asked to contact the bureau at phone number 562-946-8531.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.