Times-Herald (Vallejo)

Employee of Diocese of Oakland removed after arrest on child porn suspicion

- By Rick Hurd and Jakob Rodgers

An employee with the Diocese of Oakland was removed after Walnut Creek police arrested him on suspicion of possessing and sharing child pornograph­y, authoritie­s and church officials said Tuesday.

Walnut Creek police Lt. Holley Connors confirmed the arrest happened in January. Police have not presented their case yet to the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office.

“We are still reviewing evidence, and that could take a little while with all the digital evidence,” she said Tuesday. “It could be a week. It could be a month. We have no ETA for when it will happen.”

The worker had been with the diocese since June 14, 2021 and worked primarily with the preparatio­ns and planning for liturgies at the cathedral located in the 2100 block of Harrison Street, Diocese spokeswoma­n Helen Osman said in an email.

She said he has not worked at the cathedral since the first week of January and is no longer employed by any parish or school within the Diocese.

“In reviewing this situation, we have not discovered any potential criminal conduct by (the suspect) in the course of his employment, or occurring on cathedral property, utilizing its property, or involving parishione­rs, including minors,” Osman said via email. “No arrests occurred on cathedral property, and the Diocese of Oakland, which oversees the cathedral, has cooperated with law enforcemen­t.”

According to Osman, the suspect's work including coordinati­on of weddings and funerals, as well as working with California docents, all of whom are all adult volunteers. He also worked with the altars servers program, which is almost exclusivel­y adults, Osman said.

Attempts to reach the man were not successful.

Police did not release any more informatio­n about the arrest, beyond confirming it. Connors cited the ongoing nature of the investigat­ion for the reason police have not said anything else.

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