Moral Low Ground


Pedophile Priest Rev. Ruben Martinez Confessed to Molesting More than 100 Boys

Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in downtown Los Angeles (Photo: Christopher John)

Our Lady of the Angels cathedral in downtown Los Angeles (Photo: Christopher John)

One of the more than 230 clergy from the Los Angeles archdiocese implicated in a massive child rape and molestation scandal confessed during therapy to molesting more than 100 boys.

Rev. Ruben Martinez, 72, also confessed to having sex with male prostitutes and frequenting gay strip clubs.

Rev. Martinez’s confessions are among nearly 2,000 pages of secret Catholic church documents detailing alleged and proven sex crimes committed by a dozen priests, brothers and nuns in the disgraced Los Angeles Archdiocese. The documents were released in compliance with a $660 million settlement reached between the archdiocese and victims of pedophile clergy in 2007.

Earlier this year, secret church documents revealed that Cardinal Roger Mahony, the former archbishop of Los Angeles, conspired with other high-ranking Catholic clergy to protect colleagues who sexually abused children from criminal prosecution. Thousands of pages of documents related to pedophile priests and other abusive clergy were ordered released under court order; the newly-released details of atrocities committed by members of five different religious orders add to the public’s understanding of the widespread abuse that occurred in the nation’s largest Catholic archdiocese.

The documents contain therapy notes and psychiatric investigations of Rev. Martinez and reveal he entered into numerous treatment programs around the country. They also detail how Martinez’s religious order, the Oblates, spent tens of thousands of dollars in a futile attempt to ‘cure’ the self-confessed pedophile.

“I don’t know who else has time to monitor him, or to what ‘safe’ places we could assign him,” Rev. Charles Banks, a high-ranking Oblate, wrote in a 2003 memo.

Martinez, who began molesting boys in the early 1970s, has incredibly not faced any criminal charges despite having admitted to abusing more than 100 children.

The documents also reveal that Martinez would drive into San Diego to pick up male prostitutes while he was serving in a small parish in Westmorland, California.

“It has not been easy to face what I did, to admit it and talk about it with others,” Martinez wrote in 2006. “I have had to deal with depression, self-hatred, the inability and unwillingness to forgive myself, and the desire and tendency to isolate.”

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