Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Sex allegations vs. ex-priest probed

Citizen Staff Writer



The Pima County Attorney’s Office is investigating allegations of sexual abuse by the former Rev. Kevin Barmasse, 52, who worked in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson in the 1980s.

Prosecutor Kathleen Mayer said Friday “new information” about Barmasse was provided to the county attorney, which is what instigated the ongoing investigation.

She said once it is completed, prosecutors will determine if there is something “prosecutable.”

She said the statute of limitations issue cannot be addressed until after the investigation is completed.

Barmasse has never been criminally charged in alleged incidents of abuse in Tucson.

Barmasse, who lives in Westlake Village, Calif., west of Los Angeles, did not return calls.

The Tucson diocese said there was no one available Friday to comment on Barmasse. .

The accounts of two men who say they were sexually molested by Barmasse were published in the Tucson Citizen on Nov. 26, 2006.

Troy Gray, 40, a former Tucsonan who settled his abuse case with the Tucson diocese involving Barmasse, said he still has trouble with trust and intimacy and blamed his divorce on problems with trust.

Tucsonan Michael Moylan, 38, also settled a suit alleging Barmasse molested him as a boy.

Barmasse’s priestly “faculties” were revoked in 1992 by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which ordained him in 1982, and he was no longer authorized to perform any functions of a priest.

Barmasse was a priest in Sierra Vista, Tucson and Mammoth.

He came to the Tucson diocese after allegations of sexual molestation were made against him to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which moved him to the Tucson diocese under the direction of then-Bishop Manuel Moreno.

Information about Barmasse from the archdiocese’s personnel file was provided to the Los Angeles Times:

• Barmasse worked at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Sierra Vista from 1983 to 1985, and at St. Elizabeth Seton Church in Tucson from 1986 to 1989.

• California parents alleged Barmasse sexually abused their son on Aug. 11, 1983, in his room at the St. Pancratius rectory in Lakewood, Calif.

• In 1983, Barmasse was given temporary residence by the Tucson diocese if he agreed to counseling. He was made associate pastor at the Sierra Vista church and began to see a Tucson therapist on Oct. 19, 1983.

• In 1986, he was an associate pastor at St. Elizabeth Seton in Tucson and then an associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament Church in rural Mammoth.

• In 1991, the bishop of the Tucson diocese wrote to Barmasse, telling him he would have to be evaluated at the Saint Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Md., before he could be incardinated into the Tucson diocese.

According to its Web site, the institute is a “licensed, private residential facility and institute for research and education specializing in promoting the health and well-being of women and men religious, clergy and others involved in church ministry.”

Barmasse arrived at Saint Luke on Feb. 10, 1991, for evaluation.

He was an inpatient there from July 3, 1991, to Jan. 14, 1994, and signed a “continuing care” contract when he was discharged.

On July 13, 1992, the archdiocese revoked his faculties so he could no longer serve as a priest.

According to the Los Angeles Times, on Aug. 24, 1991, it was reported to the California archdiocese that Barmasse made sexual advances toward five male high school students during his assignment in Tucson at St. Elizabeth parish.

The students were between the ages of 17 and 20 at the time of the alleged incidents.

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