CA- Encino priest sentenced to life in prison for abuse
A convicted predator priest who worked in Encino will spend the rest of his life behind bars. On Thursday, he was convicted of abuse - for a second time - and was sentenced to life in prison.
He’s Fr. William C. Wert, who twice worked at Crespi Carmelite High School, a college prep school for boys in Encino (in 1987 and from 1993 to 1999).
In 2007, he was convicted of molesting a Washington DC area child but served only 15 days in jail. In 2011, he was living at a Catholic retirement home in Venice, Florida when he was arrested on the more recent abuse charge.
Catholic officials in California, Florida, Illinois and DC have a duty. As “shepherds,” they have an obligation to seek out wounded members of their flock, in this case, kids who were raped, sodomized or otherwise assaulted by Fr. Wert. They can’t profess to want to do “better” in abuse cases while sitting idly by when they know of a proven serial predator.
But they will likely now do essentially nothing. They might, in a small story in a church newsletter, announce Fr. Wert’s sentence. But they won’t use their tremendous resources – church websites, parish bulletins, and pulpit announcements – to try to find others who were assaulted by Fr. Wert and who are still suffering in pain.
We hope we’re wrong. We Catholic officials will aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by Fr. Wert.
A photo of Fr. Wert is available at BishopAccountability.org
For the full story, see
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.