Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, returned to ministry in 2003, is accused in six civil actions

For immediate release: May 30, 2023
Last week a very disturbing piece by NBC Bay Area revealed that a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, returned to ministry in 2003, is accused in six civil actions filed in the recently closed civil window for child sex abuse victims. Concerned survivor Danielle Lacampagne brought her accusations against Fr. Daniel Carter to the Archdiocese in 2002, and followed it up with a police report, and a lawsuit. Despite her best efforts, the priest continued to work in San Francisco parishes for another two decades.
We are not surprised that the Review Board found Danielle's accusations "unfounded." In our experience "Independent" Review Boards routinely dismiss victims' complaints, particularly if they are only aware of one complaint and the cleric denies the accusation. These Boards are picked by and work for their bishop. They also base their decisions on information supplied to them by that bishop.
Other Diocesan Review Boards have "cleared" accused clergymen only to have additional accusations uncovered later. One California example is the case of Fr. Eric Swearingen. Like Fr. Carter, Fr. Swearingen was placed on leave briefly in the early 2000s after he was accused of child sexual abuse in a lawsuit. However, the Diocese subsequently deemed the allegation "not credible," and Fr. Swearingen was allowed to return to ministry. In 2019, Fr. Swearingen was again placed on leave, reportedly based on information that was uncovered during the course of the lawsuit. Ultimately Fr. Swearingen was added to Fresno's list of accused priests.


Danielle was only eight years old when she was assaulted by Fr. Carter. The six survivors who have now filed lawsuits were all boys and girls under the age of 10 at the time of their abuse. It is very normal for children that young to be confused by the assaults and to not have the vocabulary to even describe the harm done to them.
We know now that Fr. Carter is accused of assaulting boys and girls from the 1970s to 2000. This suggests to us that he engaged in constant and repeated offenses against very young children. We greatly fear that those assaults continued after 2000 as well.
In addition, we know that it can take victims decades to come forward. Delayed disclosure is quite common and the average age of reporting is 52. Those victimized by Fr. Carter will likely continue to come forward for years to come.
The fact that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone refuses to publish a list of those accused of child sexual abuse in his Archdiocese endangers Catholic families, we believe. We encourage parishioners to speak up and urge their Archbishop to make good on the promises of openness and transparency contained in the 2002 Dallas Charter.

In the meantime, we encourage anyone who may have been experienced, witnessed, or suspected child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in California to come forward and make a report to local law enforcement and to the California Attorney General

CONTACT: Dan McNevin, Treasurer, SNAP Board of Directors (Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (mmcdo[email protected], 267-261-0578),  Shaun Dougherty, President, SNAP Board of Directors ([email protected],  814- 341-8386), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

 (SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 35 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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