Clergy abuse victim announces settlement

Clergy abuse victim announces settlement

She warns others about new church pay out program

Assaulted as an adult by her priest, she told Sac diocese

SNAP: “Sexual exploitation of church-goers is next wave in crisis

Group urges “anyone who was hurt at any time” to “call AG & police now


 A Catholic woman who sued and settled with local Catholic officials over the abuse

--describe the suffering she endured from both her perpetrator & his supervisors, 

--wants church officials to make people who were abused by adults eligible for this new program, and

--warn others to be skeptical about the new diocesan victim pay-out program.​

And advocates for sexual abuse victims will​

-- predict 'next wave' of crisis will be those assaulted as adults, and

--blast Sacramento’s bishop for his “callousness” and “hair-splitting.”

Tuesday, May 21 at 11:00 a.m.


Law Offices of Joseph C. George, Ph.D., 601 University Ave, Suite 230, Sacramento


The victim, her Sacramento attorney, perhaps one other local victim and Melanie Sakoda, SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) Survivor Support Coordinator.


1) A still-devout Catholic woman was sexually violated by her Sacramento pastor, told the Sacramento bishop, and ended up suing them both and recently settling her case.

Now she’s speaking up and urging other victims to be wary of trusting church officials, especially with the just-announced diocesan pay-out program.

In 2014, Dorothy Small, a lifelong Catholic, met her new pastor Fr. Renerio Sabuga Jr. (a.k.a. Fr. Jong) at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Woodland. She was a parishioner and choir member; he had just been re-assigned. Within weeks, he began to confide in her with intensely private thoughts.

Later that year, she called and filed a police report because of “continuous sexual harassment” by Fr. Sabuga.

In 2015, he sexually assaulted her in her home, according to her lawsuit.

The following year, Fr. Sabuga was transferred from Woodland to St. Clare Catholic Church in Roseville. Worried that he “might do the same thing with (another) parishioner,” Small reported the crime to Sacramento church officials and later met directly with Bishop Jaime Soto in person.

In 2017, she sued Fr. Sabuga, another priest (who reportedly told her “what man wouldn't want a piece of a** every now and then?”) and the Sacramento diocese.

Several weeks ago, Small settled her case. (A copy of the settlement agreement will be provided at the news conference.)

Small wants others who were exploited or attacked by clerics to speak up and get healing.

Fr. Sabuga was ordained in 2000 and is believed to still be an active priest in his native Philippines.

Stephen Greene (916 753 1300[email protected]) was the defense lawyer for the case.

2) Earlier this month, for the first time ever, Pope Francis adopted a new world-wide abuse policy. “The most eye-catching change was a radical expansion of the definition of ‘vulnerable’ adults, a hotly contested” issue, according to one Catholic news source.

The new policy, which takes effect June 1, defines a vulnerable person very broadly.

In light of this change, Small and other abuse victims are urging those who were hurt as adults by Catholic clerics to come forward, get help, call law enforcement and start healing.” They predict that the ‘next wave of abuse reports to hit the church will be from church employees and members who have been sexually violated or harassed by clerics.

One week after Pope Francis’ announcement, the Sacramento diocese, and five other California dioceses, announced a new victim compensation program.

Small wants church officials to make people who were abused by adults eligible for this new program. And she’s urging survivors to take caution if they choose to participate.

Contact: Dr. Joseph C. George 916 802 7949 cell, 800 700 8613 office, [email protected] email, Melanie Sakoda 925 708 6175 cell, [email protected] email, Maricar A. Pascual 707 342 4722 cell, [email protected]

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant