San Diego

Priest Named in Grand Jury Report Volunteered at 2 San Diego Parishes

The San Diego Diocese told NBC 7 the priest lived in the San Diego area from the 60s to at least the 90s

A priest who once presided and taught in San Diego is among hundreds of clergymen accused in a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children.

Father Ernest Paone volunteered at least two San Diego County parishes while on loan from the Pittsburgh Diocese.

The San Diego Diocese told NBC 7 Paone lived in the San Diego area from the 60s to at least the 90s, and volunteered at Mary Star of the Sea in Oceanside and St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Encinitas during that time.

NBC 7 obtained a Confirmation mass bulletin from 2015 that listed him as one of the class member’s Baptismal priest at Saint John’s.

The local Diocese said that he pushed for an assignment in San Diego but was never given one.

According to page 218 of the 1,356-page report, on May 1, 1962, a fellow priest at a Pennsylvania parish "interceded to prevent Paone from being arrested for 'molesting young boys of the parish and the illegal use of guns with even younger parishioners.'"

Search "Paone" in the upper-right corner of the report below to see more accusations against Paone.

The report also stated "There is no indication that the [Pittsburgh] Diocese provided any interested parties information that Paone had sexually abused children or that the Diocese had played a role in preventing his prosecution for that conduct."

Records also show Paone worked as a junior high teacher for two decades in at Potter Junior High School in Fallbrook.

The Fallbrook Union Elementary School District has not responded to NBC 7's request for comment.

Paone, who died in 2012, is just one of more than 300 priests accused of abuse in the state of Pennsylvania. The allegations go back decades and include six diocese in the state. Only two have been charged. Under Pennsylvania law, time has run out to bring charges against most of the others.

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