By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Stock photo. This is not what Ramos looks like
except for the cassock and maybe the twee glassesThe Diocese of Orange has sheltered its share of child molesters over the years. There was John Lenihan, who admitted to sleeping with two pubescent girls during the 1970s yet continued presiding over Mass at different churches for more than 20 years. Always memorable is Andrew Christian Andersen, convicted in 1986 of molesting four altar boys while at St. Bonaventure in Huntington Beach and arrested in New Mexico in 1993 for luring a 14-year-old into a car and attempting to rape him over three hours. And how can anyone forget former St. John the Baptist pastor Jerome Henson, who was caught in a graveyard by a Sacramento-area police officer in 1981 with the legs of a 13-year-old boy wrapped around his shoulders?
But the king of county pedophiles remains Father Eleuterio Ramos. The diocese is still dealing with Ramos' legacy even though he hasn't served in the county since 1991. Church officials didn't get around to defrocking Ramos until last year, when a 33-year-old male victim filed a lawsuit against the Orange diocese in Orange County Superior Court seeking damages for alleged repeated abuse at the hands of Ramos; the lawsuit is pending. This litigation comes nearly a decade after diocesan lawyers settled two cases involving Ramos during the early 1990s for undisclosed amounts. Ramos' superiors maintained his innocence while settling the complaints, ignoring evidence presented against the priest that included written confessions by him and suggestive love letters Ramos sent to victims.
We wanted to ask Ramos about some of his favorite memories of Orange County over the years, but he now lives in a Pico Rivera apartment and refuses to speak to the press. So filling in for the ex-priest is a May 2003 Orange police report. It's part of the most recent lawsuit against Ramos and features him admitting to detectives that he repeatedly molested the plaintiff and at least 25 other boys during a decade-long stint in the county. Included in that police report is an incident in which the victim alleges Ramos allowed three men to bind, blindfold and rape the then-14-year-old in a San Diego motel in 1984.
OC Weekly: Father Ramos, what was your most memorable vacation as a priest?Orange Police Report:
I'm sure you found the Tijuana lodgings too seedy for an overnight stay, though.
They came back to the U.S. side of the border and rented a hotel room. V-3 said when he took his clothes off to shower, Ramos started rubbing his body including his buttocks, telling V-3 he had nice muscles. V-3 said later that night, he woke up to Ramos orally copulating him until the point of orgasm.
So later on in the day, you returned to Mexico and spent the day riding horses, eating and drinking with the boy. How did you finish the day?
That evening, back on the U.S. side of the border, Ramos took V-3 into a pornographic-video business, where he told V-3 to look at some movies.
How about your friends? Did you invite them to join the both of you?
Ramos spoke with three unknown men. They went back to the hotel room, where V-3 was going to take a shower. Ramos took Polaroid photos of V-3's penis. Ramos then held V-3's penis and stroked it until his penis became erect and then orally copulated V-3. Ramos also inserted his finger into V-3's anus while [he] orally copulated him to the point of orgasm.
After such a long day, the boy probably went straight to sleep.
V-3 said he grabbed something to put over his face because he did not want to see what was going on. V-3 said although he did not want the incidents to occur, he did not resist in any way. V-3 said he blocked the incident out of his mind and spent five to six years in therapy to be able to talk about the following incident.
Did you and your friends talk late into the night?
V-3 said he heard a knock on the door, and three strange voices entered the room. V-3 said the three strangers proceeded to sodomize and orally copulate V-3, including hav[ing] V-3 orally copulate them. V-3 said two subjects would sodomize him at the same time while the other subject would place his penis in his mouth, and then they would switch, and two subjects would place their penises in his mouth at the same time while the other subject would sodomize him. V-3 said at one point, they tied him up, which he did not physically resist.
Guys tend to be messy—was the motel room left in good shape after you checked out?
V-3 said when they took the blindfold off, he noticed blood, semen and feces on the sheet. . . . An unknown subject or Ramos was taking pictures.
The third incident occurred when [the victim] came back on vacation for the 1984 Olympics. [The victim] V-3 said he was 14 years old and in 10th grade. Ramos drove up from [Tijuana], where the [Orange Diocese] had sent him. Ramos took V-3 to Mexico where they drank alcohol.