Southern California breaking news and trends

Newly released file details clergy sex abuse in Santa Barbara

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Files detailing alleged clergy abuse at Franciscans' St. Anthony Seminary, a former boarding school in Santa Barbara, have been released following a lengthy legal battle.

The documents, posted online at, contain accusations of sexual abuse of children, and an account of a man who describes being molested there as a child and later molesting other childeren, says the L.A. Times.

For decades, the now-shuttered St. Anthony's Seminary was awash in dark secrets. A cache of documents obtained in a lawsuit and posted online Wednesday, including [Robert] Van Handel's so-called sexual autobiography, has begun to shed some light on them.

The documents, containing accounts of 25 alleged victims who say they were abused by nine clergy members, is the largest release of a Roman Catholic religious order's confidential files, according to a plaintiffs' attorney. Van Handel is the only one of them who has been criminally convicted, notes the newspaper.


Blow the man down: Wednesday winds to bully LA mountains, desert, I-5 corridor


Photo by Garry Knight via Flickr Creative Commons

Furious winds got the best of 50 power poles overnight in the Antelope Valley. Southern California Edison says it could take days to replace them, however only four Lancaster residents experienced a service interruption, said spokesman Daniel Brady.

The Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley remain in high-wind-warning mode, and the mountains of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are on alert through early Thursday morning, says the National Weather Service.

Gusts reached 65 mph on Tuesday in some areas. Forecasters warn that the next round of Wednesday winds may bring even beefier blasts. The strongest blows are expected to bully L.A. mountains and the I-5 corridor. 

NWS urges driver caution in mountain regions, and in desert areas where blowing sand could be an additional issue.