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Catholic clergy abuse survivor wants more accountability in LA

Manuel Barragan, 42, at his home in Hesperia, is a survivor of clergy abuse and was part of a class-action suit against the Catholic Church.
Manuel Barragan, 42, at his home in Hesperia, is a survivor of clergy abuse and was part of a class-action suit against the Catholic Church.
Aaron Schrank/LAist

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The U.S. Justice Department announced last week it’s investigating allegations of abuse by Catholic priests in Pennsylvania.

The news follows an explosive state grand jury report showing widespread coverup of the cases by church officials. One practice: move pedophile priests from place to place. In Southern California, that’s meant known abusers were routinely reassigned to work in L.A.’s immigrant communities. 

After allegations surfaced against Carlos Rene Rodriguez in Los Angeles, he was moved to the farmworker community of Santa Paula, where he was asked to minister to Spanish-speaking families in the Archdiocese of L.A.'s Office of Family Life.

There, he molested a number of boys, including Manuel Barragan and his brother, who say they were longtime Catholics who built their lives around the church.