Skip to main content

List of Those Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors


November 8, 2018 [Updated 3/16/23]

The Diocese of Savannah is committed to the protection of minors, as well as to compliance with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In a spirit of transparency and the hope of continued healing for the survivors of abuse, we have released the following list of the priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

The list was compiled from the best information available to us at this time and covers the period from 1944 until now. (Please note that from 1937–1956, the diocese was designated the Diocese of Savannah–Atlanta and comprised the entire State of Georgia. The Diocese of Atlanta wasn't erected until 1956.) It will be updated if new credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor are determined.

The list of credibly accused clergy has been prepared based on the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board, which is composed of members who are laypersons and not in the employ of the diocese. This board serves to advise the diocesan bishop in his assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors as well as in his determination of a cleric’s suitability for ministry following an allegation of abuse. It also assists in reviews of diocesan policies and procedures for dealing with sexual abuse of minors.

If you are a victim of abuse by clergy, an employee or a volunteer in the Diocese of Savannah, or if you know of anyone who has been a victim of such misconduct, please contact civil authorities and the Diocese Abuse Reporting Line at 1-888-357-5330.


Diocesan Priests

DIOCESAN PRIESTS WITH CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE IN THE DIOCESE OF SAVANNAH

Name

Date of Ordination

Years of Diocesan Service

Status

Wayland Brown

07/09/1977

1977–1998

Laicized 2004;
20 year prison term in South Carolina (2018);
Deceased 6/2019

John Willis Dowling

06/03/43

1944–1947

Deceased 4/2000

Lorenzo Garcia

06/05/1997

1998–2008

Administrative leave 8/2008;
Laicized

Nicholas Quinlan

05/21/1932

1933–1972

Retired 1972;
Deceased 1981

Robert Teoli

05/03/1955

1956–1980

Deceased 12/1980

 

Name

Date of Ordination

Years as Extern Priest

Status

Michael O’Sullivan

1962–1972

Deceased 2013

Joseph Reilly

Diocese of Nashville

1964–1966

Laicized 1965

 

Religious Order Priests

RELIGIOUS ORDER PRIESTS WITH CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE IN THE DIOCESE OF SAVANNAH

Name
Years of Service in Savannah
Status
 

Adolph J. Gall, SMA

1932–1960

Deceased

Eugene Gavigan, OCS

1958–1960

Deceased 1959

James Harold, SMA

1948–1956

Deceased

Bartholomew Keohane, SMA

1947–1961

Deceased

Austin Martin, SDS

1964–1969

Laicized;
Deceased

Robert Murphy, O.Carm.

1969–1971

Unknown

S. John Murray, SMA

1959–1960

Deceased

Joseph Smith, SDS*

1924–1952

Deceased 1952

 

* This is NOT the same Fr. Joseph Smith currently serving in the Diocese of Savannah.

 

RELIGIOUS ORDER PRIESTS WITH ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE IN THE DIOCESE OF SAVANNAH

Name

Years of Service in Savannah

Status

 

Joseph Dean, GHM

Several assignments prior to 1962

Investigated by Praesidian (an independent investigator);
Exonerated 2004;
Deceased 2007

 

RELIGIOUS ORDER PRIESTS WITH CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE OUTSIDE THE DIOCESE OF SAVANNAH

Name

Years of Service in Savannah

Status

 

Frederick George, OSB

1990-1991

Removed from ministry

Robert Poandl, GHM

2008–2012

Recalled in 2012 by GHM for allegation filed in Cincinnati (no allegations in the Diocese of Savannah);
Began serving prison term in North Carolina (2014);
Deceased 2019

 


FaLang translation system by Faboba