Hilo Priest Accused of Child Sex Crimes Still Travels and Works with Youngsters Today

Holding signs and photos of themselves when they were abused, child sex abuse victims will announce that a long-time Hilo Catholic priest, Fr. George DeCosta, has been accused of molesting two boys, but continues to work for a church group that teaches music to teenagers.

They will also beg Honolulu Bishop Clarence Silva to: disclose why the priest was forced to retire, insist that the music group oust him immediately, personally visit every parish, school and facility where he worked reaching out to others he may have hurt.

Where: Outside of Malia Puka O Kalani Church, 326 Desha Ave in Hilo

Malia Puka O Kalani Church

When: Tuesday, August 21, at 11 am

Who:

One to two members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women sexually abused as children in religious and institutional organizations, including a California woman who is the group’s Western Regional Director

FR. GEORGE DECOSTA is a retired priest of the Diocese of Honolulu, Hawaii

Why:

Last month, two victims of child sexual abuse filed legal claims in New York state charging they were sexually abused by a long-time Hilo priest, Fr. George DeCosta.   Now, DeCosta is the pastor of the Hale Lokahi community in Hilo. He also works with Music Ministry Alive, a MN-based group that trains young people to be liturgical music leaders http://www.musicministryalive.com/mma2012/meettheteam.html.

The victims are coming forward as a part of the recent bankruptcy of the Irish Christian Brothers, the Catholic religious order that runs Honolulu’s Damien Memorial School, where DeCosta was a teacher. http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/16904070/group-says-child-predators-worked-at-catholic-school

Both victims were young students at Damien in the late 1960s, when DeCosta worked as a religion teacher and director of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) at the school. At least one of the victims charges that DeCosta molested him at an Oahu CYO camp.

At the time of the alleged abuse, DeCosta was also assigned to St. Theresa’s parish in Honolulu, a parish with a school.

In 1973, DeCosta was transferred to St. Mary Gate of Heaven—now Malia Puka’O Kalani—Parish in Hilo. He stayed there until 2002, when Honolulu Bishop Francis DiLorenzo mysteriously forced him to retire at age 65. That was the year that the clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis attracted national headlines. Bishops pledged then to be “open” about child sex cases and oust predators from ministry.

Currently, DeCosta is a member of the leadership team of Music Ministry Alive, a MN-based group that trains young people to serve as liturgical music leaders in the Catholic church. http://www.musicministryalive.com/mma2012/meettheteam.html. He is also the founder of the Big Island Learning and Arts Community (BILAC).

SNAP believes that there may be more victims in Hilo and Honolulu and that church officials must do more to reach out to survivors. They want Honolulu Bishop Silva to make sure DeCosta is ousted from his current positions and personally visit all of the churches, schools and communities where DeCosta has worked, reaching out to potential victims. They also want Silva to release DeCosta’s secret personnel file and publicly disclose the full reason DeCosta was forced to retire.

The victims asked SNAP to speak out on their behalf, to make sure that what happened to them does not happen to other children.

Both victims also have rights under Hawaii’s new civil window law that gives victims of child sexual abuse a chance to seek justice in the courts no matter when they were abused.  http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/18627821/lawsuit-claims-abuse-by-former-honolulu-priest.

Both victims are represented by California attorney Michael Reck (714) 742-6593.

6 Responses

  1. Oh so sweet priest I agree with glorib ugh smooth just watch him at the merry monarch front row.
    I hope more victims come forward

  2. I have known Father George my entire life and I do not believe that he is capable of doing this. He is a great person.

    • I have heard the same. I hope folks will not shoot the messenger (ME) for posting news on the Big Island.

    • I ‘m so sorry that this has to happen to anyone who has loved a holy person so many years and then finds out they are not who they seemed to be. We had the same experiance at our church with 5 pedophiles there.(not all at the same time). We would haved vouched for them all. What a shock. They were the epitome of everything you’d want in your clergy… Then after 10 yrs, the pastor that had been so adored,and had a healing ministrie and prayer meetings that people flocked to from all over the country, was found to be NOT who he claimed to be but a pedophile worse than any of the others …..A death that, that had he not been so bad, would NOT have happeded to a young man. He is still a priest in name only and in South Am. with his own orphanage with another priest he harbored, .continuing his sexual molestation of the our innocents. They are smart and cunning and want you to beleve them. Don’t put any man, woman on a pedestal. Only GOD belong there. Amen?

  3. Doesn’t he look just like the sweetest man(priest) you ever saw? Ugh!! And so Holy too! Ugh! My idea of what I want my grandchildren to have confront them. Oh they are so clever, they give gifts that the children want, they schmooze them and do all they can to groom them for the process of rape coming up. ..WHAT WOULD THE CONGRESSMAN SAY ABOUT THIS KIND OF RAPE?What does the President say about this ????What do the Catholic’s say about this????
    THERE MUST BE A WAY TO PUT A STOP TO THESE “CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY”! AND IT MUST BE DONE NOW! IN JESUS NAME I PRAY!

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