Rev. Stephen Kiesle

Summary of Case: Kiesle has been accused of sexually abusing at least 15 children, male and female. He pleaded no contest in 1978 to the misdeamenor charge of lewd conduct for tying up and molesting two boys, and received three years probation. He left the priesthood in 1981. Volunteered in youth ministry at a parish in the Oakland diocese for three years after being defrocked. Sent to prison in 2004 for at least six years for sexually abusing a girl in 1995 at his Truckee vacation home.

Ordained: 1972


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Oakland bishop was Floyd Lawrence Begin (1962-1977)

1975 St. Joseph's


• Accused in a 2004 lawsuit of having molested a boy while at this parish. (Oakland Tribune
July 16, 2004)

CA 2/2 St. Joseph's had a school with 196-224 students.
1974 1978 Chancery: Pre-Seminary Advisory Board        
1970s   Santa Paula


• Named in a 2003 lawsuit as having sexually abused seven girls in the 1970s while at Santa Paula. (Oakland Tribune [California]
Downloaded February 1, 2004)



John Stephen Cummins replaced Begin as Oakland bishop (1977-2003)

1978 Our Lady of the Rosary

Union City

Accused in a 2004 lawsuit of having molested a boy while at this parish. (Oakland Tribune
July 16, 2004)

• Kiesle pleaded no contest in 1978 for tying up and sexually abusing two boys during his time at this parish. They were eleven and twelve years old. (San Jose Mercury News
March 30, 2008)

CA 2/3, 2/2 Parish had a school with 248-290 students.
1978 1979 St. Columba's Oakland CA 3/3
In residence

Parish had a school with 310 students.

Put on three years probation in 1978 after pleading no contest to lewd conduct for tying up and molesting the two boys at Our Lady of the Rosary. He was sent to therapy, then accepted "hospitality" offered by St. Columba's pastor. He left the priesthood in 1981.

1979 1981 On Active Leave • Accused of having molested at least fifteen children over the years. (San Jose Mercury News
March 30, 2008)

The 1981 Directory is the last in which Kiesle is indexed.

From 1985-1988 Kiesle volunteered as a youth minister at St. Joseph's in Pinole. He was removed after a worker at the diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, who was outraged by this, complained. Only then did Cummins remove Kiesle. Cummins had already received at least one other complaint. (San Jose Mercury News
March 31, 2008)

Kiesle was sent to state prison for at least six years in 2004 for molesting a child in 1995 at his Truckee vacation home. (Oakland Tribune [California]
Downloaded February 1, 2004)

As of April 2010, Kiesle was living in Walnut Creek, CA with his wife, as a registered sex offender. (Santa Cruz Sentinel
April 9, 2010)

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1973-1981).

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Kiesle's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as they are reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on May 4, 2010

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