Former Catholic priest, Christopher John Cunningham, was charged with 12 felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, according to L.A. District Attorney George Gascon.
The allegations in the charges against Cunningham date back as far as 1995 while serving as an associate pastor at a Palmdale church.
“The victims were innocent children who have spent most of their lives with the trauma caused by the abuse alleged in this case,” District Attorney George Gascón said in the statement. “My office is committed to holding accountable anyone who abuses and takes advantage of our children, especially when they hold a position of trust.”
Cunningham allegedly sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy twice at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmdale back in 1995, then again in 1997. He is also accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy at Saint Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church in Redondo Beach on two occasions between 1998 and 2001. At the same church and same time frame, Cunningham is accused of assaulting a 10-year-old boy multiple times.
There is also allegations that Cunningham sexually assaulted a young boy at his home between 1996 and 1998.
The case is still under investigation by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau and Cunningham will be scheduled an arraignment at a later date.