The man who accused Bishop Tod Brown of Orange of sexually abusing him in the 1960s spoke publicly for the first time about his allegations Friday, saying he was molested three times when he was a boy living in Bakersfield.
Scott Hicks, 54, said he decided to go public to lend credibility to his allegations. Hicks said he had no desire to take legal action against the bishop or the diocese but believed the public should be aware of his story. Hicks told the Los Angeles Times he hoped his testimony would lead to the bishop’s resignation.
In a telephone interview with the paper Hicks said, "I just want to cause him some trouble. Maybe they'll take him out and send him away.” He also commented, "It would be nice if [this helps] someone else who was affected to be brave enough to come forward."
The bishop has repeatedly denied the accusations. Ryan Lilyengren, a spokesman for the Diocese of Orange, told the Los Angeles Times that the allegations had been thoroughly investigated and were found not credible by law enforcement.
"Bishop Brown was cross-examined extensively regarding this issue by an adversarial lawyer in the presence of a judge with a certified court reporter and fully answered all appropriate questions,” said a press statement released by the diocese on Friday. “The transcript has been made available to the public."
"I have never abused any person sexually or any other way," said the bishop in a recently released court deposition stemming from another unrelated molestation case in Orange County. The bishop said he was "shocked by the accusation" when church officials first brought it to his attention in July 1997.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Kern County Dist. Atty. Edward R. Jagels said he vaguely remembered his office reviewing the case and determining that it amounted to a "completely uncorroborated allegation."