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Marshal's Office Nabs Perverted Arizona Ex-Priest Outside Church in San Francisco

By Ray Stern

When Wilputte Alanson "Lan" Sherwood (pictured) blew off his lifetime probation in Arizona three years ago and went into hiding, those who knew about this case must have cringed.

Sherwood, a former Catholic priest who just spent 10 years in prison for sexual conduct with a minor, apparently "kept extensive logs and video tapes of many of his sexual encounters with numerous underage boys," says a press release put out today by the U.S. Marshal's office in Phoenix. The sheer numbers in the case are astounding:

It has been reported Sherwood targeted over 3,600 individuals for sexual interludes spanning 12 years and five different parishes. It is estimated Sherwood had over 1,800 sexual affairs resulting from Sherwood roaming the streets of Phoenix targeting hitchhikers and runaways.

Law officers including deputy marshals and task force members from Phoenix and northern California finally caught up to Sherwood yesterday as he was leaving services at the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco.

The press release by Marshal David Gonzales' office includes a couple of non-governmenal Web site links that bring attention to the wider sexual misconduct problems within the Catholic Church.

The first is to an Associated Press article about Sherwood's release from prison -- interestingly, the Marshal's office found the article posted on a Web site dedicated to "documenting the abuse crisis in the Roman Crisis Church." Gonzales also links to a 1993 Phoenix New Times article by Michael Lacey that says disgraced former Bishop Thomas O'Brien was the man truly responsible for Sherwood's depraved serial crimes. Lacey writes in that article:

Make no mistake. Reverend Lan Sherwood was the perpetrator, but Bishop O'Brien was the facilitator.

Yet even as the cops close the door on this case, others are opening in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

The facilitators still reign.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern