Father Jeffrey Newell

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Jeffrey Newell Reverend Jeffrey Newell gives mass at a church in the northern border city of Tijuana, Mexico . US Church officials said Rev. Newell was supposed to never work around children again after he was accused of child molestation while serving in the Los Angeles archdiocese sixteen years ago. Now the discovery that Newell is serving in the Diocese of Tijuana has led to a lawsuit filed on June 22 against the Los Angeles archdiocese alleging that church leaders engaged in fraud and negligence by allowing Newell to continue serving as a priest long after his alleged crimes were reported
Mexico US Church Abuse Fraud, Tijuana, Mexico

Since 1990, outed sex offender Father Jefferey Newell has repeatedly defiled countless children entrusted to him, liable for the mental and physical trauma to his young victims.

Father Jeffrey David Newell

also known as Father Newell

Father Newell’s repeated pattern of sexual child abuse has gone publicly unaddressed by the Roman Catholic Church, allowing for Fr. Newell to continue serving uninformed, vulnerable families and children within the Hispanic community today. Rather held accountable and stripped of authority for his crimes, Fr. Newell was promoted, praised, and present in the lives of innocent victims for decades, despite multiple complaints recorded and false promises of justice made.

Assignment History

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“Catholic bishops in Mexico and the U.S should feel ashamed for having allowed this dangerous cleric to be close to children…”

-David Clohessy (Director of the Survivors Network of Prisoners Abused)

Articles and Resources

California man accuses Catholic church of fraud

The 20-year-old college student was working as a youth minister with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles when he revealed a long-buried secret to church authorities: He had been molested by a priest for several years, beginning when the cleric was first a youth minister and then a seminarian.

LA Archdiocese Statement on Vatican Ruling Regarding Father Jeffrey Newell

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles reported that the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura of the Vatican has ruled that Father Jeffrey Newell is and always has been a priest incardinated in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

4 Suspended Pedophile Priests

Four parish priests of the city are suspended from their work in the Catholic Church because they are accused of committing alleged acts of pedophilia, one of them, Jeffrey Newell, was reduced to the secular state, and no longer can he officiate Mass or preach the gospel.

Predator Priest on the run in Southern California

Priest Jeffrey Newell has been suspended by the Catholic Church for sexually abusing children in Tijuana. This is the second time Newell has been sanctioned for his actions.

7 priests suspended in Mexico pending abuse probe

The Roman Catholic Church in Mexico confirmed on Friday that it has suspended seven priests, including one accused of abuse while serving in Los Angeles, from its diocese in the border city of Tijuana pending an investigation into alleged sexual harassment and abuse.

18 Pastors are named as Pedophiles

At the beginning of May of this year, Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz confirmed to the Presbyterial Council of the Archdiocese that five Tijuana priests were suspended, suspected of committing acts of pederasty, which
are under investigation For the Vatican. One of which was Father Jeffrey Newell.

Arzobispo de Tijuana supo de acoso sexual de curas y no hizo nada

Archbishop Rafael Romo Munoz knew for two years accusations, allegations and complaints against priests for sexual harassment of children and allowed them to continue in the church. Three investigations by various agencies provided enough for the Vatican to order temporary suspension of seven priests.

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Timeline of Father Jeffrey David Newell Lambert

  • June 9, 1990: Ordained

    Ordained and assigned to St. Raphael Catholic Church, Goleta, CA. Under the supervision of Pastor Stephen Downs, Fr. Newell is tasked with giving ministry to Spanish Speaking communities.

    From the beginning Fr. Newell is given access to minors with formal tasks including associate pastor, youth group ministry, ministry of the sick, and Hispanic ministry.

  • 1990 – 1991 : Signs of Misconduct

    Supervisor of Fr. Newell, Stephen Down later testifies that in the first 11 months that Newell was at St. Raphael’s, Newell would talk and joke regularly about the numerous 12-step programs* that Newell attended.

    * 12 step programs refers to various peer support groups which are known to treat people with disorders, addictions, and mental conditions.

  • Mid 1991: Newell’s First Recorded Abuse

    A formal complaint is made by a young man that he was sexually abused by Newell at the seminary while Newell was a priest. The victim is assured by the RCALA that Newell will never work with youth again.

    Newell’s first victim comes only after a year of his ordainment.

  • May 1991: Clerical Response to Newell

    In light of Newell’s accusations, Downs reports to the RCALA* to remove Newell and send him to St. Luke’s in Maryland for Newell to receive proper treatment for his alcoholism and “sexaholic” tendencies with young adults.

    Instructed by the RCALA not to tell the community of parishioners, Downs withholds the truth. Downs pacifies them by telling them to pray for Newell’s return.

    Father Carlos Rene Rodriguez, (later discovered also to be a sex offender) begins doing supply work for Pastor Downs in Newell’s absence.

    * Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

    * St. Luke Institute is one of several well known in-patient hospitals that treats pedophiles. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has sent many of their accused priests to St. Luke Institute for treatment.

  • January 9, 1992: Newell’s Return to the Parish

    Returning to St. Raphael’s from St. Luke’s, a support team is created to monitor Newell. The team is made up of Pastor Downs, Youth Minister Denis Santos, and School Principal Ellen Manning. Father Carlos Rene Rodriguez is still working at the parish upon Newell’s return.

  • 1992-1993: Newell Youth Outreach and Organizations

    Newell creates many programs at the church including a popular youth program and Spanish ministries. One former parishioner states, “Father Jeff Newell had deep passion to reach the youth. At that time, I noticed that he increased the number of youth coming to Mass, especially the Spanish community.”

    Newell begins visiting Spanish families in the farm areas of Goleta where he begins a regular practice of saying mass on the farms in the “bunkhouse.” Men, women, and children are present. He says these masses once or twice a week, in the evenings on weekdays.

    Newell also joins an organization known as the Knights of Columbus and is named a “lifetime member” his name makes an appearance in the newsletter well for years to come until 2015.

  • 1993: Newell’s Formal Removal by RCALA

    Downs is informed by Vicar of Clergy, Tim Dyer that the RCALA is pulling Newell out. Newell leaves St. Raphael’s as a result of his removal and goes to live with his mother in Simi Valley.

  • June 22, 1993: “A Few Minutes of Prayer in the Home”

    Newell incorporates and leads a business called “A Few Minutes of Prayer in the Home” a California non-profit religious organization for the purpose of providing information on liturgical readings. He is named the director for the corporation.

  • 1994: Newell Relocates to Tijuana

    According to self-accounts, Newell became a Chaplin and associate Pastor at Nuestro Señora de la Encarnacón (Our Lady of the Incarnation) Catholic Church in Tijuana in 1994. He became Pastor of that church in 2000.

    He takes on the name Jeffrey David (his first and middle names), effectively removing “Newell” from any association to himself, though his formal name remains the same.

  • 1994: Newell Continues Under the Church

    Maintaining his position as director of A Few Minutes of Prayer in the Home, he establishes a printing publisher called the Pith Press, which serves to distribute written information about liturgical readings. He operates this business out of Our Lady of the Incarnation Church in T.J. while maintaining non-profit corporate standing with the Secretary of State in California.

    Newell also creates a website for his small nonprofit business in 1994, and creates a publishing newsletter The Prayer Times.

  • 2008: Broken Promises are Rediscovered

    In 2008, the 1991 victim who filed a complainant found the profile of Father Jeffrey Newell, on the MySpace social network. Promised by St. Raphael Parish at the time that he would no longer work with youth ever again, his victim is stunned to discover Newell is still in the church, located in the Camino Verde neighborhood of Tijuana. Newell’s MySpace paged contained photographs of him with children and several teenagers.

    Newell continued to work in Tijuana under his Jeffrey David alias, hiding his punishments and history of abuse for years.

  • June 22, 2010: Lawsuit against RCALA

    On June 22, 2010, the complainant filed a lawsuit against the Church of Los Angeles for fraud on the grounds that the RCALA mislead the complainant about Newell and was negligent in allowing Newell to continue as a priest.

  • Father Newell Unfazed

    Despite all accusations and lawsuits, Newell is continually championed by his ministry and lauded for his creation of “A Few Minutes Of Prayer in the Home”

  • Expansion of Newell’s Reach In New Mediums

    Newell begins a radio program called Koinonía Radio and promotes himself as “the spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Tijuana” or “the voice of the Church.” The radio station and programming, of which Newell is the host, broadcasts daily for the entire Archdiocese of Tijuana, also reaching Tecate, Rosarito, and the dioceses of Ensenada and San Diego, California.

    Newell operates the radio station outside of his parish church and becomes and official organization of the RCATJ* legitimatizing his radio station on February 1st, 2010.

    *RCATJ, shorthand for Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Tijuana.

  • 2011: Newell Praised and Granted a New Facility

    His organization, the Community Koinonía…which includes the radio station and the Pith Press…is given a new facility by the RCATJ to operate away from Our Lady of the Incarnation. The new facility is officially blessed by Bishop Muñez on March 25, 2011

    Newell is also named Ecclesiastical Advisor to the Bishop, Monsignor Rafael Romo Munez on July 21,2011 through a decree.

  • 2012: Cases Of Sexual Abuse Investigated

    Between June and July 2012, Eduardo Ortiz, then rector of the Tijuana Seminary, began documenting the cases of alleged sexual abuse within the Church. Based on accusations, accusations, suspicions and testimonies of victims and witnesses, the cleric prepared a file with the names of the accused priests.

    This dossier was delivered to the Apostolic Nunciature in Mexico, which, in turn, sent it to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican.

    In October 2012, the Archbishop of Tijuana, Rafael Romo Muñoz, was notified by the apostolic nuncio, Christoph Pierre, that the priests would be investigated for the accusations against him.


    March 2013-April 2014: Archbishop Launches Investigation

    Archbishop Muñoz had knowledge of the cases that had happened under his jurisdiction. Prepared with a team of priests, the leader of the Church of Hermosillo, began the investigation until March 2013, nine months after the registration of the cases.

    In April 2014, the Vatican notified the results to the Archbishop Romo Muñoz. Previous inquiries found sufficient evidence to temporarily suspend parish priests, who were separated from their churches.

    The following priests were forbidden to exercise the priesthood and, therefore, the sacraments. They could not celebrate Mass, nor hear confession, nor accompany apostolic groups.

    Among these priests was Father Newell.

  • June 2014: Newell Adresses his Absence to his Community

    Newell writes the following in celebration of his 24th anniversary as a priest: “I apologize if you’ve had difficulty contacting me lately. A Few Minutes of Prayer in the Home, Inc. has been located in the parish church of Our Lady of the Encarnacíon. However, the Archbishop [Muñoz] recently requested that I leave the parish and installed Father Israel Angeles Gil as Pastor. My new (and old) role is that of A Few Minutes of Prayer in the Home, Inc. [and the RCATJ’s] Koinonía Radio, and Communidad Koinonía. I am gratefully to the Archbishop for this because the parish is enormous, and I was simply wearing too many hats and unable to do dedicate my time as the parish deserved. However, this move also requires that we physically change our address and start some new traditions…”

  • Sep-Nov 2014: Newell Continues his Religious Ventures

    Newell and his business continue working under the financial support of the RCATJ and is given another, newly built location to operate a new “Media Center” for the RCATJ. Archbishop Muños blesses the new construction in September 2014.

    Newell informs his readers that he will be assigned a new Parish in November 2014.

  • 2015-2016: Continued Support Amidst Controversy

    Newell continues his work with A Few Minutes of Prayer in the Home, Communidad Koinonía, and the Pith Press into 2015 under full support by the Archbishop.

    In an undisclosed date during 2016, Bishop Munoz exonerates Newell from all charges against him.

  • Latest Residence and Whereabouts


    Newell maintains a residence in Willcox, Arizona where he is loosely associated with the local Parish, Sacred Heart Catholic Church; operating his Pith Press there.

    He is the managing director of RCATJ’s Communidad Koinonía and currently remains an assigned priest at Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, T.J…with full faculties.

    Father Newell remains active in his community and continues his publishing of “A Few Minutes of Prayer in the Home”.

    Jeffrey David Newell still holds his status as a priest today.

Practice Areas

Sexual Abuse
by Clergy
Sexual Abuse
by Teachers
Athletic Coach Abuse
Youth Serving Organizations