Second alleged victim testifies against former priest

The Associated Press
Saturday March 23, 2002

SANTA ROSA — Testifying against her former priest, a woman said the man molested her when she was 13 and came to him seeking advice on a romantic dilemma. 

The woman, now 34, is the second purported victim to testify against Donald Wren Kimball, a youth minister in Santa Rosa now on trial for molestation charges. 

The woman said she visited Kimball at St. John’s rectory in Healdsburg after she felt confused by passes from a boy five years older than her. 

She told jurors that Kimball lured her into his bed, where he sexually assaulted her. 

“He continued to ask me about what I did and didn’t know sexually,” she said, sometimes crying while on the stand. “I felt like I should know more than I did, and I did not want to disappoint him.” 

The woman said the activity stopped when she pulled Kimball’s hand from her pants and insisted that he drive her home. 

Defense lawyer Chris Andrian said the woman’s courtroom testimony differed slightly from two other lengthy interviews, including her deposition in a civil suit. Andrian questioned her memory of the incident. 

“Frankly, nobody wants to remember being molested, so you do at some point block it,” she said. “The incidents that happened between me and Don stand out very vividly in my mind.” 

Kimball, 58, faces a criminal charge of rape in the case of a 14-year-old girl in 1977 and two charges of lewd conduct for allegedly molesting the 13-year-old girl in 1981 in Healdsburg. 

Kimball has not been defrocked, but he is not allowed to serve as a priest. 

During the two weeks of trial, two alleged victims and five corroborating witnesses have testified they were molested by Kimball. 

They have said he encouraged them to be open and receptive to touch so they could experience God’s love. 

The Rev. John Steinbock, a former bishop of the Santa Rosa Archdiocese, also testified that Kimball admitted that he molested teen-agers.