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News Release

Friday, September 27, 2002

Media Relations

LAPD Detectives Track Down and Arrange Arrest of Another Former Priest

"LAPD Detectives Track Down and Arrange Arrest of Another Former Priest"

 

Los Angeles: Today at approximately 2:45 p.m. local time, former catholic priest, 82 year-old George Neville Rucker, was arrested on a warrant alleging 23 counts of lewd acts with a child under 14 years old. These acts occurred while Rucker was a priest with the Los Angeles Archdiocese, and the victims were students at elementary catholic schools in the Los Angeles Area. The earliest reported abuse occurred in 1947 at the St. Alphonsus Parish in East Los Angeles. The most recently reported sexual assaults occurred in 1977 at the St. Agatha Parish in Los Angeles.

On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, detectives of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit expected the surrender of Mr. Rucker, pursuant to a warrant for his arrest, signed on September 24, 2002. However, Detectives Virginia Emme and James Brown were advised that he was out of the country on a cruise. By noon, the detectives located Mr. Rucker on a cruise ship that was at-sea. The cruise ship departed from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Monday, September 23, 2002. During the course of their investigation, detectives learned that the ship would pass through the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, on or around late Thursday to early Friday.

Over the next 24 hours, Detectives Emme and Brown continued their investigation of this case, networking with representatives of the United States Coast Guard, Alaskan law enforcement officials, and officers of the cruise line in an effort to determine whether or not Mr. Rucker could be brought to the nearest port and delivered to law enforcement. Coincidentally, the ship encountered very rough seas and a crewmember was injured. The nature of the injuries necessitated the crewmember receive immediate medical attention, and the ship was diverted to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.

While in the Harbor, at the request of the Los Angeles Police Department, Alaska State Troopers boarded the ship and took Mr. Rucker into custody. He was brought to shore where he is being detained on a felony warrant alleging 23 counts of lewd acts with a child under 14 years old. Bail is set at one million dollars. Mr. Rucker will remain in custody in Unalaska, Alaska pending an extradition hearing or his waiver of extradition.

Please direct all further inquiries regarding this case to Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.