San Luis Obispo church pastor accused of groping and alcohol abuse

December 3, 2019

Pastor Thom O’Leary


Amid allegations of groping and alcohol abuse, one of San Luis Obispo’s most prominent churches has placed its lead pastor on leave, pending the outcome of an investigation.

Thom O’Leary has served as the lead pastor of Mountainbrook Church in San Luis Obispo for more than 22 years, according to his personal website. O’Leary also serves as the chaplain for both the Cal Poly football team and the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Additionally, he serves on the SLO Police Chief’s Roundtable. Police officials said the department is not investigating the allegations against O’Leary.

O’Leary has also led a prayer beside President Donald Trump. The president described O’Leary as a “great pastor.”

Mountainbrook Church has not disclosed the specifics of why O’Leary is under investigation. But church officials have described the allegations as serious and credible.

“After launching an outside investigation of some serious allegations of some inappropriate behaviors, we have found the accusations credible,” Mountainbrook board member Bruce Burton said in remarks delivered at the church on Sunday.

Local author Tina Swithin, a member of the church, stated in a Facebook post that O’Leary is accused of groping interns and/or staff members, as well as other acts, including showing up at church and around town intoxicated.

“One of the victims is a woman I know… a very credible woman,” Swithin wrote in the Facebook post. “It has happened to her several times.”

Swithin said O’Leary is a man she looked up to and maybe even idolized and who led her away from being agnostic to becoming a member of a church. She also stated O’Leary baptized her and her daughters, and he had restored her faith that there were still really good men in the world.

Mountainbrook Church has also placed O’Leary’s wife, Sherri O’Leary, on leave. Sherry O’Leary, too, is a pastor at the church.

The San Luis Obispo church is expected to disclose more information about the investigation at a meeting scheduled for Sunday.


I don’t know whether the Pastor is guilty or innocent. Neither does the rest of the public.

Let the investigation play out before you hang somebody. This could be you or one of your family members in situation like this one day. If he’s guilty then he should pay the price, if he’s innocent let him get back to the pulpit… i was taught as young man innocent until proven guilty…


There are topics and events where comments reveal more about the person commenting than the event. This is one of those times.



What are the topics and events where comments do not reveal more about the person commenting than the event?


Tight pants will do it to you every time.


God’s will. Can’t have forgiveness without sin.


Just have Chief Cantrell and her gestapo cops conduct the investigation and I’m sure we will find the truth, cough cough. If the pastor is as tight with the chief as he thinks he’ll be found innocent for sure.


Another fake prophet preaching the good word. And him and the current president have something in common, And Bill Clinton too! Wonder if he was Epsteins friend as well. There’s a place in the bible for folks like this.


“O’Leary has also led a prayer beside President Donald Trump.” LOL!!!!




Vigilant Citizen

In this day of news reporting, it seems that allegations are reported more often and with more fervor than investigations that close without indictment. Will there be a follow up if nothing is found, probably not.


Nice cover up, I sincerely doubt these allegations are fake and let a cover up begin! Thank you CCN for your reporting, regardless of people’s social or religious standing, shame on this man, and so many others like him. It takes courage to stand up to people like him.


“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

That said, it now seems that there is another article of impeachment here:

” O’Leary has also led a prayer beside President Donald Trump. The president described O’Leary as a “great pastor.” ”

Right? ;-)


Wrong, his offenses of lying under oath regarding his adultery, bribery, and lawsuites don’t need this pastor perverts help to constitute impeachment. Poor Melania, but hey, she has citizenship now, and her family too, expedited using executive privilege.



Even as I reside in the 60% of Americans who do not trust government, I believe that

Man’s law ought to be brought down hard on us all.

Especially the lawmakers. Especially NOW.

Without Law, Order is tough if not impossible to keep.

George Garrigues

Much better coverage than in this morning’s Trib, where we had to turn to Page 2 to see what the charges were. It would be better, though, if the CCN report had indicated whether its reporter had tried to get a comment from the other principals in this case.


Never seen a front page article continued to another page? Not much of a newspaper reader are you?