Black Collar Crime (Nov. 2018)
Compiled by Bill Dunn
Arrested / Charged
David English Jr., 33, Joanna, SC: 2nd-degree domestic violence and unlawful conduct toward a child. English, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Clinton, is accused of assaulting his wife, Jennifer Bunting English, and of being aware of her drug addiction and of taking her to buy illegal drugs.
Bunting English, 31, is charged with kidnapping and unlawful conduct toward a child for taking a 2-month-old child she was babysitting to her home and refusing to communicate with the mother. The child was recovered 3 hours later. Source: WYFf, 9-24-18
Franco Mulakkal, 54, Jalandhar, India: Rape. Mulakkal, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jalandhar, is accused of raping a Missionaries of Jesus nun in her 40s at least 13 times in 2014-16. The Vatican relieved him of his duties at his request.
The alleged victim filed a 114-page police complaint in June and also accused Mulakkal of sending her inappropriate text messages and obscene photos. He denied the allegations and said he’ll accept the death penalty if they’re proven. India has about 27 million Christians, about 2.3% of the population. Source: BBC/Washington Post, 9-21-18
Gary Miller, 41, Springfield, IL: Forcible rape and forcible sodomy. Miller was pastor in 2012 at Sycamore Baptist Church when his accuser said she got a letter from an anonymous sender that threatened harm against her loved ones if she didn’t video herself having sex with Miller. After she told Miller, they met and he allegedly told her he didn’t want to have sex but felt like he had no choice.
The woman eventually gave in and Miller recorded the encounter, an affidavit said, and he then tucked her into bed and prayed with her. Police only recently became aware of the alleged scheme while they were investigating other abuse allegations against Miller. Source: News-Leader, 9-19-18
James C. Landes, 28, Bryan, TX: Online solicitation of a minor. Landes, junior high youth minister at First United Methodist Church, is charged with arranging to have sex with an undercover officer he thought was a 14-year-old girl. He allegedly agreed to meet at a public park during a work break but later messaged the officer that he couldn’t because of time constraints, adding he would “make it up to you.” Source: Bryan Eagle, 9-16-18
Shin Ok-ju, pastor of Grace Road Church, and 3 senior church leaders were arrested in S. Korea and charged with beating church members in Korea and others who had relocated with them in 2014 to Fiji to escape a predicted famine. It’s also alleged she confiscated passports, forced people to work without pay and perform ritual beatings on each other on so-called “threshing floors.” The church has branches around the world, including in the U.S.
Videos show Shin calling members forward during her sermons, hitting them on the face and pulling and cutting their hair. In one she tells a girl to slap a woman, believed to be her mother, while saying “you’re hitting the cheeks of the enemy.” The girl hits the woman 25 times. Later the woman is shown repeatedly hitting the girl and pulling her hair. Source: The Guardian, 9-16-18
José U. Rendon, 52, Nacogdoches, TX: Continuous sexual abuse of a child. Rendon, pastor at Iglesia Templo De Fe, is accused of more than 50 assaults on a child in 2004-05. Rendon had agreed to meet with investigators but never showed up and is considered a fugitive from justice. Source: Morning Telegraph, 9-13-18
Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, 60, Richmond, TX: 4 counts of indecency with a child. He’s accused of offenses when he was pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe. A girl who attended the parish school where he taught alleged in 2001 to the Archdiocese of Houston-Galveston that La Rosa-Lopez kissed her and touched her breasts in April 2000 in the church kitchen after a rehearsal for “The Passion of the Christ” play. He allegedly told her they couldn’t have sex until she turned 16.
In August 2018, a 36-year-old man alleged to the archdiocese that the priest molested him when he was a high school student between 1998 and October 1999.
Daniel DiNardo, archbishop since 2006 and now a cardinal, has come under fire recently. The woman alleged DiNardo promised her several years after she reported the abuse that La Rosa-Lopez would be removed from any contact with children but later found out he remained in active ministry at St. John Fisher Parish, about 70 miles away.
The man said he was told that reports were filed with civil authorities but, according to court documents, a police investigator searched for those records and didn’t find any. Source: KTRK, 8-12-18
Dmitri J. Daniels, 18, Miami Gardens, FL: Sexual battery. Daniels, a parishioner and youth volunteer at Mt. Pisgah Seventh-day Adventist Church, allegedly assaulted a 5-year-old girl. “He had shown the victim in this case pornographic materials and in essence demonstrated or showed her what he wanted her to do,” said police Capt. Al Xiques, adding that Daniels “had the opportunity to be around children on a regular basis.” Source: CBS Miami, 9-11-18
Christian Ohazulume, 50, Dorchester, MA: 3 counts of aggravated indecent assault and battery of a child under 14. Ohazulume, a Catholic priest and chaplain at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is accused of assaulting a girl when she was 7 or 8 in 2007 when he lived with her family after coming from Nigeria. Source: KTRK, 9-11-18
Kristina L. Casey, 48, Vermilion, OH: 3 counts of theft. Casey, treasurer at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Lorain, is charged with writing about $80,000 worth of unauthorized checks to herself. Source: Morning Journal, 9-10-18
Sean E. Gaines, 43, Hampton, VA: 3 counts of indecent liberties with child by custodian and 7 counts of carnal knowledge of a child 13 to 15 years old. Gaines, pastor at Empowerment Temple and former pastor at Rising St. James Pentecostal Holiness Church, allegedly took a girl who was living with his family to a hotel to have sex. He’s married with 2 children. The girl told police their relationship started in May 2017 and ended in February. Source: WAVY, 9-7-18
Pāvels Zeila, 73, a Catholic priest in eastern Latvia, is accused of sexual abuse of a person in a state of helplessness. “One of the suspects delivered the defenseless victim for a fee. The church representative, who was the end buyer, paid the fee and then committed violent sexual crimes against the victim,” said Armands Lubarts, chief of a police task force on human trafficking in Riga. Source: Radio Latvia, 9-6-18
Charles T. Hanel, 61, Pewaukee, WI: 2nd-degree sexual assault. Hanel, pastor at Queen of Apostles Catholic Parish, is accused of groping a 13-year-old girl’s breast and leg in the confessional in December 2017. He denies the allegation.
The girl, who was a lector and altar server, reported the incident to police as Hanel was preparing to return to the parish from a months-long sabbatical, the complaint said, and she told her father she thought Hanel was “creepy” and “weird.” Source: Journal Sentinel, 9-5-18
Robert W. Rector, 29, Vancouver, WA: Assault with sexual motivation and 4 counts of child molestation. Rector, a volunteer youth leader at New Heights Church and with other church and civic groups, is charged with assaults on 3 teen boys on church trips or sleepovers at his home as long ago as a decade.
One boy alleged he woke up with his genitals exposed and Rector standing over him with a camera. Source: KGW, 9-5-18
Diego L. Berrio, 39, Arlington Heights, IL, and Edwin G. Cortez, 30, Chicago: Lewd and lascivious behavior. Cortez is also charged with indecent exposure. Both are Catholic priests and are accused of having oral sex in a parked black Volkswagen at South Beach in Miami Beach, FL. Source: WTOP, 9-4-18
Kevin Berry, Sedgwick, KS: Aggravated indecent liberties with a child between 14-16 years old. Berry, pastor at First Christian Church, is accused of inappropriate behavior with a girl “on numerous occasions” in 2016-17, starting when she was 14.
The girl told investigators Berry talked about his lust for women in her youth group “while looking right at her and her cousin.” Another time, she alleged, he opened up her jacket and stared at her breasts while commenting “Not too bad,” adding that “his hand cupped the side of her breast and that he was fondling his penis on the outside of his clothes.” Source: KWCH, 9-4-18
Kehinde S. Omosebi, 49, and Titilayno A. Omosebi, 48, Reedsburg, WI: Child neglect causing death and child neglect causing great bodily harm. The husband and wife are charged in the death of their 15-year-old son, who died Aug. 31 during a 44-day religious fast. He and his brother, 11, hadn’t eaten since mid-July, police said. The brother was so weak he couldn’t walk out of the home.
Titilayno Omosebi was also emaciated but refused medical treatment for religious reasons. Her husband described himself as a pastor affiliated with Cornerstone Reformation Ministries, but authorities believe he made that up and was never ordained.
Kehinde Omosebi told police this was the family’s longest fast and that they were waiting for a “blessing from God” that would ease their impending move to Atlanta. The younger son was holding a bible when police arrived. Source: WISC, 9-3-18
Dennis R. Creason, 48, Bonner Springs, KS: 3 counts of aggravated indecent liberties/lewd touching of a child under age 14. Creason, co-founder with his wife Robin of Oaklawn Christian School, is charged with incidents involving 3 girls between January 2015 and August 2018 when they were about 6, 8 and 10 years old.
“In 2003 God led them to build their first school,” Oaklawn’s website said, announcing a building project. “For the last two years we have been ‘pregnant’ with Church for Children, and have reached the season to birth that vision.” Source: Kansas City Star, 8-30-18
Kevin “Scott” Heffner, 48, Pelham, NC: 12 counts of disseminating obscene materials and 2 counts of statutory sex offense. Heffner, pastor of Victory Baptist Church and principal of Victory Baptist Academy, allegedly sent “photographs of his genitalia” to a person younger than 15 between June 15 and Aug. 29. Source: Charlotte Observer, 8-30-18
Seven residents of Monsey and Kiryas Joel, NY, including Rabbi Aron Melber, face various counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud from 2010-16 for an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain $14 million from a federal school technology program meant to help underprivileged children. Others charged are Peretz Klein, Susan Klein, Ben Klein, Simon Goldbrener, Sholem Steinberg and Moshe Schwartz.
The suspects are accused of using the money “to pad their own bank accounts,” said William Sweeney, FBI assistant director in charge, calling it especially brazen because Hasidic religious schools often bar students from using the internet and other types of technology the funding covers. Source: NBC New York, 8-29-18
Ryan T. Pick, 40, Woodbridge, VA: Proposing sex to a minor and 4 counts of sex offense with a minor by computer. Pick is choir leader at St. Paul United Methodist Church and a music teacher at Cameron Elementary School. Authorities didn’t release details of the alleged offenses. He was choral director in the 2010 fall semester at Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School but resigned for personal reasons in December 2010. Source: WTOP, 8-29-18
Murray Ramnarine, 67, Ocala, FL: Lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons younger than 16 and sexual offenses against a student by an authority figure. Ramnarine, an administrator and teacher at Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church School and a church elder, is accused of making sexual advances on at least 4 occasions to a 12-year-old girl and telling her he wanted to marry her when she turned 18.
She told authorities she spurned his advances. Once, she alleged, he gave her a Twix ice cream bar and asked if he could get bits of it off her lips by kissing her. Source: ocala.com, 8-29-18
Bhante S. Sujay, Bodh Gaya, India: Child sexual abuse. Sujay, head monk at a Buddhist meditation center that’s a popular destination for pilgrims, is accused of molesting an unspecified number of children and beating them if they didn’t cooperate. Most are between age 6 and 14. Source: NDTV, 8-29-18
Pleaded / Convicted
W. Thomas Faucher, 72, Boise, ID: Pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and 4 counts of possession and distribution of sexually exploitative material. Faucher, pastor at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, was charged in February with 24 counts after police allegedly found thousands of files containing child pornography, as well as marijuana, LSD and ecstasy at his home.
“I do not remember sending that,” Faucher said in court about an email he sent with child porn. “I was not in good shape. I was drinking a great deal and under an alcohol-induced depression and dementia.” The judge refused to lower Faucher’s $1 million bond, even though he’s confined to a wheelchair, because he fantasized about “sexual violence toward children.” Source: State Journal, 9-28-18
Andrew Matheason, 65, Graettinger, IA: Pleaded guilty to wire fraud after being charged with misappropriating about $480,000 over 13 years from Bethel Lutheran Church, where he was treasurer and created false financial reports to cover it up. Source: AP, 9-15-18
Jamel Carelock, 28, Baltimore: Pleaded guilty to arson, felony destruction of property and insurance fraud. Carelock, pastor of LEAP Church (Leading, Evangelizing, Assimilating, Proclaiming), admitted setting fire to his apartment in December 2017 and filing a claim for $11,000 damage on a policy he took out 8 days before the fire.
He claimed he was in Georgia at the time of the fire but company records showed his cellphone was a mile away about 5 minutes after the alarm was pulled. Source: WTOP, 8-29-18
Rodney W. McManus, 50, E. Palestine, OH: 3 years in prison after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual conduct with a minor. He was charged with molesting a girl from NewLife Outreach Church, where he was pastor, from January 2014 to July 2017. Source: Morning Journal, 9-22-18
Joshua Clemons, 35, Parker, CO: 4 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and attempted sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. Clemons was a youth pastor at Crossroads Community Church from 2006-15. Sentencing is pending in a related case. Source: KDVR, 9-21-18
John M. Scheline, 41, Pasco, WA: 58 months in prison after pleading guilty to attempted rape of a child. Scheline, executive director of Ignite Youth Mentoring and former pastor at Faith Assembly, was among 26 men arrested in a 2017 online sting that used ads to identify would-be predators. Source: AP, 9-21-18
José V. Morales, 51, Phoenix: 13 years in prison and lifetime probation after pleading guilty to molestation of a child, sexual abuse and 3 counts of attempted molestation of a child for assaults on multiple underage girls while he was pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Impacto De Fe.
Court records said assaults occurred in the 1990s and from 2007-11 with victims as young as 7. He was also accused of impregnating a girl when she was 13. Source: AZ Republic, 9-16-18
Roger D. Williams, 52, Shelbyville, KY: 63 months in prison and $1.3 million in restitution after pleading guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. Williams, pastor at King Branch Road Church of Christ, started offering bogus investment opportunities in 2001 as part of membership in an “investment club.” He provided victims, many of whom were elderly or church members, fake IRS forms to document their supposed investments. Source: News Sentinel, 9-15-18
Jason E. Kennedy, 48, Knoxville, TN: 30 days in jail and 6 years’ probation after pleading guilty to solicitation of a minor for commercial sex. Kennedy was children’s minister at Grace Baptist Church in May 2016 when he offered an undercover agent $100 to have sex with an underage girl. Upon completion of probation, the father of 3 could have the felony conviction removed from his record and his name removed from the sexual offender registry.
Zubin Parakh, 34, Oak Ridge, volunteer creative minister at LifeHouse Church, was arrested in the same sweep. Resolution of his case is pending. Source: News Sentinel, 9-4-18
Michael S. Grieve, 74, Naracoorte, Australia: 3 years in prison with 2 years suspended after pleading guilty to 9 counts of indecent assault against 9 underage boys from 1982-85 when he was a Presbyterian pastor.
At sentencing, Judge Gordon Barrett said the conduct involved “getting them over your lap and smacking them on the bottom while they were clothed.” He mentioned previous convictions, including 2 convictions for which Grieve was sentenced in 2003. Source: Naracoorte Herald, 8-31-18
Chauncey Walker, 48, Wichita, KS: 95 months in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated indecent liberties with a child and aggravated indecent solicitation of a child for molesting a 15-year-old girl while he worked at Word of Life Church as a youth pastor, teacher and soccer coach.
Her civil suit alleges Walker molested her “at least two to four times a week from June 2012 to June 2015” (288 times at minimum) and that the church and senior pastor Robert Rotola Sr., neglected to supervise him and tried to cover up allegations once they surfaced. Source: Wichita Eagle, 8-29-18
James Rankin, 79, Hurst, TX: 8 years’ probation and $800 fine after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. Rankin, associate pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church, was also ordered to post a sign at his home saying “A person on probation for a child sex offense lives here.”
He was arrested after Best Buy employees alerted police about images on a computer he’d brought in for repair. He told police he used the porn to research “a possible lesson involving Cupid, love and human trafficking.” Source: Star-Telegram, 8-29-18
Civil Lawsuits Filed
A Hawaii man suing the Diocese of Honolulu and the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers alleges he was molested in the 1980s as a child by Catholic priest James Jackson. It’s at least the 6th such accusation against Jackson, who died in 2005. It’s the first suit under a new law that opens a retroactive window for sexual abuse suits even if statutes of limitations have expired. Source: Hawaii News Now, 9-10-18
Michael Giordano, O’Fallon, IL, and 4 other Catholic Church employees are being sued by “Jane Doe,” who alleges Giordano harassed and molested her from 2009-14 while he was a coach at St. Clare Catholic School. He was 58 in 2009 and she was in 8th grade. Defendants include 3 former school principals and current athletic director Thomas Fischer, alleged to have covered up the abuse. Source: News-Democrat, 8-29-18
Brad Tebbutt, a youth pastor on leave from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, is accused by Jennifer Graves Roach of sexually abusing her for 2½ years in the 1980s, starting when she was 15. Roach, 47, now an ordained Anglican minister and therapist, also alleges in the suit that First Baptist Church officials covered up her abuse in Modesto, CA. Source: Kansas City Star, 8-24-18
Civil Lawsuits Settled
Two Jehovah’s Witnesses entities must pay $35 million to a Montana woman, now 21, who alleged national church leaders told local leaders not to report her sexual abuse as a child by a Thompson Falls congregation member, a jury ruled. A judge has yet to approve the award.
The ruling involved another woman, now 32, allegedly abused by the same family member. The jury dismissed the older woman’s claims because church elders didn’t get notice of her abuse in 1998 as she said they did. Another family member who claimed abuse was not a plaintiff. Elders expelled the abuser in 2004 but reinstated him a year later, the suit alleged, and the abuse continued. Source: AP, 9-28-18
The Archdiocese of Chicago agreed to pay $2.9 million to a victim of pedophile Catholic priest Daniel McCormack. The man, now in his 20s, alleged McCormack abused him twice as a child. A judge in July ordered McCormack to remain indefinitely at a state mental facility, even though he’d served his sentence, after he was deemed a “sexually violent person.” Source: AP, 9-25-18
Four Jewish groups have settled for $14.25 million a suit that included convicted Washington rabbi Barry Freundel as a defendant. Kesher Israel Congregation, the National Capital Mikvah, the Rabbinical Council of America and Beth Din of the USA will have their liability covered by Travelers Insurance.
Freundel was arrested in 2014 for secretly recording about 150 women in a ritual bath. Different classes of victims will get different payments. Victims who prosecutors confirmed had been videotaped will get $25,000 each and some will also be eligible for a supplemental amount. Source: AP, 8-28-18
A judge in Bergen County, NJ, threw out multiple counts of a lawsuit accusing Bergen Catholic High School wrestling coach David Bell of sexual and verbal harassment of wrestler Anthony Asatrian, now 18. Bell has countersued, accusing Asatrian of negligence, false complaint of unprofessional conduct, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other acts.
Bell alleges Asatrian’s father, Harry Asatrian, was aggressive toward wrestling coaches, made anti-Semitic and racially charged comments, secretly switched a scale for weigh-ins and threatened to transfer Anthony to a rival school because Bell took him out of the lineup to give another wrestler a chance.
In an August interview, Anthony said Bell never molested him but made numerous suggestive comments. The county prosecutor’s office announced there would be no criminal charges against Bell. The judge declined to dismiss claims that Anthony suffered emotional distress due to allegations of unwanted sexual advances and text messages from Bell and that Bell disrupted his attempts to transfer to rival high schools. He urged both sides to settle the case before trial. Source: North Jersey Record, 9-8-18
Catholic Church offices in Chile of the Archdiocese of Concepción and the dioceses of Valparaíso, Chillán and Osorno were raided by the state prosecutor’s office as part of the investigation into sexual crimes against minors allegedly committed by church officials. Six other church entities were raided earlier.
Prosecutor Emiliano Arias said his office is investigating 119 cases, about triple the number announced in July. A total of 167 bishops, priests and lay members are under investigation for either committing crimes or covering them up. A recent poll showed 96% of Chileans believe the church systematically covers up abuse. Source: ACI Prensa, 9-15-18
The former nanny of Andy D. Turner, 43, Dallas, GA, was granted a restraining order after she accused the Baptist youth pastor of choking her and threatening her life while they were having consensual sex. Turner’s wife Heather, 35, died of a gunshot wound in May 2017 in their home. Turner claims it was suicide but the medical examiner ruled the cause of death as “undetermined.” The investigation continues, with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation calling her death “questionable.”
Christy Crupp told a reporter that she went out for dinner and drinks with Turner, who has 4 children, about 2 weeks after his wife died. She alleged that in addition to choking her, he said during intercourse that “he told me I should hold Heather’s ashes — that way he could be having sex with both of us.” Source: WGCL, 9-8-18
The Catholic Diocese of San Diego added 8 priests to the list of those credibly accused of molesting children: José Chavarin, Raymond Etienne, J. Patrick Foley, Michael French, Richard Houck, George Lally, Paolino Montagna and Mark Medaer. In 2007 the diocese settled 144 claims of child sexual abuse by 48 priests and 1 lay employee for $198.1 million.
The newly listed priests were accused since the 2007 settlement or reported to the diocese earlier in files that had been tucked away or mislaid, said Bishop Robert McElroy: “They never kept good records on this stuff until recently. They kept records, but not in a very systematic way.” Source: L.A. Times, 9-14-18
Two leaders of the Sistine Chapel Choir in the Vatican are being investigated for money laundering, fraud and embezzlement. Massimo Palombella, a priest and choirmaster, and Michelangelo Nardella, administrative director, deny any wrongdoing.
The Vatican Insider, a website affiliated with the Turin daily La Stampa, wrote that the men are suspected of siphoning money from concert tours. The choir was founded in the 6th century by Pope Gregory the Great and consists of 20 adult professional singers and 35 boys aged 9 to 13. Source: NY Times, 9-13-18
Documents from the Antonio Provolo Institute in La Plata, Argentina, were seized in a raid during a probe of sexual abuse at the Catholic-run school for youths with hearing disabilities. The raid was ordered by a prosecutor investigating “possible crimes against sexual integrity,” an official said. Documents covered the 1987-2018 period. Source: AP, 9-5-18
Removed / Resigned
Donald Wuerl, 77, resigned as Catholic archbishop of Washington in the wake of claims he ignored or downplayed sexual abuse while he was bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. While accepting the resignation, Pope Francis praised Wuerl’s “nobility” in stepping down.
Wuerl will be allowed to retain his place in the section of the Roman Curia that helps pick bishops. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro criticized that decision: “He is now able to retire seemingly with no consequences for his actions.” Catholic school teacher Jack Devlin expressed similar concerns. “The way Pope Francis worded it, it was how you’d word somebody making a little mistake. This is not a little mistake.”
Plaintiff’s attorney Mitchell Garabedian added, “Instead of portraying Cardinal Wuerl as a victim who made some mistakes, Pope Francis should be instructing Cardinal Wuerl to fully reveal [his] role in the coverup while bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh for about 18 years.” Source: NBC News, 10-13-18
Jason Webb, senior pastor at Elmbrook Church since 2014 in Brookfield and Hartland, WI, resigned after admitting to “multiple marital infidelities,” said a letter to parishioners, adding that he’s seeking inpatient treatment for addiction. The nondenominational church founded in 1957 dropped its Baptist affiliation in 1968. Webb’s wife Heather will remain as global partnership director at Elmbrook.
Executive pastor Brodie Swanson resigned in February amid revelations of infidelities with another church staffer, who also resigned. Elmbrook is Wisconsin’s largest faith community and has planted a dozen sister churches. Source: WITI, 9-20-18
José Manuel Ramos, a Catholic priest in the Spanish Diocese of Astorga, was suspended for 10 years and ordered to live in a monastery outside the diocese for alleged child abuse. A church probe concluded Ramos “had committed a serious crime of sexual abuse of minors” between 1981-84. Source: AP, 9-17-18
Sal Caraviello, Winchester, MA, director of ministries for 23 years at St. Mary’s Catholic Parish, was put on leave for unspecified reasons. Richard Erikson, St. Mary’s pastor, called it a “personnel matter” that’s being kept private out of respect for Caraviello.
A church business manager in 2016 raised concerns after noting collections were lower than usual and appeared to always be round numbers. No criminal charges have been brought. Source: Winchester Star, 9-17-18
Rogelio Martinez, pastor of St. Genevieve Catholic Parish in Las Cruces, NM, was put on leave with pay due to multiple accusations of sexual misconduct with adults. Allegations have been reported to the district attorney. Source: Sun-News, 9-16-18
Cristian Precht Bañados, a Chilean Catholic priest serving in the Archdiocese of Santiago, has been defrocked by the Vatican. He was accused of sexual abuse of minors as part of a church probe into allegations against members of the Marist Brothers order. Source: Reuters, 9-16-18
Mark Darling resigned as pastor of Evergreen Church, which has 4 campuses in the Minneapolis area, after a church investigation found he had inappropriate conversations about sex with a woman who was 19 at the time. Other women made similar allegations. Darling, who founded the church, denied the allegations, but the board rescinded his ordination based on its findings. Source: Star Tribune, 9-14-18
Retired Catholic priest John J. Sardina, 86, Depew, NY, was placed on administrative leave due to a sexual abuse complaint, details of which weren’t released. Source: Buffalo News, 9-13-18
Michael J. Bransfield, 75, resigned as bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W.VA. Pope Francis has ordered an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults by Bransfield. He’s also been accused of covering up abuse by other priests. Source: Catholic News Agency, 9-13-18
Barry J. Harmon, 55, a priest from the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, IL, has taken steps to remove himself from the clergy due to “immoral activity inconsistent with the life of a priest,” announced Bishop Thomas Paprocki. He’s been accused of misappropriating about $29,000 from parishes in Vandalia and Ramsey and of possessing pornography that didn’t portray minors. He was also charged with DUI July 31 in Decatur. Source: State Journal-Register, 9-12-18
Mark Inglot, E. Lansing, MI, is on leave from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Parish and St. John Student Center during a probe of “credible” sexual harassment claims by an adult co-worker. Source: State Journal, 9-11-18
David Fleck, Vincennes, IN, was suspended from his duties as a Catholic priest and high school religion teacher due to a sexual abuse allegation from “decades ago,” the Diocese of Evansville announced. Source: WIBC, 9-10-18
Charles Schmitt, 86, a retired priest from the Catholic Diocese of Erie, PA, is prohibited from public ministry and contact with minors because of an allegation of sexual abuse from the 1960s, the diocese said in a statement. Source: WJAC, 9-10-18
Mark Hession, Seekonk, MA, was removed as pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church due to financial irregularities, announced Edgar da Cunha, bishop of Fall River. A “thorough financial review” was conducted with an “emphasis on changes in cash position over the last four years,” he said. “The financial review did find excessive spending by Father Hession in areas such as dining and personal expenses that does not meet acceptable standards.”
Hession must repay the church, da Cunha said, and will be reassigned to a job as a canon lawyer in the Diocesan Tribunal. Source: Sun Chronicle, 9-9-18
Patrick Doyle, Indianapolis, was suspended as pastor at Nativity Catholic Parish due to alleged sexual misconduct from “several decades ago.” He’s been a priest for 44 years. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis also suspended John Maung due to a recent allegation he abused a child when he was pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church from 1986-88. Source: WTHR, 9-5-18
Noah Levine, 47, was removed as a teacher and board member by Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society based in California, an organization he founded. An internal investigation found Levine likely broke “the Third Precept of the Teacher’s Code of Ethics, namely, ‘to avoid creating harm through sexuality,’ ” a statement said. Levine has been accused of misconduct by “between seven and ten” people. Source: tricycle.org, 8-29-18
Gerard Sudol, Jersey City, NJ, and James Weiner, Westwood, NJ, were removed from their Catholic parishes by the Archdiocese of Newark, which has reopened investigations into alleged sexual misconduct due to new information.
Ed Hanratty alleged he was molested by Sudol and that his misconduct was well-known among parishioners at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Ridgefield Park, where Sudol served from 1986-94. Desmond Rossi, a priest in the Diocese of Albany, has accused Weiner of sexually assaulting him in 1988 in a Newark church when he was studying for the priesthood. Source: northjersey.com, 8-29-18
Eric Dudley, Tallahassee, FL, resigned as pastor at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, said a letter to parishioners: “Father Dudley admitted to inappropriate treatment of others, abuse of alcohol, and anger issues.” The letter also said “complaints included patterns of undesired physical displays of affection which were deeply damaging to others and contrary to diocesan harassment policy.” Source: WTXL, 8-29-18
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