Men Behaving Badly — Special Priest Edition

Clergy crime roundup. All stories from April 5 (today) only.

• A former dean of a Roman Catholic cathedral in the UK has been charged by the police with three counts of indecent assault against an individual. [link]

• A retired Church of England priest and a former organist and choirmaster have been found guilty of a string of child sex abuse offenses dating back more than 25 years. Prosecutors said the priest used the respectability of the cassock to groom and abuse two boys over an 18-month period from when they were aged around 13. [link]


• A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of raping two altar boys in the 1980s has been denied a new trial by the Massachusetts Appeals Court. The priest was convicted in February 2011 of rape of a child by force and indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14, and sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. He claims he didn’t get a fair trial. [link]

• A suspended California priest charged with seven felony counts of child molestation was brought into court today, in preparation for the trial against him that will start on Tuesday. He is accused of seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a teenage girl during a two-year span, starting when she was 14. [link]

•  A New York priest who’d already been charged with five counts of child rape was arraigned Friday in Salem, Mass., Superior Court, on an additional count. The new indictment alleges that, in the early eighties, he raped a seven-year-old child. [link]

• A new Michigan lawsuit against a priest and the Catholic church says they failed to protect a 14-year-old girl from sexual abuse by a 19-year-old man. The suit says the priest and church were negligent and failed to act after getting reports of the sexual misconduct. [link]

• Australia’s long-awaited clergy-child-abuse investigation kicked off this week. The Winnipeg Free Press says the years-long probe looks set to dwarf even the Irish investigation by the Ryan Commission, which revealed that police had colluded with the Catholic Church in covering up clerical child abuse in Dublin and beyond. At least 5,000 people are expected to give evidence during the Australian inquiry, compared with just 1,500 in the Irish one. [link]

 [cartoon via Transmission Media]