Latest Religious scandals News

Ex-priest sues over inclusion on list of suspected abusers

Dec. 15, 2019 12:20 PM EST

PROVIDENCE (AP) — A former Rhode Island priest has sued his old diocese for including his name on a list of clergy “credibly accused” of sexually abusing minors. In a defamation lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, ex-priest John Tormey said he never sexually assaulted...

Tennessee pastor gets 38 years in child sex abuse sentence

Dec. 14, 2019 2:35 PM EST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee pastor faces 38 years in prison after being found guilty on 24 counts involving child sex abuse. News outlets report that 41-year-old Ronnie Gorton received the sentence Friday in Tipton County. He was convicted on charges including sexual battery and statutory rape in...

Panel's proposal to end grand jury reports draws opposition

Dec. 14, 2019 9:41 AM EST

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A state court system task force wants Pennsylvania to stop issuing grand jury reports, an idea that faces long odds in the Legislature, which would have to pass a new law to halt the practice. The Supreme Court-appointed task force, consisting of five lawyers and two judges, issued...

Cries of abuse in Catholic Church start to be heard in Japan

Dec. 14, 2019 2:56 AM EST

TOKYO (AP) — During Pope Francis’ recent visit to Japan, Harumi Suzuki stood where his motorcade passed by holding a sign that read: “I am a survivor.” Katsumi Takenaka stood at another spot, on another day, holding up his banner that read, “Catholic child sexual abuse in...

Volunteer gets 75 years for abusing boys in church bathroom

Dec. 13, 2019 7:16 AM EST

ST. GEORGE, S.C. (AP) — A former volunteer at a South Carolina megachurch was sentenced to 75 years in prison Thursday following his conviction for molesting boys as young as 3 years old in a bathroom during a children's program . Jacop Robert Lee Hazlett, 29, was found guilty of six charges related to...

Church trustees sue Virginia city over child abuse probe

Dec. 12, 2019 5:25 AM EST

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — Trustees of a Virginia church are suing a city whose workers they say defamed the organization when talking about allegations of abuse. Last year, a Chesapeake social worker determined abuse allegations had been substantiated against five Deep Creek United Methodist Church childcare...

Ohio diocese ordered to release files on 14 accused priests

Dec. 11, 2019 11:40 AM EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Columbus to release files on 14 accused priests as part of an ongoing lawsuit. Franklin County Judge Jaiza Page made the decision on Friday, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Lebanon attorney Konrad Kircher requested the files in...

Ex-assistant pastor of Illinois church accused of sex crimes

Dec. 10, 2019 5:00 PM EST

URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A former assistant pastor of an Illinois church was charged Monday with sexually assaulting a teenager in the congregation. Roger VanRaden, 48, was arraigned on sexual assault and abuse charges in a Champaign County courtroom, The (Champaign) News-Gazette reported. He was released from...

Colorado pastor gets 2 years in jail for sexual misconduct

Dec. 10, 2019 4:00 PM EST

DENVER (AP) — A judge has sentenced a pastor at a Denver church to two years in jail after she pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl for more than three years. The Denver Post reports that 36-year-old Erika Gonzalez received the maximum possible sentence Thursday. Gonzalez met the girl...

California dioceses expect subpoenas in priest investigation

Dec. 10, 2019 2:41 PM EST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Half of California's Catholic dioceses expect to be subpoenaed by the state attorney general as part of an investigation into whether they have properly handled allegations of sexual abuse by priests, a church spokesman said Tuesday. The subpoenas are expected for the six dioceses...