Catholic priest accused of grabbing man’s genitals: Church insists victim ‘not a minor’

By Scott Kaufman
Monday, January 20, 2014 14:26 EDT
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A priest in Lansdale, Pennsylvania was arrested on Friday and charged with indecent assault for allegedly grabbing a man’s genitals at YMCA last December.

According to police, John J. Roebuck, a vicar at Saint Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church, had a short discussion with the victim in the sauna of the North Penn YMCA.

The victim said that after they exited the sauna, the two men both went into the locker room. As he was using a sink, the victim said, he noticed Roebuck standing behind him. As he tried to walk away, Roebuck extended his hand as if to say goodbye.

While they were doing so, the victim alleges he felt Roebuck’s other hand groping his genitals.

The victim immediately contacted YMCA staff to report the encounter, and a staff member located Roebuck, who had not yet left the building. He was allowed to leave, but at that point police were brought in to investigation the allegations.

On January 13, an arrest warrant was issued. Roebuck was arraigned last Friday on misdemeanor charges of harassment and indecent assault without consent.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia assured parishioners that “[t]he alleged conduct leading to his arrest did not involve a minor,” but that it still found the allegations “deeply troubling.”

Archdiocese spokesman Kenneth Gavin said that his organization is “cooperating fully with the police investigation.”

["Catholic priest praying" on Shutterstock]

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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