A Catholic priest who was accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl has been appointed as director of a teen pregnancy center, prompting activists to call for him to be removed from the post.
The Detroit Free Press reported on Monday that Rev. Kenneth Kaucheck was named director of the Gianna House Pregnancy and Parenting Residence in Eastpointe.
According to the paper, “the center takes in teenagers and young women who are pregnant, assisting them and any children they might later have.”
The report said that Kaucheck was removed from two churches after the Archdiocese of Detroit determined in 2009 that he had sexually abused a 16-year-old girl who he was counseling in the 1970s.
At the time, prosecutors declined to file charges against Kaucheck, arguing that the girl was old enough to legally consent.
On its website, the Gianna House says that Kaucheck was chosen as director to “provide a wide range of ideas and skills.”
But David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said that it was “inexcusable” to hire “a priest who was ousted because he molested a girl now works for a nonprofit that reportedly helps girls.”
“It’s inexcusable for any nonprofit to hire a credibly accused child molesting cleric,” Clohessy explained. “A simple Google search would have shown that Fr. Ken is potentially dangerous and should never be given any position or title that confers respect, much less gives him access to vulnerable people.”
Archdiocese of Detroit Director Joe Kohn told the Free Press that Kaucheck could be removed from his position under Canon law.
Kohn said that the “position at Gianna House violates the restrictions placed on his ministry in 2009.”
“We assert that he should not be allowed to continue in this position,” Kohn insisted.