Priest placed on leave while abuse allegation is investigated

A Kansas City, Kan., man has accused a Johnson County priest of “inappropriately touching him” on a youth outing 30 years ago, according to the local Catholic archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has appointed an auditor with law enforcement experience to investigate the allegation, according to a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann informed the priest of the allegation and temporarily relieved him of his ministerial responsibilities while the investigation proceeds, the statement said.

The accuser, now 45, alleged that the misconduct took place on a 1982 youth outing. The priest has acknowledged the time, location and circumstance, but he denied engaging in any sexual misconduct.

According to the archdiocese, the priest has served most recently as an associate pastor at a northeast Johnson County parish. Ordained in the 1970s, he also has served at parishes in Kansas City, Kan., and Shawnee.

“The archdiocese has no record of any other allegations of sexual misconduct raised against (the priest) in his 40 years of ministry,” the church said in its statement.