North Carolina Catholic Church Priest & Clergy Sex Abuse List

North Carolina Priest Sex Abuse List: A list of Roman Catholic Priests & Clergy members of the North Carolina Diocese accused of sex abuse and/or sexual assault of minors.

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Merson Law has compiled a list of Roman Catholic Priests and Clergy members (the North Carolina priest sex abuse list) accused of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault of minors. The Sexual Assault team at Merson Law specializes in Catholic Clergy and Priest Sex Abuse and Sexual Assault cases.

This information found in this list is compiled from the Database of Publicly Accused Priests and does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty.

Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

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North Carolina Priest Sex Abuse List

Merson Law’s North Carolina Priest Sex Abuse List was compiled from accounts of sexual abuse by a member of the North Carolina Catholic Church network. The names in this list are only those that have been found to be credible, however it is likely that there are names missing, due to the sheer number of accounts and the historical aversion to transparency by the Catholic Church.

This list is not endorsed by the Archdiocese, which has yet to release the names of priests found guilty through its own internal investigations.

Last Name First Name Diocese Notes
Burton Charles Jeffries Charlotte, NC Working in Richmond, VA 6/07 when placed on leave after review of his personnel file revealed allegations of inappropriate touching of a minor in 1982, while co-director of youth ministry for the Diocese of Charlotte, NC. Diocese had been informed of allegations in 1994; Burton acknowledged the misconduct. Sent for therapy and reassigned. Died in 2011. On Jesuits Maryland Province list 12/17/18. Added to Baltimore archdiocese’s list in 2/19. On Richmond diocese’s list 2/13/19.
Farwell Richard B. Charlotte, NC Placed on leave 5/85; diocese announced he was assigned to “a priestly ministry program” in RI; actually sent to House of Affirmation in MA for treatment. Returned to Charlotte diocese 7/88. Accused 2/99 of abuse of 10- to 12-year-old boy 19 years prior. Sent to Miami FL archdiocese in 2000 with letter of reference from Bishop Curlin. Same accuser resurfaced 2002. Faculties revoked 4/02. Indicted 8/02 on charges that he “took indecent liberties ” with boy in mid-1980s. Pled no contest 11/04; sentenced to 180 days probation, counseling and community service. Civil suit filed 7/19/11. Diocese wanted suit dismissed on SOL 2/11/12. Court ruled 6/20/14 that the suit was filed too late and dismissed the case on SOL. Appeal possible.
Kelleher Michael Joseph Charlotte, NC Native of Ireland. Trappist monk in Ireland and New Zealand for many years prior to leaving Order. Incardinated in Charlotte Diocese in 1966 and then in Raleigh Diocese when it was established in 1971. Retired 7/99. Removed 7/10 from assignment as chaplain at Bishop McGuinness High School after accusation of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old boy in 1977 in Albemarle, NC. Assigned there 4/73 – 8/77. Police notified 9/09 and told diocese shortly thereafter. Charges filed 7/10. Arrested, released on bail 7/8/10. Second accuser a week later. No criminal charges filed in his case. Both men sued 9/11. Kelleher admitted to 1977 abuse. Multiple other accusers known. Two more men filed suit 2012. Court dismissed case on SOL 6/20/14. Criminal charges to which Kelleher had confessed were dismissed 7/1/14 due to his dementia. Died 8/20/14. Bishop of Charlotte was to preside at memorial mass. On Raleigh diocese’s list in 10/18.
Kuder William J. Charlotte, NC Accused in 1995 of sexually abusing a boy, ages 9-13, beginning in 1952, at St. Joan of Arc in Asheville. The abuse allegedly included oral and anal rape. Kuder was said to have driven the boy to rectories 20 and 50 miles away, where he made the boy go to the door alone to seek confession for “sex with a priest.” He said Kuder threatened him with eternal damnation if he broke the seal of confession. The man persuaded Bishop Curlin to apologize to the parish on 3/5/95. Kuder’s accuser said he knew of at least 10 other Kuder victims. Two alleged victims were his brothers, who said they were also abused ages 9-13, and that the priest’s modus operandi was the same. Kuder died 8/31/60, before the Charlotte diocese was created from the Raleigh diocese, which until 1971 comprised all of NC. On the Raleigh diocese’s list in 10/18.
Leonard Patrick Charlotte, NC Removed from assignment 9/03 after credible allegations that he sexually abused a minor before coming to Charlotte NC in 1998. No information about his assignment between ordination in 1996 and his assignment to Charlotte in 1998 or when the alleged abuse occurred. Parishioners were not told the reason for the removal until 3/04. Woman also came forward to allege that he spoke to her in a lewd manner.
Lynch Damion Jacques Charlotte, NC A 1998 civil suit alleged Lynch abused twin brothers 1991-95, when the boys were in their early teens. Lynch apparently reported an “indiscretion” to Bishop Curlin in 1995 who attempted to resolve the matter with the family. Sent to residential treatment. Reassigned to parish in Charlotte in 1997 but asked for leave 2/98. Diocese paid $77,489 in 1996 and undisclosed amount as result of 1999 suit. Reported in 2002 to have left priesthood. In 2017 working as a registered nurse at MedStar Washington Hospital and living in Alexandria, VA. A man filed a police report 3/5/19, alleging Lynch and Fr. Cornell Bradley, S.J. each sexually abused him as a teen in the 1990s.
Pechulis Justin Paul Charlotte, NC Man filed civil suit 6/09 in NC alleging that in late 1970s when he was an altar boy in Philadelphia, he was abused several times by Fr. John McCole, who then took him to NC where Pechulis and McCole forced the boy to participate in group oral sex while a third man watched. Suit also alleged that Cardinal Krol was told of the abuse but dismissed the allegations saying “That’s just how men behave with each other.” Pechulis died 4/30/83.
Yurgel Robert Charlotte, NC Arrested 4/08. Charged with sex abuse of a 14-year-old boy in 1999 at St. Matthew’s in Charlotte, where he was assigned 1997-99; transferred out of diocese in 10/99. At time of arrest, was chaplain at St. Mary’s in Passaic, NJ. Extradited to Charlotte and released on bail. Victim filed civil suit vs diocese and Capuchins 10/08, saying diocese knew before transfer to NJ and case covered-up. Pled guilty to 1 count 2/09; sentenced to 7 years 8 months to 10 years prison. Suit settled 5/10 for $1.23M ($1M from Diocese and $230K from the Order). Released from prison 8/16. Moved from NC to NJ in 11/16. Per Capuchins Yurgel defrocked in 2010.
Corbin Andre Anthony Raleigh, NC Criminal charges filed in 1988 alleged abuse in 1966 when parish was part of Raleigh Diocese. Sentenced to 3 years in jail; served only about 60 days. Put on probation for 5 years and sent for treatment. Accused of dressing young boys in loin cloths to depict model of crucified Christ. Charlotte diocese stripped Corbin of priestly faculties in 1988. Also named in 12/03 lawsuit in Springfield, MA which settled 8/04 as part of multiple plaintiffs $7.75M settlement. Died in fire 5/08 at age 79. On the Raleigh diocese’s list in 10/18.
Denges Peter Raleigh, NC Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list in 10/18. It notes allegation received in 2005 of abuse in 1950. Deceased.
Dolan Hugh Raleigh, NC Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list in 10/18. It notes report in 2004 to the diocese of abuse in 1964. Deceased.
Garrity Stephen M. Raleigh, NC Removed by Order in 2007 from Holy Cross in Durham, NC after admitting inappropriate sexual contact with five young adults, ages 18-23, in the early 1980s while in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Received therapy. In 1/13, Order told Diocese of a credible complaint of abuse of a minor from the 1970s while assigned to St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia. Sent to a monitored community. Died in 2014. On Maryland Province Jesuits list 12/17/18. It notes multiple allegations. On Scranton diocese’s list 12/22/18. Added to Baltimore archdiocese’s list in 2/19. On Raleigh diocese’s list in 10/18. It notes abuse in 1970 reported in 2018.
Ghisalberti Giacomo Raleigh, NC Named publicly as accused by the Raleigh diocese on its list in 10/18. It notes abuse in 1977 reported in 2004. Suspended. Vatican petition in progress.
Gondek Albert J. Raleigh, NC Member of Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Known to have worked in DE, PA, NC, FL dioceses. A 30-year-old man told the Raleigh diocese in 1993 that Gondek sexually assaulted him during confession in Wilmington, NC. Order said it had Gondek undergo counseling. Kept in ministry. The man wrote to the Charlotte diocese years later, after Gondek’s transfer there. Pastor of Lexington, NC parish beginning 1998. In 10/07 a man alleged Gondek molested him as a teen at a MD summer camp in 1960, when Gondek was a seminarian. Placed on leave; reinstated 12/07 after cleared by investigators. Suspended 12/15, after man said Gondek sexually abused him at age 18 and others who were minors 5 years prior. Criminal investigation initiated. On Raleigh diocese’s list in 10/18.
Guzman Jaime Raleigh, NC Named publicly as accused by the Raleigh diocese on its list in 10/18. Worked at some point in the diocese; accused of sexual abuse of outside of the diocese. May be the same Rev. Jaime Guzman Astaburuaga, SJ, from the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile, found guilty in 2012 by the Vatican of sexually abusing students at Colegio San Ignacio El Bosque, where he was chaplain 1984-94.
Hanneman Louis Raleigh, NC Named publicly as accused by the Raleigh diocese on its list in 10/18. It notes an allegation in 2002 of abuse in 1972.
Hyland John Raleigh, NC Named publicly as accused by the Raleigh diocese on its list in 10/18. Allegations reported to the diocese around 2002, of abuse in 1964.
McSweeney James E. Raleigh, NC Former chancellor and vicar general. Accused in 2004 of molesting a boy for 3 years, beginning when the boy was 11 in 1970. The abuse allegedly occurred on trips, in the rectory, and in a car. McSweeney died in 1999. McSweeney was a financial expert who had amassed nearly $1 million at the time of his death. Claim settled for $120K 3/04. A second accuser known. Bishop said claims were credible. On the diocese’s list in 10/18.
Parker Kenneth R. Raleigh, NC Served in both Raleigh and Charlotte dioceses. Raleigh learned11/13/09 of allegation of abuse of a minor in 1982. Authorities notified, as was Parker, who had retired in 1993 but continued to provide limited ministry. He denied the allegations. After review board investigation, Bishop removed his faculties 1/19/10. On the diocese’s list in 10/18.
Perry Francis Andrew “Drew Raleigh, NC Ordained at age 53 in 1998. Placed on leave 4/02 for lying on application, after diocese learned he had been accused of abuse of a 4- year-old female relative when he was a teenager in 1961. He also had been accused by a teenage boy of taking indecent liberties with him about 15 years prior. Charges dropped when boy refused to testify. Admitted abuse of girl; denied other charges. Appealed to Vatican for review of case. On diocese’s list in 10/18.
Richardson John Raleigh, NC Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list in 10/18. It notes report in 1988 of abuse in 1967. Removed from ministry.
Sepulveda Edgar Raleigh, NC Native of Colombia. Removed 9/09 after accusations of sexual abuse of a 16-year-old boy in 5/09 in Brunswick Co. Matter did not make news until he was arrested 1/8/10 and charged with two counts of sex crimes against a juvenile. He denied allegations. Former pastor of Maria Reina Parish in Mt. Olive, Santa Teresa Mission in Beulaville, and Santa Clara Mission in Magnolia. Prosecutors dropped criminal charges as of 7/12. On the Raleigh diocese’s list in 10/18. Noted to be suspended, and Vatican trial in progress.
Watkins Thomas F. Raleigh, NC Placed on leave 4/02 after diocese received allegation that Watkins had proposed sex to an 18 year old seminary student 26 years before. Watkins denied the allegation. Ordained as Marianist but became diocesan priest 1996. Had been accused of sexual misconduct and had undergone psychological treatment before coming to Diocese in 1991. New allegation in 1995 involved adult. Granted indefinite medical leave of absence 6/02 after refusing counseling.

Please note that this North Carolina priest sex abuse list is not an exhaustive and complete list because new information of sexual abuses and sexual assaults by priests and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church becomes available daily.

Please bookmark this page and check back regularly for more up-to-date information on this priest abuse list as it becomes available.

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