Community Notification Statement – Fr. Solomon Bandiho
Re: Arrest of Fr. Solomon Bandiho
Diocese of Phoenix
December 12, 2014
We learned this afternoon that Mesa Police arrested Fr. Solomon Bandiho on suspicion of child prostitution. His priestly faculties have been removed and he is prohibited from public ministry. We are not aware of any additional claims of sexual misconduct involving Fr. Bandiho.
Fr. Bandiho is a doctoral student from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley. He was on a work-study program as part of his studies and assigned to Holy Cross Parish in Mesa, where he has served as administrator of the parish since July 2014. He has also assisted at St. Helen Parish in Glendale. He is a priest of the Diocese of Bukoba in Tanzania.
The Diocese of Phoenix performs background checks, including fingerprinting on all priests who are given assignments in its parishes and institutions. No previous allegations or criminal activity were indicated in a background check. He comes with the recommendation and letter of good standing from his own bishop as well.
We are cooperating with the law enforcement investigation. If you have any information regarding this matter, please contact the Mesa Police Department at (480) 644-3147. It is important to remember that this is an ongoing police matter. Therefore, we cannot comment on the details of the criminal case so as to avoid interfering with any police investigations.
The Diocese of Phoenix is committed to providing a safe environment where it values and honors every individual as created in the image and likeness of God. Great efforts have been made to put systems into place to keep our young people safe. Anyone who has been a victim of abuse or who may have information concerning these crimes is encouraged to call a local law enforcement agency.
Additionally, the Diocese of Phoenix provides support services through its Office of Child and Youth Protection at (602) 354-2396 or at diocesephoenix.org (click on “Youth Protection”). We ask for your continued prayers for Christ’s healing.
Director of Communications