Nab Priest in Abuse Cops: Visitor Fondled Boy on Beach Trip

By Maki Becker
Daily News (New York)
June 26, 2002

A visiting priest at a Queens church was charged yesterday with sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy on a trip to Rockaway Beach, authorities said.

The Rev. Peter Kiare, 41, arrived from his home country of Kenya on June 11 to preach at St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Sunnyside Gardens and raise money for his ministry back in Africa, sources said.

Kiare, a member of the Holy Ghost Fathers religious order of missionary priests, quickly befriended the boy, whose family attends the church, sources said.

On June 16 - Father's Day - the priest got permission from the child's relatives to take the boy to the Rockaways by bus.

Police say Kiare sexually abused the child on the bus, at Beach 116th St. and on the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach, over a period of four hours.

The priest allegedly groped and fondled the boy, sources said. Church went to cops After the child returned home that day, he told his mother what had happened. She went to St. Mary's officials, who in turn contacted law enforcement, authorities said.

Detectives with the Queens special victims squad picked up Kiare at 5 p.m. yesterday at a home for retired priests in Long Island City. Visiting priest incidents He was charged with second-degree sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child, said Patrick Clark, a spokesman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

Kiare was being held in custody overnight, pending arraignment today in Queens County Criminal Court. If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail.

Last week, Cyriacus Udegbulem, 38, a visiting priest from Nigeria, was arrested in Texas and charged with raping a woman at Our Lady of Charity Church in Crown Heights on New Year's Day 2000.

Authorities learned of the allegation in April, when the Diocese of Brooklyn, which includes Queens, began turning over the names of priests accused of sexual misconduct during the past 20 years.

Udegbulem was the second Brooklyn priest arrested from the list. The Rev. Francis Nelson was charged last month with molesting a 12-year-old girl in 1999.

The Catholic Church has been rocked nationwide by accusations of sexual misconduct by priests.


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