More Sexual Abuse Allegations

Capital News 9 [Albany NY]
November 10, 2003

More sexual abuse allegations are surfacing in the Albany Catholic Diocese.

Attorney John Aretakis held a news conference outside the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at RPI, leveling a charge against Father Charles Celeste. Aretakis claims Celeste abused a former pledge of the fraternity.

The alleged victim, Randall Sweringen, said the abuse took place while he was an undergraduate student at RPI in the mid-1980's.

Aretakis said, "He came to Father Celeste for spiritual guidance at the age of 18 as a college freshman pledging this fraternity that's behind me, because he felt a calling to become a Roman Catholic priest, which eventually he did become. And that's the context under which Father Celeste made his inappropriate advances and abuse and molestation of Mr. Sweringen."

Aretakis has represented more than 60 people who claimed they were sexually abused by priests in the Albany Diocese.

In response to the most recent allegation, the Diocese said the matter involved two adults some 20 years ago.

In a statement, the Diocese said although such behavior is inappropriate for a priest, after an appropriate evaluation of the situation, a church review panel did not recommend Father Celeste be removed from ministry.


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