Goodwill Exec Resigns after Past Is Revealed

By Bob Heye
KATU [Portland OR]
May 19, 2005

PORTLAND, Ore. - A top executive with Portland's Goodwill Industries resigned suddenly on Thursday, just as news of admitted sexual abuse dating back to his days as a priest was revealed.

Jim Worsley, who was Director of Transitional Services at Goodwill, resigned shortly after his employer learned of his admission.

The case dates back 30 years to Worsley's time as a Catholic priest in Boise, Idaho.

"He acknowledged that there had been an allegation stemming from his tenure as a Catholic priest and he believed it would be in the best interest of our organization if he submitted his resignation," said Bob Barsocchini with Goodwill Industries of the Columbia-Willamette.

In the mid-1970s, Worsley was then Father Jim Worsley, a Catholic priest in Boise, Idaho.

T.J. Hopper says Worsley molested him at Saint Pauls Catholic Center beginning when he was age 10.

"(He was) thrusting himself upon me and taking my clothes off and molesting me sexually," Hopper said.

The abuse ended four years later when Worsley moved to a church in Moscow, Idaho.

Hopper says Worsley once told him his parents would go to jail if he reported the abuse.

"Well, you don't know any better (at that age)," said Hopper. "Now I know that that's absurd and he's the one that should have gone to jail. He should still be in jail."

Church officials say Worsley admits molesting T.J. as a young boy.

"He's really deeply ashamed," said Fr. Ronald Wekerle with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise. "He's deeply sorry for what he has done to T.J. He takes responsibility for that."

KATU News contacted Worsley by phone, but he would only say "I have nothing to say. Thank you."

Goodwill officials say no reports have surfaced of misconduct by Worsley during his time working for them.

"Nothing like that ever has," said Barsocchini. "We will certainly communicate with our employees regarding this because Mr. Worsley is well-liked and has been an excellent employee at Goodwill."

According to church papers, Jim Worsley has offered to pay for counseling for T.J. Hopper and write him a letter of apology.

The Diocese of Boise was aware of the incident when Worsley was hired at Goodwill in 1994.

Goodwill hiring procedures would have confirmed Worsley's service as a priest in Boise, but without any criminal case and no sex offender registration for Worsley, his admission went undiscovered.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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