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  Calvert Hall Grad Accuses Fmr. Priest of Sex Abuse
Alleged Abuse Occurred during Sleepovers for Sexuality Counseling

TheWBALChannel.com [Towson MD]
June 16, 2005

TOWSON, Md. -- WBAL-TV 11 News has learned a former priest of a Baltimore County school faces three felony child sex charges.

WBAL-TV 11 News reporter Lowell Melser reported the charges center on allegations from a former student that he was sexually abused as a student at Calvert Hall College High School.

Jerome Toohey

The Archdiocese of Baltimore said in January that a former student accused former priest Jerome Toohey of sexually abusing him in the late 1980s. WBAL-TV 11 News has withheld the name of the accuser because he was a minor at the time of the accusations.

In 1993, the Archdiocese said it stripped Toohey of his priestly duties after a former high school boy claimed abuse. Melser reported that nearly 12 years later, Toohey faces similar accusations from a different former Calvert Hall student who claimed abuse from January 1987 to December 1989.

Charging documents reveal Toohey and the alleged victim's mother were friends and that he had befriended the boy after helping him gain admission to Calvert Hall.

Melser reported the accuser questioned his sexuality at the age of 15. As a result, the boy's mother asked Toohey to counsel her son to get him through the tough time.

According to the charging documents, Toohey held counseling sessions at his former Cottage Lane home in Baltimore County, inviting the boy to sleep over, which he said he did.

Melser reported the boy said he slept in a guest room the first time he stayed over. Subsequently, the boy said he slept in the same room as Toohey and the boy claimed a sexual encounter occurred.

The boy said sleeping over at Toohey's home became a regular occurrence, and that the two would have sexual relations at night and the next morning.

Melser reported the alleged victim decided to come forward now because he feels Toohey took advantage of him when he was at an extremely vulnerable time in his life. He also said he wants to prevent Toohey from doing this to anyone else.

Frank Dingle, representing the Baltimore chapter of the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests, said dozens of victims involving a number of priests from Calvert Hall may exist.

"I think it's justice delayed, and I don't know why it took so long," Dingle said. "I'm hoping that this will enable other survivors to come forward and see how this helps to protect children from being abused in the future."

The archdiocese refused an 11 News request for an on-camera interview. Instead, archdiocese representative Sean Caine released a statement that, in part, reads:

"When the archdiocese received the allegation of sexual abuse against Toohey, it immediately reported the matter to the state's attorney.

"The Archdiocese of Baltimore has cooperated fully with Baltimore County law enforcement officials on this matter and will continue to do so."

Calvert Hall also denied an 11 News request for an on-camera interview, but Brother Kevin Stanton released a statement that, in part, reads:

"We have met personally with the graduate making these allegations to express our sorrow concerning this matter."

When asked for comment, Toohey's attorneys refused, and after several attempts, 11 News could not reach Toohey directly. A preliminary hearing for Toohey is scheduled for next month.

 
 

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