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  New Allegation against Priest

By Carol Eisenberg
Newsday [Long Island NY]
April 11, 2006

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-liprie114698239
apr11,0,760065.story?coll=ny-linews-headlines

A parent active in St. James Parish in Seaford said she told a top diocesan official 25 years ago about what she considered "inappropriate" behavior by the Rev. William Logan, who last month was suspended from ministry because of an allegation of similar behavior around that time.

"We were having all kinds of problems with Father Logan, and I confronted him about it, and I spoke directly to Bishop Daly about this several times," said Linda Kramps, a Great River mother of five who supervised cheerleaders at St. James in the 1980s.

Based on behavior that she said she observed first-hand, or heard from her children and girls she supervised, Kramps said she had relayed concerns to Daly that Logan "blatantly handled young girls in ways that were totally inappropriate. He was hanging on and hugging them. He had young girls riding in his car without their parents' permission. He took them to dark parks at night or to the beach."

Reached in Blue Point yesterday, Daly denied hearing such allegations about Logan, or having a conversation with Kramps.

"No one ever came to see me about Father Logan," said Daly, a retired auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Logan, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, was suspended from ministry March 7, pending an investigation of a complaint made in January by Janique McKenny, 39, of Holbrook. McKenny said that when she was 13, the priest would pull her out of confirmation class every week, and bring her to a deserted stairwell or an empty classroom and hold her on his lap, or in a tight embrace. McKenny said she was not sexually assaulted, but has been haunted by the episodes, which she said went on for nearly a year.

Logan told her in a diocese-arranged meeting last month that he had no memory of her, but acknowledged that he used to show affection to children in ways that he now considered inappropriate.

Kramps said she did not recall McKenny, but after reading accounts of her allegations, wanted to share what she saw and remembered.

"The church knew big time what was going on," but allowed Logan to continue working with children, she said.

Diocesan officials repeated yesterday that they had no complaints against Logan until McKenny's in January. They said a second allegation came on March 8, the day after the priest was put on administrative leave. That allegation dated to his time at St. Lawrence the Martyr parish in Sayville in the 1970s, and involved kissing and inappropriate physical contact, according to a law enforcement source.

Neither accusation would likely have constituted a crime at the time, the source said. But since the 2002 priest sex abuse scandals, the church adopted a policy which holds priests to a potentially higher standard than the law, which applies retroactively.

One woman, who contacted Newsday about Logan and who was in the cheerleading group at St. James, said Logan's behavior was disturbing, "but there were no sexual advances."

"He was very touchy feely with the girls," said the Farmingdale resident, who did not want to be identified because of concerns that her family or business would be affected. "He liked to hold hands with you and hug you a lot. Some of the girls would sit on his lap. It was almost like he was one of the teenagers."

Kramps said she did not initiate contact with Daly, but received a call from him sometime in the early 1980s requesting that she and parish youth minister Michael McCarthy meet with him at diocesan headquarters.

"He told me that [the late] Bishop John McGann was aware of this and that they'd take care of it," said Kramps, who has since become a social worker. "But what did they do? They buried it."

McCarthy did not return repeated calls to his home. Patrick Young, who was the pastor at the time and who since has left the priesthood, said he couldn't remember complaints about Logan.

Kramps' husband, Richard, said he recalled his wife's conversations with the auxiliary bishop. He said the priest wrote a letter to one of their children, which both parents described as "extremely inappropriate," bordering on a love letter, which Linda Kramps gave Daly. He recalled that he and his wife also offered to pay for private counseling for Logan - an offer he said Logan declined.

 
 

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