Hillsboro: Priest Is Charged in 1978 Abuse Case

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 14, 2006

More than three years after he was publicly identified by the St. Louis Archdiocese as an admitted child molester, a Catholic priest is charged with sodomy for allegedly abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1978.

Robert F. Johnston, 69, was a priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Valley Park when he allegedly performed oral sex on the boy at a house on Lake Wauwanoka near Hillsboro.

In 2002, the St. Louis Archdiocese announced that Johnston had been removed from public duties after admitting to church officials that he had molested the boy.

Johnston has been charged under Missouri's 1969 sodomy law. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in December 2004 that the old law carries no statute of limitation.

Johnston lives at Regina Cleri, a home for retired priests on South Laclede Station Road near Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.


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