New Accusations of Sex Crimes Cover-up


October 17, 2008

[with video]


A former Charlotte priest accused of sex crimes. Now new accusations of a cover-up. Top leaders in Charlotte's Catholic community are named in a civil lawsuit. The suit claims red flags were ignored.

David Fortwengler with Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says, "We're talking about the Diocese failing to cooperate with a criminal investigation in 2008."

Father Rober Yurgel is charged with sexually abusing a teenage boy he met while working at St. Matthew Catholic Church. A civil lawsuit filed Wednesday claims the church knew.

David Hains, a spokesperson for the Charlotte Catholic Diocese denied the claim just a few months ago, "His personnel record indicates that there was never any allegation of sexual misconduct involving children before or while he was here in Charlotte."

The suit includes an email sent in October 1999 by the boy to Yurgel and another church employee. The boy writes, " I just wanted to say goodnight and I LOVE YOU!"

Fortwengler says, "The employee notified the diocese and they did not contact police."

Fox Charlotte tried to contact the Charlotte diocese and St. Matthew Catholic Church. No one was available for comment.

Daniel Orlando attends St. Matthew Catholic Church, "It shouldn't be swept under the rug for anybody I don't care what the situation is. It should be handed over to the law. If they're guilty. They're gone."

Neil Evans a SNAP member read this statement from the victim, "It is my hope that through my actions now, I will prevent the unspeakable acts that I was forced to endure from ever happening to any child again."

Yurgel is facing separate criminal charges. He is set to appear in court next month. There's no word if he will plead guilty, not guilty or if his attorney's are preparing for a plea bargain.

To view Eva Pilgram's story, click on the video icon on the sidebar.

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