Ri Diocese: Priest Acknowledges 1981 Sex Assault
February 25, 2013
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A priest has acknowledged he sexually abused a minor more than 30 years ago and resigned from two parishes in Woonsocket, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence said Monday.
In a statement the diocese said Monsignor John Allard was placed on administrative leave and has expressed remorse for the abuse.
State Police Maj. Michael Winquist said police received a letter from the diocese earlier this month that outlined the allegations.
Winquist said a boy who was one of Allard's then-parishioners in Cranston was allegedly assaulted by him in 1981. The diocese said Allard served at Immaculate Conception in Cranston from 1975 to 1984.
Winquist said the man who said he was assaulted has decided not to press charges, and even if he had done so the statute of limitations would have run out. Police and the diocese encouraged anyone else who knows of abuse to report it to police or the diocese.
The diocese said Allard was ordained a priest in September 1975 and also worked at the Diocesan Office of Youth Ministry from 1984 to 1996, at Our Lady of Good Help in Burillville, and at Woonsocket parishes St. Aloysius, St. Agatha and Precious Blood.
Bishop Thomas Tobin said the diocese takes allegations of abuse seriously, even if they occurred many years ago.