A pastor of the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Lexington has been placed on administrative leave after an allegation that he sexually abused minors about five years ago.
The Rev. Albert J. Gondek will not publicly celebrate Mass or exercise ministry during the investigation, according to a news release from the Diocese of Charlotte.
The diocese said a man who is incarcerated said that Gondek "touched him in a sexually inappropriate way" about five years ago, when the man was 18. The man said that the same contact had also occurred with minors.
The news release said the diocese would work with local law enforcement during the investigation.
"The abundance of caution approach that is being taken in this matter is best for everyone," said Bishop Peter J. Jugis of Charlotte.
Gondek had been investigated in 2007 over allegations of sexual misconduct said to have occurred decades earlier. The diocese said he was reinstated after two outside investigations found no evidence of wrongdoing.
The diocese said that this most recent investigation is unrelated to the 2007 case.
The decision to place Gondek on leave was made by the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, which oversees schools, parishes and other ministries from Boston to Florida, including in North Carolina.
Before serving the Lexington church, Gondek worked at Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia; at Father Lopez High School in Daytona Beach, Fla.; as parochial vicar at St. Brendan Church in Daytona Beach; and as pastor at Sacred Heart Church in Whiteville.