FOLLOW-UP FILE: Priest sex allegation still pending six years later
By Bob Kasarda
May 9, 2016
The fate of a Michigan City priest accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with a minor 25 years ago is still pending six years later with church authorities in Rome, according to the Catholic Diocese of Gary.
"It can be a lengthy process," said Debbie Bosak, director of communications at the diocese.
The Rev. Terrence Chase was placed on administrative leave in April 2010 after denying allegations of the misconduct at St. Patrick Church in Chesterton where he was serving as an associate priest.
Church officials did not identify the person, who they said came forward with the allegation in 2010.
Parishioners of Queen of All Saints Church, where Chase had been serving as pastor, expressed "shock and disbelief" at the news, Mark Plaiss, former director of communications for the Diocese of Gary and a church deacon, said at the time.
Chase said in a prepared statement at the time: "I can assure you that the allegations accusing me of inappropriate behavior are simply not true. I do not know why these destructive accusations were leveled against me."
A response team made up of eight laypeople and two priests, who met with both Chase and the person making the allegations, reported that the allegation was "not manifestly frivolous and appeared to have merit," Plaiss said at the time.
Police in Chesterton were notified of the allegation, Plaiss said.
No criminal or civil lawsuit has been filed in connection with the allegation, according to a records search.
Chase remains on leave as his case is pending, Bosak said.
"In terms of where he is and what he may or may not be doing, all we can say is that he is not engaged in any public ministry but other than that, we don't comment on personnel issues," she said.