Lcso Asking Any Victims of Local Catholic Priest to Come Forward
By Karl Etters
August 30, 2018
Leon County Sheriff’s Office investigators came up empty-handed when they asked Catholic Church officials in Tallahassee about potential victims of sexual abuse in the wake of the removal of Father Edward Jones earlier this month.
Now, they are asking anyone who believes they may have been victimized or has information about any potential victims to come forward.
In Mid-August, Jones was removed as pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Crawfordville and Sacred Heart Parish in Lanark by the Catholic Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee following a "credible" allegation of inappropriate contact with a minor.
He was formerly a priest at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Tallahassee from 2003 to 2007. The allegations against Jones stemmed from an incident there 14 years ago.
LCSO investigators on two occasions contacted church officials seeking information about any potential victims. A media statement released Wednesday afternoon said no information has been reported.
A call for comment to the local Diocese Wednesday was not immediately returned. When it announced Jone's removal, the Diocese appealed to anyone abused by a priest to come forward.
"This Diocese is committed to stopping clergy abuse and appreciates your help in making that happen," it said in its statement.
The revelation about the incident came just days after a damning 900-page Pennsylvania grand jury report this month exposed decades of systematic sexual abuse in the church. The report alleged more than 300 “predator priests’’ had been accused of raping and sexually molesting more than 1,000 kids over a period of 70 years.
LCSO is asking anyone who believes they may be a victim or has information to call (850) 606-3600. Anyone in need of LCSO Victim Advocate services should call (850) 606-3487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The local Diocese said anyone who may have additional information about any abuse cases to contact DCF by calling (800) 962-2873 or (800) 96ABUSE.