Priest Pleads Innocent to Sexual Assault

By Milly McLean
United Press International
July 31, 1985

A Burrillville pastor, dressed in the Roman Catholic priest's traditional white collar and black suit, pleaded innocent Wednesday to sexual assault -- the third Rhode Island priest in a year to face those charges.

The Rev. Armand Ventre, 53, pastor of Our Lady of Good Help Church, was released on $10,000 personal recognizance bail for each of the three counts of second-degree sexual assault.

The tall, gray-haired priest is charged with sexual assaults on three boys at the church rectory and at his summer home in Glocester between 1981 and 1984.

Providence Superior Court Judge Thomas Caldarone Jr. scheduled pretrial motions for Sept. 25 and trial for Oct. 28.

On the advice of his attorney, John Sheehan, Ventre told reporters, "I can't make any statement ... other than I'm definitely not guilty."

Ventre, a priest at the Burrillville church for four years, has taken a leave of absence pending the trial's outcome.

The other two Rhode Island priests facing sexual assault charges are the Rev. William O'Connell, formerly of St. Mary's Church in Bristol, and the Rev. P. Henry Leech, formerly of St. Jude's Church in Lincoln.

"It's a number that stuns me," Norman Dakake, director of the Statistical Analysis Center of the Governor's Justice Commission, said of the three Rhode Island cases involving priests.

"All of a sudden it's happening. I don't recall it before. Then to have three happen, it's unbelievable. Three in a period of a year is an astonishing figure," Dakake said.

"There's very little data about professions as a whole," he said, referring to state or national studies breaking down crimes according to professions.

"But pertaining to the clergy, absolutely nothing. It's an extremely sensitive area."

Suda Prohaska, spokeswoman for the attorney general's office, said she also had no figures to put the three cases in perspective.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems