Priest Accused of Abusing Teenager

By Mike Nichols
Chicago Tribune
January 13, 1990

The 50-year-old pastor of one of the largest Catholic parishes in Du Page County has been removed by the Diocese of Joliet following his arrest this week on a sexual abuse charge involving a physically handicapped 18-year-old man with learning disabilities.

Rev. Henry Slade, the pastor at St. Isidore Catholic Church in Bloomingdale since 1982, was arrested by the Bloomingdale Police Department after the unidentified 18-year-old's mother filed a complaint, according to Cmdr. Rick Jacklin.

Slade has been charged with criminal sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, for an incident that occurred the evening of Jan. 3 at the parish rectory on Army Trail Road. The 18-year-old was identified only as a Chicago resident by police, who declined to comment on why he was at the rectory or how he got there.

Leann Schied, the head of the Du Page County State's Attorney's Domestic Violence and Child Sexual Abuse Unit, said Slade was charged because of allegations that "a sexual act occurred and the victim was unable to understand the nature of the act or give consent."

Slade has moved out of the parish, according to Rev. William Donnelly, chancellor for the Joliet Diocese, and is being offered counseling. Donnelly, however, said he could not comment on where the priest is staying, and Slade could not be located for comment.

He is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 2.

"I think it is important to note the case is pending," said Michael Hatt, a parishioner who said he has volunteered to act as the church's spokesperson. "At first, you are just speechless because Father Henry was so well-respected. He is liked and even loved by his parishioners, the vast majority of his parishioners."


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