Diocese Waits to Resolve Priest's Case

Phoenix Gazette
June 23, 1993

A Roman Catholic priest who logged more than 1,800 sexual encounters with men since 1984 remains on administrative leave from the Diocese of Phoenix.

The diocese will not take further action in the matter of the Rev. Alanson

Wilputte "Lan" Sherwood until the criminal case against him is settled, the Rev. Michael Diskin, assistant chancellor of the diocese, said Tuesday.

Since his arrest in March, Sherwood, 48, has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual misconduct and faces five to 15 years in prison. He has denied he is a pedophile but has admitted to having sex with minors.

He is to be sentenced Tuesday by Judge Cheryl Hendrix of Maricopa County Superior Court.

"When a disposition is made by the civil authorities, then we will look at what the provisions are under canon law," Diskin said.

He declined to elaborate on what steps the diocese might take against Sherwood. He said it is possible that action might be delayed while the Vatican develops new rules for dealing with priests who commit sexual abuse.

In a videotape released this week of Sherwood's interview with Chandler police, the priest said he had logged more than 1,800 sexual encounters since 1984 and had videotaped about 1,200 sex acts.


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