5 Allege Abuse by Priest

Washington Post
September 2, 1993

At least five people have come forward to say they were molested by a Baltimore County priest who killed himself after he was confronted with an allegation that he sexually abused a 10-year-old boy in 1983.

Five men have contacted church officials since Sunday, when parishioners of St. Stephen Church in Bradshaw were told that the Rev. Thomas W. Smith had a history of sexual abuse, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore said.

The men, current and former parishioners, said Smith "improperly touched or fondled" them, generally when they were in seventh or eighth grade, archdiocese spokesman Rob Rehg said.

Smith, 68, who spent two decades at St. Stephen, shot himself in the church rectory Aug. 21. He left a note referring to depression over his mother's death in December.

Several days before his death, the archdiocese received a letter from a lawyer alleging Smith had abused a boy 10 years ago. The priest was confronted with the letter Aug. 19 and directed to report to a clinic Aug. 21 for psychological evaluation.


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