Former P.G. School Priest Accused of Past Sex Abuse
March 14, 1996
A former priest at a Catholic school for the deaf in Prince George's County has been charged with sexually abusing a student there more than 20 years ago.
Prince George's County police said a warrant was issued yesterday for William Earl Krouse, 50, former pastor of St. Francis Catholic Deaf Center. Krouse was questioned in Oakland Park, Fla., where he now lives, and police said he admitted to abusing a student at the Landover Hills school between 1968 and 1972. He was jailed pending extradition to Maryland.
Police said Krouse cultivated a relationship with the victim, who is now 38, and sexually abused him on several occasions. The victim still lives in Maryland.
Krouse left the ministry voluntarily and has not been active for nearly 10 years, said Dawn Weyrich Ceol, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington.
She said the archdiocese had not received any complaints about Krouse before the current allegations were made. He had worked in the area for 14 years.
Ceol said the archdiocese has been cooperating with Prince George's police in the investigation but said they had not been informed about the charges or the identity of the victim.
"We don't know who the victim is, but obviously if we did, we'd want to reach out to that person with spiritual and psychological help," she said.
Krouse is the fifth priest from the county accused of sexually abusing a youth in his charge. In January 1995, four priests were stripped of their religious authority and charged with sexual abuse of altar boys during the 1970s and 1980s. One of the former priests was acquitted after a criminal trial, one was convicted and the other two pleaded guilty to the charges.
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