Priest found unsuitable for ministry after sex abuse allegation in Chester County is substantiated

Philadelphia Inquirer

October 9, 2020

by Julie Shaw

A Catholic priest has been found unsuitable for ministry after a finding that he sexually abused a minor in the late 1970s in Chester County, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Friday.

The victim reported in October 2019 that the Rev. William E. Dean, now 70, had committed the abuse while serving at SS. Philip & James Parish in Exton.

The allegation was reported to the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program, which was set up in 2018 to financially compensate victims of clergy sex abuse whose claims are too old to be taken to court. It was then reported to law enforcement, the archdiocese said.

The Chester County District Attorney’s Office informed the archdiocese in January that no criminal charges would be filed, the archdiocese said in a statement. The reason for that was not immediately known Friday.

The Archdiocesan Office of Investigation then conducted its own probe and forwarded the results to the Archdiocesan Professional Responsibilities Review Board, which shared its unanimous finding with Archbishop Nelson Pérez that the allegation of sexual abuse was substantiated and recommended that Dean was unsuitable for ministry.

Pérez accepted the recommendation. Dean’s case will now be forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican in keeping with procedure for the formal canonical process.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.