[Media Statement] New Orleans Catholic Priest Accused of Sexually and Physically Abusing a Ten-Year-Old Boy, SNAP Calls for his Return to the US

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

January 28, 2021

A priest accused of raping a ten-year-old child in 2008 has been suspended from ministry in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. We call on Catholic officials to bring the priest back from his extended visit abroad so that he can face justice here in the United States and to use every resource at their disposal to encourage other victims to come forward, make a report, and start healing.

Fr. John Asare-Dankwah allegedly raped and later physically abused the boy while he was hearing confession during an out-of-state retreat. We fully support this gentleman and applaud his courage to come forward publicly. We are also grateful he has reached out to our local SNAP group for support. The average age for abuse survivors to disclose abuse is 52, but this man is significantly younger than the national average. It takes real courage to come forward and we hope that this story will encourage others who may have been hurt by Fr. Asare-Dankwah to speak out and make a report to the police.

Currently, Fr. Asare-Dankwah is out of the country, visiting family in Ghana. We are concerned because many priests – such as Fr. Alex Castillo in the Diocese of Oakland, CA – who have been accused of sexual abuse have been able to flee from justice by leaving the United States. Some of them were even allowed to work as priests abroad despite Catholic officials knowing about their criminal tendencies.

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.