Suspended St. Peter Claver pastor denies child rape accusations: ‘These allegations are false’


January 29, 2021

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

The Rev. John Asare-Dankwah has denied allegations that he raped an underage boy 13 years ago, a claim that prompted the Archdiocese of New Orleans to suspend him from his role as pastor of Treme’s historic St. Peter Claver Catholic Church.

Asare-Dankwah issued his denial in a statement Thursday, a day after a lawsuit was filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court accusing him of raping a 10-year-old boy while hearing his confession during a weeklong retreat in Alabama in 2008.

“I am deeply saddened and appalled by the allegations,” the statement read. “These allegations are false. I have never harmed anyone in my service to God — particularly any child — and I am prepared to fight vigorously to clear my name that I’ve worked for nearly three decades building trust as a man of God.”

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