Former Catholic priest for Virginia accused of child sex abuse

WRIC - ABC 8 [Richmond VA]

July 18, 2023

By Tannock Blair

A retired Catholic priest who served at a number of parishes throughout Virginia has been accused of child sex abuse, according to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.

The allegations against Fr. Walter Lewis stem from an incident that occurred in the 1980s when he was serving as a pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church in Bristol.

Lewis was ordained a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond in 1979. He served as pastor or parochial vicar at a number of parishes, including:

  • Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach
  • St. Andrew, Roanoke
  • St. Anne, Bristol
  • St. Mary, Richmond
  • St. Bridget, Richmond
  • St. John Neumann, Powhatan
  • Good Samaritan, Amelia

Lewis publicly announced his retirement from active ministry in May 2023.

“Bishop Knestout acknowledges it takes great courage to come forward to report allegations of this nature and offers his prayers for the ongoing healing of victims,” a release from the Catholic Diocese of Richmond reads.

According to the release, the allegation has been reported to law enforcement and Lewis denies the allegation.

In April, the Maryland Attorney General released the findings of a four-year investigation into sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, including two men who were previously part of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.