Punta Gorda Catholic priest accused of child sexual abuse

PUNTA GORDA (FL)
NBC 2 [Fort Myers, FL]

February 6, 2024

By Bridgette Seale

The Diocese of Venice says Father Kaywell maintains his innocence and denies the allegations.

A Punta Gorda priest is facing child sexual abuse allegations, the Diocese of Venice said in a statement.

According to the statement, Reverend Jerome Kaywell, at Sacred Heart Punta Gorda, is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in the winter of 2013/2014.

The Diocese of Venice says Father Kaywell maintains his innocence and denies the allegations.

The Diocese has not said, and NBC2 has not confirmed, whether law enforcement is actively investigating the allegation.

The following statement was released from The Diocese of Venice:

“In accordance with the Diocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, upon learning of the allegation, I have placed Father Kaywell on administrative leave pending a preliminary investigation. Anyone who believes that he or she has been the victim of sexual misconduct by someone serving in ministry for the Diocese of Venice or any organization should contact law enforcement officials. The Diocese of Venice provides a Victim Assistance Coordinator, who can be reached at 941-416-6114. As your Bishop, I wish to state again that the Diocese of Venice remains committed to doing all that can reasonably be done to protect children and vulnerable adults.”

This is a developing story; count on NBC2 for updates.

https://www.nbc-2.com/article/punta-gorda-catholic-priest-child-sexual-abuse/46660047