Local Priest Who Pled Guilty to Lewd Behavior Reassigned by Diocese [Norfolk VA]
April 30, 2003

An embattled Norfolk priest, who pled guilty to lewd behavior in a Norfolk park, will be reassigned. Father Wayne Ball of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Oceanview requested to be reassigned to a Richmond church and that request was granted.

Bishop Walter Sullivan of Catholic Diocese of Richmond says the decision is in the best interest of the Church, Father Ball, and Holy Trinity.

Many families at Holy Trinity lost confidence in Father Ball after he pleaded guilty in court to 'frequenting a bawdy place for lewdness' after police found him with another man in a car at Northside Park last December. Police say the park on Tidewater Drive is frequented by men looking for sex. Because the incident did not involve a child, Bishop Sullivan originally left Ball at Holy Trinity.

The bishop said his decision to accept Father Ball's request for reassignment was not because of the park incident, but admits it's in everyone's best interest for Father Ball to leave.

After the park incident, Father Ball got counseling, and as part of the plea agreement, the charges could be dropped after six months for good behavior.

Bishop Sullivan said the reassignment will be effective June 2nd.

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