Volunteer Pastor Charged with Abuse Held without Bond
Authorities Allegedly Find More Incidents of Abuse

January 30, 2006

ARLINGTON, Va. -- A volunteer pastor charged with sexually abusing a patient at an assisted living center in Arlington, Va., will remain behind bars.

Richard O'Brian, 69, appeared in Arlington General District Court Monday but did not enter a plea. But his defense attorney, Daniel Dorsey told News4 reporter Tracee Wilkins his client is innocent until proven guilty.

Dorsey told the judge that his client was not a flight risk, but the judge decided to hold O'Brian without bond.

O'Brian is charged with aggravated sexual battery, punishable by up to 20 years in jail and not more than a $100,000 fine.

He was a volunteer pastor at the Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Last Sunday, an employee of the center reported she saw O'Brien have sexual contact with an adult female resident of the facility who was incapable of giving consent, police said.

In court it was reveled that the victim was a 33-year-old woman who is mentally incapacitated. And the commonwealth attorney stated in court that there were at least 12 reported incidents, News4 reported."

Police said O'Brian told people that he was an ordained priest with the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America. That is an independent church that is not affiliated with the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington. The Catholic Apostolic Church was founded in 1945. Its priest do not take a vow of celibacy. There are 2 parishes here in the washington area with more than 100 members.

A bishop with the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America said O'Brian has not had pastoral privileges in 10 years.

He reportedly has been volunteering at the nursing home for 13 years.

O'Brian is due back in court of a preliminary hearing March 16th.


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