Church Staffers Accused of Child Sex Abuse

By James Kimberly
The Associated Press, carried in Chicago Tribune [Illinois]
February 14, 2006,1,1777817.story?coll=chi-news-hed

Three former workers at a Downers Grove Baptist church and school are being accused of sexually abusing two juvenile female parishioners, the church announced Tuesday.

Rev. David Canedy, senior pastor at the Marquette Manor Baptist Church and Academy, said the alleged abuse happened between four and 10 years ago and none of the accused men still works at the church.

Canedy said church officials became aware of the alleged abuse about two years ago when one of the girls told a counselor about it. The church reported the allegation to authorities immediately, Canedy said.

Downers Grove Police Sgt. Russell Piszczek confirmed that the Downers Grove Police Department investigated allegations of sexual abuse at the church and turned their findings over to the DuPage County state's attorney's office. Piszczek said the state's attorney's office is still reviewing the evidence.

"This is still on-going," Piszczek said.

Neither Piszczek nor the DuPage County state's attorney's office would answer specific questions Tuesday about the investigation.

Canedy declined to name the men but said one was a former youth pastor, another was a former basketball coach and the third was a deacon. He said the charges being pursued include sexual misconduct and sexual abuse against a minor.

The DuPage County Circuit Court Clerk's office computer files indicate that Edward D. Greene, 35, a former church employee, was charged last August with criminal sexual assault, but there is no indication that he has been arrested as of Tuesday afternoon.

But the court file was impounded on the day the charge was made, meaning the specifics about the case haven't been made public. Sometimes, sexual abuse case files are impounded to protect the identity of a juvenile victim.

According to the church, two of the men were involved with one girl. The other case, involving an adult man and a girl, was not related to the first, Canedy said.

Canedy said none of the men is in a position of trust or authority over children elsewhere.

Canedy stated that he made a public statement about the investigation at last weekend's church services.

Tribune reporter Art Barnum contributed to this report.


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