Suspended Priest Reinstated after Abuse Allegation

By Bill Bleyer
Newsday [Long Island NY]
September 15, 2006,0,4274961.story?coll=ny-top-headlines

The Diocese of Rockville Centre has reinstated the Rev. William Logan, who was suspended in March following accusations of sexual abuse decades ago, saying a review board could not substantiate the allegations.

The diocese action was disclosed Thursday in a letter received by one of the accusers and in an item on the Web site of the diocese newspaper.

" ... Father William Logan will soon be returned to active ministry," the Web item said. "The Diocesan Review Board recommended to Bishop Murphy that Father Logan be returned to full pastoral ministry. The review board noted that the complaints could not be substantiated and in compliance with diocesan policies, Father Logan could be returned to ministry. Father Logan had most recently served as pastor of St. Ignatius the Martyr Church, Long Beach."

Diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan added that Logan, 65, "will be given a new assignment in the near future. Right now he is recuperating from the strain of this ordeal. At this point there is no reason not to return him to the ministry. He is not a danger to anyone."

Besides its own internal review process, the diocese forwarded the complaints to the Nassau and Suffolk district attorney's offices. But the alleged incidents were beyond the statute of limitations for criminal charges, so the matter was not pursued, the accusers' lawyer said.

Logan was suspended after Janique McKenny, 39, of Holbrook, said in January that when she was 13, the priest would pull her out of confirmation class at St. Lawrence the Martyr parish in Sayville every week for nearly a year and hold her on his lap or in a tight embrace.

Mary Quigley, 48, a Virginia resident, said that after her family moved to St. Lawrence when she was about 14, Logan began to make three-hour telephone calls to her several nights a week and visited her at her job to ask her "if it was all right if he kissed me from time to time because he loved me."

John Aretakis, the Manhattan attorney representing McKenny and Quigley, said that after receiving a letter from the diocese Thursday, McKenny is "completely flabbergasted and surprised by this decision" because she wasn't the only accuser. "It's outrageous."

Aretakis said he plans to file alawsuit on behalf of his clients against the church and Logan.

Logan could not be reached for comment, but the priest's supporters were overjoyed Friday.

Eileen Stevens, of Sayville, who has known Logan for 37 years since he came to St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish in Sayville, said, "I never believed these allegations. He worked so closely with the youth and made such an impression on the young families in this parish that he's never been forgotten."


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