Priest Accused of Sexual Assault Once Served in Cumberland

Cumberland Times-News
March 28, 2007

Cumberland — A 67-year-old Ellicott City priest who also served at the St. Mary parish in Cumberland has been removed from the ministry after the Archdiocese of Baltimore learned of two accusations of sexual abuse that allegedly occurred in the 1960s.

Monsignor Richard E. Smith, pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City, admitted to some of the allegations when he was confronted by officials within the past week, the archdiocese said Monday in a release.

Smith served at St. Mary's from 1968 to 1973. He was ordained in 1966.

Parishioners and staff were informed of the allegations Sunday, the archdiocese said.

The alleged incidents occurred when Smith was a priest at Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish, now known as St. Gabriel, in Woodlawn, where he was assigned as a newly ordained priest.

One woman alleged she had a series of sexual encounters with the priest for several months in 1967, officials said. Another woman alleged she had a single encounter in 1966 or 1967, when she was about 15 years old.

The incidents have been reported to civil authorities, the archdiocese said.

Smith has served at churches throughout the region. He has been at Our Lady of Perpetual Help since 1996.


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