Naugatuck Priest Arrested on Sex Assault Charges

By Kent Pierce
August 2, 2007

(Naugatuck-WTNH) _ Father Robert Grant, a 63-year-old Roman Catholic Priest, was arrested Thursday on charges of sexual assault and risk of injury.

Although Grant's name is still on the sign outside of Saint Hedwig Roman Catholic Church he is not serving as Pastor. Saint Hedwig is also an elementary school.

"As mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he is on administrative leave," says Father John Gatzak of Archdiocese of Hartford. "He will not be able to do ministry until more is known, until the outcome of the investigation is known."

Father Robert J. Grant (Naugatuck police photo)

Police are investigating charges that Grant sexually assaulted a minor sometime last month. Father Grant was arrested this morning and charged with second degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.

"Other than that, we know very little and the archdiocese is determined to cooperate with authorities and law enforcement," says Gatzak, "and try to find out more of the facts."

Grant was also the pastor of St. Mary's in Naugatuck. Police won't comment on the case because the victim is a minor. The spokesman for the Archdiocese of Hartford says several changes have been made in the last few years to prevent sexual abuse.

"Including background checks for all of its priests, employees, volunteers. Including educational programs for all of our staff. Programs - the child lures prevention program for our children."

There is no word on where the assault may have happened. Father Grant was released on a $200,000 bond. He is expected to be appear in court next week.


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