Ex-Archbishop Ryan High School President Surrenders to Phila. DA

By Robert Moran
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 24, 2007

The Rev. Charles Newman, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Archbishop Ryan High School and providing drugs and hush money to a former student he molested, surrendered this morning at the District Attorney's Office, a spokeswoman said.

Newman, 57, a Franciscan friar who became the president of Philadelphia's largest Roman Catholic high school, is at Police Headquarters to be processed and arraigned, said Cathie Abookire, spokeswoman for District Attorney Lynne Abraham. He surrendered at 8 a.m.

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Newman on multiple counts of theft and one count of forgery. Some of the felony counts each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 maximum fine.

Newman was president of the school from July 2002 until November 2003, when he was fired after a forensic audit revealed the misappropriated funds. Before that, he was a teacher at the school and is alleged to have had illicit relationships with at least three students.

The grand jury accused Newman of stealing $900,000 from the archdiocese and his religious order, and providing at least $53,000 in checks and cash to the late Arthur Baselice, who attended Archbishop Ryan in the 1990s.

Baselice had filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the archdiocese alleging that Newman had routinely molested him while providing him drugs and alcohol. Baselice died in 2006 of a drug overdose, which Abraham called a suicide.

Until recently, Newman had been living at a Wisconsin friary. The church had ordered Newman to undergo counseling and treatment for "sexually predatory conduct."

Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or


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