Priest with MD, DC Ties Charged with Abuse

By Emily Cyr
July 2, 2008

[with video]

MONTGOMERY CO. Md. (WUSA) -- Montgomery County police say they've been investigating allegations against Father Aaron Cote for years.

The 56 year old former pastor of Mother Seton parish in Germantown was supposed to be counseling a 14 year old boy in 2001 and 2002. Instead--police say he took the teenager to an apartment for sex.

"During the times they were alone at the apartment, Father Cote engaged in inappropriate sexual activity with this victim,"Police Spokesman Lucille Baur says.

The victim--Brandon Rains is now 21--his family just settled a civil lawsuit against Cote for 1 point 2 million dollars in 2007.

"In 2008, the family of two Springfield, Massachusetts boys also sued Cote for abusing their children. At the time, the victims were less than five," Becky Ianni of the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests told reporters.

Besides Mother Seton, Father Cote also worked at St Dominic Catholic Church in SW Washington, DC and St Jane Frances de Chantal Parish in Bethesda.

"There have been concerns about Father Cote since the 1980's," David Lorenz--himself a victim of abuse by a priest said.

Lorenz says not acting on those concerns about Cote put other kids in harms way.

"There were certainly allegations and they should have done more to keep him away from children."

SNAP hopes COTE's arrest now empowers others to come forward.

" Today's action proves that when victims come forward, kids can be protected, and we can get a predator jailed," Ianni said.


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