Pastor Placed on Leave Amid Abuse Investigation

By Komo Staff

July 7, 2008

SEATTLE -- The pastor of a Monroe church has been placed on administrative leave following allegations of sexual abuse of a child.

In a news release issued Monday, the Archdiocese of Seattle said Archbishop Alex J. Brunett asked that Father Michael C. OBrien take leave as pastor of St. Mary of the Valley Parish while a canonical investigation is conducted.

The abuse allegedly occurred in the 1960s, but details about the complaint were not available.

"The current investigation will be conducted with due speed to determine the facts surrounding the allegation," Brunett said in a statement. "Based upon the findings, I will either reinstate Father OBrien as pastor or continue his administrative leave pending action by the Vatican."

The Archdiocese said OBrien was also placed on leave in 2004 following a separate allegation, but was reinstated after an investigation "failed to substantiate the allegation."

According to the church's Web site, OBrien served at several churches throughout Western Washington before coming to St. Mary of the Valley Parish in 1999.


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