Harlem Priest Will Not Be Charged

By Rebecca Brody

August 5, 2008

A popular Harlem priest accused of sexually abusing two minors twenty years ago will not be indicted because the statute of limitations has expired, prosecutors announced on Monday, as reported by the New York Daily News.

The accusations against Rev. Monsignor Wallace Harris of St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church on 141st Street were made known during Sunday Mass at Harlemís Church, where he has been pastor since 1989 and date from the late 1980s.

The statute of limitations in New York on such crimes is five years from the time the minor turns 18. Nevertheless, spokeswoman Alicia Maxey-Greene said that if new complaints were reported, they would be investigated.

Both episodes supposedly occurred when Harris, 61, served as vice rector and dean of discipline at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, a Catholic high school on the upper West Side now known by the name of St. Agnes High School for Boys.

The Archdiocese of New York said in a statement that the Rev. Monsignor Wallace Harris rejected the allegations he had been brought. However, according to the same source, Harris will not be permitted to practice as a priest pending an investigation conducted by the Advisory Review Board.

Harris delivered the invocation at David Patersonís inauguration as New Yorkís Governor and served as the event coordinator for part of Pope Benedictís visit in April, as well as the Mass at Yankee Stadium.


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