|Post Falls Catholic Priest on Leave Following Sexual Misconduct Allegation
By Bill Roberts
May 10, 2010
A Post Falls Catholic priest has been placed on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a male under 18 in Idaho Falls in about 1981.
Bishop Michael Driscoll of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise told parishioners at St. George's Catholic church in Post Falls last weekend that the Rev. William R. Gould was placed on administrative leave on May 4.
Gould denies the allegation, the bishop said in a statement.
It is the second time since 2005 that Gould was placed on leave amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Driscoll accepted Gould's request for leave from active ministry in 2005 after learning that the priest "was involved in activity which violates the Diocese of Boise's sexual misconduct policies as they relate to adults," Driscoll said at the time, according to a story in the Idaho Statesman in 2005.
Post Falls police were told of Gould's suspension at the time, but were assured by the diocese that it was not a criminal matter, meaning no youths were involved, law enforcement authorities said in 2005.
The 2005 allegation against Gould was substantiated and he was sent out of state for treatment, church officials said. He returned to the Post Falls parish in early 2006, at the request of the parish, a diocese spokesman said.
Administrative leave means Gould can't function publicly as a Catholic priest. He may not wear a priest collar or publicly celebrate mass, Idaho diocesan officials said.
Officials don't know how long an investigation will take. The bishop said he is following procedures for handling the allegations that were laid out by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Gould was ordained in 1965.
He did not serve in the Treasure Valley, according to information from the diocese. He served mostly in Eastern and North Idaho.
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