Accused Priest Suspended from Duties

By Steve Maynard
News Tribune
March 16, 2011

A priest who once served in Lacey and Tacoma was removed from public ministry after an unidentified South Sound man made accusations last week of what his lawyer called improper sexual touching on more than one occasion at least 25 years ago.

The Rev. Edward Receconi has been removed from ministry while he is investigated for alleged sexual abuse of a minor when he was serving at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lacey from 1984-86.

A phone call from the accuser's lawyer late last week caused the Archdiocese of Seattle to withdraw Receconi's authority to minister in Western Washington, a standard practice when an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is reported, said Greg Magnoni, spokesman for the Seattle archdiocese.

Receconi, a 62-year-old Benedictine priest, also served at St. Edward parish in Shelton from 1987-93 and Holy Rosary parish in Tacoma from 1995-96.

Magnoni said Tuesday that this is the first and only complaint of child sexual abuse brought forward against Receconi.

Olympia lawyer Avelin Tacon said he called the archdiocese last week to find out the last name of the man his client could only remember as "Father Edward."

Tacon declined to name his client but said he is a South Sound-area resident in his late 30s to early 40s. That would make him a teenager when the alleged abuse took place away from the parish.

"His memory of what occurred was triggered by a recent event," Tacon said Tuesday. "Being at a particular location triggered it."

Receconi also was put on administrative leave by his superior at Saint Martin's Abbey in Lacey, Magnoni said.

The archdiocese, which also forwarded the allegation to Lacey police, will investigate the alleged abuse and report the results to the Benedictine order, Magnoni said. Sexual abuse allegations, if proved credible, result in permanent removal from ministry in the archdiocese.

"I'm pleased that they are investigating the allegations of my client," Tacon said.

Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647

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