Diocese of Youngstown Says Priest Wasn't Wrong for Not Divulging Sex-Abuse Allegations

The Vindicator
June 21, 2012

YOUNGSTOWN The Diocese of Youngstown has issued a statement saying a priest was not wrong for failing to notify police about information he received years ago concerning the molestation of an underage girl.

Michael Parent, 55, of Myrtle Beach, was sentenced Wednesday by Judge Lou A. D'Apolito of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to 13 years in prison for raping his stepdaughter for years while living in Mahoning County. The rapes began in 1984 when the girl was 5 and did not end until 1996 when she was almost 18.

The victim, who is now 34, told authorities she went to the Rev. Michael Seifert and spoke about the assaults when she was 15, but the matter was never taken to police.

The diocese, in a press release issued this afternoon, said it was not made aware of the issue or the allegations that Father Seifert did not report what the girl said to authorities until a story appeared in today's Vindicator, but church officials maintain that a priest cannot divulge information given in confidence.


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