Late Jesuit Priest with Ties to Corpus Christi Has "Credible Allegations" of Sexual Abuse

By Alexandria Rodriguez
Corpus Christi Caller Times
December 12, 2018

J. Donald Pearce in 1978.

A Jesuit priest accused of more than one incident of sexual abuse of a minor spent time in Corpus Christi.

The late J. Donald Pearce, who was in Corpus Christi in the 1970s, was included in a list of names of Jesuits, who were members of the U.S. Central and Southern Province, with "credible allegations."

Jesuits are a Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers.

The men included in the list, released on the Society of Jesuits' website, fall into one of three categories.

"Jesuits of this province against whom one or more credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor or a vulnerable adult have been made; Jesuits from other provinces against whom there are credible claims resulting from their work while assigned to this province; Jesuits of this province whose names have been published on diocesan websites or the websites of other Jesuit provinces," the news release on the website reads.

Pearce, who died in 2016, was assigned to the Corpus Christi Minor Seminary in Corpus Christi, the news release states.

He was at the seminary, which served as a four-year high school for boys, in the late 1970s, Caller-Times articles show. That site later became St. John Paul II High School.

Pearce was assigned to Jesuit High School in Shreveport and New Orleans, among others. Allegations of sexual abuse rose sometime in the 1960s, the release states.

It is unknown if any allegations were made during Pearce's time in Corpus Christi.

He retired from the ministry in 2003 because of health issues.

Though the allegations were classified as credible, the order stated the list "does not imply that the allegations are true and correct or that the accused individual has been found guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims," the release states.

Pearce is one of nine priests on the list who spent time in Texas. Other priests with allegations were assigned to El Paso, Lake Dallas and Nassau Bay.

The Diocese of Corpus Christi in October also announced plans to release a list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors from 1950 to 2018. It is expected to release the list by Jan. 31, 2019.








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