Priest Indicted in 30-Year-Old Sex Case

By Emily Hancock
The Capital
December 21, 1996

A 64-year-old Roman Catholic priest from Montgomery County has been indicted on charges of sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl at Bay Ridge Beach more than 30 years ago.

The county grand jury indicted the Rev. James Aubrey Finan of Silver Spring on Monday on the charge of perverted practices. If convicted, he faces a 10-year maximum jail sentence and a $ 1,000 fine.

The Rev. Finan also faces a Montgomery County perverted practice charge for another alleged encounter about 30 years ago, according to Joyce Barrow, a Montgomery County police officer.

The Anne Arundel County incident allegedly occurred at Bay Ridge Beach during the summer of 1964 or 1965, according to Kristin Riggin, a spokesman for the county State's Attorney's Office.

The victim told investigators that she decided to come forward with her story after hearing news media reports about the Rev. Finan's arrest in October. At the request of prosecutors, The Capital is withholding her name.

The Washington woman, now 38, said the Rev. Finan was a friend of the her family in the mid-1960s, when he was pastor of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Washington.

He's not currently with a parish, a spokesman at the Washington Chancery said this morning.

During the summer of 1964 or 1965, the Rev. Finan allegedly got permission from the girl's parents to take her on a day trip to Bay Ridge Beach south of Annapolis, Ms. Riggin said.

At the beach, the Rev. Finan allegedly performed oral sex on the girl and fondled her while they were in the back seat of his car, Ms. Riggin said.

The woman, who was at least 6 years old when the alleged abuse occurred, didn't report the incident to anyone until about five years ago, when she told her mother. She didn't decide to pursue charges, however, until she heard the Rev. Finan was arrested in the Montgomery County case, Ms. Riggin said.

He was arrested on that charge on Oct. 11 and was released on a $ 5,000 bond, Officer Barrow said.

A 40-year-old man told investigators that the Rev. Finan was a friend of his family in Silver Spring. At the time, between 1965 and 1969, the Rev. Finan was assigned to Holy Redeemer parish in Kensington, according to Montgomery County police.

The man told police he spent a night with the Rev. Finan at the church rectory in Kensington during the summer of 1966, and that the priest performed oral sex on him and made other sexual advances.

The man, who was about 10 years old at the time, didn't tell anyone about the incident until after 1980, the police records said.


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