Priest Denies He Touched Teen Improperly
Accuser Says Rudy Discussed Tattoo

By Kevin Canfield
Hartford Courant
June 20, 1998

Winsted — A Catholic priest charged with sexually touching an 18-year-old man admitted to police he and the young man hugged and discussed a person who had a tattoo on his genitals, but said he never touched the young man in an improper way.

The Rev. John Rudy, 47, of St. Joseph's Church turned himself in to police

Wednesday after learning there was a warrant for his arrest on two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault — a misdemeanor. A young man, whose name has not been made available by authorities, complained that Rudy twice touched him sexually one night in May.

Rudy could not be reached for comment Friday.

According to the warrant for Rudy's arrest, filed Friday in Bantam Superior Court, the accuser told police that he and a friend of his went with Rudy to the church friary on the night of May 20. The two were on Main Street when they met up with Rudy, who is known in Winsted for his frequent walks around town.

Once inside the friary, Rudy closed the shades and sat between the two friends, the accuser told police. Rudy moved closer to the young man, began rubbing the victim's stomach and then reached inside the young man's pants and touched his genitals, the victim told police. The young man said he moved Rudy's hand away and continued their conversation.

Rudy then began scratching the young man's back and touched his chest before reaching inside the young man's pants and touching his genitals a second time, the victim said.

The friends decided it was time to leave. Rudy then told them about a man who had a tattoo of a rabbit on his genitals, the young man said. Rudy, the young man claimed, said the rabbit would get longer when the man became aroused.

Rudy told police that the victim first brought up the topic of a man with a tattoo on his genitals.

Rudy said he responded, mentioning "a 'street person who was kind of drunk at the time' and that this person had a tattoo of a rabbit on [his genitals]," reads the warrant. Rudy denied making comments about arousal.

As the friends walked toward the door, Rudy twice grabbed at the front of the young man's pants, the victim said. Rudy then hugged both young men and invited them back the next day.

Rudy told police that after arriving at the friary, both young men asked him if he had ever been arrested, which he felt was a strange question. The three talked for a while, Rudy said, and both young men seemed sensitive. One appeared on the verge of tears, Rudy reportedly told police.

Rudy said he hugged both young men, who, before leaving at 10 p.m., asked if they could return the next day. Rudy denied any inappropriate touching, but did say he touched the victim on the back and shoulder as they talked.

Police also took statements from the young man's friend who was with him at the friary and a woman the accuser said he phoned before filing the complaint.

The woman told police that the accuser was so upset he could not talk, so the friend told her what had occurred.

Rudy is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in the Bantam section of Litchfield on June 30.


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