Priest Accused of Improperly Touching 7-Year-Old Boy

By Kevin Canfield
Hartford Courant
September 2, 1998

A Winsted Catholic priest, facing charges that he sexually assaulted a young man, was arrested again Tuesday, accused of improperly touching a 7-year-old boy.

The Rev. John Rudy, 48, of St. Joseph's Church, was charged with risk of injury to a minor at Bantam Superior Court.

Rudy was at the court for a pre-trial hearing in a case in which he is accused of sexually touching an 18-year-old man. Rudy was charged with two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault -- a misdemeanor -- in that case.

According to the warrant for Rudy's most recent arrest, a Winsted boy, now 9, told authorities that Rudy touched him in the genital area on several occasions when they were swimming together at Highland Lake in Winsted during the summer of 1996.

Winsted police began investigating the allegation after a conversation with a minister from another local church. The minister told police that the boy's mother, who was a neighbor of his, sought advice on how to deal with her son's claim that he was touched by Rudy two years earlier.

Both Rudy and his lawyer, Hubert Santos, declined comment Tuesday.

Rudy was released on a non-surety bond. He is due back in court on Sept. 24. The 18-year-old man Rudy is accused of improperly touching told police the incident occured after he and a friend met up with Rudy, who was on one of his frequent walks along Main Street. The three went back to the church friary together. Rudy denied that he touched the man in a sexual way.

A priest for about 25 years, Rudy was placed on administrative leave around the time of the first arrest in June.

The Manhattan-based Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province, of which Rudy is a member, said in a statement this summer that the order is "committed to a careful listening and a respectful response to any person who believes that he or she has been harmed by the sexual misconduct of a friar."

The Rev. Kevin Mullen, spokesman for the organization, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Rudy spent a week at St. Luke's Institute in Maryland, a center run by the Franciscans that specializes in psychiatric and sexual evaluations, after the allegations surfaced.


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