14 clergy, including priest from Greensboro, credibly accused of child sexual abuse, Charlotte Diocese says

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- 14 clergy, including 1 priest from Greensboro have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse in western North Carolina since the diocese was established in 1972, according to a Charlotte Diocese news release.

The accused clergy are listed below:

  • Donald Philip Baker
  • Charles Jeffries “Jeff” Burton
  • Eugene D. Corbesero
  • Aloysius Joseph D’Silva
  • Richard B. Farwell
  • P. Patrick Gavigan, who is accused of abusing a woman when she was a minor in 1973 at Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro
  • Adelbert “Del” Holmes
  • Donald J. Joyce
  • Michael Joseph Kelleher
  • Peter Tan Van Le
  • Damion Jacques Lynch
  • Justin Paul Pechulis
  • Donald Francis Scales
  • Robert Yurgel

The list is the result of a year-long process that included a comprehensive, independent review of more than 1,600 files dating back almost 50 years.

Records show that the 14 clergy named on the list were removed from ministry years ago or died before allegations came to light.

Most of their names were also made known publicly years ago by the diocese and others, the release says.

“It is painful to even try to comprehend such gravely immoral behavior,” Charlotte Bishop Peter J. Jugis wrote in a letter published Monday. “However, in speaking with survivors and hearing their stories, it is clear to me that making known the names of their abusers can promote healing for them and their families.”

The diocese compiled the information on a website, which also features resources including a new hotline for reporting sexual abuse operated independently by Red Flag Reporting.

The hotline allows people to speak up, anonymously or not, when suspected sexual abuse or other unethical activity is noted.

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