The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Priest who worked in NH is arrested for child sex crime
Statement by Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Director, 314 433 2511
We are grateful that at least one more person who was assaulted by this priest is stepping forward and has called police. We suspect that there are still others who were molested by Fr. Owino, and hope they too will speak up.
It's the civic and Christian duty of every single person who saw, suspected or suffered this cleric's crimes to call law enforcement. It's irresponsible to stay paralyzed in fear, shame or embarrassment, while a predator goes free for lack of evidence and innocent children are put in harm's way again. Please, we beg you, if you have knowledge or suspicions of Owino’s wrongdoing, call the police now.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world's oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We've been around for 22 years and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word "priest" in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)
Father Felix Owino worked as a Philosophy instructor at Wheeling Jesuit University, according to a news release.
Below is the statement from Wheeling Jesuit University regarding arrest of Rev. Felix Owino, A.J.: WHEELING, WV, July 12, 2010 — The Rev. Felix Owino, a priest in the religious missionary institute of the Apostles of Jesus, was arrested on July 8 in Fairfax, Va. on charges of aggravated sexual battery of a minor.
Until June 2010, Owino was a faculty member in the philosophy department of Wheeling Jesuit University. Owino has no current responsibilities at the university and is not expected to return to campus.
Owino is not a member of the Jesuit order and was on summer break from his teaching duties at the time of the incident. During his two years at Wheeling Jesuit, the campus authorities received no student complaints about his conduct.
“This alleged behavior violates the core of who we are called to be as Christians and as a Jesuit, Catholic campus community whose mission demands that we dedicate ourselves to the care and protection of our students,” said Interim President Sister Francis Marie Thrailkill, OSU. “We want to assure the public that nothing is more important than the safety of our students. We encourage all students to report misconduct to the president’s office or their student advisor.”
Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Owino was ordained in 1992 and is a member of the Religious Missionary Institute of the Apostles of Jesus, headquartered in Philadelphia. He joined the faculty of Wheeling Jesuit in the fall of 2008 and taught for two consecutive terms, most recently instructing an online class. Prior to that he worked at Magdalen College in New Hampshire and before that at Alvernia College in Reading, Pa.
W.Va. priest suspended after arrest on sex charge
WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) - The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has suspended a priest following his arrest in northern Virginia on a charge of aggravated sexual battery of a minor under 13.
Diocese spokesman Bryan Minor said Monday the church suspended the Rev. Felix C. Owino after confirming he had been arrested July 8 in Fairfax, Va., and was being held in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.
A spokesman with the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office said Owino was being held without bond. A hearing is set for Sept. 2.
The diocese spokesman said Owino was serving as an associate pastor at a church in Weirton. He also taught at Wheeling Jesuit University the past two years.
Owino is a member of the Religious Missionary Institute of the Apostles of Jesus based in Northampton, Pa.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests