Abusive Priest from Virginia Arrested Thanks to A.G. Investigation
A former Catholic priest who molested a DC Councilman has been arrested and charged with child sexual abuse. We applaud the brave victim in this case and hope his example will encourage other survivors and witnesses to come forward and make a report to police.
Scott Asalone, a former cleric from the Capuchin Friars order, was arrested on Saturday in New Jersey. Despite having been removed from ministry since 1993 due to allegations of sexual abuse, Asalone had been able to walk free. This arrest was only made possible because Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has been investigating cases of clergy abuse in his state and because victims like D.C. Councilman David Grasso had the courage to come forward and assist that investigation. Thanks to the work done by the A.G. Herring and his team and to the testimony of survivors like Councilman Grasso, children in New Jersey are safer today.
We are disturbed that Catholic officials knew that Asalone was an abuser in 1993 but did not take steps to have the priest arrested and kept away from children. We hope that no other boys or girls were victimized due to this inaction by Church leaders in Arlington. At the same time, we are incredibly grateful to A.G. Herring and the investigators in his office who uncovered this hidden crime and have been able to file charges.
It is highly likely that there are more hidden abusers in Virginia. We hope that this arrest will encourage victims and witnesses in the state to come forward and make a report to the A.G. by calling their toll-free hotline at 1-833-454-9064 or by making a report on their website. More children can be protected and justice can best be served when those with knowledge of clergy sex crimes come forward and contact law enforcement.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)