Queens Priest Arrested for Grooming Teen Boy, SNAP Reacts
A Queens-area priest has been arrested for grooming and sexually abusing a teenage boy. By our count, this is the ninth arrest of a cleric or Catholic employee this year, a fact that shows the clergy sexual abuse scandal is not a thing of the past as Church officials want the public to believe.
While Pastor at St. Pancras Parish in Glendale, Fr. Francis Hughes reportedly sent and received child pornography and physically abused the victim at least one time. Making matters worse, by his admission, Fr. Hughes made “numerous attempts” to meet with other teens, making us concerned that there are children out there who Fr. Hughes may have groomed or abused and who have not yet come forward. We are grateful to the FBI for their work uncovering and charging these crimes and we hope that this news will inspire others who may have been hurt to come forward and make a report to the local police.
We call on Diocesan leaders in Brooklyn to proactively turn over all personnel files and records to police and the FBI in order to make their investigation move more swiftly. Similarly, Catholic officials should visit every single parish where Fr. Hughes worked, sharing this information with parishioners and the public and urging others with information to come forward to law enforcement.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(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)