The 50 Year Secret

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington and the Catholic Diocese of Richmond released in February of 2019 their list of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse.

The Diocese of Arlington did so “in the hope that providing such a list might help survivors of clergy sexual abuse find further healing and consolation.”

Father William Reinecke, one of the highest-ranking members of the clergy in our region in the last half century, was among those listed.

After speaking with one of his survivors we realized that a much larger, never-before -told story of widespread, serial pedophilia involving Reinecke may exist. And while we can’t prove it, there are also strong suggestions of a cover-up in Father Reinecke’s case. Officials with the Diocese of Arlington strongly deny these suggestions. Officials with the Diocese of Richmond declined to answer any questions for this story. 

So, we decided to dig deeper. After more than five months of investigating we unraveled Father Reinecke’s haunting past with the help of people close to him: a former priest, a survivor of Reinecke’s abuse and a witness to Reinecke’s grooming tactics and abuse. The latter, Kelley Arnold, is the keeper of The 50 Year Secret.

What we uncovered, revealed in a series of stories called The 50 Year Secret, we hope will help victims heal, hold the powerful accountable and illustrate the very real danger children still face today across Am...

Read the full story and watch the complete documentary here.


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