A Catholic priest in Indiana is accused of giving alcohol to two teen girls and then performing sex acts on them.
Father David Huneck, the former chaplain at Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne and priest at Saint Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in Columbia City, was arrested last week in connection to the case.
Whitley County Prosecutor DJ Sigler told WANE 15 News Huneck was charged with child seduction, sexual battery, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, furnishing alcohol to a minor and two counts of battery.
Officials said two women, ages 17 and 19, came forward and reported an incident that allegedly took place earlier this year. One incident happened about a day before it was reported to authorities, according to The Journal Gazette.
One of the victims reportedly showed police text messages of Huneck apologizing for his behavior.
Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese said the diocese staff immediately conducted a preliminary investigation and then reported the “credible allegations” to the Department of Child Services.
“On Sept. 19, the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend became aware of allegations that Father David Huneck engaged in sexual and other misconduct, including that with a minor,” Rhoades said in a statement.
“Consistent with diocesan policy, the diocese notified the Department of Child Services of the allegations. It was then forwarded to local police. Father Huneck subsequently resigned as pastor of Saint Paul of the Cross Catholic Church, Columbia City, and as chaplain of Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne. Further, as a precautionary measure, Father Huneck was suspended from all public priestly ministry.The diocese stands ready to cooperate with civil authorities.”
Rhoades went on to say that extensive vetting efforts seemed to have failed.
“It’s devastating to me. After all that’s happened in the Church, the rigorous screening that we do before accepting seminarians, the formation they receive in celibate chastity in the seminary. I’d say that’s why it is such a shock to me,” Rhoades told TodaysCatholic.org.
“I can’t really think of anything we could have done differently. There were no red flags. It’s extremely troubling.”