PHOENIX (AP) — A Catholic priest in Phoenix has been indicted on charges of alleged sexual misconduct with two boys under 15, prosecutors for Arizona’s largest county said Thursday.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s office said a county grand jury Wednesday indicted John Dallas Spaulding, 74, on six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child.
Spaulding could not be located to comment on the charges. Defense attorney Greg Meell did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Prosecutors say the boys were sexually abused between 2003 and 2007 when Spaulding was a priest at St. Gabriel parish in Phoenix and St. Timothy parish in suburban Mesa.
The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix said Thursday it contacted law enforcement after receiving a report in June 2019 from a man who said Spaulding sexually abused him when he was a minor.
The diocese said Spaulding was suspended in June 2011 and placed on leave following an investigation that determined a sexual misconduct allegation against him was credible. It said several additional claims have since been made alleging sexual misconduct by Spaulding and all were reported to law enforcement.
The church in 2014 began a process called laicization to remove him from the priesthood, but Spaulding has appealed.