School chaplain guilty of abuse

 

School chaplain guilty of abuse

Author: 

George Conger

The former chaplain of St George’s School in Middleton, RI, has pled guilty to charges he sexually assaulted a student during a school trip to Boston in 1973.  Howard “Howdie” White, III, was deposed from the ministry of the Episcopal Church in October 2016 by the Bishop of Central Pennsylvania who concluded White had abused a number of children during his career as a school chaplain and priest.

On 13 Dec 2016 White (76) entered a plea of not-guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted a student at the Rhode Island boarding school while on two outings to Boston in 1973. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley told reporters that as White had never lived in Massachusetts, the statute of limitations did not run in his case, and he could be brought to trial on the abuse allegations.

Last month White’s attorney told The Boston Globe that he and prosecutors “came to an agreement on a plea and sentence that we thought was fair.” The disgraced ex-priest will serve 18 months imprisonment and register as a sex offender with the state.

A report released by independent investigators engaged by St George’s School concluded White was among several adults who sexually abused students at the church-affiliated school in the 1970s and 80s.

“My hope is that the appalling events documented at St. George’s School will lead our church to intensify its efforts to protect young people in every setting, and continue our commitment to preventing abuse with thorough training for clergy, staff and volunteers who work with children,” the Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlon of Central Pennsylvania said on 10 Oct 2016.

White has also been accused of molesting students under his care whilst serving as an assistant chaplain at the St Paul’s School in New Hampshire in the 1960s and as rector of Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville, N.C. through the 1990s.

St. George’s School released the following statement after the plea deal was accepted by the court:

“We are aware of Howdy White’s guilty plea in a Massachusetts state court, which was entered as part of a plea deal approved by his victim. The School cooperated in the investigation and is pleased that the judicial process has achieved a just outcome. The School remains steadfast in its commitment to support the St. George’s survivor community.”

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