Common Roots: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference

Rape indictment handed down against retired WNC priest

Howard “Howdy” White, Jr., indicted on historic rape and abuse charges

A defrocked Episcopal priest currently in prison in Massachusetts following a conviction for sexually abusing young boys, has been indicted by a North Carolina grand jury on charges of rape and abuse.

On 13 April 2018 a Haywood County Grand jury returned an indictment against Howard “Howdy” White, Jr. (76) for abusing a boy and a girls while he served as rector of Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville, NC (pictured) between 1984 and 2006. The grand jury returned indictments alleging one count of first-degree forcible sex offense, two counts of indecent liberties with a child, first-degree forcible rape, four counts second-degree forcible sex offense, and second-degree forcible rape.

On 11 Oct 2016 the Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, the Rt Rev. Audrey Scanlan deposed White, who was serving in retirement as a non-stipendiary priest, after the St George’s School in Rhode Island reported that an investigation found that While had abused students at the boys boarding school when her served as its chaplain in the mid-1970s.

White was convicted by a Massachusetts court last year for having molested a St George’s student during a school outing to the state. He is currently serving an 18 month sentence in Massachusetts. The State of North Carolina is expected to seek the extradition of White to stand trial after he completes his sentence at year’s end.

In an interview with the Mountaineer, the Bishop of Western North Carolina the Rt. Rev. Jose Antonio McLoughlin said White’s alleged crimes were  “beyond tragic.” He urged anyone with information to contact the police or the diocese. “People can call here and make any kind of an allegation, and we will look into it,” he said.

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