5 more ar­rest war­rants served vs Amer­i­can priest

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

T HE Na­tional Cap­i­tal Re­gion Po­lice Of­fice served on Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 19, five more ar­rest war­rants against a Fran­cis­can priest for mo­lest­ing at least 50 peo­ple, mostly al­tar boys.

NCRPO Chief Po­lice Direc­tor Guillermo Eleazar said the ar­rest war­rants were served around 11 a.m. while the sus­pect, Fr. Ken­neth Pius Hen­dricks, was in­side the Bureau of Im­mi­gra­tion (BI) de­ten­tion cell in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Hen­dricks was ar­rested by the BI on De­cem­ber 5 by virtue of an ar­rest war­rant is­sued by Stephanie Bow­man, US mag­is­trate judge of the US Dis­trict Court for the Dis­trict of Ohio, on Novem­ber 11, on charges of "en­gag­ing in il­licit sex with a mi­nor in a for­eign coun­try, pun­ish­able by fines and/or up to 30 years in prison."

Eleazar said the five war­rants of ar­rest served Tues­day were is­sued by Judge Con­stantino Es­ber of the Bili­ran Re­gional Trial Court over charges of acts of las­civ­i­ous­ness and child abuse.

He said the ar­rest war­rants were served through a joint ef­fort of the Re­gional Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Unit (RSOU)-NCRPO, the BI Fugi­tive Search Unit, and the US De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity.

“Avail­able in­for­ma­tion re­veals that the Fran­cis­can priest has mo­lested more than 50 peo­ple, mostly al­tar boys as young as seven years old. The new vic­tims were en­cour­aged to openly ac­cuse the priest af­ter learn­ing that he was ar­rested. They were afraid to come out in the open im­me­di­ately be­cause of grave threats from the priest,” said Eleazar.

"This ar­rest is an­other tes­ta­ment to the tru­ism that the long arm of the law will al­ways catch up with crim­i­nals. It may have taken some time for Hen­dricks to be in­dicted and ar­rested, but at the end of the day, he is where he should be -- in jail," he added.

Hen­dricks ar­rived in the Philip­pines from Cincin­nati, Ohio, USA in 1968 and was or­dained as a priest in the Fran­cis­can Or­der and prac­ticed his vo­ca­tion at the St. Isi­dore the Worker Chapel at Talus­tosan Vil­lage in Bili­ran Prov­ince.

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