5 more arrest warrants served vs American priest
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.