Bethel priest accused of sexual misconduct

Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2003

BETHEL (AP) A Catholic priest in Bethel who has served in Alaska for more than half a century is facing an accusation of sexual misconduct.

The complaint involves Henry Hargreaves, 89, the assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception Church here, according to church officials.

Chancellor Richard Case of the Fairbanks diocese said in a statement that Hargreaves is accused of making ''inappropriate advances'' toward a woman in her 60s on April 15.

Bethel parishioners were told of the matter on May 11, according to Case. Hargreaves was suspended from his ministry while Bethel police investigate the allegations, he said.

Hargreaves is leaving the community for medical and psychological testing, according to the church official.

Hargreaves has been a priest for 55 years, working in Alaska since 1949. He was assigned to the Bethel parish in 1998.

The diocese's policy is to treat any allegation of sexual misconduct with the utmost seriousness, and to support investigations and resolutions of such matters, Case said in his statement.



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