According to WTHR Channel 13, Father David Huneck has stepped down from his position as chaplain at Bishop Dwenger High School and as the pastor of Saint Paul of the Cross Catholic Church amid accusations that he sexually abused a minor. Bishop Dwenger High School is located at 1300 E Washington Center Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46825. St Paul of the Cross Catholic Church is located at 315 S Line St, Columbia City, IN 46725.
It is reported that the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend was made aware of the sexual assault allegations on September 19, 2021. They shared the information with the state's Department of Child Services as well as the police.
Huneck resigned from both positions, and the investigation is ongoing. Officials believe there could be more victims and urge anyone with information to come forward.
Attorney contributor Jeff Gibson, an experienced sexual abuse lawyer in Indiana, represents victims of sexual abuse and their families in civil lawsuits. During a recent interview, Jeff highlighted some legal rights of victims abused sexually by a pastor.
"Churches, as well as schools, are legally obligated to protect their congregation members. Pastors have a position of power that church and school congregations rely on to be trustworthy and respected. Unfortunately, too many pastors and other clergy members exploit their positions and sexually abuse congregation members and students. It is the duty of the religious organization to provide a level of security in order to prevent abuse from occurring. This could involve background checks for prior reports of misconduct and installing security cameras throughout the church or school. Without preventative measures taken by the organization, they could be found liable for negligence in a civil lawsuit should misconduct occur."
"Sexual abuse victims and their families are encouraged to employ the counsel of an experienced sexual abuse lawyer in order to explore their legal options better. Sometimes sexual abuse occurs as a result of negligence on behalf of the church or school. An example of negligence includes if the administration was made aware of prior misconduct but failed to report or investigate them. In cases like this, the victim's families should be aware of their legal right to file a civil lawsuit against the church or school."