A former Arizona priest has been indicted on child sex abuse charges for allegedly abusing two boys under age 15 over a decade ago. John “Jack” Dallas Spaulding is charged with six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child for abuse that allegedly took place between 2003 and 2007.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix removed the 74-year-old ex-priest from the ministry in 2011. During his time with the diocese, he served at several different churches, including:
Spaulding was a priest at St. Gabriel the Archangel and St. Timothy at the time of the alleged abuse, according to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
The Diocese of Phoenix released a statement saying that an adult filed a report of alleged abuse in June 2019, claiming that Spaulding had abused him when he was a child. The diocese contacted the police and told the man’s family to file a report.
John “Jack” Spaulding has faced previous allegations of sexual abuse. In 2011, there were at least four allegations against him. A 2011 report by The Republic stated that almost a year passed before the diocese investigated the first allegation and deemed it credible. The diocese then suspended Spaulding and placed him on administrative leave.
In October 2011, the diocese released a community notification statement which said that the victims were younger than 13 years old and that the abuse happened during the 1970s and 1980s. Spaulding was still on administrative leave when this statement was released.
A man who claimed his son was abused by Spaulding filed a civil lawsuit in 2012, but this claim was dismissed in 2014.
The Catholic Church held a Special Tribunal regarding the allegations against Spaulding in 2014, in which he was found guilty for “sins against the Sixth Commandment with a minor.” The tribunal recommended his dismissal from clerical duties.
Attorney Kevin Biniazin represents victims of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits against predators and negligent third parties, such as the Catholic Church and other religious organizations. We’ve asked Kevin to share some information on the legal rights of Catholic Church sex abuse survivors:
The Catholic Church and other religious organizations have widespread issues with clergy members sexually abusing young parishioners. Tragically, sexual predators often seek out leadership positions in these organizations, where they exploit the trust of their communities to commit atrocious crimes against children. Religious organizations must stay on guard against these predators and must do all in their power to protect their followers from becoming victims of sexual abuse.
In far too many Catholic Church sex abuse cases, the church was negligent in their failure to prevent the abuse. For example, there have been numerous reports of the church allowing priests accused of sexual abuse to continue serving in the ministry or sending them to other churches. When negligence has been a factor in a sex abuse case, the victims may have grounds for a lawsuit against the church.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church or another religious organization, you can learn more about your legal options in a free consultation with one of our experienced sex abuse victims lawyers.