ARIZONA NEWS

74-year-old former Valley priest charged with sexually abusing 2 boys

Jan 9, 2020, 6:00 PM | Updated: Jan 10, 2020, 10:34 am
Father Jack Spaulding...
John "Jack" Dallas Spaulding (File Photo)
(File Photo)

PHOENIX — A 74-year-old former Valley priest has been charged with sexually abusing two boys, authorities said Thursday.

A state grand jury on Wednesday indicted Father John “Jack” Dallas Spaulding on six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child.

“It is my commitment to this community that we will hold criminals accountable and protect the rights of victims,” Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel said Thursday in a press release.

“It is an unspeakable thing to take away the innocence of a child. This indictment sends a clear message that we will hold those who commit these heinous acts accountable.”

Spaulding was a Catholic priest at St. Gabriel parish in Phoenix and St. Timothy parish in Mesa when the crimes allegedly occurred, prosecutors said.

He is accused of sexually abusing the victims, who both were under the age of 15, between 2003 and 2007.

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix said Thursday it contacted law enforcement after receiving a report in June 2019 from a man who said Spaulding sexually abused him when he was a minor.

The diocese said Spaulding was suspended in June 2011 and placed on leave following an investigation that determined a sexual misconduct allegation against him was credible. It said several additional claims have since been made alleging sexual misconduct by Spaulding and all were reported to law enforcement.

The church in 2014 began a process called laicization to remove him from the priesthood, but Spaulding has appealed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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74-year-old former Valley priest charged with sexually abusing 2 boys