Valley priest facing charges of sexually abusing 2 boys dies
PHOENIX – A former Valley priest facing charges of sexually abusing two boys died Tuesday, authorities said.
The Diocese of Phoenix announced the death of John “Jack” Dallas Spaulding on Wednesday. He was 75, according to court records.
“We understand how difficult and painful this is for his family, the community of believers, and in a particular way for the individuals who came forward with allegations and their families,” the diocese said in a statement. “Seeking truth and justice was a shared desire. His death prevents this process here on earth and brings sadness, anger and hurt on many levels.”
Court documents show the 74-year-old Spaulding had pancreatic cancer that had spread to other organs.
In January, a state grand jury indicted Spaulding on six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child.
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 was accused of sexually abusing the victims, who both were under the age of 15, between 2003 and 2007.
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 the process of removing him from the priesthood, but Spaulding’s appeal remained pending until his death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.