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Former Virginia Beach clergyman charged with sexual assault of minor in Rockingham County

Former Virginia Beach clergyman charged with sexual assault of minor in Rockingham County

Former Virginia Beach clergyman charged with sexual assault of minor in Rockingham County image
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Former Virginia Beach Catholic priest Father Paul David Ryan faces two felony counts of carnal knowledge by force of a minor under the age of 18.

Ryan was identified through an investigation into clergy abuse in Virginia being led by Attorney General Mark Herring and the Virginia State Police.

Ryan, who was indicted by the multi-jurisdictional grand jury seated in Rockingham County, has been living in Australia, and is currently in custody and in the process of being extradited back to Virginia for trial.

“Our investigation with Virginia State Police into potential clergy abuse in the Commonwealth remains ongoing and I want to encourage anyone who may have more information about this case or any other instances of abuse to please reach out to us as soon as possible,” Herring said. “I understand that coming forward with this kind of experience can be difficult or scary, but I pledge to you that, no matter how long ago the incident occurred, we will take it seriously and ensure that you get the support and help that you need and deserve.”

The indictments are related to alleged sexual contact by Ryan, while he was an ordained Catholic Priest assigned at Star of the Sea Parish and the affiliated Star of the Sea School, both in Virginia Beach, between 1979 and 1980.

According to the indictments, “under the pretense of a church-sanctioned outing, Father Paul David Ryan took [the victim] on a ski trip to Massanutten Resort in Rockingham County, Virginia, where he had arranged for the two of them to stay at a house together at the resort.”

On the aforementioned trip, Ryan allegedly sexually assaulted the victim twice, who was under the age of 18 at the time.

These are the second charges resulting from the ongoing investigation into whether criminal sexual abuse of children may have occurred in Virginia’s Catholic dioceses.

If you or someone you know has additional information about these or any other instances of abuse, please contact the Virginia Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064 or at www.VirginiaClergyHotline.com that are both available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive reports of clergy abuse.

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