Metro

Exposure alleged at Revere Catholic school

A worker at a Catholic school in Revere has been placed on leave, and the parish pastor and two school employees have resigned after failing to promptly report possible indecent exposure by the worker in a boys bathroom, the Archdiocese of Boston said.

The archdiocese said in a statement on Tuesday that three incidents of “potential indecent exposure” occurred in a bathroom intended for the exclusive use of students at the Immaculate Conception School over the last month and a half, during regular school hours.

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The pastor, principal, and one teacher at the school, which serves students in prekindergarten through Grade 8, have resigned their positions for failing to “report these possible incidents in a timely manner,” church officials said.

Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese, declined to identify the suspended worker or the employees who resigned. He also would not say what job the suspended employee performs.

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The pastor and principal are identified on the parish and school websites as the Rev. George Szal and Alison Kelly. They could not be reached for comment.

Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said Revere police and prosecutors are investigating, though no criminal charges had been sought as of Tuesday night. Wark also declined to identify the worker involved in the alleged exposures.

A police spokeswoman, Lieutenant Amy O’Hara, said in an e-mail police were “made aware of an allegation last night. We are in the preliminary stages of an investigation.”

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After learning in recent days of the possible exposures, the archdiocese said, it placed the suspended worker on leave and contacted the state Department of Children and Families.

A DCF spokeswoman said the agency had referred the matter to Conley’s office. Under state law, schools are required to report suspected child abuse or neglect to DCF.

Archdiocesan officials did not specify how they first learned of the situation, and Donilon declined to elaborate, citing the ongoing review. Church officials said the school will schedule a meeting with parents in the coming days, and an interim principal and temporary parish administrator will be appointed.

“When it comes to the safety of our children, there can be no breakdown in following well-established and effective policies,” the archdiocese said. “When mistakes are made we must hold ourselves accountable.

“We are grateful that the pastor, principal, and teacher have accepted responsibility. This is not a reflection of their entire professional and ministerial careers. It is the result of a failure regarding this specific issue.”

But the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests on Tuesday called on Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley to have the pastor defrocked and to bar the employees from further work with the church. “Because O’Malley is the pope’s point man on abuse, his actions in this case will be widely scrutinized,” said David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, in a statement. “And because he postures as a ‘reformer’ on abuse, O’Malley must act swiftly and severely.

“Nothing will more effectively deter future recklessness and secrecy in child sex cases than to publicly and permanently remove all three of these wrongdoers from any future work with the church in any capacity.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.
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