Sexual Misconduct Allegations Prompt Suspension Of Millersville Church Leader: Report
MILLERSVILLE, MD - A Millersville deacon was suspended from the ministry after sexual misconduct allegations were filed against him, the Catholic church said Sunday. The suspension is pending the results of a full investigation.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore identified the accused as Deacon Edward "Ed" Stoops of Our Lady of the Fields.
"One individual with whom Deacon Stoops allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual activity may have been a minor at the time," the Archdiocese said in a press release. "Deacon Stoops has acknowledged adult sexual activity that is inappropriate for a Deacon and has denied any sexual abuse of a minor."
The Anne Arundel County Police Department and the Archdiocese are both conducting their own investigations.
"This matter is in an early stage of investigation and thus no determination of credibility has been made by the Archdiocese at this time," the Archdiocese said in the release. "However, the Archdiocese is making this communication in order to solicit any relevant information as part of its investigation and also in order to fulfill its commitment to open communication with affected communities. In accordance with Archdiocesan policy, counseling assistance is available to those affected by child sexual abuse."
Stoops was ordained as a deacon in 1972, and he has been at Our Lady of the Fields ever since. He also coordinated a ministry that supported people experiencing homelessness at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Baltimore.
"The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse," the Archdiocese said in the release. "We urge anyone who has any knowledge of any child sexual abuse to contact law enforcement."
Anybody with information can contact the Anne Arundel County Police Department at (410) 222-6155. Tipsters can stay anonymous by dialing (410) 222-4700.
The church asked informants to also call the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection at 1-866-417-7469 or 410-547-5348.
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