Philly-area Priest Charged With Harassment

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    The Reporter
    Rev. John Roebuck

    A Roman Catholic priest in suburban Philadelphia has been arrested and charged with harassment and indecent assault.

    Police say 64-year-old Rev. John Roebuck grabbed a man's genitals in the locker room of the North Penn YMCA in Lansdale on Dec. 15.

    Roebuck intially met the victim as the two men were using the gym's sauna, where they had a brief conversation, according to authorities.

    A short time later, the victim noticed Roebuck standing behind him while he was using a locker room sink, according to officials.

    Police say when the man turned to leave, the priest extended one arm to shake hands and used his free hand to take hold of the victim's genitals.

    The victim informed the YMCA's staff and, when an employee confronted Roebuck, the priest denied the allegations, according to reports.

    A message left at Roebuck's parish office was not immediately returned. It's not clear if he has a lawyer.

    Church officials call the charges "deeply troubling." The priest is on administrative leave from his job as parochial vicar at St. Stanislaus in Lansdale.

    The archdiocese says it is cooperating with investigators. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

    Lansdale police said no information about the case would be released until Monday.