Church defrocks priest accused of molestation at prep school

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) " An Episcopal priest accused of molesting children at an elite boarding school and elsewhere has been removed from the priesthood.

The Rev. Howard White accepted the notice of his removal Monday but did not admit guilt, a Pennsylvania diocese said in a news release.

White, 75, is one of several former St. George's School employees accused of sexual abuse and misconduct involving dozens of children between the 1970s and 2004. An independent investigation released last month found White abused children at the Middletown boarding school in the 1970s before being fired.

White has not been charged with any crime, but since the allegations at St. George's emerged in December several other people have come forward to say he abused them. State police brought no charges after an investigation this year, citing the statute of limitations and other issues.

White didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

In New Hampshire, police launched an investigation after a former student at St. Paul's School in Concord reported White abused him while a chaplain and teacher from 1967 to 1971.

Police also launched an investigation in Waynesville, North Carolina, where White was rector at Grace Church in the Mountains for 22 years.

The Providence Journal has reported that White's godson sued him and the Episcopal Church in West Virginia in 1996, alleging he abused him there in 1969. That lawsuit was dismissed because it was filed too late.

White also worked at Chatham Hall in Virginia and Asheville Country Day School, which later became Carolina Day School, in North Carolina. The rector at Chatham Hall said Tuesday the school has received no reports of abuse by White. Carolina Day's head of school said this year it had not received any reports of abuse but did not immediately return a message seeking comment Tuesday.

White retired in 2006 but had been working as a Sunday-only priest at St. James Episcopal Church in Bedford, Pennsylvania, before being placed on leave in January, the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania said. It said it has not received any allegations of abuse against him during his time there.

The Diocese of Southeast Florida also is investigating a retired priest and former headmaster at St. George's, the Rev. George E. Andrews, who is accused of failing to report sexual abuse by a teacher to authorities when he led the school in the 1980s. His lawyer has said he relied on legal advice and did not know the scale of the abuse at the time.

Andrews' son-in-law is the Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, and his daughter sits on the board of the $58,000-per-year school.

Other famous St. George's alumni include poet Ogden Nash, former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean and NBC personality Billy Bush, a former "Access Hollywood" host who appeared in a recently leaked video of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump talking crudely about groping women.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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