A defrocked American priest has been accused of using his shelter to lure young girls and sexually abuse them at night.
84-year-old Reverend Richard Daschbach, a Pennsylvania priest who arrived in East Timor during the 1970s, has been accused of sexually molesting underage girls by 15 females who had stayed at his Topu Honis shelter in East Timor, the Associated Press (AP) reported Thursday.
A former American priest who saved lives during East Timor’s struggle for independence is standing trial over accusations he sexually abused girls who lived at a shelter he founded in the Asian country. https://t.co/cai77ANR4o
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 8, 2021
The AP spoke with five of the accusers about their experiences. One accuser told the outlet that Daschbach posted a list on his bedroom door of all the children’s names. “The way that you determine who sits on his lap is by the list that he’d have on his door, And that meant that you were the little girl that was going to go with him,” she said.
The accusers recalled that Daschbach would undress girls while in his white boxers, giving them deodorant before fondling them. On some occasions, he forced them to perform oral sex, the AP reported.
Daschbach was defrocked in 2018 after he admitted to sexually abusing children at the shelter, the outlet reported. He told reporters in January that he left a message for the children, which said: “Be patient. We won’t meet again because I will be detained for life, but I will still remember you and you have to be happy there.”
A iceberg has just landed in East Timor – it’s not climate change, but the tip of the iceberg of child sexual assault.
US priest Richard Daschbach faces 14 charges of sexual abuse of children aged under 13, child pornography, & domestic violence.https://t.co/CJjrv8cJI5
— Peter Cronau (@PeterCronau) March 23, 2021
The Vatican first “laicized” Daschbach after the charges surfaced in 2019, then subsequently barred him from exercising baptisms and saying mass, among other tasks. In November, Pope Francis vowed to “rid” the church of sexual abuse in response to a report about sexual misconduct by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Daschbach faces 20 years in prison if found guilty during his trial, which resumes in May.