Arlington Diocese releases list of priests ‘credibly accused’ of sexually abusing minors

WASHINGTON — The Catholic Diocese of Arlington has made public a list of 16 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. The list has been culled from clergy files dating to 1974, which marks the founding of the Arlington Diocese.

All 16 priests on the list have either been removed from public ministry or are deceased. See the full list here.

“My perpetrator’s name is on there,” said Becky Ianni, Virginia state leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“[His] name is William Reinecke, and so I feel validated that his name is on there. But, I’m concerned about the victims whose perpetrators aren’t named and what they’re feeling today,” Ianni said.

Here’s a photo of Becky Ianni, Virginia leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, as a child. (Courtesy Becky Ianni)

The Arlington Diocese said priests listed have admitted guilt, been found guilty by a court of law or ecclesiastical process, or the allegations against them were found credible by the Diocesan Review Board.

“He was a newly-ordained priest that came to our church and adopted our family,” said Ianni of the priest who began abusing her when she was 8 years old. “[He] ate dinner at our house, went on vacation with us and so forth.”

Ianni said Reinecke abused her for several years. He died in 1992.

“I think it does help me,” Ianni said. “I think it’s good these names are out there, but I feel really sorry for those victims whose perpetrators’ names are not there. I did get one call today from a survivor whose perpetrator’s name is not on the list, and they were devastated.”

In an accompanying letter, Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge said the list fulfills a commitment he made in the hope that the public airing might help victims and survivors heal.

The list includes each priests’ year of birth, year of ordination and the year removed from public ministry. It does not include information about the incidents of abuse, when the abuse may have occurred or how many incidents the priest is accused of.

“Why wasn’t this list released years ago? Many of these priests are deceased,” said Ianni. “This happened a long time ago … we don’t have the details, when were they accused.”

Five of the 16 priests were ordained in Richmond, Virginia, and transferred to Arlington when the diocese was established in 1974.

A list of priests credibly accused of child sex abuse has also been released by the Richmond Diocese.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up