Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Veteran Priest Takes His Life After Sex Charges Made Public

A veteran priest from the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese is dead after charges of sexual misconduct are alleged against him.

The diocese says Father William Rosensteel took his own life Sunday night by jumping off the McNally Bridge on State Route 219 on the Cambria-Somerset County line.

According to the Catholic Register, the diocesan newspaper, the 65-year-old Rosensteel was facing sex charges after someone came forward and filed a complaint with the diocese’s sexual allegation review board.

The incident, which dated back to the 1970’s, was made public over the weekend.

The complainant had alleged that Rosensteel engaged in inappropriate behavior with a minor.

He had been on medical leave from Holy Rosary Parish in the Juniata section of Altoona, since earlier this year.

In a statement released late Monday, Diocese Bishop Joseph Adamec said he was saddened over what happened and he went on to say the allegations were being processed through the appropriate channels consistent with the church policies.

Adamec said a silent termination agreement was in the works that would have allowed Rosensteel to retire with some type of ministry.

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