TACLOBAN CITY – An American priest based in Naval town in Biliran province was arrested Wednesday (Dec. 5) for allegedly engaging in sexual activities involving minors.
Members of the local police and personnel of the US Homeland Security arrested Fr. Kenneth Hendricks inside the Cathedral of Our Lady Rosary Parish about 11 a.m., provincial police director Senior Supt. Julius Coyme said in a phone interview.
Hendricks, 71, was said to have sexually abused ‘several’ boys. Many of them served as his sacristan (altar assistants).
“He was inside the church when arrested by the personnel of the US Homeland Security and local police. He did not resist the arrest,” Coyme said.
Personnel of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) were also around during the arrest of Hendricks, said to have been living in Naval for 40 years now.
The priest is facing charges for indecent sexual conduct involving minors, the police provincial director said.
Coyme said that based on their records, the American priest, who lived in Barangay Talustusan, Naval, was facing seven complaints of sexual abuse.
“But of the seven complainants filed, only two proceeded with their complaints,” he said.
One of them was sexually abused by Hendricks when he was just 12 years old.
Coyme said that information he gathered from the US personnel said there could be other victims of sexual abuses committed by Hendricks.
“They came to us last week and informed us that they are still gathering information as there could be more victims,” the police official said.
The priest, who was first brought to the Biliran Provincial Hospital for a medical check-up, was immediately brought by BI and US Homeland Security personnel to Manila after his arrest. – Inquirer.net