Avondale priest charged with sexual assault against adult
Charged priest has worked in Avondale, Colliers and Conception Harbour
A Roman Catholic priest in Avondale has been charged with sexual assault against an adult.
Thomas Offong, 49, was charged following an investigation by the RCMP in Holyrood, according to a press release issued by the police Friday. He is scheduled to appear at provincial court in St. John's on Feb. 6.
Police provided no other information about Offong, the circumstances or the alleged victim, and told CBC News they wouldn't comment further as the matter is now before the courts.
Offong is a listed member of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Falls and is listed as the minister of Assumption Parish, and has been since at least 2017.
Offong has also served as the reverend of Immaculate Conception Parish in Colliers and St. Anne's Parish in Conception Harbour, according to the diocese's website.
In a statement issued Friday afternoon, Bishop Robert Daniels said Offong has been relieved of his duties and the diocese will co-operate in the police investigation.
"As with any case involving physical and/or sexual abuse, our first concern is the well-being of those who bring forward the painful accounts of how they were mistreated and harmed," the statement said.
"We are also concerned that the truth will be brought to light. In this regard, and since the investigation is ongoing, the diocese will make no further statement until the investigation is completed. I urge everyone to reserve judgment until then."