Philippines arrests US priest accused of abusing altar boys

The priest was arrested in a church in Naval town in the island province of Biliran. (File/AFP)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Philippines arrests US priest accused of abusing altar boys

  • Rev. Kenneth Bernard Hendricks has been indicted in Ohio for illicit sexual conduct in the Philippines
  • 77-year-old Hendricks has been living in the country for 37 years

MANILA, Philippines: Philippine immigration authorities have arrested an American Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting altar boys in a remote central town in a case one official described as “shocking and appalling.”
The Rev. Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, who has been indicted in Ohio for illicit sexual conduct in the Philippines, was arrested in a church in Naval town in the island province of Biliran on Wednesday, Bureau of Immigration spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said Thursday.
An Ohio court had issued a warrant for the arrest of 77-year-old Hendricks, who has been living in the Philippines for 37 years, Sandoval said, adding that the US criminal case stemmed from complaints from the alleged Filipino victims.
There was no immediate reaction from the US Embassy, Philippine Catholic Church officials or Hendricks, who was flown to Manila and detained in an immigration detention center.
The suspect allegedly abused seven victims, who served mostly as altar boys in Naval, in 50 counts of molestation in his residence in a case that’s “both shocking and appalling,” Sandoval said.
“The victims were in his house and the abuses were committed while he was taking a bath with each of them,” Sandoval said by telephone. US authorities provided information about the alleged sexual assaults to the Philippine government, she said.
The victims were reportedly warned they would be locked up in jail if they told anyone about the abuses, she said.
“Several of his victims have come forward with their statements,” Sandoval said.
The US Embassy may revoke Hendrick’s passport to help Philippine authorities immediately deport the priest, the immigration bureau said in a statement.
Hendricks is “a fugitive from justice that poses a risk to public safety and security,” Sandoval said. “We will not allow sexual predators to prey on our children. People like him must be kicked out and banned from the Philippines.”


China charges 10 over riot at a military veterans’ protest

Updated 19 min 57 sec ago
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China charges 10 over riot at a military veterans’ protest

  • The violence points to continued tensions between the authorities and ex-servicemen despite the establishment of a Cabinet agency to oversee veterans’ affairs
  • The government refused to confirm the riot at the time and censored reports about it on the Internet

BEIJING: China state media say 10 people have been charged with various offenses over rioting at a gathering of military veterans protesting for better benefits.
It wasn’t clear whether the suspects are veterans. However, the violence at the Oct. 4-7 gathering in the eastern city of Pingdu points to continued tensions between the authorities and ex-servicemen despite the establishment of a Cabinet agency to oversee veterans’ affairs.
Multiple protests have been staged in recent years, including in the capital, Beijing, to demand better pensions and health care.
The government refused to confirm the riot at the time and censored reports about it on the Internet.