Priest With Local Ties Accused Of Sexually Abusing Young Boys
Updated: 12:46 p.m.
A priest with a Cincinnati connection is accused of sexually abusing young boys while working as a missionary overseas.
According to the Bureau of Immigration in the Philippines, the Rev. Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, 77, is in custody for alleged illicit sexual conduct at his residence.
In a news conference, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Ben Glassman says Hendricks was arrested Wednesday at a church in the town of Naval on the island province of Biliran.
Glassman adds Hendricks has a residence in Cincinnati.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said Hendricks "is not, nor has ever been, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati" and has "never had any assignment with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati."
Steve Francis, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Michigan/Ohio, says, "The specific affiliations of Father Hendricks with organizations in Cincinnati is a matter that we're working to determine right now."
Francis says 10 victims have been identified in the Philippines so far.
"Mr. Hendricks has been active in the church for over 60 years and has been assigned to various locations within the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, as well as several locations in the Philippines," he says. "Given what we know thus far, we believe there's a high probability that other children may have been impacted by his alleged actions."
Francis asks those with any information about Hendricks having unsupervised contact with children locally to call HSI immediately at 513-246-1461.
In a news release, the Bureau of Immigration says that "according to statements, the priest allegedly warned his victims that they would go to prison if they told anyone about the molestation."
Immigration Spokeswoman Dana Krizia Sandoval says the U.S. embassy is reportedly processing the revocation of Hendrick's passport to help facilitate his immediate deportation.
She also condemned his actions. "We will not allow sexual predators to prey on our children. People like him must be kicked out and banned from the Philippines."