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Catholic Priest and Former Detroit Teacher Arrested on Charges Stemming From Sexual Abuse

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Richard James Kurtz, a 67-year-old Jesuit priest, was arrested in Chicago yesterday after allegations of sexual abuse involving an underage male surfaced earlier this year. At the time, Kurtz was a teacher at University of Detroit High School. According to initial reports, the assault occurred while the priest was in Colorado in 2001. Kurtz now faces charges of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and attempted sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust.

The arrest comes on the heels of the shocking scandal involving Penn State and its legendary football program. Kurtz’s arrest is further evidence that sexual abuse in insular institutions – and the shameful cover-ups by those institutions – is not a thing of the past.

Recently, I have been involved in helping survivors of sexual abuse find healing and vindication. Every time a new story of abuse comes to light, it is a reminder of how widespread the problem of child sexual abuse really is. It’s time to reexamine our laws dealing with these monstrous acts and strengthen the criminal and civil penalties for the perpetrators and those who try to sweep their actions under the rug.