Following a lengthy investigation by the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop Barry C. Knestout has determined that Msgr. Raymond A. Barton, a retired priest of the diocese, will not have his name added to the diocesan list of clergy with a credible and substantiated allegation of child sexual abuse.
On Feb. 14, 2020, the diocese announced it had received a report of allegations of child sexual abuse against the retired priest. The information was brought to the diocese by a representative of a deceased victim. When notified of the allegations, the diocese reported the information to law enforcement authorities.
In accordance with the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” the diocese conducted an internal investigation of the allegations involving Msgr. Barton. The information gathered was presented to the Diocesan Review Board which reported its findings and recommendation to Bishop Knestout. The bishop concluded that while the allegation was credible, it could not be substantiated.
“There were several factors that weighed against my decision to add Msgr. Barton’s name to the list of credibly and substantially accused. Chief among them is the fact that both the accuser, who is deceased, and the accused, who is unable to be interviewed due to health conditions, cannot clarify the question at issue,” said Bishop Knestout. “Therefore, I will not add Msgr. Barton’s name to the list of credibly and substantially accused at this time.”
Individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the diocese should report abuse directly to law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 800-552-7096, and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 833-454-9064.
Individuals are also encouraged to contact the 24-hour confidential Victim’s Assistance Reporting number at 877-887-9603 or email [email protected] to report sexual abuse.