Father LeRoy A. Valentine has been permanently removed from priestly ministry, following a recent credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Father Valentine, 71, was ordained for the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 1977. He has been out of public ministry since 2002.
The allegation of abuse occurred in the 1970s.
Father Valentine served at Immacolata in Richmond Heights (1977), Mary Queen of Peace in Webster Groves (1981), St. Pius X in Glasgow Village (1982), St. Gabriel the Archangel in south St. Louis (1984), Immaculate Heart of Mary in south St. Louis (1988), St. Joseph in Farmington (1994), Sacred Heart in Elsberry (1994) and St. Thomas the Apostle in Florissant (1999).
In 1995, Father Valentine was named in a lawsuit against the archdiocese alleging sexual misconduct with a minor while he was associate pastor of St. Pius X Parish in Glasgow Village in 1982. Father Valentine repeatedly stated that the allegation was untrue. He was placed on administrative leave at the time. The accusation was not found to be credible by civil authorities, and he was returned to active ministry. At the time, parishioners were informed of the allegation against him.
In 2002, Father Valentine submitted his resignation to then-Archbishop Justin Rigali, following more allegations of misconduct. The allegations were investigated but were not found to be credible. At his resignation, Father Valentine noted in a letter to parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle that "I continue to maintain my innocence, but at this time I have come to the decision that it is in the best interest of our parish family, of the archdiocese and for my own personal well-being that I end my service at St. Thomas."
Anyone who wishes to make a report of the sexual abuse of a minor by Father Valentine or by any other priest, deacon or employee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis may contact Deacon Phil Hengen, director of Child and Youth Protection of the Archdiocese of St. Louis at (314) 792-7704 or phengen[email protected]
Reports also may be made to the Missouri Division of Social Services Child Abuse Hotline for allegations involving a person who is currently under the age of 18, or to civil authorities for allegations involving a person who is now an adult, but was abused as a minor.