A St. Louis archdiocesan priest has been arrested after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor.
Father Bryan M. Kuchar, associate director of the archdiocesan Office of Vocations and part-time associate pastor at St. John the Baptist Parish in South St. Louis, was arrested by St. Louis County Police April 10 at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury after an allegation was made the week before of sexual misconduct involving a minor seven years ago.
A warrant was issued April 11, which charged the 36-year-old priest with six counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, a Class C felony. He was released on $15,000 bond.
In accordance with the archdiocese's more restrictive standard regarding sexual misconduct involving clergy, Father Kuchar has been removed from his two assignments pending the outcome of the investigation according to Terry Edelmann, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Father Kuchar is currently staying in a "safe and secure location," said Kristi Ruggles another spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
The updated policy, which now is some six weeks old, states that no priest assigned to a parish or other ministry with children has a substantiated allegation of child abuse.
Father Kuchar "has cooperated with the authorities and has confirmed the victim's account of all of this," said Robert P. McCulloch, St. Louis County prosecuting attorney. "We have no reason to think anybody knew anything about it beyond the priest and the victim."
Archbishop Rigali, who was in Rome at the time of the arrest, said in a written statement that the news of Father Kuchar "came as a devastating shock. There has been, until now, no such allegation against Father Kuchar."
Archbishop Rigali reiterated the top priority of the archdiocese to ensure the safety and protection of children. "I repeat my abhorrence of the reprehensible evil of sexual abuse and my determination to do everything possible to put an end to it," he said.
Father Kuchar was ordained in 1993. He was first assigned as associate pastor at Assumption Parish in Mattese, where the alleged incidents took place. The alleged victim, who is now in his 20s, was 14 at the time of the incidents when they were said to have occurred in 1995.
The youth reported the incidents to family and a personal counselor in 1997, McCulloch said, but the allegation was not brought up until two weeks ago.
Father Kuchar was assigned in 1996 to serve on the staff at Rosati-Kain High School in the Central West End and was a part-time associate pastor at St. Timothy Parish in Affton. The following year he was named part-time associate pastor at the Cathedral Basilica Parish.
Most recently, Father Kuchar was assigned in June of 1999 to serve as the associate director of the Office of Vocations, the office responsible for recruiting young men and women to religious vocations.