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Priest charged with sodomy in complaint from the 1970s

From June 2006: Father Robert F. Johnston accused of abuse in Jefferson County

Father Robert F. Johnston has been charged in Jefferson County with sodomy in the case of a then 14-year-old.
Father Johnston had resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Providence Parish in Grantwood in December 2002 following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that occurred more 20 years previously.
Two men filed a lawsuit in 2004 claiming that Father Johnston sexually abused them as teenagers at Sacred Heart Parish in Valley Park. The Jefferson County prosecutor said the case involves one of those same boys. As a felony sodomy case, the statute of limitations does not apply.
A statement from the St. Louis Archdiocese in December 2004 noted that Father Johnston had been living in a monitored environment and was not permitted to exercise any form of public ministry.
After the priest was removed from ministry, the archdiocese noted that Father Johnston admitted to misconduct and, in accord with archdiocesan policy, immediately submitted his resignation and left the parish. An archdiocesan spokesman stated then that the abuse apparently occurred in the late 1970s when Father Johnston was associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish.
The archdiocese had encouraged the victim to report the matter to the authorities.
Father Johnston, 69, was at Sacred Heart from September 1977 to May 1978. He was ordained in 1962 and had served in a missionary apostolate in southern Missouri and as an associate pastor at St. Pius X Parish in Glasgow Village, Mary Queen of the Universe Parish in Lemay, St. Timothy Parish in Affton, St. Richard Parish in Creve Coeur, St. Martin de Porres Parish in Hazelwood and Immacolata Parish in Richmond Heights.
He was pastor of St. Joachim Parish in Old Mines 1981-87, St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Pagedale 1987-90, St. Mary Parish in Bridgeton 1990-96 and Our Lady of Providence from 1996 to 2002. He was named a chaplain of the St. Louis County Police in 1997.
A previous statement from the archdiocese noted that Archbishop Raymond L. Burke "offers again a sincere apology to anyone who has been harmed by a member of the clergy. The archbishop deplores the grave evil of sexual abuse of a minor.

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