Sunday, October 4, 2009

Michael Barnes Accused of Sexual Abuse

A former Catholic priest from North Carolina has been accused of sexually abusing a child in Ocean City more than 30 years ago.

Ocean City police say 64-year-old Michael Barnes of Haywood, N.C., has been arrested in his home state and is being held there. Police say they got a complaint about the abuse this spring and that the incidents took place between 1977 and 1982.

A Baltimore County man in his 40s filed a lawsuit against Barnes in Delaware in June. David Lorenz, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says the criminal charges relate to the same alleged victim.

Lorenz says Barnes abused the victim during trips to Ocean City and beaches in Delaware. He says he believes there are other victims.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore says Barnes was the associate pastor of an Essex parish during the time of the alleged abuse and that he left the priesthood in 1988.

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