An American Catholic priest was recently charged in U.S. federal court for allegedly sexually abusing numerous young boys in the Philippines, where he’s lived since the 1960s.
According to CNN, authorities said Reverend Kenneth Bernard Pius Hendricks, 77, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, was arrested in the Philippine city of Naval after several boys came forward in November and accused him of abuse. Since then, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Steve Francis said a total of 10 boys have made allegations against Hendricks.
The New York Times reported that Philippines Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said they have intel indicating that 50 cases involving Hendricks have gone unreported. The agency spokesperson claimed the priest forced his victims to take a bath with him, where he would molest them.
“Hendricks allegedly sexually assaulted a number of boys living in his residence,” she said. “It is shocking and appalling. I am horrified reading the charges against him.”
“We will not allow sexual predators to prey on our children.”
Sources told The Times that Hendricks has lived in the Philippines for 37 years, where he worked as a Franciscan brother before he became an ordained priest. CNN reported that investigators are asking for any victims in the U.S and Philippines to come forward as Hendricks has spent time living in the two countries.
Father John Estina of the Catholic diocese in Biliran told Reuters that the church suspended Hendricks last month following a formal inquiry. He said the church has been cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation.
Sandoval said the shamed priest has been transported to the capital of Manila, where he’ll face deportation to Ohio to face charges.
Failing to mention the allegations against him, a handcuffed Hendricks said, “I am sad leaving this town.”
[Featured Image: Kenneth Bernard Hendricks/Philippines Bureau of Immigration]