ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — A Catholic priest from Fairfax County who served as director of his diocese’s Office of Child Protection and Safety has been placed on leave after he was accused of sexual misconduct in the 1990s involving an underage boy.
The priest, Rev. Terry Specht, denies the allegation, the Diocese of Arlington said. Specht has been pastor at Holy Spirit Church on Woodland Way in Annandale since 2007.
He also served as chaplain and assistant principal at Paul VI Catholic High School from 2000 to 2004 and was director of the child-protection office from 2004 through 2011. Among other duties, that office conducted background checks on diocese employees who could come into contact with children and provided training to diocese workers.
The diocese has notified Fairfax County police, which is investigating. No charges have been filed yet and that individuals with relevant information should contact police, said police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.
The diocese is also investigating. The alleged victim contacted the diocese in late January, and would have been a teenager at the time of the alleged misconduct, said diocese spokesman Michael Donohue.
Specht grew up in Greensburg, Pa., and was ordained in 1996 after a 21-year career in the Navy, where he worked on submarines, according to a church bio.
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