The Rolla Daily News reports that an Episcopal priest, often called "the cookie monster" by children, is under investigation for sexual abuse of children.
When Father Joseph Carlo of the Christ Episcopal Church in Rolla retired in 1990, he left behind a legacy as a priest who led his congregation to flourish. An internal church investigation recently completed by the Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Missouri may leave Carlo with a new legacy.
According to the Rev. Canon Daniel Smith of the Diocese of Missouri, an investigation into reports of alleged sexual abuse of children within the church by Carlo was recently completed.
According to Smith, the church has been in contact with five people who claim they were abused by Carlo between 1975 and 1985.
“We believe that (sexual abuse) has occurred,” Smith said about the abuse allegations and the results of the internal investigation.
The trust Carlo built within the church and community as a whole was reflected in an article that appeared in the Sept. 9, 1990, edition of the Rolla Daily News.
The article profiled Carlo as he prepared to retire.
“Joseph is a genuine, caring person, especially with our children and UMR (Missouri University of Science and Technology) students. He builds trust with youth with his sincerity and earnest listening,” Bill Stoltz said as quoted in the article.
Church member Pat Oster recalls her own children growing up under Carlo’s watch.
She and her husband joined the church seven years after Carlo came to the congregation and fondly recalls her children calling Carlo the “cookie monster.”