Deposed priest Howard “Howdy” White Jr. has been charged with assault and battery in Boston. He pleaded not guilty in court Tuesday. White was assistant chaplain at St. George’s School in the 1970s when the crime is alleged to have occurred. The victim was a male student at the school. Rhode Island was unable to bring charges against the 75 year old due to the statute of limitations. Massachusetts authorities were able to bring charges because the statute of limitations does not apply to non-residents. However, because sexual assault and battery was not a crime in the state at the time, he is charged with assault and battery.
White pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court after being indicted on five counts of assault and battery. White, 75, was indicted last month for assaulting the boy, who was between 15 and 16 years old. White, of Bedford, Pa., was freed on personal recognizance, said court spokesman Jake Wark. The court ordered that White have no contact with the victim, have no unsupervised contact with any children under 18, and surrender his passport. Trial is scheduled for June 26.
In his sophomore year, prosecutors said, the victim confronted White about the abuse “and told him it had to stop. White responded, ‘If you try to stop, I’ll make your life difficult.’ The victim reported the abuse to the school faculty in 1974, and White admitted to the then headmaster Anthony Zane that he had sexually assaulted the boy. Zane quietly fired White in 1974 after the admission, but did not report him to authorities despite a mandatory reporting law.
[A]n independent investigator’s report about widespread abuse at St. George’s, which was released in September … found multiple allegations against White at the school, where he was an associate chaplain for four years. It also found allegations that White sexually abused children in places including New Hampshire, where he worked at St. Paul’s School before being hired by St. George’s, and in West Virginia and Waynesville, North Carolina, where he worked for churches.
White also worked at Chatham Hall in Virginia and Asheville Country Day School, which later became Carolina Day School, in North Carolina.
White was removed from the priesthood in October by his home diocese in Pennsylvania.
In October the Boston Globe published Teachers accused of sexual misconduct often find new posts. Examples used in the article include two from St. George’s and one from Brooks School, also an Episcopal-affiliated school.
Bishops from the dioceses where White served have met to discuss how White managed to move from job to job and allegedly abuse so many along the way. However, no statement on their deliberations have been made. Western North Carolina was informed of a civil suit brought by a victim against the Diocese of West Virginia. That case was dismissed due to the statute of limitations.