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Episcopal priest pleads guilty in dressing room surveillance case

Episcopal priest pleads guilty in dressing room surveillance case

The Diocese of Albany has issued a press release regarding the case of the Rev. Adam Egan, arrested in December for video recording women in a thrift store dressing room.

Monday, May 23rd, Greenwich, NY:

The Reverend Adam Egan, a priest in The Episcopal Diocese of Albany, pleaded guilty in the Town of Colonie Justice Court to a misdemeanor charge of attempted unlawful surveillance today. The charge and subsequent guilty plea are a result of Fr. Egan’s arrest by Colonie Police on December 23, 2015, for allegedly attempting to videotape a woman in a local Salvation Army dressing room. Fr. Egan submitted his letter of resignation to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church after six years of ministry and it was accepted by the Vestry (the governing body of the church) on May 17th, 2016. It was effective May 22nd, 2016. He has been on Administrative Leave since his arrest, meaning he is prohibited from functioning in any capacity as an ordained person and from wearing clerical dress. With the civil proceeding against Fr. Egan concluding, he will now face Title IV Ecclesiastical Discipline in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church. Fr. Egan remains on Administrative Leave with the restrictions on his ordained ministry still in effect. The future of his ordained ministry will be dependent on the outcome of the Title IV Ecclesiastical Disciplinary proceedings.

The Rt. Rev. William Love, Ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, has issued the following statement regarding Fr. Egan: “Prior to Fr. Egan’s arrest on December 23, 2015, there had been no indication of inappropriate behavior on his part. He had served as an exemplary priest at St. Stephen’s where he has been loved and well respected. Fr. Egan’s ministry to the wider Diocese of Albany has also been well received and very much appreciated. Tragically, the events of December 23rd and Fr. Egan’s ultimate guilty plea have cast a shadow on all the good work he had done. His actions were totally inappropriate, negatively impacting the lives, trust, and faith of countless people, including the woman Fr. Egan attempted to videotape, his family, the people of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Albany and the wider body of Christ, and Fr. Egan himself. Fr. Egan recognizes and is deeply sorry for the tremendous hurt and damage his actions have caused. He has taken responsibility for his actions and is working very hard to get the help that he needs to insure that such inappropriate behavior never happens again. As painful as this entire situation has been for so many, God has a wonderful way of redeeming even the most difficult and painful situations, making good come from bad. I trust that will be true in this situation as well.”

Our earlier report on this story is here.

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John Chilton

It is Bishop Love who let himself be deceived, blinded by Egan's professed orthodoxy.

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Sandra Koenig

I wonder if it was worth it?

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Marshall Scott

Brother Paul, I'm not sure what you're seeing. To say that he had been seen as "exemplary," and had been "loved and well respected" is only to acknowledge that, as far as had been reported, no one in the parish had seen the evidence of this. While it may be true that one can't fool all of the people all of the time (and our current political climate is making me rethink even that), it is certainly also true that a group might be fooled consistently enough.

I do think Brother Jerald is correct that there is a clear procedural tone to this; but I'm not sure what else we might expect. There is also a pious turn at the end; but, then, this is the church, and I didn't expect much different there, either. Yeah, sometimes we sound facile in praying for something redemptive in a difficult situation. I didn't read it, though, as somehow specifically redeeming the perpetrator.

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Jerald Liko

I don't know if the bishop cares whether he was spying on men or on women, but it certainly doesn't matter to me. He violated people's privacy and the trust of his office. Being a lawyer myself, I interpreted the "loving" portion of the bishop's statement to mean, "We had no reason to suspect that this was going on and we are not legally liable, repeat, NOT LIABLE."

Let's pray for Mr. Egan while simultaneously ensuring that the prohibition against his practice of ordained ministry becomes permanent.

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Paul Woodrum

The question, Fr. Will, doesn't impugn Love's character. Are you suggesting his answer might?

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