Woman claims she too was abused by Sacred Heart priest

'Credible evidence' linking Father Williams Malone to sexual abuse

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman claiming she was sexually abused by Father William Malone is speaking out a day after the Diocese of St. Augustine announced there was credible evidence linking the deceased priest to a second case of abuse.

Malone was an associate pastor at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church from 1982 to 1992, and he died in 2003. The diocese on Thursday announced the results of its independent investigation, which it launched after a woman told church officials she was sexually abused in the 1980s by the priest when she was a preteen.

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Now, a second woman claims she, too, was abused by Malone when she was a young adult. Katleen Bagg, with the Diocese of St. Augustine, said the woman was identified as a result of the investigation. She attempted to explain why the second woman wasn't mentioned in the original news release sent by the diocese.

"They don't fall under the same classification as sexual abuse of a minor, but they (the woman) were a young adult at the time," she said.

When asked, Bagg could not answer a question regarding whether the relationship was consensual. The results of the investigation were turned over to law enforcement officials.

"We are trying to identify if anyone else has been harmed or hurt," she said.

The diocese encouraged anyone with a claim to call police or to send an email to inquiries@dosafl.com.

The diocese has impaneled a board to investigate the allegations, and the Florida Attorney General's Office is investigating past claims of abuse as well. Once the state releases its findings, the diocese plans to do the same.

News4Jax checked and discovered other past claims of abuse involving priests in Jacksonville. Records show:

  • In 2003, Father Richard Bowles resigned after admitting he molested a boy. A second victim also claimed they were abused.
  • In 2004, Father Thomas McNamara was accused of inappropriate contact with three minors in the 1960s. He has since died.
  • In 2005, Father Jose Mena was named in a lawsuit for abusing a fifth-grader numerous times. The case was settled out of court.
  • In 2005, Father Neil Carr was named in an abuse case. Information on that case was not readily available.
  • In 2008, Father William Weinheimer was named in a lawsuit by a man who said he was abused in 1954. Weinheimer died in 1986.

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