The Survivors Network of Persons Abused by Priests (SNAP) today issued a media statement applauding the courage of Jack, a victim of alleged sexual abuse in the 1970’s by Episcopal priest Richard Losch. Anglican Watch was the first outlet to cover the story, and we join with our partners at SNAP in standing with Jack. We believe his allegations and encourage others who may have been assaulted by Losch to contact law enforcement immediately.
Anglican Watch reiterates its condemnation of Massachusetts bishop Alan Gates for ignoring myriad complaints from the victim. These were sent in writing, by email, and elicited no response from Gates or the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
Similarly, we reject claims by Alabama bishop Glenda Curry and her diocesan chancellor that the Diocese of Alabama previously investigated the matter.
We contacted the Diocese of Alabama with specifics, but even after multiple attempts were unable to even obtain a response.
No meaningful investigation ignores sources that come forward with specific evidence, and Curry and the Diocese have displayed an appalling lack of respect for the victim and his suffering. We condemn the Diocese of Alabama for this flagrant disregard of the safety of children, and note that the Diocese continues to ignore the presence of an abusive priest who is believed to have pedophiliac tendencies. This is unacceptable.
We also are shocked and appalled, but not surprised, that Glenda Curry, Alan Gates, and other so-called leaders of the Dioceses of Alabama and Massachusetts still have not notified parents. Nearly 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victim, while at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims. It therefore is likely that there are additional victims, and keeping this information from parents, school officials, medical providers, and clergy is a recipe for disaster, heartbreak, and additional suffering.
Anglican Watch calls for all dioceses in which Losch may have worked or had contact to notify the communities they serve. It is unconscionable to put the reputations of the churches and dioceses involved before the welfare of others — and doing so is a gross violation of the baptismal covenant. It undercuts the church’s credibility, places the church in legal jeopardy, and it’s ethically repugnant.
Episcopal priest will stand trial for child sexual abuse; SNAP urges other victims to come forward
For Immediate Release: January 8, 2024
We are grateful to the New Hampshire grand jurors who last year delivered an indictment against Episcopal priest Richard Losch for raping boy in the 1970s. At the time of the assault, Fr. Losch was working at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Marblehead, Massachusetts. The priest was also an assistant headmaster at Tower School in Marblehead and a Boy Scout leader.
SNAP applauds the brave man, Jack, who came forward in 2021 to report his assault to authorities. While we know that Fr. Losch has denied the charges, we also know that false accusations of child sexual abuse are extremely rare. We believe Jack and stand in solidarity with him. It is particularly difficult to be the first person to publicly accuse a respected clergyman of child sex crimes, and we honor Jack’s courage in speaking out.
We hope that any others who may have been victimized by Fr. Losch or others in the Episcopal Church will be inspired by Jack’s bravery and come forward. There is no need to suffer alone and in silence! There are people who understand that delayed disclosure is common, and who will believe you and support you.
Fr. Losch’s trial is scheduled to begin in June, 2024, so there is still time for any other victims to help hold him accountable. The priest was not only active in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, he also worked as a principal and math teacher at two schools in North Carolina, St. Timothy’s School in Raleigh and Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington. Fr. Losch now lives in Livingston, Alabama, where he worked at two parishes for years, St. James Episcopal and St. Alban’s Episcopal.
In addition to the criminal indictment, the Episcopal Church in Alabama has launched a Title IV investigation into the priest. According to the Diocese, which refused to disclose either when this probe was launched or its status, the priest is no longer in active ministry.
Moreover, in 2020 the Boy Scouts added Fr. Losch to its volunteer screening database, which precludes him from any future involvement in scouting. This was done after a proof of claim was filed accusing Father Losch of abusing a scout.
Again, we applaud the jurors for believing Jack, as we do, and providing him with a small measure of justice. Child sexual abuse leaves life-long scars that never go away completely, but we are hopeful that Jack will receive additional validation and justice when his case goes to trial this summer.
CONTACT: Eric Bonetti, SNAP Anglican/Episcopal (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Director (email@example.com, 925-708-6175), Steve Sheehan, SNAP Massachusetts (firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-319-0477), Charles Bailey, SNAP North Carolina (email@example.com, 315-657-5073), Sue Bailey, SNAP North Carolina (firstname.lastname@example.org, 315-657-3446), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Interim Executive Director (email@example.com, 267-261-0578), Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board of Directors President (firstname.lastname@example.org, 814- 341-8386)