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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Director of Communication
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FORMER VIRGINIA BEACH PRIEST CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A MINOR AFTER BEING IDENTIFIED THROUGH AG HERRING’S ONGOING CLERGY ABUSE INVESTIGATION

~ Charges from Herring’s ongoing clergy abuse investigation filed against Paul David Ryan for carnal knowledge by force of a minor ~

RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring is announcing charges against former Catholic priest Father Paul David Ryan for two felony counts of carnal knowledge by force of a minor under the age of 18. Ryan was identified through Attorney General Herring and Virginia State Police’s investigation into clergy abuse in Virginia. Ryan was indicted by the multi-jurisdictional grand jury seated in Rockingham County. Ryan, who has been living in Australia, is currently in custody and in the process of being extradited back to Virginia for trial.

 

“Our investigation with Virginia State Police into potential clergy abuse in the Commonwealth remains ongoing and I want to encourage anyone who may have more information about this case or any other instances of abuse to please reach out to us as soon as possible,” said Attorney General Herring. “I understand that coming forward with this kind of experience can be difficult or scary, but I pledge to you that, no matter how long ago the incident occurred, we will take it seriously and ensure that you get the support and help that you need and deserve.”

 

The indictments are related to alleged sexual contact by Ryan, while he was an ordained Catholic Priest assigned at Star of the Sea Parish and the affiliated Star of the Sea School both in Virginia Beach, between 1979 and 1980. According to the indictments, “under the pretense of a church-sanctioned outing, Father Paul David Ryan took [the victim] on a ski trip to Massanutten Resort in Rockingham County, Virginia where he had arranged for the two of them to stay at a house together at the resort.” On the aforementioned trip, Ryan allegedly sexually assaulted the victim twice, who was under the age of 18 at the time.

 

These are the second charges resulting from Attorney General Herring and Virginia State Police’s ongoing investigation into whether criminal sexual abuse of children may have occurred in Virginia’s Catholic dioceses.

 

If you or someone you know has additional information about these or any other instances of abuse, please contact the Virginia Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064 or at www.VirginiaClergyHotline.com that are both available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to receive reports of clergy abuse.

 

Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt. Ryan is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

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