An Ohio priest has been placed under arrest after he admitted to his diocese that he had a three-year relationship with an altar girl who is now 17 and pregnant.
Father Henry Christopher Foxhoven, 45, a priest in Steubenville, OH, has been charged at the federal level with eight counts of sexual battery, after he allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with a minor female between August 17 and October 25. The federal prosecutor stated that his sexual misconduct with the girl who is part of Holy Cross in Glouster, one of the priest’s parishes, occurred on church property but did not occur in the church.
The diocese in Steubenville made the allegations public last weekend after the priest admitted that he had the relationship. He was barred from church property right and has been suspended from performing all religious services. The diocese stated that Father Foxhoven may not exercise any sacred ministry or perform an ecclesiastical function, dress as a cleric or say that he is a priest. The diocese stated that it has to be diligent in helping all sexual abuse victims. The diocese stated that it would fully cooperate with authorities to help in their investigation of the case.
After a search warrant was obtained this week, federal investigators found evidence that he had engaged in criminal activity at his residence. Some of the evidence included used condoms and a used pregnancy test. Foxhaven has been charged in federal court with a $1 million bond. He will appear in court for his preliminary hearing at the end of November.
Foxhaven was first ordained as a priest in 2004 and worked in St. Clairsville and Wintersville. There were not any known incidents with the priest in those years.
The news of the pervy priest comes as the diocese in Steubenville published the names of 16 priests and an seminarian who have been accused of sexually abusing minors.
According to Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton, if it will help any survivors of sexual abuse to find strength to come forward, the innocent victims can start to heal. He said that he wants to do everything he can to protect youth in the area.
The lists include sexual misconduct allegations that go back 70 years. The most recent allegation was the seminarian who was fired from his post in 2016. He was convicted in July of that year of trying to cross state lines to engage in a sexual act with a person who was less than 12 years old.
The names of the 16 priests are:
- Cletus Altermatt, suspended from ministry in 1952 (deceased);
- Elwood Bernas, suspended from ministry in 1986;
- Robert A. Brown (deceased);
- Vincent Danko, suspended from ministry in 1971 (deceased);
- Christopher Foxhoven, suspended from ministry Oct. 27, 2018;
- Harold Goschke, suspended from ministry in 1957 (deceased);
- Kenneth Harris, suspended from ministry in 1963 (deceased);
- Michael Hellmer, suspended from ministry in 1989 (deceased);
- John “Jack” Holmes, suspended from ministry in 1989 (deceased);
- Anthony Jablonowski, suspended from ministry in 2003, dismissed from the clerical state by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006;
- Robert F. Marrer, deceased;
- Joseph A. Martinkosky, suspended from ministry in 1991;
- John Nadzam, suspended from ministry in 2004 (deceased);
- Walter Plimmer, suspended from ministry in 1956 (deceased);
- Francis Rothbauer, suspended from ministry in 1998 (deceased);
- Joel Wright, pre-theology seminarian who never became a candidate for ordination; dismissed as a seminarian in January 2016, convicted in July 2016.
- Gary Zalenski, suspended from ministry in 2007, dismissed from the clerical state as a result of an ecclesiastical trial in 2014.
One priest was removed from his duties in May 2018 and was not put on the list because the case is being investigated by Belmont County OH law enforcement. Priests who are in a religious order also were not included because they are not under the diocese’s jurisdiction.
The US Catholic Conference of Bishops has a zero-tolerance policy known as the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in 2002. This policy mandates that dioceses call the authorities when there is any knowledge of sexual allegations against minors. All dioceses also must remove any accused priests from duties when they are completing investigations of any such allegations.