Father Joseph Slowik Under Investigation for Clergy Abuse in Richmond

Kevin BiniazanSeptember 18, 2020

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond released information that sexual assault allegations have recently been raised against four priests, including Father Joseph Slowik. The allegations date back to his days at St. Paul’s in Portsmouth, VA.

“While the alleged incidents are from the past, we recognize the pain is still a deep and present reality for victim-survivors of abuse and for their loved ones,” Bishop Barry C. Knestout wrote in a release. “We continue to pray for their healing and for their loved ones who support them.”

The Bishop’s acknowledgment comes nearly three decades after the earliest sex abuse claims were leveled against Father Slowik. But what victims know all too well is that the sex abuse inflicted on children tends to be shrouded in secrecy. If you are a silent victim of Father Slowik, the attorneys at Breit Biniazan are prepared to bring a sexual abuse lawsuit on your behalf and advocate for your case.

What We Know About Father Slowik Sex Abuse Allegations

After being ordained in 1979, Father Slowik served from 1979 to 2006 at three Virginia locations. These include St. John’s in Petersburg until 1985, St. Paul’s from 1985 to 1995, and the Church of Saint Therese in Gloucester from 1996 to 2006. After Saint Therese, he was removed from public ministry. His official priestly responsibilities, along with many others, are reportedly suspended.

“None of the accused priests are currently serving in active ministry, nor have they recently served in ministry for the diocese. The diocese has not reached any conclusions regarding these allegations; rather this statement serves to announce the beginning of its inquiry into the allegations,” according to a statement from the diocese.

Neither the age nor gender of those who may have been harmed during the 1990s has been released. It is not uncommon for the Catholic church to broker out-of-court settlements that enable clergy abuse as priests get transferred from community to community. Now that the Diocese of Richmond has the allegations officially under review, the church openly acknowledges that sex abuse may have been occurred.

Bishop Knestout pointed out that the priests cannot minister once clergy abuse accusations have been made. Yet Father Slowik has been sidelined since 2006 and only now are members of the community being alerted. Virginia’s pair of Catholic Dioceses have released the names of more than 50 priests who have had credible sex abuse claims made against them. There is reason to believe that many victims have yet to tell their stories. 

Known Locations of Clergy Abuse by Father Joseph Slowik

  1. St. John’s: Petersburg, VA (1979-1985)
  2. St. Paul’s: Portsmouth, VA (1985-1995)
  3. Church of Saint Therese: Gloucester, VA (1996-2006)

Clergy Abuse Victims Contact A Trusted Richmond Personal Injury Attorney

We are an experienced Virginia Beach and Richmond law firm that knows how to handle a sexual abuse lawsuit with compassion. You can expect to meet with a clergy abuse attorney who is empathetic to the pain and suffering of our community members.

If you were sexually assaulted by Father Slowik, please know that you can contact Breit Biniazan to schedule a confidential clergy abuse consultation today.




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