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Retired Virginia priest charged with child sex abuse

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Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 9:32 PM EST
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FAIRFAX, Va. - Virginia’s attorney general says a retired priest who once oversaw children’s safety in a Catholic diocese in the Washington suburbs has been charged with sexually assaulting a child.

The Washington Post reports that a Fairfax County grand jury indicted 68-year-old Terry Specht of Donegal, Pennsylvania, on two felony counts related to sexual abuse of a child under 13.

According to the indictment, the assault took place in 2000, when Specht was chaplain and assistant principal at St. Paul VI Catholic High School.

Public defender Dawn Butorac says Specht “maintains his innocence.”

A diocese spokesperson says Specht was responsible for policy and instruction for the Arlington Diocese Office of Child Protection and Safety, but didn’t oversee abuse investigations.

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