Sunday, September 21, 2003

Accused Covington teacher identified

By Liz Oakes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The Diocese of Covington Saturday confirmed that Paul Arbogast, a teacher at college-prep high school Covington Latin, was suspended Friday in the wake of allegations of child sex abuse.

A spokesman for the diocese, Tim Fitzgerald, said the diocese became aware of the allegations Thursday when it received legal papers in connection with a lawsuit pending in Boone County.

The accusations stem from charges made against two men by Stan Chesley, an attorney representing victims of alleged abuse by priests in the Diocese of Covington.

Arbogast voluntarily left the priesthood in the late '80s, and is now married with children. A headmaster at Covington Latin in the late '60s to mid-'70s, he returned to teach last year, Fitzgerald said.

The allegations stem from his tenure as a priest in the Covington Diocese, Fitzgerald said.

The Rev. Stephen Gallenstein, also accused of abuse, was removed from Frankfort's only Catholic parish and placed on a leave of absence by Lexington Diocese officials.

"In compliance with our misconduct policies, an immediate investigation" of Arbogast was begun Friday, according to a statement released by the Covington Diocese.

"(Arbogast) has been suspended from his position pending further investigation."

The diocese's preliminary investigation shows nothing relating to the sexual abuse of a minor, Fitzgerald said.

"Even though the diocese does not know the name of the victim, we will do our best to conduct as thorough an investigation as possible," according to the statement.

Arbogast did not return a call Saturday seeking comment.

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