Ex-Chaminade president suspended as priest over 'credible' abuse allegations

The Catholic order of the Marianist Province of Meribah says in a letter sent to Chaminade faculty and families that it suspended Williams from the order that and he is no longer allowed to serve as a functioning priest.

The Catholic order of the Marianist Province of Meribah says in a letter sent to Chaminade faculty and families that it suspended Williams from the order that and he is no longer allowed to serve as a functioning priest. (5/14/16)

MINEOLA - A former president of Chaminade High School was suspended from serving as a priest due to sex abuse allegations that were deemed "credible," but the alleged victim declined to pursue charges, officials say.

The abuse allegations were made against Father James Williams, who resigned as president of the all-boys school in 2011. The Catholic order of the Marianist Province of Meribah says in a letter sent to Chaminade faculty and families that it suspended Williams from the order, and that he is no longer allowed to publicly serve as a functioning priest.

The order says it conducted a "vigorous, thorough and comprehensive investigation" after the allegations were made, and says it "deemed them to be credible."

Williams has denied the allegations.

The Nassau County District Attorney's Office says it received a letter from a diocesan attorney in February 2015 that referenced the allegations. The district attorney's office says it opened an investigation and spoke to the alleged victim, who is a former Chaminade student.

The former student was a legal adult at the time and did not wish to pursue criminal charges, the DA's office says. The two-year statute of limitations had expired in 2013, two years prior to the diocese's reporting of the alleged misconduct. At the time of the letter, the DA's office says Williams was believed to be living in Italy.

The DA's office says it received a nearly identical letter dated May 3, 2016, from a law firm representing the high school. A district attorney spokesman says the office contacted the victim again, who reiterated that he did not want to pursue charges and wanted to remain anonymous.

When Williams stepped down in 2011, the same year that the alleged misconduct took place, neither Williams nor the school referenced any wrongdoing. At the time, the priest wrote a letter to parents and staff that read in part, "I have found myself at a unique personal intersection, where my responsibility to address the needs of Chaminade High School as president and my vocation to respond to the needs of God's people as a priest compete with each other for time."

The Marianist order says Williams was a member of the prestigious school's faculty and administration since 1991.

The Nassau District Attorney's Office is urging anyone who may have any information regarding allegations of sexual abuse by Father Williams to call the office at at 516-571-3800 and ask for the Special Victims Bureau.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Officials say a pedestrian was struck and killed 1 Police: Pedestrian fatally struck by hit-and-run driver in Central Islip
News 12 is told the driver of the 2 Officials: 2 struck by car in Massapequa
The vigil for Banegas took place at the 3 Vigil held for victim in Central Islip Park killing
Police say two men were killed Saturday in 4 Police: 2 killed in West Babylon crash
Police say a motorcyclist was killed in a 5 Manorville man killed in motorcycle crash

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE