MALVERNE - Parishioners say they are standing by a priest accused of sexually abusing a minor years ago.
Father Frank Parisi, the former pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Malverne, is accused of sexually abusing the minor at a different parish.
Parisi stepped down from his position at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church last month amid the allegations.
The Suffolk DA's Office has confirmed that police detectives are investigating the claim.
Supporters say they don't think that Parisi is capable of such a heinous act.
"I'm sure he will be cleared of the allegations, except that now his name is now ruined," says Pat McGoldrick, of Malverne.
Even though the Diocese of Rockvile Centre contacted the DA’s office originally, some residents say the church should have dealt with the issue many years ago.
Parishioner William Brown, of Malverne, says that the Roman Catholic Church hasn't been strict enough when it comes to cracking down on abusive priests.
He says in this case, he's somewhat surprised by the allegations against Parisi, but not completely.
"He seemed kind of odd to me, nervous type. He was a little aloof at times," says Brown.
The Diocese of Rockvile Centre has set up a hotline that people can call to report incidents of abuse. The phone number is 516-594-9063.