Accountability group says 19 clergy members accused of sex abuse were not on recently released list

Accountability group says 19 clergy members accused of sex abuse were not on recently released list

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -We’re learning new information about the recently released list of Jesuits credibly accused of child sex abuse. An accountability group says it’s incomplete.

Bishopaccountability.org says, “19 Jesuits already known to be accused of abuse” were left off the list released Friday by the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province.

That includes Daniel Ramsey Barfield, a teacher and counselor who was at Jesuit High School from 1969-1975.

Tim Lennon, the president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says that’s why there needs to be a statewide investigation into church sex abuse here in Louisiana.

“We call on the State Attorney General of Louisiana to, in fact, investigate. There’s sufficient cause to say that this institution is not policing itself, it shouldn’t have that responsibility, law enforcement should, and the Attorney General should take this issue seriously,” said Lennon.

The Jesuit Province released a list Friday of 42 clergy members credibly accused of child sex abuse. Eighteen of the men had connections to New Orleans Jesuit institutions.

We asked the U.S. Central and Southern Province why Barfield’s name was not on that list.

“The accusation against Daniel Ramsey Barfield was not found to be credible according to our stated standards,” said province spokeswoman Therese Fink Meyerhoff.

But FOX 8 has learned a diocese in New Mexico did find allegations against Barfield to be credible. His name appears on a list released last month by the Diocese of Las Cruces. According to that diocese, the names were of “priests and religious credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.”

“The church should not be determining what is credible or not credible,” said Lennon.

We reached out to Jesuit High School about Barfield. In a statement, a spokesperson said, “We reiterate our support for victims and for the efforts of the U.S. Central and Southern province for transparency. We were not part of the province’s investigation of allegations that took place in New Mexico. It would be irresponsible for us to speculate about that. We are not aware of any allegations against Fr. Barfield while he was employed at Jesuit High School.”

We asked the U.S. Central and Southern Province why Barfield’s name would appear on a diocese list from New Mexico but not on theirs.

“Our list includes those men whose allegations have been found credible by our standards. The single accusation against Fr. Barfield was reviewed by the province Review Board and it was not found to be credible,” said Meyerhoff. “The list of names provided by Bishops Accountability includes only two members of the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province. Their names were not included on the province list because the single accusation against each was not found to be credible.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has maintained that state law does not give him the authority to launch a statewide investigation against a person or group, but he has instructed his office to assist any investigation or prosecution done by local law enforcement if their assistance is requested.

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