An Ohio priest is accused of sexually abusing a teen altar girl who is now pregnant.
Father Henry Christopher Foxhoven, 45, works as a Catholic priest at Holy Cross in Glouster in the Diocese of Steubenville. He’s accused of abusing the girl, 17, from Aug. 17 to Oct. 25, according to a police press release.
The Steubenville Diocese reported the alleged abuse to police on Oct. 27 after they were informed of the allegations. Since then, Foxhoven has been banned from church property and from conducting any services.
“Father Foxhoven cannot exercise any sacred ministry or perform any ecclesiastical function, dress in clerical garb, or present himself as a priest,” Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton said in a statement on Oct. 27. “We must remain vigilant in assisting victims of sexual abuse. We will cooperate with authorities and assist in their investigation of this case.”
On Tuesday Foxhoven was charged with eight counts of sexual battery. During a search of his house, police said they found used condoms and a pregnancy test, which was positive, in his possession.
Prosecutors say Foxhoven groomed the teen.
“This is a person in a position of trust,” Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn told the Athens News. “The state would allege that she’s been groomed and that she’s in love with him and thinks that they’re going to have a future together, and she’s pregnant with his child.”
Foxhoven is being held on a $1 million bond. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf.
[Photo: Athens County Sheriff's Office]
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