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December 5, 2011 / olneypost

Former Incarnation priest charged with sexual abuse

On Oct. 20 a 28-year-old Philadelphia man filed a lawsuit against Father William Ayres.  The man, only listed as “John Doe” in court documents alleged Ayres, 39, committed “unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual conduct and contact” towards the then alter boy at Incarnation Of Our Lord middle school and church at 5105 N. 5th Street from 1996 through 1999.

Ayres left Incarnation after 2002 and served as a pastor for St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Chester, later he was the director of the Office for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, ministered at the church and school of the Epiphany of Our Lord in Philadelphia and performed administrative work for the archdiocese of Philadelphia up to 2010.  Ayres was suspended and removed from his work at St. Michael’s Church and active ministry because of unrelated allegations of child sex abuse, Doe claims in his court document.

Doe said he confessed the sexual abuse “on or about” November 2010 to Incarnation’s former pastor Jerry Pinero.  Doe said Pinero told him Ayres was already under investigation from another accusation.

Doe said he experienced “emotional distress, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, humiliation, and loss of enjoyment of life” and “suffered and continues to suffer spiritually” because of the alleged sexual abuse.  His suit demands $50,000 in punitive damages.

Ayres currently lives at Villa Saint Joseph, a retirement home for priests, in Darby, Pennsylvania.

At this time the Archdioceses of Philadelphia and Ayres have not made a public statement about the lawsuit.


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