New allegations of sexual abuse against former South Burlington priest

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New allegations of sexual abuse have been raised against a former South Burlington priest. The alleged abuse took place in the 1960s, and the priest in question has since died.

The claims are against Father Roger Carlin who practiced at St John Vianney Church. The victim was a nine-year-old altar boy at the time, who lawyers say was repeatedly molested at church.

“I was fired for helping sexual abuse survivors,” said Bob Hoatson. “Especially of clergy”

Bob Hoatson spent decades as a religious brother and priest, before starting the nonprofit Roads to Recovery in New Jersey. Wednesday, Hoatson was in Burlington to publicly name Father Carlin as a sexual abuser and demand the diocese release all related files. The victim is now in his sixties and is remaining anonymous.

“He could not stand the pressure any longer of carrying around this weight of clergy sexual abuse,” said attorney Mitchell Garabedian. “He’s looking for validation, he’s looking for healing.”

Activists claim allegations of abuse against Father Carlin were ignored or disguised as sick leave, or a leave of absence. They pointed to the Official Catholic Directory, which shows Carlin was transferred eight times during his career.

“13 years of his 20 years as a priest either outside the diocese, on sick leave, in Canada,” Hoatson said. “So somewhere along the line something happened.”

In 2019, an independent panel spent nine months investigating files. They released a list of 40 priests in Vermont since 1950, who’d been credibly accused. In a statement to Local 22/44 news, the diocese says

“This is the first allegation it has received concerning him. On receipt of the allegation, Fr. Carlin’s diocesan file was reviewed by a member of the independent review committee which confirms there is no prior allegation as to Fr. Carlin.”

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