July 26, 2005

Spencerport priest to answer sexual abuse charge

Democrat & Chronicle

Marketta Gregory
Staff writer

(July 26, 2005) ó A Spencerport priest accused of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child is scheduled to make his first court appearance at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in Rochester City Court.

The Rev. Dennis Sewar, 54, will be arraigned on charges of third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child, both misdemeanors. The charges stem from an alleged incident when Sewar was pastor of Church of the Annunciation in northeast Rochester, where he was pastor from 1999 to 2001.

No other details about the case or the accusation against Sewar were available Monday.

He most recently was pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport. He had also served at St. Helen Church in Gates, Church of the Assumption in Fairport, St. James Church in Irondequoit and St. Mary Church in Waterloo. Plus, he taught at Good Shepherd Catholic School in Henrietta.

Sewar had been on sabbatical since January, but it was unrelated to any allegations, said Michael Tedesco, a spokesman for the diocese. Sabbaticals are routine, and any priest can apply to take one after seven years of service. They usually last three to five months and must incorporate vacation, retreat and education. Sewar's sabbatical included time spent at a university in England.

Posted by kshaw at July 26, 2005 07:14 AM