November 30, 2005

Priest Who Committed Suicide Named In Sex Abuse Lawsuit


PUEBLO, Colo. -- A sexual abuse lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pueblo was the first to name a former priest who committed suicide following allegations he molested a teenager.

Andrew A. Burke, a pastor at St. Piux X in Pueblo, left the ministry around 1973 due to a "psycho-sexual behavior disorder," according to the lawsuit.

Burke shot himself in the heart Sept. 21, coroner's officials said. His wife found him dead in their yard. He was holding a newly-purchased gun that still had the price tag on it.

Last year officials of the diocese told police a prisoner alleged that in the 1970s, Burke would make him strip down to his underwear, blindfold him, tickle him, then take a wet towel from a freezer and lay it across his chest.

The man alleged Burke then would masturbate or straddle him while rubbing his genitals against him, sometimes giving him alcohol.

Posted by kshaw at November 30, 2005 09:07 AM