DA: Ex-Boarding School Priest Sexually Assaulted Boy in 1973

A former Episcopal priest who worked at several elite boarding schools pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy in 1973 in Boston.

Howard "Howdy" White appeared in Suffolk Superior Court with his attorney, David Duncan, after being indicted on five counts of assault and battery. White, 75, of Bedford, Pennsylvania, was freed on personal recognizance.

Prosecutors said White assaulted the boy during two overnight trips to Boston when he worked at St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said the statute of limitations does not bar White's prosecution because he was never a resident of Massachusetts. He is charged with assault and battery instead of indecent assault and battery because, as the office points out, Massachusetts had not enacted the latter law at the time of the alleged crimes.

"Whether as a child or as an adult, disclosing sexual abuse can be the most daunting experience in a person's life," District Attorney Daniel Conley said in a statement. "Survivors everywhere should know that they can feel safe and supported coming to us, and that we place their well-being above all else as we investigate and prosecute the harm committed against them."

An investigator's report about widespread abuse at St. George's, released in September, found multiple allegations against White at the school, where he was an associate chaplain for four years before being fired in 1974 for inappropriate sexual contact with male students.

The report also found allegations that White sexually abused children in places including New Hampshire, where he worked at St. Paul's School before being hired by St. George's, and in West Virginia and Waynesville, North Carolina, where he worked for churches.

White also worked at Chatham Hall in Virginia and Asheville Country Day School, which later became Carolina Day School, in North Carolina.

White was removed from the priesthood in October by his home diocese in Pennsylvania.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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