Longtime Dutchess priest suspended in decades-old sexual abuse allegation

Longtime Dutchess priest suspended in decades-old sexual abuse allegation

Several months ago, the Archdiocese of New York had “concerns” about possible past incidents of sexual abuse involving a longtime Dutchess County priest, according to a spokesman for the archdiocese.

The archdiocese alerted the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, which began investigating, said Joseph Zwilling, the archdiocese director of communications.

Then in the past few weeks, the archdiocese “received a credible allegation that, approximately 30 years ago, Father Peter Kihm committed acts of sexual abuse against a minor,” according to a statement from the archdiocese Rev. Gerald Walsh.

Kihm has denied the allegations, Zwilling said.

Kihm was suspended and removed as priest of the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck on Jan. 19, because the suspension falls under archdiocese policy after such accusations, Zwilling said.

“We had concerns about incidents in Father Kihm’s past, which we brought to the Dutchess DA a few months ago,” Zwilling added. “However, it was only within the last few weeks that an individual came forward with credible information that we could act upon.”


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