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Father Richard James Kurtz, Jesuit priest, busted in alleged 2001 sex assault on minor

Categories: Colorado Crimes

father richard james kurtz mug shot cropped.jpg
Big pics below.
The arrest in Chicago of Father Richard James Kurtz, a Jesuit priest, for alleged sex assault on an underage male victim in Colorado is disturbing, obviously, but also puzzling.

After all, the crime was reportedly committed and reported to authorities in 2001. So why did it take a decade to make the arrest?

At this point, the answer to this question is unknown, since the case has been sealed. But here's what the Douglas County Sheriff's Office has shared thus far.

The DCSO says that in 2001, when Kurtz worked as a chemistry teacher at the University of Detroit High School in Detroit, Michigan, he allegedly committed a sex assault on a male victim identified only as being under the age of eighteen. This crime is said to have taken place during a visit to Colorado, and no church here is said to have been involved.

The delay in charges might have been explained if the victim had chosen not to come forward immediately. However, that doesn't appear to have been what happened. According to Red Eye Chicago, the Society of Jesus Chicago-Detroit Province, at whose offices Kurtz was taken into custody this week, issued a statement claiming that an allegation of misconduct was shared with Michigan authorities that same year.

When did Colorado authorities learn about this accusation? That's unclear. The Society of Jesus statement notes that the organization has been cooperating with authorities here since April of this year. The document stresses that the society "has a policy that when allegations are received alleging sexual misconduct by a priest and involving a minor, a report of such allegations should be provided to law enforcement authorities in the place where the alleged abuse took place.

"In keeping with this policy, the Province submitted to Douglas County, Colorado, authorities a letter, which set forth allegations that have been made concerning Fr. Kurtz and his activities while visiting Colorado," the statement continues. Moreover, the society claims that "Kurtz was removed from all public ministry very soon after the initial allegation was received, and for the several years that have elapsed since then, his activities and movements have been carefully restricted by the Chicago Province."

What's he been doing for the past ten years? The society isn't commenting further. Meanwhile, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office says its investigation into a pair of potential felonies, including sexual assault on a child by one in a position
of trust, began after staffers were notified by the society in June, not April.

This discrepancy suggests that we may be in for a round of buck-passing once all the facts come out. Meanwhile, Kurtz was taken into custody on a $100,000 bond. Presumably, his activities and movements will be restricted even more severely than before.

Look below to see a series of booking photos shared by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

father richard james kurtz mug shot.jpg
Father Richard James Kurtz.
KURTZ 2.jpg
Father Richard James Kurtz.
KURTZ 3.jpg
Father Richard James Kurtz.
KURTZ 4.jpg
Father Richard James Kurtz.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Brenda Harding sentenced to lifetime probation for sex assault on teen who committed suicide."



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14 comments
Réjane Pierre
Réjane Pierre

Terrible. He was my brother's Chemistry teacher in Michigan.

Guest
Guest

Freshman year algebra and senior year chemistry teacher. Can't say i'm surprised.

Black Dynamite
Black Dynamite

This was my 12th grade Chemistry teacher at Uof D in 89!!!! WOW!!!!

Agnes
Agnes

They'll protect you right up to the day that you're born.  And then you're screwed.

Judy Block-Jones
Judy Block-Jones

This victim is to be commended for speaking up and taking action to expose the truth.

 

Hopefully others who may have knowledge or been harmed by Father Richard Kurtz will have the courage to speak up and report it to police, not church officials. Crimes against kids, however old, should be investigated by the independent professionals in law enforcement, not the biased amateurs in church offices.

Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511

snapjudy@gmail.com

"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.

http://www.snapnetwork.org/

Loyola Alum
Loyola Alum

Re: Fr. Kurtz activities and movements supposedly carefully restricted by Chicago ProvinceThe Jesuit Order paid $2 million to the alleged sex abuse victims of Fr. Jerold Lindner. Fr. Lindner’s activities and movements were supposedly carefully restricted by the Jesuit Order. Yet Linder had the free use of a car and gave James Chevedden a ride to the location where Chevedden died suddenly. Chevedden had previously reported that he was sexually abused by a Jesuit who was Lindner's friend.

Antfromdetroit
Antfromdetroit

The same chemistry teacher who wouldn't give me an extra week to prepare for finals after my dad passed from a long battle with prostate cancer in 98. A while back there was a rumor that he was found @2am in the Chem room rambling on and had gone crazy. I guess thats the cover up.

sciteach
sciteach

He was my boss and I respected him.

Games7979
Games7979

I happen to know father kurtz since i was in 5th grade. I spent many hours alone with him and there was never a hint or inclination that he was a child predator. I know you assume he is guilty but let's remember this is the land of innocent until proven guilty.

If you would like to talk about it let me know and I will call you.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for the post, Judy. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Dartfrog37
Dartfrog37

They pick and choose who they abuse...games 7979 obviously you werent picked...

Cb1231503
Cb1231503

I also know Fr. Kurtz, he was my 11th grade Chemistry teacher. I also never saw any hints that he was a predator. All of these people are casting judgement and the Colorado DA hasn't even decided if any charges are going to be pressed.

Poppy
Poppy

Yeah well there are somethings you dont know, He is not a good man...

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