14:04 GMT +314 December 2018
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    Philippines to Deport American Priest Charged With Sex Crimes

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    Earlier an Ohio court issued a warrant for the arrest of Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, an American Roman Catholic priest, who was accused of sexually abusing Filipino children, who served as altar boys in the Biliran province of the Philippines.

    Philippine authorities are to deport 77-year-old Hendricks, who was charged in an Ohio court of sex crimes against Filipino children.

    "We received information from US authorities regarding the alleged sexual exploitation of multiple minor Filipino boys by Hendricks", Dana Sandoval, a spokesperson for the Philippine Bureau of Immigration said.

    "At least seven children have come forward, but our sources estimate at least 50 cases have been unreported", she added.

    READ MORE: Catholic Church Needs Law Banning Sexual Predators Among Clergy — Former Priest

    Hendricks was arrested Wednesday at his home on the island of Biliran, where he has been serving as a priest for 37 years, according to the channel NewsAsia.

    The priest was accused of molesting and raping around 50 victims, most of whom were as young as 7 years old, according to GMA News Online.

    After Hendricks's arrest, he was flown to Manila, where the US Embassy is preparing to make his deportation happen.

    "We will not allow sexual predators to prey on our children", Dana Sandoval said. "The victims were in his house and the abuses were committed while he was taking a bath with each of them", he added, commenting on the case.

    READ MORE: Guam Catholic Church to File Bankruptcy Amid Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

    After his arrest, Hendricks said that he was "sad leaving this town", without mentioning the case.

    Philippines' president Rodrigo Duterte has been constantly attacking the Catholic Church and its priests, calling the Catholic Church "the most hypocritical institution in the entire Philippines".

    The Catholic Church has long been involved in a child sexual abuse scandal. In August 2018 a massive cover-up of sexual abuse and rape of minors by Catholic priests was revealed. More than 1, 000 children had been molested by at least 301 Roman Catholic priests in the US state of Pennsylvania since the 1940s.

    READ MORE: It's Important to Have Independent Investigation Into Sex Abuse in Church — Prof

    Related:

    Guam Catholic Church to File Bankruptcy Amid Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
    Sex Abuse Scandal in the Catholic Church: The Untold Story of Cover-Up
    Sex Scandals in Roman Catholic Church: Most Resonant Cases in 2018
    Pennsylvania Catholic Church Releases Names of Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse
    Tags:
    priests, abuse, charges, detention, Catholic Church, United States, Philippines
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