Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego suspends priest amid sexual misconduct investigation

Posted at 4:06 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 20:45:56-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego was suspended Tuesday as church officials investigate allegations of sexual misconduct with a girl in the 1990s.

Father Justin Langille, 65, initially faced the claim in the mid-1990s for an act which allegedly occurred with a female teenager earlier in the decade, according to a news release from the diocese.

The case was examined in 1995 and 2002, but the diocese concluded that the allegation was unsubstantiated after Langille passed a polygraph test, church officials said.

Last month, the case was brought before the diocese’s Independent Review Board as part of its process to review files about the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

“I felt strongly that even older, previously decided cases involving currently serving priests would benefit from being examined by the Independent Review Board,” said Bp. McElroy. “The voice of the laity needs to be heard on these matters and the independent board, with members that include attorneys, criminal investigators, psychologists and a clergy abuse victim, provides the diocese with exceptionally valuable guidance and expertise.”

An investigator revealed significant new information that substantially undermined the credibility of Langille’s denials, the diocese said. Church officials did not provide details about the information.

The diocese spokesperson did not have information about whether San Diego Police had been contacted.

If the Independent Review Board determines the accusation is not credible, Langille may be returned to ministry, according to the diocese.

Langille has not had a full-time assignment in the diocese since 2013, officials said. He has assisted on weekends at St. Therese and Ascension parishes in Del Cerro and Tierrasanta.

The diocese said it encourages any victim of abuse by clergy to contact the Victim Assistance Office at 858-490-8353.

The Diocese of San Diego serves 1.3 million Catholics in San Diego and Imperial Counties.