Ex-school chaplain arraigned on assault charges


Ex-school chaplain arraigned on assault charges


George Conger

The former chaplain of St George’s School in Middleton, RI, was arraigned in Massachusetts today on five charges of assault and battery for abusing a schoolboy in the early 1970s. Howard “Howdie” White, III, was deposed from the ministry of the Episcopal Church in October 2016 by the Bishop of Central Pennsylvania who concluded White had abused a number of children during his career as a school chaplain and priest.

On 13 Dec 2016 White (75) entered a plea of not-guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted a student at the Rhode Island boarding school while on two outings to Boston in 1973. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley told reporters that as White had never lived in Massachusetts, the statute of limitations did not run in his case, and he could be brought to trial on the abuse allegations.

A report released by independent investigators engaged by St George’s School concluded White was among several adults who sexually abused students at the church-affiliated school in the 1970s and 80s.

“My hope is that the appalling events documented at St. George’s School will lead our church to intensify its efforts to protect young people in every setting, and continue our commitment to preventing abuse with thorough training for clergy, staff and volunteers who work with children,” the Rt. Rev. Audrey Scanlon said on 10 Oct 2016.

White has also been accused of molesting students under his care whilst serving as an assistant chaplain at the St Paul’s School in New Hampshire in the 1960s and as rector of Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville, N.C. through the 1990s.

White was released on his own recognizance on bail after surrendering his passport. He has pled not guilty to the charges.