Father Robert Schaeufele
Diocese of St. Petersburg
Leave of Absence: 2002
- 1975-1980: Sacred Heart Church (Pinellas Park, FL)
- 1980s: St. Rita Catholic Church (Dade City, FL)
- 1990s: St. Michael the Archangel Church (Pasco, FL)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Robert Schaeufele:
At least 22 men have come forward alleging that Fr. Robert Schaeufele abused them when they were boys between the ages of 8-15 while belonging to five different churches in the Tampa Bay area. The Diocese of St. Petersburg settled cases with 12 men.
In April 2002, within days of being accused of inappropriate contact with a young boy in the 1970s, Schaeufele agreed to resign as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Pasco.
In 2003, Schaeufele was charged with capital sexual battery involving three former parishioners at Sacred Heart Church in Pinellas Park during the mid-1980s. At the time, the boys were between 9 and 11 years old. Schaeufele received two 30-year concurrent sentences to prison but was released after 12 in 2015.
Complaints about Schaeufele’s inappropriate behavior began to surface shortly after he was ordained in 1975. The diocese’s response was to transfer him every time accusations arose but allowed him to continue working with children.
Although he did serve 12 years in jail, the statute of limitations in Florida allowed Schaeufele to avoid being criminally prosecuted for abusing most of his victims. By the time criminal charges were filed against him, they only involved the youngest and most recent of his victims. He is listed on the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s 2016 List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
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