Father Jeremiah Spillane
Diocese of St. Petersburg/Legion of Christ
- Church of the Incarnation (Sarasota, FL)
- Cardinal Mooney High School (Sarasota, FL)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Jeremiah Spillane:
Fr. Jeremiah Michael Spillane was a priest of the Legion of Christ order. Before moving to Sarasota in 1995, his 21 years of pastoral experience were spent mostly in schools in Mexico, Spain, and Rome.
In 1997, Spillane was convicted of internet solicitation of a minor boy. A transcript of the correspondence is part of the evidence against the Rev. Jeremiah Michael Spillane in a computer sex crime case. According to the police report, the detective was conducting undercover operations on the America Online computer service when Spillane contacted him in a “chat room.”
The detective posed as a 13-year-old boy and corresponded with Spillane by computer. Spillane admitted having been sexually involved with boys while in Mexico. After several exchanges, Spillane and the “boy” discussed arrangements to meet for sex. Spillane was arrested in Clearwater, FL. Spillane pleaded no contest to charges and was sentenced to two years house arrest and two years’ probation.
At the time, Spillane served at Sarasota’s Church of the Incarnation and was chaplain at Cardinal Mooney High School, where he conducted a weekly Mass.
In March 2021, the Legion of Christ announced that it was adding Spillane to its list of credibly accused priests. It is not clear if that was the result of the 1997 conviction or another allegation made in more recent years.
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