Tag: Phoenix sex abuse

Former Catholic priest indicted by Grand Jury on charges of sexually abusing boys in Diocese of Phoenix, allegations go back 40 years

Former Catholic priest indicted by Grand Jury on charges of sexually abusing 2 boys in the Diocese of Phoenix, allegations go back 40 years


On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, a Maricopa County grand jury charged a former Catholic priest in connection with the sexual abuse of two boys under the age of 15 between 2003 and 2007. Father John “Jack” Dallas Spaulding, age 74, was charged with six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child. Spaulding was a priest at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Phoenix and St. Tim’s Catholic Church in Mesa when the alleged abuse occurred.

He was placed on leave from St. Timothy Parish in June 2011 after an investigation found that an allegation of sexual misconduct against him was credible. Multiple credible allegations of child sexual abuse by Spaulding, with one as young as 11 years of age, can be traced back to the early 1970s, when he was a young priest in Glendale. 

In a January 2014 statement, the Diocese of Phoenix said Spaulding was found guilty by a special Vatican tribunal of “sins against the Sixth Commandment with a minor”, and was recommended for laicization, dismissal from the clerical state. Spaulding appealed the case, and it is still pending.

In June 2019, the Diocese of Phoenix received another report from a man claiming Spaulding sexually abused him when he was a boy. Diocesan officials said it has been cooperating with authorities and reported all claims of sexual misconduct against Spaulding to investigators. 

Anyone who has been a victim of clergy child sexual abuse is encouraged to call the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office or their local law enforcement agency.

The role of pastors in the church is to support the spiritual needs of their parishioners. Education and often counseling and guidance in times of need are responsibilities with which they are entrusted. A trusted clergyman who sexually violates young children has no place working in the Church. Any ministry in which such a crime is committed must take responsibility for failing to properly screen potential priests and protect their parishioners. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests throughout the United States. If you or a loved one was sexually abused, raped or sexually molested by a priest or other clergy, contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.