- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 22, 2002

BALTIMORE (AP) The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore released the names of six suspended and former priests accused of abusing minors while seminary students in the 1970s and 1980s.
The charges against five of the men date from the 1970s, and a sixth is accused of abuse in the 1980s, while all were students at St. Mary's Seminary and University.
The six are accused of molesting additional youths while serving in other cities.
Although the men attended seminary in Baltimore, all were ordained for other dioceses. None of the men is now in ministry, having been suspended or defrocked for charges that came to light after they were ordained as priests, archdiocese officials said.
The inactive priests served in the dioceses of La Crosse, Wis.; Trenton, N.J.; Albany, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.; and Portland, Maine.
Archdiocesan officials said they were releasing the names to encourage any additional victims to come forward.
"We want to let victims know we believe them. We hope they come forward so we can apologize and offer help," spokesman Stephen Kearney said.
Monsignor Richard Woy, the chancellor and the director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection, said the system of seminary internships was much more informal three decades ago, when the abuses reportedly occurred.
A seminarian would often make his own arrangements for a summer internship in a parish or other ministry and there is often no record of it.
"We were concerned with this particular group in that they may have served in locations that are unknown to us," Monsignor Woy said.
The Rev. Robert Leavitt, president and rector of St. Mary's Seminary and University, said the school had "no knowledge of any incidents involving its students prior to recent disclosure.
"A review of these cases disclosed no indications or allegations of sexual abuse in seminary records," he said.
The men were identified as:
Bruce E. Ball, who was ordained for the Diocese of La Crosse, which informed the Archdiocese Of Baltimore in 1993 of two claims of sexual abuse against the former priest while he was a seminarian in Baltimore in the mid-1970s.
The Rev. John Banko, a St. Mary's seminarian from 1964 to 1972, who was ordained for the Diocese of Trenton.
The Rev. Mark Haight, who was ordained in 1976 for the Diocese of Albany.
The Rev. Michael LaMountain, who was ordained for the diocese of Providence and assisted at Most Precious Blood parish in northeast Baltimore from 1974 to 1976.
The Rev. Francis McGrath, who attended St. Mary's in the mid-1970s and who was ordained for the Diocese of Trenton.
The Rev. Raymond Melville, who left the priesthood in 1997 and was a student at St. Mary's from 1979 to 1985.

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