COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – A Catholic priest in Colorado Springs is under arrest on charges of sexually assaulting a child.
Father Robert Charles Manning is now on administrative leave from his post as pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church. He’s been arrested on charges of sexual assault on a minor by a person in a position of trust and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Manning was transferred in 2007 to Colorado from St. Louis. He’s served at St. Gabriel for nearly five years until news of the investigation led to a suspension in January.
Parishioners are dismayed to learn of Manning’s arrest.
“I’m stunned, I’m just stunned,” parishioner Lorri Orwig said. “They were announcing it in all the masses, so we knew what was going on as far as the investigation went.”
“There should be compassion and care for the alleged victim. There should be a presumption of innocence for the priest,” the diocese said in a prepared statement.
The incident is said to of occurred last October. It involved a child between 15 and 18, but no further details have been released.
“I can’t speak for anyone but myself. I’m just saddened by the whole thing,” Orwig said.
The diocese is asking anyone with information to contact them, but the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says they should contact law enforcement instead.