TULSA, Okla. – The Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma says the alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor by a priest started shortly after he was ordained.
The diocese said in a statement Friday that “a non-frivolous allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor” against Father Joe Townsend date to his time as associate pastor at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Tulsa from June 1988 to June 1991. The statement says Townsend denies the allegation and is cooperating with an investigation.
The diocese website says Townsend was ordained May 27, 1988.
The diocese announced July 5 that Townsend had been placed on administrative leave.
The diocese last year identified two other priests who were facing credible accusations of abusing minors. Both men are no longer associated with the Tulsa diocese.