Tulsa priest remains on administrative leave amid allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor 

Father Joe Townsend

TULSA, Okla. – The Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma has released more details about when alleged sexual misconduct involving a minor by a priest may have happened.

The diocese says the alleged sexual misconduct started shortly after the priest 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.

Last year, the diocese identified two other priests who were facing credible accusations of abusing minors. Both men are no longer associated with the Tulsa diocese.

The diocese is asking “anyone with knowledge or concerns about any misconduct by Father Townsend, regardless of when the conduct occurred, to come forward” by contacting local law enforcement or the diocesan Pastoral Hotline at (918) 307-4970.

Messages can be left anonymously on the hotline.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.