Post Falls Predator Priest Ousted; Sex Abuse Victims Respond - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Post Falls Predator Priest Ousted; Sex Abuse Victims Respond

BOISE, Idaho - A Catholic priest who served in Post Falls until this year has been sanctioned and stripped of his priestly duties.

The Rev. William R. Gould had been placed on administrative leave while church officials investigated allegations of sexual misconduct with a teen boy while he was serving in Idaho Falls 29 years ago.

Gould has denied the allegations. No criminal charges were ever filed, but a Vatican council reviewed an internal investigation submitted seven months ago. Its decision to sanction Gould was announced Monday after Pope Benedict XVI approved the decision.

Gould had worked as a pastor and administrator of St. George's parish in Post Falls since 1990.

According to the Diocese of Boise, Gould was acting administrator of St. Catherine's parish in Priest River in 1994, and from 2004 to 2008 he was administrator of St. Mary Immaculate in Saint Maries.

RESPONSE FROM SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Gould was first suspended for sexual misconduct in 1989 (though church officials kept that secret until just months ago). He was suspended again for the same reason in 2005. Now, supposedly, he's ousted for good. We hope so. Over a 45 year career, one wonders how many other sexual crimes and misdeeds Gould may have committed.

This predator still walks free, however. So it's crucial that people with information about his crimes contact law enforcement. Victims, witnesses and whistle blowers have a moral and civic duty to do anything they can that might help protect innocent children.

Boise Catholic officials also have an added duty here.  They recruited, educated, ordained, hired, trained, supervised, transferred and repeatedly protected this sexually troubled man. They can't now suddenly distance themselves and claim they have no responsibility to safeguard others from his predatory behavior.

Bishop Driscoll and his church staff and members should aggressively seek out others who may have been harmed by Gould. They should urge anyone who knows anything – however old, slight or seemingly insignificant – to share that knowledge with police and prosecutors. And Driscoll himself should personally visit every parish where Gould worked and beg victims and witnesses to speak up, get help, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.

For more about Gould and other child molesting Idaho clerics, go to BishopAccountability.org

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