RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A retired priest with ties to Catholic churches in Norfolk and Virginia Beach is accused of sexually abusing a child nearly 50 years ago.
The victim — who is now dead — was allegedly abused by Rev. Msgr. Raymond Barton in the early 1970s. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond was informed of the details of the alleged abuse by a “representative” of the victim, according to a press release.
The Catholic Diocese of Richmond reported the allegations of sexual abuse to civil authorities.
Barton retired in 2011 and no longer serves in Catholic ministry in any official capacity. He will not be allowed to serve in active ministry until the sexual abuse allegations are investigated, according to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.
Barton was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Richmond in 1966 and celebrated his 50th anniversary as a leader of the Catholic faith in 2016, according to an article published by the Catholic Virginian. He also served as an associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond and a faculty member at St. John Vianney Seminary in Goochland, and a pastor at Holy Comfoter Catholic Church in Charlottesville, according to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond.
He also has ties to Hampton Roads, where he served as a pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Norfolk and Saint Nicholas Catholic Church in Virginia Beach, as well as a co-pastor at Church of the Holy Apostle in Virginia Beach, according to the press release.
The Diocese of Richmond is encouraging anyone who has been abused by a priest, deacon, religious leader, or volunteer of the diocese to report the abuse to police and Child Protective Services.
They can also report abuse to the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 833-454-9064 or to the 24-hour confidential victim’s assistance reporting number at 877-887-9603.