A Catholic priest who was named as a child sex abuser in a new report was a counselor at a church camp in 1958 when a 10-year-old deaf boy disappeared before his skeletal remains were discovered a year later.
Jerry Repola worked at the Catholic Camp St. Malo in Colorado in August 1958, when Bobby Bizup vanished in mysterious circumstances after a day of fishing in the mountains.
Bones belonging to the little boy were found in July 1959 in a spot that had been extensively searched by a 500-strong crew, the Colorado Civil Air Patrol and an Indian tracker the year before.
It has now been revealed that Repola, who died in March 1971 from a long illness, sexually abused a teenage boy when he was a parish priest in Grand Junction in 1967 and authorities believe the boy could be one of several victims.
Repola is the third priest who was working at the camp when Bobby’s died who is now known to have sexually abused children via their positions in the Catholic church, reported 9 News.
One of the others, Harold Robert White, has been described as ‘the most prolific known clergy child sex abuser in Colorado history’, while the other, Neil Hewitt, was one of the last to see Bobby alive and the person who found his remains the year after he vanished.
The three priests all had long ties to the camp, working there as counselors for many years, and investigators have now launched a new probe into the little boy’s disappearance and death.
The revelation about Repola’s history of abuse comes in a new report released by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office Tuesday, where he was one of nine Catholic priests identified as having sexually abused children dating back to the 1950s in Colorado.
The report is an update to the damning ongoing investigation by the Colorado Attorney General which in October 2019 named 43 Colorado priests who sexually abused at least 166 children between 1950 and 2019 and exposed systemic cover-ups of allegations within the church.
To date, the probe, which was agreed to by the church and the state in 2019, has uncovered the abuse of at least 212 children by 52 priests in Colorado over a 70-year period.
Repola sexually abused a boy when working as a priest at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Grand Junction, according to the new report from Attorney General Phil Weiser’s Office.
He trained to be a priest at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver from 1956 before being ordained in Walsenburg in 1964.
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Source: Daily Mail