Priest Faces Sex Abuse Charges For Spanking Boys
By Peter Foster, North Country Gazette (New York), July 18, 2009

MARGARETVILLE -- A Roman Catholic priest with ties to the Capital District is accused of sexually abusing six Delaware County males ranging in age from 11 to 19.

The Rev. James J. McDevitt, 62, most recently served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Margaretville. Prior to that, he served with the St. Pius X Church in Loudonville.

Authorities have charged McDevitt with six counts of second degree sexual abuse, seven counts of forcible touching, six counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of third degree sexual abuse, all of which stem from him allegedly spanking the males.

He has pleaded not guilty at arraignment in Middletown Town Court. He has been released on $1,000 bail and is scheduled to reappear on Aug. 13.

It is alleged that McDevitt told the six boys to pull down their pants and underwear and then lie across his lap. He then allegedly spanked them three times on their bare buttocks.

Court documents says that most of the incidents happened between October and mid-April but that some instances with several of the males began three years ago.

McDevitt was ordained in 1997 and then served as associate pastor at St. Pius in Loudonville, according to the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese.

He served as chaplain at St. Mary's Hospital in Troy from 1999 to 2000 and then as associate pastor at St. Mary's in Ballston Spa.

He is currently on a voluntary administrative leave.

On June 2, McDevitt was arrested for driving while intoxicated following a motor vehicle accident.


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