Richmond Diocese deems child sex abuse claims against priest 'not credible'

Posted at 11:18 AM, Jan 29, 2021

RICHMOND, Va. -- Bishop Barry Knestout of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond reported Thursday that allegations of child sexual abuse made against one former priest were not credible.

The report came after a lengthy investigation by the Diocesan Review Board into the claims made against former priest Thomas Long.

A report of the allegations against Long was received by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond in June 2020. Those allegations were then reported to authorities.

The diocese launched an internal investigation of the allegations and the information they found was presented to the Diocesan Review Board, who then reported their findings to Knestout.

The diocese said his name will not be added to thelist of clergy that have credible and substantiated allegations against them.

"Just as the diocese strives to remain transparent when child sexual abuse allegations are brought forward, the diocese will also publicly clear the accused of any wrongdoing when an accused is subjected to unsupported allegations," a spokesperson for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond wrote in an email.

In February 2019, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond released the names of 42 priests with credible allegations of child sexual abuse after an internal investigation.

The investigation was prompted by Attorney General Mark Herring, who had announced he was looking into reports of priest abuse in the state the previous year.

Long voluntarily left active ministry in 1988.