An American priest accused of allegedly sexually molesting altar boys was arrested yesterday in the town of Naval, in the province of Biliran.
GMA News identified the suspect as Father Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, 78, who has reportedly served the church of Naval for five decades.
Hendricks was arrested right inside the town’s Cathedral of Our Lady Rosary Parish by members of the local police, the Bureau of Immigration (BI), and the United States Homeland Security, according to The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Hendricks willingly went with the authorities.
Based on the police records, seven complaints of alleged sexual abuse were filed against the priest. However, only two victims proceeded with their complaint against Hendricks.
The police said it is possible that Hendricks victimized other people.
Sun Star reported that he allegedly raped and molested close to 50 people, with victims as young as 7 years old.
Hendricks was emotional during his arrest, mentioning the close ties he has formed with the townspeople whom he served for decades. According to GMA News, some of the parishioners were even sad when they bid the priest goodbye.
Hendricks was brought to Manila by the teams of the BI and the US Homeland Security after his arrest.