Father William Wert
Archdiocese of Washington
Assigned as follows:
- Crespi Carmelite High School (Encino, CA)
- Our Lady of Grace Church (Washington, DC)
- Joliet Catholic High School
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father William Wert:
According to media reports, in 2007, Father William Wert who had previously worked in California for the Order of Carmelites, was convicted in Washington, D.C., of simple assault after being accused of inappropriately touching a 14-year-old boy.
According to D.C. court documents, Father Wert followed the boy from the Metro station in Northeast Washington. He began to talk to the boy, who was walking home from school. After he asked the boy his name, Father Wert asked, “Do you know somewhere we can hide?”
Police said he grabbed the boy’s inner thigh, and the teenager yelled and hit Father Wert.
When police arrived, Father Wert claimed that the boy tried to rob him, but later admitted that he was interested in the boy and apologized because there had been a mistake because he “misread” the teenager, documents said.
Father Wert was removed from ministry and sent on a leave of absence by the Carmelites to the church-owned home in Venice.
He was sentenced to 15 days in jail and five years probation. An appeals court upheld his conviction.
In February 2011, Father Wert was again arrested on charges of having sex with a 14-year old boy from September 2010 to January 2011. They met in an online chat room. The allegations were made by the boy and his father after the father found inappropriate messages on his son’s cell phone. The abuse happened in Father Wert’s house, his car, an empty house, a wooded area and a motel room.
In March 2011, a civil suit was filed.
In July 2011, the case was settled for $1.75 million.
In February 2013, a criminal trial was held.
In March 2013, Father Wert was found guilty and convicted on eight counts of sexual offenses against a child
In May 2013, he was sentenced to life in prison.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Washington, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Washington now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Call us at 888-283-9922 or send an email to [email protected] to discuss your options today.