Fr. James Rasby – Archdiocese of Denver

| Oct 24, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father James Rasby

Archdiocese of Denver

Ordained: 1954

Died: 2014

Assigned as follows:

  • 1953-1959: Christ the King (Denver, CO)
  • 1990-1995: St. Vincent De Paul (Denver, CO)
    1960-1967: St. Anne’s Shrine (Arvada, CO)
  • 1996-2004: Retired
  • 1968-1969: St. Joan of Arc (Arvada, CO)
  • 2005-2014: Retired
  • 1970-1989: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Denver, CO)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Rasby:

Father James Rasby was ordained a priest in 1954, and served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, in October 2019, the Colorado Attorney General released a detailed report of a special investigation into the handling of child sexual abuse allegations by Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses.  For the first time, Fr. James Rasby was publicly identified as a priest with multiple documented report of sexual abuse.

According to the documents reviewed by the investigators, Rasby was accused of abusing a 13 year old boy at Immaculate Conception parish in Denver.  The abuse occurred around 1975 and was immediately reported to another priest in the parish.  Documents in his file indicate that Rasby said he “knew he had a problem ask was getting counseling” when confronted.  No additional action was taken in response to the report, which was made to Rasby’s subordinate in the parish.  It surfaced during an investigation of a second allegation in 1990.

In August 1990, the Archdiocese of Denver learned that Rasby had engaged in sexual misconduct with a 16 year old boy at St. Vincent de Paul in Denver.  The boy was struggling with the death of a family member and stopped by the rectory to talk with Rasby. Rasby gave the boy a job at the rectory, presumably to spend more time with the vulnerable child.  Rasby frequently hugged and kissed the boy, which bothered him so much that he told his 15 year old friend to stay away from Rasby and to have a letter opener nearby if he ever worked in the rectory office.

The abuse ended when Rasby kissed the boy even after he said, “no,” and with force.  The boy told his parents what was going on and they contacted the Archdiocese of Denver.

After an investigation, Rasby was supposed to be sent for psychological testing and treatment and limited his contact with underaged children in the parish, but he continued in ministry.  His file makes no mention of anyone being appointed the duties of supervising Rasby to make sure that he adhered to the limit on his contact with the children in his parish.  There are no documents suggesting that he was, in fact, evaluated or treated by a counselor.

Rasby remained in good standing until his retirement in 1995.

Rasby died in 2014.

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