Fr. Robert Lentz – Archdiocese of Baltimore

by | Jul 31, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Robert Lentz

Archdiocese of Baltimore

Robert Lentz Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1964

Removed: 2002

Died: 2007

Assignment History:

  • 1964-1973: St. Mark’s (Catonsville, MD) 
  • 1966-1970: Baltimore County Police and Related Agencies 
  • 1973-1974: Cardinal Gibbons Faculty House (Baltimore, MD) 
  • 1973-1976: Catholic Youth Organization (Baltimore, MD) 
  • 1976-1978: Archdiocese of Baltimore Youth Office 
  • 1978-1980: St. Augustine (Elkridge, MD)
  • 1978-1984: Catholic Committee on Scouting Boy Scouts of America 
  • 1980: Notre Dame Institute (Notre Dame, IN)
  • 1981: Church of the Ascension (Halethorpe, MD) 
  • 1983-1988: Prince of Peace (Edgewood, MD)
  • 1988-1990: St. Pius X (Baltimore, MD) 
  • 1990: St. Jerome (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1990: St. Matthew (Baltimore, MD)  
  • 1990-1991: St. Mark (Fallston, MD) 
  • 1991: St. Clement (Lansdowne, MD) 
  • 1991-1997: Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Baltimore, MD)  
  • 1997: Education Sabbatical at North American College (Rome, Italy)
  • 1998-2002: Associate Pastor, St. Dominic (Baltimore, MD)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Robert Lentz:

Fr. Robert Lentz was ordained a Catholic priest and worked at various parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Maryland. He devoted much of his career to working with young children, including the Catholic Youth Department and National Scouting for Boy Scouts of America. In 2019, Fr. Lentz was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Father Robert Lentz.

According to the Attorney General’s report, in 2002, a man reported being sexually abused by a priest in the rectory of St. Mark’s in Catonsville in 1964 when he was 10. The victim was an altar boy. He did not know the priest’s name then but later identified him as Fr. Lentz. He claimed Lentz invited him to his bedroom in the rectory and was insistent he follows. The victim recalls passing Monsignor Joseph Leary on the first floor of the rectory on their way to the bedroom. The only detail he gave was that he remembered Lentz walking up to him wearing a bathrobe. The Archdiocese entered a settlement with the victim.

In October 2002, a man reported that he was sexually abused by Father Robert Lentz in 1967 and 1968 when he was 14. He stated that the abuse occurred three or four times in Lentz’s bedroom at St. Mark’s in Catonsville. Lentz gave him alcohol, put his hands inside his pants, and fondled his genitals. The first time it happened, Lentz had taken the victim and another boy downtown to watch a hockey game. The boy was present in the room when Lentz abused him. Later when Lentz was driving them home, he saw Lentz fondle the other boy beside him. The victim gave the names of other victims. He said Lentz was infamous in the Catonsville area, and kids knew you could go to him for alcohol or a ride.

In late 2002, Fr. Lentz’s faculties were suspended, and he was placed on administrative leave. Lentz was sent for treatment at St. John Vianney Center, where he admitted to giving alcohol and drinking with the minors but denied the abuse during his evaluation. He did not consider providing alcohol or “his playful style of interacting with minors and others in his ministry as boundary violations.” The St. Vianney Referral Form explicitly lists “boundary violations,” with “interpersonal problems” and “poor impulse control” as examples of problem areas for the referring person to identify. The archdiocese publicly disclosed the nature of the abuse allegations at that time. 

In December 2002, a man reported that Lentz sexually abused him in his bedroom in the rectory at St. Mark’s in the mid-1960s. He also recalled that Fr. Lentz gave him alcohol before abusing him. He said he was told to take off his clothes, and Lentz spanked him and exposed his penis. He also saw Lentz reach into the pants of another boy and fondle him in his car. When he was in Vietnam, Lentz wrote him a letter apologizing for what happened. The archdiocese reached a settlement with the victim for $80,000.

That same month, another man reported that Fr. Lentz sexually abused him in his bedroom in the rectory at St. Mark’s in the mid-1960s. Lentz took him to dinner in Little Italy with three other boys from the parish football team and gave them all wine. After dinner, Lentz drove the boys home and then invited the victim to his room. Lentz gave him more alcohol, and eventually, the boy passed out. He awoke with Lentz on top of him, attempting to rape him anally.

In 2003, Lentz was confronted about the reported abuse and was told the Cardinal would be willing to grant Lentz retirement with the understanding that he never functions as a priest or presents himself as a priest without specific permission to do so, in lieu of moving forward with charges and a church trial. Lentz chose to retire. As a retired priest, Lentz was entitled to full pension and retirement benefits.

In 2006, a man reported that Fr. Lentz sexually abused him in the 1960s at St. Mark’s when he was an altar boy and attended St. Mark’s school. On Monday mornings, Lentz pulled kids out of class to go with him to the bank to deposit Sunday’s collection. When the victim was in the car, Lentz touched him between his legs and had an erection. After six months, the victim quit being an altar boy so he wouldn’t have to ride in the car with Lentz.

Fr. Lentz died in 2007.

In 2017, a man reported that he was sexually abused by Lentz at Prince of Peace from 1984 through 1986 when he was in the 2nd grade. Lentz called him out of class three times and took him to the sacristy alone. The first three times, Lentz did not abuse him, but over the next two years, Lentz called him out of class to the sacristy ten more times. Each time, Fr. Lentz told him to take his clothes off, fold them and place them on a side table. At first, Lentz looked at him but didn’t touch him but on later occasions, Lentz told the victim to touch himself; Lentz touched the victim’s genitals or made the victim touch him. In addition to the sacristy, Lentz abused him in Lentz’s office and the parish kitchen. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maryland, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.