Father Thomas Rydzewski
Archdiocese of Baltimore
- 1998-2000: St. Agnes (Catonsville, MD)
- 2000-2001: Cathedral of Mary Our Queen (Baltimore, MD) and Cardinal Gibbons School (Baltimore, MD)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Thomas Rydzewski:
Fr. Thomas Rydzewski was ordained a Catholic priest and worked in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In 2002, Fr. Rydzewski was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list.
According to media reports, in 2002, Rydzewski was arrested and convicted on charges of using the internet to receive and disseminate images of child pornography, as well as possession of child pornography, an activity that began no later than 2001. Rydzewski entered a guilty plea in 2002 and was sentenced to 27 months in prison. Fr. Rydzewski completed his sentence and was released in 2004.
At the time of his arrest, Fr. Rydzewski was assigned to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, where he served as the youth minister. Fr. Rydzewski was brought to the attention of law enforcement after purchasing collectible dolls that resemble real children through eBay. Authorities then learned that Fr. Rydzewski purchased approximately 225 items of interest to law enforcement over a 2-month period in 2001, using the screen name “skywalker_198”. Rydzewski was removed from his post, put on administrative leave, and barred from practicing as a priest.
According to an affidavit used in the prosecution of Fr. Rydzewski, the items included boys’ clothing, nude photographs of male children, antique advertising depicting male children, photographs of altar boys, and other items. Some of these items were allegedly delivered to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, where Fr. Rydzewski was assigned.
Further investigation revealed that Fr. Rydzewski frequented Usenet groups that catered almost exclusively to the dissemination and trade of child pornography, according to the FBI. According to media reports, Fr. Rydzewski used these sites to upload and receive pornographic material on his computer in the rectory at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.
Following his indictment, according to media reports, Fr. Rydzewski was released on a $100,000 bond and entered treatment at St. Luke Institute.
Fr. Rydzewski’s name appears on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s list of priests accused of sexual misconduct involving a minor. Fr. Rydzewski’s name appears on the Maryland sex offender registry.
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.