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Troubling complaint against ex-Phoenix priest, Father Spaulding, detailed in 2012 lawsuit

Posted: 11:18 AM, Jan 10, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-10 20:57:05-05
John Dallas Spaulding.jpg

PHOENIX — Details have emerged about another sexual misconduct complaint against a former Valley priest indicted this week on charges including sexual conduct with a minor.

This week, a Maricopa County Grand Jury charged Father John "Jack" Dallas Spaulding, 74, with six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child. He is accused of sexually abusing two boys, who were under the age of 15, between the years of 2003 and 2007.

During that time span, Spaulding was a Priest at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Phoenix and St. Timothy's in Mesa.

Back in 2011, Spaulding was suspended after allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor were deemed credible, according to the Diocese of Phoenix.

In a civil lawsuit obtained by ABC15, Spaulding and the Diocese of Phoenix were sued by the parents of a victim allegedly molested by Spaulding.

The lawsuit filed in 2012 accuses Spaulding of befriending a 13-year-old boy who attended Maria Goretti Parish in Scottsdale. The boy's parents were going through a divorce, and Spaulding spent a lot of time with him, taking him to movies, dinners, and using the hot tub at Spaulding's home.

According to the court documents, Spaulding molested the boy multiple times, including on a trip to a condo in San Clemente, California, in 1985.

The boy's parents say in the documents that the molestations of their child led to drug use, delinquency and suicide attempts.

On June 17, 2010, the victim, who was then 39 years old, went to his parents' home "in a rage and under the influence of methamphetamines." He pushed his father, and "violently backed him into his bedroom." The father, fearing for his life, armed himself as his son said, "Go ahead and shoot me." Not wanting to kill his son, the father pointed the gun at his son's leg and fired.

The son left the home with a gunshot wound to his leg and was found, about an hour later, deceased in a hotel parking lot in Mesa.

In 2014, the parents and the Diocese reached a settlement in the case, and the case was later dropped.

According to the Diocese of Phoenix, Spaulding was removed from ministry and has been prohibited from publicly identifying himself as a priest.