A former priest in the area was back in court this week to respond to charges that he allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior with a minor.
Thomas Kreiser, a former priest in Bronxville, Garnerville and Yorktown, was in church on Wednesday, Jan. 16 after surrendering himself to police custody late last year for allegedly sexually abusing a 10-year-old child.
Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr., announced last year that on Sept. 20, Kreiser allegedly engaged in touching his victim on an intimate part of her body while in a school building in Bronxville in the middle of the day. Scarpino noted that the 10-year-old was fully clothed at the time of the incident.
At the time of the alleged incident, Kreiser was employed as a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of New York and was stationed at St. Joseph’s Parish in Bronxville, which includes both a church and elementary school. As part of his responsibilities, Kreiser was visiting the school at the time of the alleged abuse. Kreiser has since been removed from the parish by the Archdiocese.
When the allegations first surfaced, Joseph Zwilling, the director of Communications for the Archdiocese of New York said, “We take all allegations of abuse seriously, and as is our policy, immediately turned the allegation over to the Westchester DA. The Archdiocese and the parish (are) fully cooperating with the DA in its investigation. The protection of our children and young people is our highest priority.”
Before joining St. Joseph, Kreiser worked at St. Patrick's Church in Yorktown, at St. Gregory Barbarigo Church in Garnerville, and as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart in Monroe.
While at St. Gregory from 2008 to 2010 Father Kreiser faced legal trouble connected with the theft of more than $25,000 from the parish for gambling and personal use. He was sentenced in 2011 to five years probation.
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