The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Rev. Plock no longer with University following arrest

Rev. Charles Plock, the St. John’s priest who was arrested last week in an online sting operation, has been fired, said University officials.

“As of last Friday, he is no longer employed with the University,” said Dominic Scianna, Director of Media Relations.

Rev. Plock, 63, often referred to by students as “Father Charlie,” was arrested Oct. 10 in his on-campus Queens apartment after police intercepted obscene videos the priest allegedly sent to someone he thought was a 13-year-old boy.

Plock was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court later that day, released on $150,000 bail and ordered to check into St. John Vianney Center, a Pennsylvania behavioral health facility for members of the clergy.

The former St. John’s employee, who was with the school since Jan., 2003, is due back in court for a Nov. 11 hearing.

According to Scianna, St. John’s has been cooperating with the NYPD and Colorado police, who first picked up Plock’s alleged recordings, as an investigation into the case continues.

In a statement released Oct. 16 on St. John’s Central, Rev. James Maher, C.M., Vice President for Student Affairs, said Plock’s arrest was taken by many as “very sad and painful news.”

The statement also said the University’s Office of Residence Life, Campus Ministry and Counseling Center would be available for any students.

“Please be assured that all of us at St. John’s are always concerned with the well-being of our students,” said Maher in his message. “All of you continue to be in my prayers.”

Reports claiming that University priests provided $15,000 of the $150,000 bond needed to secure Plock’s immediate release from police custody, Scianna said, were false.

Instead, according to Scianna, the funds were provided by a regional sect of a national Vincentian community Plock was a part of.

Scianna added that as of Oct. 15, he was unaware of the priest’s whereabouts but said he “would assume Mr. Plock is at the treatment facility.”

According to St. John’s Vianney Center’s official Web site, the facility is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is located in a “suburban area” in Downingtown, Penn. The center also offers residential and outpatient treatment programs with individual and group therapy sessions, clinical assessments and guest homes.

“Persons seeking admission are individuals who experience difficulty in one or more arena of personal effectiveness which is hampering an active role in ministry,” reads the program overview for the facility’s residential treatment. “The program emphasizes that a communal experience, which promotes individual responsibility for health and ultimate recovery, can be effective.”

Calls to the Adams County, Colorado Sheriff’s department and Archdiocese of Philadelphia Office for Communications were not immediately returned.

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