THE National Capital Region Police Office yesterday served five more warrants of arrest for child abuse against an American priest already detained at the Bureau of Immigration jail since last December following his arrest for pedophilia.
NCRPO chief Director Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said the warrants of arrest for acts of lasciviousness in relation to Republic Act 7610 or the Child Abuse Law were issued against Fr. Kenneth Pius Hendricks by Judge Constantino Esber of Branch 16 of Biliran Regional Trial Court.
Eleazar said that members of the NCRPO Regional Special Operations Unit, the Bureau of Immigration Fugitive Search Unit and the United States Department of Homeland Security were involved in the service of the warrants against the priest who was accused of molesting Filipino altar boys since his younger years.
The American Roman Catholic priest was arrested by immigration agents last December 5 on the strength of a warrant of arrest issued by Stephanie Bowman, a U.S. magistrate judge from the U.S. Ohio District.
He was accused of engaging in illicit sex with a minor in a foreign country punishable by fines and/or up to 30 years in prison.
The NCRPO chief said that the Franciscan priest molested more than 50 children mostly altar boys as young as 7-years old. The new victims were encouraged to come forward and face the priest.
“They were afraid to come out in the open immediately because of grave threats from the priest,” said Eleazar.
The police official said that a record check showed that Hendricks arrived in the country from Cincinatti, Ohio in 1968. Upon arrival in the country, he was ordained as a priest in the Franciscan Order and practiced his vocation at the St. Isidore the Worker Chapel in Barangay Talustosan in Biliran province.
Eleazar said that the priest is currently being held at the NCRPO-RSOU detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City prior to the return of the warrants to the Biliran court.