BREAKING: NY District Attorney throws out assault allegations against New York priest
NEW YORK, May 28, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York District Attorney (D.A.) has thrown out allegations of assault against well-known priest Fr. George Rutler.
LifeSiteNews learned this morning that the D.A. had found the accusations of a female security guard against Rutler to be “baseless.”
So far, this news has been confirmed by New York parishioner Jonah Bergman, who told LifeSiteNews over Twitter that Rutler told him the good news himself. In response to a tweet by Sohrab Amari saying that the D.A. had refused to charge the priest, Bergman wrote, “Yes, it is true! He is my pastor and he married me and my wife. Answered prayers!”
Security guard Ashley Gonzalez, then 22, had worked fewer than two entire shifts at the Church of St. Michael in Manhattan on November 4, 2020, when she accused the priest of watching internet porn, indecent behavior, and then attacking her “sexually, aggressively.”
Instead of immediately calling police when she alleged the attack happened, Gonzalez contacted Manuel Gomez, the controversial proprietor of Black Ops Private Investigators, to assist her in her complaint against Rutler. In 2017, the New York Post reported that NYPD detectives had been warned against speaking with Gomez, who allegedly was part of a “cottage industry” of bogus civil rights violation claims made against the NYPD by gang members.
In support of her claims, Gonzalez released photo footage she said showed the priest watching pornography in his office. The video appears to show a man who is completely bald watching pornography in a red room decorated with portraits of cardinals.
Rutler has always denied the accusations. In a November 20 letter to parishioners, he wrote, “A woman security guard who was temporarily assigned to provide security at our parish at the time of the election has alleged that on one occasion I improperly touched her. Responsible authorities are investigating her allegations. I strongly deny this allegation, which I maintain is incoherent and painful to my reputation and inconsistent with how I have conducted myself in fifty years of ministerial service without any accusation of misbehavior.”
Rutler said that he had voluntarily offered to step aside from his duties as pastor during the investigation.
LifeSiteNews reached out to the Archdiocese of New York, whose spokesman said, “We have no statement at this time. You’d have to contact the District Attorney’s Office.” LifeSiteNews has also contacted the District Attorney’s Office and is awaiting a reply. LifeSiteNews has reached out to the current pastor of the Church of St. Michael, as well.