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Catholic Diocese of Richmond Responds to Virginia Attorney General Announcing Charges Against a Former Priest of the Ballarat Diocese (Australia) Who Served in Virginia Beach

For Immediate Release: May 4, 2021

(RICHMOND, Va.) – Paul David Ryan, a former priest of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat located in Victoria, Australia, was indicted for two felony counts of child sexual abuse on April 13, 2021.  Ryan had already been named on the Catholic Diocese of Richmond’s list of priests against whom credible and substantiated allegations had been made and was published Feb. 13, 2019.  The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has fully cooperated with the ongoing clergy abuse investigation by the Virginia Attorney General since it started in October 2018 and will continue to do so.

Ryan came to the Diocese of Richmond in 1979, where he worked for less than a year at Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Virginia Beach.

Since the Attorney General’s investigation remains on-going, and out of respect for any victim survivors, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond will not comment further about allegations against Paul David Ryan.

Bishop Knestout encourages all victims of sexual abuse to report allegations to law enforcement. We continue to pray for all victim survivors of abuse and remain diligent in our efforts of creating a safe environment for all.

Individuals who have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer of the diocese should report abuse directly to law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096, and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064.

Individuals are also encouraged to contact the 24-hour confidential Victim’s Assistance Reporting number at 1-877-887-9603 or email to report sexual abuse.