Former Fort Wayne priest to plead guilty next month

Crime

WHITLEY CO., Ind. (WANE) — A former Fort Wayne priest is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges involving a child.

David Huneck faces charges of Child Seduction, Sexual Battery, Battery, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, and Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor in Whitley Superior Court.

A plea deal calls for him to plead guilty to the two most serious counts – Level 6 felony Child Seduction and Level 6 felony Sexual Battery – and serve between 10 and 90 days in the Whitley County Jail. He may ask a judge to lessen the charges to Class A misdemeanors, according to the agreement.

A change of plea hearing will be held Jan. 27.

At the time of the alleged crimes, Huneck was the pastor at Saint Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in Columbia City. Huneck also served as chaplain of Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne. Huneck resigned from his posts after the allegations surfaced, and the diocese suspended him from pastoral duties.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Whitley Superior Court, the charges stem from two incidents that allegedly took place at the home in Columbia City provided to Huneck as part of his being the pastor at a parish there.

The affidavit said the investigation began on September 23, when an officer with the Columbia City Police Department began looking into a report of a possible sex crime made by a staffer at Huneck’s parish. The allegation involved two young women; one being an adult and one a minor.

After identifying the two women, the officer was able to interview the two women on September 24. Both indicated they knew Huneck from his role as chaplain at Bishop Dwenger High School in Fort Wayne, the affidavit said.

The women told the officer that on June 30 they had been invited to Huneck’s home to “celebrate his birthday and eat cake.” The women and Huneck were the only ones there after their arrival at 10:30 p.m. They said Huneck offered them alcohol which they accepted, but they said they did not get intoxicated, according to the affidavit.

At one point Huneck allegedly grabbed one of the women’s breasts through her clothing despite her efforts to keep her hands away, according to the affidavit.

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