COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WANE) A Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse in a case involving two females made his initial appearance in Whitley County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon.
Whitley County Prosecutor DJ Sigler filed multiple felony charges last week against Father David Huneck who at the time of the alleged crimes 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. Court documents indicate Huneck knew the alleged victims from his affiliation with the high school.
During the hearing before Judge Douglas Fahl, Huneck said he understood the charges which include:
- Child Seduction-Defendant has a professional relationship with child and fondles child
- Sexual Battery–Victim compelled to submit by force or imminent threat
- Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
- Furnishing Alcohol to a Minor-Basic offense for furnishing to a minor
- Two counts of battery
Judge Fahl made sure Huneck understood the no contact order put in place for the two alleged victims and what charges he would face if that order was violated and a not guilty plea was entered on Huneck’s behalf.
Judge Fahl also recused himself from any further proceedings because he is a member of St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church where Huneck pastored. Under ordinary circumstances Judge Fahl indicated the circuit court judge would fill in, be he is also a member of the church congregation so a special judge will be brought in from another county.
Huneck’s next court appearance is scheduled for November.