A priest has been accused of sexually grooming a 16-year-old boy over Skype and Facetime calls.
Reverend Monsignor Francis Nave – a clergyman from Pennsylvania - allegedly contacted the teenage boy through a gay social media website, The Morning Call reports.
The boy joined the site looking for support and friendship while he came to terms with his sexuality and Nave told him he was a “skilled counsellor” and offered to help him with his issues.
Through personal and intimate conservations, the priest allegedly sexually groomed the boy and asked explicit questions, the lawsuit heard, and said he was masturbating during their conversations.
Nave then suggested they start using Skype or Facetime to speak and screenshots show that the priest was conducted the video sessions from his room in the rectory while the boy was in his Virginia home.
During the lawsuit, it was heard that Nave told the teenager to get naked and masturbate on camera but when he expressed discomfort, the priest told him it was part of the counselling and would help him with his issues.
As the ‘counselling sessions’ continued, Nave managed to persuade the teenager to engage in other sexual behaviour and screenshotted images were shared with the media during the trial.
The teenager’s lawyer, Jeff Herman, said the sessions continued for about a year before the boy – who is now 23 – broke off communication with Nave.
Herman said: “He was contacted again over the years but he has not wanted to have conversation with [Nave].
“He felt completely used and hurt. He has been struggling with this. This brave young man is coming forward to expose a sexual predator in a position of power at the Diocese of Allentown.
“He hopes to prevent future victims. It is appalling that in 2018 there are still sexual predators in the Catholic Church disguising themselves as men of God.”
No charged have been filed against Nave, but police are currently investigating the alleged offences.
Nave has been removed from ministry pending the outcome of the investigation.