Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 8, 2022 / 15:40 pm
A suspended Archdiocese of New Orleans priest who is facing rape charges could now be facing additional federal charges for financial malfeasance after a court document revealed that he allegedly pocketed almost $400,000 in parishioner donations, The Guardian reported.
An ongoing 2021 lawsuit accuses 62-year-old Father John Asare-Dankwah of raping a 10-year-old boy while out of state on a 2008 retreat. Asare-Dankwah, who was the pastor at St. Peter Claver parish in New Orleans for approximately seven years before his January 2021 suspension, has denied the rape accusations. He has since counter-sued for defamation. Asare-Dankwah is from the West African country of Ghana.
The court document was an archdiocesan financial audit showing irregularities in the priest’s spending habits while at St. Peter Claver, The Guardian reported. That audit, completed in August 2021, was unsealed on Nov. 4.
According to the news outlet, the audit showed that a total of $368,682 in parishioner donations was paid to Asare-Dankwah or was spent on his behalf. More than $80,000 of those funds were made out to the priest in checks. Almost $72,000 was funneled to his personal credit card.