(10-14-21) Father David Huneck (31) appeared in Whitley County (Indiana) Court Wednesday for a pre-trial hearing.
- Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend Holds Press Conference On Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Priest
Huneck is facing six charges, including:
- 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
Court papers say in late June Father Huneck asked a 19-year old woman and a girl who was 17 at the time to come have cake and celebrate his birthday.
The alleged victims told police Huneck got drunk, groped them and suggested sex acts be performed on him.
Judge Douglas Fahl, who presided over the hearing, recused himself from the case because he is a member of Saint Paul of the Cross Church in Columbia City where Huneck was priest.
Fahl said the circut court judge is also a member of that church, so a judge likely from outside the area will be appointed to the case.
Father Huneck was also the chaplain at Ft. Wayne Bishop Dwenger High School
Fahl put in not-guilty pleas on Huneck’s behalf.
The pre-trial conference is set for Nov. 16.
A statement released by Mariella Warney, identified herself as ‘victim #1’, in a sexual assault of a minor case against Father David Huneck.
“To all those affected by the recent events involving Father David Huneck, my name is Mariella Warney. I am the individual being referred to as “victim one” in the criminal case against Father Huneck because I was the minor at the time of the sexual assault that was reported to the diocese and the police. I am making this statement to share my story and my truth. I want everyone to know that I am okay, although emotionally devastated, and that I no longer want to remain in the shadows of being anonymous. For my sake and the sake of the criminal case, I will not discuss details of the case. I will say that I feel that everything being done is fair and justified in both the legal and diocesan cases. These actions could not stay in the dark any longer and proper consequences had to be met.
I would like to extend my gratitude to the Diocese of Fort Wayne- South Bend and everyone in the legal system who has made this process go as smoothly as possible. Throughout this confusing and troubling time, I have felt completely supported every step of the way.
Healing from this is going to take time, as my healing process has just begun. I am asking that we come together for one another as a community to help us all heal from these shocking events. I know this news is not easy to hear or to process, but with time, we can get through this if we support each other.
My heart and prayers go out to all survivors of abuse of any kind. You are so strong. I want you to know that you are loved and supported even through the darkest of times. I know that coming forward is not comfortable or easy, but when you are ready, know that it is safe. I encourage you to come forward, speak your truth, seek justice, and begin your healing process, as I have begun mine.”