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Priest accused of abuse stripped of church duties

| December 14, 2010 8:00 PM

BOISE (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest from Idaho who was accused earlier this year of sexually abusing a minor three decades ago has been sanctioned and can no longer serve as a priest.

The sanctions approved by Pope Benedict XVI were handed down Monday to the Rev. William R. Gould, most recently assigned to a parish in Post Falls.

Gould was placed on administrative leave in May by Bishop Michael Driscoll after allegations surfaced that Gould engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct with a male under 18. The allegations date back 29 years ago when Gould was assigned to a parish in Idaho Falls.

Church officials investigated the allegations, then forwarded the findings to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, as required under church guidelines and policies for handling accusations of abuse by priests.

With consent from the Vatican, Bishop Driscoll restricted Gould from taking part in any future ministry role with the church and stripped him of his functions for being a priest.

Gould, 71, was ordained in 1965 and had served as priest at St. George's Catholic Church in Post Falls since 1990.

He was also placed on administrative leave in 2005 after an investigation substantiated claims he engaged in sexual misconduct with an adult. He was sent for treatment to an out-of-state facility, then reassigned to St. George's in Post Falls at the request of the parish.

Gould began his career as an assistant pastor in Cottonwood in 1965 before moving later that year to Twin Falls. In 1971, he was named chaplain at Sacred Heart Hospital in Idaho Falls, then associate pastor at Holy Rosary in Idaho Falls, according to diocese records. He has also served as pastor at churches in Aberdeen, American Falls, Shelley, Arco, Mackay, Mud Lake, St. Anthony's and Roberts.

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