OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Hours after the Archdiocese of KCK announced the suspension of priest Scott Kallal on Tuesday, a man who claims his daughter was sexually assaulted by Kallal came forward with new allegations.
The Archdiocese announced in a statement Monday afternoon that Kallal was suspended from his position at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Overland Park after two sources came forward with allegations of wrongdoing.
Church leaders said a preliminary investigation revealed “violations of some of the Archdiocese’s safe environment guidelines which all clerics, employees and volunteers are asked to observe when interacting with young people," including one incident involving a minor.
On Tuesday, a man claiming to be the father of the child spoke to 41 Action News.
The father alleged that in the summer of 2015, Kallal inappropriately tickled his 11-year-old daughter and touched her breast during a weekend gathering at St. Patrick Catholic Church in KCK.
“We all send our children to a Catholic school to be safe,” the man wrote in an e-mail. “Never would think that a Father would sexually assault our kids.”
The man also said his daughter has had to see a counselor ever since the alleged incident.
“My daughter does not serve mass anymore because she is afraid of Priest (sic),” he explained.
The father told 41 Action News that he reported the case to church leaders, who then reported the case to the Kansas Department of Children and Families.
Shortly after 41 Action News notified the Archdiocese of KCK of the new allegations, the group released a statement saying:
The Archdiocese is addressing this allegation like any allegation of boundary violations it has received against any employee, volunteer, or member of the clergy of the Archdiocese.
We have reported the matter to the proper authorities, the Kansas Department for Children and Families and the archdiocesan Independent Review Board.
To protect the anonymity and privacy of those bringing allegations and to respect the state's investigative process, it is the practice of the Archdiocese to refrain from commenting on the details of the case until the investigation is completed.
41 Action News asked for the guidelines and definition of “boundary violations”, which the Archdiocese chose not to release.
News of the case brought shock to the St. Patrick community on Tuesday.
"Just something you would never think of happening at your own church," explained Joe, who asked 41 Action News not to reveal his last name due to the sensitive nature of the case. "To me, he seemed like an alright guy. He seemed like he connected with a lot of the parishioners over there."
Joe said Kallal was often seen outside playing games with children.
“I know he played with a lot of the elementary students during recess,” he explained. “He was really into soccer, I heard."
Joe said the St. Patrick community learned of the suspension during a mass this past weekend, and details of the case left him surprised.
“It's sad,” he explained. “I kind of feel let down a bit.”
Other followers came to Kallal’s defense on Tuesday.
“He is our priest and he is innocent until proven guilty,” wrote Debra Heard on Facebook.
The Archdiocese of KCK said the investigation into the case is ongoing and the Independent Review Board has been asked to review the matter and make recommendations.
Aside from his suspension, the Archdiocese said Kallal agreed to undergo evaluation and counseling.
The group added that Kallal has denied any moral misconduct or malicious intent.