Catholic Priest Arrested for Groping Dying Woman While Giving Last Rites
Texas preist Rev. Gerold Langsch caught abusing woman as she lay on death bed
A Catholic priest has been arrested in Texas after he was caught groping a dying woman as he administered her last rites, police said.
75-year-old Rev. Gerold Langsch, of Austin, was arrested and charged on Thursday over an October 5 sexual assault on the 60-year-old woman, who was suffering complications from diabetes.
Langsch was freed on a $15,000 bond and is facing up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 if convicted.
The victim was dying due to renal failure and had been placed in hospice care, The Statesman reported.
According to the New York Post, her husband reached out to the Knights of Columbus about his wife’s illness, and the Catholic service organization said it would send a priest, according to the report.
Langsch went to the woman’s home to administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick.
He allegedly anointed the woman’s chest with holy water — and then began to apply lotion, massaged her breast, pinched her nipple and asked, “Does that feel good?,” according to the arrest affidavit.
Then he tried to slip his hand into the woman’s diaper but was unable to, according to the affidavit.
The woman, who is still alive, told police that the incident left her feeling like a “nasty, dirty piece of meat.”
She reported the incident to police five days later, and on March 13, she picked the priest out of a lineup, The Statesman reported.
The Catholic Diocese of Austin said in a Wednesday statement that Langsch served as pastor of St. Paul Catholic Church in the city until last month when the diocese “received an unrelated report that he had failed to maintain proper boundaries with an adult.”
Although that report did not involve any physical conduct, the diocese removed the priest from his post — and barred him from serving as a priest in the diocese.
The diocese said it would fully cooperate with police and asked that anyone with additional information contact authorities.
Langsch’s LinkedIn profile lists him as a member of the Schoenstatt Fathers, based in Waukesha, Wisconsin — serving for nearly 46 years.