Sick priest locked teen in crypt in ‘Gothic horror’ sex abuse campaign

A Catholic priest who locked a teenage boy in a church crypt during a sadistic "Gothic horror" campaign of physical and sexual abuse has been jailed.

The crimes of Father Joseph Quigley were brought to light, yet the church failed to inform police — sending the priest to therapy before allowing him to resume his duties.

Quigley, 56, began abusing the boy in 2002 under the "camouflage" of being a parish priest of St Charles Borromeo RC church near Warwick.

A court heard how he make his victim take showers with the door open, stroked his inner thigh while forcing him to wear a gym kit and made him chew paracetamol.

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Quigley, who also worked as a private tutor, would lock the youngster alone in a "cold and dark" crypt as a punishment surrounded by tombs which left him "terrified".

The disgraced priest was eventually forced to resign after the victim confided in his therapist what had happened to him as a teenager and police were contacted.

Quigley denied four charges of sexual activity with a child, two of sexual assault, two of false imprisonment and one of cruelty.

He was found guilty of all nine charges at Warwick Crown Court and remained emotionless as he was jailed for more than 11 years on Friday.

Sentencing, Judge Peter Cooke said: "By the time you did this you had been an undetected sexual sadist for about 16 years, a man guilty of abusing his position to carry on a sexual relationship with someone whose trust you were abusing.

"You very quickly warped what was supposed to be tutoring into opportunities to sexually abuse him, an opportunity you gleefully took.

"The sessions themselves quickly started to take place with him being obliged to change into gym kit because having him scantily attired whetted your sexual appetites.

"There were also other manifestations of cruelty which I suspect were also sexually motivated.

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"It was an act of pure sadism to make him more compliant to your ongoing sexual abuse by the almost Gothic horror of using the crypt.

"You were able to perpetuate the abuse for one reason – that you were a Roman Catholic priest."

Judge Cooke said the boy's family had trusted him because they were "indoctrinated by the belief that a priest would no more hurt a child than would Jesus himself".

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He added: "How wrong they were. A dog collar and the title of priest does not guarantee propriety, and for the depraved it presents unparalleled camouflage."

Despite the church's attempts to regulate his behaviour by banning him from wearing clerical clothing or carrying out priestly duties, the judge pointed out that in 2009 Quigley had been pictured in clerical attire celebrating mass in a primary school.

Judge Cooke said: "You remain wholly unrepentant. You are clinging to your unrealistic denial of any wrongdoing."

Quigley was sentenced to 11 years and six months in prison and ordered to sign the sex offenders' register for life.

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Prosecutor Adrian Langdale QC told the court the abuse was "overtly sexual" and of a sadomasochistic nature, including "caning or hitting boys".

"It will seem extraordinary that a person's religious beliefs could make them blind to what was wrong," he said.

"But this is why Father Joe, as he was known, was able to get away with the abuse for so long."

In 2008 Quigley's behaviour towards another boy came to light and he was "removed from high priesting" and sent to an institute in the United States for six months.

Mr Langdale added: "After six months of therapy, he was returned to the UK and put on restricted duties.

"It would seem the Catholic Church believed that by doing so it had met its duties.

"Despite there not being an investigation at the time, there was clearly another victim the church would have found if they had looked."

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