Former Priest Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Kye Parsons

Former Priest Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges

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Michael Lowell Barnes Michael Lowell Barnes

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WBOC/AP)- A former Catholic priest now living in North Carolina is awaiting extradition to Maryland after being charged with sexually abusing a minor between 1977 and 1982 in Ocean City.

In spring of this year, the Ocean City Police Department received a complaint of the sexual abuse of a minor. Police say the incidents were alleged to have taken place in Ocean City between 1977 and 1982 and involved a former priest, later identified as 64-year-old Michael Lowell Barnes of Haywood County, N.C. According to police, at the time of the alleged abuse, the victim was a minor child.

Barnes has been charged with one count of child abuse, one count of sexual abuse, sexual abuse course of conduct, four counts of second-degree sexual offense and four counts of third-degree sexual offense.

Ocean City police detectives, in cooperation with the Maggie Valley Police Department, N.C., located and arrested Barnes. He is being held in a North Carolina county jail on $400,000 bond while awaiting extradition to Worcester County.

A Baltimore County man in his 40s filed a lawsuit against Barnes in Delaware in June. David Lorenz, a spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says the criminal charges relate to the same alleged victim. Lorenz says Barnes abused the victim during trips to Ocean City and beaches in Delaware. He says he believes there are other victims, although none has come forward.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore says Barnes was the associate pastor of an Essex parish during the time of the alleged abuse and that he left the priesthood in 1988.

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