Br. Richard Suttle, CMF
December 2008: The Claretian Missionaries of the U.S. Western Province have notified the Diocese of Phoenix that their review board has found a report of sexual abuse of a minor to be credible against Br. Richard Suttle, a religious brother of the Claretian Order. Credibility does not imply either guilt or innocence but rather that the allegations made in the report are possible.
In that report, Br. Richard Suttle, CMF, is accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor during the 1982-83 school year while at Sacred Heart School in Prescott, AZ, where Br. Suttle was a teacher and a coach. After becoming aware of the report during the fall of 2008, the Diocese of Phoenix promptly conducted a thorough investigation into the charges and forwarded its findings to the Claretian Missionaries for their review and disposition.
To date, the report of the 1982-83 abuse at Sacred Heart is the only report of sexual abuse of a minor against Br. Suttle that is known to the Diocese of Phoenix. Likewise, the Claretian Missionaries have confirmed that they are not aware of any other allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against Br. Suttle.
The Claretian Missionaries have officially informed the Diocese of Phoenix that Br. Suttle no longer resides in Arizona and will not be assigned to the Diocese at any time in the future. The religious order has removed him from any ministry involving minors and has placed him on a plan that restricts and monitors his movements.
The Diocese of Phoenix has confirmed that Br. Suttle was also employed at Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix from 1988 to 1998, where he was a teacher and coach, and that he served as principal of Sacred Heart School in Prescott between 2006 and 2008.
The Diocese urges anyone who may know of any sexual abuse or other improprieties by Br. Suttle or who may have any other such information about him to contact the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office at 602-506-3411, the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office at 928-771-3485, or the Claretian Missionaries at 626-289-2009.
As always, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted and the Diocese of Phoenix encourage anyone who has experienced sexual misconduct or abuse by a member of the clergy or by any worker of the Church to make a report to local law enforcement and to contact Jean Sokol at the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 602-354-2396.