The Journal Gazette
Saturday, October 09, 2021 1:00 am

Charges levied against ex-pastor

2 teens allege he gave alcohol, groped them

DEVAN FILCHAK | The Journal Gazette

A priest who resigned as pastor at a Columbia City parish and as chaplain at a Fort Wayne high school was charged Friday with felony child seduction and sexual battery.

The Rev. David Huneck, 31, was also charged in Whitley County Superior Court with four misdemeanor offenses – contributing to the delinquency of a minor, furnishing alcohol to a minor, and two counts of battery.

The allegations were reported by two women, ages 17 and 19, from an incident this year and one about a day before it was reported to authorities. Both incidents happened at Huneck's home provided by St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in Columbia City on its campus as part of his role as pastor, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Columbia City Police Detective Nick Metzger.

The victims told police they met Huneck at Bishop Dwenger High School, where he was one of two chaplains, and he invited them to the Columbia City church. They both said they looked up to him as a role model, the affidavit states.

The first incident happened in July, according to the probable cause affidavit, when Huneck invited the women over to eat cake as part of his birthday celebration. The women were the only two guests at Huneck's home, and they said Huneck offered them alcohol.

The victims told police they did not bring alcohol to Huneck's house. They accepted his offer but reported not being intoxicated, the affidavit states.

They described Huneck as getting so intoxicated he had slurred speech and was stumbling and vomiting. The 19-year-old victim reported Huneck groped repeatedly, “despite her efforts to slap his hands away,” the affidavit states.

He then asked about the victim's sexual history and made sexual advances.

Since Huneck was lying on the kitchen floor, the women helped Huneck to bed. The 17-year-old victim was giving Huneck water when she said he pulled her into the bed and groped her.

Huneck stopped when the victim asked, so the two women stayed until he fell asleep to make sure he was OK, the affidavit said.

Huneck reportedly apologized to the women the next day, and they “were willing to forgive his conduct as out-of-character and as a result of the intoxication.” They told police they were concerned the night of the incident but they considered Huneck a friend and spiritual adviser.

The women were invited to Huneck's home again in September. They decided to go together since there had been several weeks of normal behavior from Huneck, the affidavit said.

Huneck reportedly gave them alcohol again while they watched a movie, which they accepted. Huneck became intoxicated and began groping the 19-year-old victim. 

The women said Huneck also exposed his genitals to them. One of the victims screamed “no” while this was happening, and they left, the affidavit states.

One of the victims provided police with text messages of Huneck sent the next day apologizing for his behavior.

“In the texts, Huneck apologizes for his behavior and states that he may be relegated to the 'bad priest list,'” the affidavit states.

Huneck, a 2008 Bishop Dwenger graduate, was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 2018. He resigned from his positions as pastor and chaplain and was removed from all public priestly ministry, Bishop Kevin Rhoades said last month.

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