DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said Tuesday it has discovered one of the names on the list of priests with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors since 1950s, was also a service provider/volunteer at the Dallas County Jail.
The Catholic Diocese of Dallas released the list last week.
Robert Crisp was a listed Religious Service Provider representing the Catholic Diocese from 2015 until 2018.
His volunteer duties included accepting confessions from the inmates behind a glass window in a controlled visitation environment. No other services were performed by Crisp.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said it conducts background checks for outstanding warrants and criminal history on all their volunteers. The Sheriff’s Department also conducts a re-check of the information provided every 6-8 months to insure no criminal cases or warrants have been brought against a volunteer.
In a news released, the department said Tuesday, “Due to no criminal history information having been found, Crisp was allowed to volunteer as a religious service provider. His last clearance was in July 2018 where his information was again checked and verified by the jail’s religious services staff. His last visit to the jail was for confessionals with inmates that had requested a visit in September 2018. No complaints were reported to the Sheriff’s Department about Crisp.”
Crisp remained a volunteer until last fall when the Sheriff’s Department was contacted by a Catholic Diocese volunteer and informed that Crisp would not be returning to the jail ministry.
They provided no other explanation or reason at that time.
The Diocese of Dallas provided CBS 11 the following statement on Robert Crisp:
Fr. Crisp was removed from his last parish assignment and placed on a leave of absence in 2010, and subsequently retired. Today, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office reported that Fr. Crisp volunteered to hear confessions from inmates at the Dallas County Jail “behind a glass window in a controlled visitation environment” after he retired. As Bishop Burns has stated, a team of former state and federal law enforcement experts reviewed the files of Dallas priests in 2018. As a result of that review, Bishop Burns removed him from all ministry and suspended all of his priestly faculties.