Priest's troubles jolt church

By CHARLES PEARL State Journal Staff Writer Published:

Members of Good Shepherd Catholic Church and its school family are stunned and heart-broken over an allegation the new pastor of the church sexually abused a teen-ager 20 years ago.

The Rev. Stephen Gallenstein was placed on a leave of absence Friday pending an investigation and final resolution of the sexual abuse claim, according to a statement from the Diocese of Lexington.

Gallenstein is accused of sexually and psychologically abusing an unidentified woman for four years, starting when she was 13 years old, according to court papers filed in Boone County Circuit Court Wednesday. The woman claims the priest then stalked her for another 10 years.

"I'm just sick about it," said Anna Marie Walker, Good Shepherd parishioner and song leader at 8:30 a.m. Sunday services. "It rocks me emotionally. I felt Father Steve was going to be a good fit for Good Shepherd. I want to know his side of the story because I feel there are two sides."

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