Former Christendom College professor arrested for soliciting child

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A longtime economics and political science professor at Christendom College in Virginia has been charged with solicitation of a minor under the age of 16 and two counts of abuse of indecent freedoms with a child.

William R. Luckey, 72, who taught for about 30 years at the Catholic institution, which claims to be one of 15 colleges recommended by the conservative Cardinal Newman Society, was arrested on June 25 and released on bail for 50 $ 000 on July 12.

According to court documents, the criminal complaint alleges that in June, Luckey offered $ 10 to a 10-year-old in exchange for touching his buttocks. When the child refused, Luckey allegedly made the child lie down on the bed and still touched the child’s bottom under his clothes. He then left the money on the bed.

Since retiring from Christendom in 2015, Luckey has taught at Padre Pio Academy, a home-schooling co-op for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students hosted by St. John the Baptist Parish in Front Royal, Va. .

According to a welcome letter sent to students, Luckey recently taught logic to grade 12 students in the 2020-2021 school year. The Padre Pio Academy was founded in 2013 by Luckey’s wife Julie, who has since resigned her board post in light of the charges against her husband, according to an internal email obtained by NCR.

Although Luckey was listed as a professor emeritus on the Christianity website and continued to do so for several days after his arrest, Zachary Smith, an official spokesperson for the school, told the Northern Virginia Daily that Luckey had had no interaction with Christendom since teaching his last class in 2015. Before removing Luckey from the website, however, he stated in his retirement announcement that “Luckey will continue his relationship with the college as as a researcher in residence, working as an author and guest speaker. “

Additionally, Christendom began awarding the William R. Luckey Prize for Outstanding Political Science Thesis in 2015.

Christianity describes itself as “faithful to the Magisterium” and “morally sound”, as opposed to other schools with “a relativistic and often hedonistic campus culture”.

In its official statement, the college noted, “The charges have no connection with the staff or students of Christiandom College.

Yet in 2018, a college administrator admitted that Luckey was among several professors who had been “transformed” after a group of alleged victims of rape, sexual assault and harassment at school returned. public their allegations.

Around this time, a group of concerned alumni formed the Christendom Advocacy and Support Coalition, or CASC, which urged the school to voluntarily submit to the rules of Title IX. Because Christendom College does not accept any federal funding, they are not subject to these rules. Some members of the group have also called for the resignation of Christianity president Timothy O’Donnell because they said his administration had failed to adequately deal with issues of sexual violence.

At the time, an apology from O’Donnell was issued, stating, “We failed some of our students. I am grateful to every woman who shared her story.… To those students who were injured, I am deeply sorry, we will do better.

The statement is no longer available on the Christianity website, but was published in its entirety by blogger Simcha Fisher.

During a 2018 phone call with members of the alumni group, Ferguson discussed the positive changes to the school and its administration, noting that several changes had also been made to faculty and staff.

“We’ve made a bunch of faculty changes. Some of you undoubtedly know from your CCAC victims. And some of those professors aren’t here anymore because of these issues,” Ferguson said. He then mentioned two other teachers and Luckey by name.

The phone call was recorded by Bridget Randolph, director of public policy for CASC, without Ferguson’s knowledge. (Virginia is a one-party consent state, which means the recording of the conversation was legal.)

NCR was unable to get comment on this statement from Ferguson after several attempts by email and phone.

Margaret Baron, a friend of the Luckey family and founding member of the home schooling co-op, says the local community is shaken by the allegations against Luckey.

“It shocked a lot of people,” Baron told NCR.

Baron believes Luckey deserves a fair trial and is “innocent until proven guilty”, and says she is convinced the students at Padre Pio Academy were not harmed in any way whether, in large part thanks to the Virtus training required to be a teacher or a volunteer at the school.

“Parents there work hard to keep their children safe,” she said.

According to court documents, a preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 5 and Luckey will remain in custody without bail, although his lawyers have attempted to argue that his close ties to the community and his dedicated teaching career combined with his failing health were reasons to allow him to be released.

The prosecution, however, argued that his ties to these educational institutions were the specific reason why he should not be allowed to leave the prison.

According to The Royal Examiner, during a phone call with his wife, Julie, whom they knew was taped, Luckey said his current situation was the result of “15 minutes of stupidity on my part”. During another phone call, Luckey looked puzzled at the charges against him, giggling, saying, “That doesn’t say, ‘Show me your darling. “


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