A Catholic priest from Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria, who had been working as a Boston hospital chaplain was arraigned Tuesday September 11, 2018 for the alleged sexual abuse of a young girl in 2006, authorities said.
The Rev. Christian Ohazulume, an extern priest from Nigeria, allegedly assaulted the girl while he was living with a family in Randolph upon his arrival in the United States, officials said. The girl was about 8 years old at the time, prosecutors said.
At his arraignment in Quincy District Court, Ohazulume, 50, pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated indecent assault and battery of a child under 14. He allegedly touched the girl’s vaginal area, fondled her breast, and forcibly kissed her, prosecutors said.
In an interview with police last week, the alleged victim said she had come from Nigeria to live with her father, stepmother, and brothers in Randolph when she was about 7. Her father introduced Ohazulume as his nephew, she told police.
She told investigators that Ohazulume would drive her to and from school and help with baby-sitting, according to court documents. Her father worked long hours as a pharmacist in Dorchester and would come home late, she said.
The alleged assault occurred when she went to Ohazulume’s bedroom for help with her homework one night when nobody else was home, the woman told police.
At one point, he went to the bathroom and returned to stand over her, handling her breasts, she said.
When she approached him later that evening to show him her homework, he forced his tongue into her mouth, the woman told police. He then lay on top of her on the bed and rubbed her vaginal area over her clothing, she said. She forced his hand away and ran from the room, she said.
Afterward, he continued to drive her to school but she became very angry with everyone in the house, where Ohazulume would hold private Masses for the family.
The woman said she returned to Nigeria when she was 11 or 12, then came back to Randolph to attend Roxbury Community College.
Ohazulume had worked as a chaplain at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center while residing at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Brookline since 2010, according to The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.
Jennifer Kritz, a spokeswoman for Beth Israel, said Ohazulume had been fired from his job at the hospital.
“The Archdiocese has been in contact with his home Diocese of Nnewi, Nigeria and informed them of the allegation and that his faculties to minister have been withdrawn in the Archdiocese of Boston,” the statement read. “The Archdiocese was advised by law enforcement to delay until today release of this information while they initiated their investigation.”