American priest in East Timor embroiled in abuse scandal

DILI, East Timor (AP) — A church official says an American missionary who was a hero in East Timor for founding children's shelters that have operated for more than two decades has been expelled from his Catholic congregation after admitting to sexual abuse of minors.

Media reports about the scandal have stunned East Timorese. The Bishop of Dili, Virgílio do Carmo da Silva, told reporters on Sunday that Richard Daschbach was expelled from the church last year and was no longer a priest.

Daschbach first came to East Timor 1966 when it was a Portuguese colony. In 1992 he founded "Guide To Life" children's homes in Oe-Kusi Ambeno, an East Timorese enclave in the Indonesian-controlled western half of Timor.

A family member in the U.S. said Daschbach left Oe-Kusi Ambeno last year but later returned.