Child sex case against former Waynesville priest could grow

Howard White, who faces charges of rape, sex offense, and indecent liberties with a child, served as a rector at Waynesville’s Grace Church in the Mountains from 1984 until 2006. (Photo credit: Vinelink)

The case of a former Haywood County Episcopal priest facing child sex charges could get bigger.

Howard White faces charges of rape, sex offense, and indecent liberties with a child. The charges stem from alleged abuse of two minors dating back to the 1980s when White was rector at Waynesville’s Grace Church in the Mountains.

White had a hearing Friday where his bond was increased from $660,000 to $1.6 million.

Prosecutors argued White is a flight risk since he faces a possible life sentence, has no Haywood County ties, and has substantial financial means. They also found rationale for the bond increase, citing two more alleged victims coming forward who also claim they were sexually assaulted by White, one as recently as 2004.

“The state made representations about additional evidence and I really can'tuntil we see what the evidence is, really isn't too much more that I can say about it,” White's attorney Sean Devereux said.

The case is still under investigation and Waynesville police say no additional charges have been filed.

Devereux said he had little time to prepare for Friday’s hearing, but argued White is 76, suffers from emphysema, and is not a flight risk.

"It may be we will ask the court to review the bond once I've seen all the evidence,” he said.

White's current, local charges stem from alleged abuse of two minors, a boy and a girl, dating back to the mid-1980s.

White served as rector at Grace Church in the Mountains from 1984 until 2006.

He pleaded guilty in 2017 to child sex charges in Massachusetts, serving a year in prison before being returned to Haywood County to face local charges.

Devereux said his request for a bond review could come this week. Aside from that, White is scheduled for court May 21.














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