Former Haywood County priest, charged with multiple sex crimes, gets $1.6 million bond


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    A judge in Haywood County sets a high bond for a former Episcopal priest facing sexual abuse allegations.

    Howard Willard White, 76, appeared in court in Waynesville on Friday after being returned to our area from Massachusetts. White is one of six offenders named in the sex abuse scandal at St. George’s School in Middletown, R.I. Last year, he entered a guilty plea to five counts of assault and battery for his abuse of a former student in the 1970s. White served 12 months of an 18-month sentence.

    After White was dismissed from the Rhode Island school in 1974 he went on to work at other parishes including Grace Church in Waynesville. White was rector at Grace Church from 1984 until 2006.Two accusers in the Waynesville indictment came forward with their claims in the wake of the St. George School scandal in 2015.

    White’s charges in North Carolina include first-degree forcible rape, second-degree forcible rape, second-degree forcible sexual offense and indecent liberties with a child. The charges stem from alleged sexual abuse dating to the 1980s.

    On Friday, the judge set White’s bond at $1.6 million.

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