Catholic high school teacher admits to sexually abusing 3 former students

A Catholic high school teacher admitted to allegations of sexually abusing three former students, according to a release from the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

One of the victims came forward recently to the Archdiocese to report the abuse. She said the incidents occurred in the 1980s at then-Archbishop Keough High, an all-girls school that became Seton Keough after a merger with Seton High in 1987.

Helene Murtha, 58, admitted to having a “series of sexual encounters” with three former students.

“The Archdiocese immediately reported the allegation to the appropriate civil authorities and will continue to cooperate fully with any investigation(s),” according to the release.

Murtha told the Archdiocese that the incidents occurred at her home, at the high school and at the Monsignor O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, Maryland.

Murtha taught at Archbishop Keough from 1977 to 1992 and again in 2010 and 2011 as a substitute teacher and a full-time member of the school’s Campus Ministry Team, according to the release.

Prior to her return to the high school, Murtha served as the Associate Dean of Student Life at the then-College of Notre Dame of Maryland.

Murtha also periodically worked in the Archdiocese’s Division of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, serving in a number of positions related to youth retreats and other programs, the release states.  

“The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse,” according to the release. “We urge anyone who has any knowledge of any child sexual abuse to come forward, and to report it immediately to civil authorities.

If clergy or other Church personnel are suspected of committing the abuse, we ask that you also call the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection Hotline at 1-866- 417-7469.”

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