A priest from Nigeria has been accused of sexually abusing a child of his relative.LIB ReportsChristian Ohazulume, from Nnewi, Nigeria, served at a church in Brookline and as a chaplain at a Boston hospital. Ohazulume has been a chaplain at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center since 2010, according to the Archdiocese of Boston. During that time, he has also lived at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Brookline where he’s assisted in celebrating Mass and hearing confessions.
But the Archdiocese of Boston removed him from ministry after an allegation that he sexually abused his uncle’s child in a Randolph home 11 years ago.
The 8-year-old victim’s father says that Rev. Christian Ohazulume is his own nephew, and that he helped bring him to the U.S. from Nigeria to study at Boston College.
“I’m sad,” the alleged victim’s father said in an exclusive interview with NBC10 Boston. “I’m devastated.”
The girl recently told police Ohazulume touched her inappropriately and kissed her. The alleged crimes happened in the basement where Ohazulume lived with the family when he first moved to the U.S.
“I don’t think my daughter would make up anything like this knowing how Father Christian is a family member,” the man said.
He added that he knew nothing of the allegations until his daughter spoke up recently.
Ohazulume pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated and indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. He was ordered held on $5,000 bail. The assistant district attorney requested he not be allowed to travel outside of Massachusetts, that he have no unsupervised contact with any minors, that he stay away from and have no contact with the victim or her family, and that he be subject to GPS monitoring if released.
The archdiocese said it learned of the allegation on Aug. 31 and immediately notified law enforcement. According to the archdiocese, it has been in contact with Ohazulume’s home diocese in Nigeria and notified them of the allegation. As a result, his faculties to minister have been withdrawn.
Ohazulume was represented at the arraignment by defense attorney Bethany Rogers. She denied the allegations and said Ohazulume was cooperating with the investigation. He is due back in court Nov. 13 for a probable cause hearing