Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a child in an Aspen parish.

A Catholic priest has been accused of sexual assaulting a child in the St. Mary parish in Aspen.

The allegation’s are against Father Michael J. O’Brien and the alleged abuse occurred between 2004 and 2008, according to a letter, dated Saturday, from the Archdiocese of Denver to the St. Mary’s community.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests reported the allegations in a Thursday news release. O’Brien has denied the allegations, which have been reported to the Aspen Police Department.

The Archdiocese of Denver, in a statement, said it received allegations against O’Brien on Sept. 20 and local authorities were immediately contacted.

“O’Brien has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of all investigations,” the archdiocese said. There have have been no prior allegations against O’Brien.

The Colorado Attorney General’s Office has investigated sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the state and in December of 2020 reported the number of child victims to be 212 and the number of known abusive priests in Colorado to be 52.

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