In response to the reported allegations of sexual abuse made by two students against a former teacher, the Diocese of Palm Beach is issuing the following statement:
“The Diocese of Palm Beach is greatly concerned and takes very seriously the recently reported allegations of sexual abuse made by two students against Stephen Budd.
Stephen Budd was a volunteer at St. Luke Catholic Church in Palm Springs in the late 1990s and was employed from 1996 to 2002 as a teacher at the diocese’s school, St. Francis of Assisi in Riviera Beach. That school closed in 2005. Mr. Budd left St. Francis when he gained employment at Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach in 2002. Rosarian Academy is a private school that is not sponsored by the Diocese of Palm Beach or under the jurisdiction of its Office of Catholic Schools.
At the request of Rosarian Academy, the diocese has sent a Crisis Management Response Team consisting of counselors and psychologists to provide any needed assistance to the students, parents, and staff at Rosarian Academy.
The Diocese of Palm Beach will fully cooperate with legal authorities in their investigation of this matter and will notify the parish communities of St. Luke and St. Francis of Assisi of these reported allegations.
The diocese encourages any victims of abuse to contact the local police department. In addition, the diocese offers counseling to victims of abuse at any diocesan school or parish and asks any victims to contact the following telephone number 561-801-0999.
Our prayers are with the students and the families involved.”
The Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach encompasses the five counties of Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Comprised of 280,000 Catholics in 53 parishes and missions, the diocese also serves the faithful community through its schools.