Father Oliver Joseph Smalls resident priest of Orange Walk Town, is one of forty-two clergymen who have “a credible and substantiated allegation of sexual abuse” against a child. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, USA published a list where Father Smalls was included. Since the allegations came to light, the Catholic Diocese of Belize and Bishop Lawrence Nicasio have removed Father Smalls from the ministry and is no longer allowed to serve in Belize.
Father Smalls has retained the legal services of Myles and Banner Law firm and in response to the statement of Bishop Nicasio, his attorney Leeroy Banner says that the allegation of sexual abuse dates as far back as the 1970s, fifty years ago. The release stated that their client ‘vehemently denied and continues to deny the allegations’. Father Smalls has also reportedly taken a polygraph test which he passed.
Bishop Nicasio explained in his release that they have explained to Father Smalls that the findings of the credible allegation of sexual abuse of minors have been forwarded to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which is mandated to address sex abuse cases, for further deposition. The Catholic Diocese here in Belize will continue to investigate this matter.
Bishop Nicasio is asking for prayers of all victims of sexual abuse in Belize. He says that the Catholic Diocese remains committed to the care, safety and protection of minors in schools and parishes.