Priest placed on administrative leave


Posted January 17, 2019

The Diocese of Arlington has received the news that the Stafford County Commonwealth Attorney will not press criminal charges against Father Duesterhaus. This follows the previous news that Fairfax County Police Department will not pursue criminal charges against Father Duesterhaus either. Having received the news that all known criminal investigations are closed, the Diocese will move forward with an internal investigation of all allegations. The findings of that investigation will be presented to the Diocesan Review Board. 


Posted March 16, 2018

The Diocese of Arlington has been advised that Fairfax County Police Department also have an active investigation regarding Fr. Duesterhaus. Father Duesterhaus has stated that he is cooperating fully with the investigation. Fairfax County Police can be reached at (703) 691-2131.


Posted March 14, 2018

Rev. Michael R. Duesterhaus, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation of an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor. The alleged incidents occurred between 2001 and 2004. Fr. Duesterhaus denies the accusation. No determination has yet been made regarding the allegation. The Diocese is fully cooperating with law enforcement and will continue to do so.

Like all priests, diocesan employees and volunteers who work with children in the Diocese of Arlington, Fr. Duesterhaus has undergone criminal background checks during his service. His current assignment, from which he is on administrative leave, is as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Winchester.

The Diocese encourages anyone who knows of any information related to this case, or of any misconduct or abuse on the part of any cleric or employee of the Diocese, to notify civil authorities, as well as to reach out to the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at ( 703) 841-2530. If you have information specifically related to this case, please contact the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at  (540) 658-4400.

The Diocese of Arlington asks prayers for all affected by these allegations.

The diocesan child protection policy is online at

Below are Fr. Duesterhaus’ previous assignments:

Fr. Duesterhaus has served as a transitional deacon at St. Anthony Church in Falls Church (1990-91); as parochial vicar of Holy Spirit Church in Annandale (1991-96), St. Theresa Church in Ashburn (1999-2000), and St. Michael Church in Annandale (2000-01); as parochial administrator of St. William of York Church in Stafford (2001-04); as parochial vicar at St. Patrick Church in Fredericksburg (2004), St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ridge (2006-08), St. Matthew Church in Fredericksburg (2008), Our Lady of Angels Church in Woodbridge (2009-11 and 2012-14), Corpus Christi Church in South Riding (2014-15), St. Timothy Church (2015-18), and most recently at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Winchester (2018). He has also served outside the diocese as a military chaplain (1996-99, 2004-06, 2008-09, and 2011-12).