Father Terry Specht found not guilty of sexual abuse of a minor

Father Terry Specht, a retired priest in the Diocese of Arlington, was found not guilty in Fairfax County Circuit Court on October 5 of aggravated sexual battery of a minor. 

“Along with the parishioners of the Diocese of Arlington, I express my sincere gratitude to all involved in the legal process that brought this case to a resolution,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington. “While Father Specht was found not guilty, I nevertheless convey my heartfelt and sincere sorrow to anyone who has suffered sexual abuse. The Diocese of Arlington continues to offer whatever counseling or pastoral support we can to help them manage their pain and suffering.”

Father Specht served as a priest in the Diocese of Arlington from 1996 to 2012. He has not been serving in priestly ministry since 2012. While on administrative leave in 2012, Father Specht requested medical retirement due to an illness, and that request was granted. Father Specht will not return to ministry in the future. 

The Diocese of Arlington has a zero-tolerance policy for abuse and continues to be fully committed to training our clergy, staff and volunteers to identify and report suspected instances of abuse. No one with a credible accusation of abuse of minors is serving in the Diocese.

We encourage anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of any cleric, employee or volunteer of the Diocese to notify civil authorities, as well as to reach out to the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at (703) 841-2530.