Former Capuchin priest pleads guilty in child sexual abuse case

On December 12, 2022, Scott Asalone, a former Capuchin priest who last served in the Diocese of Arlington 29 years ago, entered an Alford plea to a felony charge of sexual assault involving a minor.  In an Alford plea, a defendant asserts his innocence but acknowledges that there is sufficient evidence to permit a possible guilty verdict at trial. He will be sentenced in April 2023.

Asalone was assigned by the Capuchins to St. Francis de Sales Parish in Purcellville from 1984-93. The Capuchins removed him from the parish in 1993 immediately after receiving the allegation of sexual abuse. He never returned to priestly ministry and was formally dismissed from the Capuchin order in 2007. The Diocese named Asalone on its list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor, published in February 2019.

“Victims of child sexual abuse continue to experience ongoing trauma and suffering, even decades after the abuse took place. I continue to express my deepest sorrow for any abuse perpetrated by clergy, especially on minors, the most vulnerable of God's children,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington.  “I am grateful to the attorney general for prosecuting this case and am gratified that some measure of justice has been rendered. Our Diocese has a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse of a minor and no priest with a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is serving in our Diocese.”

The Diocese of Arlington remains committed to training our clergy, staff, and volunteers to identify and report suspected instances of abuse. 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.