Priest and coach at Bronx high school admits to sexually abusing children

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Father Robert Harrison (Capuchin Communications)

Father Robert Harrison (Capuchin Communications)

THE BRONX (PIX11) — A priest and junior varisity basketball coach at a prestigious Bronx high school has admitted to sexually abusing minors, according to school officials.

A letter was sent home Jan. 5 to inform parents that Father Robert Harrison had been fired after his confession.

According to a statement released by the president of Cardinal Hayes High School, Harrison confessed to sexually abusing minors in the 1970s and the 1980s.

Harrison was initially being questioned about his alleged mishandling of finances when he made the admission shortly before Christmas break.

It is not clear if the alleged victims were students at Cardinal Hayes, an all-boys Catholic high school in the Concourse Village section of the Bronx. It has an enrollment of about 940 students, according to the school’s website.

Upon hearing Harrison’s admission, the Archdiocese of New York and the school took action, saying in a statement:

“He was immediately relieved of his responsibilities here at Hayes, and the matter was referred to the District Attorneys for the Bronx, Manhattan and Milwaukee, Wis. where Fr. Harrison said the abuse took place. He was removed from his ability to serve as priest or engage in any type of ministry.”

The case is now under investigation by the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.