Thomas O'Brien is the former Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in metro Phoenix. He served there as Bishop for 21 years before resigning under controversial circumstances in 2003. Although he served during the time of the worldwide child sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, O'Brien has never been suspected, until now. But O'Brien's accuser recently took the matter to court and the allegations are currently being investigated.

The unidentified accuser

ABC News reported that O'Brien's accuser is a 47-year-old man now living in the Tucson area. The man claims that it was only when he was preparing for his son's baptism, that he began having flashbacks and memories of the abuse that he suffered.

These suppressed memories came back to him in 2014. The man claims that O'Brien used to kiss his lips, touch his thighs and use him for oral sex. The man claims he has experienced a lot of emotional distress and turmoil as a result of O'Brien's mistreatment. The Phoenix Police department has now agreed to investigate the issue.

The investigation

This accusation is one that is extremely concerning, especially as O'Brien was once the leader of over 400,000 Roman Catholics. He served at the Roman Catholic Church in Phoenix until he was convicted in a "hit and run" case in 2003. In this case, O'Brien was convicted of killing a 43-year-old pedestrian, Jim Reed, with his car. O'Brien tried to flee the scene but was ultimately convicted and sentenced to probation and 1000 hours of community service, The New York Times reported.

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Earlier, O'Brien was also suspected of protecting other bishops and people in leadership positions in the church, despite knowing of their sexually abusive and pedophilic activities. At the time, however, O'Brien was not suspected of being involved in such activities.

Amanda Jacinto, a spokeswoman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office told the press that O'Brien will still be punished for his actions if found guilty, even if it is almost three decades later. Meanwhile, the Diocese of Phoenix announced that Bishop O'Brien has denied all allegations. The Diocese claims that O'Brien was never assigned to any of the parishes or schools that the accuser claims he was. Furthermore, the Diocese has offered their help to the Maricopa County Attorney's office, promising to aid the investigation in any way possible.

If convicted, Bishop O'Brien will join the ranks of six other priests from the Phoenix Diocese who were convicted for the sexual abuse of children in 2003.