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Punta Gorda priest accused of sexual misconduct involving minor

Parishoners received a letter notifying them of the allegations
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Punta Gorda
Posted at 11:29 AM, Feb 06, 2024

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — The Diocese of Venice in Florida has sent a letter to parishioners of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Punta Gorda notifying them of sexual misconduct allegations made against Reverend Jerome Kaywell by a minor.

The accuser says the person claims the incident happened in 2013 - 2014.

Letter from the Diocese of Venice in Florida

The Diocese is now conducting an investigation via an independent commission.

That commission, the Diocese says, is comprised of diocese leaders and community members.

The Diocese says Kaywell is on administrative leave until the investigation is complete and denies doing anything wrong.

The Punta Gorda Police Department told Fox 4 that no criminal investigations into the allegations have begun.

"The Punta Gorda Police Department has not been asked to investigate any allegations against Father Kaywell at this time. We have had several media requests for information regarding this, but to date, no one has reported a crime in our jurisdiction."
Eric Burris, Punta Gorda Police Department.

A representative from the Diocese say they are not aware of any other complaints against Kaywell.