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Cornell Revokes Privileges for Reverend Accused of Sexual Abuse

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The USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits is currently investigating a Cornell University reverend over sexual assault allegations.

Last week, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester forced Reverend Carsten Martensen to step-down after receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor from the USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits dating back to 1970s.

Since the allegation surfaced, Cornell has revoked all privileges for Father Martensen, who has been serving in its campus ministry, as well as in the campus ministry at Ithaca College since 2007.

“Any allegation of abuse is troubling. Our thoughts are with our faith community and all who are impacted by this news,” the university said in a statement.

John Carberry, the senior director of media relations and news at Cornell, confirmed to Local SYR TV that Martensen does not qualify as an official employee of the university.

“To our knowledge the allegation dates from the 1970s and does not correlate with Cornell, past or present,” Carberry said. “Father Martensen is not an employee of Cornell University, so the investigation is being led by the Jesuits USA Northeast Province.”

The move comes weeks after Georgetown University revoked the honorary degree it gave to former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was found guilty by the Vatican of sexually abusing both minors and adults. The church concluded that McCarrick, who used to advocate for religious freedom and human rights on behalf of Vatican worldwide, abused his power and solicited sex during confession, stripping him of his priesthood.

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