July 13, 2009 update
A former youth pastor at Mother Seton Parish in Germantown turned himself in on July 2nd after Montgomery County Police brought charges against him in reference to his actions with an altar boy, police said.
The altar boy, Brandon Rains, accused “Father A. J.” of sexually abusing him from 2001 to 2002 at locations in Germantown and Washington, D.C. At the time, Raines was a 14-year-old parishioner of Mother of Seton Parish in Germantown, where Father Cote was serving as a part-time youth minister.
Rains and Cote
Rev. Aaron Cote, 56, has been arrained and released on $250,000 bail.
Aaron Cote, 56, turned himself into the Montgomery County Police on July 2 after the department notified him they were obtaining a warrant for his arrest. Cote was being held on $250,000 bond. Cote was admitted to jail at approximately 3:40 a.m. and was released at 8:55 p.m. later the same day after the bond was posted. According to court records, Terrence McGann, Cote’s Rockville attorney, posted bond. One wonders if it was the Dominican Order that coughed up the $250 big ones.
Cote had been residing in the 100 block of East 65th Street in Manhattan, New York.
After reading the charges from Montgomery County Police, it sounds like Cote was merely a bad babysitter. Cote was charged with “custodian child abuse (abuse of a child under 18 years of age, with the defendant having temporary care, custody, and responsibility for the supervision of that child).”
As a clergy member in Ohio, parishioners wondered why Cote had pizza parties with the young boys, but didn’t include the girls.
Rains’ attorney said in 2007 that there were ‘‘10 different reports of sexual misconduct and abuse” against Cote from people in 10 different parishes in six states over 20 years.
Regarding the police charges, Rains’ stepfather stated, “I wouldn’t call it a happy thing. ‘There is a little bit of vindication.” He felt this provided a public feeling that the charges arelegitimate and credible.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. Attorney McGann declined to comment on the specifics of the case, only saying, “We do expect him to be full exonerated.”
The Gazette has great coverage of this entire mess.