A Lane County grand jury returned a 10-count indictment against a Eugene priest arrested earlier this month for alleged sex and drug crimes involving an underage girl. On Wednesday morning, Daniel James MacKay, 42, pleaded not guilty to the charges (nine misdemeanours and one felony) in Lane County Circuit Court. Lane’s lawyer, Terri Wood of Eugene, said:
Fr MacKay maintains his innocence, and we ask that people not prejudge him based on the accusations.
MacKay faces four prostitution charges that accuse him of offering to pay for sex… four charges of endangering the welfare of a minor, for allegedly causing an underage girl to “witness an act of sexual conduct”; one count of sexual misconduct, for allegedly having sex with the girl; and one count of attempting to use a minor in the commission of a controlled substance offense, for allegedly trying to use the girl to help him traffic cocaine. All of the alleged crimes occurred in September.
Prosecutors initially filed four charges against MacKay after his 12 October 12. The original charging document included single counts of prostitution, endangering the welfare of a minor, sexual misconduct and using a minor in the commission of a controlled substance offense. MacKay spent one day in the Lane County Jail after police arrested him. He was bailed out on 13 October. He told The Register-Guard following his release from jail that he and his supporters were “concerned” and “praying for everybody involved” in what he characterized as a “deeply unfortunate situation”. After his court appearance Wednesday, MacKay was booked back into the jail, and released later in the day on his own recognizance.
MacKay became a priest at St John the Wonderworker Orthodox Church in Eugene’s Whiteaker neighbourhood in 2011. On 14 October (the same day MacKay spoke with the newspaper), the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church announced in a press release that it suspended MacKay from church duties pending the outcome of his criminal case and a separate investigation being conducted by church officials. The release stated:
While everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the Western American Diocese nonetheless takes allegations of misconduct in any form very seriously and must act accordingly to ensure the safety and security of all our Orthodox parishioners and others as we conduct our worship and ministries together. … Such misconduct is abhorrent and not condoned by the Holy Orthodox Faith.
They added that the church “stands ready to coöperate with the civil authorities” involved in MacKay’s case.
Eugene police arrested MacKay during a sting operation in which a detective arranged a meeting with him while posing as the alleged victim in his case. Police said that they’d arrested the girl in September for prostitution. Investigators suspect MacKay met with the girl on several occasions. In addition to serving with the church, MacKay worked before his arrest as a part-time instructor at Lane Community College. LCC officials didn’t immediately return a phone message Wednesday seeking information about MacKay’s employment status. MacKay began teaching English composition at the college in 2008.
27 October 2016
The (Eugene OR) Register-Guard
All of the konvertsy on the web are jumping up and down about this jabronie’s innocence. That tells you volumes about their hyperclericalism and unhealthy clergy worship. Clergy are human… they’re capable of crime. Remember Seraphim Storheim… and remember Mr Justice Mainella’s scathing remarks on Storheim (which reflected on the tack taken by his asshat mouthpiece, Gindin). It tells you volumes about the konvertsy… and why bishops should NEVER ordain ANY of them.
Let the court speak. Watch the konvertsy shun this guy if he gets the drop… that’s the sort of slimeballs that they are. Have a care… rotters are afoot… not the abusers… their defenders.