High School Teacher Admits to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Three Former Students From 1980s
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has learned of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Helene Murtha, 58, a teacher at Seton Keough High School in Baltimore. The alleged abuse occurred in the 1980s while Murtha was a teacher at Archbishop Keough High School, an all-girls high school in Baltimore that merged with Seton High School in 1987 to become Seton Keough. Murtha taught at Archbishop Keough from 1977-1992.
The alleged victim informed the Archdiocese that she had a series of sexual encounters with Murtha during the years she attended the high school. The Archdiocese immediately reported the allegation to the appropriate civil authorities and will continue to cooperate fully with any investigation(s).
Helene Murtha was informed of the allegations and admitted to them. She also advised the Archdiocese that she had previously engaged in similar behavior in the 1980s with two other students of Archbishop Keough High School. The Archdiocese immediately reported the additional information to the appropriate civil authorities.
The incidents reportedly occurred at Murtha’s home, at the high school, and at the Monsignor O’Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, Maryland, where Murtha helped to supervise retreats and other activities for youths and young adults.
Murtha’s employment has been terminated and the investigation is ongoing.
Counseling assistance has been and will be offered to those affected.
Following her employment at Archbishop Keough, Murtha served as Associate Dean of Student Life at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland (now Notre Dame of Maryland University) from 1992-2010. She began her employment at Seton Keough as a substitute teacher in 2010 and became a full-time religion teacher and a member of the school’s Campus Ministry Team in 2011. Helene Murtha has periodically worked with the Archdiocese’s Division of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for over 30 years, serving in various roles related to youth retreats and other programs.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse. We urge anyone who has any knowledge of any child sexual abuse to come forward, and to report it immediately to civil authorities. If clergy or other Church personnel are suspected of committing the abuse, we ask that you also call the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection Hotline at 1-866-417-7469.