Philadelphia Priest Charged With Indecent Assualt

Click here to read: “Priest charged with indecent assault, harassment,”, Jan. 17, 2014.

Excerpt: “This information is deeply troubling,” an archdiocesan spokesman said in a statement, adding that the alleged misconduct did not involve a minor.”

Father John Roebuck, who in July had been appointed the Parochial Vicar of Saint Stanislaus Church in Lansdale, was placed on administrative leave. Roebuck formerly served at Saint Thomas the Apostle, in Glen Mills. He has also taught at Lansdale Catholic High School 

“This information is deeply troubling,” an archdiocese spokesman said in a statement, adding that the alleged misconduct did not involve a minor.


Father John Roebuck, who in July had been appointed the Parochial Vicar of Saint Stanislaus Church in Lansdale, was placed on administrative leave. Roebuck formerly served at Saint Thomas the Apostle, in Glen Mills. He has also taught at Lansdale Catholic High School 

“This information is deeply troubling,” an archdiocese spokesman said in a statement, adding that the alleged misconduct did not involve a minor.


42 thoughts on “Philadelphia Priest Charged With Indecent Assualt

  1. I did not know the legal definition of indecent assault so I looked it up as it is defined in Pennsylvania law:

    In Pennsylvania18 Pa.C.S. § 3126 defines Indecent assault as follows:

    § 3126. Indecent assault

    (a) OFFENSE DEFINED.– A person is guilty of indecent assault if the person has indecent contact with the complainant, causes the complainant to have indecent contact with the person or intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with seminal fluid, urine or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual desire in the person or the complainant.

    I post this because already I am reading it is only indecent assault charge. I am also reading that it should make a difference this crime was suffered most likely by an adult then a child.

    This crime by definition is NO unwanted kiss on the cheek. This is another major sexual crime suffered by another human being at the hands of another clergy member.

    We will know more on Monday.

    1. Dennis any assault of course is serious, I just caution all that we will know the facts this coming week and probably best to wait and hear what occurred.

    1. Wow! You have got to be joking. That bastion of fair and impartial reporting. You know, the one that has tried to whitewash the despicable miscarriage of justice (ie witch hunt/kangaroo court) in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia cases (exposed brilliantly at Anti-Catholic bigot, “Dennis Ecker” spends his life trying to besmirch the Catholic Church with his hysterical and misleading posts. Plenty of bigots on here for him to preach to.
      Oh, for those interested in the truth:
      – Society – TODAY – has an epidemic of child abuse (Protestant churches, other religions, schools, sports clubs, international pedophile rings, etc etc) which the mainstream media and blogs like this completely ignore.
      – The Catholic Church had a problem with actively homosexual men entering the seminaries in the 60s. Its historic “abuse” issue was in the 70s and 80s. Pope Benedict moved in 2005 to prevent active homosexuals entering the seminaries. That’s why the problem has all but disappeared. The occasional cases you may read about today concern either very old priests, or dead priests.
      Wake up, people. Truth will set you free.

      1. Bob, Society does have an epidemic of child abuse. No one is arguing that point. It can be found anywhere and everywhere. But this blog is a Catholic blog. I’m Catholic. As a Catholic, I hold my Church to a higher standard than any other organization. My Church should represent Jesus. The heirarchy failed and continues to fail in its handling of child sex abuse. I believe that it will continue to fail, unless the faithful take an active role in finding and implementing solutions. Documented and proven abuse goes back much further than the 60s and continues today. The Church does not even deny this. Homosexuality and pedophilia are unrelated. Read up on that in any well regarded medical journal. We are wide awake, well informed and embrace the truth. And, most importantly, we love our faith. That must bother you.

        1. Yes, if there is a belief that screening homosexuals from the priesthood is the solution to pedophilia in the priesthood then that is certainly a misguided understanding of both homosexuality and pedophilia. I believe that is terribly unfair to those who are homosexuals. There are many female victims of pedophilia at the hands of priests who I’m sure would also take offense to that assumption. Their horrible experiences prove such an assumption very wrong. Also, there are recent victims who would take offense to the statement that “the occasional cases you may read today concern only very old priests, or dead priests. And, by the way, the truth has set me free, but my truth is more like Susan’s than Bob’s. It’s been very hard to face the truth over the last few years as I’ve learned so much and it continues to be hard, but my head is out of the sand now and I have to deal with reality.

          1. stilldisillusioned,
            “There are many female victims of pedophilia at the hands of priests who I’m sure would also take offense to that assumption. Their horrible experiences prove such an assumption very wrong.”
            1. Thanks for proving my point about the despicable equating of priests with pedophilia (dealt with in my post below).
            2. I look forward to your figures on these female victims
            3. The “assumption” was Susan’s and yours, not mine. Read what is written, not what you want to read.

        2. Susan, no, anyone who loves the Catholic faith and the Church Jesus founded to embody it does not bother me.
          Those who use being “Catholic” as a badge to give credibility to their assertions and insinuations do bother me. But they don’t fool me. Not for a second. Typically they float around “victims” blogs and dumbed-down media sites (HuffPo, NYT, CNN, and other agenda journalism sites).
          I did not equate homosexuality with pedophilia and am well aware of the latest medical/pathological findings. The average pedophile is a married, heterosexual man. It usually starts with viewing child porn (you know, like that SNAP lawyer that SNAP defended passionately).
          Neither is there a case, statistically, to equate priests with pedophilia, despite the desperate efforts of said media and the usual bigot sites. (Statistically, there is more chance of your readers abusing their children than a priest doing so.)
          I’d suggest you and your readers investigate the difference between pedophilia, hebephilia and ephebophilia. According to the JJCCJ 2004 Report, 80% of (alleged!!) incidents of “abuse” (covering everything from inappropriate language to physical abuse) had taken place by 1985. If my memory serves me, less than 5% involved minors.
          Society has a problem with pedophilia; the Church had, and continues to some extent to have, a problem with homosexuality. Do you disagree?
          I would appreciate your proof and substantiation for:-
          – “heirarchy failed and continues to fail in its handling of child sex abuse”
          – abuse “continues today”.

          1. Bob the first thing that pops in my mind was the recent example of allowing Fr Paul to stay at a parish while being investigated. Also allowing patients from a clergy treatment center to wander through a community of children . I have this weird thing about children being used as guinea bigots tend to think that way. Bob your loyalty is commendable because if the shoe were on the other foot I imagine those you are so passionately defending would say “Bob who?

          2. Bob are you okay with a 55 year old man sexually abusing a 14 year old? do your categories make you feel better?

          3. The Church has problems with homosexuality, sexual misconduct and child sex abuse. Again, these problems exist across society. But I don’t fund them nor do I look to them for spiritual guidance. I’ll respond to the two points you wanted proof and substantiation for –
            “Hierarchy that failed and continues to fail” – These are just a smattering of the US hierarchy who have failed – Finn, Nienstedt, Mahoney, Bevilacqua, Rigali, Law. There are so many more. Certainly many more in Australia, Ireland, Germany, England. By continues to fail, I’ll share a very specific example but there are more that took place during the 90s and forward in just Philadelphia. Chaput failed by leaving a priest with an allegation in ministry without informing parishioners. Then, removing him a week after his retirement.

            “Continues today.” I can promise you that somewhere a child is being abused by a member of the clergy within our diocese. How can I be so sure? Not enough has really changed to prevent it. And that’s heartbreaking. Don’t believe me? Ask the Archdiocesan director of investigations what he thinks. I’ll bet he is a realist.

            Did the child sex abusers among the 400 priests that Pope Benedict laicized “retire” from abuse? No they are out pumping up the general population abuse statistics. But I guess that should make us feel better. Not a Church problem anymore.

          4. Here Bob from the John Jay report..all the categories of depravity..I am sure among the ruins you will find something to prove something. Never in my wildest imagination would I have ever imagined that I would be having these discussions in my life..Categorizing the nature,gender and age of those abused by priests because I never imagined such a sin or crime would have occurred. I guess I wasn’t a child bigot. Anyway Bob read on I am sure you will find something among the depravity to make you feel better

            Behavior alleged Number of Boys % Number of Girls % Totals combined %
            Verbal (Sextalk) 885 11% 215 12% 1,100 11.6%
            Shown Pornography 223 2.9% 9 0.5% 232 2.4%
            Shown Porn videos 142 1.8% 6 0.3% 148 1.6%
            Touch Over Cleric’s Clothes 704 9.1% 165 9.2% 869 9.2%
            Touch Over Victim’s Clothes 2,862 37.2% 691 38.6% 3,553 37.4%
            Touch Under Victim’s Clothes 3,280 42.6% 701 39.2% 3,981 42%
            Cleric Disrobed 944 12.3% 177 9.9% 1,121 11,8%
            Victim Disrobed 1,112 14.4% 303 16.9% 1,415 14.9%
            Photos of Victim 169 2.2% 32 1.8% 201 2.1%
            Sexual Games 96 1.2% 8 0.4% 104 1.1%
            Hugging & Kissing 324 4.2% 175 9.8% 499 5.3%
            Masturbation 663 8.6% 71 4.0% 734 7.7%
            Mutual Masturbation 1,049 13.6% 29 1.6% 1,078 11.4%
            Cleric Perform Oral Sex 1,186 15.4% 274 15.9% 1,460 15.4%
            Victim Performed Oral Sex 799 10.4% 115 6.4% 914 9.6%
            Manual Penetration 192 2.5% 195 10.9% 387 4.1%
            Penetration with Object 61 0.8% 26 1.5% 87 0.9%
            Penile Penetration 990 12.9% 213 11.9% 1,203 12.7%
            Group or Coerced Sex 48 0.6% 4 0.2% 52 0.5%
            Unspecified Sex Act 942 12.2% 204 11.4% 1,146 12.1%
            Other 490 6.4% 87 4.9% 577 6.1%

      2. Bob,
        How did Pope Benedict move to prevent active homosexuals from entering seminaries?

        I haven’t heard about those measures, but would be interested in hearing how he was able to do so.

        1. “Survivor’s” wife,
          don’t worry, it seems nobody on here has heard much about anything apart from the usual SNAP, BishopAccountability, etc propaganda.
          In November 2005, the Congregation for Catholic Education released the “Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocation with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders.”
          The Instruction forbade admission to seminary to “those who practise homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture’. The document also insisted that transitory homosexual tendencies needed to be overcome at least three years prior to ordination to the diaconate.
          The lapdog media, “victims” sites and sites like this don’t want to acknowledge the homosexual issue because they don’t want to offend homosexuals or upset their “progressive liberal” media/political co-conspirators. So they called it a pedophile issue (which also helps them besmirch the Church in the context of their broader agenda of “sexual rights”, abortion, etc).
          There was a wonderful moment when actively homosexual Los Angels talk show host Al Rantel admitted in a June 2002 CNN interview that homosexuality among priests was a major contributor to the Church’s sex abuse crisis. “This is not a pedophile issue, although the media called it a pedophile issue, because they don’t want to insult the gay community. They don’t want to be politically incorrect.” And he said it on CNN!!
          Truth will set you free, people.

          1. Bob,
            Thank you for the information. I’ll do some digging and research about how and when it was implemented, effectiveness, etc.

            As far as the rest of your tirade…completely unnecessary.

          2. Bob I am sure that some priests who abused children were homosexual just as some priests who abused were heterosexual.
            The other thing that is interesting is that when you study abuse in general..I know you are all about the categories..many times it is a crime of opportunity and if there was opportunity it was often the young boys that were alone with the priest, not girls.

          3. Geez. Somebody needs shut off the blogs and the TV and do his Human Sexuality 101 homework by himself.
            Get some enlightened, scientific information on all the topics you’ve sloppily meshed together on this thread in your frenzy to excuse the RCC’s sexual abuse of minors.

      3. Bob; You are certainly one misguided individual. I was sexually molested by a Catholic priest in June of 1961. Obviously the priest who molested me who was in his forties at the time did not enter the seminary in the sixties. He had already been ordained by then. If you were to study Church history, you would find that the Catholic Church has had problems with its clergy molesting children since its’ inception.That is a fact. It was not the sexual revolution of the sixties that caused the spike in the sexual abuse of children.The Catholic Church,in the sixties lost a large number of priests who left to marry. In losing these priests, what remained in the Church were men whose sexual development had been arrested.They had never developed normal sexual interests based on their age. They gravitated towards others who were the same age sexually, young boys and girls. As far as homosexuality in the priesthood is concerned, I believe that the vast majority of Catholic priests are homosexual. This includes most of the Hierarchy. And my problem isn’t that they are gay. My problem is that they continue to be dishonest with themselves, their parishoners and society in general. The Catholic Church is so hypocritical. While the majority of its clergy is homosexual, it continues to condemn homosexuality. By the way, what test do you give a seminarian to assure that he is in fact not gay. I know that those testys are available, but the Church is certainly not using them. One suggestion I would have is to castrate all seminarians. Then they wouldn’t be able to molest children..

        1. Thank you for “One suggestion I would have is to castrate all seminarians”. That says all I need to know about you and your fellow anti-Catholic bigots on this site.
          It’s a great sound-bite for me to disseminate around the internet as an illustration of the mindset and depravity of sites like this, SNAP (do they still exist?), BishopAccountability, etc.
          In fact the parallel between this and SNAP’s site is remarkable. On the surface there is the usual disingenuous “what we really care about is the safety of the children”. But the thinly-veiled anti-Catholic bigotry soon emerges. The only difference is that posters dissenting from the prevailing ideology are blocked from SNAP’s site. Totalitarianism, to the objective eye.
          As for your comments, they are absurd and beneath contempt.

          1. There you go Bob you just said it yourself..dissenting posters are blocked from other sites. You posted your comments here although I don’t agree with some things you said..just like i don’t agree with some things Jim said. Now you claim to take something that a commenter said and claim it as catholics4change to ruin us all over the internet,when you yourself were allowed to express any thought on here . Okay have at it, although you just shot yourself in the foot with your own statement. If catholics4change only posted things that we agree with then obviously your comments would not have been shown to claim Jim’s comment as a comment endorsed by this site is just pretty low and a game that you will play because that’s what this seems to be to you..a game.

          2. Bob: I got exactly the response from you that I expectd. There is no need to castrate all the seminarians.The Catholic Church does that itself. Every human being is a sexual being. Human sexuality is a gift from God. Yet the Church Expects young men in the prime of life to forego this gift. Why?The repression of human sexuality leads to all kinds of problems. You come onto this site and spew all kinds of hatred. You defend men who have abused innocent children. Why? Are you related to one of these monsters? Are you one yourself? Use your last name Bob. So that we truly know who you are. But you won’t do that because you are a coward.

      4. Bob,
        I really wish you were right. I really do. There are facts on paper and then there are real live people in the AD of philly that have suffered abuse by priests there are far too many……and far too many have not come forward to report the crimes done against them. Archbishop Bev. was corrupt and at the very least heartless…….this I know from the survivors I have talked to……I have even heard stories about Archbishop K. My parish priest recently emailed me to ask about one of the groups at our church and said he had not seen me around lately…….I was very involved in my church, started many groups and am on the counsel…….my heart just has not been into it lately. I love my faith but the leadership has failed and many of them are cowards…….where are the brave catholics?????? Bigot no just the truth hurts as much as lies sometimes………one breaks your heart and the other will make you crazy………..the present church is guilty of both…………….God forgive them they know not what they do and if they do………..then that is why hell is paved with the skulls of bishops as I believe St. John said…………..Mother Mary pray for us………..

      5. Bob,

        Here are a couple of items on the Catholic Church and castration. You seem interested in that subject, so you tell me, true or untrue?

        “According to journalist Joep Dohmen, there are at least 10 cases of forced castration of minors who told police they had been abused by Catholic clergy.”

        “One case is that of 20-year-old Henk Heithuis, who was living in a Catholic-run home. He told police that two clergymen had sexually abused him. After the police were notified, the two men were arrested, but Heithuis was sent away to a psychiatric hospital run by the Catholic Church.”

        “There, he was allegedly castrated against his will and without parental notification.”

        “In 1599, Pope Clement VIII gave the ok for castrated young boy’s to sing in the Church. This went on for the next 280 years or so until Pope Leo in 1878 finally stopped it. Two hundred and eighty years of castrating young boy’s with the Pope and the Church giving approval for this barbaric procedure so the Church could have high pitched singers because women were not allowed to sing in the Church. The boy’s were called the castrati and the Church sanctioned it.”

  2. It continues to blow my mind ……the number of men hiding within the priesthood that are deviants. Was there even a millisecond taken to screen these men?

    1. It doesn’t blow my mind because studies pertaining to the psycho-sexual maturity of priests puts only 10% of them in the “mature” range. These studies have been available to us for years. Shame on us for ignoring them. Shame on us for exalting a priesthood riddled with dysfunction. Shame on us for encouraging our sons to participate in an institution incapable of fostering their health and well being.

  3. “This information is deeply troubling,” “an archdiocese spokesman said in a statement, adding that the alleged misconduct did not involve a minor.”

    The crime did not involve a minor. Wow, this perv in a moral giant.

  4. I think the advise from Kathy is wise. We should await the official hearing this coming Thursday this way there can be no doubt of the charges filed and what a investigation has unfolded.

    It is saddening though that once again for those who cherish and believe in the Roman Catholic Faith it may seem like they maybe taking yet another shot on the chin because of the accusations and charges filed against another individual who I was led to believe was a individual to be the closest to God second to the Pope.

    I have read the media reports and I am shocked by the comment from the Archdiocese stating the alleged accusations did not involve a minor. It came across to me the Archdiocese saying since it was not a minor it is not serious.

    Another issue I read in the media stated Fr. Roebuck was a teacher at Lansdale Catholic H.S. Is this a issue we need to be concerned about ? Will we once again see a Police Department ask other victims to come forward as we have seen in the past, and should we be shocked if it is something we do not want to see ?

    There are other feelings I have which I choose at this time to keep to myself.

      1. Bob,

        If you are attempting to lure me into some type of argumentative debate like I have fallen into on those other sites it will not happen.

        1. I have respect for the site.

        2. …and more important I have respect for the people who post here.

        If you wish to call me names or show disrespect hold your comments to those other sites.

  5. Reviewed the responses. Nothing there. The usual irrelevant verbiage.
    Credible RC clergy allegations of abuse against a current minor in the US in 2012?
    Elizabeth Yore, Oprah’s children’s rites attorney, on measures taken by Catholic Church: “state of the art.”
    Susan Matthews comment that the child sex abusers among the 400 priests laicized by Benedict are out there, “pumping up the general population abuse statistics”: unbelievably naive. Even if all 400 were proven child sex abusers, and continued to abuse, they would have zero impact on the epidemic figures. You really have no idea what you are talking about. And your agenda is so, so obvious.

    1. I’m assuming those were 6 allegations that weren’t covered up. We’ll see what the future holds. I pray you are right. That would be a wonderful thing. As for those who will continue abuse, I doubt their victims would agree with your words – zero impact.
      What is my agenda in your mind?

    2. Bob what do you think about the Bishop Finn situation? With all the rules and regs that have been put in place and that can think things like that can’t happen? People break laws let alone rules. So what are your thoughts about Bishop Finn and his handling of the porno priest? Just your own thoughts.

  6. Bob the interesting thing is that I don’t disagree that abuse in the Church has been has because victims came is not like the Church all of the sudden one day decided to come clean. As for the Church having better policies in place now then in the past…how could they could they not have done something. As Chris Rock says ‘you want a cookie for that?” They were exposed..they had to try to clean things up,,they still stumble. The good thing is that the group of altar boys are no longer packed up in the car for the weekend camping trip with Fr John. Of course that reduces opportunity which reduces abuse.

  7. Bob,
    What is your agenda here? Do you think you will convince us that we are wrong?
    I was a victim of abuse by a priest and the system that coerced me into silence. I remained a Catholic despite that heterosexual priest and those who chose to protect him rather than me. I am here among a community of people who care about the same things I do. I care about creating an atmosphere in the Church where children are valued more than reputations. Do you think that coming here and schooling us will change anything. Bob? Stop minimizing what happened to many here and to me because other people do it, too.
    Bob, what kind of Catholicism do you practice? I am not familiar with this brand of yours that is so far from the teachings of Jesus.

  8. Bob here is an example..I doubt you will want to hear it or respond. I volunteered to chaperone a cluster dance ..a cluster dance is when a parish holds a dance for the kids from various local parishes. My job was to sit at a table and collect permission forms. There was some question as to if I would be able to volunteer because it was thought that one of my background clearances was expired by a few days. I had been a volunteer in various capacities for about 9 years by that time. It turned out my clearance was fine.. about to expire in a few weeks..I was cleared to sit at a table and collect permission forms.
    But you know what Bob? The priest in the rectory a few hundred feet from where the dance took place was removed a few weeks after the dance. He was one of the priests removed after the GJ report ,after the records were ‘reviewed’ for past violations. He is now permanently removed. So a mother almost was not allowed to sit at a table and collect permission forms while a priest sat in the rectory..a priest with a file at the Archdiocese that held information from the past showing that he was a threat. That Bob, is the problem

  9. Sheesh, Bob… and I thought I had mental health issues, but you take the whole damn cake. I tend to look out for people who may be in trouble and as much as I’d be willing to offer you some advice, preferably as you are tucked away in a looney bin with your straightjacket chained to a wall and with bars in between us, I might as well direct you to; the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Your measure of education, information, and tolerance is as short as your three-letter name.

    Your statements, Bob, are unfounded, ludicrous, and intensely offensive, but I doubt you can see the hatred and deception in your words through the dense fog of whatever mental illness you could be diagnosed with; perhaps all of them. I am a homo, faggot, queer, or whatever you want to call me, and those just like me. I didn’t choose to be gay, but I guess I just got lucky. Unlike your obvious homophobic bigoted comments toward those of us who are homosexual, I don’t hate straight people (as long as you act gay in public). And by the way, I have never abused a child, nor have I ever wanted to. I have promised myself to do whatever it takes to protect children and I’d give my life for this cause.

    I am also a man who was abused by men as a child. My first abuser was a heterosexual married man who abused both little boys and little girls. The second man who abused me was a Catholic priest, who as far as I know, abused young prepubescent and adolescent boys. Though both of my abusers might have identified with a certain sexual preference when they were alive, I think to qualify you have to be human first, and those creatures were something else entirely and not of this Earth. My only description of them can be “pure evil.”

    I don’t believe I was a victim of sexual attraction. I was a victim of opportunity. I was young, childish, small, and defenseless, and the evil saw an opportunity to overpower and control me, and ultimately destroy me. Evil didn’t win though. I’m still here and I’m stronger than ever! You will not win either, Bob, because you’re blind to the larger picture that there is significant impact to one child who is abused, and the epidemic is growing all over the world, and it’s loud. There is another growing epidemic too. It’s the people who know about children being abused, they witness it in locker rooms, confessionals, and bedrooms and they ignore it and turn away, even when the desperate cries from the children echo the church, gymnasium, and bedroom, and they beg for mercy, and no one will save them. If this is what you consider to have “zero impact” on a worldwide epidemic of assault against the most innocent and defenseless of the human race, then the reality of your thoughts, Bob, cast doubt on my mind, as it should many others, that you are as evil as anyone.

    You deny the facts. You haven’t educated yourself and you don’t know that it takes the majority of child victims of sexual abuse several years, and in most cases many decades to speak up about the kind of shame we endured. This isn’t a theory among mental health professionals, but rather a fact. Even Catholic hierarchy has often acknowledged an understanding of a victim’s unwillingness to speak up while the abuse is occurring and several years after, and it’s because of people like you, Bob! You didn’t create the shame I feel from abuse, you just helped it along. You are exactly the kind of creature who should NEVER be in a position to care for children, because I know your type well, you will ignore what you see and walk out of the locker room. Your comments here validate your immaturity and lack of empathy for the worst experiences I, and many others survived. The only person you are fooling here is yourself!

    Shouldn’t you be sitting on a curb, Bob? That’s where I put my trash!

    Rich Green (Survivor, Advocate, Protector, Homo, Human)

    P.S. – I meant what I wrote before, but I also understand why my comment was removed.

  10. He believed that you could cure racism and hate…
    literally cure it, by injecting music and love into people’s lives.

    When he was scheduled to perform at a peace rally,
    a gunman came to his house and shot him down.

    Two days later he walked out on that stage and sang.

    When they asked him why – He said,
    “The people, who were trying to make this world worse… are not taking a day off.

    How can I?

    Light up the darkness.”

    – Bob Marley

  11. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr.

    1. Such a shame that the Baptist minister’s wise words fall on the deaf ears of Catholic priests.

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