Yes - though it is rarely acknowledged.
A friend sent me an interview with Fr. Benedict Groeschel speaking about the 25 year anniversary of the founding of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Fr. Benedict is well known and therefore needs no introduction from me.
Asked if his work involved priests accused of sexual abuse, Fr. Benedict replied:
My friend questioned the statement - she could conceive of an 18 year old as a seducer, but not a 14 year old. Before saying more let me point out two things: For a 14 year old, or younger, to solicit any sort of sexual intimacy, he or she was most likely sexualized and/or sexually abused at an early age, hence the child's acquired/conditioned strategy for seeking approval, acceptance, and affection is in and through sexual intimacy. That said, be assured that in every circumstance, the adult is the person in control of the situation and needs to act responsibly.A little bit, yes; but you know, in those cases, they have to leave. And some of them profoundly — profoundly — penitential, horrified. People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that’s not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer. - NCR
As Fr. Benedict notes, in some cases the adult is indeed seduced, his judgement compromised: "Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him." I'm not sure he needs to be having a nervous breakdown, he could be in the midst of grave temptation, or perhaps his judgement is genuinely impaired through alcohol use, medication, depression, emotional vulnerability, and so on. I'm not saying the adult is not culpable nor responsible for the act, but this may explain how and why the fall happened so easily.
My only point in this post is to say yes, sometimes young kids can be the seducers. Especially these days when just about everyone with a television has been sexualized at an early age. Asked why a child could be a seducer, Fr. Benedict had this to say:
In response to my friend who forwarded the article expressing incredulity that a 14 year old could be a seducer, I related an anecdote from my own experience:Well, it’s not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn’t have his own — and they won’t be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse or anything like that.It’s an understandable thing, and you know where you find it, among other clergy or important people; you look at teachers, attorneys, judges, social workers. Generally, if they get involved, it’s heterosexually, and if it’s a priest, he leaves and gets married — that’s the usual thing — and gets a dispensation. A lot of priests leave quickly, get civilly married and then apply for the dispensation, which takes about three years.But there are the relatively rare cases where a priest is involved in a homosexual way with a minor. I think the statistic I read recently in a secular psychology review was about 2%. Would that be true of other clergy? Would it be true of doctors, lawyers, coaches?Here’s this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky — it went on for years. Interesting: Why didn’t anyone say anything? Apparently, a number of kids knew about it and didn’t break the ice. Well, you know, until recent years, people did not register in their minds that it was a crime. It was a moral failure, scandalous; but they didn’t think of it in terms of legal things.If you go back 10 or 15 years ago with different sexual difficulties — except for rape or violence — it was very rarely brought as a civil crime. Nobody thought of it that way. Sometimes statutory rape would be — but only if the girl pushed her case. Parents wouldn’t touch it. People backed off, for years, on sexual cases. I’m not sure why.I think perhaps part of the reason would be an embarrassment, that it brings the case out into the open, and the girl’s name is there, or people will figure out what’s there, or the youngster involved — you know, it’s not put in the paper, but everybody knows; they’re talking about it.At this point, (when) any priest, any clergyman, any social worker, any teacher, any responsible person in society would become involved in a single sexual act — not necessarily intercourse — they’re done.And I’m inclined to think, on their first offense, they should not go to jail because their intention was not committing a crime. - NCReporter
Absolutely true. I worked in a parish in Boston in my mid-20's, and a 14 year old kid came on to me. I was deeply offended and upset - but more concerned for the boy. I retained my composure, laughed and then led him out of the hallway into an area where other people were gathered for a parish celebration, in the meantime, explaining to him that homosexual acts are sinful and encouraging him to go to confession, speak to a priest, and consecrate his life to Our Lady. I never spoke to him again and he avoided me whenever he was at Church. And no, the kid was not known to me before this happened - evidently he knew me however.
UPDATE: Evidently people did not like what Fr. Benedict had to say - National Catholic Register pulled the interview. I found this at the Deacon's Bench:
UPDATE: I’m frankly shocked that the Register, which is owned by EWTN, would allow these kinds of outrageous statements to be published. (It’s also surprising that the interviewer didn’t challenge Fr. Groeschel’s assertions.) Two possibilities present themselves. Either the Register’s editor was asleep at the switch, and didn’t read this before it went to press; or, more troubling, maybe nobody saw anything wrong with what he said. - Deacon KandraReaders are calling it 'deeply disturbing' - rightly so - but that doesn't mean Groeschel is wrong. Anyway, he was simply expressing his private, personal, albeit professional opinion on the subject.