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Cincinnati Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys

Archdiocese of CincinnatiMany Roman Catholics seek out spiritual guidance, celebrate the Holy Eucharist, and accept the sacraments through their local Parish religious leaders. Their bishops, parish priests, and pastors hear their confessions and provide counseling on how to live a holier life. Unfortunately, many clergy leaders use the power given to them by the Church to molest, sexually abuse, sodomize, and rape innocent children and young people among the congregation.

For years, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has provided legal advocacy for victims of sexual assault throughout Ohio, including the Archdiocese of Cincinnati community. We use our years of experience to protect the rights of our clients and ensure their personal privacy.

Our attorneys remain committed to obtaining the most financial compensation possible to ensure our clients receive the justice they deserve. If your loved one was the abuse victim of the Catholic clergy, our team of dedicated attorneys can handle every aspect of your case. Let us begin protecting your rights today.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops

In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops dealt with the problems associated with sexual misconduct by clergy members. The Conference created the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People to study serious issues involving sexual assault involving minors who are harmed by priests and other religious leaders dating back decades.

According to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, over two-thirds of all parish priests ordained into the Catholic Church between 1950 and 1970 have faced accusations of sexually molesting innocent victims. While most of these sexual predators molested a single victim, about one-fourth of the group allegedly molested two or three innocent children and young adults.

A few more allegedly abused up to nine minors. The Conference found that approximately a third of a group suffered behavioral and psychological problems that led to inappropriate sexual contact with innocent souls.

The Vatican Finally Initiating Measures to Stop Child Abuse

It was not until the middle of 2019 that the Vatican, under the guidance of Pope Francis, stopped protecting the predatory priest by hiding the evidence involving their sexual misconduct. Before any action was taken, the Roman Catholic Church took significant measures to stifle investigations on any allegation of sexual molestation occurring in the clerical staff.

Before the announcement of the Apostolic nunciature changes to stop child abuse, the Roman Catholic Church failed to implement global policies to conduct internal investigations and hearings before a tribunal court to hold their sexual molesting priest accountable.

Before then, Archbishops and Bishops responsible for the protection of children and monitoring their clergy members handled the issues at a local level. This move usually created disastrous results where the predatory priest was allowed to remain among the congregation to continue victimizing innocent young children and vulnerable adults.

Some of the most horrific sexual abuse allegations cases involving a single priest sexually molesting hundreds of innocent souls would remain hidden away from the public. Only recently has the sexual abuse epidemic involving the Roman Catholic Church been exposed. Today, many parishioners in the congregation remain cynical that the Church is taking adequate measures to protect their children.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati

The Roman Catholic Church in Ohio is divided into six regional dioceses that also include the Cincinnati area. The Archdiocese covers the lower western region of Ohio and counties that include Adams, Auglaize, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, and Warren counties.

Recent Archbishops and Auxiliary Bishops include:

  • Archbishop Karl Joseph Alter (1950–1969)
  • Archbishop Paul Leibold (1969–1972)
  • Archbishop Joseph Bernardin (1972–1982)
  • Archbishop Pilarczyk (1982–2009)
  • Archbishop Dennis Schnurr (2009–present)
  • Archbishop William Henry Elder (1880-1883)
  • Archbishop Henry K. Moeller (1903-1904)
  • Edward Anthony McCarthy (1965–1969)
  • Nicholas Thomas Elko (1970–1985)
  • Daniel Edward Pilarczyk (1974–1982)
  • James Henry Garland (1984–1992)
  • Carl Kevin Moeddel (1993–2007)
  • Joseph R. Binzer (2011–2020)

In 2018, almost fifteen years after the Cincinnati Archdiocese faced criminal charges for failing to report sexual molestation of innocent children by religious leaders, Church officials in Ohio continued to settle alleged abuse cases. One report indicates that from 2003 until the present day, the Archdiocese has paid out nearly $17 million in settlements, dealing with cases filed against Cincinnati priests.

Over the last seven decades, the Archdiocese has spent nearly $20 million to resolve child protection cases. It has offered lifelong counseling to victims sexually assaulted by priests.

2018 Grand Jury Report

In January 2018, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report identified over 300 religious leaders in the United States who had victimized over a thousand children in areas throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states.

At the time of the release of the Grand Jury Report, Church officials and religious orders in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati faced allegations from prosecutors of inappropriate behavior concerning alleged abuse cases. After the turn of the millennium, over four dozen local priests in the Archdiocese faced over 200 sexual misconduct allegations by their accusers.

According to the Dayton Daily News, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati initiated a compensation fund of $3 million in 2003 in a plea agreement to resolve sexual allegation issues in Ohio. Some sexual abuse survivors took part in the fund but forfeited their right to file a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Some of the victims received approximately $27,000. Other victims chose to file an independent lawsuit to fight directly against the Archdiocese and the predatory priest that caused their pain.

Victim of Sexual Abuse Identifies Cincinnati Predatory Priest

In February 2020, the Cincinnati Archdiocese addressed the congregation’s concerns of Rev. Geoff Drew’s sexual misconduct after the local police department initiated search warrants. Civil authorities seized computers, floppy disks, and other evidence in Drew’s rental storage unit. The investigation was initiated in August 2019, just days after a former Cincinnati Archdiocese altar boy spoke with Green Township Police Department investigators and accused the priest of sexual molestation that occurred three decades earlier.

The alleged victim stated that the sexual molestation occurred when he was in the fourth grade. The sexual abuse survivor states that the Reverend began raping him when the priest was a Musical Director at Saint Jude Elementary school. Geoff Drew remains in incarceration, facing a $5 million bond in the Hamilton County Justice Center.

What Is Sexual Abuse?

Child sexual abuse is defined as the intentional harm or mistreatment of any male or female under the age of eighteen. Sexual molestation can happen in numerous forms in a single event or repeatedly. Usually, young children who have experienced previous sexual encounters (abuse) are likely significantly more vulnerable to repeated sexual injury compared to others.

Also, disabled, vulnerable adults are three times more likely to be a survivor of sexual abuse, especially if they have any challenges with speech or language. Sexual abuse is not always physical. It can also happen on websites, in chat rooms, or engaging in social media.

Often, sexual predators use online activity to groom a potential victim. Some of the common indicators to identify sexual molestation by clergy members include:

  • The religious leader physically injures the innocent child leaving their victim with anal or vaginal bleeding, bruising, or sexy transmitted disease.
  • Children at any age surviving sexual assault might regress to bedwetting or thumb sucking.
  • Sexual abuse survivors often become depressed, experience ongoing anxiety, have sleep disturbance behavior, display anger or aggressiveness, develop changes in their eating habits, or remain in fear of being alone around specific individuals.
  • Survivors of abuse might display low self-esteem or avoid any type of relationship.
  • Many victims of sexual assault rebel against authority or withdraw from society.
  • Some of the indirect signs of sexual and physical assault might display itself as a headache, uncontrollable urinating accidents, chronic stomach pain, or persistent/recurrent pain when moving their bowels.

Victims Remain Quiet

Many children who have been sexually abused remain silent about the molestation believing that the assault occurred because of their actions. Some feel a sense of guilt, convinced that they must remain silent about a shared secret between the abusive priest and themselves. Sometimes, the priest bribes their victim of sexual abuse or harasses/threatens them with personal attacks, creating ongoing fear of retaliation.

Some survivors of abuse develop a “relationship” with the sex offender and remain quiet to ensure the predator priest does not get into trouble or face criminal charges. If you are aware than an innocent victim was sexually assaulted by a religious predator, you are required to take immediate action.

First, notify your local law enforcement to ensure that sexual abuse stops.

Getting the police involved can ensure that an investigation begins, and that appropriate evidence is gathered. Second, take any step necessary to remove the young victim from the situation to guarantee that repeated attacks will not occur. In many incidents, the sexual abuser will assault their victims in Church, in the confessional, at the parish rectory, in a school setting, at daycare, during sporting events, on Church-related trips, or at religious camp.

Church Official Turn a Blind Eye on the Problem

For decades, sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church involving predatory priests has been a severe problem, leaving thousands of innocent victims in its wake. Even when there are credible allegations of sexual abuse made to religious authorities, the correct action to stop the molestation rarely occurs.

In some incidents, the survivor will take a stand, face their abuser, and file a civil lawsuit against the priest and the Archdiocese to ensure that they are held financially accountable during a civil trial.

Some high-profile cases have been filed in the Diocese of Columbus, Cincinnati Archdiocese, and Diocese of Toledo. Other cases have involved Hamilton County, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Xavier University, and Elder High School.

Hiring A Cincinnati Archdiocese Sexual Abuse Attorney

If a Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati religious leader harmed you or a loved one through sexual abuse, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help. Contact our law firm today to schedule a no-obligation, free case evaluation. Let our team of dedicated attorneys listen to your horrific story and provide legal advice on the best way to proceed.

Our law firm can provide numerous opportunities to resolve your claim for compensation. We can gather evidence, start an investigation, take depositions, and build a case to ensure you get justice. With our years of experience, an understanding of comprehensive Ohio tort law, we can ensure you receive compensation even if the state statute of limitations has expired.

We currently accept all cases where the predator priest’s current status is in “active ministry,” placed on administrative leave, whereabouts unknown, removed from the priesthood, left the Church, already retired, relocated to another diocese in a different state or country, or has died.

List of Clergy Abusers in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Albrecht, G.R. Keith

Ordained: 1977
In 1993, Church officials removed Albrecht from active ministry after the Archdiocese became aware of accusations that the priest sexually assaulted an underage teen between the late 1970s in the early 1980s. Afterward, another allegation surfaced, alleging he had sexually assaulted an eighth-grade boy while the two were on a trip to New York. Church documents reveal that the Reverend targeted troubled underage boys to molest. Two of his male victims were known to have lived with the Reverend in the church rectory. Father Albrecht admitted he had sexually assaulted four minors but explained his behavior as “acting out of love.” In October 2005, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Albrecht because of his inappropriate sexual conduct. In 2004, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a civil lawsuit identifying Father Keith Albrecht involving sexual molestation that occurred between 1977 and 1981. The Supreme Court ruled that sexual abuse survivors must file their lawsuits before they reach their twentieth year. In the early 1970s, the Franciscan order expelled Father G.R. Keith Albrecht before he took his solemn vows. However, in 1977, Reverend Albrecht was incardinated (assigned to a diocese) into the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Current Status: Laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood)


Behm, Al

Ordained: unknown
In October 2019, the Glenmary Home Missioners Order publicly named Brother Al Behm with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. Church documents noted that the Brother’s Order faced accusations of sexual assault that allegedly occurred in Kentucky during the 1970s. However, there was no location in Kentucky identified in Church documents. However, he did work for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati during that time, where the Glenmary Home Missioners Order is based. During the Brother’s career, he was assigned to numerous parishes throughout the United States, including in Georgia, California, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, and Connecticut. He joined the Glenmary Order in 1960 and left the Order in 1993.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Berning, John B.

Ordained: 1934
In 2003, Father John B. Berning was named in a civil lawsuit filed by at least seven plaintiffs the year before his death. In 2002, Reverend Berning admitted in written letters that he had sexually molested an underage minor. Church documents reveal that the priest might have also admitted to sexually assaulting others. One of his accusers claims that he spoke to an employee of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1963 about what the priest was doing. However, Church officials did nothing in response. In 1970, Berning retired from active ministry and relocated to Florida. In 2003, Church officials removed Reverend Berning’s faculties. Berning died in 2004 at ninety-seven years of age.

Current Status: Died: 2004


Brunner, Thomas J.

Ordained: 1974
In 2003, Church officials removed Father Thomas J. Brunner from active ministry the priest faced allegations that he sexually molested two underage females in the 1980s at Mount Notre Dame High School. The priest was named in a filed civil lawsuit that was dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The Church sent Reverend Brunner to counseling before reassigning him to a new parish. In 1989, a second woman filed a complaint saying that the priest had “romanced” her when she was in high school during the 1970s. In 1993, Church officials placed Father Thomas Brunner on restrictions. However, it was not until 2003 when the Church publicly identified the priest with having credible accusations of sexual misconduct. It was then that they placed him on leave from active ministry and away from the congregation. In March 2006, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Father Brunner.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Cooley, George

Ordained: 1976
Church documents reveal that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati received complaints about Father George Cooley’s inappropriate sexual activity as early as 1971 when the priest was a seminarian, and again in 1978. The alleged inappropriate sexual activity involved numerous males. In 1991, Reverend Cooley pleaded guilty to sexually molesting four underage males and received a three month jail sentence. In 1994, Father Cooley was sentenced to fifteen months incarceration for stalking one of his sexual abuse survivors. In 1996, law enforcement arrested Reverend Cooley for soliciting sex from an official police decoy that posed as a male prostitute. The court ordered Cooley to remain under house arrest, followed by three years of probation. Cooley was named in at least nine filed civil lawsuits. In 1990, Church officials from the Cincinnati Archdiocese permanently removed Cooley from active ministry. In 1998, following a Church trial, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Cooley. As of October 2006, he maintained his teacher’s license that was revoked two months later. As of 2019, it is thought that Cooley resides around Sharonville, Ohio and his employed as a bartender for receptions and parties.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Cooper, Ronald C.

Ordained: 1983
In January 2004, Church officials placed Father Ronald C. Cooper on administrative leave after an alleged victim stepped forward accusing the priest of inappropriately touching him in 1983 and 1984 in Bridgetown, OH. The alleged incidents occurred numerous times when Reverend Cooper’s was first assigned after his ordination. The priest admitted he had inappropriate contact with the boy but said there was no sexual intent. Church officials referred the case to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Review Board. In October 2014, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Cooper.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Doerger, Stanley D.

Ordained: 1958
In 2003, Father Stanley D. Doerger faced allegations that he sexually molested an underage female in the 1970s at the Saint Rita School for the Deaf. Additionally, a group of former students accused Reverend Doerger of verbally, physically and sexually assaulting nearly 275 underage females. One woman claims the priest sexually molested her now deceased brother beginning in the late 1960s until 1980. In March 2005, Church officials from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati placed Father Doerger on leave. An investigation involving the allegations were discontinued six months later due to the Reverend’s death.

Current Status: Died: 2005


Drew, Geoffrey

Ordained: 2004
In July 2019, Church officials at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati placed Father Geoffrey Drew on administrative leave when accusations arose that he sent inappropriate text messages to at least one underage male at a Catholic school. Reverend Drew worked at the Green Township, OH, Saint Ignatius Church as the parish pastor. Church officials had received complaints about his inappropriate sexual behavior toward underage males in incidents that occurred between 2013 and 2015. Auxiliary Bishop Binzer was aware of Drew’s sexual misconduct toward teenage boys but failed to inform Cincinnati Archbishop Schnurr. A member of the congregation reportedly wrote to the Archbishop and auxiliary Bishop in August 2018 to discuss the obvious “red flags” involving Drew’s behavior. However, the Church allowed the priest to remain in active ministry with “monitoring.” Religious leaders, school leaders, and parishioners at Saint Ignatius were never informed about the Church’s “monitoring” of Drew or the complaints he had received. In July 2019, the Church sent Reverend Drew to treatment. In August 2019, Auxiliary Bishop Binzer served on the board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on child protection. The same month, the Grand Jury indicted Reverend Drew on nine counts of raping an underage male in incidents that occurred between 1988 and 1991. At the time of the alleged assault, the victim was 10 to 11 years old while Drew served the Roman Catholic Church as a Green Township St. Jude’s music teacher. Drew pled not guilty to the charges. Drew remained in jail and a $5 million bond while waiting to go to trial in February 2020.

Current Status: Awaiting trial for sexual misconduct


Early, Bill

Ordained: unknown
In 2018, the Glenmary Home Missioners Order publicly named Brother Bill Early with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. Brother Early joined the Glenmary Home Missioners in 1958 and left the Order in 1993. During his career, he was assigned to different parishes and dioceses in Washington, DC, California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and Georgia. There is no public documentation to show when and where the sexual molestation took place. Church documents reveal he was based in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, where the Glenmary Home Missioners “headquarters” is located.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Erpenbeck, Robert J.

Ordained: 1944
In 2018, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati publicly named Father Robert J. Erpenbeck with credible evidence of sexual molestation of multiple victims. The alleged incidents of inappropriate sexual contact occurred in 1961 when the Reverend was assigned to the Milford, OH Jesuit Novitiate and again in 1964 at the Milford Retreat Center.

Current Status: Died: 1986


Feldhaus, Thomas F.

Ordained: 1976
In 2003, Church officials removed Father Thomas F. Feldhaus from active ministry after accusations arose that he sexually assaulted an underage child in 1979. In March 2004, Reverend Feldhaus was named in a civil lawsuit filed by a different alleged sexual abuse survivor who accused the priest of molestation at Our Lady of Victory between 1986 and 1991. Church officials placed the Reverend on administrative leave. In October 2014, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Feldhaus.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Ferone, John

Ordained: 1983
In April 2018, Saint Xavier High School released a statement that they had removed Father John Ferone from his position as Director of Adult Faith and Ignatian Programming two months earlier. An accuser alleged that Father Ferone had solicited sex from the high school student using a text message. Officials at the school stated that they were aware of the incident since February 2015 and had notified the police.

Current Status: Accused of inappropriate sexual contact of a student


Harsham, Ellis N.

Ordained: 1968
A report in 1993 revealed an accusation that Father Ellis N. Harsham performed oral sex in the 1970s with two high school students. Allegedly, Harsham sexually molested several underage males by plying them with alcohol, marijuana, and pornography. Reverend Harsham and Cardinal Joseph Bernardin were named in civil lawsuits as sexual molesters. Even though the case was withdrawn, the alleged victim settled the claim in 1994 with Harsham. That same year, Church officials placed the priest on administrative leave. A few months later, Father Harsham resigned his position from active ministry and maintained the status of “administrative leave” for the remainder of his career in the Roman Catholic Church. In 2006, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Harsham.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Ordained: Heil, Norman L.

Ordained: 1963
In 2004, a woman filed a civil lawsuit against Father Norman L. Heil, alleging that the priest had sexually assaulted her when she was sixteen years of age. The assault resulted in her pregnancy. The lawsuit document alleges that Reverend Heil and a nun pressured the victim into giving up the child. Around 1966, the Church transferred Father Heil to the North Dakota Diocese of Bismarck to work at a local parish. In 1967, Reverend Heil left the priesthood and relocated, at some point, to California. In 1988, at the age of fifty-one, Heil passed away. In January 2008, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a civil lawsuit filed against the Roman Catholic Church and Father Heil because the state statute of limitations had expired.

Current Status: Died: 1988


Hendricks, Kenneth Bernard

Ordained: 1986
In December 2018, Filipino law enforcement arrested Father Kenneth Bernard Hendricks in the Billian Province on charges of sexually molesting ten underage males as young as seven years old. Some reports indicate that there may be fifty victims or more. Around November 2019, another twenty alleged victims came forward to accuse Hendricks of sexual abuse. Some of his alleged victims lived with the priest who would abuse them while sharing a bath. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati denied they had authority over the priest. However, the Church did acknowledge that they raised funds to send him to the Philippines on a mission. In 1962, Hendricks took a vow as a Brother Pius (Franciscan Brother) for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In 1966, he served parishioners at the Over the Rhine Youth Club as an assistant director. In 1986, Hendricks left the Franciscan’s Order and relocated to the Philippines for his ordination into the priesthood. He remained working there for nearly four decades and would return to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati during the summer months.

Current Status: Arrested and charged


Hopp, Thomas R.

Ordained: 1966
In 2002, Church officials suspended Father Thomas R. Hopp due to allegations that he sexually molested an underage male in 1980. In 1997, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati supposedly warned the priest that they had received an anonymous complaint of his “odd behavior” toward an underage male. However, Church officials allowed Father Hopp to remain in active ministry. In October 2005, the Vatican permanently removed the priest from active ministry but did not defrock (laicize) him. In June 2006, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed two years earlier because the statute of limitations had expired. Years before, during the 1980s, a separate case was dismissed due to a Supreme Court ruling that involved allegations of sexual misconduct of an underage male when the victim was thirteen and fourteen years of age.

Current Status: Died: 2014


Katarskis, Walter (Vaclovas)

Ordained: 1942
In June 2010, an alleged sexual abuse survivor filed a police report accusing Father Walter (Vaclovas) Katarskis of sexually molesting her numerous times from 1960 until 1961. At the time, she was ten and eleven years of age while he was assigned to the Kettering, OH Saint Albert the Great Parish. The alleged victim stated that she told the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 2002, nearly a decade after Katarskis passed away.

Current Status: Died: 1993


Kelley, David J.

Ordained: 1974
Over three dozen alleged sexual abuse survivors filed a civil lawsuit against Father David J. Kelley and the Roma Catholic Church, alleging that Kelley forcibly raped abused and performed oral sex with minors. In 1983, church officials received at least four formal complaints before transferring Reverend Kelly to a new parish. In 1986, after receiving additional complaints, Church officials sent the priest to the Servants of the Paracletes Retreat to receive treatment for his inappropriate sexual behavior before his reassignment as a hospital chaplain. The Church provided him a residence in a parish and allowed him to remain active in ministry. In 1993 and 1994, additional allegations arose. In 2002, the Church removed Father Kelly from the ministry but allowed him to continue being a counselor until he was involved in civil lawsuits the next year. In 2006, an Ohio Supreme Court ruling dismissed the cases.

Current Status: Died: 2009


Kiffmeyer, James G.

Ordained: 1985
In 2002, Father James G. Kiffmeyer faced allegations that he sexually assaulted a senior high school student while the boy was in school and later on. The local District Attorney’s Office did not file formal charges against Reverend James Kiffmeyer because the statute of limitations had expired. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati said that the alleged victim was legally an adult (over eighteen years of age) when the alleged abuse occurred. Afterward, reports revealed that Reverend Kiffmeyer had faced similar accusations in 1997 by a young adult male who was eighteen years or older. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati settled the claim through a negotiated agreement. In December 2006, the Vatican ordered Kiffmeyer to return to ministry. In April 2008, the Church appointed Father Kiffmeyer to the Holy Family Parish as the pastoral administrator. As of December 2011, he remained active in the priesthood.

Current Status: Named in settled a lawsuit


Kuhn, Thomas A.

Ordained: 1967
In 1994 and 1997, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati received reports that Father Thomas A. Kuhn improperly touched underage males. Even so, Church officials allowed Reverend to remain active in ministry. In 2002, the Church placed Father Kuhn on administrative leave after his computers from several parishes were confiscated by sheriff deputies in search of inappropriate material. The Grand Jury indicted Father Kuhn on eleven counts of public indecency and providing minors alcohol. The crimes involving one girl and four boys occurred between November 2001 and January 2002. In 2004, Reverend Kuhn was convicted and sentenced to five years of probation. Reverend Kuhn violated his probation the next year and received a thirty-day jail sentence. During Father Kuhn’s career, he worked for over two decades as a teacher, vice-principal, and principal of Elder High School, before leaving in 1988. In October 2014, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Kuhn. As of 2019, he lived with a former personnel director for the archdiocese in an Oak Hills home.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Larger, Raymond E.

Ordained: 1977
Between 1995 and 1997, Father Raymond E. Larger faced accusations of sexually assaulting an underage child. In 2005, law enforcement criminally charged Reverend Larger. However, that same year, a judge dismissed the case during the trial. Two additional alleged victims stepped forward. However, no criminal charges were filed in those cases. In 2003, Father Larger pled guilty on charges of soliciting sex from an undercover male police officer. In February 2008, the Vatican under the direction of Pope John Paul II reinstated Reverend Larger to active ministry after ruling there was no credible evidence that he sexually assaulted an underage child. The Church gave Larger a position at chancery while he was at the St. Peter in Chains Cathedral.

Current Status: Sexual abuse case dismissed at trial


Masserella, Francis (Frank) A.

Ordained: 1941
In 2003, Church officials from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati removed Father Frank Masserella after allegations arose that he had sexually molested underage girls five decades earlier. The Archdiocese acknowledge that Church officials were aware in the 1950s of his inappropriate sexual conduct behavior. In October 2005, the Vatican, under the guidance of Pope John Paul II, permanently removed Reverend Masserella from active ministry. He was not laicized (defrocked). As of April 2007, Masserella remained under the care of the Cincinnati Archdiocese due to his failing health. Father Masserella was ordained into the Roman Catholic Church through the Order of Glenmary Home Missioners, but left the Order in 1945. For six years, Masserella was in Kentucky as a Trappist monk before joining the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He remained a parish priest until 1956 and then served as a high school faculty member and hospital chaplain. Beginning in 1956, he was a chaplain for a retirement community.

Current Status: Died: 2014


Montgomery, Michael

Ordained: unknown
The Franciscan authorities in charge of Brother Michael Montgomery were aware of his improper contact on two occasions involving male students during the 1980s. Even though the Franciscan Order acknowledged they knew of the Brother’s inappropriate sexual conduct, he was allowed to remain at the Roger Bacon High School as an athletic trainer. The Brother admitted the touching was accidental. In 2002, Church officials removed Brother Montgomery from active ministry. The following year or so, another alleged victim also accused Montgomery of sexual abuse. This alleged molestation occurred years before when the victim was fifteen years old.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Nastold, Donald O.

Ordained: 1958
In 2018, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati publicly named Father Donald O. Nastold with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. One accusation of sexual misconduct was reported after he died in 2007. During the time of the alleged assault, he was working at the Cincinnati, Ohio St. Francis Xavier Parish between 1999 and 2000.

Current Status: Deceased


O’Brien, Edward J.

Ordained: unknown
In 2018, the Jesuit Order publicly named Father Edward J. O’Brien with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. Reverend O’Brien faced multiple accusations that he sexually assaulted innocent victims in 1958 and again in 1971 until 1982 while he worked at Xavier University.

Current Status: Died: 1983


Paraniuk, Michael

Ordained: 1981
In 1995, an alleged victim of Father Michael Paraniuk reported to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that the priest had sexually molested him in 1983. Church officials investigated the allegation and deemed the accusation to be unsubstantiated. In 2004, the alleged victim complained again. The following year, Church officials placed Reverend Paraniuk on administrative leave after the Archdiocese paid the accuser from the victims’ compensation fund. In October 2005, the Church reinstated Paraniuk to active ministry when an investigation report concluded the accusations to be unsubstantiated. The priest denied the accusations and admitted that two Franciscan priest had fondled him in the 1970s when he was in his 20s.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Pater, Daniel

Ordained: 1979
In 1992, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati became aware that Father Daniel Pater had sexually assaulted an underage girl in the early 1980s. At the time of the alleged assault at Kettering, OH, St. Charles Borromeo Parish, the victim was fourteen years old. In 1982, Reverend Pater was reassigned to Rome, Italy, for study. He later became a diplomat for the Vatican and worked in India, Vatican City, Australia, and Africa. Father Pater admitted to the inappropriate sexual behavior, which likely lasted until 1992 when he made return trips to the United States. The victim above and another woman alleged that Pater sexually assaulted them during their teen years in the early 1980s. The second victim filed a civil lawsuit in 2004 that was withdrawn two years later following an Ohio Supreme Court ruling. In February 2014, the Church announced that Reverend Pater had been sentenced by the Vatican to live a life of prayer and penance starting the months before. Pater was allowed to maintain his faculties in the Roman Catholic Church, but without privileges. He became a County bus driver and served as a music Director at the Lincoln Heights, OH Episcopal Church. However, in October 2019, the Episcopal Church fired him after inquiries were made to the local news outlet.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Pigott, Edward L.

Ordained: 1968
In February 2020, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati publicized the accusations of psychological and sexual misconduct against Father Edward L. Pigott between 1992 and 1994 when the priest worked at the Saint Xavier High School. Officials at the school stated an independent investigation was conducted and revealed the accusations to be “a established.” Between 1969 and 2018, the Reverend was associated with the Saint X Community at the school. In 2018, the school released a list of priests from the Jesuit Order that had credible allegations of sexual abuse. The Reverend’s name was added to the February 2020 Jesuits Midwest Province list with notes involving multiple accusations of sexual molestation that occurred between 1992 and 1995. During that time, Pigott worked at the Cincinnati, Ohio Saint Xavier High School.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Reilly, David F.

Ordained: 1975
In August 2006, Church officials placed Father David F. Reilly on administrative leave after an alleged victim accused the priest of improper sexual conduct in the 1970s. At the time of the alleged abuse, the victim was thirteen and fourteen years of age. Reverend Reilly acknowledged he did have contact with the boy but not as it was described. In February 2014, Cincinnati Archdiocese Church officials announced that Father Reilly had been cleared of the allegations at a three priest Church tribunal. He was allowed to return to active ministry and is now believed to be retired.

Current Status: Retired from active ministry


Richstatter, Thomas

Ordained: 1966
In September 2019, Father Thomas Richstatter faced allegations of sexual molestation that happened over three decades ago in the archdiocese of Cincinnati. Reverend Father Thomas Richstatter
it is a member of the Franciscan Friars of St. John Province.

Current Status: Retired from active ministry


Russell, Frank

Ordained: unknown
In November 2019, a former teacher from Purcell High School in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati reported anonymously that Marianist Brother Frank Russell sexually molested students. The news report stated that a student who was allegedly raped by Brother Russell told him and another teacher what was occurring. The teachers immediately told Marianist school officials about the abuse. At the time, Brother Frank Russell worked as the Vice Principal of the school and was in charge of detention. Allegedly, Russell took students in trouble to a local motel to engage in sexual activity. Officials from the Marianist Order claim they were never informed by the teachers but only heard about what had happened after Brother Russell died. In 1978, the Marianist Brother was reassigned from the high school to the Covington Diocese Office of Religious Education before being reassigned again to the Laconia, OH Holy Cross High School, until his retirement in 1983.

Current Status: Deceased


Schetter, Albert E.

Ordained: 1955
In 1990, Father Albert E. Schetter retired from active ministry. One of Reverend Schetter’s alleged victims claimed that they spoke with Church officials at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, telling them that the priest had sexually assaulted him in the early 1960s. In 2003, this victim and another alleged sexual abuse survivor filed a civil lawsuit accusing Father Schetter of sexual molestation that occurred decades before. Church officials offered one victim counseling, which he declined. The Church reviewed the Reverend’s personnel file and found complaints of sexual misconduct during the 1960s. The document stated he had “odd behavior” with minors. In the early 1960s, the Church responded by reassigning the priest to a spiritual retreat. By 1992, the Roman Catholic Church told Reverend Schetter to stay away from children.

Current Status: Died: 2002


Schoettmer, Kenneth J.

Ordained: 1968
In 2001, Church officials placed Father Kenneth J. Schoettmer on administrative leave after allegations arose that he sexually molested underage males from 1984 until 1999. Reports indicate that Reverend Schoettmer also downloaded pornography and trolled the Internet searching for boys. In 2003, the priest pled guilty to a single charge of gross sexual imposition. Other charges were dismissed, including sexual battery and rape of a seventeen-year-old male. The Reverend received a five-year probation sentence. In 2004, a civil lawsuit was filed. As of April 2007, Father Schoettmer remained on the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s payroll. In May 2007, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Schoettmer. The Reverend’s listed on the January 2012 Sex Offender Registry.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Schutte, Robert W.

Ordained: 1943
In 2003, Church officials removed Father Robert W. Schutte’s privileges after allegations surfaced that he molested a child decades before. About one month later, Reverend Schutte passed away at age 89. In 1943, the priest was ordained into the Roman Catholic Church and was assigned to a parish in Saint Augustine, Florida. Afterward, he returned to Ohio and worked in numerous parishes throughout the Cincinnati Archdiocese as a parish pastor and high school teacher. During his career, Schutte also served as an assistant Air Force chaplain in Florida. He retired from active Ministry in 1984.

Current Status: Died: 2004


Shelander, Donald E.

Ordained: 1970
In 2005, Father Donald E. Shelander faced allegations that he sexually assaulted an innocent victim during the 1970s into the 1980s when the boy was 14 to 18 years old. During the time of the alleged assault, Reverend Shelander was the Urbana, OH St. Mary’s Parish pastor. In March 2006, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati revealed that it had found a “semblance of truth” in the accusations by the man claiming sexual abuse and removed Shelander from active ministry. Reverend Shelander had retired from active ministry in 2002. However, by February 2009, Church officials allowed the priest to return to active status after a tribunal case in the Church found that the accusations by the man could not be proven.

Current Status: Retired from active ministry


Stephney, Charles F.

Ordained: 1980
In 1981, Father Charles Stephney worked for the Roman Catholic Church as the Cincinnati Jail chaplain and a priest at an Archdiocese of Cincinnati church. Several alleged victims accused Stephney of sexual molestation involving making unwanted advances to underage males. Correctional officials asked the priest to leave the jail system. Afterward, officials that the Order of the Society of the Precious Blood sent Reverend Stephney to Brooklyn New York for treatment of his inappropriate behavior. The Church then reassigned him to a parish in Brooklyn. Stephney defied his Order and moved to Baltimore to work for Reverend George Stallings in Washington, DC, in 1987. Stallings faced accusations of inappropriate sexual contact and had broken away from the Catholic Church to start the “Imani Temple.” By 1990, Father Stephney was thought to be in the District of Columbia assisting Stallings.

Current Status: Accused of inappropriate sexual behavior


Stricker, Robert A.

Ordained: 1948
It may have 2008, Church officials at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati placed Father Robert A. Stricker on administrative leave. At the same time, an investigation was underway concerning allegations of sexual molestation of an underage child during the 1950s. At the time of the alleged assault, Reverend Stricker was assigned to the Price Hill, OH Saint William Church. In 1993, the Archdiocese investigated the same accusations but found the evidence to be inconclusive. In 2008, the alleged victim provided additional information. At that time, the  Cincinnati Archbishop revealed there was “a semblance of truth” in the new evidence. However, by July 2008, the Church restored Father Stricker to active ministry after the Archdiocese investigation concluded all of the evidence was unsubstantiated.

Current Status: Retired from active ministry


Strittmatter, Lawrence

Ordained: 1957
In 1988, Church officials sent Father Lawrence Strittmatter to treatment after accusations of child molestation arose. The alleged sexual assault occurred in 1983. In 2002, the Church placed Reverend Strittmatter on administrative leave over other allegations that he sexually assaulted two or three children in the 1970s. In 2003, Father Strittmatter was named in two civil lawsuits involving twenty-eight plaintiffs or more. However, due to the expiration of the Ohio statute of limitations, most of the lawsuits were dropped. Some evidence in church documents revealed that there might have been at least 100 minors sexually assaulted by Strittmatter. These victims range from fourth graders to high school students. At the time of these assaults, Strittmatter served the Roman Catholic Church as the Elder High School principal. In March 2006, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Strittmatter.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Thompson, Randolph Ernest

Ordained: 1948
In 2019, Father Randolph Ernest Thompson faced public allegations of sexual molestation. In December 2018, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati notified the Butler County prosecutor’s office of the evidence it had over Reverend Thompson’s sexual misconduct. Before joining the Franciscans Order in 1942, Thompson served the Roman Catholic Church as a Brother of the Christian Schools. The Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist Order revealed it received a formal complaint concerning the priest’s inappropriate sexual activity that allegedly occurred in 1967. The Order said that Reverend Randolph Thompson was removed from active ministry.

Current Status: Died: 1991


Unwin, Richard M.

Ordained: 1979
In 2004, Church officials of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati placed Father Richard M. Unwin on leave of absence after allegations arose that he sexually assaulted an underage male over a decade earlier. Reverend Unwin admitted to the sexual assault. At the time of the molestation, Unwin served the Roman Catholic Church as a Catholic Central High School principal. He also served as a chairman of the Lehman High School Religion Department. The victim requested that the details of the sexual assault not be released by the Cincinnati Archdiocese. In November 2006, Ohio revoked Father Unwin’s teaching certificate. In May 2007, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Unwin.

Current Status: Laicized (removed from the priesthood)


Vertassich, Gino

Ordained: unknown
In 2018, the Diocesan Order publicly named Brother Gino Vertassich with credible evidence of sexual molestation of an innocent victim. Vertassich’s name appears on the 2019 Archdiocese of Cincinnati list that revealed allegations that the Brother sexually assaulted a child in 1969 in Connecticut. In 1960, Brother Vertassich joined the Glenmary Home Missioners in 1960 and left the Order in 1975. Church documents place the Brother in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that serves as the home base of the Glenmary Home Missioners. His name also appears on the 2019 Diocese of Charlotte list. There is no public information describing where the alleged sexual molestation happened. During Brother Vertassich’s career, he was assigned to numerous dioceses and archdioceses in Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Current Status: Deceased


Vincent, David P.

Ordained: 1964
In 2004, Archdiocese of Cincinnati Church officials removed Father David P. Vincent from active ministry after accusations arose that he sexually assaulted an underage child in 1980. The Archdiocese stated that the victim refused to cooperate with the Church, so officials took no action. In March 2005, the Archdiocese placed Reverend Vincent on a leave of absence after allegations arose that he sexually assaulted a student at Elder High School in 1970. Father Vincent denied the accusations. In October 2005, the Church allowed the Reverend Vincent to return to active ministry after the investigation by the Archdiocese was completed.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct

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