Gerald J. Robinson—Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Robinson is accused of the ritual abuse of two girls, one at St. Adalbert's in Toledo in 1968-75 and another on one occasion in approximately 1978, while Robinson was a chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Toledo. Media accounts suggest that at least one other alleged Robinson victim has come forward. Investigators have tried to determine whether the Sisters of Assumed Mary – a group of Toledo men who "did nun drag" in Toledo churches and included a friend of Robinson – were connected with the alleged ritual abuse. The friend describes SAM as "nothing but absolute fun. Camp. Foolishness."

On 4/5/80, Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl, an elderly former administrator at the hospital, was ritually murdered in Robinson's chapel and her corpse was posed to look like she had been sexually assaulted. Although Robinson, who was the senior chaplain at Mercy, was a suspect at the time, he was not put on trial until 4/06. The cold case was investigated and eventually brought to trial after the alleged 1978 victim came forward in 2003. Although her accusation was deemed unsubstantiated by diocesan investigators, her complaint precipitated the police investigation that led to Robinson's arrest and indictment. Elusive diocesan documents were important in the investigation (see search warrant 1 2).

Below we present a timeline of Robinson's career, collated with links to court documents and news stories on the allegations made against the priest. We also provide a list of links to information sources. The timeline is drawn from the Official Catholic Directory, with reference to two other biographies of Robinson. Several important aspects of the Robinson story are revealed here. 1) He worked with accused priests Kokocinski (twice) and Beauregard. 2) The Official Catholic Directory lists Robinson as "in residence" at St. Jude's in Toledo in 1996-99, while Kokocinski was pastor there. But the diocese's bio of Robinson fails to list this second assignment with Kokocinski. 3) After one Robinson assignment at St. Vincent de Paul in Toledo, Bishop Hoffman worked as Robinson's successor at the parish for a year, a highly unusual role for a bishop. 4) Before the murder, Robinson's demotions to #3 priest at St. Michael's in Findlay and #2 chaplain at Mercy Hospital indicate that the diocese was aware of some problem. 5) After the 1980 murder and before the renewed investigation in 2003, Robinson was pastor during the 1980s at Polish parishes without schools. But in the 1990s, the Directory lists him as in residence at two parishes with schools (including time with Kokocinski after the latter's third arrest for sexual misconduct), and administrator at a third parish. Robinson's hospital chaplaincies during the mid-1990s were not listed in the contemporary Directories, but are listed in the recent diocesan bio. It would appear that dubious assignments in the 1990s involving contact with children were made to look better by calling Robinson "in residence" or "administrator," and that hospital assignments like Robinson's ill-fated Mercy Hospital chaplaincy were kept off the books. 6) Between the two parish residencies, Robinson is not listed in the 1996 Directory, which could mean that he was in treatment before his first St. Hyacinth's assignment.

Born
: 4/14/38 in Toledo OH
Trained: St. Mary's College, Orchard Lake, Mich.; SS Cyril & Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake.
Ordained
: 5/30/64 at Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo
Incardinated: Toledo

Robinson at St. Adalbert's    

Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes
1964 1969 St. Adalbert's (Polish)

Toledo

• On 4/20/05 a woman and her husband filed suit against Robinson et al. alleging that he and other priests abused her in 1968-75 during Satanic rituals in the basement of St. Adalbert's.

OH 4/4, assistant pro tem. Pastor was Rev. John A. Labuzinski. Other priests were Revs. Adam E. Wszelaki and Bede J. Slominski. In 1967, Bernard Kokocinski replaced Slominski. Robinson remained the #4 priest. Kokocinski has been credibly accused of raping two brothers and had been arrested for sexual misconduct in 1972, 1979, and 1988. See also diocesan list of Kokocinski's parishes and follow-up article, with a sketch of the civil authorities' treatment of Kokocinski in context. Parish school had 771 children in 1964-65. Catechism classes had 144 children.
1969 1972 Christ the King
Toledo OH 2/3, associate pastor. Pastor was Rev. Basil F. Goes. Other priest was Rev. Charles J. Dendinger. Parish school had 818 children in 1969-70.
1972 1973 St. Adalbert's (Polish)
Toledo OH 2/4, associate pastor. Pastor was Rev. Joseph E. Mrowca. Other priests were Revs. Jerome F. Nowakowski and (in residence) Adam E. Wszelaki. Parish school had 347 children in 1972-73.
1973 1974 St. Michael's
Findlay OH 3/4, associate pastor. Pastor was Rev. Richard E. Notter. Other priests were Revs. Thomas J. Beauregard and Gilbert C. Lazette. Beauregard was accused in 1994 of abusing at least 3 girls in the 1960s, "did not deny" the charges, and was removed. Parish school had 418 children. Catechism classes had 879 children.
1974 1981 Mercy Hospital

Toledo

• Robinson was accused in 6/03 of abusing a woman sent to him by Rev. Chet Warren, also accused. The abuse was alleged to have occurred in a room near the Mercy Hospital chapel in about 1978, when the woman was a 14-year-old girl.

• In 4/06 Robinson went on trial for the 4/5/80 ritual murder of Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl. See a summary of the case and a summary of the police investigation in its context.

OH 2/2, then 1/1 and 1/2. Chaplain. First-listed chaplain was Rev. J.J. MacFarland, S.J., until his departure in 1976. Rev. Jerome P. Swiatecki came in 1977 to be the second-listed chaplain. Bed capacity 350. In-patients in 1974: 14,932.
1981 1982 Nativity (Polish) Toledo OH 1/1, pastor. No school. Robinson was indexed to this parish in the Directory , but he was listed at 3 parishes: Nativity, St. Anthony's, and St. Stanislaus, all within 5 blocks of each other. He lived midway, in the St. Anthony's rectory at 1416 Nebraska Ave. This way of indexing and listing Robinson is exactly the same as for his predecessor at all 3 parishes, Rev. Jerome F. Nowakowski. Nativity parish was closed in 1982.
1981 1989 St. Anthony (Polish)
Toledo OH 1/1, pastor until 1982, then administrator. No school. When Nativity closed, Robinson was indexed to St. Stanislaus, and he was listed at both St. Stanislaus (as pastor) and St. Anthony's (as administrator). Both of those listings continue to give his mailing address as 1416 Nebraska Ave., which was the St. Anthony's rectory.
1981 1989 St. Stanislaus (Polish) Toledo OH 1/1, pastor. No school. Indexed here from 1982, but continued to live in the St. Anthony's rectory, where he was administrator.
1989 1990 St. Joseph's Sylvania OH 3/3, associate pastor. Pastor was Rev. Charles J. Dendinger. Other priest was Raymond A. Fisher. Parish school had 635 children.
1990 1995 St. Hedwig's (Polish)
Toledo OH 2/2, in residence. Pastor was Rev. Paul M. Kwiatkowski. Parish school had 334 children. Listed in the 1991-95 Directories, but not listed in the diocesan biography.
1989 1994 Flower Hospital
Sylvania OH Part-time ministry. Not listed here in the 1990-94 Directories, but listed in the diocesan biography.
1989 1994 Lake Park Nursing Home
Sylvania OH Part-time ministry Not listed here in the 1990-94 Directories, but listed in the diocesan biography.
1994 1996 Flower Hospital
Sylvania OH Church-appointed chaplain. Not listed in the 1995-96 Directories, but listed in the diocesan biography.
1994 1996 Lake Park Nursing Home
Sylvania OH Church-appointed chaplain. Not listed in the 1995-96 Directories, but listed in the diocesan biography.
            Not indexed in 1996 Directory.
1/96 7/96 St. Hyacinth's  (Polish)
Toledo OH Pro tem. Not listed in the 1996 or 1997 Directories or in the diocesan biography, but listed in an assignment record posted on the SNAP message board. Parish school (pictured at left) had 202 children.
1996 1997 St. Vincent de Paul Toledo OH 1/1, administrator Indexed and listed in the 1997 Directory, and also listed in the diocesan biography, which stops with this assignment. After Robinson, Bishop James R. Hoffman was the administrator for a year! A parish history mentions both Robinson's and Hoffman's assignments. Parish school had 222 students.
1996 1999 St. Jude's Toledo OH 2/2, in residence. Pastor was Rev. Bernard A. Kokocinski (see above). Indexed and listed in the 1997-99 Directories, but not listed in the diocesan biography. Parish school had 152 children.
1996 1997 St. Vincent de Paul Toledo OH 1/1, administrator Indexed and listed in the 1997 Directory, and also listed in the diocesan biography, which stops with this assignment. After Robinson, Bishop James R. Hoffman was the administrator for a year! A parish history mentions both Robinson's and Hoffman's assignments. Parish school had 222 students.
            Not indexed in the 2000-2005 Directories.
3/03 4/03 St. Hyacinth's (Polish)
Toledo OH During 2003, leadership of the parish passed from Rev. Jonathan C. Wight (pastor) to Rev. James R. Sanford OSFS (administrator). Not indexed or listed in the Directory, but known to have celebrated the Polish Lamentation of Our Lord's Passion every Sunday during Lent (see announcement in church bulletin, p. 2). Parish school had 181 children.

Sources:

- Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1965-2005).
- Parish History of St. Vincent de Paul in Toledo OH, from the parish Web site (after 7/98) [showing assignments of Robinson and Bishop Hoffman]
- Priest, 75, Accused of Sexually Abusing Girls in 1960s, by Michael D. Sallah and David Yonke, Toledo Blade (8/24/02) [about Robinson's colleague Rev. Thomas J. Beauregard]
- Believers Betrayed: Victims Lived in Silence for Years until the Truth Began to Be Uncovered, by Michael D. Sallah and David Yonke, Toledo Blade (12/1/02) [about Robinson's colleague Rev. Bernard Kokocinski]
- Bulletin of Christ the King Church in Toledo OH, from the parish Web site (3/9/03) [showing Robinson's Lenten ministry at St. Hyacinth's parish]
- Allegations Renew Nun's Death Case, by David Yonke, Toledo Blade (4/25/04)
- A Family Remembers Its Sister: Slain Nun's Piety Obscured in Details of Bizarre Death, by Robin Erb, Toledo Blade (5/2/04)
- Indictment, signed by Julia R. Bates, Lucas County Prosecutor (5/3/04)
- Statement from the Diocese of Toledo (6/27/04) [about Rev. Bernard Kokocinski]
- Parishes Fail to Run Notice on Ex-Priest's Alleged Abuse, by Robin Erb, Toledo Blade (6/29/04) [about Rev. Bernard Kokocinski]
- Affidavit for Warrant to Search & Seize, by Sgt. Steve Forrester, witnessed by Judge Robert Christiansen Part 1 and Part 2
- Dark Allegations Arise amid Probe of Nun's Slaying, by Michael D. Sallah and Mitch Weiss, Toledo Blade (2/20/05)
- Secret Archives at Heart of Dispute; Group Says Files Hold Key to Abuse, by Robin Erb, Toledo Blade (3/6/05)
- Priest Named in Lawsuit That Alleges Ritual Abuse, by Mark Reiter, Toledo Blade (4/21/05)
- Biography of Rev. Gerald Robinson [according to Toledo diocese], by Associated Press (4/21/06)
- Authorities Abetted Diocese in Hiding Sexual-Abuse Cases, by Joe Mahr and Mitch Weiss, Toledo Blade (7/31/05)
- Motion to Amend Indictment, submitted by Julia R. Bates, Lucas County Prosecutor (12/29/05)
- Prospective Witness List, by Dean P. Mandross, Assistant Prosecution Attorney (2/6/06)
- Juror Questionnaire
- Biography of Rev. Gerald Robinson, provided by the Catholic Diocese of Toledo to the Associated Press (4/21/06)
- Complete Summary of the Robinson Murder Case, on WTOL-TV (4/24/06)
- Woman Credited for Events Leading to Gerald Robinson Trial, by Seamus McGraw, Court Television Network (4/27/06)
- Father Gerald Robinson Murder Trial, Weblog by Lisa Renee, including links to local news coverage
- Court TV coverage, including links to live trial feed
- Docket of State of Ohio v. Gerald Robinson


Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy & Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Robinson's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the accusations against him as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, or regarding Robinson's innocence or guilt in the ongoing murder trial. We remind our readers that in the U.S. judicial system, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

A Note on Nomenclature: We use the term "assignment record," instead of the more common "service record," because "service" is not an appropriate word for the activities of an abusive priest. Dioceses are often less than forthcoming about the activities of retired priests, but when we can determine those activities, we list them in these assignment records, particularly if they involve ministry. Retired priests remain under obedience to their bishop, and even the activities of laicized priests should be a concern to the diocese.

This assignment record was last updated on 5/2/06.

 

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