Deacon Put on Leave Following Sex Complaint
By Jim Hannah
Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio)
March 1, 2007
FORT MITCHELL - A deacon with Blessed Sacrament Church has been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate a claim he sexually assaulted a public school pupil nearly 30 years ago in Covington.
The claim was made by a person who is now an adult, Bishop Roger Foys wrote in an open letter to parishioners. The alleged incident occurred before Deacon David Meyer's ordination in 1999.
Meyer, who could not be reached for comment, had been at Blessed Sacrament Church since 2001. Church members were informed of the allegations during Masses this past weekend.
Foys' letter states Meyer maintains his innocence and is cooperating in the investigation.
Meyer was placed on administrative leave in accordance with the U.S. Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the church said.
The diocesan victims' assistance coordinator, Margaret Schack, has reported the allegations to the proper authorities, the church said.
Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders said he received a letter from the diocese stating the alleged abuse took place in 1977 and '79 at the now-defunct Third District School. The letter did not indicate when the allegation was made.
Sanders said he was referring the case to Covington police.
"The fact that I have placed Deacon Meyer on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation reflects the seriousness with which the diocese and I take all such allegations," Foys wrote.
The diocese is distributing up to $84 million to the about 350 eligible plaintiffs as part of a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of abuse victims in Boone County.
Special Judge John Potter, who presided over the class action until his retirement in September, wrote in court filings that a 2004 investigation by the diocese uncovered 158 claims of abuse involving 35 priests.
Officials have said many of those claims were made against Earl Bierman, a former priest and teacher at Covington Latin School in the 1960s and '70s. Bierman died in June 2005 while serving a 20-year sentence after pleading guilty in 1993 to 25 molestation charges.
Since the class-action suit was filed in 2003, public accusations of sexual abuse have been made against six former priests in Northern Kentucky.
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