|Diocese Removes Ex-St. Francis Pastor after Sexual-Abuse Claim
January 20, 2009
NEWARK — A former clergyman has been removed from the ministry because of a "credible allegation of sexual abuse" during his time in Newark more than 20 years ago, according to an announcement by Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus.
Despite the plausibility of the claim, the Rev. Frederick A. Loyd will not face any criminal charges in connection with the allegation at hand because of the lapse of time between the incidents and when they were reported, according to local law enforcement officials.
Loyd was an associate pastor at St. Francis de Sales Church on Granville Street from 1983 to 1987, the Sunday bulletin addressed to St. Francis parishioners states.
Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Huston, who reviewed the case along with Newark police Detective Ken Ballantine, said the alleged abuse occurred during Loyd's first two years in Newark. The boy was 17 years old at the end of the alleged abuse, he added.
The bulletin states the accusation was forwarded to the diocese Nov. 3 and promptly was reported to Newark police and the Diocesan Board of Review for the Protection of Children.
A message was left with a female who answered Loyd's home phone in Columbus but was not returned.
Although Huston agreed with the diocese conclusion that the abuse claim was credible, he cautioned a full examination never was conducted by law enforcement.
Newark police Sgt. Barry Connell said there is no active investigation because the statute of limitations has expired.
Huston said police had approached the case as either sexual battery or rape, but the statute of limitations for either offense would have lapsed by 1992, six years after the boy turned 18.
"It's an old set of allegations that unfortunately we couldn't pursue," Huston said. "That doesn't in anyway minimize the underlying facts or the credibility of the allegations, but legally we couldn't pursue them."
A law revising the statute to permit reporting as much as 20 years after these type of offenses was passed in 1999, Huston said.
Although the legislation was retroactive, it only applied to past occurrences whose time had not yet run out under the previous language of the law, he said.
Since leaving the Newark church, Loyd has served at seven other parishes and as a chaplain at three hospitals, all in the Columbus area.
A December press release from diocese states Loyd was suspended Nov. 5 and then formally removed Dec. 10 after the Board of Review determined the allegation was legitimate.
The diocese has no comment on the matter, Carol Keene, associate director of communications for the diocese, said Tuesday afternoon.
A representative of the diocese will be available to meet with those who want to report abuse at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. Francis de Sales Church as well as a location in Powell two days later, according to the bulletin.
Russ Zimmer can be reached at (740) 328-8548 or email@example.com.
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