No Investigation Underway in Priest Abuse Case

December 7, 2011

[with video]

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The Allen County Sheriff’s Department has information about accusations against 62-year-old Thomas Lombardi, but there is no detective on the case because no victim has ever come forward to officers.

A lawyer for the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese was the one to report the alleged abuse on behalf of an anonymous victim. SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) lashed out at the diocese in a release about it withholding information.

According to the information police have, the alleged abuse happened in New Haven prior to July of 1997 when the victim was on or about 16 years old. According to an online parish history, Lombardi was the priest at St. Louis Besancon from 1986 to July 1997.

In the report the police have, the alleged victim was in a room lifting weights when he supposedly asked Lombardi about how the workout would affect his or her muscles. Then, according to the report, Lombardi asked the victim to remove his or her shirt and pants. No physical contact was made, according to the report.

Because the victim didn’t go to police, officers can’t conduct an investigation. Bishop Kevin Rhoades issued a letter to the parishioners at St. Joseph Hessen Cassel over the weekend which stated Lombardi has been removed from his pastoral duties while the diocese conducts its own investigation.

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