Columbus priest accused of abuse in California
By Kevin Landers
10TV.com (CBS affiliate Columbus)
June 25, 2018
A Columbus priest was directed to vacate the premises where he worked after an allegation of an assault surfaced.
According to the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, Reverend Pierre Albalaa was accused of the crime when he worked in California. The alleged the crime happened in 2004.
Albalaa worked as an administrator serving Sacred Heart Church in Columbus’ Italian Village. On June 19, the Diocese informed him to leave until the investigation was complete.
According to a statement released by the Diocese, "The Eparchy of Los Angeles has verified that this is the first complaint of this nature received by them regarding Father Albalaa. Records provided to the Diocese of Columbus before his arrival here also verified that he took part in the Eparchy’s safe environment training and that he had a clean criminal background.”
Father Albalaa served both the Maronite and Roman Catholic congregations at Sacred Heart from March 2018 until June 19. During his time, the Diocese says it received no complaints of any nature about him.
The Diocese of Columbus encourages anyone who may have experienced sexual abuse by clergy or others associated with the Church to immediately contact law enforcement and the diocesan Victim’s Assistance Coordinator at 614-224-2251, 866-448-0217, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms for reporting abuse are available in Catholic parish and school offices and can be accessed from the diocesan website.