Former Pastor of Chicago, Waukegan Parishes Cleared of Sexual Misconduct Allegation
By Jacqueline Serrato
January 24, 2019
A popular Chicago priest who formerly served as pastor at Most Blessed Trinity Parish in Waukegan was declared not guilty this week of sexual misconduct with a minor.
The Rev. Gary Graf was the pastor of a parish in Chicago’s Hermosa neighborhood when an underage employee of a sister church accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior in July of last year.
In a bench trial on Wednesday, Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel Gallagher declared the priest not guilty, WGN first reported.
The 17-year-old employee initially said he received a phone call from Graf's secretary, who told him that Graf was attracted to him. He also said the priest rubbed his shoulders inappropriately and offered him a free car. The minor said he immediately told his parents.
The Archdiocese of Chicago removed Graf from the ministry pending an investigation. The Department of Children and Family Services investigated the matter and ruled the allegations to be “unfounded.”
From the moment the church alerted authorities and criminal charges were pressed, Graf has maintained his innocence.
It is up to the archdiocese to decide when or if Graf will return to San Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio Parish.
The parish is a consolidation of three churches: St. Francis of Assisi on Taylor Street, Philomena in Hermosa, and Maternity BVM in Humboldt Park. Graf was pastor in Waukegan for 14 years before taking another assignment in 2009, and he also served as pastor at St. Gall in Chicago.