Columbus Diocese finds allegation of sex abuse of child by longtime priest to be credible

Columbus Dispatch

June 24, 2020

By Jim Wilhelm

An allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by Rev. Kevin Lutz, a priest in Columbus and central Ohio for four decades who retired last year from St. Mary parish in German Village, has been found credible, the Diocese of Columbus announced Wednesday.

Bishop Robert J. Brennan has accepted a June 17 recommendation by the Diocesan Board of Review for the Protection of Children that Lutz’s name should be added to the published Diocesan list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Father Lutz, 69, continues on administrative leave pending further canonical and administrative processes, the diocese said.

The diocese emphasized that a determination of credibility is not considered proof of guilt. The public announcement of a finding of credibility is made in accordance with the Catholic Church’s Charter and practices and policies by the Diocese for prevention of sexual abuse of minors and response to such allegations.

Lutz announced his retirement last Sept. 9 from St. Mary, where he had supervised a years-long renovation of the historic building. A day later, the accusation that Lutz had sexually abused a minor during his tenure from 1983-1986 at St. Christopher Parish on the Northwest Side was reported, the diocese has said.

The diocese said it reported the allegation to Columbus police the same day it found out about it, and also told Lutz. The abuse is alleged to have occurred from 1982 to 1986.

A Columbus police report obtained by The Dispatch stated the victim was a 14-year-old male and that the incident occurred in 1984. No specific date or location was given.

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