Records paint Zacharias as priest and predator

The Courier

August 19, 2020

By Lou Wilin

He preached, ministered communion, heard confessions and won the trust of hundreds. He also manipulated and coerced drug-addicted boys and men into sex, and spoke in code of oral sex, body parts and semen, records filed in U.S. District Court, in Cleveland, allege.

At his own behest, the Rev. Michael Zacharias had a “confession video” taken in 2015 depicting himself performing oral sex on one of his victims, then an adult, according to court records.

At one point, Zacharias, in clergy attire, looks into the camera, and according to court records, states: “My name is Michael Zacharias. I first met (Victim #1) when he was in sixth grade at St. Catherine’s and I was a Seminarian.”

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