Fox19-TV [Cincinnati OH]
August 23, 2021
By Jennifer Edwards Baker
The case of a Cincinnati-area priest accused of raping a 10-year-old altar boy three decades ago returns court Monday.
This is expected to be the final hearing before Father Geoff Drew’s trial starts Oct. 25.
Drew, 59, has pleaded not guilty to nine counts of rape.
He remains at the Hamilton County jail in lieu of $5 million bond and faces life in prison if convicted.
His trial has been postponed three times now.
The latest delay, announced back in April, was at the request of his attorney, Brad Moermond, due to new allegations and evidence prosecutors outlined in voluminous court documents last year and so he can challenge the prosecutors’
Father Drew remains a priest in the archdiocese who is currently on administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal charges, according to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati
New allegations against Father Drew are expected to come out the trial this fall, according to court documents FOX19 NOW obtained last year.
Father Drew is accused of raping a fourth grader between 1988 and 1991 when he was the music minister at St. Jude School in Green Township.
Father Drew was not a priest at the time, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.
The victim, who is now in his 40s, told authorities the abuse occurred in Drew’s school office after school hours. Deters has described the victim’s grand jury testimony as compelling, convincing and emotional.
Father Drew, who was ordained a priest in 2004, was put on administrative leave in July 2019 and indicted the following month.
Court records show prosecutors plan to reveal multiple new allegations at his trial through testimony from the victim that he had sex with Father Drew when he was a little older, a teenager, and from a new witness, a second alleged sexual abuse victim.
But, due to the statute of limitations, Father Drew cannot be charged with those two new alleged crimes.
The second alleged sexual abuse victim was 12 or younger at the time, court records show.
Drew’s lawyer has rebutted the allegations in court filings of his own.