Former Ohio school priest sentenced for sexual battery

WTRF-TV [Wheeling WV]

March 14, 2022

By John Lynch

A former Franciscan University priest was sentenced on Friday for sexual battery.

David R. Morrier, while working as a priest at Franciscan University, allegedly convinced a student he was counseling that having sex with him was necessary for mental health treatment purposes.

The prosecution said a pattern of rape and sexual battery occurred from 2010 to 2013, until Morrier was “transferred” to Texas.

Morrier pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual battery on the victim. According to the Herald-Star Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said the victim agreed to the plea deal because “What she wanted from Day 1 was to be able to prevent him from hurting anyone else.”

Morrier will be on probation for five years and must register every 90 days for life as a sex offender and he will be under house arrest with an ankle monitor until he is registered in his home state.

Franciscan University released the following statement after the sentencing:

” Father David Morrier pleaded guilty to one count of sexual battery, which is not only a crime but a serious sin. We are sorry, saddened, and angered by the harm Father Morrier has caused. The University prays for peace and healing for the victim in this heartbreaking situation.

We are aware of the pain so many people have experienced from members in the Church and continue to offer atonement and prayers of healing for those victims.

Father Morrier worked at Franciscan from 2002 until the spring of 2013 when he was transferred from Franciscan University to the Province headquarters in Loretto, PA. Franciscan University was not aware of any claims of sexual impropriety at the time of his transfer.

The University’s Title IX Coordinator was first notified of the sexual abuse allegations in 2015, after which the University met with the victim, advised her of her right to an investigation and resolution under the University’s Title IX policy, and offered to assist her in reporting to police. The University subsequently cooperated with the law enforcement investigation.

Fr. David R. Morrier TOR
Fr. David R. Morrier TOR

The University’s Title IX policies have improved over the years, and we have more resources than ever to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct. To remain vigilant and to help ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again, the University continues to evaluate and update our policies and resources going forward.

When Franciscan University receives sexual misconduct complaints, it acts upon them according to our Policy on Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct. Anyone who may have been harmed while at Franciscan University is offered counseling and other appropriate services. More information can be found here.

Anyone who experienced or is aware of sexual misconduct at Franciscan University is encouraged to make a report to the University and/or the Steubenville Police Department (740-282-5353). Anonymous reports may be made to the University through EthicsPoint ( or 844-521-7816). To speak to someone at Franciscan directly, please contact the Title IX/EEO Coordinator Ann Booth (; 740-283-4338).’