Deacon Jerry Bals

Ordained: 1973
Status: Settled

Diocese: Diocese of Cleveland OH

Ordained as deacon in 1973. Accused of fondling girls in counseling sessions at Lake Catholic High School, where he was was a guidance counselor and librarian. Bals also worked for several years beginning in the 1980s at St. Ignatius High School. Sued in 1993 by a woman who said Bals began sexually abusing her as a Lake Catholic student in the summer of 1973. Suspended by diocese. She went to Mentor police in 1984 and was told there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute. More women came forward in 1993. Bals was charged with abusing at least six Lake Catholic girls. Charges dropped in a plea deal; required to forfeit his teaching credentials. Six women filed suit, which settled. Permanently removed from ministry. The diocese paid Bals’ wife $800/mo 2000-2003, while Bals was living with her, reportedly to help with their eight children.

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