Fr. Joseph M. Schmelzer

Ordained: 1977
Status: Sued

Diocese: Diocese of Toledo OH

In 2002 a man alleged that Schmelzer abused him as a teenager 1983-1985. He said Schmelzer began touching him when he was 16 and then molested him at age 19 after giving him alcohol. The man complained first in 1993; Schmelzer was counseled and moved. Civil suit filed in 2003. Schmelzer was permanently removed after the Review Board found the claims credible. Included on the Diocese’s list in 2005. Teaching certification revoked in 11/2006. Another allegation was reported in 2004, not revealed until 2007. In 11/2018 a man told news outlets that in 2005 he first reported to the diocese that, when he was age 13, Schmelzer fondled, drugged and raped him in the St. Wendelin rectory. He said he got no response. He told the diocese again in 2015. In 12/2017 the Review Board found his allegations “not substantiated.”

Return to main database page. See abbreviations and posting policy. Send corrections.

Our Database of Publicly Accused does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.