Rev. John O. Jacoby

Summary of Case: Jacoby has been accused of having sexually abused at least six high school girls in the 1960s. Two of them reported the abuse to the diocese at the time, and he was subsequently moved from St. Mary's High School in Akron to Holy Family in Cleveland. He left the priesthood in 1984, and was last known to be married and living in FL.

: 1953


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Cleveland bishop was Edward Francis Hoban (1945-1966)

1960 Christ the King Cleveland OH



Parish had a school with 638-767 students.
1960 1964 St. Peter's North Ridgeville OH 2/2 Parish had a school with 457-426 students.


1966 St. Mary's


• Two girls, who were St. Mary's High School students, reported to the diocese in the mid-1960s that Jacoby sexually abused them. By 2005 at least six women had disclosed having been molested as girls by Jacoby. (Beacon Journal [Cleveland OH]
July 21, 2005)

OH 2/4 Parish had an elementary school with 292-266 students, and a high school with 668-645 students.


Clarence George Issenmann succeeded Hoban (1966-1974)

1971 Holy Family



OH 3/4, 2/3 2/4, 3/5

Parish had a school with 1,056-884 students.

Jacoby was transferred here after girls at St. Mary's in Akron complained to the diocese that he sexually abused them. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland]
July 21, 2005)

1971 1972 Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Cleveland OH





James Aloysius Hickey replaced Issenman (1974-1980), followed by Anthony Michael Pilla (1980-2006)

1982 St. Joseph Christian Life Center Cleveland OH Director Programs at this diocesan center included Christian Parent Effectiveness Training, Christ Renews His Parish, and Retreats and Spiritual Renewal.
1982 1984 Absent on Leave      

The 1984 Directory is the last in which Jacoby is indexed.

Jacoby left the priesthood in 1984. (
July 20, 2005) As of 2005 he was married and living in Seminole, FL. (Beacon Journal [Cleveland OH]
July 21, 2005)

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1954-1984)

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Jacoby's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that 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.

This assignment record was last updated on Nov. 11, 2009