Bellevue/Dayton Priest Accused of Sex Abuse

By Katie Weitkamp
Community Recorder
January 12, 2006

ELLEVUE -- The Covington Diocese is investigating another allegation of sexual abuse.

Bishop Roger Foys spoke at services Saturday and Sunday at Divine Mercy Parish in Bellevue and St. Bernard Church in Dayton to say the pastor at both locations, the Rev. Richard Frazier, has been put on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct.

Tim Fitzgerald, spokesman for the Covington Diocese, said he attended one of the Masses on Saturday, Jan. 7.

"The bishop told the congregation that allegations have come forward implicating Father Frazier in ... sexual abuse of children," Fitzgerald said.

He said at the Mass he attended he did not see nor hear a reaction from the congregation. He said he did hear parishioners express their support for Bishop Foys following the service.

Fitzgerald said he didn't know if there were one or multiple accusers in this case. He said he didn't know when the abuse allegedly occurred.

"It was when Father Frazier was a seminarian, so prior to his ordination in (1996), when he became a priest, so sometime prior to 1996," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald said he was not sure where Frazier attended seminary. He also did not know his age.

Frazier has served as priest for St. Bernard and Divine Mercy since July 2004. Fitzgerald said he did not know if an interim priest had been chosen yet.

"Bishop Foys said Saturday that the details of that have not been worked out yet," Fitzgerald said. "Father (John) Kroger, who is retired and lives in Bellevue, did say the Mass Saturday."

Fitzgerald said Frazier denies the allegations against him. He said the investigation by the diocesan sexual abuse committee could take weeks or months to complete.

"(Bishop Foys) hopes the people recognize the seriousness with which he takes these situations, by the actions he takes, in this case putting Father Frazier on administrative leave," Fitzgerald said. "He wants to make sure (of) the safety of all people who are served by the church, especially young people."

Members of Divine Mercy and St. Bernard did not return calls as of press time.
283-0404, ext. 227


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