State Revokes 5 Teaching Licenses
All Are Current or Ex-Priests in Ohio

Toledo Blade
November 15, 2006

Columbus — The Ohio Board of Education yesterday revoked the teaching certificates of five current or former priests who have been disciplined by their Roman Catholic dioceses after allegations of child molestation.

The five are:

• Robert J. Yeager, 68, who has been permanently removed from the ministry by the Vatican. His last assignment was as principal of Cardinal Stritch High School in Oregon in the 1990s. He had permanent certificates to work as a public high school principal, superintendent, and school counselor.

• Joseph M. Schmelzer, 58, who last served as superintendent of St. Mary of the Assumption School in Van Wert, Ohio. He was banned from public ministry by the Toledo diocese after being sued in 2003 for abuse that allegedly occurred 20 years ago.

• Bernard A. Kokocinski, 68, who was barred from ministry by the Toledo diocese after the church settled a 2002 lawsuit accusing him of raping a boy in a Fremont rectory in 1975.

• Richard M. Unwin, 53, a former high school principal who was suspended in 2003 by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati because of a sexual misconduct allegation dating back 18 years.

• Samuel E. Ritchey, 63, who was removed from ministry by the Diocese of Columbus after a church review panel found credible an allegation of abuse that reportedly occurred in 1977 at Fisher Catholic High.

The board has now revoked the licenses of six of 10 people brought to its attention by The Blade in an October series of articles regarding the matter.


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