Priest in Indecency Case Reinstated

By Tom Beyerlein
Dayton Daily News
February 14, 2008

The Rev. Raymond E. Larger, the Catholic priest who was convicted of public indecency in Dayton's Triangle Park but acquitted of a separate accusation of child sex abuse in suburban Cincinnati, has been reinstated to active priesthood by the Vatican, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced today, Feb. 14.

Larger will be assigned to ministry at Cincinnati's Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains and also will serve as an administrative assistant in the archdiocese's chancery, said spokesman Dan Andriacco.

In a statement, Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk said Vatican officials handled the matter "thoughtfully and with justice. I believe in Father Larger's innocence and am thankful that the clearing of his name makes possible his return to a ministerial role."

Larger, 56, first ran into trouble in the summer of 2003, when he was arrested in a sex sting in Triangle Park. He was arrested after approaching an adult undercover officer for sex, fondling him then exposing himself. He was convicted of public indecency, fined and placed on probation.

The archdiocese reinstated him in May 2004 after a period of suspension. As part of his reinstatement, he has to continue counseling and live at St. Peter in Chains among other priests, Andriacco said.

The following year, the archdiocese reported to the Hamilton County prosecutor's office that a man alleged Larger abused him as a minor from 1995-97 in suburban White Oak. The archdiocese suspended Larger after a grand jury indicted him in July 2005 on six counts related to the allegations. Larger maintained innocence, an independent tribunal declined to award compensation to his accuser and, in October 2005, a Hamilton County judge threw the case out of court, saying the accuser wasn't credible.

The Vatican ruled a few days ago that Larger should be returned to ministry, Andriacco said.

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