Ex-Priest Charged in Old Molestation Case in Crawford County

Associated Press, carried in Philadelphia Inquirer
March 18, 2008

MEADVILLE, Pa. - A former Catholic priest has been charged by state police under a recent law that expanded the statute of limitations for cases involving child molestation.

The former priest, 67-year-old Thomas E. Smith of Oil City, is charged with corruption of minors for allegedly fondling a boy four times between 1968 and 1970.

The former law prevented police from prosecuting people once their accusers turned 30. A new law that took effect last year lets police bring charges until the alleged victim turns 50. Police filed the charges in this case two days before the alleged victim turned 50.

Smith didn't immediately return a call for comment Tuesday.

The Catholic church removed Smith as a priest in 2006.


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