Cleveland-area Priest Resigns Amid Second Sex Abuse Claim


July 7, 2008

[with video and audio]

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Catholic Diocese has announced that a priest who was reinstated in 2007 after being cleared of sexually abusing a minor has resigned amid a new allegation of sexual misconduct.

The diocese says the Rev. Patrick J. O'Connor is accused of abusing a minor in 1997 while serving as an associate pastor at St. Jude Catholic Church in Elyria. The diocese says the 50-year-old priest was placed on leave and subsequently submitted a letter of resignation on June 6th.

Elyria police say the alleged victim is now 27. Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will says his office is reviewing the case.

In 2003, O'Connor was accused of sexually abusing a minor in the late 1980s, when he served as associate pastor at St. Joseph Church in Cuyahoga Falls. The diocese said a review revealed no abuse and the Vatican said he should be allowed to return to work.

He was reinstated in September.


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