Panel: Allegations against Ohio Priest Unproven

February 2, 2009

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has reinstated a Roman Catholic priest who had been suspended over a child sexual abuse allegation.

The archdiocese said Monday that the Rev. Donald Shelander was restored to active ministry after a church panel ruled that allegations against him were unproven. A three-judge panel of priests from outside the archdiocese tried him under church law.

Shelander had denied the allegations that resulted in his suspension three years ago. He was already retired at the time when an adult male told church officials that Shelander engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with him when he was a teen. The accuser's identity was not made public.

The archdiocese says the priest will not be given a new assignment, but that he is free to minister as a priest.

He had served in churches in Springfield, Urbana, Bellefontaine and Newport, Ohio.


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