Police Investigating " Sexual Misconduct" Claims against Local Priest

June 8, 2009

Youngstown's police chief admits his officers were made aware of the allegations against a local priest last week, but have not been able to make much headway.

Over the weekend, we learned Bishop George Murray had placed Father Thomas Crum on Administrative Leave following accusations Crum had engaged in, what the Diocese describes as, "sexual misconduct" while he had been on the facility at Cardinal Mooney High School more than 30 years ago. In a written release, the Diocese claims Crum did admit to the allegation after being confronted. Most recently, Crum was serving as pastor at a parish in Canton. Over the course of his nearly 35 year career, Crum has served at a dozen parishes around the Diocese. At this point, despite the amount of time that's passed, police say they're pursuing their investigation. Chief Jimmy Hughes says he'll want to check with prosecutors, but says, "My understanding of it is, the statute of limitations, the clock starts when the crime is discovered by us."

Now, as it turns out, that may not be the case after all.

We spoke Monday afternoon with Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains who thinks officials may never be able to file any criminal charges in this case. He says based on the knowledge he's been able to gather up to this point, the alleged victim would not have been a young child at the time, but more likely a teenager, who may never have reported the incident until recently. If that's true, any statute of limitations would have expired long ago.

That still leaves a lot of questions. Hopefully, the Bishop will be able to answer at least some of them Tuesday.


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