Hammond priest on leave for naked walk through school

Chicago Tribune
August 22, 2015

The Rev. William F. O'Toole has stepped down from his post as pastor of St. Casimir and All Saints Catholic churches in Hammond after he was spotted walking naked through St. Casimir Catholic School on Aug. 9, according to the Diocese of Gary.

In a statement, diocese spokesperson Debbie Bosak said Bishop Donald Hying requested that O'Toole take a leave of absence and undergo a psychological evaluation in accordance with diocesan policies.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Aug. 9, a caller contacted Hammond Police after seeing O'Toole, 45, through a window at the school, located at 4329 Cameron Ave., in a "state of undress." When officers arrived, O'Toole was found and school officials from the Diocese of Gary were already on the scene and aware of the situation, according to Hammond Police Lt. Richard Hoyda.

Hoyda said that police allowed O'Toole to get dressed and did not arrest him. Hammond Police are still investigating the situation, and upon the investigation's completion, it will be sent to the Lake County Prosecutor's office for further review.

Police did not identify the man, but the Diocese of Gary did. Bosak said a secretary was the only other person present at the school at the time, but she didn't know that O'Toole was there.

O'Toole has apologized and said his actions showed a regrettable lack of judgment, Bosak said.


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