Priest Later Sentenced for Molestations in Mo.

By Lawrence Messina
Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
March 9, 1994

The Roman Catholic priest who allegedly molested an Ohio County teen-ager in 1977 sexually assaulted two teen-age boys in St. Louis in 1985, court records in Missouri show.

The late Rev. Victor A. Frobas received a four-year prison sentence in August 1988 after pleading guilty to first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of second-degree sexual assault, according to St. Louis County court records.

Frobas admitted he molested the boys, ages 13 and 16, in November and December 1985. A grand jury had indicted Frobas eight months before the plea bargain on one count of sodomy and the two sexual assault counts.

Frobas molested the boys while a priest at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Crestwood, Mo., according to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article. The incidents reportedly took place in the church rectory and area motels, the article said.

A Wheeling man has since alleged that Frobas sexually abused him in 1977, and filed suit in September 1993 against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and its bishop, the Most Rev. Bernard W. Schmitt.

In the suit, the man contends Frobas molested him as a sophomore at Wheeling's Central Catholic High School, where Frobas was a teacher. The diocese is liable, the suit alleges, as it placed Frobas in a position of trust and authority.

The alleged victim is identified only as "D.F." in the lawsuit.

The Wheeling law firm representing him ran a February newspaper ad requesting information about Frobas from when he served St. Francis of Assisi church in St. Albans as an associate pastor in 1965 and 1966.

Frobas also served at the diocesan Camp Tygart in Randolph County, which hosts school-age children in the summer. He left the diocese in 1983, and died July 11, 1993, in a St. Louis nursing home.

An obituary attributed his death to a long bout with cancer and diabetes.

"We became aware that Father Frobas had legal difficulties in St. Louis after the fact," said the Rev. Larry Dorsch, a diocesan spokesman. "He was not active with the Wheeling-Charleston diocese at that time, and had not been active with the diocese for a number of years."


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