Investigation Uncovers Numerous Cases of Sexual Abuse in Toledo Diocese

Toledo Blade
December 1, 2002

An investigation by The Blade into allegations of sexual abuse in the Toledo diocese has uncovered numerous examples of abuse by priests, lay workers, and volunteers. Reporters reviewed more than 2,000 police, court, and church records documenting the abuse of dozens of victims between 1960 to 1994.

More than 30 victims were interviewed, and in some cases, provided reporters with secret archives of their cases given to them by the diocese.

Thomas Beauregard - Priest, 75, removed from ministry in July, 2002, by Bishop Hoffman - eight years after he admitted to abusing teenage girls who went to him for counseling in the 1960s. He was a religion teacher at Toledo's Central Catholic at the time of the incidents.

Msg. Michael Doyle - Late priest who died in 1987 was accused by woman in October lawsuit against the diocese of molesting her repeatedly between 1954 and 1959 at the former St. Anthony's Orphanage on Cherry St. Two others female accusers have since hired lawyers, saying they were also abused by cleric in 1950s while they were orphans.

Jack Cable - Former volunteer, 60, at the Toledo diocese-run St. Anthony Villa, a shelter house for troubled children, convicted in 1985 of raping three boys, all under age 13, during overnight visits to his home. Sentenced to 7 to 25 years in prison on each count.

Robert Fisher - Arrested in 1987 in Wood County for sexually abusing 14-year-old girl while he was at St. Rose in Perrsyburg. In 1988, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail, and in 2002, was removed from ministry by Bishop Hoffman under zero tolerance rule adopted by U.S. bishops. He is appealing the decision.

Fred Garand - Toledo priest murdered in Broward County, Fla., in 1982, in unsolved homicide at 54. Toledo police, assisting Florida authorities, interviewed two boys at the Child Study Institute downtown who said they were sexually abused by the priest, and also knew of others. More allegations surfaced in wake of death, including one accuser who says he was abused at 11-years-old while priest was serving at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Toledo between 1954 and 1958. He was transferred after a complaint in 1958 by a now deceased Toledo policeman to St. Peter in Mansfield.

Dennis Gray - Faces nine lawsuits in Lucas County Common Pleas Court by former male students at four schools - including Toledo's Central Catholic High School- saying they were raped and abused between 1975 and 1987, mostly at his cottage in Michigan. The 52-year-old was a priest and religion teacher who gave up his collar in 1987, records show.

Harvey Griswold - Former volunteer, 70, at the diocese's St. Anthony Villa shelter house and former president of its Friends and Alumni association, convicted of nine felonies including rape and gross sexual imposition for sexually assaulting four young boys while taking them on outings. Sentenced in 1985 to 19 to 60 years in prison.

John Hemstreet - Priest, 63, left active ministry in 1987, and arrested in 1992 for sexually abusing 10-year-old boy in Toledo. Diocese agreed to pay for his treatment at St. Luke's in Maryland. He was sentenced in 1993 to 90 days in jail in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. In 2000, he led public protests against Boy Scouts for discriminating against gays.

Bernard Kokocinski - Longtime Toledo area priest, 64, facing lawsuit by two brothers in Lucas County Common Pleas Court alleging he molested them between 1975-78 while at St. Joseph's parish in Fremont. Records show three previous arrests since 1972: sexual imposition, soliciting and public exposure. Served at 12 parishes since ordination in 1966.

Richard Liston - Late priest was accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy at Norwalk St. Paul's around 1978, and was transferred to St. Rose in Perrysburg, with the police never told. In 1985, he was found to have financial ties to two gay bars in Toledo, according to a police investigation, and was sent to treatment center in Virginia. He left the ministry in 1986 and died in 1994 at the age of 59.

Michael McLaughlin - Toledo priest, 55, at Immaculate Conception parish in Bellevue, accused in May of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy during an overnight stay at rectory in Norwalk, in 1980. The accuser, Michael Hancock, now 33 and a chiropractor in suburban Cincinnati, made the accusation at a press conference. Another man has told the diocese that he was abused by the priest in 1987. Mr. McLaughlin is not in active ministry, the Toledo diocese said in response to the complaint.

Alexander Pinter - Priest was removed from the diocese in 1960 after several families in St. Stephen's parish in East Toledo went to Toledo police accusing the pastor of rape and abuse of altar boys. No arrest was made. He was allowed to go to Canada, and eventually died in Louisiana as a parish priest in 1978 at the age of 59, records show.

Joseph Pucci - Late Toledo priest and member of Oblates was accused by two women of sexually molesting them when they were young teenagers in 1950s. Oblate representative in Washington D.C., acknowledged complaints after a Toledo woman stepped forward this year, saying she was abused in her home by priest. Father Pucci died at 87 on Oct. 12, 2000 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

James Rapp - Former priest, 61, serving with Oblates of St. Francis de Sales of Toledo, was sent to treatment center for sex disorders in 1986 after abuse allegations arose in Jackson, Mich., by teenage boys. He was sent to Oklahoma parish in 1991, and later abused at least three more teen-age boys. A $5 million settlement was reached in a civil case with one victim. The ex-priest is now serving 40-year prison term in Oklahoma.

Herbert Richey, Jr. - Former priest, 52, was removed from ministry in 1992 and was defrocked in 1997. He was the subject of out-of-court settlements for sexual abuse while in Toledo diocese, according to Bishop Hoffman. Mr. Richey served as associate pastor at churches in Findlay, Mansfield, Sandusky, Vermillion, and Wakeman. He later turned up as a musical director at St. Michael the Archangel Church in 1994, and is now a substitute organist for Detroit archdiocese.

Mark Sampson - Former band director at Delphs St. John's High School, criminally charged and sued for providing pornographic magazines and videos to students in the band room and his home between 1989 and 1993. Also accused of getting students drunk and teaching them about sexual practices. Confidential monetary settlement was reached between victim and diocesan lawyers.

Lawrence Scharf - Toledo priest, 63, was pastor of St. Joseph Church in Monroeville, Ohio, until leaving just before Easter. He admitted to diocesan officials in March that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a boy in 1976 and again, with a different boy, in 1981. He was removed from ministry July 6.

John Shiffler - Fifty-year-old priest removed from ministry in July, 2002, after two men stepped forward in 1995 to say they were sexually abused as minors by Father Shiffler in 1980s while he was teacher at Central Catholic High School. He is being sued by Matt Simon, 33, former Central student, and is appealing his removal from ministry.

Terry Steinbauer - Director of youth ministries for the Toledo diocese for 15 years, was forced to resign in 1996 after four women told diocesan officials that he had sexually abused them when they were minors. Although banned from ministry, the 46-year-old Rossford resident took part in two recent youth retreats including an overnight trip to southern Ohio in 2001. Bishop Hoffman sent a letter to parents of children on the retreats to "inform them of this mistake."

Robert Thomas - Arrested in 1984 after he was spotted by Toledo police officer in sex act with 16-year-old boy in Southwyck Mall restroom while he was pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, in Toledo. He was suspended from ministry in Arizona in May, 2002, after officials learned of his arrest 17 1/2 years ago.

Richard Trepinski - Former choir director, 65, at Toledo's Christ the King parish from 1954-75, arrested in 1992 in Port Charlotte, Fla., in 1992 and charged with 99 counts of lewd, lascivious, and indecent assault on church choir boys. Police said he admitted to the acts and said he engaged in similar activities for about 25 years, dating to his time in Toledo.

Chet Warren - Defrocked priest and member of Oblate of St. Francis de Sales in Toledo. He was accused of sexually abusing at least eight women between the ages of 13 and 17 in the 1970s, including the national founder of SNAP, Barbara Blaine, who reached an out-of-court settlement with the diocese in 1994. Mr. Warren was forced to resign from his position as chaplain at a Toledo hospital in 1993 after other women accused him of misconduct. Shelly Killen, named to the Toledo diocese's new review board for investigating clerical sexual misconduct, also claims she was sexually abused by Mr. Warren in 1973 when she was 19. One current lawsuit is pending against the former cleric, who taught at St. Francis de Sales High School.

Leo Welch - Former priest, 75, who admitted this year to abusing boys from Bellevue's Immaculate Conception parish at his cottage near Bono in 1950s and 60s. He left ministry in 1965, and is now the subject of lawsuit by two men who say they were sexually abused at the cottage in early 1960s. Another man has also stepped forward to talk to the diocese about his abuse by former priest.

Vic Whiting - A 46-year-old former football coach at Delphos St. John's High School, accused in a lawsuit of sexually touching and harassing a 15-year-old female student on repeated occasions between October and December, 1990. Confidential monetary settlement was reached between victim and diocesan lawyers.


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