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Church Abuse Info In Hands of Lorain County

Dec 6, 2002 | The Morning Journal

The Lorain County Prosecutor's Office confirmed yesterday that information had been received from Cuyahoga County prosecutors regarding at least one alleged case of sex abuse in Lorain County by a priest or employee of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

The information was uncovered as part of an ongoing investigation of the diocese by Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason and was also given to several other counties, said public information officer Kim Kowalski of Mason's office.

''It came from our investigation,'' said Kowalski. ''We sent the information to the other counties, it's up to those counties to determine what they're going to do with that.''

Chief Assistant Lorain County Prosecutor Robert Corts said several packets of information were received from Mason's office.

''We're looking through those right now to determine what we can do,'' said Corts. ''There's lots of issues involved, including statute of limitations issues.''

The information was sent to Lorain County about two weeks ago, said Kowalski.

The Cuyahoga County investigation resulted in a grand jury's recent indictment of a former priest and six former employees of a youth services facility on sex charges.

Prosecutors in Lake, Summit, Wayne and Lorain counties were reportedly sent information that included sex abuse allegations connected with 10 other priests.

Kowalski said she could not comment on how many alleged incidents had occurred in Lorain County, how many priests were allegedly involved or whether they currently are working as priests or in the diocese.

Though the alleged crimes occurred in the county, Kowalski said she could not release details regarding whether the priests had worked in Lorain County.

There has been no word on whether the information will be presented to a grand jury, she said.

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