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Ex-Priest Accused of Sex Abuse Is Arrested

Nov 22, 2002 | AP

A former priest accused of molesting an altar boy in the late 1970s and early 1980s was in custody today.

Jerome Leach, 52, was arrested on Wednesday at his apartment in this community just north of San Francisco.

Investigators said Leach's accuser, now 35, told the archdiocese and police that Leach molested him when he was an altar boy at St. Patrick's Church in Larkspur and a student at the parochial school.

Police are also investigating possible victims in San Mateo County, where Leach was a priest at St. Pius Church in Redwood City and at All Souls Church in South San Francisco, Detective Mike Moriarty said.

Leach was held in lieu of $500,000 bail for the investigation of two counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, police said. It was not immediately known whether Leach had an attorney.

In May 1993, he was accused of molesting a boy in South San Francisco and was suspended from church activities, said Maurice Healy, a spokesman for the San Francisco Archdiocese.

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