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Gary Police Will Investigate Priest

Dec 24, 2003 | AP

Gary police have agreed to investigate a Roman Catholic priest who church officials said admitted sexually abusing a girl more than 30 years ago.

Police Chief Garnett Watson said Tuesday that the department would investigate Monsignor Don Grass, who was removed from ministry by the diocese of Gary this month. The investigation was requested by Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter.

Grass has admitted the abuse, which occurred while he was an associate pastor at Holy Angels Cathedral in Gary in the late 1960s, the diocese said. Grass, ordained in 1961, had been pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church in Crown Point since 1983.

Grass' removal for sexual misconduct with a minor was the first in the four-county Gary diocese since the U.S. Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal began nearly two years ago, said diocese spokesman Brian Olszewski. The diocese has about 125 active priests.

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