Cincinnati Priest Charged With 9 Counts Of Rape
A Cincinnati priest has been indicted on nine counts of rape. A grand jury returned the charges against Fr. Geoff Drew on Monday.
Drew was was employed at St. Jude School as a music minister during the time of the rapes. The Hamilton County prosecutor's office says the alleged incidents took place in "Drew's office during or immediately after the school day" between 1988 and 1991, before he was a priest.
"His testimony is compelling," says Prosecutor Joe Deters of the victim who came forward and testified before the grand jury. The man was an alter boy and 10 and 11 years old at the time of the assaults.
"He felt he had to come forward. It took a lot of bravery," Deters says. "It's the opinion of my office that he is a credible, strong witness."
Deters says Drew could face life in prison if convicted.
Deters tells media there's no indication the Archdiocese of Cincinnati had any knowledge of the situation and has been cooperating with the investigation.
In a statement, the archdiocese says it will continue to cooperate with the investigation.
"The protection of young people is of paramount importance and can never be compromised. We urge anyone who has any information regarding the accusations against Fr. Geoff Drew to please report it to Cincinnati Police Detective Dana Jones in the Personal Crimes Unit at 513-352-6947 or email@example.com."
WVXU previously reported the archdiocese received multiple complaints about Drew dating back to 2013 when he was a pastor at St. Maximilian Kolbe in Liberty Township. The alleged behavior included shoulder massages, inappropriate sexual comments and patting above the knee.
The complaints followed him when he got a new job at St. Ignatius of Loyola. Communications Director Mike Schafer said Drew applied for the job and didn't ask for a transfer. "Fr. Drew said his elderly mother lives close to the parish and he would like to move close to her. He was not asked to leave St. Maximilian Kolbe."
The local archdiocese reported Butler County found inadequate evidence of criminal behavior.
The church commissioned an independent investigation of Drew.