A fourth delay in the start of Fr. Geoff Drew in Hamilton County Ohio; SNAP responds
The trial of Fr. Geoff Drew, a Cincinnati priest, has been delayed for a fourth time according to his defense attorney. The trial was set to begin Monday, October 25th. The priest, 59, has been housed at the Hamilton County Justice Center in lieu of a $5 million bond and could face life in prison if convicted. According to a report by Fox-19 news, the latest delay is at the request of Hamilton County prosecutors and a new item on the court docket shows the hearing still scheduled for Monday as a ‘plea or trial setting.’
In August 2019, less than a month after being placed on leave, the Cincinnati-area Fr. Drew was indicted on nine counts of rape. The clergyman, who was the former head of St. Ignatius Loyola Parish, is accused of abusing a young boy while he was employed as the Music Minister at St. Jude School in Cincinnati. Our hearts ache for the victim in this case and we hope that he is not discouraged by this recent news.
New charges were expected to be revealed in this trial as well according to the news report. Court records show prosecutors plan to reveal multiple new allegations at his trial through testimony from the victim that he had sex with Father Drew when he was a little older, a teenager, and from a new witness, a second accuser. However, due to the statute of limitations, Father Drew cannot be charged with those two crimes. The second alleged sexual abuse victim was 12 or younger at the time, court records show.
The power of secular investigations is that others who may have been victimized by clergy in the same manner gain the courage and strength to come forward and report to trusted authorities. The publicity this case has received may very well have encouraged the other survivors to report their allegations and we commend them for that immensely.
Amy Clausing, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors’ office, wrote in an email response to FOX19 NOW. “Out of respect to our victims, and due to the sensitive nature of a case like this, we are not providing public comment beyond what will be put on the record Monday. I would encourage you to attend that court date.”
Cincinnati SNAP Leader Dan Frondorf also commented on today’s news, “We are disheartened to learn of yet another delay in the trial of accused sexual offender Fr. Geoff Drew. Justice delayed truly is justice denied - every day that perpetrators like Fr. Drew are not held to account is a day that victims and survivors remain in limbo, wondering if the pain and suffering they have experienced will ever be mitigated in a meaningful way by the court system. Even a successful prosecution cannot undo the trauma of the abuse, but it goes a long way in the process of healing and recovery. We are concerned that delays like these will have the effect of discouraging other victims and survivors to come forward and begin or augment their own healing process. The effects of sexual abuse on children and teenagers already requires a long duration before a person is ready to recount their horrible experiences and get help, so any further delays once they do come forward only serves to prolong the silent suffering. It is our fervent hope that this delay is the final one, and is only a short one, and that the survivors, in this case, can find the patience and peace needed to benefit from this part of their healing process.”
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Dan Frondorf, SNAP Cincinnati ([email protected], 513-706-7403), Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)