Abusive Priest from Cincinnati Pleads Guilty, SNAP Applauds the Brave Survivors
A Cincinnati priest who was facing nine counts of rape for his abuse of a boy between the years 1988 and 1991 today pleaded guilty to the charges against him. We are grateful to the police and prosecutors who shepherded this case forward and we are especially grateful to the brave survivors who came forward and shared their stories so that this dangerous man could be put in jail and kept away from children.
We are glad that Fr. Geoff Drew was forced to listen to the impact statement of one of his victims in court today as the cleric admitted his crimes. We know that it took a lot of courage for the survivor to share his story in open court and we applaud him for everything he did to help secure the conviction against Fr. Drew. Thanks to him, the other victims and parents who spoke up, and the work of police and prosecutors, children in Cincinnati are safer.
Now that Fr. Drew has been criminally convicted, it is time for Catholic officials from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to do what they have steadfastly refused to do since he was first arrested – add his name to their list of abusive clerics and begin the process to laicize him. We also believe it critical that Church leaders look long and hard at their admission standards for their seminaries, since Fr. Drew was convicted today of crimes that took place more than a decade before he became a priest. Clearly, something was missed or ignored when Fr. Drew was admitted to seminary and ordained. To us, the system clearly failed when evaluating Fr. Drew, and if that process failed in uncovering his criminal tendencies, we cannot help but wonder how many other abusers have been given their Roman collar and access to children without a second thought? Catholic officials in Cincinnati should work to overhaul their system immediately.
"Justice delayed is always a denial of justice, and now that an outcome has been determined, it is our hope that the newly realized justice will bring healing to the victims and survivors in this case as well as a deterrent force to those who would look the other way when suspected predators are reported,” said Dan Frondorf, leader of SNAP Cincinnati. “Fr. Drew was enabled to put more kids in harm's way by Cincinnati Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer, whose accountability in this matter has only been minorly administrative."
Now that this trial is over, we hope that all victims of abuse in Cincinnati will feel encouraged to come forward, make a report to law enforcement, and start healing. Regardless of when, where, or by whom they were abused, we hope anyone suffering in silence will find the strength to begin their own journey to recovery.
CONTACT: Dan Frondorf, SNAP Cincinnati ([email protected], 513-706-7403), Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communications Director ([email protected], 267-261-0578), 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)