Ohio Catholic Priest Accused of Child Sexual Abuse

Fr. Dean Mathewson, a priest from the Diocese of Columbus, has been removed from ministry following allegations of child sexual abuse. The incident is said to have occurred in the 1990s while he was working at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Newark.  We now call on Catholic officials in Columbus to do outreach to ensure that parishioners at every parish and school where this man worked is informed of the allegations and that survivors and witnesses are encouraged to come forward and make a report to local law enforcement.

By our count, if the diocesan review board deems this allegation credible, Fr. Mathewson would be the 53rd clergyman to be added to the list of "credibly accused" in the Diocese of Columbus, which has 106 active parishes.  Clearly, despite rhetoric from Catholic officials, abuse within the Church is not a thing of the past. Given what we know about the delayed disclosure of abuse, and the multiple layers of trauma, we expect to learn more about cases from the late 1980s and 1990s as our current decade rolls on.

Fr. Mathewson taught at St. Francis de Sales High School and worked at St. Matthias in Columbus in the 1970s. The priest was also assigned to Bishop Flaget High School in Chillicothe; St. Mary in Chillicothe; St. Joseph and Marion Catholic High School in LaRue; St. Francis de Sales in Newark; St. Brendan in Hilliard; and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Columbus. His most recent position was as a Catholic chaplain at Riverside Methodist Hospital.

We encourage anyone who has been harmed by Fr. Mathewson to come forward, make a report to law enforcement and begin healing. We also hope that anyone with knowledge of these crimes contacts law enforcement.  

CONTACT:  Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

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