January 28, 2005

PERSPECTIVE: Prosecutor re-examining deal with Catholic Church

Beacon Journal

Associated Press

CINCINNATI - Activists challenging a prosecutor's agreement to end a sex abuse investigation against a Roman Catholic archdiocese have a potential ally: the new prosecutor.

It is not certain, however, whether Joseph Deters, who returned as Hamilton County prosecutor this month, would consider overturning the plea deal or could reopen the investigation.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati pleaded no contest in 2003 to charges of failing to tell authorities about sex abuse allegations against priests, becoming just the third Roman Catholic diocese at that time to strike a deal with prosecutors in a criminal investigation.

The agreement ended a nearly two-year investigation, among the probes nationwide after molestation allegations were made against a priest in Boston in 2002.

Since last year, activists have called for an outside review of the deal, saying former county prosecutor Michael Allen ended it before determining whether church officials knew of sex abuse by clergy and allowed it to continue.

Deters said he was fulfilling a campaign promise to the activists to examine the agreement.

Posted by kshaw at January 28, 2005 03:36 AM