Former Dayton-area priest pleads guilty to child rape

A former Catholic priest who served in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of rape of an altar boy in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The guilty plea from Geoff Drew was announced in court Thursday, one day before his trial was set to begin, Cincinnati’s WCPO reported.

Drew, 59, pleaded guilty to all 9 counts he faced, and as part of the plea agreement, he will be sentenced to seven years in prison, the TV station reported.

Drew, of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, was placed on administrative leave on July 23, 2019, as a result of “a pattern of behaviors — such as boundary violations and texting a minor” in contradiction to the Catholic Church’s “Decree on Child Protection,” the Cincinnati Archdiocese said in a statement Thursday.

After being placed on administrative leave, Drew was arrested and charged with nine counts of rape, the archdiocese noted.

“These were new, previously unreported allegations dating back to the late 1980s, a decade before he entered the seminary to begin formation for the priesthood,” the archdiocese said.

The archdiocese said it will now seek the laicization of Drew with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Holy See.

Laicization is a process of dismissing a priest from a clerical state, making him a “layperson.”

“Father Geoff Drew will never again have a priestly assignment in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati or any other diocese,” Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr said in a statement.

The attacks took place in Drew’s office at St. Jude Church in Green Twp., Hamilton County, where he was at the time a music minister.

The victim, now 41, was 10 and 11 when Drew raped him, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Drew previously worked at several local parishes, including as a parochial vicar at St. Luke in Beavercreek from July 2004 to June 2005, and as pastor at St. Rita in Dayton from July 2005 to June 2009.

Before that, Drew worked as assistant band director at Elder High School, then as director of liturgy and music at St. Jude for 15 years. He was pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Liberty Twp. from 2009 to 2018 before working at St. Ignatius of Loyola in Cincinnati, until he was put on leave.

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