Timeline: Investigation into southwest Ohio priest charged with raping altar boy


Denise Callahan and Michael D. Clark - Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio (TNS)



A southwest Ohio priest has been charged with raping an altar boy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, allegations that arose after he was suspended by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for inappropriate behavior.

The Rev. Geoff Drew has pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains incarcerated on a $5 million bond.

Here is what transpired in the story:

1988-91: A man, now 41, alleges that Drew raped him during this period while he was at St. Jude Church in Hamilton County, when Drew was employed there as music director.

2013: First allegation of inappropriate touching, texts and sexual comments with teenage boys at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Liberty Twp.

2015: A second complaint comes in to the central office of the archdiocese. The complaints were immediately sent to the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office, where no evidence of criminal behavior was found.

2013-2015: Bishop Joseph R. Binzer, as director of priest personnel, spoke to Drew about his behavior and Drew said he was unaware there were issues.

July 2018: Drew applied for and was named pastor at St. Ignatius of Loyola in Hamilton County.

August 2018: Schnurr personally received a complaint from a St. Maximilian Kolbe parishioner.

September 2018: On the advice of Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser, Drew was asked to restrict his involvement with the school and a monitor was assigned.

October 2018: A letter from a St. Ignatius parishioner reported her son-in-law had a very negative experience with Drew while they were at Elder High School.

February 2019: The archdiocese chancellor, the Rev. Steve Angi, received the prosecutor’s latest report and hired Strategic HR to do an investigation.

May 2019: The Strategic HR report was received and Drew was ordered into counseling.

June 2019: A St. Ignatius family alleged Drew texted their son. The complaint was turned over to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. The text was confirmed and found to have violated the Decree on Child Protection.

July 23: Drew was suspended.

August 5: The archdiocese reveals Binzer was removed as director of priest personnel pending an investigation into how he handled the Drew situation. He apparently never told Schnurr about the past incidents.

August 19: Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announces the indictment of Drew on nine counts of raping a boy, who Deters said came forward recently in the wake of other allegations against Drew made by parishioners at a Liberty Twp. church he led, as well as the Hamilton County church he was recently transferred to.

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Denise Callahan and Michael D. Clark

Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio (TNS)

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