Thursday, September 27, 2001
Charges unlikely against priest
Archdiocese now must deal with sex allegations
By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer
HAMILTON Although a Millville priest who admitted to sex acts with three minors probably won't face criminal charges, he still faces action by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, authorities said Wednesday.
The Butler County Sheriff's Office has fully investigated the allegations involving the Rev. Ken Schoettmer, but all three cases are too old to prosecute under Ohio law, said sheriff's Lt. Greg Blankenship.
The message I'd like to get out is if people know or suspect something like that, let us know so it can be investigated in a timely manner, he said.
Father Schoettmer, who had been assigned to Queen of Peace parish in Hanover Township, has been on paid administrative leave since June. He had admitted wrongdoing to his parishioners and to Butler County sheriff's investigators.
Two of the incidents occurred between 1984 and 1987; a six-year time limit for prosecuting those potential felonies has expired. However, even the most recent case, involving a Hamilton County teen in 1999, is too old, Lt. Blankenship said. He explained that the incident occurred after the teen turned 16, so the applicable charge would be only a misdemeanor which carries a two-year time limit for prosecution.
Now it's up to the archdiocese to decide what treatment the priest should receive and what to do about his status with the church, said Dan Andriacco, archdiocese spokesman.
The fact that the case is not going to be pursued legally does not alter the fact that he has confessed to wrong behavior, Mr. Andriacco said.
Father Schoettmer has undergone a psychological evaluation, so the next step is to determine if there is going to be a course of treatment, Mr. Andriacco said.
The archdiocese also must decide what is going to happen with his ministry, Mr. Andriacco said. Determining what penalties the priest might face involves a complex process under church law, he explained.
In any case, Mr. Andriacco said that the priest certainly will never be in a ministry that involves children.
Curfew to remain through Friday
Roach not guilty; city under curfew
Acquittals based on self-defense
Anger, fear, sadness felt on streets after verdict
Anger is there, but chaos isn't
Experts' opinions sealed verdict
Lynch: Ruling 'sets us back'
PULFER: Turmoil of April finally over - or is it?
Q & A
Text of Judge Winkler verdict
Then and now: Race relations
Victim's point of view part of justice, too
The spirit of giving
Training kicked in after Pentagon attack
Anti-lead forces join up
Cheviot makes paving progress
FOP mum on mayor race
Graham plans visit to Cincinnati
Harmony charter school is homeless, state discovers
Local Jews observe holiest day of the year
Parents' aid has new digs
Tristate A.M. Report
TV internet coach drills students on etiquette
Charges unlikely against priest
Conese indicted in funds scandal
Conference on kids opens
Mason fund may help fix sidewalks
Conviction reinstated in 3-year-old's death
New districts called unfair
Prosecutor will remain on bribery case
Taft needs $1 billion to cover deficit
$21M sought to build new N. Ky. college
$550,000 for restoration in jeopardy
Dems blast census in district debate
Kentucky News Briefs
W. Ky. students document scene
West Nile here; risk said slight