On August 19, 2019, Rev. Geoffrey D. Drew, a priest from St. Ignatius of Loyola, was indicted on nine counts of rape by a Hamilton County Grand Jury. Drew was placed on leave from the church in July 2019. According to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, Drew faces life in prison if convicted.
The incidents happened between 1988 and 1991. While Drew wasn’t ordained until 2004, at the time of the alleged rapes he was employed as a music minister at St. Jude School in Green Township. According to WCPO Cincinnati, a 41-year-old man testified before a grand jury the week prior to the indictment. He said he was 10 and 11 years old and an altar boy when the incidents occurred.
As mentioned, Drew was placed on leave in July. This was after he has been accused of sending inappropriate text messages to at least one boy. He had been the pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola from July 1, 2018 until his leave. This, however, was not the first time concerns about Drew’s behavior had been made.
From July 2009 to June 2018, Drew was a pastor at St. Maximilian Kolbe. Parishioners expressed concerns to the central office of the Archdiocese in 2013 and 2015. A news release from the Archdiocese detailed the concerning behaviors as “uninvited bear hugs, shoulder massages, patting of the leg about the knee, and inappropriate sexual comments about one’s body or appearance, directed at teenage boys.” His departure from Maximilian, however, was unrelated to the complaints. According to the Archdiocese, he requested to change parishes to live closer to his mother.
Officials with the Archdiocese acknowledge their mistake in neglecting to respond to parishioner concerns about Drew’s behavior dating back at least six years. According to Deters, it’s possible there are other victims who have yet to come forward. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is requesting that every parish where Drew worked be visited to see if anyone has more information.
Like the man that came forward, victims of sexual assault have the right to take legal action against their abuser. At Thomas Law Offices we recognize the challenges of coming forward with sexual abuse allegations, but we believe victims deserve justice and attackers should be held accountable for their actions. If you believe you have a sexual assault case our lawyers can help you navigate the litigation process and ensure your dignity remains intact. To learn more, contact us today.