Ohio Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Ohio’s current criminal statute of limitations (SOL) provides a longer period of time for law enforcement to apprehend and prosecute sex abuse offenders than it does for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to pursue civil justice. However, potential new legislation has been introduced which, if passed, could provide help for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This new legislation would raise the current civil SOL to age 55 and eliminate it altogether for rape of minors and adults. It would also open a 3-year revival window for expired claims. Civil SOL laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in Ohio to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members, and the Catholic Church.
Below you will find Ohio lawsuits news & updates, as well as additional information on Ohio’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling Ohio sexual assault cases has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of Ohio settlements received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of Ohio’s ‘credibly’ accused priests released by Ohio’s Dioceses.
Ohio Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
Ohio’s criminal statute of limitations (SOL) laws are much better suited to helping survivors of sexual abuse receive criminal justice rather than civil justice. Currently, the criminal SOL for most felony sex offenses is almost a decade longer than the civil SOL. However, there is potentially some hope on the horizon as a bill which would eliminate the civil SOL for rape of minors and adults and extend the civil SOL for childhood sexual abuse victims to age 55, as well as open a 3-year revival window for expired claims was introduced to the state’s Legislature in 2021.
Criminal Statute of Limitations Laws for Ohio
In Ohio, the criminal SOL for rape and sexual battery is capped at age 43. There is a DNA provision for rape and sexual battery which eliminates the SOL if there is a DNA match within 25 years of the offense. The criminal SOL for most felony sex offenses against minors is age 38 and for misdemeanors it is age 20. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on its criminal statute of limitations laws, gave Ohio a Criminal SOL score of 2, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 2 is defined as a criminal SOL that expires between age 40 and 50.
Civil Statute of Limitations Laws for Ohio
In Ohio, the current civil SOL for child sex abuse claims is age 30. Currently, there is a no common law discovery rule for child sexual abuse claims. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on its civil statute of limitation laws, gave Ohio a Civil SOL Age Cap score of 2, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 2 is defined as a civil SOL age cap of age 26-34.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in Ohio, contact us now. Due to Ohio’s pending legislation, those sexually abused as a minor may still have a claim against their abuser, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Even if the abuser is deceased, you may still have a claim against the organization responsible.
Go to our main sexual abuse page to learn more about the process of filing a clergy sexual abuse claim.
Ohio Sexual Abuse Settlements
July 2004 – A settlement of $150,000 was reached between the Diocese of Toledo and a man who claimed he was molested as a child by Rev. Bernard Kokocinski. As part of the settlement, the 13 parishes of the Diocese were to include an announcement of the credible accusation in their weekly bulletins, however only half managed to do so. The Diocese contended that the omission in the bulletins was just a mistake and would be rectified.
August 2004 – The Diocese of Toledo agreed to pay $1.19 million to 23 people to settle claims of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. Individual settlements ranged from $4,500 to $150,000. The payments will come from the Diocese’s insurance.
March 2005 – An independent tribunal mailed out more than $3 million in checks from a victim’s compensation fund to over 120 victims of clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Compensation for survivors would vary and be based on several factors, including the severity of the abuse, the age of the victim and the impact on the victim’s life.
August 2020 – The Diocese of Columbus reached a $1 million settlement with a former student of St. Charles Preparatory School who claimed he was sexually molested at least six times by Monsignor Thomas Bennett, a teacher at the school. None of the accused parties made any admissions of guilt as part of the settlement.
The settlements listed above are offered for educational purposes only and do not guarantee any future outcome or settlement. Each legal situation is different, and past performance does not guarantee future results. We do not maintain that is a full list of all settlements in the state of Ohio but merely a grouping of those we choose to share on our website. Please contact us if you would like additional settlements included or if you notice any inaccuracies on our site. We strive to provide our viewers the most up to date and accurate information as possible.
Ohio Catholic Dioceses Release Names of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Children
Catholic Dioceses in Ohio have released the names of priests and clergy members who they deemed to be ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse of a child.
The lists below will be updated as litigation or investigations are concluded so that new names of credibly accused priests in Ohio can be added.
Use the links below to navigate directly to a particular diocese’s clergy list.
- Archdiocese of Cincinnati Credibly Accused Priest List
- Diocese of Cleveland Credibly Accused Priest List
- Diocese of Columbus Credibly Accused Priest List
- Diocese of Steubenville Credibly Accused Priest List
- Diocese of Toledo Credibly Accused Priest List
- Diocese of Youngstown Credibly Accused Priest List
Archdiocese of Cincinnati Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Date of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status|
|1||Albercht||Keith||Diocese of Cincinnati||1977||Laicized/deceased|
|2||Berning||John||Diocese of Cincinnati||1934||Removed from ministry/deceased|
|3||Brunner||Thomas||Diocese of Cincinnati||1974||Laicized|
|4||Cooley||George||Diocese of Cincinnati||1976||Laicized|
|5||Cooper||Ronald||Diocese of Cincinnati||1983||Laicized|
|6||Feldhaus||Thomas||Diocese of Cincinnati||1976||Laicized|
|7||Harsham||Ellis||Diocese of Cincinnati||1968||Laicized|
|8||Hopp||Thomas||Diocese of Cincinnati||1966||Removed from ministry/deceased|
|9||Kelley||David||Diocese of Cincinnati||1974||Died in Process|
|10||Kuhn||Thomas||Diocese of Cincinnati||1967||Laicized|
Diocese of Cleveland Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Year of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status|
|1||Arko||Richard||Diocese of Cleveland||1990||Removed from clerical state|
|2||Bailey||George||Diocese of Cleveland||1963||Deceased|
|3||Bals||Jerome||Diocese of Cleveland (deacon)||1973||Permanently removed from ministry|
|4||Banner||Russell||Diocese of Cleveland||1967||Removed from clerical state|
|5||Bartnikowski||Raymond||Diocese of Cleveland||1963||Deceased|
|6||Berthiaume||Gary||Diocese of Cleveland||1968||Removed from clerical state|
|7||Bogucki||Kenneth||Diocese of Cleveland||1984||Removed from clerical state|
|8||Brickman||Donald||Diocese of Cleveland||1981||Removed from clerical state|
|9||Brodnick||Joseph||Diocese of Cleveland||1969||Permanently removed from ministry|
|10||Bruening||Allen||Diocese of Cleveland||1951||Deceased|
Diocese of Columbus Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Year of Ordination/ Incardination||Clergy Status|
|1||Atwood||Ronald||Diocese of Columbus||1969||Deceased|
|2||Brosmer||Thomas||Diocese of Columbus||1969||Deceased|
|3||Ellifritz||R. Michael||Diocese of Columbus||1967||Laicized|
|4||Emmert||Roger||Diocese of Columbus||1962||Deceased|
|5||Fete||Joseph||Diocese of Columbus||1974||Laicized|
|6||Hanrahan||Michael||Diocese of Columbus||1971||Deceased|
|7||Hutson||James||Diocese of Columbus (deacon)||1982||Deceased|
|8||Jacobs||Philip||Diocese of Columbus||1974||Laicized|
|9||Lavelle||Raymond||Diocese of Columbus||1957||Deceased|
|10||Loyd||Frederick||Diocese of Columbus||1970||Deceased|
Diocese of Steubenville Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Clergy Status|
|2||Bernas||Elwood||Suspended from ministry 1986|
|3||Bonadies||Kenneth P.||Suspended from ministry 2018|
|6||Foxhoven||H. Christopher||Dismissed from the clerical state 2020|
Diocese of Toledo Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Clergy Status|
|1||Beaver||Nelson G.||Diocese of Toledo||Placed on administrative leave 2018|
|2||Zacharias||Michael J.||Diocese of Toledo||Placed on administrative leave 2020|
|3||Beauregard||Thomas J.||Diocese of Toledo||Deceased 2005|
|4||Fisher||Robert||Diocese of Toledo||Permanently Removed from Public Ministry 2005|
|5||Lucas||C. Neil||Diocese of Toledo||Deceased 2007|
|6||McCullen||John L.||Diocese of Toledo||Deceased 2013|
|7||Rogers||Stephen G||Diocese of Toledo||Permanently removed from public ministry 2006|
|8||Schmelzer||Joseph||Diocese of Toledo||Permanently removed from public ministry 2007|
|9||Shiffler||John||Diocese of Toledo||Permanently removed from public ministry 2006|
|10||Thomas||Robert||Diocese of Toledo||Deceased 2018|
Diocese of Youngstown Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Diocese/ Order||Clergy Status||Assignments|
|1||Burns||Robert||Diocese of Youngstown||Unknown||St. Paul, North Canton; St. Thomas Aquinas High School; St. Rose, Girard|
|2||Crum||Thomas||Diocese of Youngstown||Unknown||Cardinal Mooney High School; St. James, Warren; St. John the Baptist, Campbell; St. Christine, Youngstown; Immaculate Conception, Ravenna; St. Mary, Orwell; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Youngstown; St. Anthony Parish, Canton; St. Charles, Boardman; St. Peter of the Fields, Rootstown; Our Lady of Peace, Canton|
|3||Esposito||Anthony||Diocese of Youngstown||Unknown||St. Aloysius, East Liverpool; St. Rose, Girard; Newman Center at Youngstown State University|
|4||Evritt||Richard||Diocese of Youngstown||Unknown||St. Paul, Salem; Holy Family, Poland; St. Paul, North Canton; St. Patrick, Kent; St. Pius X, Warren; Christ Our King, Warren|
|5||Fondriest||James||Diocese of Youngstown||Unknown||St. Joan of Arc, Canton; St. Columba Cathedral; St. Paul, Salem; St. Joseph, Alliance; St. Joseph, Ashtabula; St. Anthony, Canton; St. Joseph, Mantua|
|6||Formichelli||Ernest||Diocese of Youngstown||Deceased||Holy Family, Poland|
|7||Gubser||Paul||Diocese of Youngstown||Deceased||St. Patrick, Youngstown; Christ Our King, Warren; Immaculate Conception, Ravenna; St. Frances Cabrini, Conneaut; St. Nicholas, Struthers; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, McDonald; St. Peter, Canton; Sacred Heart, Youngstown; St. John, Summitville; St. Patrick, Salineville; St. Philip Neri, Dungannon; St. Peter of the Fields, Rootstown|
|8||Hammer||John||Diocese of Youngstown||Unknown||St. Louis, Louisville; St. Columba Cathedral; St. Aloysius, E. Liverpool|
|9||Hill||Robert||Diocese of Youngstown||Deceased||St. Stephen, Niles; Ursuline High School; Canton Central Catholic High School; St. Joseph, Suffield; All Saints, Canton; Assumption of Mary, Geneva; St. Joseph, Jefferson|
|10||Kelly||Thomas||Diocese of Youngstown||Deceased||St. Columba Cathedral; St. Ambrose, Garrettsville; Mother of Sorrows, Ashtabula; St. Brendan, Youngstown; St. Christine, Youngstown; St. Aloysius, E. Liverpool; St. Lucy, Campbell; St. Rose of Lima, Youngstown|
Click to view our larger list of accused priests. Here you can search by accused clergy first and last name, Parish/Diocese, city and state, and even by the years of their assignments.
Ohio Sexual Abuse Lawsuits: News & Updates
A sex abuse survivor urges Ohio Senate Committee to pass child sex abuse reform legislation allowing the diocese to be held accountable. Click the headline to read more…
In September 2019, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus Ohio added 8 additional names to their previously published credibly accused list, which brings the total to 48 names. Click the headline to read more…
Father Michael Zacharias, a priest in Northern Ohio, was arrested on sex trafficking, coercion and enticement charges after a drug possession case led to text messages which recounted the abuse. Click the headline to read more…