Prosecutor Drops Priest Abuse Investigation - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Prosecutor Drops Priest Abuse Investigation

A priest who recently admitted sexually abusing a Shelby County boy more than two decades ago will not face prosecution.

According to investigating attorney James Stevenson, the statute of limitations ran out in the case against Reverend Thomas Hopp. However, the 61-year-old Price Hill native remains barred from ever wearing the Roman Collar again. Hopp resigned from Queen of Martyrs church in Dayton following a letter written by the victim, now married and living in Florida, to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

"I know that this news will bring pain and sorrow to your parish community," Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk wrote to the church. "Please know that I suffer with you. It is always painful when we learn that a person we have loved and respected has done wrong."

At about the same time as the reading, Hopp presided over mass at Reading's Saints Peter and Paul Church, where he took up refuge.

"That was a big mistake," claimed Archdiocese spokesperson Dan Andriacco. "He appears to be in a rather confused state of mind right now."

The presiding pastor, Father Michael Leshney, apparently didn't understand the administrative punishment. However, he wanted to make one point crystal clear.

"Thomas Hopp is not permitted to be with our school children during his stay here."

During a June meeting, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is expected to vote on a national zero-tolerance policy, defrocking any priest guilty of sexual abuse of minors.

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