Columbus priest placed on leave after allegation of sex abuse

Fr. Kevin Lutz (Catholic Diocese of Columbus)
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Catholic Diocese of Columbus has placed a priest on leave as part of an investigation into an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

The diocese identified him as Father Kevin F. Lutz on Friday.

Lutz recently had announced his retirement from priestly ministry at St. Mary Parish, which was effective on September 8.

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On September 9, the diocese says it learned of the accusation of sexual abuse of a minor. It allegedly took place during Father Lutz's time at St. Christopher Parish from 1982 to 1986.

The diocese says it reported the allegation to Columbus police on September 10. On September 11, the bishop decided to place Lutz on leave.

"As was explained to Father Lutz, his placement on administrative leave was not an indication that the Diocese had determined that the allegation is credible," a statement from the diocese read. "Rather, the preliminary investigation into the allegation has just begun."

The diocese says its Board of Review for the Protection of Children will meet soon to assess results of a preliminary investigation.

"If an allegation is determined to be credible, the Diocese of Columbus will execute the necessary judicial and administrative processes," the diocese said. "A determination of credibility is never to be considered proof of guilt."

Father Lutz has been a priest of the Diocese of Columbus since 1978.

His assignments have included:

  • Diaconate, St. Matthew Parish, Gahanna (1978)
  • Associate Pastor, St. Agatha Parish, Columbus (1978-1982)
  • Teacher, Bishop Hartley High School, Columbus (1978)
  • Teacher, Bishop Watterson High School, Columbus (1978-82)
  • Associate Pastor, St. Mary Parish, Marion (1982-1983)
  • Associate Pastor, St. Christopher Parish, Columbus (1983-1986)
  • Associate Pastor, St. Mary Parish, Lancaster (1986-1988)
  • Administrator pro-tem, Sacred Heart Parish, New Philadelphia (1988)
  • Associate Pastor, St. Pius X Parish, Reynoldsburg (1988-1989)
  • Associate Pastor, Christ the King Parish, Columbus (1989-1991)
  • Pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Plain City and Sacred Heart Mission, Milford (1991-1997)
  • Pastor, Holy Family Parish, Columbus (1997-2013)
  • Pastor; St. Mary, Corpus Christi, and St. Ladislas parishes, Columbus (2013-17)
  • Pastor, St. Mary Parish, Columbus (2017-2019)

The Diocese of Columbus encourages anyone who may have claims of abuse by clergy or others associated with the Church to notify law enforcement immediately and also the Diocesan Victim’s Assistance Coordinator at 614-224-2251, 866-448-0217, or helpisavailable@columbuscatholic.org.

Forms for reporting abuse are available in Catholic parish and school offices and can be accessed from the diocesan website, www.columbuscatholic.org.

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