(BREAKING WIDE) – Findlay Priest Ordained in 2002 Arrested and Charged with Sex Trafficking.
Michael Zacharias, a priest at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Findlay was arrested at his home Tuesday morning on allegations that he engaged in the sex trafficking of a minor, adult. According to the FBI in a press release, Zacharias was taken into custody at his Findlay home – “without incident” .
He faces charges of sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking of an adult by force, fraud or coercion, and coercion or enticement. Zacharias was ordained in 2002. A criminal complaint says that investigators are aware that his alleged sexual conduct with minors goes back to the late 1990s. The Diocese of Toledo place Zacharias on leave since his arrest.
Bishop Daniel Thomas said he was “shocked” and “grieved” to learn about the allegations against him.
In a statement, Thomas says the Church cannot and will not tolerate any such behavior and takes any sexual abuse or misconduct on the part of a cleric with the utmost seriousness”. “As we await the outcome of the criminal investigation, our prayers go out to anyone affected by the situation,” he added.
Looking at the Diocese of Toledo’s “Policy for the Protection of Minors and Young People,” Zacharias is prohibited from exercising public priestly ministry, administering the Sacraments, wearing clerical attire or presenting himself as a priest.
Findlay’s police said it has no information to confirm that Zacharias’ alleged crimes involved St. Michael’s School or its students, but Findlay mayor vowed that a thorough investigation will be carried out.
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