Franciscan priest working in Loretto faces rape, sexual battery charges

Local News

LORETTO, Pa. (WTAJ) — The 59-year-old priest, who’s currently employed as an “assistant to Local Minister at TOR Franciscans” in Loretto, faces charges in Ohio for assaulting someone with a mental illness who was placed under his care.

Charges were filed April 7 in Jefferson County, Ohio, against Father David Morrier, according to the National Catholic Reporter. He is charged with one count of rape and two counts of sexual battery that dates from November 2010 through the spring of 2013.

The Steubenville Diocese at Franciscan University said it was made aware of the charges in November of 2018.

“Although Father Morrier is not a priest of the Steubenville Diocese, the diocese began an immediate preliminary investigation with the alleged victim and officers with the Steubenville police department,” their statement said.

According to the indictment, the alleged victim’s ability “to resist or consent was substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition.”

Morrier will appear in court in Steubenville, Ohio, April 14.

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